SEW VERAVENUS ! “A modern make on vintage style” VeraVenus.com! ! ©veravenus! 2014! SEW VERAVENUS ! “A modern make on vintage style” VeraVenus.com! ! One friday morning, wanting a new dance dress by that evening, I grabbed my 1930’s PJ top pattern and adapted it into this flirty little frock. I made it in a thin black silk charmeuse and thought it very successful. A few weeks later wanting to see how the pattern would work in cotton and also wanting a 30’s style nightgown I made another version in soft embroidered cotton lawn and that turned out very nicely too. So here to celebrate my second year of the SewVeraVenus blog is theL.B.D pattern for you to use. Instructions for converting the pattern to a long nightgown are included too. DESCRIPTION: Just-below-the-knee 30’s inspired bias dress. It fits snug over the hips and the lower skirt then flares out into a ½ circle. The V-neck bodice is cut on the straight grain and finished with a facing. There is shirring under the bust and across the back waist which also has a 2 piece belt. The entire skirt and the fluted ¾ circle sleeves are cut on the true bias. All seams are best simply pinked and pressed open though french seaming the long side seams of the nightgown worked well. Sleeve and skirt hems are finished with either a hand or machine rolled hem. Armholes are bound with bias strips. This 10 piece pattern (all seam allowances included on the pattern) is sized to fit a UK size 10/12, 162-167cm/5’4”-5’6”height person. ! FITS THESE BODY MEASUREMENTS: Bust: 86-92 cm/34 1/2”-36” (C to D cup) Waist: 68-74cm/27”-29” Hip: 94-99cm/37”-39” Back neck to Waist: 39cm/15 3/8” (longer than 15 ½ should adjust the bodice length accordingly) ! PATTERN MEASUREMENTS: The back waist seam is designed to finish approximately 2.5cm/ 1” above a nape to-waist of 38cm/15” The skirt length: 69cm/27” below the waist based on a 162-167cm/5’4”-5’6”height person Finished armhole: 39.5cm/15 ½’ Shoulder to shoulder across back: 37cm/ 14 ½” Bust: 98cm/38 ½” (F=52cm/20 ½”) ! YARDAGE & NOTIONS: The dress takes 2 meters of 137cm/54” wide fabric and needs a 26cm/10” zip. (set-in or invisible). Allow more for narrower width fabric. You’ll also need a small amount of light weight iron-on interfacing for the neck facing pieces. The nightgown takes approximately 2.5 meters of 137cm/54” wide fabric and is finished with poppers (snaps) in a side placket. Please lay the pattern out and double check yardage needed before buying fabric! ! FABRICS: Woven, soft fabrics that have a good ‘give’ on the bias such as crepe de chine, charmeuse, cotton lawn, georgette, light weight wool crepe, rayon crepe, thin rayon/silk velvets. Unsuitable for tightly woven crisp cottons, taffetas, stretch fabrics, directional prints. REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT NOTE As always trying the pattern out on cheap fabric first before using some expensive or irreplaceable fabric is strongly advised. I would not release a pattern I didn’t feel was good and worked well but can for no reason or under any circumstances in the universe be held responsible if you are not happy with your own results!! If you need sewing advice I will certainly try to help and you can always contact me via my blog with questions or comments. It goes without saying the pattern is given for personal use only. ©veravenus! 2014! SEW VERAVENUS ! “A modern make on vintage style” VeraVenus.com! CUTTING OUT: Most of the pattern pieces print as half of the full pattern actually needed. I recommend mirroring the pieces where marked even though it will take more paper to to this. (Swedish tracing paper, white wrapping tissue etc.work well to make a complete pattern with) As so much of the dress is cut on the bias cutting out with your fabric as a single layer will make life a lot easier than fiddling about trying to get accurate bias folds… also the pattern pieces interlock nicely as a single layer (see the cutting layout) and use fabric economically. Take your time cutting out your fabric and be as accurate as possible. If the bias pieces are cut off-grain the dress will twist when worn and hang unevenly. Sloppy cutting can spoil good sewing. ! SEWING: I’m going to keep the how-to-sew section fairly brief as the pattern alone is already a whopping 25 pages to download and tape together. The dress is Intermediate skill level to make. There are some techniques you need to be familiar with, and if not, a good sewing book will help. They are: working with fabric on the bias, stay-stitching, french seams, bias-binding over a raw edge, attaching a facing and under-stitching it, making small hand rolled or machine pin hems, inserting zips and attaching a placket. ! This is the order of steps I made both my sample dress and nightgown in: 1- Sew Front Bodices 1 together at centre front seams. Press open. ! 2- Sew Back Bodice 6 shoulder seams to Front Bodice 1 shoulder seams. Press open. Stay stitch the entire neckline and compare the measurement to the pattern to ensure there is minimal stretching. ! 