Sunday, 12 November 2017

Frocktails Vogue 1339 : Me and Guy

First things first... that title rhymes. If you're going to dive in deep with Vogue 1339 you will need to get on friendly terms with the Guy Laroche voice in your pattern envelope. OK, technically Guy Laroche himself passed away in 1989 and this pattern was released in 2013 but if you're speaking to the spirit of a french designer it's even more important to pronounce his name right. Right?

So... Guy rhymes with me.  Alors, let's get to it!


I think I've finally found my sewing "thang" when it comes to fancy frocks. And it's exactly this. a moderately complicated, designer Vogue pattern made up in a ridiculously cheap knit fabric. The sewing journey is fun, the fitting is forgiving if not downright easy and the price of failure is negligible.

I'd bought this pattern quite some time ago in a Spotlight $5 Vogue pattern sale and then let it marinade. After thoroughly enjoying making the Vena Cava dress, then the Vogue 1342, I knew it was time for another knit number.

There is absolutely no point in trying to pre-read and understand the instructions prior to sewing, you just have to "go with the Guy"  and sew each step as it comes. But, a little research beforehand proved to be immensely helpful...


This superb review on Pattern Review .com  set me up perfectly. Thanks Grays08!
The first tip I took heed of was sizing. I measured exactly as per the size 14 in bust, waist and hip, but the hot tip was to size down, especially for the skirt portion. Well I was never going to be a bigger size up top than down below so I boldly went with a 12 all over.

The pattern is a hefty package of eight sheets of pattern tissue and since I had no conviction of getting it right first time I traced my pattern.


The skirt is made up of an enormous skirt panel, and enormous skirt lining and then the flounces. The cutting had to be done on the biggest floor space I could find and the fabric really does need to be 60" wide knit. I think I got away with about 3.5metres instead of the 4 on the packet but I didn't measure. At $4/metre from Eliza's my fabric was so cheap that I didn't cut to preserve every last inch.


And then begins the sewing (unless you procrasticraft for weeks and make a gazillion other things for yourself and the kids because you fear once you start it might be an infernal mess), and yes, when Guy says sew the front shoulder neckline to the back shoulder armhole, that's what he means. Don't question the Guy, just sew it. Exactly as per the written and illustrated instructions.

Whats-more it's a french seam, because somehow, you don't know how yet, that shoulder seam is going to twist and a small part of it is visible. (I'm not wearing that shoulder seam correctly in these photos but that's how it lay when I put it on and it was time to go party so no reshoot). So it's like a wrong side to right side, front side to back side neckhole to sleeve hole confusion of a seam. But that's only hard if you fight it or try to think about it. This is Keanu Reeves Matrix style sewing only frenchier and way more sexy.

Oh, and on the other side you'll do a french seam with a big box pleat. Then the right armhole - an entity in itself, and the left armhole/neckline hybrid each get a tiny hand rolled hem the whole way round. Guy was playing with me and I was starting to really enjoy myself.


The bodice has a couple of pleats at the waistline which helps with the way it drapes but otherwise are not noticeable.  There are also these little triangle stays which are created with two triangles of fabric, stitched and turned, then added in to the waistband. Here they are but I think they are somewhat redundant due to Grays08's next fabulous tip off....


The intention is that those triangles, anchored to the upper part of the side bodice seam will hold up the skirt. Ah, non, ce n'est pas possible Guy.

The skirt is a lot, seriously a lot, of fabric and while you could make it as tight as you liked it would still sag under it's own weight. The only two reviews of this pattern I could find both said that adding elastic to the waistband was ESSENTIAL. Once the skirt and lining were attached I stitched a loop of 1cm elastic that was a good 2 inches shorter than my waist measurement onto the seam allowance. It then gets sandwiched between the skirt and lining and once you start stitching them together with all the gathering there would be no going back to add it later.


Another excellent tip for the skirt was to make all the pattern markings on the RIGHT side of the fabric. Once you have the skirt and lining together you would never see markings on the wrong side. I used a chaco liner but it faded a lot with all the handling and thread marking would be wiser.

