Sewing 1, Planning 1

This week, I’m working on Vogue 8280 (view A, with the sweetheart neckline and no sleeves), which is apparently a knockoff of some famous designer dress known as the Galaxy Dress. I have to confess: I am a failure as a fashionista, and I hadn’t heard of this dress until I looked the Vogue pattern up on pattern review.

I’ve had the pattern in my stash for a few months, and am in the process of committing the fashion/sewing crime of making my version in quilting cotton. I know, I know. I resolved to work with more “big girl” fabrics, but after my mess with the knit earlier this month, I decided I deserved something easy to lift my spirits and confidence.

I started the dress on Sunday, and I am getting pretty close. I just need to attach the bodice to the skirt, install the zipper, seam finish, and hem. I also need to do a bit of hand sewing to clean up where the flanges (the arm straps) meet the bodice front. I think I’ll be able to finish before the weekend.

201fe4f50503e556f2bbe6fe51b71cefAs for what I’m planning, I “pinned” this dress from Modcloth months ago as sewing inspiration because at $295, there’s no other way to get it in my closet. Bless you, Modcloth for inspiring me to learn to sew.

My father’s father immigrated to the US from Russia, and I think that’s part of why I’ve always been drawn to designs inspired by their culture and history.

Aside from the adorable matryoshka fabric, I really like the design of the dress. I especially like the large pleats and seaming on the bodice parallel to the V neckline.

I found a similar enough matryoshka fabric print shortly before pattern review announced their 2013 contest lineup. February 1 – 28 is the designer/RTW knockoff contest, and I think my perfect opportunity to make my own version of this dress. I’m finding it surprisingly difficult to find a pattern with a similar bodice, and I definitely do not feel skilled enough to draft my own. Vogue 1316 has some bodice seaming detail, but I hate the sleeves and the back. Butterick 5940 has a nice pleating detail on the bodice- might be close enough.
Vogue 8789 could be my best bet (bonus- I already have the pattern). The neckline and backline are already set up with a seam down the center front and back. Maybe I could alter those pieces of the pattern to add in the bodice seams. The waist darts might be an issue, but maybe I could work around them? I would absolutely have to muslin first.Does anyone have a better pattern or idea? I’d love to hear it. I’ve been through all the Big4 websites, but haven’t really looked at any independent patterns.

13 thoughts on “Sewing 1, Planning 1

  1. I love that your sewing crime is sewing things in quilter’s cotton. It takes all of my self control to resist their call when I go fabric shopping. I’d love to see the juxtaposition of that very capital-F Fashion pattern with a sweeter cotton. Luck!

    • I will post pictures when it’s done, for sure.

      I just love prints, and there’s so much more variety in the cottons than in “real” fashion fabric. Plus it’s so easy to sew with, it loves the iron, and I can wash and dry it without worry. I’m not very skilled at laundry, I’m still confused on if I need to pre-dry clean dry clean only fabric before sewing, and how to wash silk (both pre-sew and in general). At least with cotton I know I won’t mess it up in the wash.

      • I’m with you on the prints!

        I’m hopeless with laundry, too. I have tons of silk and wool but am always really trigger-shy when it comes time to prewash. If you’d like some unsolicited advice, have you by any chance leafed through Claire Shaeffer’s Fabric Sewing Guide? I work with fabric, and it’s been invaluable. Also, the Coletterie has a blog post about prewashing fabric (here: you might like it.

      • I haven’t read that post yet. Thanks for the link!
        I will have to check out that book. I have The Fashion Designer’s Textile Directory by Gail Baugh, which is huge and awesome, but definitely geared toward design and manufacturing rather than sewing for yourself.

  2. I can’t wait to see what your “knockoff” looks like. I just saw some matryoshka fabric on fabricworm, and was serrrrriously tempted. I also pins a shitton of stuff from modcloth- their clothes seem to be either very expensive or cheaply made, so someday I’ll make my own!

  3. Am I wrong in thinking that the skirt is reminiscent of Simplicity 1873 (Cosmo Cricket Dress)?
    If so, I’d seriously just take the skirt from there, and top from Vogue 8789, altering the top to be pieced together (seam it then topstitch the seam down) to create the same feeling as the ModCloth dress.
    Otherwise, I’d say “whatev” to the Vogue, and take the C view of 1873 for the whole (but remove the belt side decoration thing), and piece together the same way.

    • Yes, that’s the skirt I was thinking about using for it- I’ll probably make the pleats a little wider if I can figure out how to do that.
      If adding seams to that bodice doesn’t work out, I’ll just use that bodice as is. Maybe doing it in some kind of two toned blue stripe print would add visual interest if I can find one.

      • To be honest, once I’ve looked at that ModCloth dress a second time, I’m not crazy about the seaming choices that were made. I am into the “V”, but then the second one under it is more of a “U” and that’s sort of weird. I enjoy details in a garment, but when the details aren’t working together in unison, I think the ideas are just fail.

        So, upon reflection I think I would skip the seaming/piecing of the top. With a large bust, I’d be more tempted to do the scoop neck of Simplicty’s 1873’s C and even skip Vogue 8789’s more look alike neckline.

      • Hmmm you might be right. I do like the seaming, but I probably don’t need to be drawing that much attention to my bust. I’ll have to think about that some more.

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