Vogue 1240 - Out of Print
Fabric: bemberg; chiffon
Notions: three buttons
Instructions: didn't use
Modification: too many---made into a shirt; sized; no invisible zipper; construction
Recommend: I like it!
Vogue 1240 is one of those patterns that ends up in your sewing stash simply because it looks cool. That's how I came to own it. I never really dreamed of actually sewing the halter dress until one day I came up with the idea to make it into a shirt. A shirt seemed much more practical and something that could actually be worn on any old day.
Not knowing how the little transformation would turn out, I used a bunch of inexpensive polyester chiffon and basic bemberg lining. The pattern calls for over one yard of lining and nearly three yards of chiffon. I only shortened the dress by ten inches, so the modified pattern needed almost the same amount of material.
Chiffon is not fun to work with, and I have no idea why I keep buying it. Well, I know why I bought this one; I like the print. Cutting the fabric was an adventure. The shirt has three layers: lining, chiffon base, and pleated overlay. It was slippery and with the number of pieces that needed to be cut I spent a fair amount of time hacking the fabric. The original pattern staggers the hemline of the overlay so the undershirt peaks out at the hemline. For this iteration, the chiffon pieces all end at the same point, which was the biggest challenge of making this shirt. I'm not sure how the hem ended up correctly, but sure enough the three layers turned out alright.
Actually, I'm not sure how the entire shirt ended up working. With all the modifications to change the pattern I also had to adjust the sizing by nearly an inch on both sides seams. In the end, the instructions were abandoned so I could follow the construction in a logical manner in my head and keep the integrity of the fraying fabric.
The seams were finished with self bias, French seams, or overlock. As always, a bit of hand sewing was done. For the hemlines, a running stitch conceals the serged edge. Bias tape is stitched by hand on the inside of the lining; as well as hand-stitching the collar under-stitching.
The collar is by far my favorite part of this shirt. I like the height, the feel of the fabric, and the three little buttons to one side. The original pattern calls for an invisible zipper along the side seam, but the arm opening is large enough for putting it on and off.
I am really happy with this little top. It ended up being better than I imagined, and while a challenge, fun. Even though the pattern was transformed, I recommend adding this out of print design to your collection. After my experience, I believe it can be dressed up or down. One of the recommended fabrics is jersey, and I think you can find success if you ignore the middle layer; same recommendation would be given for working with rayon.