Monday, September 3, 2012

Vogue 1174 - Not for the faint of heart!

I had a formal wedding to attend, and no dress to wear, so decided upon Vogue 1174. Thankfully I was smart enough to start the project almost 2 months early, as there were many new techniques for me to learn. For other sewers that are new to interlining, boning, waist-stays, etc I'd highly recommend Gertie's bombshell dress video course. While some of the information was specific to the bombshell dress, much of it was relevant to this pattern as well. Go here for 50% off the Craftsy course. Well worth the $30!

I used a Carolina Herrera silk-lurex-blend brocade from Mood Fabrics. I had never ordered from them before, but was pleasantly surprised by the accuracy of the photos/descriptions of my two picks. The only other obscure item to find was the spiral steel boning - which lead me to Lacis in Berkeley which caters to your lace and corset making needs and has things like spiral steel and horse hair braids, and other such things I've read about but never seen. The remainder I picked up at Stone Mountain and Daughter - I think I made 3 separate trips! For interlining I used silk organza for the foundation and cotton muslin for the dress (I found the organza a little shifty after I pre-washed it, my mistake). I lined with china silk. For the piping I used silk charmeuse.

I ended up with a size 6 for the entire dress. I've never sewn anything in a size 6, so make sure to check the measurements (unfortunately no waist measurements were to be found on the pattern). I muslined both the foundation and the dress, since I needed an SBA in both. I had to add 1/2 inch in bodice length. I ended up taking it in 1/4 inch at the top so it would be snug. I also had to take a 1/4 inch out of the middle lower bodice piece from the top point tapering to nothing at the waist as it was a little poufy under the bust. I lowered the back skirt darts about an inch.

The construction was relatively straightforward after the muslining - just a few mishaps on my part like putting in the 2 of the back bodice pieces upside-down (not recommended after you've done the piping and seam finishing!). I also hand picked the zipper the first time around (again, a first), but found that it gaped. I still don't know how people get hand picked zippers to look good - maybe it's easier on something with a bit more ease than strapless? I gave up, took it out, and put in an invisible zipper instead - worked fine, just a bit sticky at the piping seams. It also allowed me to let the back out 1/4" so I could have a little more breathing room - make sure you account for the thickness of the boning, interlining, etc in your muslins! For the waist stay I followed Gertie's instructions rather than the pattern ones. I measured my waist, then tacked the stay down at the middle, sides, and at the zipper. No need to make the whole dress as slim as the stay - room for dinner is important! In the end it wore beautifully - able to breathe, eat, and dance the night away without having to tug it up once.

Here is the inside of the dress with the foundation - nothing like orange octopi to cheer you up!


  1. What a beautiful dress - it looks absolutely gorgeous on you! I have this pattern but have only made it as a skirt (4 times... ) as I thought the dress would be too tricky and also might slip down my SBA-type bust :-).

  2. The beautiful fabric you used is perfect for this dress! Gorgeous!