The skirt and lining are gathered together along the side seam and then stitched, according to the instructions, with a single line of stitching. I went with two rows of stitching and added some satin bias binding to the inside to help support and stabilise the fabric.


This was the only part of the dress that needed a redo. The original amount of gathering had the dress almost floor length on me (170cm, 5'7") and the ruffle slit down below mid shin. I confess I thought briefly about just scissor shortening the dress - it is unhemmed after all, but the too low slit bothered me.

I unpicked my gathering and lopped about two inches off my bias binding and then also started and stopped the gathering at least an inch further above, and below, the original pattern markings. If you don't want it super-ruched I'd suggest using the pattern marking lines to shorten the skirt for anyone under about 5'10".


And there was my dress finished. Even after all my procrastinating and delayed starting I was done, with about 10 days to go.....

I tried really hard not to start anything else. Really I did. But then I remembered that wonderful Ida Clutch pattern that everyone but me seemed to have made. And I recalled some patchy, deep red fabric in the stash. Next thing I knew I was whipping up a bag...


It's a great, free pattern and a lovely size for all the necessary stuff for a night out. The only challenge is finding a 10" zip with an interesting metal puller, but I now know that Kylie of Kylie and the Machine sells them, as well as whole kits to make the clutch. There's your Christmas gift tip off right there.


Did I say the Ida Clutch is a nice, simple sew? Well it only took one evening and there I was twiddling my thumbs again and trying desperately not to start second guessing my dress. I decided I need tassel earrings and wondered if the deep red macrame thread I'd used for Pip's necklace might match. Did it ever!

Looking for a tassel in one of my macrame books I came across this bracelet pattern. I loved how the folding, cascading squares were a nod to my skirt's flounce. I had to make it.


It's from the Bohemian Macrame book that I'd used before and is actually quite simple being just horizontal half hitches and nothing more. Quite a lot of them of course and it did keep me very busy, but with one night left at the end I made my tassel earrings after all.


For these I referenced a tassel in a new macrame book (Macrame by Fanny Zedenius) that has some fabulous big wall hangings. I need to get deeper into that one.

Cheap knit fabric, pattern on sale, purse from scraps and string jewellery. That's thrifty glamour right there! I think my eyelashes cost more than my outfit :)


Thanks for reading. Au revoir et merci from Guy and me!

Details:
Pattern: Vogue 1339 Guy Laroche. Now out of print, snap it up if you find it.
Size: 12 (measured a 14)
Fabric: "dry knit" from Eliza's
Modifications: Added elastic to waist. More ruching to decrease skirt length and stabilised ruching seam.
Accessories: Ida clutch by Kylie and the Machine and macrame jewellery (links in blog post)

30 comments:

  1. Gorgeous ensemble and delightful read! Thanks for the giggles.

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    1. Thank you, glad you enjoyed my ramblings!

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  2. You obviously tapped into Guy’s wavelength and came up with the goods. Great dress, accessories & colour palette. Smoking... 🔥

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    1. Thanks Anna, when I'm talking to my goldfish or the spirit presence of a fashion designer my French comes freely and easily. Just don't put me in front of a French speaker, I clam up completely :).
      I enjoyed the sewing and I'll let you in on a secret, it was like wearing a t-shirt all night. So comfy!

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  3. Absolutely stunning! Bravo!

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  4. Stunning how did your husband let you go out without him! Seriously those earring are what I have been looking for.

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    1. Oh he would have hated to come so it was no question! :) There was one lovely husband there (first time I've spotted one) and he was a delight. Very gregarious man!
      I would love to make you a pair of tassel earrings! Do you have a colour in mind?....

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  5. Thank you for a great read! You look stunning, this colour really suits you :) I am glad you were able to create a gorgeous outfit and accessories and have money to spare for fabulous eye lashes ;)

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    1. Ha ha, thanks Jenya. I absolutely know where to draw the line on fit and it's make up! I'm hopeless at it. I really should have lessons.... Anyway, I was very happy to do all the rest myself!

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  6. Just gorgeous! And that colour is amazing on you! I always enjoy reading about sewing adventures from the other end of the spectrum (I'm over here with my two or three perfect patterns that I've hacked every which way, and zero desire to ever wade into patterns that actually require you to *gasp* read the instructions..). So, thanks for the vicarious thrills!

