Saturday, August 13, 2011

Black Swiss Dot Dress

Vogue 8554 (Out of Print) Sorry for the blurry picture.

It's been awhile! The baby is in the stage where he cries hysterically unless you are holding him and walking around at the same time. It isn't very conducive to sewing! I'm hoping this stage won't last long!

I originally had this dress in mind for a wedding I had to attend. However, I left it to the last minute and ended up with so many fit issues and alterations that I didn't end up wearing it to the wedding after all. In the end, I'm pleased with the way it came out but once again I have learned my lesson- that I should have made a muslin. Yes, it's an additional step that takes time. On the other hand, this one probably took me an additional 2-3 hours to rip out seams and take it in. Luckily, I was able to make this dress into something wearable. If it were a wadder, I would have wasted more time and money. And this has happened to me on more than one occasion... you would think that I would have learned my lsesson. So my late-mid-year resolution is to make a muslin with fitted or tailored garments.

Pattern Description: Fitted (through bodice), lined dress with gathers, midriff, flared skirt, top stitch trim, back zipper closing and mid-knee length. A: sleeveless, B: tulip sleeves.

I made view A.

Pattern Sizing: This pattern is available in sizes 6-22, I made an 18 but ended up taking it in quite a bit. I'm still adjusting to my post-maternity body and I'm not sure if this pattern runs quite large or I'm back to my pre-baby size 16.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were fine... this actually goes together quickly.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the wrapped empire bodice with the midriff band. I think this is flattering on a lot of different shapes and gives some nice waistline definition. I like the fact that this is fully lined. No dislikes.

Fabric Used: I used a black cotton swiss dot from Gorgeous Fabrics. I used a black bemberg lining, also from Gorgeous Fabrics. And I ultimately ended up using an invisible zipper. This fabric was a splurge for me and I ended up paying much more that I normally do... another reason I should have done a muslin!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I eliminated the pockets and top stitching. I had cut a size 18, got the dress all sewn up and had to end up taking in 5/8" on each side! The bodice and waistband had quite a bit of ease! Unfortunately, this meant unpicking the bodice from the waistband, including the lining, taking it in, and then sewing it back up again. In the end, I'm glad I made the alteration- it is much more wearable. The girls don't quite fill out the bodice though and it ends up gaping when I sit down or bend over. So I actually wear this with a camisole underneath. As for the length, I took up an additional inch for the hem.

As for the zipper- although I almost always use invisible zippers, I went with a conventional zipper. Try as I might, I could not sew the zipper in without the seams shifting and making the dress look very homemade. I never have this problem with invisible zippers. They are always easy to install (with the correct presser foot) and create a nice, clean look. So I ended up going back to the invisible zipper.

After my zipper issues with this dress, I was thinking I will switch from back zippers to side zippers when I can. I think this would be even more RTW looking then the back zipper.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? In the end, this is a cute dress and I would recommend it to others. I probably won't sew it again, just because I don't need more than one.

Conclusion: Overall, I am happy with the dress. The swiss dot is light and summery and the shape is very flattering. I was spoiled before by being able to sew a straight 16 with any of the Big 4 pattern companies and having it fit with very few alterations. I know now that I will need to do some more fitting and therefore must make a muslin with fitted garments.


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