Monday, May 10, 2010

Vogue 8956: Finished!

I finished the dress at 1:00 on Saturday, just in time to pack up and head out for the wedding. Somehow this 1950's dress turned out more early 1960's-looking on me, but I still like it a lot. It's not particularly slimming, but all those pleats at the neckline add some bulk to my flat chest and the skirt makes the most of my giant ass. I wore both fluffers under the skirt for maximum poof and twirl. And believe me, I did A LOT of twirling at the reception.

This dress included many firsts for me: Underlining, horsehair braid, contour belt, fabric with a loose weave, lingerie straps (essential for the wide necks I prefer and not that hard!). My construction techniques continue to improve, and my pressing is getting good enough that I'm annoyed by my iron's limitations. Who would ever have guessed that I'd be serious enough about pressing to buy myself a pressing ham and bitch about my iron's steam output?

The zipper went in without too much trouble. The contoured belt was fine too, except I cut it backwards so the tail points to the right instead of the left. Not a big deal. I used a safety pin to temporarily attach the buckle (instead of sew-on snaps or permanent stitches) due to time constraints. The buckle is vintage, via Etsy. I used stitch witchery to fuse ribbon to the back of the belt instead of cutting and edgestitching a facing. It would have been better if my ribbon was a little wider, but it was the best match I had on hand.

I had an idea that made me feel like a genius while I was finishing the belt. The pointed end of the belt was a little flimsy, even with the fused interfacing. I added a collar stay (an extra from one of Matt's shirts) inside the point to keep it sharp and sturdy. Perfect!

Matt and I had a great time at the wedding. My dress received many compliments. More importantly, it twirled nicely on the dancefloor and did not limit my movement at all. I'm so glad I didn't overfit the bodice! (I kind of overdid the fitting on the Easter dress, so I was trying to keep this dress a little looser.) My only issue is that the front neckline gapes a little bit and the facing needs to be tacked down in a couple more places. I should have pinched out more at the center front seam to account for my congenital sunken chest issues, but I didn't want to mess with the pleats. Next time I'll do it.

The hair was not a spectacular success. I was rushed with the hot rollers. It seems my hair prefers to do the 1960's swoopy thing. I think it was okay, just not anything special.

This dress had a bit of bad juju clinging to it due to my issues with the fusible stuff. I managed to counteract most of that with heavy doses of cheezy pop dance music during construction (Lady Gaga and Ke$ha, anyone?) and a long night of partying. There is still a little whiff of frustration hanging around, mostly due to the lumpy hem. I'm going to put the dress away for a little while and then look at it again to see if it's really worth messing with the hem. My perspective can be clouded by working on something intensely for too long.

I'd like to thank everyone who contributed to this project: Matt, for the fabric as a Valentine's Day gift and for keeping Henry busy so I could work on the dress; Cindy for entertaining Henry and keeping Henry and Otto Saturday night so we could party like the irresponsible non-parents we used to be; Mom and Dad for entertaining Henry; Murl and Shirley for entertaining Henry; and Ann at Gorgeous Fabrics for rush shipping the extra yard of fabric after the disaster. It takes a village! Thanks for enabling my selfish hobby!

16 comments:

Eva Girl said...

This is a Darling dress!!! It came out beautifully and looks great on you!!! I think the fabric is perfect : )

lsaspacey said...

I think it looks incredible and definitely more 50s than 60s, at least to my eye. Your hair came out fabulous, maybe not what you expected but look at that curl and bounce in the back! Perhaps next time use a brush minimally and try to keep the curls intact by finger combing instead. Great job and I am so loving that fabric!

Shannon said...

What pretty dress! You must have rocked that reception!!

A said...

Beautiful...you & the dress!

Debi said...

You look absolutely stunning! I love the dress...it's so beautiful and the belt is fantastic! Makes me want to go dancing :-)

Sassy Lassies Vintage Life said...

Beautiful. As a new sewer I would love to see more close ups of the pleating detail...and I don't know what you mean when you say horsehair hem? Would love to learn something.

Trudy Callan said...

You have really outdone yourself with this one. You look fabulous.

Anonymous said...

Most of the retro dresses and clothes I have seen ARE fitted too snuggly...however does anyone move in them...the way this fit is what made me like it VERY much. B.

Nancy said...

I think the dress is great and I love the hair. Really, the dress is darling.The fact that it's not as slimming has probably more to do with the pattern of the fabric than the cut, but I still think it makes your waist nice and tiny with the belt. Plus super jealous that you can even do the "flip" with your hair. My hair refuses to be styled that way.

Ashley said...

You're very talented!

underthoseneonlights.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Saw your on Sew Retro and visited your site.
I LOVE the dress. It's gorgeous, and it really suits you. I'm a new sewer and this is so inspiring. Thanks for posting it.

Lydia said...

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Patricia said...

The dress looks beautiful! And you in it! I'll bet you received a lot of attention at the wedding reception.

JennySlash said...

That neckline would have given me fits!
You did a marvelous job!!

Gertie said...

SO pretty! Thanks for linking to it on my blog - it's great to see what a narrower width of horsehair does to the hem. And it's machine washable! Who knew?

BlankChocobo said...

Wow, it's so beautiful! I hope I can sew like that someday!