Monday, November 07, 2011
Pattern Review: Vogue 8723
Let's see... spots? Check!
Pockets? Check! (I do love a good pocket, particularly in a dress)
Fabulously swirly skirt? Check!
Happy Jorth? Check, check, check!
My only quibble with this dress was the frustration I experienced whilst doing the skirt gathering. Now, this in no way reflects upon the pattern itself - the pattern is great, well drafted and you are guaranteed a good fit across the bust as you can select your bust size when cutting out the pattern. No, the problem arose because I elected to make up this garment in a silk/cotton blend fabric. Whilst the fabric is pretty awesome, it was also rather tough, and when it came to pulling up my gathering threads that fabric just did not want to gather.
So I did what any impatient seamstress would do: I pulled harder. Predictably, all this did was cause my gathering stitches to snap. I gritted my teeth, unpicked them, resewed them and tried to pull the gathering stitches tighter again.
Snap! This thick, tough fabric DID NOT want to play ball, especially across the skirt sections where the pocket tops were basted. In despair I turned to my friend Google, and desperately typed in 'easy gathering techniques'. Lo and behold, I stumbled across this website, which provided instructions on how to gather tougher fabric using string. Basically, you cut a piece of string a bit longer than the piece that needs to be gathered, and then using your widest and longest zig zag stitch, you sew over the string in your specified gathering seam allowance, being careful not to sew on the string itself. Then you use the string to pull up your gathers. It was so easy! And much easier to make all your gathering even, if you ask me. I usually end up with dodgy bits where there's no gathering, then a whole heap of gathers bunch up together. This worked out much better - I'll definitely be using this technique again. Hooray for the internet!
The pattern actually calls for lightweight fabrics, such as cotton shirting, linen or gingham to be used, so I don't think the gathering would cause any issues if you used those, but if you were thinking of making up this dress in a silk or heavy weight fabric, that string trick might be worth keeping in mind. Despite the effort required, I'm glad I made it in this fabric - it sits out so nicely, almost as if I had a petticoat hidden away inside.
Now, I don't know about you, but I can't go past a twirly skirt. Even if it is potentially detrimental to my health. You don't want to know how many times I slammed into that brick wall when we were taking photos. But oh, such good fun!
Pattern: Vogue 8723, dress B
Fabric: 1.6m spotted green and navy silk/cotton blend from The Fabric Store plus 1.6m cotton voile in navy blue for lining
Notions: 50cm invisible zip, hook and eye