Friday, 27 January 2012

A Seamstresses Guide to the Galaxy - Vogue 8280


The other day I had one of those fantasy scenes in my head that they have in the movies.
You know in a scene where a character meets someone, has a bad experience and it's then followed by an imaginary, impulsive sequence of how they wish they could react, usually something along the lines of punching that other person in the face or screaming at them some crass profanity. Then it cuts back to reality where they have not acted out but instead they just smile and be pleasant and act like the person hasnt just infuriated them.

Well I had one of those scenes not so long back – in a big-chain fabric store in Melbourne. Now when I say fabric store, this place is now less of a fabric store and more of a $2 junk shop. You are more likely to find a back scratcher or a nose-hair trimmer in this place then you would a metre of silk.  Thank God for fabulous stores like Tessuti or my sewing projects would be severely jeopardised.

My altercation occurred in the middle of the day with a good-looking young girl, around age 18 who worked at this store. She had cut the wonderful fabric that I used to make this dress. She held it up against her to fold it (I had purchased quite a bit) and I noticed how well the colour looked against her face. You know how when you hold up a colour to your face that really suits you and your face just warms up and looks healthier? That's what happened with her; she looked lovely!

So I told her.

Me - "Oh my goodness, that colour really suits you, you should get some!"

Her reaction? Wait for it ... she pulled a vomit face. Yeah, that's right, she screwed her face up and pretended to vomit.

*insert violent fantasy scene here*

Um ... what the H? She then proceeded to tell me that she didn't like 'girly' colours.
Ok.
This is where I employed some serious calming techniques to stop my self turning into the hulk in the middle of a busy store. Wow. A girl who works in a fabric store and doesn't like 'girly' colours? That's like a painter hating paint or a kindergarten teacher hating children. 

Breathe.
Any waaay. I smiled and nodded and walked out of the store and held my new purchase to my chest for support.

The good news is I like the fabric and I made a lovely new dress with it.


The dress is the Vogue version of the galaxy dress, pattern number 8280. It's been around for a while now but it's only recently that I really started paying it some attention. I've seen some lovely other versions out at the moment and nothing motivates me more than envy.


I like the feminine shape of the pattern and combined with the rich colour of the fabric it gives a nice vintage feel. I fell in love a while back with a Joan dress from Mad Men (let's be honest, who hasn't) because of it's shape but mainly the colour. I'd been on the look out for a similar colour ever since and was very excited to make this find.


Let's just take a moment to appreciate the awesomeness that is Joanie.

Ok.

The fabric is a combination of 45% silk and 55% polyester. It's the same as the black fabric I used to make the skirt part of my The Survivor dress. The silk gives the fabric a richness and vibrancy, while the polyester gives support and strength. If the store stocked more colours I would buy up on all of them.


I fully lined the dress and I added a pink bow as a subtle detail and to break the solid colour.

I made up version B of the dress.


I love the sweet-heart neckline and the puffy sleeves.



I made this dress up in a size 12 bodice, size 10 sleeves and size 14 on the skirt from the hip down. I was smart enough to make a muslin first and I highly recommend any one considering making this pattern that you do the same. It's a lovely pattern but I made quite a few adjustments.


At the end of the day if I was to make this pattern again I would probably make the whole bodice in a smaller size. A lot of other reviewers (why do I only read them now?) commented on how the size runs a little big.

I am short in the torso so one of the first things I did was remove 2cm from the height of the bodice.

I have a full bust, but it starts higher up on my frame so bodices always seem to swim on me at the top. I removed about 3cm from the back starting at the arm hole as it was gaping.

You can see in the above picture the dart I made at the arm hole and also the adjustment at the bottom to remove 2 cm from the height of the bodice.

I 'pinched out' the excess fabric on the front bodice and ended up removing (by making another dart) about an extra 1cm not too far down from the waist dart apex.


I must say it is quite difficult pinning adjustments on your self, I don't know why I didn't use my dress form this time around, but once I had started I couldn't stop!


