Thursday, July 4, 2013

Making it Work

This dress was completed back in September of 2010, but I just got around to wearing it.  Why?  Because the original design just did not work for me.  The fit is made for a slim hipped woman with broad shoulders and a large bust.  That is NOT me!

This is one of those patterns that is difficult to fit without finishing the dress which can make things complicated.  And sometimes I do not want to bother with a muslin.

Just for fun (and looking for something suitable for the heat), I pulled this out of the closet.  And yep, it still did not work for me.  But my stubborn streak was rearing its ugly head, so I kept messing around with the dress.

With a little bit of inspiration from the runway version (which seems to have a set in sleeve rather than a slight cap?), I pulled the neckline off my shoulders.  This actually took care of the gaping that was occurring from the oversized neckline, but as designed, was not wide enough to remain in that position.

The solution was unexpected and a complete fluke.  Trying the dress on for the second time, I managed to leave a few inches of the zip undone which made it easy to pull the sleeves off of my shoulders.  When I turned around to see what was going on, one side was tucked in, which created a nice back line.  The excess  that was tucked inside seemed to be staying put, so I tried matching the look on the opposite side.

The other issue I had with the fit was that the waist was kinda-sorta fitted, but not enough to be flattering.  When in doubt, add a ribbon belt!  I have been using this trick for years with quite a bit of success, as evidenced by the boxes full of lengths of satin and grograin ribbon on top of my bureau.

The textured cotton was purchased specifically for this pattern.  When JoAnns is having a pattern sale, I like to wander around the store with my picks in hand.  This bottom weight jumped out at me, and once I knew that it was free of synthetics, I could not resist.

A rayon lining makes this a very comfortable garment for the stifling heat that the Bay Area has been experiencing.

To keep this one on the hanger, I added some ribbon hangers.  And, of course, there is a little seam binding to be found on the hem.

After years of frustration with this failed project mocking me from the closet, I got the last laugh!

Dress:  Made by me, Vogue 1117
Necklace:  Banana Republic
Shoes:  Colin Stuart


  1. You made it work and then some, dear gal! I think this style looks so alluringly, classically beautiful on you - while instantly evoking thoughts of glamorous 1950s Hollywood starlets like Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe.

    ♥ Jessica

  2. You certainly made an ill fitting dress wearable! It looks lovely and cool - exactly what will help keep you cool in this heatwave.

  3. You have transformed this into a beautiful dress. It looks so, so good on you! I really think this is one of the prettiest dresses you've made! It really is a "head-turner"!

  4. I love love love this dress and it looks great on you, job well done making it work!

  5. So glad you were able to make this work because it's lovely on you!

  6. If this is a fail, I wish I were making more of them... This is amazing and looks fantastic on you! That fabric is just so beautiful! I love that you were able to make the dress work for you, it would have been a shame for it to stay hidden in your closet.

  7. I agree with everyone, making this work has produced a stunning dress for you.

  8. Oh, how great that you fixed it!! And, what a nice surprise to find a fix in a simple folding over of fabric. I think it really makes a nice back neckline, like how it dips in the CB like that.

  9. gorgeous dress. ditch the necklace if you wear it again.

  10. Wow what a beautiful dress! You have outdone yourself with this one it's simply gorgeous. I love the fabric colour too so pretty!!