Monday, July 6, 2015

Frida Kahlo 2015 Tribute - Vogue 8894

Happy 108th Birthday Frida Kahlo!  Although her official registered date of birth is July 6th, there are rumors that she acknowledged the 7th as her birthday. I decided that this year, and for the record, her tribute would be today.

My project this year is a sombre but elegant linen black dress dress from Vogue 8894. It is a beautifully designed pattern with many wonderful design details. My favorite is the high curved front hem.

I lined the bodice with a thin China silk, and to stiffen the bottom and limit some wrinkles, I lined the skirt with black silk organza.

This dress really needs accessories. Do you like my flower? It also looks good ON the dress.
As a gag, my daughter filmed me as I was posing...and well, here it is for your amusement.


I made version B. Be forewarned that there's more ease than the photo leads on.
I decided to spend a bit more time tailoring the dress by adding the lining. I am still on the fence about the skirt bottom, and adding a China silk lining, which makes the organza the interlining. It would add a slight more thickness and weight. I might wear it once and see how it goes.

WARNING! The pattern is not foolproof. If you decide to make it, be aware of the front hem facing. It did not match the cut skirt hem curve. I had to make me own after the fact.

When these errors occur, I always wonder if it's really me or the pattern.

This is the hem facing I created by matching the skirt base curve.

Hem facing completed.
The collar facing was a bit off for me as well. One piece was too short and the other was too long, so it ended up fitting the neckline, except the neck seams did not match. Although no one can see, it still irks me when the seams are off. 

Here are some photos of the inside, as I was building the lining pieces.


After adding the China silk bodice, and the silk organza skirt.

Because the seams show on the skirt, I am thinking of adding a final China silk lining.
The dress needs a 22" invisible zipper, and to be honest, I have never put in an invisible zipper before. I did not need to look far for instructions though. Did you know that the zipper packet comes with instructions, and they work just fine? I did not need to comb through YouTube videos. This was really straightforward and painless.



The dress turned out much larger than expected. I had to take in the front bodice seam by an inch due to my C Cup mishap. The pattern has adjustable bust cup sizes, and it was a first try for me. I ended up using the C Cup to match my bra size, but it was incorrect. Given the Kimono sleeves, I could easily have left it an A Cup. This is a great pattern for C and even D cups because there is a lot of ease. 

I was tempted to nip and tuck at more places, but given that my linen fabric does not stretch, I changed my mind after giving the dress a "sit test." If ever, I am on the fence about whether to make a dress tighter, I sit down in a chair with the dress on. It's amazing what parts of my body spread after sitting. :-) 

Some final thoughts about fitting...after months and months of cutting into size 16 patterns, I am suspecting that I am not a 16 in all patterns. Duh! Vogue size 16 are too big, and McCalls can be too small. Simplicity seems to be right on, and Butterick is inconsistent. The newer Indie patterns are all over the place. I am almost a perfect 14 on StyleArc, but a 12 on top. I am somewhere between a 10 or 12 with Victory Patterns. What is going on here? All these variances make for a very grumpy sewist. 

Some more photos for your enjoyment...

Headless me.

Bodice close-up...but difficult to see because it's black.

When I first saw this...I thought of was oversized funeral dress.