The fabric was gaping at the side seam under my bust so I also increased the bust dart on the side by an extra 2 cm. You can see in the above picture on the side how I've penciled in two new lines.




I removed a fair bit of excess fabric from the flange pieces as well by creating a dart. On a side note, what sort of word is 'flange'? 

And finally I reduced the width of the sleeve at the hem by a whopping 5cm. You can see in the picture below that I sliced off 2.5cm on both the front sleeve and back sleeve. I have quite skinny arms and when I first tried on my muslin sleeve I almost had to turn side ways to walk through a doorway (slight exaggeration).

I also didn't add any netting in the sleeves as the fabric had enough stiffness to it that it didn't need it.


The result was a nice snug fit. I'm sure there are more professional ways to make these adjustments but I think it worked regardless.


I do feel like such a lady when I put this dress on. It certainly encourages hip swaying and hair flicking and I just love the colour of this dress!


Maybe I should walk into that fabric store with this dress on and get all Julia Roberts on the staff member and reenact the scene from Pretty Woman where Vivian walks back into a fancy store, arms laden with recent purchases and exclaims to the horror of the shop ladies 

"Big mistake. Big. Huge!" [turns away] 


On an exciting note, look at these fancy patterns I just purchased from the Vogue Patterns website. I'm always impatiently waiting for more pattern designs and I'm excited about a few of the new ones.

There's something crazy going on with the neck band and shoulder straps and I think I like it!

This one definitely looks like a cocktail dress and will be great for those nights when I want to get a little vampy. I could imagine this in a bold red or electric blue.

Oh yes please. I love the drape and the pleats (which you can't really see with this print - check the line drawing below) This dress would look awesome in a mustard drapey silk fabric. I'm probably most excited about this little number.

I love all the fancy pleating on this one and the elastic waist band. Hello easy eating!
\
And just when I think I'm almost up to date on my 'must-sew' list, I've just gone and added another six.
It's a hard-knock life.

54 comments:

  1. Wow. A vomit face. Someone should have taught that girl some self control. Anyway, the dress is beautiful on you and the color especially lovely. I still need to make this dress so you are not the last to get to it.

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  2. LOL at the 18yo staff memeber... I'm going to take a guess and say this tore was either Spotlight or Lincraft. Spotlight have plenty of young part-timers that don't know anything about sewing... no appreciation, no knowledge.. NOTHING :( Can't even ask them for assistance cos they have no clue.

    ANYWAY, I love your dress, the color is divine. I too really like the sweetheart neck line. Great job, as always :)

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  3. Sometimes smiling and walking away is best; keep it classy. :-D The new dress is FABULOUS! The adjustments you made seem to be perfect!

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  4. Wow. Just...wow. Both about the dress and the girl. I also have yet to jump on this Vogue Galexy train, but I'm going to one of these days. That dress looks amazing on you. And the color is amazing. I'm not sure if I see the overly "girly" vibe. That color would only be blatantly girly in a world of black, brown, and dark blue. Also, what is it with kids these days? I feel so old saying that, but even though I'm not even 30, I feel like the level of professionalism, respect, and work ethic has seriously plummeted in kids. There's no way I would ever act that way in front of a customer!

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    1. I know exactly what you mean! It's like people's offensive filters are broken. If people have these thoughts they should just keep them to themselves and not say anything at all. That way no one is the wiser!

      Thanks for your lovely comment in regards to the dress! I've sent the lace off to your address too so hopefully it gets to you in the next week or so; let me know when you get it!

      Hope you're having a lovely weekend. :)

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  5. Lovely frock and lovely colour. Even though it's pinky, its defo not an overly girly.

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  6. Your dress is gorgeous! I love your title for this post too, I half expected you to be holding a towel, lol!

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  7. Yup, this pattern is so cool. I'm going to take a stab and say that it always will be, too. Rouland Mouret is a genius. This colour does suit you to a tee though, too! Lovely stuff :)

    Don't even get me started on the hopelessness of some of the people in THOSE fabric shops. Geez.

