Despite our beautiful Florida spring weather – 78 degrees, windy, low humidity – I decided to use a very autumnal fabric for my a muslin of this interesting pattern by Kathryn Brenne. It’s a nice rayon crepe from Fabric Mart, but my investment was only $6.40 – I was willing to sacrifice it if this dress didn’t work for me.
I was familiar with the skirt, having used a version of it in my recent make of V8577. It’s big and bias-cut! This pic shows just one piece (two are used), on my 38″ x 72″ cutting board. It was such a pain to cut out, but it makes a beautiful skirt.
The bodice is actually a fun project all by itself – lots of drape, bias cuts, slippery fabric, and pleats. And, of course, I just had to use ‘regular’ sleeves.
Note: Speaking of sleeves, I’m fully aware of the current
mania trend for all kinds of creative sleeves. But I generally know what will work for me. It happens that I really like the flutter sleeves, but not on this print. And maybe a little longer.
The cut-on front facings are inspired, and they completely prevent an unwanted glimpse of the inside of the bodice. Great drafting.
The bodice looks a little tipped in these pics, but it’s because I do an adjustment for a right sloping shoulder, something that Emile doesn’t have 🙂
Just a few sewing notes:
- I sewed the size 14, and it’s close to a perfect fit. I forgot to add 1″ to the bodice, a usual adjustment for me with Vogue patterns, and had to ‘short’ the bodice allowance in the waistline seam.
- The skirt is actually too short for me! It’s about 5.5″ longer at center back and center front than at the sides, puddles of fabric, and too short at the sides for the length I want. It happened on my V8577 version as well, and another reviewer mentioned the same thing, so it’s not my sewing or fabric. Bias-cut skirts are tricky. I’ll alter the skirt pattern next time I use it, it’s an easy fix:
- To achieve a roomier casing for the waistline elastic (I used 1/2″, not 1/4″ elastic), I used a 1″ seam allowance to attach the skirt. Prepping the casing:
- I also drafted a 3″ wide facing for the back neckline. The instructions call for a bias strip, doubled, and applied to the neckline as a facing. And I think the latter would be a good way to stabilize the neckline on a really lightweight fabric like chiffon or challis. A facing is a reasonable alternative for a heavier fabric, as it adds fewer layers to the shoulder seam.
So, final thoughts. I enjoyed sewing this pattern. The drafting is so nice, and I think it delivers on its promise – my dress looks just like the pics and line art. However, I’m not enjoying the style on me or the feeling that it’s a little fussy to wear. The elastic shifts, the bodice blouses, the waistline slips up and down under the belt – it’s distracting. I don’t think I’ll sew it again. But I’m sure I’ll reuse elements of the pattern, and this dress will reappear as something else in the fall!