Pattern Description: From Vogue Pattern’s website – Fitted, tapered dresses A, B, C, mid-knee length, have pleated front neckline and darted back with zipper. A: sleeveless, finished with purchased bias tape. B: below elbow length sleeve. C: full length sleeve. I made View B.
Sizing: 6-20. I made a 14, but used a 12 at the shoulders.
Fabric Used: Fancy Italian RPL in Orange. I really love this fabric. You can’t tell very well from the pictures, but it has a subtle texture to it. It also has about 25% stretch in the cross-grain, so it will work for this dress. It is probably a little heavier than Vogue intended, but I worked around that (see construction notes).
Needle/Notions Used: 22 inch invisible zipper. Stretch 75/11 needle.
Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes
How were the instructions? Mostly okay, but squidbrained about one thing. I swear, Vogue cuts and pastes their instructions from files that were first written in the 1970s (and you have to understand that I love Vogue Patterns despite this). How else to explain the use of neckline facings on this design?? I groused to my friend Emmett about this earlier this week. No one in RTW uses facings like they do in commercial patterns. Why can’t the pattern companies catch up? Grrr….. Anyway,
Construction Notes: The dress went together very easily. Please note that the “figure flattery chart” shows that this is a good design for hourglass and inverted triangle shapes. I’m an inverted triangle. I think if you have any hips at all, you need to do some serious fitting, even if you are using a jersey. This baby doesn’t like hips. I had been forewarned about this, which is why I checked the pattern measurements against mine. If you have hips, you might want to consider morphing the neckline onto a different dress.
I did not, for once, need a FBA with this pattern. That was a lovely surprise that I discovered when I made the bodice muslin.
Any changes? As I mentioned, I decided against using the facing pattern pieces that came with the pattern. The reason is that the pleating at the neckline leads to lots of layers of fabric. Check this out:
It may be a little difficult to make out, but at the CF neckline, when the pleats are done there are 6 layers of fabric. Can you imagine sewing that to an interfaced facing, turning and folding? We’re talking what, 14 layers? Hello Vogue? Can you see the steam pouring out of the hapless sew-er’s ears who hasn’t got a lot of experience? Even if you use a thin jersey (I don’t recommend it with this pattern), that’s more layers than any amount of understitching will hold down.
So what’s a girl to do? I used a neckline binding. To do this, I basted along the seam allowance at the neckline. I cut a 1 1/2 inch bias strip of self fabric the length of my neckline opening plus 2 inches. I pinned this to the neckline edge, lining it up with the basting. I sewed it with a 1/4 inch seam. I trimmed the neckline seam allowance to match up to the edge of the binding.
I like this finish because it minimizes bulk and still keeps a clean look to the neckline. I’ll finish the top of the neckline with a hook and eye. But it turns out I am completely out of those for the first time ever in my sewing life.
Likes/Dislikes: I really love the form-fitting nature of this dress, and I adore the neckline detail (a direct nod to the dress Michelle Obama wore on her first visit to the White House). Other than the facings issue, I don’t dislike anything about this. It’s a very straightforward design that looks great on.
Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I may do it again, and I do recommend it, with the fitting and neckline caveats.
Conclusion: I’m going to pair this with my Stuart Weitzman sand suede pumps and a fabulous scarf. I’m going to be so stylish at the clinic!
Here are pictures of the front and back on Shelley
Wow, that’s bright!