    Oh... and a flange is actually an engineering/construction thing - usually associated with I-beams and the like! But as it's just a little ridge or nib used to connect pieces together... the context is spot on ;)

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    1. Firstly, I LOVE that you know what a flange actually is in engineering terms and that you are able to explain it. You are ace.

      Secondly, I agree that Rouland is a clever cat.

      Thirdly, thank you so much for your comment!

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  8. I love your fabric story! You should totally go back Julia Robert's style.

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  9. HA! I would have loved to have seen that!

    Dress looks incredible (as do all your others!) - embarrassingly since having discovered your blog the other day, I keep coming back in the hope that your sewing skill will somehow rub off on me if I read it enough. That's a bit weird isn't it....eek.

    Anyway, on another note... I have a massive thing about the word 'flange' - my boyfriend did engineering at Uni and I could never keep a straight face when he was talking about flanges... :-)

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    1. Yes Yes! I completely appreciate that it has an engineering purpose, and that it holds the dress together, but come on - what sort of word is flange. It sounds rude!

      Thanks for reading my blog and for your lovely comments :)

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  10. Yes I am imagining it was Spotlight or Lincraft lol. Customer Service? Hmmm. Beautiful dress AND fabric.

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  11. Gorgeous dress - the colour is beautiful and you got the fit spot on. I can relate to your chain store fabric experience but it makes trips to Tessuti extra nice! Love that the new patterns were released while the sale was still on :)

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  12. Your dress is gorgeous and yes I understand about always thinking of something great afterwards. My first thought was (after she gave the vomit face) "You should see a doctor about that."

    Going back Julia Roberts style is also a good option. :)

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  13. I'm getting the second vogue dress pattern too - so cute!

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    1. Yay! I'm looking forward to making that one!

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  14. Firstly awesome dress! Out of this world. Lame pun intended. :) Now I could act all surprised about the vomit face from the girl, but I'm pretty sure I know which store you are refering to so it doesn't surprise me. $2 junk store describes it perfectly. In fact I'm shocked you found such a nice fabric there. They must have found it behind some door, left over from the good ol' days when it use to be a fabric store. :)

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  15. Beautiful, beautiful dress! I love the colour and the sleeves!
    OMG, that girl was so rude! I hate it when it happens to me (and it happens quite often, 'cause here people in shop feel they have the right to give you their opinion, ALWAYS)

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    1. It's amazing isn't it?! What shocks me most is not that people have adverse opinions to me (everyone's allowed to have their own tastes/dislikes) but what shocks me is that they don't have the smarts to keep it to themselves! Why do they feel the need to tell me and be offensive! Crazy peoples.
      Thanks for your comment :)

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  16. You put some work into getting a good fit and it shows! Fabulous dress! I love the colour, doesn't seem particularly "girly" to me. As they say, there is no accounting for taste!

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  17. Another amazing dress, and as usual it looks fantastic on you. Thanks for sharing your pattern adjustments too - otherwise I might have made myself very jealous that you could get such a great fit Just Like That!

    I'm glad I haven't experienced a vomit face reaction in a fabric shop! However a friend was on a train coming home one evening and smiled at the young lady at the seats facing him, and then she actually did vomit - so count yourself lucky I guess? Lots of class out there :-)

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    1. Oh.My.Goodness.
      Ok your friend just trumped me! Thanks for your lovely comment and feedback :)

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  18. What a stunner of a dress!!! That 18yr old obviously didn't know what she was talking about.
    And...HOW FAST DO YOU SEW??!!!!!

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    1. Hahaha! Thanks Suzie. I think my family are getting suspicious that I might secretly be a vampire who doesn't sleep; I spend so many hours sewing! The good thing is the more time I put in, the faster my sewing gets so it's win-win.

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  19. Fantastic dress, this pattern is one I keep thinking about. I actually bought a Burda pattern a month ago due to your rendition of it.

