This past weekend I spent most of my time sewing for my Fearless February challenge (which I’ll talk about in a separate post), but I also made progress finishing up some older projects. One of those was Vogue 8784. I started sewing View B of this pattern last fall and finally finished it! (Well, mostly. As you’ll see below – no need to hem or finish the sleeves!).
I used a lightweight stretch denim for this dress. It’s a really dark blue with a nice stretch. I thought View B would work really well for work – dressed up or down, it would have lots of flexibility.
When I got started with this project I really took my time. I laid everything out, used tailors tacks to transfer all the markings and then started sewing. Then I got to the part about the lining. Oops! I overlooked the fact that this was a lined dress and for that reason, this project was shelved for several months (I hadn’t bought lining fabric and was intimidated by the thought of having to deal with one). This project really haunted me. I had started out so well with it, I really wanted to see this through.
By the end of 2012, having gained some new confidence sewing with “slippery” fabrics (Thank you, Sarah Veblen!), I tackled the lining and really got going. This weekend I finally finished it up.
Here’s what I have to say about my experience with this pattern:
First, it comes together really well. The directions are very clear and easy to follow, particularly as it relates to putting in the lining. The pattern is rated “Very Easy”, but like many other reviewers, I don’t really agree with that. It wasn’t difficult, but if a first time sewer was picking this up, it would be a challenge for sure! I was really pleased with how this came together. At first glance, it looks cute – don’t you think?
With this project, I’ve really learned how important it is to pay attention to the design details of a pattern and consider them for my body type. This dress (View B) is described as “semi-fitted, front pleated skirt and stitched hem line and sleeve hem.” I should have noted the “front pleated skirt” part more carefully. I do NOT need front pleats. As a lined dress with 2 layers of fabric and pleats (4 actually because of the wrap front) – here’s what it looks like from the side:
No, I’m not pregnant. And no, this dress will not be going anywhere on me! I tried.
The upside to this experience is that I made a dress that was lined and actually succeeded! I’m really pleased with how my sewing turned out, I just don’t like the style on me. Here’s what I learned:
- Really taking your time to cut and mark your pattern pieces accurately makes a big difference in how easy something will come together.
- I now know I can tackle a lined project and while it adds more steps, it’s totally something I am capable of doing. No more reason to avoid patterns with “lined” garments.
- Fabric choice is very important. As mentioned, I sewed this dress in a very lightweight stretch denim. Even though it is lightweight, it somewhat is stiff and doesn’t drape well. My lining is also a bit heavy – not really stiff, but I’m sure I could have found a lighter weight lining. These two things combined with a wrapped, pleated front was too much!
- Consider pattern design features to be sure it offers a look that will work on MY body. I saw the pleats on View B, but didn’t really consider how it would look on me, particularly given my fabric choice.
The downside to this experience – it’s not wearable on me, but maybe it will work for someone I know!
Pattern Description: Per the Vogue Patterns website: MISSES’ DRESS: Lined, wrap dress has close-fitting bodice with front tucks, back princess seams, side opening for tie ends, and topstitching. A: narrow hem. B: semi-fitted, front pleated skirt, and stitched hemline/sleeve hem. I made View B.
Pattern Sizing: E5 (14-16-18-20-22)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, pretty much.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Very clear and very easy to follow, particularly in following how to do a full lining (minus sleeves).
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This dress came together really well. It was easy to sew and I was really pleased with how it turned out. There really isn’t anything I disliked about the pattern, but I didn’t like how it ended up looking on me and I think I could have done a better job with fabric selection, given the style.
Fabric Used: Dark navy lightweight stretch denim from JoAnn’s
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I sewed a 16 top and 18 bottom. I lengthened the sleeves, the bodice and the skirt all by 1 inch. I skipped the collar and, because of how it looked after getting the lining in, I didn’t bother hemming or finishing the sleeves.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? No, I won’t sew it again. It’s a good pattern, but this style does not work for me. There are many other pattern options for wrap dresses using lightweight fabric that are unlined – and if I want to sew another lined dress, it won’t be a wrap style.
Conclusion: This is a good pattern, but it did not work for me.