3- Attach the fusing to the F & B facing pieces 2 and 7 and sew shoulder seams. Press open. Stay-stitch and pink the outermost edge of the facing to neaten. Attach facing to neckline, clip into curves of seam allowances and under-stitch the facing close to the neckline. Grade seam allowances if needed and press flat. ! ! 4- Hem sleeves with small machine pin-hem (I describe how to do this in my French Knicker tutorial pdf) or hand roll. 5- Stay-stitch sleeves along armhole seam line, clip into curves to release seam allowance, sew to armholes matching large dots and notches. Cut bias strips from scrap fabric (4cm/1 ½” wide x 38cm/15” long) Attach with right side of bias strip to wrong side of armholes along same stitch line that attaches sleeves. Press, fold strip in half over raw edge, fold under last 1cm and top stitch in place on the right side very close to the folded edge. (also described in French Knicker pdf as a waist finish) ! 6- Sew bodice side seams together. Remember you need the left side open between the marked notches for a zip (or placket) At the underarm hand catch the ends of the seam allowance to the bindings so they are flat and neat. ! 7- Sew two lines of gathering threads across the back waist and below the bust area in between the notches as marked on the pattern. Put the bodice aside. ! 8- Stay stitch the lower point on Front Skirt 4. The stitching needs to be very precise here. Aim for a precise needle pivot right at the point. Clip very close to the stay stitching to open the point. When attaching 3 to 4 it works best to sew as two sections, sewing from the point outwards in each direction. The point rarely looks sharp if sewn all in one line. ! ! 9- Join Back Skirt 8 to Bottom Skirt 9 matching notches and easing the fabric evenly in between them. 10- Bag-out the two Back Waist Ties 10. Join right side seam of Front Skirt 3/4 and Back Skirt 8/9 , inserting one tie in the seam just below the 1cm waist seam allowance. Join left side seam up to zip notch. The left tie will be sewn in ©veravenus! 2014! SEW VERAVENUS ! “A modern make on vintage style” VeraVenus.com! place after the zip has been inserted. You may need to set the tie in at a slight angle so it lays flat as it wraps around the back waist. ! 11- On the bodice pull the gathering threads of back waist and bust to match the skirt section notches and attach the bodice to the skirt. This seam will sit best with seam allowances pressed down towards the skirt. I don’t recommend french seaming this seam even if you have done so to side seams- it will be too bulky to sit well. Either double stitch and pink it or cover with a bias binding strip if the raw edges bother you. Double stitched and pinked works best in my opinion. ! 12- Try the dress on and carefully pin the zip opening closed and measure it. The length of the zip depends on how the dress stretches over your hips which is why measuring it actually on a body is a good idea- it won’t necessarily be exactly the same as the pattern measurement. Baste the zip in and try on again. If the zip pokes away from your body it needs to be shortened. It the side seam of the dress pulls up it needs to be longer. Setting a zip in a bias seam is a pain the b*** , but persevere and be patient. A bubbling zip on your hip will spoil the line so it’s worth getting it right. ! 13- When the zip is finally in try on again and check the dress hem level and length. Alter as necessary and hem with rolled or pin-hem. ! 14- Hand catch the neck facing in place at the shoulders and centre front seam. Hand sew the left belt along side the zip with the raw end caught under and hidden. The belt ends can have a buckle added, buttons or just overlap closed with a brooch. The ties look pretty made much longer and tied in a bow as well. ! ! ! NIGHTGOWN: Don’t use Bottom Skirt pieces 3 and 9 and Neck Facing pieces 2 and 7. (Unless you want a neck facing of course) The following measurements are good for 5’4”-5’5” height. Add more if you are taller: -Extend the centre Front Skirt 4 from the top point of the pattern down so the total measurement is 119.5cm/47” long. -Make the side seams 109/cm/43” from the top of the pattern piece. -Back Skirt 8 make 108cm/42 ½”. The angle of the side seam lines can just follow on from where they currently are or you can swing them out a few inches if you’d like an easier fit through the hips and a fuller hem. -The neck can be bound with bias strips (cut approx. 4cm/1 ½” wide x 70cm/28” long) by the same method as the armholes. -Long ties can be cut either on the straight grain or bias. 84cm/33” each is a good length to aim for. Alternatively ribbon could be used instead. Sewing follows the same steps as for the dress. Placket strips for the left side seam opening are cut on the straight grain. Close with little hooks and bars or poppers (snaps). ! ©veravenus! 2014!
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