Mar 232013
 

After hardly sewing for the past two months, I have completed two dresses in the past three days!  One dress is awesome and I love it; the other dress is horrible and the fabric is back in my fabric stash.

First, the happy-making dress.

Pattern: V8663
Fabric: Knit jersey (2 yards leftovers from my Queen of the Mountains Top)
Notions: Thread, Twill Tape, Zipper
Total Time: 3 Hours
Total Cost: Pattern $3.99, Fabric from leftovers

I made this dress on Saturday, over the course of watching several episodes of some silly TV show.  I didn’t have enough of either fabric to make the full dress, so I combined the two fabrics just like I had for my Queen of the Mountains Top.  To be honest, I felt very unsure about this fabric combination while I was working on it; worrying that it would be some silly dress that I wouldn’t want to wear.  But I was pleasantly surprised when I first pulled it on… it fits perfectly without my having done any formal fitting or thinking very hard about what size to cut, and the fabric combination seems to work very well.

I cut the smallest size for the bodice and then graded out to a size 12 for the skirt.  It is just amazing to me that this dress seems to fit perfectly even though I didn’t do an SBA or anything fancy on the fit (I wonder if this is the magic of working with knit fabrics).  I love the drapey skirt and the fitted bodice. For the armholes and neckband, the pattern calls for using commercially-bought bias tape, however, I made my own using the same fabric as for the skirt.

Here’s the obligatory ‘back view’.  I am confident that I cut the right sizes for both the bodice and the skirt, as everything seems to hang just perfectly.

And below, I am doing a happy twirl dance to show off how much I love my new dress!!!

I made this dress with two modifications, for which I got the ideas from Reviews on PR.  Firstly, I didn’t add the zipper at the back.  As you can see in the below photograph, I cut the back bodice piece as though I was going to install a back zip, but later read about other sewists having good luck with not adding the back zip at all and decided to try that.  I sewed the bodice and the skirt together using a long stitch length and stretching the fabric slightly, and I am able to very easily pull the dress on and off without any zipper and it is awesome (please refer to my happy twirl above).

Secondly, and also inspired by other reviews on PR, I topstitched the front pleats on the bodice and I love the design detail that this gives the piece (see below).  In addition, I think this helps the bodice fit my bust better (rather than having extra poofy fabric, it lays flat against my torso).

Anyway, I seriously love this dress and will absolutely, positively be making more dresses from this pattern again.  It was SO EASY to make and it FITS PERFECTLY after no fitting alterations and is possibly THE MOST COMFORTABLE dress I have ever owned.  I just love love love it!

And here we have one thing that is not like the others, with Kiko getting comfortable in my “sewing queue.”  As you recall, I had written a post about my spring wardrobe plans, and the above dress allows me to mark off one item from that list.  Below, I can technically mark this next pattern off my list, though I do not feel that I have another dress that is suitable for me to wear in public…

Pattern: V1236
Fabric: Woven cotton, 1.5 yards
Notions: Thread
Total Time: 3 Hours
Total Cost:  Pattern = $3.99, Fabric = $10 = = $13.99

So, there are some unfavorable reviews of this pattern over on PR.  A few days ago, I decided to disregard all of those unfavorable reviews and make this dress.  I had this BRILLIANT idea that I could make it more flattering by adding shirring at the waistline.

…And I made the whole dress, with the shirring.  And then I tried it on.  And then I felt badly about myself.  And then I took the dress off.  And then I stuffed the dress at the bottom of my fabric leftover stashpile to be reclaimed for another project.  And I never want to think about that image I saw in the mirror of me wearing this dress, ever again.

The positive is that I learned how to do shirring, and I also learned that shirring is not a magic solution to a dress that fits like a potato sack.  I wasn’t even going to write a blog about this dress (in part because there is no way that I’m going to post a photo of me wearing it; it is so awful), but it feels like such a waste of time and fabric to have made this dress and not even show it off (if only a photo of it laying on my cutting board).  So, BEHOLD! I made this and it is awful!!!  But regale in my SHIRRING!!!

Anyway, I’m very disappointed in the result of this dress – - it looks so cute in the pattern photos but it looks so horribly atrocious on me.  And I think my fabric was so cute, that maybe it could have been such a great dress… you know, if the pattern wasn’t drafted to be the exact opposite style of what I should wear.  I think that this style of dress is best suited to people who are equally proportioned on top and on bottom.  As a “pear”, I generally cut a skirt that is about four sizes larger than my bust, and I usually have to grade the bust down with an SBA.  This dress seemed to emphasize the  disproportionate sizing between my bust and butt, and was incredibly unflattering on either end.

In order to end this post on a happy note, however, here is my happy twirl again.  Yay for being able to make clothing that is well-fitted and flattering to one’s own unique body!!!

  2 Responses to “~ Sewing FO’s: V8663 & V1236”

  1. Fantastic looking dress! Very nice use of contrasting fabric. I adore polka dots.

  2. I love the polka dot dress too! The contrast neck and armhole bands are a great touch. And now you know why I like to make knit dresses so much!
    I’m sorry the Vogue was a miss for you. I don’t love my version of that pattern, but it’s wearable. Your fabric is so great, though. Could you maybe just cut it off right above the shirring, finish the edge, and wear it as a skirt? I know what a pain shirring is to do, it’d be a shame to waste your work!

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