Thursday, August 12, 2010

40th Birthday Dress- Vogue 7848

This weekend is the long planned 40th birthday of my best friend, the beautiful, Jacqui.  We've been friends since high school, that's over 20 years! I'm really excited for the party as her family is flying in so we'll get to catch up with them AND lots of friends will make a surprise cameos- hope she doesn't read this.  The setting is the beautiful "tasting barn" on the vineyard at Terra Vina in Wilsonville, OR. 

Of course, I want to look fantastic because I know there will be bunches of pictures taken and it's a party and I'm only 5 months behind her in the run up to 40.   So there you have it, I'm vain and I love to dress up and make stuff.  Isn't that why there's a blog?

Originally I was going to make this dress Vogue V1174, a Cynthia Steffe, out of this fabric.
I blogged about it here, but with everything going on, and after reading this pattern review from Erica and this review from Tasia, this dress sounds very time consuming, so I changed my plan to make the similar but simpler Vogue 7848.  AND I had an unfortunate prewashing blunder with this fabric.  You might be able to sort of see from this photo the cool texture this fabric has, which made it look rich and fine.   I just blazed forward and prewashed it not using my brain that it's COTTON,  and the texture washed out.  DOY! (you don't get enough doy these days so here's yours).  Part of the reason I put it off starting till we were a week away.  I really wanted that fancy fine look for the original dress and I even considered going and buying more of the same fabric, but that seemed wasteful and I wasted a week or so kicking my self (now my leg hurts and I was pretty much out of time).   Anyway, then it occurred to me I had purchased the other pattern that also is strapless, has boning but is easier to make, as advised on all the pattern reviews, and maybe that would be better. Sigh....whew!  Problem solved- charge forward.  
Pattern review link will be added in a later edit.
Pattern Description: Princess seam A line dress with close fitting boned bodice.
Pattern Sizing: 6,8,10 : I cut a 10
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope? Yes, more so before I took out some flair and hemmed it above the knee.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Absolutely! This dress is pretty well drafted and the instructions with drawings are great to follow- very very easy and no confusing parts that you have to do to understand. The boning is really easy to put in and I followed a tip from someone at the fabric store who told me when the boning comes on a roll and rolls one way, alternate the direction of the curve when you sew it in so that you don't get a bodice that curls one way before you wear it.
What changes did you make?  I did a full bust adjustment and shortened the total length to the knee.
I didn't make another muslin after the first one that I blogged about before, so when I then cut the fashion fabric and fitted it again, it fit perfectly with using the full 5/8" seam allowances, instead of the 3/8" that I had used on some seams for the muslin.  I went back to the pattern and shaved off some of the flare since I shortened it to above the knees, it was too much flair for that short of a dress.  Then I finished the princess seams with black 1/2" single fold seam binding so that the inside is as beautiful as the outside.  I finished it up to just above the point that the boned facing hits.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Again, very easy to follow, however there was a strange length issue with the facing that I might have created myself when I adjusted the pattern.  Also, there is a shape at the side back bodice near the underarm that again might have become an issue because I altered another piece, but I ended up taking it in at that point or it would have caused gaping at the under arm. Actually the final garment has a slight gap at that point.
For the facing, I had just enough of the face fabric to use for it.  The facing is where the boning is installed and also having read the pattern reviews, I finished the bottom edge with petersham, and added a little hook/eye at the center back to cinch it in a little and help hold the whole thing up.  I got that from the last pattern review- didn't make it up on my own.
Here it is installed in the garment.  That pin came out later.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I LOVE the way this fits and looks. Half of design is choosing the right fabric and trims to make a great look.  I love this one.  Some of it could be the fabric against my skin but I really like the support and shape that the boning gives and it's super comfortable.  Of course I have yet to wear this for an extended period of time for full evaluation.  We'll find out if it's really comfortable after a long party.

Lots of pictures will be taken this weekend.  Will post those later for your scrutiny.  I totally recommend making this dress.!

Hoping to get out to see "Eat, Pray, Love" on Sunday. I loved the book.  I read it right when I quit everything (job, life, house, pets, garden) and moved back to Portland. I've been to all those countries and I needed a change.  I loved it.  Crossing fingers the movie does it justice.

 Here is a terrible quality picture of the dress on me.  After seeing the pictures from the party and the effects of setting up a party in 98degree weather, and having a beer and glass of wine, I am opting to not post those pictures.  I promise I'll get a better method of putting pictures of myself in these posts.  I guess i need to get over my hatred of photos of myself. If the camera adds 10 pounds I wonder "how many cameras are on you?"  Anyone know what that quote is from?

post script note- I would not do the alternating boning again. It's a little odd.  At least for the two front ones, i'd make them the same. I think overall, I should just cut a 10 and no FbA.  I think would have been fine w/a smaller one or none at all.  I still suffer from thinking I'm bigger than I am.


  1. The dress came out beautifully, I'd like to see how it looks on. The fabric is beautiful.

    Thanks for your post on my blog about your experience with your cat. I'm so sorry you - and your cat - had to go through such a horror. I tracked Alice down and gave her a big hug (which she hated) because your words reminded me how much worse things could have turned out.

  2. Oh my gosh! thanks for your comment. I have a bad pic with me in it, and I'm waiting for a pic from the party that hopefully is better.

    I'm so glad your cat is fine. I miss having one around. I always said I would never not have a cat, but my apartment right now doesn't allow them. I'm working toward a new place where I can have a little beast of my own again. I love when they lay all over what you are working on just when you are ready to cut or pin. Their little spirits make everything better. hug all the kitties for me.

  3. First off - how many cameras are on you, is from Friends where Monica is going to the prom. Love that episode lol.

    And second of all, the dress is stunning. The finish is beautiful. The bias binding gives it that extra touch to the finish, and love the idea of the petersham tape too as a waist stay. Looks fab. You look wonderful in it.

  4. Good job! Yep, that's Monica or actually Chandler to Monica- so funny. I think that every time I see a photo that makes me look huge. I got the photos back from the party and alas, due to the heat I think I'm retaining 7 gallons of water and I look TERRIBLE. To me anyway. I tested my camera this morning to see if I could get some shots of myself that I would not hate, and I think I've worked out the photo thing.