Monday, 3 January 2011

Last Year's Vogue 1086 Dress

I don't know the rules of blogging or if there are any rules.  Usually I think I shouldn't post about pre-blog garments - but I saw kbenco's post on her Vogue 1086 dress the other day, and her dress looks so different than mine that I thought a look at my version might be useful for those thinking of this pattern who are (a) small-shouldered and pear-shaped (like me) or (b) tempted to use an unorthodox fabric (like me).     

In April *last year* my mother-in-law invited us to come see her choir singing at The Priory in Hunter's Hill.   Concert day was a hot day for April, but after the performance we went for a lovely walk in the adjoining grounds, stopping in the shade of a grand old tree.

A small bike is a useful accessory, n'est-ce pas?

I wore my Vogue 1086 Tracy Reese dress... which wasn't too flattering due to fabric choice and dress shape vs my shape. The fabric I used was from one of the ex-Cue rolls Tessuti get in without any fabric details - so it was only about $5 a metre.  It's a non-natural blend of some kind with a hard feel and a crinkly post-wash texture, and the pattern on it reminded me of the pattern on a blouse I'd seen the Selfish Seamstress make with success.  I made the slip out of a cream coloured cotton voile, and it's been very useful and lovely but I'm not going to show you how it looks by itself because it's a bit see-through.

Vogue 1086 was pretty straightforward...

... but I didn't think carefully enough before selecting fabric, cutting and sewing, and didn't make a muslin.  It turned out that the neckline was too low-cut for me, but this ended up being alright because I had made the accompanying slip higher cut.  My fabric crinkled and warped and unravelled in unexpected ways, despite french seams in all directions.  Inserting the side zipper in this sort of fabric was really difficult - the seam kept curving out and growing, and I got so annoyed that after a few goes finally I cut it out and sewed front and back together a bit tighter than desired.  This only really affected the tightness of the waistband as the bodice is a bit puffy and the skirt has gathers. And the only reason I was able to get away with no zipper is that I have very narrow shoulders; unfortunately this also means the dress tends to fall off my shoulders.

The slip shows above the v-neck, fabric is loose on bust, dress is sliding off shoulders, etc
I think with more attention to details and a more suitable fabric this dress would be nice on - if I remade it I'd replace the gathers on the bust with some nice stuctured folds, and for my small shoulders maybe I should have used a fabric with more body.  Any other top tips or pointers to more successful incarnations of this dress would be welcome!


  1. I love my 2 dresses from this pattern, but I did raise the neckline 7cm at the centre front and put lingerie straps at the shoulders to keep the neckline where I wanted it. I also used very lightweight, natural fibre fabrics. Do you think it would work for you with a smaller size above the waist? I went down a size at the shoulders and have shoulders like a rugby player. You do look very cool and comfortable in this dress.

  2. Hi kbenco, I love yours too! Thanks for these suggestions, I think you're right and I need to make some substantial modifications (shoulders, neckline, bust!) to get a better fit with this. The lingerie straps are a great idea too. And natural fibres, yes!


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