Ok, I know you saw this dress yesterday, but this is the “formal review”, so bear with me! This is the second time I’ve made up this dress. I originally purchased this tie-dye rayon-lycra jersey in pumpkins and mauves to make this design, but then I fell in love with Vogue 1250 – a new 2011 Donna Karan design – and thought I’d give it a try. You can read my review and see the disaster for comparison.
Anyways, I dismantled the V1250 dress, rummaged through my stack of cutting leftovers on my sewing table and found the extra yardage and bits and pieces. Boy, was I thankful to find that I had probably about 60 cm of length uncut. And then I was doubly thankful to find that the hemline of V1250 was a perfect match for the tie-dye design as the edge of my remnant! So I stitched them together and pieces a couple of other little areas to make up the humungo pattern piece that comprises the skirt front, skirt back and the front bodice. I also had to piece the back down the centre to get the width and length. The back piece wraps around to the front at the waistline, unlike the back from V1250.
I wasn’t sure the tie-dye thing would work, but given the fabric used on the pattern model (see it here) I thought it would be cool. But I didn’t know it would turn out as interestingly as it did! I mean, I totally love the back of this dress! It’s so darn interesting with the way the lines meet, and it looks so (IMHO) flattering compared to the previous disaster!
Fabric: rayon-lycra tie-dye from Emma One Sock
Alterations: A few, since this was the second go at this dress. I cut two sizes smaller for the shoulder-waist length only. In other words, I cut a size 12 at the shoulders and tapered it out to the size 16 for the remainder of the dress. The two sizes down gave me the 2" shortening that I need in the bodice length. That was the only cutting alteration I did.
Once the dress was sewn up and I put it on, there were a few things that became apparent. First, the weight of the jersey really pulled down at the front hemline. The pleats are stitched to the front of the lining at the waistline, but I stitched mine at the top of the lining piece, which hits just below my bust. That made the skirt hang straight. This was something that I didn’t do for the first version, and just cut off the excess prior to hemming, something that bugged me ever since I did it. But this one I did “properly” so the grain is straight all around the skirt. In the pic below, my fingers are resting at the marked stitching line for the pleats. Mine are stitched (messily) just below the hem at the top of the lining.
I also sewed up the armholes a good 3 inches more than the pattern stated. This seems to be a common adjustment, although some sewers have been happy putting in a little extra piece under the arm. I didn’t want to do that because of the tie-dye. But that created a problem, namely, the front pieces, which simply criss-cross at the center front and opened to my navel! Umm…. nope. Not at my stage in life, even if I’m wearing something pretty by Aubade. I suppose I could have just used double-sided tape to hold everything on, but who want’s that hassle? Leave it to the celery-shaped starlets. I needed a different solution.
First I just pinned where the fronts crossed over and fell-stitched it together by hand, but it pulled out of shape and looked like it had been stitched in place. Bad bad bad…. This is because I should have done an FBA, and didn’t. But then a light bulb went on.
At Step 22 in the instructions, the side edges of the the F&B (front & back piece) are stitched together (see highlighted area above)… and then attached as one piece to the side of the back bodice. This actually puts a double layer of fabric over the bust line – sort of like a built-in self facing. And it means the potential for twice the width across the bust. So I slashed the facing free from the side seams and arranged it over the bust, following the draping of the fronts.
Would I recommend this pattern? Yes. Definitely. You may need to tweak it a little to get the exact fit you want (and the coverage!) but it’s definitely a flattering dress with all the draping.
Oh! And in Me Made June news for Day 6…..
Outfit: Dress from OOP Vogue 2684. Red pique and bemberg lining.
Activities: blogging, sewing, cleaning, providing taxi service for children
Thoughts: This is my throw-it-on-and-run-errands dress. It’s cool, comfortable and putting on means I don’t have to think about what I look like. That’s the beauty of dresses – no thinking required (except for what’s on your feet). I like the design, and although I did an FBA, because it’s an empire cut I would add and extra inch or two at the bottom of the bodice so that it sits in the proper position properly instead of almost sitting below the bust.