While waiting for my lobsters to arrive for the Sew for Victory sew-along, I made a dress!
A while back I came across a gorgeous dress posted on the Willow homestead blog, and wanted to make it. I ordered the pattern the instant I finished reading said post, but didn't get around to sew it until spring arrived (last week). Norwegian winter doesn't call for much dress sewing, but now was a great time to do it.
|Vogue 1371, designed by Tracy Reese.|
The worst thing about this pattern must be it's envelope. All the wonderful pleating on the bodice is COMPLETELY lost in the fabric print, and I know I have seen this pattern before. Just never SEEN it. And it is a shame. So I decided to make it in a solid color to show off the details.
I chose a grey, inexpensive polyester fabric with good drape, just to try out the pattern for fit. Maybe not the wisest choice because the construction calls for vast amounts of pressing, and that's really hard with a fabric that melts. So I needed to use a press cloth and a lotta steam, and even then it just bounced back when I lifted the cloth. But it was doable, it just took time and effort.
|A tiny bit of bling in the neck closing :)|
A hidden gem!
The pattern went together nicely. However, I did make some small changes. First of all; I omitted the ginormous shoulder pads. The instructions tell you to gather under the bust and also on the back, but I wanted to just continue the pleats all the way down. The dress is described as a loose fitting garment so there was no issue with the bodice getting too tight with this alteration .Skirt and bodice are completed separately, and joined together last. I then figured out I didn't like the rather shapeless fit, and took it in about 2" in the sides. The bodice was then too wide for the skirt and there was some fiddling with the pleats again to make it match. The pleats furthest to the sides ended up wider at the bottom than on top, so not the best result. Not very noticeable, and an elegant save. I just call it artistic freedom.....heh.
I also got the wrong zipper, not the invisible kind. Insertion went kind of perfect (for once!!) if I must say so myself, but I didn't like how the puller was showing. So I covered it with another bow. It works :)
If I were to make this again (and I will!) I will lengthen the bodice a bit, because it is short. In the end I had to use 1/5 of an inch for seam allowance, and had I been busty it simply wouldn't fit. So if someone else wants to make this, that's my top tip. I also think this dress would look better with a larger/wider hem. Of course, I could be less lazy and just measure the pattern pieces before cutting, but you all know I am not that diligent.
At least I tried to be accurate and really take my time with the construction, so I am happy with that.
I also liked the finishing. It is unlined, but has french seams just about everywhere, and bias binding on neck and arm openings, so not a raw edge in sight!
Because of the low split in the back bodice, it was hard finding undergarments that wouldn't show. The pattern suggest a hook and eye to close it but I like the open slit effect. I guess I will need to get a low backed bra of some sort. Or just go without. I don't have much to throw around anyway!
All in all, very happy with my first go at this pattern. It is an easy, wearable and flattering style, and I think it is a pattern that can easily be altered and customized to one's liking. It can also be dressy or more casual with the right fabric choices, in silk and maybe with a bolero for evening, or a cotton version with a light cardigan for a more relaxed style. Endless possibilities!
So, have you got your spring sewing going? I see lots of dresses in the near future!