the sew weekly: the “i’ll never let go” dress (vogue 8409)

The Facts:

Fabric: cream-colored cotton embroidered eyelet from B&J fabrics; green silk from paron annex; red(dish) silk charmeuse from mood fabrics
Pattern: vogue 8409 (dress), simplicity 2412 (slip dress), simplicity 1920 (belt)
Year: modern (dress and belt), c.1930s (slip dress)
Notions: zipper, leftover stash lace
Time to Complete: 8 hours
First Worn: February 22, 2012
Wear Again: Yes.
Total Price: the eyelet was pricy, like liberty of london pricey.  definitely $50-$75 in total.
Challenge Theme:  Academy Awards  (Titanic, winner Best Picture 1998)

although i toyed with the idea of grace kelly’s iconic pink ensemble from the driving scene in “to catch a thief” (one of my movie top 5s), this titanic gown had been on my board much longer and, coupled with my downton abbey obsession, took precedence over princess grace.  i had been collecting photos of this dress for almost a year and had the fabric at least 8 or 9 months.  i’d quickly settled on a pattern (vogue 8409) for a modern update on the look and even done some of my first pattern drafting EVER to make the sleeve more of a bell shape and to add a pleat in the back (just because i like pleats).

i could be king of the world...but look at all that ironing. kings don't have to iron, do they?

as usual i spent the entire week procrastinating on this dress, especially after my “red” project from last week got more complicated than i was interested in dealing with.  this sort of thing is why they invented the three-day weekend–finally, rested and restless, i was ready to tackle a new project.

the dress is cut so that the scalloped, embroidered edge of the fabric forms its own hem.  the rest of the dress has french seams, although i bollixed up the midriff construction and it is not as clean as i would like.  i constructed the dress in the flat, which was oddly satisfying and definitely made all of the french seams cleaner.  i used the slapdash sewist’s crossover SBA method for a fit that was surprisingly on-point.

compare this dress, pre-moulage using a “slapdash” tip:

with my painstakingly fitted vogue 1043, which also has a surplice bodice (without a midriff):

not bad, right?

but don’t get me started on the poorly-fitted, craptastic wonder that is my slip dress.  i’ll get too depressed.  at least it looks ok under the cotton eyelet.

i'll never let go...of how awesome that hem looks!

Pattern Description:
Mid-knee length dress has pleated bodice, middle inset, straight skirt, back zipper and back slit. A: cuffed, below elbow length sleeve. B: long sleeve.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
no idea.  never opened them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
the clean style lines and endless opportunities to make this dress however you want.  the fit of the skirt is great and the little surplice bodice is super cute.

Fabric Used:
cream-colored cotton embroidered eyelet from B&J fabrics

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
i modified the bodice using the slapdash sewist’s SBA technique.  i re-drafted the sleeves to give them a bell shape.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
this dress is easily a classic.  loads of opportunities to play with color or prints–although i think i like it best as a solid.  i’d love to do one in a doubleknit.

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5 Responses to the sew weekly: the “i’ll never let go” dress (vogue 8409)

  1. Debi says:

    Fabulous! I love the dress! and I can never get over how ADORABLE your kitty is!!!!

  2. Haha sorry to put pressure on you! I love what you’ve done to update this dress for more practical wear. It’s still dreamy and floaty and beautiful, but much more suited to cat-wrangling :) Don’t ever let go of that kitty; he’s precious. And…not to be bothersome…but I’d love to see that pleat in the back!

  3. puu says:

    thanks for reminding me!

  4. oonaballoona says:

    oh, cat! he will save you from the sinking ship!

  5. Clio says:

    LOVE your color choice – white lace, green slip, red belt…. looks beautiful on you!

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