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Silk and Taffeta Vintage Vogue

RitaRae | Posted in General Discussion on

Okay, I’ve been dipping in and out of this site for a couple of weeks now, while surfing the web for ideas/thoughts/help on constructing a wedding dress for a ‘2nd time around’ bride. It’s been entertaining, VERY helpful and educational. Now, I have less than 3 weeks to complete the dress/jacket and I need HELP! The pattern is Vintage Vogue V2786. The dress fabric must be 4-ply silk from what I’ve gathered in other discussions. VERY luxurious, thick and drapes so beautifully, in a soft, sort of iridescent pink. (she paid $46 p/y) The jacket is a light taffeta, mainly a purplish (chartreuse?) with a pattern in the same pink as the silk. It’s incredibly gorgeous.

I was feeling pretty confident when I started this project and now…….well, I’m a little n-n-nervous to cut into the fabric. (I’ve completed a muslin and one fitting. Fit is actually great. Esp the jacket and it was easy: very precise pattern. Hats off to Vogue. One teensy problem with a gap right above the breast in the armscye of the dress. Maybe a little ease in the seam line will work out most of it?

Here are things I’d like some ‘expert’ advice on: (actually ANY advice will be so appreciated!) I don’t know nearly as much as I thought I did.

DRESS: gap in the armscye; WHAT to line with (I cannot find the right color, nor am I sure what fabric will work best), best method for finishing the seams, should I treat the lining and dress fabric as one? Make them separately? But, the pattern says to simply TURN UNDER the neck facing and the arm facings and hem? SCARY to me because it seems a little casual for such a ‘dressy’ dress? Oh, and the corners of the inserts. You literally have square holes in the front & back pieces that you set the rouching into, which went really well, but I’m sooo afraid the corners are going to fray. The instructions just say to stay stitch, then clip to the corners and turn under. That leaves a very vulnerable spot on each corner. EIGHT of them! And, lastly, the bottom hem? Any ideas? Any help? Just kind words might help…….. Rita


  1. HeartFire | | #1

    What I did with this was used a lining fabric (china silk) for the base layer of the ruching, applied the rching layer, basted it in place, then sewed it. when I was happy with the corners I serged all 3 layers together(base layer, ruched fabric and seam allownace of the dress) Be careful when you press as this is a ';thick ' layer and not graded and can leave a lump.
    I did not have any problem with a gap at the armhole.
    and, since I never finished the dress.... if you are going to fully line it attach the lining at the neck edge by machine. You dont necessarily need to stay the neck edge since it is on the straight grain, and then I would probably sew the armholes by hand to the lining.
    See post 3228.4 to see a picture of my jacket.

    1. RitaRae | | #2


      Thanks for your input. I was hyperventilating last night just thinking about cutting into that silk! It's all going to turn out great. I'll just be very, very careful and take my time. I looked at your jacket and remembered that I had already seen it. It's very beautiful and something I'd actually wear....don't think the pink/purple is me. I will try to get a photo on here when the entire set is done. Again, thanks for the help. If you think of anything else, I'm always open.


  2. Elisabeth | | #3

    The gap in the armscye sounds like the bride has a little bit larger cup size than the standard body the dress was designed for. The bust shaping in this dress looks like it is in the seams of the panel. They could probably be adjusted but with three weeks to go you might not want to get into that if patterndrafting/changing is not your favorite thing. Taking up the ease in the armscye might work. Is this dress cut on the bias? The area that is gaping might be on the straight of grain which would make easing more difficult. Maybe there has been some stretching in the muslin higher up or elsewhere in the armscye where it is on the bias?

    Just turning under the edges wouldn't be terrible with the rich fabric, I don't think, but maybe awkward to do in places. Seems like there are lots of vintage dresses in one layer that hold their own well. Underlining would be more luxurious of course. Silk charmeuse would be my choice, nice drape to go with the crepe and pretty if it peeks out. The bias cut, if it is bias cut, needs to be taken into consideration as bias likes to drape in different ways depending on which direction it is cut.

