Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Vogue 1228 -- Shift Dress


This is the first woven dress I've made in a while; it is Vogue 1228.  I believe it's also the first Vogue pattern I've tried (although it's a designer -- Vena Cava -- it's still labeled 'easy').  I liked that it was a little artsy but wearable.  (The artsy part is not the fan blades emerging from my head.  A lack of willing and able photographers has reduced me to mirror self-portraits.  I think I need to get a tripod.)

The pattern I had only went up to a size 14.  I thought I had read that Vogues ran a little smaller than the other big pattern companies, so after cutting the 14 out (I didn't trace it since it was the largest size and all the other sizes were still preserved on the original pattern), I pinned the front to the back along the seam line, and "tried it on," so to speak. I just did not feel comfortable that it was going to reach around me all the way without being too tight.  So I added an inch to each side, front and back. I also added two inches to the length, just to be on the safe side.
You can see where I added along the side (top) and where I cut the pattern apart to add the length
I had also read the neckline was too wide and low, so I redrew the neckline in another centimeter or so on either side, and drew it a centimeter higher.  After making it, I think the low factor is more of a problem for women with a bigger bust.  Not sure that was a necessary fix for me;) I also left out the side zipper because it is easy to just pull on over the head.

The fabric I used was a blue paisley-ish polyester peachskin from Joann.  I used a microtex needle and had no problems with any of it except for the hem.  This is the second time I've tried to hem a peachskin dress (I never got the first dress right and it ended up in the giveaway pile).  I could not get this dress hemmed right either.  After ripping out the hem I did by hand -- which was lumpy and bumpy -- I finally just turned it under and sewed a narrow hem by machine.

As far as the sewing directions, there are a few unusual details that I had to think through, mostly the horizontal pleat that runs across the front and the back.  If you change the depth of the neckline that changes it a little bit.  Most of the seams are French seams, which I liked, but that makes it a little more difficult to fit as you go.
A close-up of the sleeve detail --the horizontal pleat is at the bottom of the neckline
I may make it again in the spring, with a silkier fabric that has a little more drape.  The peachskin worked fine but has more structure when sewn up than you might think.

And here's my forgot-to-turn-off-the-flash first photo:
Blogging is no simple activity.  In addition to working on my computer skills, I now need to work on my photography skills.  Maybe it will sharpen my brain:)


  1. It came out really nice and I especially love the color on you. I could never make clothing so I envy you these skills.

  2. I do love the way you tinker with patterns to adjust to the precise look and fit you are after. Artsy but wearable is great news and this dress is absolutely that. You look great in it! Well done for persevering with the tricksy bits! I used to trace patterns all the time when H was small so that I could use the next size up on the same patterns when he had grown a bit but had got lazy and not bothered recently. You have encouraged me to return to this method and you're right, it's easier to annotate etc. And patterns in books of course you have to trace in order to use at all unless you want to cut the book up! E x

  3. Well go girl!!!!!!! I am laughing on the unwilling photographers, that is why we never have any pictures showing that I am at any event, and yet, they all own expensive me next time and I will come take it

    This looks are defining the art of making clothes...and dresses...oh my, I need to pull out those skills again, well after the chair gets finished

  4. That turned out beautiful! I can't recall using a Vogue pattern myself.

  5. What a pretty dress! I am soooo impressed with your ability to alter a pattern and have it all turn out so lovely...something that you'd be proud to wear!

  6. I just started cutting out a dress in that same paisley fabric from Joann's =) I was searching google images to see if anyone else had made something in this fabric to see how well it worked out, and yours looks great! I'm using a butterick pattern, and i hope this fabric cooperates =)


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