Nude sheath dress in progress

I’ve been working on the partner to my grey tweed jacket, Vogue 8576 in a nude, pale pink poly/viscose stretch suiting I bought from Totally Fabrics during one of their fantastic sales.

I usually detest tracing Vogue patterns since their tissue paper is so flimsy, utterly enormous and so unwieldy to work with, but this one was surprisingly small since there’s only one view so no need for tons of extraneous pieces. Still not as easy as tracing KnipMode’s compact newsprint, for instance, but not enough to put me off sewing Vogue for months on end like it did previously!

The overall shape of this dress is quite simple, but it’s cut up into a ton of triangles and curves that can be tricky to visualise. So my first step was to lay them all out and see how they went together (seam allowances are included here so they don’t line up nicely like I’m used to though).

Front bodice pattern pieces

Back bodice pattern pieces

Skirt pattern pieces (front and back are almost identical)

I first made a bedsheet muslin since I haven’t sewn any fitted Vogues since, err, the Roland Mouret Galaxy dress, so I wanted to check the sizing first. I didn’t take photos of the muslin on me, but the fit was pretty much spot-on! Hooray!

So I progressed to cutting out the fashion fabric, and I took the pieces to the moorings craft night to hand-tack the gazillion tedious markings this pattern has. I’ve gotten so spoiled by the straightforward “only put a notch in if it’s REALLY needed” ethos of the pattern magazines that this was just driving me mad. So as I sewed up my muslin, I scrawled “not needed” on a whole bunch of markings so I didn’t need to worry about them for the dress (case in point – the marks on the shoulder seam. Err, duh, those two pieces fit together! Where else would they go??). But with so many triangular points in the design, there were plenty of necessary dots to transfer accurately…

I got as far as assembling the bodice and about half of the skirt before I lost steam on my day off and retreated to nurse my cold and watch a bit of Season 5 Project Runway off the Freeview+ box. I’ve realised that I can’t go too much further anyway without sorting out some topstitching thread and either a stretch lining or facings.

I did some topstitching tests with what I’ve got on hand (apologies for the low-quality iPhone photo):

From L-R:
1. regular Gutermann Sew-All in pale pink
2. Gutermann upholstery thread in silver
3. regular Gutermann Sew-All in cream
4. regular Gutermann Sew-All in cream and another strand of pale pink together in one needle

I like the look of the upholstery thread (my usual topstitching choice) but not the grey. So I may have to drag my snotty nose out to Goldhawk Road on Saturday for supplies or face a brick wall. I mean, I could make this dress without the topstitching, but I really think it adds to the design here and is a really nice detail. And the only linings I’ve got in my stash are silky wovens, and it seems a shame to use such a nice stretch suiting in a fitted dress and then not use the stretch, so I’m hoping to either find a thin stretch woven to line the bodice at the very least, or just create some facings since this fabric doesn’t fray at all.

And, believe it or not, my mind is already on my next project, aye yae yae…

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