vogue 7270: wherein i have difficulties constructing a cowl

or, the “love and beauty shock” dress–as in, shock that i actually constructed something out of my favorite liberty print of all time without a disaster.

happily, and unlike my cotton minako attempt, this crepe-de-chine version came together very easily.  it’s a basic bias-cut bodice with a cowl neckline and an eight-gored skirt.  my major issue was actually the cowl.  for some reason, i have a lot of difficulty in getting a cowl to sit properly after it has been sewn.  (i realized later this was probably exacerbated by my use of wrights bias binding to finish the raw edges–but the silk,  unlike liberty cotton, does tend to fray a bit, and it needed something, darn it!)

honestly, i am not even sure if that is what a cowl is supposed to look like when it is constructed and draped on a form.

i considered a few things during construction:  did i shorten it enough (during drafting and cutting)?  maybe not, but i couldn’t shorten it more (by hemming) without destroying the gorgeous movement and flare from the eight-gore skirt.  should i finish it with horsehair braid?  again, no.

but i think it is a great early fall piece–the darker colors are more fall-appropriate, while the pink and blue and purple on the print still keep you from feeling somber.  i love my collection of cotton-print dresses, but after a whole summer where basically every day was casual friday, it’s time to move on to more grown-up fabrics.

even if they have hearts on them.

Pattern Description:

bias-cut, dart-fitted bodice with cowl neckline in front and boat neckline in back. sleeve facings cut-in-one with bodice. eight-gored, flared skirt goes below knee for cocktail length.

Pattern Sizing: size 12, 30 bust

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

very nearly. i shortened the skirt so it hit just above the knee but preserved all other details.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

no. as an early 1950s vogue pattern, the instructions are sparse and vague. i particularly had issues understanding the order of construction and the finishing of the sleeve facings.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

basic, elegant style lines and the flared skirt.

Fabric Used:

liberty of london crepe-de-chine “minako” purchased on ebay.co.uk

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

i shortened the by folding it up from the waistline and re-drawing the gores to preserve the shape and flare. i added circumference to the bodice to accommodate my own size.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

definitely recommend a dress in this style as a 1950s classic that can easily be modernized–it’s truly timeless.

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11 Responses to vogue 7270: wherein i have difficulties constructing a cowl

  1. Vicki says:

    I’ve never seen, but is there such a thing as pre-made silk bias tape? or something of a similar weight? I ask because I’m taking on a silk blouse and/or dress next, and I don’t want to use stiff cotton bias; on the other hand, I don’t have enough silk to make my own bias (and I can’t imagine how much of a pain in the ass that would be with all the fraying and sliding around….)
    V

    • puu2 says:

      yeah, i can’t imagine making silk bias tape on my own. here in nyc, at some of the notions places, they have a lighter weight tape that is sort of shiny and nice but is not silk. i didn’t have any on hand, so i used the wright’s stuff.

    • lemur178 says:

      In the old days they used to make silk bias tape, and rayon, and very fine lawn – oh why don’t they make these wonderful things anymore? These days however, the only alternative to the stiff polycotton stuff I can ever find seems to be poly satin. Occasionally. In never particularly helpful colours (or at least that’s the case in my local fabric store…).

  2. lemur178 says:

    What a pretty neckline and beautiful dress! Is it easy to wear, or do you find yourself having to hold it in place whenever you lean forwards?

  3. prttynpnk says:

    Very pretty- I think you cowl marvelously.

  4. Janlynn says:

    Your dress is truly beautiful. Your fabric choice is perfect. I love the cowl.

  5. Mary says:

    Beautiful dress, and the fit is fabulous. I am new to your blog, having found you through Justine’s Sew & Tell Saturday.

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