Monday, May 19, 2014

Sewing Class: Birthday Dress - Vogue 1353 Review

I did finish my birthday dress in time to wear it out for a group birthday dinner a week ago! Hooray for finished projects!

As I mentioned before, I used pattern V1353 for this dress. I decided to use a print fabric (from my stash!) to perfect the fit before I jumped to the yellow fabric I had earmarked for this. I figured the blue and white abstract floral print would better suit my current complexion, and hopefully by the end of May I would have a more yellow-dress-friendly tan to sport the second version of this dress to a cousin’s wedding. So here is the first finished dress. I have only barely started on the yellow one, but now that the pattern is tailored to my shape, it should be pretty quick. This fabric is not as soft as I might have preferred, but it was available and pretty.


I love the neckline pleats. The shape of this dress is such that you have to keep good posture (shoulders back!) for the front not to gape a little, but I found that to be a good thing. Others have noted that the shoulders are wide. That worked for me, but if you have narrow shoulders you may need to alter to compensate. They sat just right on me. The armhole fit was great, though some might find it too close fitting. Might be easily solved by making the top a larger size.


I found transferring all the markings to the fabric to be tedious, but they yielded a great result. Instead of using chalk or disappearing ink, I did thread marking. I am not sure where I read about that, but I am guessing it all comes down to Susan Khalje. Regardless, it was a simple and effective way to transfer markings to both sides of the fabric in an easy-to-remove way. But tedious.

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The instructions called for a saddle stitch with embroidery floss at the deep hem line, but I just did a machined triple stitch over the basting line. It worked for me, and gave the hem some subtle distinction. I would consider doing something else when I make the yellow dress, but I haven’t decided.


I made some small belt loops of embroidery floss for the “purchased belt” detail (belt was purchased from a thrift store). I love them together.


I fully lined the dress with some comfy white rayon challis (also from my stash!). I added lingerie snaps to keep bra straps in line with this wide shouldered dress. I like both the practicality and luxe.


The invisible zip went in like a charm, though the middle back where the bodice and skirt meet with a pleat meet was a challenge. Meh. It ended up fine so I won’t complain. I like the look, and it wasn’t as poofy as I feared after a brief bit of wear. I thought it was cute, flattering on my pear-shaped self, and easy to make. I look forward to getting a bit more sewing done this week and hopeful progress on the yellow dress, though we have some weekend plans that might halt progress. And so it goes…


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