"Very" Easy Vogue: The Blue Linen Dress

There are many gem fabrics hidden away in my Rubbermaid treasure trove. This patterned blue linen is one of my favourites. A seaweed like swoosh on an electric blue that doesn't wash out. Mega love. I can't remember which fabric shop I bought it from, probably Sig Plach in Edmonton, but it's sat in my closet, along with a .50 cent church rummage sale Vogue pattern (V9472), for at least 3 years. 

Engage, sewing plans! =)

I have sewn with linen before and I have to say, it is probably my favorite material to work with. It doesn't fray too badly, it's light in weight and holds ironed creases like a dream. Fabric Sploosh! (Which can actually happen! Yay washable fabric! Lol.)

Anywho! I needed some notions and lining so I hit up a store called Designer Fabrics on Queen West. Dangerzone. I have not gone fabric shopping in a Long Long time. As per The Rules, I must use up my million tonnes of Rubbermaid imprisoned fabric first. But there were some really unique crepes.... that I restrained myself from buying. #hardknocklife

Meanwhile, at home, my fabric a washin' and a dryin' (cold water and low heat), I got started by being a good pattern owner, and tracing out the bodice pieces. Since it was a used rummage sale pattern, the skirt had already been cut out. Good thing the sizing on the pattern package was wrong! Two more inches of leeway. Yay! Project point!

The cutting part is always the most stressful part of any project for me. Especially when it's a fabric I can't get more of, like this one. Once it's gone, that's it, that's all, folks! Which is probably why I ironed this linen fabric four times to procrastinate laying out the pattern. I did eventually psych myself out enough to do it though. Took a lot of measuring to make sure that the seaweed pattern would meet at the waist seam but eventually it was cutting time! (Also, the lining for the bodice. That got a tad less ceremoniously cut out too. Rotary cutter for the Win!)

At this point, everything was cut and in another attempt to be a good sew-er, I tagged all the pattern markings onto the fabric with thread. I have since been told by my lovely lady who actually works in the costuming industry in Toronto that no one really does that unless it's Haute Couture. Lol. Well slap on an expensive tag with my name on it! It's Haute Couture meets Half-Assed-ed-ness!

This pattern is a "Very Easy, Very Vogue" pattern. Having previous experience with Vogue patterns, this title can be a bit of a misnomer. Specifically, Vogue patterns assume you know what you're doing.... Which is a fair assumption for someone who has previous pattern experience. It is not particularly forgiving if you've never sewn from a pattern before though. Skills like ease stitching and easing in the sleeves, or even slipstitching the entire bodice and lining together are both techniques used that I would not expect someone who has just picked up their first pattern to inherently know. 

Anyways. Regardless of the pattern ease (Heh heh), this dress nails "Very Vogue" very well. (So 50% right in the title. Not bad?) The pattern has two features that I super love, 1) The Bateau-ish/Princess neckline.  I love the simple high shoulder scoop. It's super elegant and sits well on regular and wide shoulders. And 2) The Pockets. Oh Gad. The pockets! They are designed to be a dramatic and visible. I really think they Make this dress. As I said before, this pattern was a rummage sale find and it's previous owner loved the pockets so much that only the skirt pieces were even cut out. I don't blame them. I'd cut a pattern for those pockets too. 

Anywho! I got trotting, getting the darts ironed and sewn for the bodice and the lining. The sleeves had to be eased in but the fullness of the shoulder was #worthit.  Then it was on to skirt! Two pleats, two darts, and pockets sewn and basted into the skirt front. It was possibly the easiest skirt I've ever made. (Vogue! What's happening here! No convoluted hand-stitched pocket finishes? Disappoint.) The entire time I was holding my breath though; Please let the fabric pattern match up, oh please, oh please! Well Go Go Gadget math skillz, they did. Check mark. 

The "lining and finishing", as it's outlined in the pattern instructions, were a bit more dubious than the gloriously simple skirt construction. While putting in zippers, hand-stitching lining, and hemming sleeves have never been my favourite pass times, for this project I straight up was didn't wanna. Maybe it was the finality of this project being done (or more likely the billion other things on the go...) but it took some time to get down to it. The zipper has three minor puckers, the lining is a half cm off (I'M NOT FIXING IT D= Sorry Heather), but the hems are Perfect. Good enough for meeeee. Finished! It fits like a dream too. Hur hur, almost like it was made to fit. ;)

I should, at some point, take better pictures of all my projects. Maybe when this dismal "spring" smartens up in Toronto. Until then though! 

(Also, next project? I have no idea. That's a new feeling. Dun Dun DUN.)

-Andrea

The Half-Assed Hobbyist

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