Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Suede Says Guy Laroche

Original on the catwalk
Vogue 1268

Make your own version using Vogue 1268.
Wrap over short dress in synthetic suede with snap fastener closures.

Looks simple doesn't it? Many of the plainest and unadorned garments are the trickiest to do well as there is nothing to distract the eye from the flaws and imperfections.

I went internet diving for advice, reviews, experiences on this one and surfaced with only one. SewBarbie was halfway through hers when the festivities arrived and so her sewing had to be put on hold.  I'm a wee bit glad that everything is returning to normal - something to be said for normal.

Keeping to my philosophy of never wearing anything above the knee, my intention was to make this to wear as a tunic over my (p)leather Clovers. It also falls into my "now for something different" category  as I have never sewn with synthetic suede before.

However, I had a bit of bother with this one: photomentary follows.......

The blouse and skirt are made separately and then stitched together. Here are both items pinned on Doris and everything is going well at this stage.

The whole dress is fully lined - down the sleeves too. On the right is the blouse inside out with the facings and the body lining - sleeves yet to do. The Yeti very kindly gave up its lining so that this little designer number could be completed. I quite like the black against the sand- coloured suede, especially as I intended to wear this with black Clovers.

Then I sewed the blouse to the skirt, matched the waist lines on Doris and just look at the gap! My bust isn't going to fill that!

So I pinned it out and look how much has to be taken off. At this stage I'm now very concerned that I've done something wrong because it is so far out. Believe me, I wrapped and jiggled and breathed in and out, I thought I'd forgotten how a wrap dress worked, but nothing would raise that right hand waist line. So out with the ripper and start again. This is easier said than done. At this stage in the construction the linings are attached to the front facings on both the blouse and the skirt and the two halves are sewn together in one big loop. So the lining had to be ripped out as well and pinned to roughly match the outside.

In the end a whopping 7" was removed from the right hand side and 2" from the left. At least the left and right waist lines match up now.

The instructions say to sew about a million snaps across the front with scraps of suede as reinforcement sewn into the lining. Honestly, I couldn't be bothered. It was 4.00pm on NewYear's Eve and I was hoping to wear this at our house party that night.

Unless I'm missing a page from the instructions there is no mention of hemming the skirt. The blouse is so well finished that this seemed a bit odd to me. So I dug out some old craft glue and stuck the hem up.

I was a bit unhappy with the cuffs. They are floppy - meant to be - but the interfacing I used was maybe too stiff and my cuffs were 'heavy'. I sewed little wooden beads to both sides to keep the cuffs folded up and to prevent drooping and flopping into my champers.

It all worked out OK in the end. I did indeed wear the dress on New Year's Eve with opaque tights and knee high boots, not Clovers, and added a belt. These photos were taken before hair, make-up and other accessories were added.

Close up of cuffs and label.
 I sewed over large plastic snaps that were in my bits box to suede squares and then sewed the squares to the dress. (On the night, the inside was held in place with a safety pin!)
 Fully lined.
My fabric was purchased over the internet so I had no idea about hand or weight. Ultimately, I think this synthetic suede is a little too thick for this dress. When you compare my version with the original picture and the Vogue image, mine doesn't drape as well and my blouson gathering at the waist puffs out too much rather than softly caressing the body.

Ah well, live a little, learn a little.

Actually I quite like it - though I will shorten it by a few inches and wear it as intended - as a tunic with Clovers. Talking of which a dark brown (p)leather has just arrived - so guess what?

Thanks for reading. Ruth


  1. Ruth, I love it! I like your color even more than mine, it looks very well on you. Yes, I has to tweak a bit as well, although I wasn't as daring as you with the front. It's stylish and sporty, I love it!

  2. I love this look on you! I wish I could carry this off, you look fabulous!

  3. This is fabulous Ruth. Thank you for the info on your alterations-I will have to do the same as I am pretty narrow there. I will make up this pattern too, but I am going to use a different fabric than ultrasuede.

  4. Love the colour combo on this one, Ruth, and it works much better as a tunic than a dress - great call on that!!!

  5. GREAT work.. Luv that Google alerted me to this as my brand is SUEDEsays™≥..
    ROCKon Fashionistas..
    Suede - Project Runway 5

  6. Love this tunic, are you petite at all? The dress has some wrinkles at the waist on the model and she looks about 6' tall!

  7. Ruth this looks great and you would never believe that it was synthetic suede - am sure you were the belle of the party

    Happy New Year

  8. Thanks folks, encouraging comments are always welcome! I am rather impressed with this fabric and I'm trying hard to think of other things to sew with it. Fifth pair of Clovers?