Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Vogue 1387 View A . . . and my first attempt at dyeing fabric

I've had this fabric for oh about a year.  It's a cotton-silk blend from Dharma Trading Co. but although it's not overly lightweight, it was fairly sheer.  Since I dislike wearing layers, every time I would pull it out to make something I would end up putting it away.

Late last Saturday night, I was itching to make something for myself -- we had been away from home for over three weeks and the weeks leading up to our trip were taken up with sewing flower girl dresses -- so I pulled this fabric out once again.  I couldn't find anything that would work for a lining, so I decided spur of the moment to dye it. My husband offered to at least do the dishes before I started but I just pushed everything to the side and pulled out my stock pot and dye.  I wasn't really sure what I was doing and I definitely used way too much dye (1 1/2 tsps for 2 yards of fabric) but the only casualty of the whole experience was the wooden spoon I used to stir, now permanently blue.  Not bad considering that I'm a horribly messy cook and was not at all organized.  (I once mangled the blade to my mom's stand mixer -- I put the spatula down on the mess on the counter.  When I picked it up again I didn't notice that a pencil stuck to it so it ended up in the mix.  Oops!)

This is Vogue 1387.  I bought this pattern for view B and actually started that one months ago.  I like it but it's waiting for snaps. Sometimes -- especially late at night -- it's more fun to start a new project than sew on snaps!

Here are the changes I made:
I cut the front on the fold along the centre front to eliminate the wrap.  There are a few nice versions online but the fact that even the pattern cover has the blouse tacked in place turned me off.  I added a button hole to the front before I sewed up the casing so that I could still include the tie.

I had some trouble with the underarm insets (a quick look at patternreview.com showed me that I wasn't the only one!).  The instructions would have you sew up the side seam and then the armbands and then you're supposed to somehow fit the gusset neatly in place.  Doesn't work.  I tried three times!  Didn't help that the notches for the gusset are not correct and the armbands are too long.  So instead of sewing the side seams all the way, sew only to the circle so that when you add the armbands they're enclosed in the seam. Trim off the excess armbands and ignore the notches on the insert.  Once I did that it was easy.

Overall, I like it.  I'd like to make it again but with some changes:
- lower the neckline slightly
- add an inch or so to the bodice so the ties hit me lower on the body
- use a fabric with even more drape