Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Beautiful Blue Velvet

This project had been living in my closet for about a year, needing a zipper re-do (I am really beginning to distrust those invisible zippers) and a hem.  In honor of the Sew Weekly's UFO challenge, I decided it was time to finish it once and for all, even if I never wore the darn thing.

And look - it seems that other people had blue on their mind!  Why is it, exactly, that everyone over at The Sew Weekly was feeling blue?

I am not terribly happy with the finished result, but it is a relief to have one less unfinished project making me feel guilty.  (Yes, I will admit that there are quite a few abandoned items living in my sewing room, and I really need to do something about it.)

What really gets me down is that I feel that I have ruined a truly lovely length of washable silk/rayon velvet that I was lucky enough to find at a warehouse sale for Bella Notte Linens

How did I manage to make a mess of the project?  Well, I was in a rush – it gets me in trouble every time.  Now, don’t get me wrong, deadlines are fabulous things.  However, working with a challenging fabric, in a pattern that requires a bit of grading, in a style that may or may not work is just no fun when you only have a couple of days.

The first problem I had with the pattern was the size.  This was one of the first Vintage Vogue patterns I purchased.  

The Simplicity and McCalls that I was familiar with had ridiculous amounts of ease built in, so I assumed a size 10 Vogue would be fine.  However, this particular dress is very fitted and I needed to add width throughout the entire dress.

I started this dress about a year ago, with only two or three days to complete it before an event.  Well, after quite a bit of hand basting and fighting with my seams, I decided that the whole thing was a lost cause.  I even managed to crush the velvet right at the center front seam of the skirt while applying my seam binding - FRUSTRATING FABRIC!  I hung it up in the closet to keep from destroying the pile of the velvet (if I ever had the chance to re-use the fabric at some point).

When the Unfinished Objects challenge came along, I knew that I would pull this dress out and do my best to finish it.  But my first choice for the challenge was another dress entirely – one that I had previously cut out and then abandoned when I realized I would not have enough fabric.  I decided to piece together a couple of different patterns and add a contrasting color, but it is back in the UFO pile once again, to be finished at some point in the future.  Oh well, two projects in one week was asking a little too much.

At least I finished something, right?

Dress:  Made by me, Vogue 2610
Shoes:  Seychelles “Little Owls” in Navy
Fishnets:  Simply Vera
Snood:  Made by me, Perky Snood
Necklace:  Grandmother’s, borrowed from mom
Earrings:  Made by me (originally buttons from Britex)
Clutch:  Banana Republic


  1. It's such an annoyance when things don't work out! Especially as the lustre and colour of that velvet is just amazing - the tone really compliments your skin colour, which is lovely.

  2. From a distance (NYC?) it looks gorgeous, though I'm sure all those issues you describe are real. Could you add some embellishment to disguise whatever is wrong with it? It's a beautiful color and the drape on the bodice is beautiful. I say, save it!

  3. Beautiful fabric, beautiful color, and as always, looks beautiful on you! Hard to see where your "mess" is, but if you're not happy, you won't wear it. I hope you can salvage something, it really is lovely.
    I recently had my trials with velvet, and decided that the invisible zipper is not ideal for a pile fabric. Also had some challenges trying to wrap the rayon binding around the thick fabric edges, so I know it can easily get out of control.
    In any case, congratulations on having one item moved from the unfinished list to finished!

  4. See, I have the same problem... on one of my tailored jackets the right shoulder seam is 3mm higher than the left. My husband says no-one, but no-one, will be able to see that difference, but I know it's there. Wear the dress - it's fabulous - we'll pretend we didn't read this blog. And you look fab, as always

    1. I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who obsesses over the "mistakes!" Why are we always so hard on ourselves?! I will bet that your jacket is far superior to any ready-to-wear garment in the department stores that people pay good money for :)

  5. I think it looks lovely, despite the hiccups along the way! :) I think we all have some project lurking in our sewing piles that we just aren't that crazy about. :/ It's inspiring to see others finish those though, as it makes me realize I should perhaps tackle finishing those one or two things that have been mocking me for a year! ;) lol.

  6. The colour is spot on and you have such a lovely figure that I think the dress looks great on you, no matter what your misgivings.
    I'm your newest follower and I'm looking forward to seeing what else you come up with!

  7. I agree with you that the silk velvet, gorgeous as it is, is a little too thick to drape to perfection in the bodice. It's still perfectly wearable though, probably no one else will see it, and the colour is divine. Thanks for posting this, I love this pattern.