Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Finally: Pictues of Vogue 8997

My bathroom remodeling project is taking all my spare time, and I haven't had even a few minutes (or the energy) to upload pictures.  Unfortunately, my husband took most of the pictures that evening, and he didn't style the gown very well.  I'm sure he was focused on the face.

Front View, in the gallery next to the concert hall
Back view.  The flash really lights up the taffeta.

I was more than a little disappointed to see young women wearing super short skirts, when the dress code clearly stated "full length skirt".  After chiding myself for spending so much time on a gown that she may not have needed, I calmed myself by thinking "She is wearing the nicest dress on that stage."  She may have been wearing the nicest dress in town (on a Tuesday evening).

My attempts to photograph her on stage were not successful.
The taffeta lined with cotton broadcloth moves beautifully.
Too bad you can't really see it.

Some details.

The sleeves: were underlined with black silk organza.  The lace was fairly substantial, and I toyed with only using lace, but felt that the organza would offer a some protection since this is a dress that will be worn many times.  I didn't want an elbow to come poking through. Also, the organza added just enough color.
Thread-traced sleeves (before adding gussets).
I finished the seams with silk organza bias cuts that were dyed with coffee.  It's a perfect shade to blend with her skin tone, and a tad darker than a tea-stain.  Adding vinegar helps set the stain/dye in silk.  The bias strips disappear when worn.  They're not even really noticeable against the white background below.

The skirt: Stephanie wanted a taffeta skirt, since she is accustomed to borrowing mine and really likes the scroop.  I suppose it's like wearing a bell around your neck: everyone hears you coming, and they turn to watch.  Or at least it's fun to imagine they are.  We considered silk taffeta, because I really like sewing with silk and Stephanie really likes wearing it.  However, we needed 7 yards for this skirt.  It's very full, and I did add eight inches to the length.  So, we are happy with the nylon/poly taffeta that I found On Sale.  The additional 8 inches were just tacked on to the bottom of the pattern.  The "lengthen/shorten here" line just was not the right place for eight inches.  Although it added a lot more fabric, for a full skirt like this one, it worked out perfectly, multiplying the flare.
The sketches are interesting, aren't they?
Skirt lining: My internet order for the skirt lining was cancelled by the retailer late in the sewing process, so I ended up lining it with a lightweight cotton broadcloth that I had in my stash.  I had to piece it in order to get enough, but who is going to know.  (Other than you and me?)  I just couldn't bring myself to sew the icky lining that the chains sell (no Bemberg available locally).  Although the broadcloth adds quite a bit of weight to the dress, it also adds some nice volume and it's got to be comfortable to sit on cotton.

It was so much fun to see Stephanie playing with the university symphony.  I was reminded of the times that I took my little girl to the performances.  Shortly before the concert started, a large group of giggling college kids came in, sitting in front of us. My mother frowned and said "Oh, I don't what that noisy bunch sitting here."  I smiled and said "Those are Stephanie's friends from the dorm."  What could be better than your own cheering section?


  1. It turned out beautifully! Having spent much time myself sitting in orchestral rehearsals (my full length black skirt was also made by my mum) I would definitely think the cotton lining would make it very comfortable to sit in! SHe looks lovely :)

  2. Wow, it looks so lovely! I'm glad you persevered as she looks beautiful. Are you worried that you've spoiled her for custom bespoke clothes? I hope you've taught her to sew!

    1. Unfortunately, she has little interest in sewing, but why would she if she has me? At the very least, I hope that I have taught her an appreciation for good fit and quality work. I will readily admit that I have spoiled her!

    2. You and I have the same sewing-situation with our daughters! Mine tells me, I know it takes a while to get as good as you are, so ... will you sew it for me? (with those puppy dog eyes :)
      I played violin in college and continued semi-pro afterwards. I also had a wardrobe of full length back dresses. Smart move to underline the sleeves for strength! And what a great thing for her to have the chance to wear wonderful black when everyone else is scrambling (I bet the girls in mini-skirts didn't have any other options - hope they figure out they can learn to sew!!)

    3. Daughters are easy to spoil!

  3. A quick rant; my daughter is in band and my son in orchestra. The "outfits" that I see at some of these rehearsals is shameful!!!! Thankfully high school band/orchestra has a uniform (beautiful velvet bodice with crepe skirt for the girls and tuxedo shirt, pants and bow tie for the guys)

    Anyway, this is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! It's just exquisite and fits her perfectly!

    1. Thank you. I love the uniform idea! It sounds lovely, too. My band uniform was itchy maroon wool.

      When my daughter played in a community orchestra, the orchestra manager strictly enforced the dress code, so we didn't see the distractions of bare legs and arms. Of course it was especially distracting to me, since I made sure the dress met the code!

  4. Fantastic work. :) The lace and taffeta combination is striking and lovely.

  5. What an amazing dress, it turned out so beautiful! You are very talented!

  6. Before I start my lace experiments I have been checking out this dress, and the tangerine (sherbert) one... You work is really so beautiful.

  7. What a beautiful dress you made, your daughter looks stunning! I was thinking of purchasing this pattern and googled images for it and your photos came up :)

  8. Thanks Frances. I still love that dress and she wears it fairly often. I do like the pattern, it's very feminine.


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