Thursday, November 1, 2012

Summer breeze

Now I know this is going against what I said about my seasonal sewing plans where I was only going to add plain colours to my wardrobe but I was working on this dress (I promise - I really was) before I decided on my plan.  The beautiful colours, which I might add, are perfect for my 'Cool Summer' colour palette that I talked about in this post, and the light fabric were just irresistible to me, they reminded me of a Summer breeze, so naturally I had to make something with it.  No?  The occasion - my granddaughter's Christening.

I have very few dresses in my repertoire and needed something special.  Dressy but not over the top.  Sooo... the search for a pattern started.  I eventually decided on Anne Klein for Vogue V1223.  When I found the fabric it seemed that they were just made for each other.  I carefully laid out the fabric in a single layer making sure I had it right before placing the pattern down all the same way.  After all I didn't want to get any back to front pieces now did I.  I cut the first piece; turned it over to mark darts etc and OMG!   I have cut it out on the wrong side of the fabric - well I think I have, more checking - yep I cut it on the wrong side.  You can see which side is which, can't you?  Neither could I.  I figured if I couldn't tell, nobody else could either so I continued cutting and yes, I made this dress wrong side out.

Wrong side - Right side (I think)
Fraying fabric
I don't know what the fabric is called but it's a polyester similar in weight to a Georgette (which frays a lot) and I lined it with a blue Sunsilky.  My review of this pattern is below.  I really like the pleat detail on this dress. Stitched down at the shoulder and again through the waist to hip on the front and back.  Very soft and floaty.

Bodice pleat detail

Waist pleat detail

But then there was a problem.  The design of the pattern pieces didn't allow for any length alterations for the short waist that comes with my vertically challenged figure.  So, I did a most unconventional alteration for the waist length.  I pulled the dress up and took it out from the shoulder.  I mean, everyone does this, right?  Well, maybe not, but hey - it worked for me.

Alteration for short waist

Now everything is sitting where it should be; waist at waist level and neckline not to low.  I did have one more problem.  Not enough time to let it 'hang' before stitching the hem.  It dropped a bit more during the week I was in Melbourne before the Christening.

This photo was taken the next day when I got home as I forgot to get a photo while I was wearing it.  Without make-up and hair not as well done.  I styled it with this green jacket, a black belt, jewellery and sandals and a blue bag.

Dress: Vogue V1223
Jacket: Katies
Belt: A new little shop in town - can't remember the name
Jewellery: Big W
Shoes: Zenzu from Faulls

Pattern Description:
Mid-knee lined dress, fitted at bust, has pleated front and back skirt, back zipper and very narrow hems
Pattern Sizing:
8-14, I made the 14
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes it did
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Mostly they were but they appeared incorrect for the pleating.  The instructions were telling you to sew the pleats down on the front when clearly on the envelope they were not.  The were correct for the back.  I also found them a little vague or incomplete when stitching the shoulder seams.  This is my first time lining a dress and couldn't quite figure out how it worked.  I finished by stitching the shoulder seams by hand.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I particularly like the pleat details but found them inclined to stretch out of shape a little while stitching them even though I was careful.  This could be because they are on the bias or it could have been the fabric I used.
Fabric Used:
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I always need to shorten the waist in patterns and this design does not lend itself to being shortened here.  So, as I usually find that I am short from the shoulder to the bust point not necessarily at the waist I removed an inch from the shoulder seams then reshaped the back neckline and the armhole.  This worked very well.
Would you sew it again?  Would you recommend it to others?
Probably not. I don't really need more that one dress in this style
A very nice dress which is comfortable to wear.


 Leaving you with a photo of my son and daughter-in-law and beautiful Liana.


  1. this is stunning - the pattern and faric - you look wonderful in it. well worth breaking those plans .

  2. Oh, your dress is absolutely stunning! That style is lovely on you. And I cannot tell the difference between the wrong side and right side either... I think you got it right!

  3. I saw that pattern and loved the pleats, but couldn't really visualise how it would work in real life. I think what you've done is gorgeous!

    Also the lifting up at the arms - I've been wanting to make New Look 6000

    which also has pleats across the waist and no really obvious way of shortening it between shoulders and waist. (I'm very short there, so I definitely need to shorted fitted styles too.)
    Maybe I could do the same with this pattern.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    And by the way the pattern and colours look wonderful on you. Suit you beautifully :-)

  4. That dress is so beautiful. I have always wanted to make this dress, but I was scared of the pleats. You have inspired me. The colours look good on you too.

  5. Love the colours and style of this dress on you. The pleats definitely make this dress shape well...J


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