Monday, 28 February 2011

A lovely winter LBD

Here is a dress that I made and love, despite its imperfections - the fabric is such a cosy, gorgeous heavy wool, the pattern is rather good, and the dress feels so nice on!

I finished this late last night and was unable to get a decent photo of it on me with the camera timer. Then today dawned sultry and overcast, tending to showers, and my kids (6 and 3 - is mastery of low-light photography too much to ask of them?) were also struggling to get a decent photo.  By the time my partner was home it was just a bit late (but thanks for offering in advance yesterday).

Thank goodness for a dressmaker's dummy (with stand). 

The pattern used: Vogue DKNY 1194, initially made up in a straight 14 with the only changes being omission of centre back seams (ie I cut on the fold instead) and not twisting the waist band in the front.  The size 14 turned out to be pretty big on me - I should have read all the pattern fitting discussions and pattern reviews over at pattern review first. The above pictures show how the dress looked after I tried to address my fitting problems.

My fitting problems were generally common ones for this pattern, ie the neckline was too low -  rectified by re-sewing the centre bodice seam to end an inch higher - and the whole bodice was too wide - so I took in about 1cm on each side seam, tapering in from the upper arm seams down to the upper opening of in-seam pockets. My third fitting problem was that the back bodice was too wide, especially at the neckline (perhaps exacerbated by the weight of the wool). This made the shoulders slip off and made the v-neck at the front become a wider V than it should have been. To fix this I added a strange invented dart, widest at the neckline (taking about 3 inches out at the neckline) and tapering to nothing at waistband. I only sewed this with basting stitches as I am not sure this is the best solution - if anyone has a wise suggestion here please let me know, but it does now seem to fit my narrow shoulders and for what it's worth, my partner says it looks fine from behind.

note the photosynthesis experiment on selected camellia leaves

cranky-face returns for the self-timer...
I am not really as cranky as I look in photos - promise, cross my heart. 

Me Made March starts tomorrow, and I am not feeling ready. I think it's time to review my wardrobe rail and hit the iron!


  1. Your dress looks great! That is such a terrific pattern. With the slipping off the shoulders would those little ribbon with presstuds at the end thingys work that you wrap around your bra straps? I'm not sure what they are called - lingerie stays or something like that but they can be found in most haberdashery shops. They are one of those very simple but brilliant inventions.

  2. Thanks Jacquie - you've made a couple of lovely versions of this dress haven't you!

    Thanks for the tip, I will have to look out for those things - I have never tried using them but given my narrow shoulders they would probably help with many garments.

  3. That's a really nice dress. It looks great for cooler weather.


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