    Staystitching with short stitches should be fine on the crepe. When the side piece is carefully stitched in place all should be well. Personally, I wouldn't underline or line the panel part unless maybe the lining is cut as a flat (ungathered piece). I have seen this dress made up and it has some pouffy potential in those gathered panels.

    After the project is cut out I like to try some bias seaming on some longer scraps. It seems like every fabric has its own secret bias seam behavior. Oh, and then you could test a stay stitched corner and lay your fears to rest too. Well, I hope some of this helps, I am rambling on here thinking out loud. This is a pretty dress and I like that era in fashion. The bias cuts in crepe and other such yummy fabrics and the simple elegance are lovely. I hope this goes smoothly for you. It sounds wonderful.

  3. mem1 | | #4

    I would interline the dress and jacket . That is treat the silk and lining as one .You will get a better finish and it means that any hems can be sewn to the interlining and not the silk I would also do a full bust adjustment. Not hard and explained in any decent book on fit The Palmer Pletch book on fit for any body has this explained very well.You could interline it with silk organza and line it with silk habutae. There was a very good article in Threads  about interlining and the difference it made to a dress also Vintage Vogue The article compared making the same pattern in silk using interlining and not using it and the difference was very obvious .Good luck


    1. RitaRae | | #5

      Hi, Mem,

      What would you do with the seam allowances if you used the underlined method?

      1. mem1 | | #6

        Well I guess that you could line the bodice as well as underline it especially the jacket . and I have seen seams just over cast by hand or you could pink the seams if the garments arent going to get alot of wear. I guess that zig zagging in the seam allowance as well as pinking would be the best as then you would get the protection from unravelling and you would keep the seam allowance nice and flat so there was no danger of show through .When you press make sure that you use the tip of the iron in the seam aloownce and you can use bits of brown paper placed under the seam allowance and on top of the garment shell to protect the body of the fabric from show through . I sounds like a fun project .

      2. HeartFire | | #7

        There is a method of lining/underlining that finished off the seams very neatly - you cut the lining 1/2 inch WIDER than the fashion fabric, place them right sides together matching lengthwise edges (the lining will have the extra 1/2 bunching up in the center, sew the edges together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and trun right sides out, the extra 1/2 of lining is now taken up as it wraps around the edge of the fashion fabric.This won't take care of the neck edge, only the sides, you would still have to roll the neck edge by hand and the armholes. so mayby (on second thought) its not a great idea for this dress.The other issue with underlining (and lining) is this is a bias cut dress and any underlining would have to have the exact same drape as the fashion fabric.
        The whole beauty of these slinky dresses (from the 40's) that were bias cut was that nothing was worn under them!
        I would go back to lining it having the lining attached at the neck edge and armholes and hanging free everywhere else so as not to interfere with the bias drape.
        JMHO - Judy

  4. PamelaD | | #8

    I altered a very expensive,$1600, Jackie Rogers dress for my daughter, bought on sale, $50, at the Saks outlet with a broken zipper, torn seams etc.  It was heavy silk charmeuse, with a draped cowl neckline and low back.   The whole dress was cut on the bias.  The bodice was completely self-lined(2 layers) with a bound seam where it joined the skirt on the diagonal.  The bodice draped nicely, the edges looked good and it was easy to alter.  I believe the front of the armscye was taped.  Taping would be a good way to control the gapping.  The skirt, in heavy charmeuse hung beautifully in a single layer.  The hem was simply a narrow hem: fold and stitch close to the edge, trim and fold and stitch again.  In such an expensive and beautiful fabric the hem was easy to shorten.  All my repairs and alterations turned out fine, actually much easier to do in a high quality fabric.  Good quality fabrics are easier to sew, so relax and enjoy working with a beautiful fabric. 

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