Friday, 22 July 2016

Big Vintage Sew-Along Reveal! - Vintage Vogue 9082

I'm really excited to share this finished project with you today. I'm sure most of you have spotted some of the gorgeous projects that have been made by other bloggers as part of the McCalls Big Vintage Sew-Along. Today it's my turn! To get us inspired McCalls have selected a number of designs from the 1930s through to the 1960s. The proceeds from the sales of these patterns will be donated to The Eve Appeal, a charity who raise awareness of and fund research into gynaecological cancers. I was keen to join in as, whilst not really a vintage dresser, I love all the unique details in vintage designs. The market today is awash with a lot of 'clean lines' and simple designs that after a while all seem quite similar so it's been lovely to get stuck into a project with some interesting design features and different construction techniques.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Big Vintage Sew-Along Vintage Vogue 9082

It was tough to choose between such a plethora of gorgeous styles but I eventually settled on Vogue 9082 from the 1960s. I chose this design because whilst the idea of sewing vintage really appeals to me it's not a look I generally wear a lot of and I felt this pattern had the potential to be given a slightly more contemporary vibe. Especially that little view B crop top! I made the dress and top as I thought the jacket had too much of a distinctly mid century look to it for me personally. The only change I made to the design to better suit 5ft3" me in the early 21st century was to take a whopping 6" off the length (then using 2" for the hem) and make it above the knee. Everything else was sewn up exactly as intended.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Big Vintage Sew-Along Vintage Vogue 9082

I was really unsure about what fabric to buy as I wanted something that would work with the vintage design yet still look contemporary enough for me to get some wear out of. I wanted it to keep a classic feel but still be interesting. I was at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia at the end of last year with my Mum and this bolt practically leapt off a stall at me. It's a really unusual cotton fabric which has the feel of a barkcloth about it. It's made up of a variety of monochrome yarns which give it that lovely mottled look and it has a springy, crinkled texture. It was everything I had been looking for and now I've sewn it up I could not be more delighted with my choice.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Big Vintage Sew-Along Vintage Vogue 9082

I found it on the Fabrics Galore stall and although I'm yet to make it to their shop in Battersea I really need to make the trip at some point as every time I see their stall at a show like this I am impressed by the quality and end up buying something. I'm normally tempted by their Paul Smith shirtings and chambrays. Their online shop is pretty great but tends to focus on prints (this fabric isn't on there) and nothing sells a fabric like touching it does it? I probably would have overlooked this particular fabric online as a picture wouldn't have conveyed the unusual texture.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Big Vintage Sew-Along Vintage Vogue 9082

Being cotton it was really straightforward to work with, the only thing I had to be careful of when sewing was the mechanical stretch in the fabric provided by the shrunken, crinkled texture. I think this is actually a positive to this fabric though as the spring in it gives it body and the dress in turn some shape. I really like how it doesn't cling to the figure but produces smooth, soft curves. The structure of the fabric works particularly well for the crop top as it holds it's boxy shape away from the body.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Big Vintage Sew-Along Vintage Vogue 9082

Possibly my favourite thing about the fabric is how stitches sink into it almost invisibly. Although in a way you do loose some of the beautiful design features in it like the angle of the darts on the front of the crop top and the topstitching around the hem which would be lovely on a plain linen. There's a fair bit of hand sewing involved but the texture of this fabric means that it doesn't show through to the right side (I was still careful to only catch a couple of tiny threads on the right side anyway) and this meant I could hand stitch down all those facings without a care in the world. I've decided I'm a big fan of more traditional finishing techniques and one thing that really pleased me about this outfit was that almost all the edges are finished with a facing. The facing along the top of the dress is part of bodice pattern piece and just folds down which I found really interesting. A hem facing is the best way to hem that crop top for sure as it avoids any complications with that lovely v shaped cut out at the front and also give a bit of weight to it.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Big Vintage Sew-Along Vintage Vogue 9082

I do usually just scan instructions nowadays as I'm pretty confident in the techniques I like and what will work best for particular fabrics but I really stuck to them with this one, mainly out of intrigue for how sewing techniques differed decades ago and also as the fabric felt quite authentic too. The only modern methods I veered off into were to use a fusible interfacing (although the instructions to lap and hand stitch your interfacing intrigued me) and to get my overlocker involved. As beautiful as this barkcloth is it does fray like crazy and I knew just pinking the seams probably wasn't going to hold up all that well.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Big Vintage Sew-Along Vintage Vogue 9082

