I love a good wrap dress. They can be casual or dressy and flatter so many body shapes. So when Vogue released 1257 I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Lucky for me this was released as Australia headed into summer so it didn't get made up straight away and I got to benefit from other people's experiences. Unfortunately I had one of those moments when you put on the finished item and groan. It's just not for me. I'm not sure why, maybe I'm too covered up, but this dress makes me feel very matronly.
Doesn't look too bad...
No. No good.
If you've looked at this pattern on Pattern Review then you'll know that the sleeves run super narrow. I'll also say that this is one of the most bulky dresses that I've made in a long time. Often the pleats overlap and then have a facing or another layer over the top again. Way too much fabric and no easy way to trim away the bulk like you could with a dart.
The 'knot' before the band is applied
So what adjustments did I make? First off I added some extra inches to accommodate my height; 1-1/4 inches was added to the body and the sleeve hem and 2 inches to the skirt hem. Also, to reduce bulk I didn't use the bias binding on the front cuts for the band, and I reduced the band size to eliminate the gathers. With all the pleats at the front 'knot' there are 9 layers of fabric before you add the band. Then you have to sew it to the bodice with all its pleats and facing - they're so many layers my machine couldn't handle it.
The waist seam where the knot meets the pleats
After reading all the reviews I decided I could tackle the problem sleeves in two ways. I could remove the sleeve from the bodice front and add a separate sleeve (Vogue 8387 was suggested as a possible template) or I could increase the width of the sleeve. I played around with 8387 but I just didn't feel like it looked right so I decided to add some extra width to the sleeve. I cut all of the dress as a size 14 except the sleeve which I took out to a size 20. I forgot to adjust the armhole curve so there is a lot of ease in my sleeve cap!
Also, you might have noticed that I've added a tab to the top of my blog. This is my electronic list of all the garments I'd like to make for Autumn/Winter (I've got a little notebook too that I take to fabric shops) I doubt I'll get everything made but it's fun to dream! No point moping, I'm off to start my next project.