When Vogue 1351 was released, I was underwhelmed. The styling, the fit and photography – it does the dress no favours – I look at the models and think EAT A HAMBURGER & STAND UP STRAIGHT! Despite that I kept returning to it, perhaps because I am a cowl junkie (see here, here and here for evidence)…
I’m glad I did. It’s simply lovely. It’s not fancy, it’s not attention seeking… it’s just quietly ‘there’. Simple clean lines…
I know that bias-cut patterns scare some people. However the simplicity of this dress means that the construction is simple, there are minimal seams to stretch out, very few seamlines to match. The skirt skims and flares. The bodice is simple and drapes. The fit is not complex. I love bias.
This triple crepe fabric is quite heavy but falls nicely. I think the weight of the fabric lends itself well to a bias cut as it’s more forgiving over any lumps or bumps than a clingier knit fabric.
Here is the good news…
- Lining: 5 pieces & Shell: 5 pieces.
- Zip: invisible
- Just two darts in the front bodice lining. There are no tucks, no pleats.
The dress is beautifully lined. The cowl attaches to the lining and the inside of the dress is fabulous.
You could just line the bodice if you are not a lining fan.
I adore the colour of this fabric – it’s not too purple if that makes sense. And there have been two recent Minerva makes from exactly the same shade of triple crepe – there is something about the aubergine (Kathryn’s New Look dress * Laura’s Lisette Dress)… I almost made this in ‘jade’ which I think would be gorgeous… and black would be absolutely perfection as a LBD…. note to self: make this in black…
Lining a sleeveless dress is a little bit fiddly. I needed to concentrate (ie not tweet) when attaching the cowl to the lining and bodice – and joining the shoulders.
I lined this dress with a heavier than usual ‘Italian anti static’ polyester/viscose lining. It was lovely to work with – and much easier to cut out and handle than bemsilk for a change.
Things I did differently..
- The patterns asks you to sew above and below where you insert the zip. It’s an invisible zip and I could see no good reason to make the zip insertion more difficult. I inserted it as per a usual invisible zip insertion and sewed the seam above and below the zip afterwards.
- I also found sewing the lining to the dress waistline very tricky after sewing the lining to the zipper tape. I would sew the lining to the waistband first next time… I think!
This dress construction is not rocket science. It’s simple yet lovely. It doesn’t need a billion pleats, pockets or design features. It just is what it is and it works.
Things I would do differently…
I should have interfaced the seam where the zip is inserted. It does ripple slightly. Not enough to be a bother but I do notice it.
The pattern features a narrow rolled hem. My last Minerva project I showed how to do this – this time I used a rolled hem foot as I got one for my birthday in November (tricky getting around the side seams though!). At first I didn’t like the rolled hem. I thought the crepe was too heavy for it… but looking at the photos I love the subtle fluting it creates so I think I will leave it. The other way to finish this hem would be creating a facing as Sam, another Minerva Blogger, did with her pink crepe skirt.
I’m lucky enough to be able to stop at the beach after work and stroll across the sand like this… I know, life is tough…