    I rarely go in to Spotlight but the few times I've sought advice there I've found the younger women in there to be much more knowledgeable than the older women. (That's assuming you can find someone to ask)

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    1. I know what you mean! The thing with the stores is that there is usually always a few people at each store that are switched on and can sew, it's just that it's not all of them. I know a few young girls who work at Spotlight and they are talented seamstresses. But I've also seen a lot of people who work there too who have no idea.

      Glad you like the pattern; you should give it a go!

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  20. Great dress - beautiful color on you! I've got this pattern in my stash and have been meaning to make it up for ages.

    I love all your latest Vogue picks.

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    1. Thanks Clio! Good luck with your galaxy dress! It's a great fun making this one!

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  21. I have just been eye balling the latest vogue patterns and these were my fav picks as well... I can see a bit of competition ahead! Oh, by the way, I love your version of this great pattern. I had made version A
    ronnielee

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    1. Thanks Ronnielee! Oh I'd love to see your version if you have it up somewhere!

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  22. I've been meaning to make this dress for a while and did hear it was a bit tricky so thanks for sharing your adjustments. I may just make my first muslin. Last time I was on the Vogue Pattern website I bought 10 patterns, of which I have made 3! Dangerous.

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    1. It's pretty dangerous indeed Rosi. I'm pretty sure I now own enough Vogue patterns that I could start my own store. :)

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  23. I really look forward to reading your new post. They are usually very enjoyable and you sewing is nothing short of excellent!!!

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    1. Thanks for your kind words Tricia and thanks for reading!

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  24. Baww I've been eyeing off that pattern for a while now! On my work breaks I browse things (I work at Spotlight) and always think of getting it but for some reason never do. Also what is this fabric store you speak of?!

    Haaha, awkward moment at work the other day, a lady was buying some pink themed quilt cotton and said she's not even sure if the kid liked pink. I said "any girl is crazy to not like pink!"
    "Oh, actually I've always hated it" *evil stare* GOD!

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    1. You have permission to poke that lady in the eye if she comes back into your store!

      I wish you worked in a Spotlight store on the South/East side of Melbourne, the store I frequent is a Spotlight store on that side of town. The staff there aren't as talented as you :(

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  25. Wow, all I can think of about that sales girl is "poor girl, she hasn't reached the stage of her life where it's ok to feel beautiful!" because any girl who saw you in that dress would sigh longingly and think 'she must feel like a princess in that dress' :) Oh well, more gorgeous fabric for you if you don't have to share! ^__^

    I really love the middle Vogue pattern.... new you say? I must put that one on my wish list :D

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    1. :) Thanks Symon :)

      Yes the new vogue patterns are looking good; can't wait till they arrive in the mail!

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  26. Another totally gorgeous dress - fabulous work on getting the fit right.

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  27. It fits just lovely! You did a great job. I haven't read all your blogs but wondering if you went to fashion school or taught yourself to sew?

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    1. Thank you! I started going to a casual two hour class just over two years ago where I first started to learn how to sew. After I became obsessed with sewing I read a lot of books, blogs and scoured the internet to teach my self new things. I haven't gone to any fashion schools, but it would be great to one day enroll in a course to learn how to properly draft patterns!
      Thanks for reading :)

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  28. That girl had no taste! This is gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks Amber! It's good to know that I'm not losing it and that other people also like the fabric. People like that make you second guess yourself!

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  29. stunning dress. i love it. hi from your newest fan!

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  30. Gorgeous - love the fabric and style - excellent construction! Stopping by via Facebook!

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    1. Thanks for reading Jane and for your lovely comment. It's so nice to get good feedback when you've put a lot of work into a garment :)

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  31. Another gorgeous dress!!!
    You SHOULD go back into that store!!!
    Although, now that it's more than a year later, I'd bet the 18 yo isn't working there anymore.
    Oh well, her loss!
    Personally, I love the look of this fabric, and the color is high on my priority list. Since I live in the desert, I steer clear of most fabrics with poly, but I don't blame you for wanting it in all kinds of colors.
    Designdreamer

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