Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tracy Reese Dress Vogue 1343, a TNT dress and another crazy month!

This July was just crazy, crazy, crazy busy for me! 

- started off with a fun filled 4 th of July long weekend
- a brand spanking new grand daughter that seems to not want to get out of my arms!! ;) as if I would even think of putting her down!!!
- my sister visiting for a long weekend from mississippi. That include trips to Arlington horse track and to the Chicago Art institute 
- another weekend filled with a great wedding and wine tasting & lunch with friends. 
- I was also AWAY from home for work for 14 of the 31 days! Ugh

Now with all of that said let's get to the important parts.... The Sewing! After all this is a sewing blog.

I did get a little bit of time in the sewing room. I have to it is my sanctuary, my place to go and just be. 

I finished a dress, the Tracy Reese Vogue 1343 dress. This dress is actually a wearable muslin. The construction was suitably difficult to not be able to make a partial fitting muslin. I read all of the reviews that I could find and compared flat measurements to my own measurements and made some adjustments before I even cut my fabric. 

The biggest complaint from other reviewers was that the cowl neckline was way, way to deep. Like indecent type of deep! And that the neckline was just a bit too low to start off with. 
I made 2 changes to correct for these. 1- I shortened the length of the neckline at the front shoulder yoke by cutting horizontally from the neckline to but not through the armhole and overlapped the tissue at the neck line by 1/2 inch. This effectively raised the neckline at center by an inch. 2- to reduce the depth and drape of the cowl I did a similar adjustment by cutting perpendicular down center front from the top of the cowl to but not throughout the waist and overlapped these pieces by 1 1/2 inches reducing the overall fullness and depth of the cowl by 3". This does not mean that the cowl lays three inches higher than where it did originally... I didn't actually measure that change but it does pull it up some and still leaves a nice drape in front. 

The sizing in this dress is a bit crazy so pay attention to the flat measurements! My pattern was multi sized from 16-22. I cut a 16 for the top and graded to a 22 for the bottom. That's how HUGE the top is drafted!!

I will make 3 more changes when I make this again, and I will make this again even though the silhouette is one that I don't normally wear. 
1. Cut a larger armhole
2. Lengthen the bodice by an inch
3. Lengthen the skirt at the waist by an inch

The armhole was just a tad snug so I recut it on the fly before adding the bias finishing. The length above the waist felt a little short. Since there is a light elastic in there I would like it to fall at my natural waist. The overall length felt a bit short for me. Mostly because I haven't really worn any dresses that hit above the knee in years! Now that I have no more leg brace I dint have to worry about covering down to my mid-calves but I could have used just a tad more length for my comfort :)

The fabric I used was a cheap 'silky' from JoAnns that I got on half price at the red tag section. So I maybe paid 8$. The fabric was horrible to work with mostly because the quality was poor and it frayed like no ones business and was difficult to handle well. I mean really, just check out the AWFULL back button placket. It does not even come close to matching and I did it twice! The fabric could just not handle me pulling out the stitches of the bias finishing one more time, just was being destroyed. I even used a ton of spray starch to try and tame it!! However, it did work perfectly for a wearable muslin and I have worn it twice so far. Once for a work event with a brown belt and brown shoes and once to a wedding with a gold belt and gold shoes. I have some very nice rayon cuts in my stash that I will make this out of again.

The second dress I made TNT knit dress pattern Simplicity 1653. This time I used the big fluttery sleevs and also added width to the bottom of the skirt to make it a bit fuller. This is primarily a work dress and I love it! It is a striped ponte knit. I cut the front and back pieces on the bias and matched the stripes at center front and back in a chevron. I cut the front so that the chevron pointed up and the back so that it pointed down RS way at the side seams the stripes flowed across at a downward angle on the skirt. This way I didn't have to try and match a chevron at the side. The upper sides did not matter since the top fronts were cut on the cross grain,  same as the sleeves. I a very happy with the outcome of this dress! And because it is a knit it travels well in my suitcase for work.

I have 2 more July makes that will be in the monthly wrap-up post :)

Happy sewing!!

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