Sewing with the Pattern Stash - The Planned Project, Advance 9441

3.20.2015

Let me tell you a little story about a vintage pattern. Back in May of 2010 I was quickly entering the "Jubba the Hut" phase of my pregnancy.  My days were pretty much filled with lounging on flat surfaces, stuffing food in my mouth and dressing Froggie up in golden bikinis. All that was missing was a bug eyed puppet to laugh manically at my witticisms. Should have added that to my baby registry.  Anyway I filled the "non eating/regurgitating that same food" time with melodramatic groaning and surfing the internet. Several sewing blogs were on regular rotation and that is how Advance 9441 waltzed into my life.
Oh hello, just standing around being fabulous. 
Avid readers of Gertie's blog may remember that she made this pattern in 2010 out of some lovely lemon print cotton. Droooool lemon print cotton. I would have happily swiped that dress from her closet, but I was equally taken with the fashion illustration for this pattern. Does the brunette look like Audrey Hepburn or what? You can almost hear her swishing around on that giant skirt. Her crinoline must be magnificent!

If I'd been sewing at that time this pattern would have gone on the top of the "must acquire" list. In reality constant nausea sapped all my creative energy and easy knitting was all that I could mange. Then I got involved with having and feeding a small human and things like getting more than 2 hours of sleep were more important.
Through the years this pattern popped up on Etsy and Ebay semi regularly. It was always either the wrong size or more than I'd like to pay.  The pattern would get favorited and usually be purchased by someone else. Things might have remained that way if  Michelle hadn't posted her version of the dress. Oh My God! This pattern needs to be mine!  After wiping the drool off my keyboard the internet search engines were put to use.  In a twist of good fortune I found Advance 9441 in my bust size AND on sale at the ebay store Vintage4me2. (Great store BTW. They have a nice selection and the customer service is good.) And that my friends, it how this full skirted beauty is now hanging in my closet.
In my excitement of finally owning this pattern, I also acquired 4 years of rayon twill from Black Bird fabrics. Planned project is a go.....except that it sat around for a month while I puttered around with the Butterick coat. Then several other projects got sewn after that. Yeeeeep, this project was well on it's way to stash closet of forgetfulness.  To keep that from happening I made it my planned project stash bust for the month.

The style lines of this pattern are pretty simple, kimono sleeves with gussets and a full paneled skirt. Sewing the gusset area is the only part that needs intermediary sewing skills. I consulted Gertie's first book to refresh my brain on this area. (There will be a separate post about this because I was playing with the new camera.)The rest of the sewing is easy, if time consuming work.  Hemming the skirt took a whole 6 hour audio book.
This was the first time I'd ever sewn with a rayon twill, so here are a few notes about it.
- It is thicker than regular rayon, which makes easier to work with. I did not have to take any special steps, like starching, to cut out the fabric.

- Rayon is still a tricky beast and will make you do some extra basting.  For example I pinned all my waist seam joins before sewing the seam. This technique often works with well behaved fabrics, but with rayon all the joins were 1/8" off after sewing.  I had to pick out the entire seam, baste all the joins and sew the seam with a walking foot. '

- The twill weave is prone to snagging. With the black background it shows as a visible white line. Take extra care handling pinned pieces and try to seam rip from the wrong side of the fabric.

While rayon twill won't suppliant my enduring love of cotton sateen, but I don't regret purchasing it. The print is just divine.  And on that note, let's get to the pattern review.

Pattern
Advance 9441 (There's a 32 bust and a 36 bust on Etsy at the moment that I'm posting this.)

Fabrics used
Rayon Twill from Black Bird Fabrics. (Still in stock as I post this.)

Pattern changes/alterations
- Dropped the bust dart 1 1/2" and shortened the front waist dart by the same amount.

- Made a 1/2" hollow chest adjustment to the front bodice.

- Lengthened the sleeve 5/8" along the shorten/lengthen line. This put the elbow dart in the correct position.

- Added 5/8" to the side seams since my waist is 30" instead of 28". I could have added less as the full skirt makes the area roomy.

- Increased the back dart intake to 2 1/8".

- Removed 1 1/2" of length off the skirt.

Confessions/Advice
- The fashion illustration would leave one to believe that the hem length of this dress would fall just below the knee.  I'm an average high of 5' 6" and it hit a bit below mid calf.  In addition to the long length, the hem facing on the pattern is a whopping 2.5".  You could easily shave off some yardage reducing these two areas.

- I seem to be having bad luck with necklines lately. The front neck facing does not want to stay inside the dress.

-  Although I love this print of this rayon, it's probably too soft of a fabric for the design. The fabric recommendations included much stiffer fabric such as taffeta and pique. Both the bodice and the skirt could do with a bit more body.

- This skirt could really use two petticoats or one with a lot more volume. At this time I only had the one 35 yard petticoat to pad it out.

Husband Comment
"I like your sleeves. They only go down part way like a baseball players."

My Final Thoughts
Is Advance 9441 everything I'd hoped it would be? YES!!! It's a great kick off for my #vintageplege goal. Even though hand hemming the skirt was a half day marathon, I'd already like another version of this dress. One with the shorter sleeve length to wear during the summer months. Maybe in a lemon print, maybe.

42 comments:

  1. FABULOUS. simply FABULOUS.


    (and i love your hubbie's critique)

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  2. www.tresbienensemble.comMarch 20, 2015 at 1:04 PM

    Oh. Em. Gee. HEATHER! It's a thing of beauty! You find the absolute best floral prints. I ought to just give you my credit card information and have you buy me yardage every time you spot one. And, on that note, I'm cruising Black Bird Fabrics as I write this... Your version makes me want to make a floral version for spring. I think I will. And, as always, the husband comments are fabulous!

