vogue 1043: vintage pattern with a girly, chic look (and i used a moulage!)

i’ve already mentioned my thoughts about vogue’s vintage reprint series.  to recap:

  1. yay for accessible and commercially available vintage patterns!
  2. yay for elegance!
  3. boo for poor drafting and too much ease!

given #3, i decided to try something new and work with a moulage and a copy of lynda maynard’s “de-mystifying fit.”  i’ve always been interested in a sloper or fitting pattern and this summer, i had a chance to make one with the fabulous kenneth king and susan khalje, so i know it fits.  in kenneth’s process, you develop a pattern called a moulage, which incorporates zero wearing ease and fits so tightly you can’t move, if you’ve done it properly.  to this, one adds wearing ease to get a sloper.  and from there, in theory, you have this perfect blank slate for pattern drafting.  but what about adapting existing patterns?  because, honestly, that is what i was hoping to do.  i can do some basic pattern drafting but at the end of the day it somehow seems like so much work!  at this stage in my sewing, i’d rather work with an existing pattern and tweak what is already there than start from scratch.

enter ms. maynard.  on kenneth’s recommendation, i picked up this book and have been teaching myself how to use it.  this is one of my first patterns done completely on my own and i think, overall, it was fairly successful.  i started with the back pattern piece.

bodice back pattern piece, vogue 1043

you can see all of the places where the lines and darts don’t match up.  using lynda’s process, you can persuade them to match up, and then you have a pattern piece matched precisely to your figure while still incorporating all of the design elements of your original pattern.  voila:

bodice front pattern piece, vogue 1043

i admit that i still have a fair few questions about exactly how i should have gotten from the envelope V1043 to my finished pattern, but overall i think i accomplished what i was hoping for.  i’m particularly pleased with the fit in the back.

the front may need some work, but the biggest issue i tend to have–over-generous allowances in the bust area–seems nonexistent in this version.

and i think a shorter skirt, which obviously didn’t require a moulage, is a highly satisfactory alternative to a tea-length.

other thoughts:

Pattern Description:
Below mid-calf dress has fitted surplice bodice with stitched tucks and short kimono sleeves, left side zipper closure, underarm gussets and inside belt. Contour belt has buckle without prong.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
gusset instructions were awful! everything else was tolerable, but it was not the best-written set of directions i’ve ever seen.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
the front pleats are a great design element in an otherwise basic bodice, and the slight bias cut on the skirt gives fabulous flair.

Fabric Used:
mystery cotton shirting, vaguely evocative of a cute japanese print, found at prime fabrics in NYC.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
i redrew the bodice pattern based on my moulage but kept all of the design details. other than that, i shortened the skirt.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
probably won’t sew again–i don’t love it that much. but i can definitely encourage those who were interested in this pattern to give it a try, because the result is pretty fun.

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6 Responses to vogue 1043: vintage pattern with a girly, chic look (and i used a moulage!)

  1. I love the bodice of this dress. The neckline is so elegant. Is it faux-wrap? How does it close?

  2. puu2 says:

    thanks! it is a faux wrap.

  3. prttynpnk says:

    Great review- as always you are so educating! Sorry it’s not a new love.

  4. puu2 says:

    i bet that in a few months, after it has gestated, and after i have figured out which sweaters or blazers i can wear it with, it will quickly become a “love.” :-)

  5. Gail says:

    Intriguing … you’ve got me interested in the book now, but as I read I’m wondering how the dress would have fit if you sewed it ‘as is’ (allowing for shortening or lengthening in the bodice). Was all that ‘talent’ in adapting the pattern necessary? <– honest questions, seeking answer. However, I must say, it sure looks like it fits well. Just wondering how it would have fit without the 'moulage'.

    • puu2 says:

      gail–really good questions! i completely agree with your skepticism. for about two years, i’ve been chugging along with no moulage, pretty content to make things (mostly) out-of-the-envelope. my measurements are pretty easy to work with and i am hounded by few fitting problems. but in the last six months or so, i began to notice things i should be more aware of–a slight swayback, the inevitable SBA, and the need for torso adjustments. so my answer is, it would probably look almost the same–except with some pooling in the back and some drooping in the front, and possibly more wearing ease where i would prefer a tighter fit–i took in a few inches of extra ease drafted into the pattern.

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