I’ve had a few of these projects in the last 12 months, the things that just miss the mark. While I’m not ‘in love’ with this dress, I don’t dislike it terribly. It’s a fun design and I enjoyed making it.
While I used to berate myself for wasting fabric, bad choices and so on… I don’t feel that way any more. Every garment or project contains a lesson in itself, whether it is better understanding fabric choices, personal style, new construction methods and so on.
I’ve been on the hunt for some ‘pretty’ dress patterns. For casual ‘weekend’ clothes I prefer loose t-shirts, simple dresses, jeans, maxi skirts and so on. However the rest of my wardrobe is work/event/going-out and is quite different and I’ve been looking for dress patterns to refresh that part of my wardrobe.
I started with Vogue 1499, an Anne Klein design. Like many sewers, I’ve drawn to sewing with stripes. The fun you have stripe matching and the way stripes can quite alter your silhouette is endlessly fun.
The dress is described by Vogue as: Lined dress (partially cut on crosswise grain) has fitted bodice, cap sleeves, side-front and side-back seams, pleated skirt, and invisible back zipper. Note: No provisions provided for above waist adjustment.
While this double ikat (I think that is what is called when the stripes run both directions) is quite lovely, I think like the Burda shirt, the colour & design is just all wrong for me.
The fabric has been sitting in my stash for a couple of years so I was happy to use it.
The dress bodice and it’s cap sleeves are lined with a cotton lawn and I used bemsilk for the skirt lining. The skirt has separate pattern pieces to the pleated outer skirt and is a loose a-line shape.
I did iron this – however it got slightly crushed in the car driving into town to take some rushed photos after work. Plus I think the seat belt put a huge crease in the front bodice (these are compulsory in Australia). We had to try a few spots in the CBD to escape the ever-present wind at the moment.
What’s not quite right for me
I also think that this design would have looked much better in a smaller stripe. I’ve taken a pattern and sewn it in a very casual fabric and not quite achieved my usual ‘casual’ style or a dressy dress. Such is life!
The fit seemed quite roomy and I ended up having to unpick the neckline, add two back neck darts. The front bodice is still a little large at the neckline.
The sewn down pleats seem to length my already long torso and I am considering unpicking them.
The waistline, despite all those directional stripes, isn’t as flattering as I hoped. It seems to thicken my waist.
Maybe my shoulders are scrawny but the cap sleeves also seem a little too large.
It is an easy sew and spending some time, hand sewing some elements results in a really nice finish.
Despite not being my ‘dream dress’, I think it’s a lovely pattern and would be delightful on others. The bodice lines and the nice little bust darts are really lovely.
I think using some solid colour blocking on the side panels, rather than using stripes, could potentially look fabulous combined with a print.
I’ve since made Vogue 8997 and LOVE it so that’s coming to the blog very soon.
Pattern: Vogue 1499
Fabric: Cotton Ikat from Spotlight Australia
Also see: Amanda’s Adventures in Sewing | Pattern Review
this looks nice on you and better than it does on the pattern model
Thanks Carol 🙂
I agree, I like yours better than the pattern front. I think it looks just great, its a nice day dress and I wanted one just like it!
That’s a great description for it, ‘a day dress’ I like that.
I think you are being overly critical on yourself; it looks really nice on you.
I am a tough self critic! When I first made it I was very happy with it, but putting aside for a weeks has helped me have some distance & realise it’s better on me than I first thought. I think we are all guilty of being too self critical at times.
I think the sewn down pleats are throwing off the proportions of the dress. Definitely unpick them before giving up on this one! Love your fabric choice!
It is such a lovely casual fabric. I was a bit disappointed when I finished but it’s not ‘that bad’ and I think a session with the ‘unpicker’ might help.
I agree with Lisa – the bodice fit is terrific, and I’d be so keen to see it without the skirt pleats!
I’ve unpicked them… Still not sold but I might re-photograph and see what people think!
Just read this and your other Vogue posts – I see why you like Vogue patterns so much, they really suit you. Their designer line is fascinating, I love looking at my vintage designer Vogues. It’s ok to have ‘meh’ projects I reckon – I used to get hung up about them too, but now I just put them aside and move on to the next project.
