Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Vogue 1117 - a dress for Mike's Wedding

So one of my very best friends from college got married the last weekend in August.  He married a girl who, although I only met her once, I can tell is absolutely perfect for him. They were married in a beautiful and perfectly quirky ceremony at the Housingworks Bookstore in New York.  (Seriously, if you are in New York, check them out... it is not only a great bookstore with friendly staff which also can be used as a gorgeous event space, but your patronage supports an excellent cause.)

Well clearly, such a lovely wedding justified a lovely dress and the opportunity to make good use of the beautiful watercolor floral I purchased abroad!  (Doesn't that sound glamourous in a weirdly 1880's sort of way?)  Given the fabric, I was picturing something like this, from Michael Kors...

Fortunately for me, Vogue released this very pattern a few years back which I had waiting in my stash for just the right occasion!

Isn't it odd how dowdy this dress looks in the pattern envelope picture... I mean, this is a sexy dress and somehow it looks like a burlap sack here? 
Now I knew from reading other reviews that this dress could be a bit fiddley when it came to inserting the side panels.  But it is generally a beautiful dress with a lovely fit.  And no need to to a FBA, I cut an 18 all around and other than adding about an inch of extra room to the back in the hip it fit beautifully. 
To create the side panels you first cut out a 2" bias square (I used the lining fabric) to add some extra heft to that tricksy inner corner (and to have something to stitch to!)

 Then you cut up to the point and flip the bias square to the inside.  This seems to be the bit that is confusing in the directions...

Here is the view from the right side...

Then you stich the side panel in, attaching it to the bias square in the corners.  

And again, from the right side...

Other than that, it's generally a pretty simple dress with some upscale details.  It has both a facing and a lining.
I have to admit that this does make for a prettier interior of the dress, but if I make it again for work or in a more casual fabric I would probably omit this extra step and do a normal (understiched) lining...
The front pleating on the skirt is also a pretty and flattering detail, especially if you wanted to hide a bit of extra "padding" in that region.

And while hand-stitching is generally my least favorite task, it really is worth it for a nice clean finish on the zipper and the hem.

In the end, I'm very pleased with my finished product.  Sadly, I did not get any pictures of me actually wearing the dress and my neglect in completing some details meant that a bit of over-exertion on the dance floor resulted in a "wardrobe malfunction."  The back slit split up to a level that was a bit more risque than is strictly appropriate.  (Guys, my spanks were totally showing... although on the other hand, thank goodness for spanks because without those dreadful bicycle shorts looking things it would have been really unfortunate.)



  1. I absolutely love it! This one is in my stash too, bought it a couple of months ago, when it was already out-of-print (sold out now) - really happy now I did. Thanx :)

  2. I love this pattern, Im just about to order it. you've done a great job and lovely choice of fabric.