Friday, August 15, 2008

Vogue 1015 - Final Bits and Pieces

Well I have waited about a month since Ms. CB event for a photo of her in the dress. The only photo sent to me is very grainy and does really show the dress. So I decided to post the photo that I took at the final fitting and pick up.

(Ms. CB was having a bad hair day on the pick up day.)

I also wanted to include some final thoughts on the project.

- Ms. CB wanted to wear the shoulder straps directly on top of the shoulder as the photographed model. But the dress is designed to wear just above the ball of the shoulder. This changes the way the dress falls and/or drapes across the neckline.

- I added small bra strap holders to the straps to hold them in place.

- There is a lot of hand sewing involved. The attachment and closure of the armholes, straps, and foundation were all sewn by hand. The flowers were almost completely sewn by hand except for the streams and gathering of the flowers pedals. Before joining the lining to the foundation, I sew one of my labels to the inside.

- As requested I cut off about 3 1/2 inches from the length of the skirt. Note: the hem of the dress is longer in the back, which creates a small train. This I liked, Ms. CB was very conscientious about ease of movement in the dress. She was the coordinator for her family reunion. Her role, of course, required a lot of movement. And hence, she wanted to remove any opportunity of tripping over the train of the dress. She reported that the dress was still a little too long, but workable.

Word on Ms. CB:
Ms. CB asked me to make this dress around the time that Ms. PB asked me to make the white suit from Vogue 8355. I was skeptical about doing it for several reasons:

- Ms. CB has been sewing prom and formal attire for as long as I've been trying to sew. I asked, "Why me." She knows several other seamstress and she sews! Well her response was, "I'm tired of sewing 'like that'. All I want to make is blankets. I'm confident that you'll be able to make the dress." That being said I cautiously agreed to do it.

- The first fitting was, of course, the muslin. It revealed some sticky points with attaching the skirt to the bodice, completing the skirt front closure, and fitting the neckline. At the fitting she asked, "Why bother? You've taken my measurements." I was surprised and answered, "I have to do this step. It helps me know what changes to make and helps identify sticky points." Good thing I did. The straight size 14 needed several changes. I will always make a muslin when sewing for other people and will make one (or paper pattern fit) 95 percent of the time for myself or DD.

- Very detailed and time consuming process. I promised myself to limit the number of challenging projects for other people. Practice on me. I'd seen this pattern online and in the catalogue at the fabric store. My thought was hmmmm.., pretty..., interesting..., Who will make this?..., But in everything, I tried to find the positive. It was a challenge that I could also benefit from giving me an opportunity to give life to my new year's resolution.

Lessons Learned:
"Practice on me"-- I'd feel more comfortable practicing new techniques on me or DD. This was the first for: hand picked zipper with beading and attaching the foundation to the dress. Both are interesting processes that I enjoyed trying. They are also very time consuming. My favorite of the two was the hand picked zipper. I really like the affect of the added beads. This is a process that I will definitely do again in the near future.

Still more to grow on fitting. Continue refinement of my fitting skills. After doing the muslin, I still struggled with the bias neckline fitting.

Have complete clarity on positioning of straps, waistlines, and hemlines before cutting into the fashion fabric.

And finally,

Make sure I take an adequate number of pictures at the final fitting. ;-)

All related posts.


  1. This is absolutely an exquisite dress. And here's another point of interest. Ms. CB is not a tiny woman, not a large woman either. This dress is perfect with it's slimming lines and focus point of the flower on the front. So not only is this beautiful dress, but it enhances her figure in such a slimming way. That is a major feat accomplished--one that all of us strive to achieve and sometimes fail.

    From my viewpoint, this is a masterpiece in beauty and fit.

    BTW, I nominated you for "Most Coveted Closet" :) . Do you ever make a wadder Cennetta?

  2. Wow. The dress is beautiful, and it fits Ms. CB perfectly. And I love your labels, BTW, they look like labels you find in vintage apparel.

  3. Congrats on the dress, you did a wonderful job. What a challenge to have taken on yourself? Sewing for another Sewing Pro?!?
    I would have lost my mind just anticipating working with that fabric!

    Anyways, I have 2 questions, first is
    Did she like the completed outfit without any reservation?

    Why didn't you do an invisible zipper?
    Wouldn't it have been easier to insert an invisible zipper then hand pick along the lines?

    Well that was 3

  4. Thanks for the compliments.

    Kat - Yes I do make wadders. Sometimes there so bad I have to pitch them. lol

    Anonymous - At some points the dress did work me instead of me working it. lol
    Q1: I guess I should have said something about Ms. CB comments. She loved her dress and has already asked that I make her dress for the next family reunion.

    Q2 - When I got to the point of inserting the zipper, I realized I did not have one on hand. So I decided to try the hand prick method. Learning some new techniques is on my New Year Resolution list. The invisible zipper would have been easier and less time consuming, but something new and different can be refreshing. This was.

    Thanks again,

  5. Kat - Thanks for the nomination. You put a huge grin on my face. ;-)

  6. I so admire you for making this dress...I JUST DO NOT sew for others anymore...unless it is a gift!

  7. The dress was beautiful, I know yor customer got lots of great compliments. Sewing for other require skills and patience and you have both.

  8. All I can say is WOW! I wish I had such a dress. I think you have reached a new level in your sewing and fitting skills. Well done!

  9. Thank you for showing us these photos! The dress is just so lovely and fits Ms. CB so well.

    I love handpicked zippers - it is a great couture technique. You've done a fabulous job with these sorts of little details.

    I love those labels, too, as Christina said they look like vintage ones (right up my alley!). Where did you get them?

  10. Thanks! Christina and Summerset, I purchase my labels from Charm Labels @ I have 27B and of course 103C. The labels are very well made and pretty. ;-)

  11. Thanks to Melissa, Carolyn, and Alethia.

    Carolyn - This was definitely very challenging. I can see my flaws, but Ms. CB was happy with the outcome.

    Melissa - I totally agree with you. It is my hope that I continue to grow and smooth the rough edges.

    Alethia - Ms. CB did get a lot of compliments and I'm flatter and grateful that she thought enough of me to ask that I sew your dress.

    Happy Sewing Beautiful Ones,

  12. I'm in awe with thia dress, you really outdone yourself! All the long hours working on it and perfecting it were well spent! It's perfect!

  13. Cennetta, I'm happy to Finally have a moment (just) to get in here and see this awesome dress. You should be proud. And in the pics of her wearing it she looks as pleased as can be, so you've got a happy client.
    I agree about experimenting new techniques on yourself, but sometimes it just doesn't work out that way. Fabulous job on this.



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