The Vogue V1102 has been pinned to my “dress patterns that I love” Pinterest board for quite some time, and seen as my 40th birthday is fast approaching (less than 6 weeks away eeekkkk) I thought that it was the perfect time to make it.
I was super pleased when Sew Essential offered to collaborate with me on my next project, now I just had to choose my fabric.
My favourite fabric to work with is cotton lawn, it’s super easy to sew with but has great fluidity and drape, it’s so so comfortable to wear.
I was looking for the perfect fabric to compliment the V1102 , so I thought that I would check out Sew Essentials range of cotton lawn. They had a variety of Liberty of London fabrics (at great prices too) which is normally my go to fabric, and I very nearly went for this one, but I fell in love with their floral circles lawn, it’s so adorable, each circle is like a season, making this dress perfect for any time of the year.
When the fabric arrived I was a little anxious about whether the quality would live up to the Liberty standard, and it certainly did, it’s so crisp but also drapes so beautifully too, it washed and pressed really well and was a dream to sew.
What I love about this pattern is that it is a simple shape, a simple bodice and a circle skirt, but then there is the back...
Wow, that bow! Just amazing.
Ok, so let me tell you a bit more about the pattern.
I took my body measurements and I fitted into the Vogue size 12 according to the size guide, this surprised as I’m normally in the size 8 range on indie patterns, However, I had read that “the big 4” do tend to add lots of ease to their patterns, so I thought that I’d better make a toile.
I’m so glad that I did as it was definitely too big! Just generally big all over, but especially at the back, the back length was way too long making it sit in the wrong place.
I decided to cut out a size 10 instead of 12, and I then reduced the back shoulder length by 2cm, now the back fits well, I do have broad shoulders but the beauty of this dress is that you can simply tighten or loosen the bow.
The bodice stitched together really easily and quickly, it’s self lined so you basically make it up twice, then stitch them together, understitch and turn right side out.
Then I moved onto the bow. The pattern instructs to make the bow from a single layer of fabric that is hemmed all around the edge, but I didn’t like the idea of this as the wrong side of the fabric would look like the wrong side of the fabric (unlike a satin for example where you wouldn’t really notice), so I decided to line my bow with white fabric (unfortunately I didn’t have enough of the main fabric to do it double faced).
I think that the bow looks so much better lined, however there is a consequence!
I found that when I wear the dress, the weight of the bow pulls it back a little, resulting in it gaping a bit at the neckline. I’m not sure whether this is due to my idea of lining it, or whether this would happen anyway, but I guess the added weight of the bow didn’t help.
I didn’t stress out about this though, instead I just added a couple of pleats at the front of the neckline to reduce the gape, now it’s perfect!
Another change that I made is to add pockets, I’ve only ever made one dress without pockets and oh how I missed them, I just didn’t know where to put my hands, so now I always add in seam pockets.
This dress was such a pleasure to make, and it really did not take long at all, I had it cut out and constructed within about 4-5 hours.
Can we just take a moment to appreciate the pattern matching here! I'm not sure if I do this in the proper way, but it works for me, this is how I pattern match (be warned that there are no pretty pictures, this was a quick tutorial that I did for a lovely lady who needed a little help with pattern matching!
I think that I will make a petticoat to go underneath to give the skirt a little "constant volume" and "twirlability".
I would definitely recommend this pattern and the lovely fabric from Sew Essential, but definitely make a toile of the bodice and perhaps start by sizing down a size.
I received the fabric and pattern for free in return for writing this blog post, so I am super thankful to Sew Essential and love how the dress turned out.
Now I'm off to my works Christmas doo, yay to having a new dress to wear!!
This will probably be my last post until after Christmas, so enjoy the festivities and I can't wait to share my projects in the new year.