Pages

Vogue 1257 - the problem child

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

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.

11 comments:

Sheila said...

Pretty dress and to minimize the matronly look... have you considered shortening the skirt hem and shortening the sleeves to 3/4 length?

Andrea B said...

I think it's such a pretty color. It'd probably be a stunning dress without the sleeves entirely!

Sassy T said...

Shiela's idea sounds good. Worth a try. Even if you just tack to see how it looks.

fabric epiphanies said...

I agree, I think it is the length that makes it look matronly and perhaps the length of the sleeves. Address these two problems and I think your dress has the potential to look lovely. Love the shoes though....if you can get your dress to a point you are happy with it, you have the perfect shoes to go with it!

Sassy T said...

Oops typo mean Sheila lol

Bernice said...

As I was reading this I was thinking you could always remove or shorten the sleeves...just like eveyone else. It's definitely worth giving it a go. Lovin' the shoes.

Looks like you'll be busy this season!

Sue said...

I was just going to say you could try shortening the sleeves to 3/4 length, but it looks like it has already been suggested a time or three :)

katherine h said...

I like Andrea's idea of doing away with the sleeves entirely. Then add a white necklace to give all that blue a bit of a lift, and you will be perfectly cute!

Sharon said...

Interesting, I'm also with Sheila for both the sleeves and hem length.

REally like your Autumn list, I'm still trying to work mine out.

Carolyn said...

Oh, it is a pity you don't love it because i agree with the ladies above that it does look like it has a lot of potential. Such a fabulous colour, and the draping is lovely. I think if the sleeves were shortened to three quarter length, the dress would look very chic.

Carolyn said...

I've been thinking more about your dress Robyn, and while I think shortened sleeves would be a good idea; I want to add that I think this length is already perfect for a winter dress and if the hem was shortened it might interfere with the inherent beauty of that gathered drape. So maybe just some tights and some more winter-y coloured pumps?

But I'm sure you'll come with a wonderful solution, this really is a beautiful dress and well worth keeping!