joy and rapture (vogue 1174)



this is a milestone i’ve never reached in my (short) sewing career.
i’m positively giddy over it.
the accomplishment.
the potential.

as of this past weekend, i have finished all of my 2012 starts.

ok, i should caveat. there are a few cut-but-since-untouched. i’ve decided not to count those, especially since there are only 2 or 3 of them. i’m talking about the projects i designed, cut, and started to play with in 2012. the ones that lingered in piles, on tables, on mood boards, and generally took up a lot of mental space. especially the ones that needed only a hem or a zipper and lingered in area 51.

all i can say is: F YEAH THEY ARE DONE BABY HERE’S TO 2013 AND A BLANK SLATE. and then maybe have a cocktail. or some cake. i think i may need to swear off wine for a while…

ordinarily i might feel guilty because it’s february, duh, and i should have finished all of this (if i was going to bother) a month ago. and then i have to say to myself: get real. who cares. THEY ARE DONE. does an arbitrary mark on a calendar really make that less awesome?


this last one is particularly exciting because of everything that went in to it. i started with vogue 1174, a pattern that has vexed me for two and a half years. i had a bitch of a time fitting it, even with the help of kenneth king and susan khalje at my first sit-n-sew. after making a version fitted from a muslin that susan and kenneth had fitted for me AND WAS STILL TOO SMALL, GRR, i stuffed the pattern pieces in an envelope for a while just to show them who’s boss.

late this fall i came back to them after deciding to re-make a 1940s day dress that i loved, but wasn’t getting enough wear out of to justify keeping all of that gorgeous fabric hidden in the closet. i came up with two ideas for reusing the skirt fabric: a burda handbook skirt (i love those layers) and a pieced strapless bra top bodice a la V1174.

liberty of london tana lawn “yoshie B” f/w 2010

i just barely eked out enough fabric from the original dress skirt and the scraps i had hoarded to get the pieces for the top of this bodice. i ended up embracing necessity and paired the pieced front bodice with a gorgeous turquoise silk faile for the back bodice.


then, disaster struck. the piece of rayon-silk blend i had been saving, a leftover from another project, wasn’t wide enough for the skirt as drafted. i didn’t want to buy more fabric. i went digging through my scrap hoard and found a partially-finished pleated circle skirt in rayon crepe that i had abandoned because of my crappy crafstmanship – jackpot.

so here is where i pause and delight in how awesome liberty of london fabric is, especially when paired with the right interfacing and lining so that you get all of the crisp gorgeousness of the fabric straight-off-the-bolt with the structure that you need to do a boned bodice.


for the drafting on this one, i went back to my original fitted bra top bodice and salvaged the front, because my attempt at drafting a similar style from my sloper was a complete disaster. for the back bodice, i used my self-drafted princess bodice. i used the full self-drafted bodice for the dual boning/lining layers. on the skirt, i cut the waistband off of the failed almost-circle-skirt and just draped the skirt on my dress form until i liked the way the pleats were working.

i lined the front bodice pieces – all of them – with pro-sheer elegance from pam at fashion sewing supply. the silk faile on the back bodice had no need of the assistance, so i left it alone. i used plastic ridgeline boning because i was out of the spiral steel kind and trying to work with what i had. i lined the bodice in a gorgeous, chartreuse silk charmeuse for an unusual pop of color that i ended up loving so much that i picked it up in the green hem lace and green glass beads on the hand-picked zipper. the bodice does have bra cups sewn in to create the right shape on the top and keep the fabric behaving properly.

with a last gasp of effort (and fabric), i made two tiny spaghetti straps to help mitigate the fact that i have nothing with which to hold up a strapless bodice. *le sigh.*


Pattern Description:
close-fitting, strapless, lined dress has seam details, piping trim, princess seams, foundation with boning, side front pockets, pleats and darts, above mid-knee length.

Pattern Sizing:
i started with a 10-12, but by the time i finished re-fitting and re-drafting, i have no idea where i ended up.  it was basically a custom pattern at that point.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
i love the shape of the bra top bodice, and the way that the piping (used properly) really accentuates the figure.

Fabric Used:
liberty of london tana lawn “yoshie B” from B&J Fabrics
silk faile from paron’s annex (oh, how i miss you, paron’s annex!)
silk charmeuse from mood fabrics
rayon crepe from B&J fabrics
fabric-covered buttons from pat’s custom buttons and belts

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
i used my own slopers’s strapless back instead of the included bodice back.  i drafted my own lining and draped my own skirt.  i added straps.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
i may sew something inspired by this design again – in fact, it definitely resembles my favorite make of 2012 – but i will be unlikely to use the entire pattern.  still, having fitted the top, i will definitely keep it handy as a basis for other projects.

i think the design of the top and the use of the piping offer something unique and fun for a frosting wardrobe.  personally, i am a huge fan, but the drafting of the pattern left a fair bit to be desired (to me, at least), and i am glad the hard work of fitting it is behind me!


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9 Responses to joy and rapture (vogue 1174)

  1. elise says:

    Lovely dress… looks like it all came together and was meant to be!

  2. Clio says:

    Yay! This is gorgeous! You should feel joy and rapture wearing this dress!

  3. oonaballoona says:

    BOOYACASHAH. way to go girl!

  4. cjgal says:

    Super cute! The deer fabric is fabs. And you go with finishing everything! I have some unfinished business lingering in my sewing room, I should take a page out of your book and dot all my i’s.

    • puu says:

      what happens for me is that periodically i get fed up with the pile that just needs zippers. usually, i can make that happen several times a year! 🙂 this year i had actually massive UFOs that needed real work, so it was a lot more intimidating…but made easier by the cool fabric…

  5. nettie says:

    Amazing! You looks SOOOO beautiful AND happy!! You know I’m all for taking things as they come, so of course this is still a major accomplishment, February finish be damned!

    • puu says:

      thank you nettie! i have really been taking my goal of “working on” things, instead of having a goal post or a deadline, and trying to make it part of my daily life. six weeks in to 2013, i feel like i’ve made a good start…

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