New fabric horizons

Vogue 1317

This dress is made from the most amazing polyester suede fabric. It’s so strokable that every time I put the project down I found myself missing the texture. It comes from Minerva Crafts in a range of colours. It was easy to sew. I needed to use a leather needle but otherwise it was just like any heavy woven.

The pattern is Vogue 1317, a recent Chado Ralph Rucci design. Suede is one of the suggested fabrics on the envelope back otherwise I doubt I’d have thought of it. The other suggestion is lightweight doubleknit. Here’s Vogue’s version. I’m not sure which, if either, theirs is made from. Or what the photographer was thinking when asking for that pose from the model.

Vogue 1317 envelope art

What’s not entirely obvious from either photo is all the top-stitching on this style. There’s a lot: like many of the Chado Ralph Rucci styles almost every seam is edge-stitched and top-stitched. The line art gives some idea of what’s involved. It took me two weeks of serious sewing to complete it all.

Vogue 1317 technical drawing

This is the back gusset seam on my dress. I made an effort with the top-stitching here so it’s fairly even (for me). As the project wore on and on and some major fitting issues become apparent I got a lot more slapdash! Luckily it’s not obvious unless you get very close.

Vogue 1317 topstitching detail

Where this dress went wrong is the sizing. I’d read some reviews which said that it came up very small so I checked the finished garment measurements on the pattern carefully and based on those went up a size from my usual Vogue size. Even then I needed to let out almost the whole of the extra wide seam allowance at the centre back seam. You’re supposed to use that extra allowance to do a bias bound finish on the fabric edges without the zip tape getting in the way. As it is those edges are simply zigzagged and very untidy, but at least I can zip the dress up. Either the finished garment measurements are optimistic, I’ve got a lot bigger, or something I did in the processing of the seams has taken out some width.

This is about the best picture I’ve got of the back. It looks like I’ve lengthened the bodice a bit too much although I’m sure some of those wrinkles are just from the way I’m standing. I certainly overdid lengthening the sleeves.

Vogue 1317

It has tiny little pockets. They’re slightly bigger than this picture makes them appear but you couldn’t safely put a phone or a lot of keys in them. I don’t think they’re entirely useless though. It’s always good to have somewhere to stash a tissue or some screws you just took out of something and don’t want to lose.


Vogue 1317

Although this hasn’t been a completely successful project I can’t help thinking there’s a really great dress somewhere in this pattern. The shape is lovely and the suede fabric is wonderfully tactile. I’ve got some more polyester suede and I’m going to try again, with a bigger size this time. But first I’ll make something nice and easy, I need a break!


31 thoughts on “New fabric horizons

  1. I really like this dress on you (much better than the Vogue picture actually) and the fabric sounds wonderful.

    1. Thanks! Yes, the poly suede I got at the weekend was for another attempt at this pattern in the next size up. The fabric’s warm to wear but not uncomfortably so. I wouldn’t wear it in high summer though.

  2. Nice dress – interesting about the sizing. I am getting sick of not being able to depend on this. Last Vogue I made I had to go down 2 sizes – it didn’t say loose fitting – and I made it up in a woven rather than stretch as recommended. I would like to miss the muslin step as it can be a demotivator when all you want to do is SEW and WEAR! maybe I need some TNTS! but too many patterns too little time.

  3. Power to you for seeing past that awful photo and spotting a great dress in the line drawing of this pattern, I think your version looks great! good luck for version 2!

  4. Gorgeous Catherine, you should of been the model on the Vogue pattern. I love seeing what people do with Vogue patterns because their styling on their envelopes suck so bad. Great job, the perfect LBD.

  5. I have never made anything out of suede before, I like it! I think you should have another go at this dress with corrected sizing because I love the silhouette, I agree it’s got serious potential. I have it in my pattern stash too, would quite like to try and make it soon myself.

  6. It looks great on you Catherine, you have such a lovely figure! Funny thing, well not so funny, we do seem to pick a lot of the same patterns as each other; I am halfway through this dress right now! Thanks for the tips, very helpful.

  7. Nice! I think the style is great for you, and the topstitching looks really even in the photo. Looks like a lot of work, but you should totally give it another go because I think you could end up with a seriously amazing dress.

  8. That looks great on you and the shape suits you. I looked at it and even bought the pattern but decided not to make it, just didn’t think it would be right on me and the sizing seemed strange. but glad you attempted it, and succeeded!

  9. Lovely dress Catherine. I’m fascinated by the thought of poly-suede. Is it the sort of fabric that leaves a hole if you try to unpick a seam? I’m also bemused that you can substitute a double knit, is the suede stretchy?

    Very impressed with your top stitching.

    1. Thanks! I thought it would be a pain to unpick but actually the nap hides the holes so it’s very forgiving. Good thing too, I had to unpick some if the really wobbly topstitching.

  10. Still, a lovely dress! your fabric is so pretty, and I agree, the lines of the dress are nice, very simple but with interest. Hope you will do it again. Nice job with all that topstitching!

  11. I think this is a lovely little number and very you in it’s design lines. The top stitching detail is such an added bonus, you’ve done a great job! And now I’m intrigued by polyester suede!!

  12. I think it’s great! For the next one, how about a simple suede shift dress with princess seam detail so you can do more topstitching but not too much?

  13. I think the style and shape is just right for you, so I hope you give it another go! You are definitely not the only one I’ve heard say this runs very small!

  14. really lovely catherine! it’s such a good shape on you. grr to patterns sizing – just read jane’s post about 10″ of ease in a vogue pattern, then this about yours being too small. no RTW shop would get away with sizing that inconsistent!

  15. Oh this is lovely but bugger about the sizing, though the fit is great actually. And all that top stitching …. blimey no wonder you got blase about it towards the end :).

    I’m fascinated about the fabric too – should find some to feel next time I’m in a fabric shop. The pattern suggested a light knit as well, which makes me wonder whether the suede is stretchy? Also, the dress would be very very different in a light knit. You’d lose the A-line flare of the skirt for starters which I really like. Hmmm, interesting. And topstitching a light knit would be a job too lol.

    1. Thanks! I think some poly suedes are knits but this one is a woven so no stretch at all. I haven’t found knit poly suede on sale for reasonable price yet.

  16. Too bad about the sizing, but the dress really looks fabulous on you. The fabric looks nice, but I’d love to see it in a color, too.

  17. Wow you are a pioneer Catherine. I love seeing what you make!! Fabric and such interesting patterns. This I think works so well, and you look amazing. What a neat professional finish….I’m in awe

  18. Love the fabric and enjoy the fact that you can wear that subterranean neckline with confidence and elegance. I’d look like a barmaid!!

  19. Great seeing you again. The dress looks very swish in this fabric! Hope you make it in a version you’re more happy with though 🙂

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