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    1. Ha ha, thanks. I confess to doing that with the kid's clothes sewing. But I do love a new adventure and am always happy to strike a new trail. I just hate getting lost!

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  7. Love everything about this! Totally worth every cent spent, and then some. Would you do it again with a more expensive fabric? Rebecca

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    1. My initial desired fabric was a bronze metallic knit but I simply couldn't find one that looked nice on both sides. If that fabric appeared I might make this dress or I might go back to one of the other Vogue Designer knit dresses as my versions of those are too big for me now. It really is a dress you only need one of. I definitely do want to make the bodice into a tank top.

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  8. Seeing the dress then reading about it, makes it all the more impressive. It looked sensational.

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    1. Thank you! It was lovely to finally meet. Next time it should be on a bike, having a coffee somewhere

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  9. Oh, I so look forward to this every year, even though I'm on the other side of the globe! You always choose the most interesting (read: complicated AF) styles! This one is no exception. I loooooove this color on you, you are very "wine red sea" here, I love the dress, and I ridick love the macrame accessories! All in all, smashing! And yes, love your long reviews, I always chuckle a lot! This one was like, "don't even try to exercise common sense or second guess Guy, just DO EXACTLY AS HE TELLS YOU, no matter how bizarre!"

    Ah, so great. Thank you!

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    1. Oh Inder, you're the sweetest. I would struggle to find a red wine I didn't like to drink (although I definitely have preferences - all OVER the grenache/shiraz/mataro blends or Tempranillos at the moment) and there certainly isn't one I don't like the colour of! I never know if the colours I like, are the colours that suit me, but enough people have said it, I'm calling this one my colour.
      I'm glad you enjoy the annual excursion into something silly and fancy. if only I got out more it would be more frequent, but then it wouldn't be so special... there'll be a whole lot more kids t-shirts blogged before the next one of these comes around! :)

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  10. Magnifique! I think this is my favourite of your dressy dresses. Construction sounds a bit like origami - well done for pulling it off! And I know everyone else has says it, but it really is a great colour on you.

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    1. Thanks Marisa, The others are all a bit big for me now so the benefit of that is I get to revisit some of those patterns all over again! And yep, red wine suits me in so many ways! :)

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  11. Forgot to say, your accessories were perfect! Off to look up that clutch pattern now...

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    1. Oh it's great. There were at least four of them at Frocktails and it was fun to meet the pattern designer and get a photo of her surrounded by our clutches. I definitely want to make a leather one now.

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  12. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post (as I do with all your posts, actually), and what a spectacular dress. I'm so impressed by the whole process, and even more so that you made all of the beautiful accessories! The color is so gorgeous on you, too.

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    1. Thanks Emi. It's always nice to hear I'm not chatting away to myself over here :)
      the macrame jewellery just had to happen when my string stash had exactly the right colour. I have a lovely chardonnay in a glass in front of me as I type. Maybe my next dress should be a light golden yellow... perhaps there isn't a wine I can't wear... :)

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  13. totally gorgeous in every respect! I love those super complicated and beautiful designer numbers. All your accessories are perfect too :)

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    1. Thanks Carolyn. I really enjoy them too. I can't get excited about indie patterns with their photo tutorials on computer screens, but give me a Vogue printed pattern and I read those instructions like Rain man with a box of matches :)
      While I was making the jewellery I had that Goodies song in my head "string, string, string, string, everybody loves string..."

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  14. Amazing dress! And I know I shouldn't comment on this sort of thing, but you look great! Just look at those guns...whoa!

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    1. Ha ha. Thanks! I've always enjoyed weight training but since I've dropped a lot of the flab it's become more obvious. My pecs are almost bigger than my boobs now, so my next challenge is to learn how to do that pec dance thing and then sew a bikini or bra so I can make myself laugh! :)
      This dress pattern would be fabulous for you, I strongly recommend seeking a copy.

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  15. Seriously fabulous! One of my faves from the night.

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  16. My god Shelly. You look fabulous in this. Fantastic dress, and great looking you!

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