There are a lot of different techniques involved in sewing this pattern, the first of which is definitely the ability to sew a nice dart! There are approximately a million and one involved in this pattern. I'm not a big fan of sewing a dart, I find them a painfully slow process when you just want to get going so had to knuckle down at the start of this one and get on with it. I remember when I first started sewing my Nan taught me how to do tailors tacks (posting me some examples!) and it's now my go to method of marking pattern pieces because it is so accurate. It sure came in handy for this. I like how on vintage patterns darts are marked with a few little circles along the sewing line. I tailors tack at each circle which means more accuracy when drawing on the dart leg. When you're just going the notches and the point there's a lot of potential for fabric to shift and give you a wonky line.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Big Vintage Sew-Along Vintage Vogue 9082

One thing which delighted me when I first read the instructions for the dress was the inclusion of a waist stay. I've only put one of these in before (to my chiffon Oscar de la Renta dress) but they are so simple to do, make such a difference to the way a garment sits on you and just give your dress that little extra something that makes it special. I used a piece of black petersham ribbon from my stash for mine and this pattern comes with a pattern piece for it so you can get the length right and where it should hit the seams with not effort at all.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Big Vintage Sew-Along Vintage Vogue 9082

Based on my measurements I cut the size 12 and there's probably just about the right amount of ease all over, it's very comfortable. If you're after a more Christina Hendricks wiggle dress look you'd need to size down though. I'm really pleased with the fit through the back, which I think is partly due to the zip being on the side and partly down to vintage pattern drafting suiting my petite frame. I really love the wide position of the shoulder straps combined with the height of the straight neckline, something about it feels very Brigitte Bardot to me! Construction wise I wasn't sure about the the straps being sewn on top of the facing. As the facing is part of the bodice rather than being attached separately you can't sandwich the ends of the straps between the facing and main fabric when you sew the neckline as I usually would. It does mean that you can get the length of your straps absolutely spot on later on and this fabric is so forgiving that you can hardly tell the ends are there but I'm still on the fence.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Big Vintage Sew-Along Vintage Vogue 9082

A real personal challenge (appropriately for the Big Vintage Sew-Along) were my first lapped zips! I put the zip into the bodice first which being only 4.5" long turned out pretty well for a first go! It's actually a much more straightforward technique than I had envisaged but I was lucky that this fabric is so forgiving. I'm sure it would have looked a total mess in something plain coloured and crisp! I initially somehow managed to get mixed up with the dress zip and had the back edge overlapping the front. This looks terrible as from the front you could see inside the lap to the zip so out came the quick unpick. My stitching was pretty wobbly on that first try so it actually worked out for the best because even having just one practice attempt made my second one so much better! I understood what I was trying to achieve the second time and it's much tidier. I'm looking forward to trying to improve on this technique now and will be busy today flipping through my sewing books and googling tutorials for tips!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Big Vintage Sew-Along Vintage Vogue 9082

One last thing that I liked about the instructions is that they very clearly tell you which type of hand stitch to use and where and that there is a lot of hand basting involved. They are so thorough with a mind to achieving beautiful and long lasting results. It was really nice to invest some time in sewing a pattern which involved some different construction techniques and therefore required me to really concentrate, slow down and follow the instructions. It felt like 'proper' sewing and has made me really proud of the final garment as I know just what went into making it. Slow sewing often makes the best sewing don't you think?

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Big Vintage Sew-Along Vintage Vogue 9082

Many thanks to McCalls Pattern Company UK for providing me with the pattern and fabric for this project and for the girls over at The Foldline for inviting me to challenge myself and take part. I hope the blogger tour has been getting you inspired to join in with the fun and sew up one of these beautiful designs!

32 comments:

  1. Beautiful dress! I am very impressed.

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    1. Thanks Kathy, I have to say the pattern takes most of the credit for it, it was such a lovely thing to put together

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  2. Gorgeous dress! I love the silhouette and the shortened length really does make this more modern. The fabric is really lovely too. I love vintage patterns especially for the more interesting sewing techniques they teach you. Well done!

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    1. Thanks Rebecca, that's exactly what I enjoyed the most about it! They were really fun to put together. I'm glad I gave myself plenty of time though!

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  3. Ooh gorgeous. One to add to my list!!

