Sunday, 9 October 2016

Vogue 2401

I’ve had this pattern on my ‘To make’ list for a long time. Then on my last trip to Goldhawk Road I found myself in Fabrix, which sells a silks in a mind-boggling array of weights and colours. Trying not to drool over the fabric, I decided that I really fancied pushing the boat out and making a silk dress (while wilfully ignoring the minor detail that I have absolutely no reason to ever wear a silk dress!).

After a lot of deliberation, I eventually decided on a deep red heavy dupion, and decided that this was finally time to break out Vogue 2401. It’s only taken me four months to get round to starting it, which is quite good going for me.

Pattern and fabric

The pattern is defined as ‘average’ (or in French, rather wonderfully, as ‘less easy’). At first glance, it doesn’t look it. Like Vogue 2859, it has some oddly-shaped pieces.

Pattern piece shapes

I couldn’t work out how all of these would fit together, much less how to apply my usual Vogue alterations of shortening the bodice above and below the bustline. The easiest solution seemed to be to make a toile of the bodice with no alterations, work them out on the toile, and then transfer them back to the pattern.

I made the toile in woven gingham as this makes it easy to identify the grainline. As ever, I tailor tacked small circles, big circles and squares in different colours of thread; this turned out to be invaluable when making the bodice up.

Actually, the pattern isn’t that complicated, so long as you follow the instructions carefully. Like the famous Walkaway Dress, it has no zip or buttons. Instead the front panel fastens at the back with a grosgrain belt, and the backs wrap over it to tie at the front. As a result, making it up seems very odd until the final stages, when it all magically comes together.

Once made, I had a fitting session with Mum. The good (and unusual) news was that the bust points were in exactly the right place, so no above-bust alterations were needed. The bad news was that this was the only good news. Alterations were as follows:
  • Front (consisting of actual front and the underbodice side fronts) - shorten by ½" at centre, extending to 1½" at sides
  • Back (consisting of back and bodice side fronts, which are attached to back at side seam) - shorten by 2" all the way across, which also involves shortening the ties
  • Sleeves - make narrower at wrist
  • Narrow both front and back across shoulders, tapering to nothing at the waist.
The toile with the shortening alterations tacked in place

On top of that, I changed the ties. The tie is made by folding the bodice side front piece so that the end is double, but this would be far too bulky in the heavy dupion. So instead I redrew the piece without the folded section.

Tie piece, with fold line marked

After so many changes, I decided that a second toile was needed, to check everything before I started cutting out in silk. It was perfect, so now it’s time for the ‘real thing’!

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