Friday, 19 March 2010

Several light years later I've finished another UFO

I'm still working away on my big box of UFOs, I doubt I'll get to the bottom any time soon! This UFO I'm very ashamed of myself to say the least, because I got very very excited by the Vogue pattern release a few years ago of the infamous Roland Mouret galaxy dress and couldn't wait to sew up my own version. I even purchased the pattern online from sewingpatterns.com paying the currency conversion and international shipping because I couldn't wait until the pattern was released in Australia (typically 6 months or so later). Well as it turns out, I may as well have waited.....

After reading all the reviews by others who had made this, I decided to make a muslin version first to sort out any fitting and to practice the complicated instructions for the armhole flaps (called flanges by Vogue). I guess this was my downfall because after a few simple stuff ups that required a major amount of unsewing, I put this 'aside' for a little while to think about it some more. And to this date the muslin is still not finished even though I've now made three versions of this dress. I think the muslin might be one to chuck out of the UFO box now.

I found a grey stretch wool glenplaid check with a mint green lining running through that looks exactly like the photograph on the pattern envelope. Yeah I know, it's not very imaginative nor original to to copy it so closely, but I do find them extremely influential sometimes. Sewing it up when along swimmingly, the fit was great (even without that muslin being finished) but I had some sort of weird problem where the skirt seemed to spiral downwards and even though the horizontal lines matched up at the sides, one side of the skirt would always be one square check longer than the other and the hem line wouldn't follow a line. I just couldn't work out what I had done wrong and I got really annoyed, so I put this 'aside' again, to think about it a little while more.

After moving onto to many other projects, I made this dress up in a black sleeveless version which I don't seem to have blogged nor have a photo of. But I made it in a stretchy black wool, and it fitted perfectly and I wear it all the time in my work wardrobe either under a suit jacket or over a long sleeved shirt (I don't particularly like wearing sleeveless in the office, besides it's too cold in there). But still I didn't finish the grey version.

I even made a maternity version of this dress, by shortening the bodice to make it an empire line, and making the skirt portion much larger and less fitted through inverted pleats:

Anyway, I finally pulled out the grey check dress and finished it. I had to undo the skirt from the bodice and zipper, and re-sewed it making sure it was on grain and the skirt was dead straight on the front instead of being cut on a slight angle. That seemed to do the trick and here for your viewing pleasure is a dress you've probably seen a gajillion times before by other bloggers over the intervening years:

I made a matching belt out of one of those belt making kits which was seriously fiddly but looks better than a different coloured belt. I also ditched the puffy capulet thing that goes over the sleeve cap because it looked a little silly on me and didn't sit well under a jacket. Instead I just made a few pleats in the sleeve cap and cut them to three quarter length with a turned up cuff. I also made a full lining, instead of just the bodice as the pattern suggests, and sewed down the curved flaps under the arms to the bodice so they didn't flare out and reveal my bra strap. It's still tricky to find the right bra to wear under this, it's not that it's low cut but just at the sides I found some of my bras peeked out.
And look at how well the checks match at the side and back seams, and so they should given how much effort it took:



I just wished I had used an invisible zipper instead of a centred zipper, it would have looked much neater but there is no way I'm unpicking this baby again!
Anyway I may be a few years out of fashion now, but I don't really care because I think this is quite a classic shape. I think the square neckline is rather flattering on me, although I should wear some jewellery to cover up my bony clavicles (one is the result of a long ago broken collarbone).

And in the interests of blogging transparency, I confess to wearing some Nancy Ganz super suck in undergarments under the dress, and even then I sucked in my stomach all day at work on Tuesday when I wore this! But I think doing that is almost like an exercise in itself, so I'm telling myself I did an 8 hour workout....

32 comments:

  1. Oh your dress looks lovely - it was worth finishing too.
    Well done.
    Juliet

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  2. Yes, that counts as an 8 hour workout! And well done on another out of the box. Beautiful matching too :) oh and do the shoes match the stripe in the check? Just checking...

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  3. I've been following your blog for a while and everything you make is so well done. You are too right. That shape is classic and beautiful. I made that same view with different sleeves, it makes me feel gorgeous! Just like you look, and good for you on the 8 hour work out :)

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  4. Wonderful dress and you look fantastic.

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  5. It looks wonderful and very flattering. Smart of you to make it out of stretch wool - mine's not, and it feels a bit straitjackety!

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  6. Your dress is great. You did a very good job with the matching. The dress is very flattering.

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  7. Looks fantastic! I'm so impressed that you're finishing up these UFOs. I have a million lingering projects.

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  8. Definitely worth the effort to finish it.

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  9. Very professional in both technique and look-so pretty. Another awesome seamstress for me to envy. Great looking fabric and matching of plaid.

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  10. Oh wow, that dress is fantastic, and you look great! I'm not even opening my UFO box, so good for you for pulling it out and working on it...

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  11. I love it!! Wow!! That is certainly flattering and I can't believe that you matched up the checks. . .
    I love it on you - I think you should perhaps think about a second - fantastic fit. . .

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  12. The dress looks beautiful on you. It is definitely a classic style. I think it is super cute!

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  13. Are you sure that you are the mother of a one year old? Cause your body doesn't look like you recently gave birth!!!

    That was a dress worth waiting for because you look GOOD!

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  14. That is fabulous! Nice job on finishing it up.

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  16. super gorgeous - well done you for finishing it! Shape wear or not - that's still a pretty amazing post child bod!

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  17. Wow, that dress looks fantastic on you. Great UFO save.

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  18. Gorgeous dress. It was worth the wait and I agree it's a classic shape so could be worn for many years to come.

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  19. That was a UFO well worth finishing - you look fantastic in this!

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  20. You look fabulous! This UFO was definitely worth the effort. I have that pattern in my queue so thank you for reminding me just how beautiful it is.

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  21. Congratulations on a fantastic looking dress.

    You aren't the last one to do this dress, mine has been waiting for its hem for weeks LOL.

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  22. This is the first Vogue pattern I made. And I confess it does not fit really well. And it is a shame because I love that shape.
    You maybe the incentive I lack to unsew and resew...
    Anyway, yours is gorgeous.

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  23. Gorgeous dress!

    I think you are right. Dump the muslin. I have a box of small remnants that I get smaller pieces out of like short sleeves and facings - so I make smaller practice muslins out of larger practice muslins. This stems my guilt about wasting any fabric.

    Them I dump the unusable,too small bits into the quilt bin. There they are until I use them, sometimes as a base in crazy quilting. Or I tire of looking at them and finally throw them away after enough time has separated me from any lingering remorse.

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  24. wow! This is gorgeous on you. I am definitely glad for you that you followed thru on this project. It looks great.

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  25. I love this dress. I didn't think I wanted this pattern but now I do!

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  26. I love the finished dress! You are very talented and have a great eye for fashion!
    I left you an award over on my sewing blog... enjoy and pass on as you see fit or feel free to keep all to yourself!
    Steph

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  27. You look fantastic in this dress!

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  28. Amazing! I have this project on my to do list and you have me convinced to make the effort sooner than later!

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  29. You look amazing....who knew you had a baby a little over a year ago!!

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  30. OMG so gorgeous! I made this frock a couple of years back and it looked so tragic on me - you look awesome!

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