Definitely Not a Sack of Potatoes… a Frolicking Frock!


Vogue 1236 - Definitely not a Sack of PotatoesMeet Vogue 1236 a DKNY design described as ‘loose-fitting dress’ but I call it my Definitely Not a Sack of Potatoes… a Frolicking Frock.

The pattern envelope did not promise great exciting things as the fabric chosen by Vogue was a little ‘beige/dull’ for me – especially on a beige background. I might not be as sophisticated as these Vogue peeps, but I’m with Lladybird, the Vogue styling department’s choices are just ‘blah’ sometimes (and this image always makes me giggle – great dress but does she need to wee!?).

I believed there lurked a Frolicking Frock within that beige envelope. I also found some appealing reviews on Pattern review, like this one and this one…  which made me think I was not completely delusional. It also helps when you stumble across a fabric which screams from the bolt ‘buy me buy me‘! Is it just me that fabric talks to??

It’s rated as ‘very easy’ and that’s an understatement. I personally think my friends who claim they cannot sew on a button could cope with this… then again perhaps I’m being generous…. the only vague tricky bit was marking the pleats using tailor’s tacks, pins etc (since I had no tailor’s chalk at hand – a problem since rectified). However if you can transfer pattern marks, fold fabric so lines meet and baste… well what’s about as tricky as this dress gets. It’s Dressmaking for Dummies 101. There were no DOH! moments for me.

There are no zips, no buttons, no fasteners (I omitted the lingerie straps as I am a complete hussy – and Vogue/DKNY, the shoulder straps are just not that skinny to warrant them!). There is also no back skirt split.

I’ve read patterns reviews and blogs where about people complain about Vogue instructions but I have not needed a degree in rocket science to complete my last two projects. Perhaps I have been lucky?? Is something sinister waiting just around the corner??

I forgot to mention! There are pockets. Lovely pockets. TWO lovely pockets.

I was very very naughty and did not make a muslin despite my passionate love of this fabric. Risky I know – but I like livin’ on the edge. Crazy stuff. I did hold my breath the first time I slipped it over my head – I think it fits OK over the booty department?

Nothing fancy in the finishing department, I made this before the Tardis Skirt  revealed the beauty of Hong Kong finishes. However I’m quite happy with the machine neatening as the fabric is not a frantic frayer and, while the dress is delightful, it doesn’t really merit much more. It’s a Frolicking Frock.

I did cheat a bit and just cut a piece out for the belt on the fly with no pattern piece. Hello? Tie belts are not that tricky. It was long enough to tie in a simple knot which I prefer to a bow. I wanted to preserve as much of this fabric as possible for a Sorbetto as it’s just scrumptious (if fact I purchased it in black as well for Vogue 1220 but that’s another post (once I make it of course)! I got it at Spotlight, yes shock horror, but it’s lovely quality. The pattern could be described as finely cross-hatched blue lines with very subtle floral design elements. So subtle I did not realise until I got the fabric home!

We took some photos on the back deck in the morning but the light was bad (and I cannot ever claim to be a ‘morning person’) or we could need a new camera… there was also some debate with Miss 9 as to whether the fabric belt or the big brown leather one looked best. The jury is still out… which belt do you think works best?

Later in the day I took the little hound (Banjo our wicked little whippet) and little people to the ‘dog beach’. Miss 9 took some pictures for me – on the phone as we arrived at the beach to find the camera battery was flat. Perhaps that was my DOH! moment of the pattern.Vogue 1236: beach test drive

It’s just over 4 weeks to winter here and clearly the weather is terrible… LOL not. The kids spent an hour in the water.

This is a great dress for me. I love dresses I can cinch in at the waist and create a little bit more shape. What I don’t like is baggy dresses that turn me into a short sack of potatoes or a plank hidden in an empty potato sack – there is a fine line between potato sacks and ‘loose-fitting dresses’ in my wardrobe world.

I’ve also worn it to work with a jacket and heels – and got lots of ‘where did you buy that dress? Cute!’ which left me rather chuffed! Happy hand clapping noises.

FROLICKING FROCK Vogue 1236 – big tick of approval.

I have a very cute bird print voile – which I am tempted to make into this dress but I’m concerned it might be too lightweight… and it’s far too cute to waste…

BIG NEWS – I purchased an invisible zipper foot for my Bernina. V.exciting… and it’s the weekend tomorrow…

Next, I think I might share my Lisette Passport dress. I woke up on ANZAC Day and decided I could not live with the lapped zipper job I had done – awful! So I ripped it out for the third time and sewed it back in as a centred one. Still not fabulous but it is better. This is unheard-of behaviour, in a former life I would have binned it!

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20 thoughts on “Definitely Not a Sack of Potatoes… a Frolicking Frock!

  1. I love your version, very cute. So you made a size smaller than your usual Vogue size or the same? Because it looks a bit baggy on the sleeve. Also, I would like to suggest adding the pattern *number* to the tags, it helps with the searches.

    • Excellent suggestion! Thanks, I’m new to this blogging caper as well as the sewing one so all suggestions welcome! Should I just use the four digits or put the V in front of them?
      I’m not sure what my usual Vogue size is yet but the 8 is as small as this pattern goes. I definitely needed the 8 in the child-bearing hips department!
      Looking at the pictures I see what you mean… although I like the looseness of this as it gets hot and humid where I live and close-fitting armholes in summer get smelly 😉
      I’m also waiting on a book to arrive re pattern fitting which will help me.
      Please come back for the Passport dress, it’s a different type of fit under the arms and I think it’s too snug but I could just not be used to it. I’d be interested to see what you think.
      Thanks for dropping by!

  2. What a terrific dress! I completely understand about the fine line between a classic, loose-fitting dress and a potato sack. I have to be very careful with this too, as the style can be overwhelming on me. You rock this dress and it looks fab on you!

    • Thanks. Just found your blog and subscribed. Yes, there is a fine line! While I am blessed with skinny genes, clothes can swamp me and I’ve learnt over the years what works and what definitely doesn’t! Certainly means sewing my own clothes is proving more ‘hit’ and less ‘miss’!

  3. What a beautiful frolicking dress! There’s something to be said for a very easy pattern every now and then btw, I rarely bother with a muslin either. .. 🙂

  4. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is wonderful blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

  5. What a great little dress; I like it so much more than the pattern envelope! BTW I just discovered your blog via Pattern Review (the Cambie dress) and I’ve now following you – love your blog!

    • The pattern envelope is so drab! Some days I wonder why vogue makes it do hard to like their patterns! They have great lines and instructions but terrible fabric choices and bizarre poses. Thank heavens for line art.

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