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  3. First thing I thought was "she looks a bit like a baseball player". Word.


    I also got this from Blackbird Fabrics, only thing is, I put it in the wash - and I probably shouldn't, because it's gone all stiff and odd. Sad face. Hoping I can revive it in the meantime.


    Did I forget to mention? LOVELY DRESS.

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  4. Seriously gorgeous. I really love this dress! I have that same fabric in the navy version just waiting until my Jabba the Hutt pregnancy weight is gone and I can made something fabulous out of it.

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  5. So, so gorgeous! I've drooled over this fabric every single time I've seen it... floral with a dark background is a particular weakness of mine. This dress looks absolute fabulous on you, nice job!

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  6. Oh man, what a glamorous, glorious dress! I wish I could wear big swishy dresses without looking like a little kid playing dress-up! This is fantastic!

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  7. Gorgeous! I was actually thinking the opposite to you, that the drape of the rayon really makes the dress. Otherwise it could look a bit bulky/boxy in the bodice.

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  8. Sooooo pretty! And the perfect dress for the winter/spring transition!

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  9. and you thought you had drool on your keyboard, that is sooo gorgeous, exactly the sort of dress to imagine wearing whilst one's waist is otherwise occupied. Is there a story behind the 200 yard petticoat? The swishy look in the last photograph is very inspiring.

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  10. Ooh, this is it. I have started a cult and you are the floral diety I and the other lobsters shall worship!

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  11. This is so gorgeous Heather!! Perfect with the red crinoline and the floral print. Thanks for sharing your tips for rayon twill - I have some in my stash and I've never sewn with rayon twill before, so your tips will help!

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  12. Gorgeous dress! Rayon twill is something that I didn't know existed, and now I want to find some. Also, thanks for the perspective adjustment on end of pregnancy. It's good to have the reminder that nausea after every meal is still better than going back to the regurgitation phase.

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  13. Shell from SewEnSowMarch 21, 2015 at 8:23 PM

    Just beautiful, looks like the perfect vintage dress, one I'm adding to my list of wants!

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  14. Sara @ Sew SweetnessMarch 22, 2015 at 2:51 AM

    Beautiful, you look gorgeous!!

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  15. LizlookingforareasontosewMarch 22, 2015 at 8:33 PM

    Shapeless, floral horror!
    You are slender, gorgeous, why pick vintage awful patterns?
    Look for your own style that flatters you.

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  16. Love this print so much -- I could live in black florals quite happily :) Love the swishy skirt too, especially with the peek of red petticoat.

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  17. Beautiful! That print is gorgeous heather. I do need to see pics of froggie in a golden bikini however #frogporn

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  18. Heather it's beautiful. I totally understand why it's making you so happy.

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  19. PLEASE make a lemon print version! Love this first version though, it's very lovely and stylish. x

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  20. YUSS. Approved. I like this. Baseball uniforms are all over the SS15 runways.

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  21. Thank you Oona. :) With my husband it's always about baseball. LOL!

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  22. Thank you Michelle. :) Truth, every time I look at your plaid Advance 9441 I drool a little. Sounds like we just need to copy each other's fabric choices for this pattern.

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  23. HAA HAA HAAA! I'd watch a baseball team with floral uniforms.


    Hope you have good luck with fabric resuscitation. I did wash mine in cold water and air dried it successfully.

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  24. Darn hungry fetuses making us Jabba like. The navy version of the fabric is also gorgeous. I'm sure you'll sewing something beautiful.

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  25. Thanks Lisa. Florals on dark background lovers unite! Not sure how you've resisted this fabric so far but Froggie is giving you bonus points for doing so.

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  26. Thanks Sonja. But you can wear awesome cocoon coats and awesome mumu's for lack of a better word. Or we could just put matching sea creature dresses on and rock out.

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  27. Thanks Siobhan. You bring up an interesting point about the rayon in the bodice. I kind of want to mock up the dress in a different fabric to see. :)

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  28. Thanks Gillian! You know Mr. B said something similar before the baseball sleeve comment. Maybe he's messing with me. ;)

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  29. Thank you sweetie. Hope you won't dock me stash busting points for buying this fabric during the year. ;)

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  30. Thank you Kbenco. :) I've just realized that I've misspoke about my petticoat yardage, it's only about 35 yards. Oops! Anyway I bought it to go with my Christmas dress and have been wearing it regularly ever since. The wind was helping me out when taking this photos making all the layers fly around. :)

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  31. HAA HAA HAAA! No no, it's cool. Let's be floral goddesses together. Or an even louder print if you prefer.

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  32. Thanks Heather. It seems like rayon twill is popping up all over the place recently. It does make me want to sew rayon a bit more than usual. :)

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  33. Thank you Becky. I'd never seen a rayon twill prior to last year. Maybe it's something that wasn't manufactured for those of us who sew until recently. New fabrics are cool!


    P.S. I'll have a stern talking to with Wooler baby about this nausea.

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  34. You're entitled to your opinion Liz and you don't have to like what I like. However I'm going continue to sew according to my own tastes.

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  35. Thanks so much. I hope you snag a copy of this lovely pattern yourself. The full skirt is so fun to swish around in. :)

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  36. LOL! Floral baseball team for the win. Our cleats are the prettiest in the league.

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  37. There's lemon print cotton in the stash already and it's calling my name. :) If that happens I promise to get a bag of lemons as a prop. Hee Hee!

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  38. Thank you Carmen. Seems I've been brainwashed into loving giant gathered skirts. :)

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  39. HAA HAA HAAA!!! Now some Froggie bikini photo shopping needs to happen. Thanks Jo. ;)

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  40. High Five Melwyk, let's make a whole bunch of black floral clothing and wear them all the time. :)

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  41. Thank you Sara. I'm gonna have to give the fabric all the credit. :)

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