Adventures with Faux Suede
This is Vogue 1317 – Chado Ralph Rucci. When I was getting ready to cut this pattern out, I came to the realization that even though I’ve collected almost every Rucci pattern that VP has released, I’ve never made one. That was really surprising, downright shocking considering how much I admire his designs and skill. If you ever run across his documentary “Ralph Rucci: A Designer and His House” on Sundance channel, it’s a must see! He’s a serious haute couturier!
Description: Dress has low neckline slit, close-fitting bodice cut-in-one with sleeves (slit), side back bodice extending into underarm gusset, lined midriff, single-layer tie ends (wrongside shows), skirt with side front/side back seams, side front pockets/vents, invisible back zipper, stitched hems, and self-bias binding. Top stitching and edge stitching.
Now the fabric suggestions are faux suede and a lightweight double knit. Things that make you go “hmmmm…” As long as I’ve been sewing, that should’ve given me pause. Those two fabrics move, drape, wear and behave completely differently. Either a garment made in the woven fabric is going to be too tight (not enough wearing ease) or the knit garment is going to be too loose (too much ease for a knit garment). I’m always perplexed when such opposite fabric suggestions are offered. But oh well, I decided to go with the fabric similar to the runway version of the dress, because it’s all I could envision when I pictured the outcome of this pattern. I’ll learn one day…
I checked the flat pattern/finished measurements as I always do and cut my normal size for VP patterns. I’m going to tell you right now, this pattern did not offer ANY altering lines. So if you need to add or subtract, you’re on your own with this one. Most patterns are almost always at least an inch too short in the waist for me, so I added an inch to the bodice. I should’ve done an FBA. Even though the neck slit isn’t gaping, it would’ve probably laid closer together. And I added 3 inches to the skirt because this dress was pretty short. As you see, it still stops above the knee. How I made this alteration was to find a good place in the middle of each pattern piece and cut there to add my additional length. I choose to do it this way instead of going to the bottom as not add additional width.
Do you ever find yourself making nonsensical mistakes while sewing? I do all of the time, just like I did on this pattern. When I added length to the bodice, I didn’t really take into account that this would affect my zipper… and maybe I should go a little longer. So my zipper ended up being a little too short. And remember that thing I just said about the way different fabrics react? Yeah… the dress ended up being too tight. But with all of the work of top stitching and edge stitching I had invested, no way was this going to be a wadder. I added 1″ panels to each side of the center back and repeated the same type of stitching and made it work.
Here is a close up of the arm slit and the gorgeous faux suede from Mood Fabrics. The color is “cinnabar”, but it fits right in with the Fall/Winter 2012-13 oxblood trend. This fabric feels so luxurious. It feels and behaves like a real suede. I found that while sewing this, I needed to use a Teflon foot (or a walking foot would work too).
All and all, I really like this dress. I don’t think I’ll sew this pattern again, but if I did here are things I’d do different: use a double knit; eliminate the tie ends so that I could do a belt if I like; and eliminate the useless pockets.