Vogue has a lot to offer, everything from basics to highly detailed designer options. You’re right, they generally fit me well so I tend to be quite ‘faithful’ to them.
I figure it’s important to have the odd disaster or bad decision because sometimes the most unexpected things sing and you never find that out unless you take a gamble.
I totally agree with Lisa G-. In the photo, if not in person, the eye sees the waistline as the bottom of the stitched down pleats. This causes the ratio of the top to the bottom to be too similar. I’d definitely unpick some of the pleats to improve the proportion, but first I’d try it with a skinny belt to redirect the eye to your actual waist. I love both dresses!
I did try it with a belt however as the waist has quite a bit of ease the belt doesn’t sit nicely and added the the ‘square’ look though my torso. I think it’s a job for Superhero Seam Ripper!
I agree that it’s a nice dress, but it doesn’t sing on you. The pattern looks really lovely though and you’ve done a beautiful job with the finishing.
Thanks! I’ve already unpicked the pleats but it’s still not the most flattering dress but I’m sure I will find a home for it sooner or later.
I think this dress is lovely! I actually think the fit is pretty complimentary to the fabric type.
Agreed! It’s just not quite my style. However sometimes things just need to sit in the wardrobe a little bit linger
Yeah, I understand that. It helps to take a step back sometimes!
I really like this dress and I would definitely wear it, try unpicking the pleats and see if it helps. I love the lines of the bodice and your fabric
Actually, I really like this dress on you. But I would agree with you that if you unpicked the sewn down pleats it would look even better.
I’m not a garment sewer, but this dress looks so nice on you that I may have to give to a go! It’s next to impossible to find dresses with some length on them, but not too much, and I think one is very flattering on you, both fit and length and fabric. Well done!
I agree with everyone else here that this dress actually looks fabulous on you – I love the lines emphasized with the delicate stripes of this fabric. No wonder your fits is always so incredible – you ARE picky! 🙂
You have made a lovely dress and my first try would have been unpicking the pleats, too! You could happyly wear this dress as is, but I can see that you have made a lot of other garments that suit you better. I would like to see a pic with unpicked pleats though. 🙂
I think this looks lovely on you. That fabric is amazing! I just so happened to pick up this pattern on sale yesterday on a whim—I’m so glad I stumbled on your review!
I’m vigorously nodding at the observation that a perfectly terrific garment (as this one is) can somehow feel “wrong” on you, and it’s disappointing when so many aspects seemed promising.
As a longer torso person myself, I skipped this pattern. Loved the clever stripe work and cap sleeves, but worried that the bodice would hit below the natural waist. The pleats on the skirt just emphasize the lowness. It’s a recipe for shorter looking legs. I’ve learned by trial and error to resist cuts like this, and stick with slightly raised and empire waisted cuts, for fitted garments anyway They work so much better to balance out a long waisted figure.
The stripes, the ikat, and the cap sleeves look great. I wonder if you could fix the problem just by reattaching the skirt portion at a higher level up on the bodice? Removing some width while you’re at it, because the crisp drape is creating extra fullness? Short dresses suit you anyway. Why not take this piece to the casual side. You have plenty of flattering dressy-dresses already for formal occasions. Like the V8997, which I happen to have and will now make, thanks to your post!
Thank you for your inspiring projects and reflective comments. Happy new year, soon!
I think the dress looks great – but can also see how releasing those pleats may make you more comfortable. Maybe you need to tuck this away for a while and review it again later.
Oh I love it. I think yours is better than the vogue one!
I think it’s lovely!
You look really great in this dress; and the bodice fit is perfection itself.
And that’s why I’m writing. Is there a name for this kind of bodice, with the front darts extending from the diagonal front seams? I own this pattern and am desperate to find a tutorial for sewing a full-bust adjustment since my extensive searching for help with this specific bodice/dart placement has come up nil 😦
I sew children’s clothes but have never tackled a pattern for myself. Seems like I bit off more than I can chew.
I ‘think’ it’s most commonly called a Dior Dart. They are short darts that extend from a side front panel seam.
Good luck, hope that helps!
I often think you tackle the hardest things first as you don’t know what you don’t know. Have confidence in yourself, you learn a lot… even with the disasters… just by trying. And enjoy the process.