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    1. Absolutely! It's a really enjoyable pattern. Thank you

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  4. I love your version! I've just made the dress but plan on making the top and jacket for a wedding in September. It's such a great style I can't believe there's not more out there in the Blogasphere! This style looks fab on you,I bet you get lots of compliments 😃

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    1. Oo I've just been over to your blog to look at yours, what gorgeous fabric! It really is a cracker of a pattern isn't it? I hope the sew-along brings this gem to more people's attention. Thank you, I hope you enjoy wearing yours to the wedding

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  5. Lovely Fiona! The pattern is a great match for that gorgeous fabric and it was so interesting to read through the construction process. I also snapped some of that fabric up and now I can't wait to sew with it! x

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    1. Thanks Jane. Can't wait to see what you make with the fabric, it's scrumptious! Apparently they only had a small amount in from an Italian supplier and it flew off the shelves so we are lucky ladies!

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  6. that is so nice - you look fantastic

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    1. Thanks Beth! I'm pretty pleased with how well it fits and how comfortable it is in this fabric because of the bit of mechanical give it has

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  7. So beautiful! The fabric is a great choice, it makes the dress look more modern, and wearable. I'm working on a 1960s dress myself and I'm also not looking forward to that lapped zip :)

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    1. Thanks Nathalie, that's exactly what I was hoping this fabric choice would achieve so your comment has put a smile on my face!
      The lapped zip is really nothing to fear. I was so hesitant about it when I got to that stage and was pleased with the dress as it was but they're really quite straightforward. Just different

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  8. Wow! This set and the jumpsuit from your last post are really, especially lovely. I really enjoy all the projects you share. Thank you for blogging. :)

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    1. Thanks so much for the lovely comment! I am particularly delighted with both this and the jumpsuit. Can't wait to wear them both out! I'm glad you have been enjoying my blog :)

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  9. The fit and finish of your garments is amazing, and stands out a mile from a lot of other sewers out there. That's not to denigrate them though, it has been so fantastic to see home sewing and other crafts revived after years in the doldrums.

    I am of the generation who would have bought this pattern first time round and, like your Nan, I always use tailor tacks! I also avoid lapped zips like the plague and substitute invisible ones, something which wasn't around in the 60's and which changed my sewing life!

    However, after sewing all these years I had never come across a waist stay before, so it is never too late to learn and thank you for that, and for the pleasure of reading your blog.

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    1. Thank you so so much for that lovely thoughtful comment Julia, it really does mean a lot to hear positive things about my sewing from someone experienced!
      I wasn't too put off by this experience of putting in lapped zips but have to say I will probably be sticking to my preferred invisible ones!
      I'm so glad that you have got something out of reading my posts. A waist stay is one of those little extras that is super easy to do but makes a real difference to a finished garment. Especially if the skirt of your dress has some waist to it, it keeps everything sitting in the right place comfortably. A real game changer!

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  10. What a beautiful outfit! If you're looking for lapped zip tips I've always found Kathleen Fasanella's method works well for me (look past the slightly ranty writing style though). it starts here: http://fashion-incubator.com/process_review_lapped_zipper/

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    1. Haha! I get what you mean about the ranting...But seriously thank you so much, this is fab! I can't believe I haven't devoured most of the info on that site before, there goes my evening!

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  11. This is dreamy! Perfect fabric, you definitely made it look modern. I nearly chose this one too; the top in particularly is so cool and I love the idea of crop top over a dress.

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    1. Thanks Katie. You would totally have rocked that crop top! It was definitely the top that sold this one to me and made it my final choice!

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  12. Really, really lovely dress!!

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  13. This is SO FLATTERING! What a gorgeous dress.

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    1. Ah thanks Emma! Those classic styles are just always going to work aren't they?! There are so many gems to be found in vintage patterns

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  14. This is so cool!!! It's absolutely timeless.

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    1. Thanks Sonja! That's a high compliment. Hopefully I'll be wearing it for years to come

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  15. I really want to make this pattern based on your make, but I'm so confused about which size to buy¬ I'm normally a size 12/14 in modern Butterick patterns, having to grade between, so any tips on whether this sizes big or small? There don't seem to be any bust/waist finished measurements on the buy page to help. Your version is so gorgeous, I absolutely love it!

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    1. It can be really tricky to decide Emily, I know your struggle! I think this one actually runs very true to size, perhaps if anything very slightly large. I'd go with the size your measurements fall into and make a quick muslin to see if you'll need to take it in a bit. I've never used a modern Butterick so can't really compare the size I'd be in those
      Thank you!

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!