I gotta have faith: fitting and the vogue 1174 foundation

pit sniff?

Vogue 1174 is impeccably drafted – probably the best I’ve sewn. The bodice has *three* layers, each with completely different pattern pieces – and yet they all go together beautifully.While the fashion fabric bodice has the horizontal layers, with the piping, the foundation has princess seams. After this project, I definitely appreciate how the foundation is what the dress is well and truly made of, while the fashion fabric layer rests prettily on top. In fact, I’m keen to make more dresses with foundations!

However, as virtually everyone who has made this dress has noted, the bodice runs big. (and I’m talking Notorious B-I-G big). I added and subtracted so many times that I no longer know how much I took out – at least an inch on top, and closer to two at the waist.

Biggie's got nothing on Vogue 1174's bodice!

I also added 3/4″ length to the upper bodice so that it fits higher on the chest (overall, I added length to the top, and took away about an inch from the skirt bottom). There are no shorten/lengthen lines on the bodice, so I simply slashed the upper bodice pattern pieces near the top, and spread them 3/4″. True confession – I was going to do a half inch, but my Burda gridded pattern paper is metric. Spreading 2 cm (3/4″) = two squares was just going to be that much easier.

The challenge is making sure that you repeat all of the adjustments on each layer – lining, and foundation.

When fitting this dress, I worked hard on getting a nice snug fit with the fashion fabric. After sewing it up, though, I was freaking out a bit that the added bulk from the foundation would strain the fashion fabric seams – not to mention me. I was going to be wearing this dress in the company of VIP’s – namely, Mr. Muslinette’s extended family (some of whom sew). I wanted this dress to be as close to perfection as possible.

I was worried because, before adding the lining or foundation, I was already seeing the fashion fabric straining at the seams – which I now know is because it’s loosely woven and ravels when you look at it sideways. In any case, I let out the seams about 3/4″ on the upper bodice and re-attached my zipper to buy myself a little space there (letting my hitherto invisible zipper tape show a little bit).

The lining pieces went in just fine, even with the added room in the bodice pieces, but the foundation pieces turned out to be… too narrow. And it sucks because the foundation – with the facing, the boning channels and the piping (I was less concerned about absolute perfection on the outside) – is one of the most beautiful parts of the dress. Basically, I wasn’t able to sew the foundation directly to the zipper, and hiding the lining. It works in practice, but mars the inside a little.

The dress turned out to be perfectly roomy, and I probably didn’t need that extra space that I gave myself – I should have had a little more faith in my fitting abilities (hence George Michael making an appearance above). More to the point, what I really learned – in retrospect – is that I should have done all of my fitting on the foundation, and then applied the changes to the lining/fashion fabric pieces.


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