Vogue 2903 – Fabric

So, back to Vogue 2903!  As of Saturday just gone I’ve got three weeks…  Eek!

On the Wednesday after we’d returned from holiday I had a day off where I was by myself. Much as I love Husband and Boy, it’s nice to have some alone time where I can get things done and think clearly.  As this was all prior to the bombshell weekend, thinking revolved around fabric for V2903.

I knew that I agreed with you all that teal was the colour to go for, so armed with my swatch I went off notion shopping.  I’d intended on getting lining, underlining, thread and zipper, and then ordering the dress fabric.

In the end I ended up buying the fabric for the dress from a home-dec fabric store!  The sample above is the best representation of the colour…

This is what I chose.  It’s a teal dupion style fabric with a slight sheen/sparkle and a slubby texture.  It’s actually several shades darker in real life, but the bright sunshine has kinda bleached out the photo!  Like the taffeta I was originally looking at, it’s entirely man made (polyester) but has more weight than the taffeta.  It also drapes better, presses pretty well and basically I love it!  I hope you don’t mind me going off piste a little?

I also aquired some lightweight calico and dress net to underline with.

And some lining.  Both the lining and dress net were described on the bolt as ‘petrol blue’ but I love the tonal aspect as there’s wasn’t a perfect match to the dress fabric.

Gah, the flash has bleached the colour on the dress fabric AGAIN!  It’s three different colours in three different photos!

On the way home I also bought some fabric dye.  Looking in my bag of fabric on the way back to the car the natural calico fabric was just too jarring against my teals and petrol blues.  OK, it’s only an underlining and the dress will be lined so no-one’s really going to see it.  But I’d know.  And the more I thought about it, the more it was bugging me!

So, after pre-washing the calico I took my first foray into dying fabric.

Just as a note:  When they say wear gloves, wear them!  I stuck my hands in for about 30 seconds and the blue has only just (10 days later) come off my cuticles.  For several days it looked like I may have a slight circulation problem with my hands!

I also finished off my flat pattern adjustments.  Please be aware these are just to fit my body – the pattern its self is really well drafted and goes together well (it did at the toile stage, but I’m ahead of myself…).  Here’s what I changed:

Full Bust Adjustment
Sleeve width adjustment
Shortened the bodice by 2″
Took 8″ off the drafted length of the skirt

After the toile I also added more of a curve under the bust and at the waist.  I’m also going to use the narrower yoke, rather than the wider one.  I thought I’d prefer the wider yoke but I was wrong!  Heh, another good argument for the toile – you can check that you like the style decisions that you’ve made!

Tonight is fabric cutting and basting the dress fabric to the underlinings so that the dress fabric is on the outside, then the dyed calico and the dress net uppermost.

My Husband Thinks I’m Weird

And possibly for good reason, if you don’t make your own clothes.  Although as fellow sewists, I’m hoping you’ll understand?  I was sitting in the car wearing a muslin, with pins all over it that were shortening in a number of places as well as holding up the hem.  Well, what’s the point of making a coat that you can’t drive a car in?!

I’ve been tweaking my Minoru muslin as I want it to be as good as I can currently get it as it’ll be the most expensive thing I’ve made to date and I want to wear it to death this spring.  I did my usual FBA before even making the muslin and then set to trying to perfect it.

The first thing I changed was the torso length.  I’ve taken 2″ out above the elastic and this has got rid of the weird bunching in my lower back  and the funny sag over the elastic at the sides.

I’ve also taken 3″ length out of the sleeves and now the cuff edge is about 1/2 way down the back of my hand which is perfect for me.

The final change I made was to add some width across the upper back.  Now I do have a slightly broader than average back due to spending about 20 years of my life swimming 3-4 times a week.  And whilst I had enough room in the jacket to reach forward and it would be OK for driving I wanted a bit of extra room.  I’ll be toddler wrestling, dog wrestling and more than likely lunging for either or both whilst wearing the jacket and I don’t want to feel restricted in it at all (or risk pinging a seam).  Plus this was the jacket shell only, so the lining is going to add a bit of extra bulk!

I used a slash and spread method, making sure the spread along the neckline is within the gathering area and then trued the sides.

So, my pattern alterations are:

  • 2″ FBA
  • Reduce torso length by 2″ after FBA
  • Reduce sleeve length by 3″
  • Increase upper back width by 2″

The additional construction steps I must remember when making the real deal are:

1.  I need to stay stitch and clip the armhole curve on my jacket front when sewing it to the sleeve.  The FBA has given it a really tight curve and it was a complete nightmare trying to match the sleeve to the front when sewing the muslin so that seam isn’t quite as it should be!  Stay stitching and clipping will enable me to match the two up properly.  I’ll need to mark the stitching line on the sleeve so that I match the two pieces accurately.  This excerpt from Shirt Making by David Page Coffin explains it well.

2.  Use 3 lines of gathering stitch when doing the neckline to collar.  There’s a section on this in the Colette Sewing Handbook and also on Colette Pattern’s Blog and the difference that extra line makes to the end result is amazing!

So I’m all set now.  My fabrics are all pre-washed and my shell has been proofed.  I’ve got my elastic and zippers I just need to take shears to fabric…

Oh, and decide whether I’m making the hood or not.  I have jackets with hoods, but I never use them.  If they’re removable, I take them off and if they’re in the collar, well that’s where they stay!  So I leave you with this (whilst begging the Mr Shakespeare’s forgiveness):

To hood, or not to hood, that is the question!