Sunday, 2 October 2011

Vena Cava (V1228) on holidays

This Vogue 1228 Vena Cava dress was finished on our recent holiday near Lismore.

We were staying at the house of friends - a beautifully appointed home on a lovely hillside farm property.

The neighbours' cows and a small pony roamed their field... I think that's called agistment?

The kids played together nicely - there was tag, soccer, swimming and some gentle piano playing, and they made biscuits:

as well as a huge variety of paper & texta-based toys - everything they needed for a pirate adventure, and a large number of colourful credit cards (!!) because they hadn't brought their piggy banks with them.

We made a trip to Byron to show the kids the lighthouse:

We visited a koala hospital, and saw mum & baby koalas in the trees outside the hospital:

And we went to the circus:

It was a pretty relaxing holiday, and the hand sewing to finish a few hems was all I did in the way of sewing for a whole week!
Back to the sewing.

Although I know my fabric was too lightweight, I can't help thinking that this pattern is problematic too.  I raised the neckline a few centimetres (which I probably shouldn't have, but I wasn't sure what else to try - and this was supposed to be a test dress), but my bra still shows in the corners of the neckline. I couldn't have raised it more because raising the neckline shifts the bodice pleats upwards and puts them in a place that just looks wrong with respect to bust and underarms. Even though I'm relatively tall, I'm short waisted - so I'm sure this fit issue would be pretty common. The neckline might not be too low on someone busty but then I think the bodice pleats wouldn't be full enough.

I really think the designer didn't work this idea through properly... maybe a separate band of fabric needs to be attached above the pleat to raise the neckline by the width of the band?  I have read other reviews that say this dress doesn't work if you are too hippy, or too busty... and I'm wondering who it would suit.

I love the idea of this dress - I am a pretty big fan of interesting pleats and kimono sleeves - but I'm not sure it'd be worth my while to make this dress in a more expensive fabric.


  1. I made this dress too! I think it does look nice on you, and I like your fabric. I agree it is a dress that feels tricky to fit and wear.

  2. That's a gorgeous print that you chose for this dress.

    I have made this dress. rather than raise the neckline, I made it narrower at the base of the neckline so that my bra straps wouldn't peek out at the corners. I did this with pintucks after I made the dress but you could change the neckline shape on the pattern.

  3. I love the print you've chosen - very striking! I just sewed together a toile of this dress for a friend yesterday so this post is perfect timing. I'll have to look out for the neckline issues when she tries it on.

  4. Thanks for your comments!

    On re-reading my post I feel a bit embarrassed - I sound pretty up myself to be telling the Vena Cava designer off! Recent Vogue patterns have fit me straight off in the bodice to shoulder area, but you know what they say about assumption (the mother of all F*&^-ups).

    Karin, yours is the version I had in mind when I was making this - can I blame my disappointment on the fact that yours looked so good? Katherine, thank you for re-pointing me to your version - which I do remember seeing, but unfortunately I had forgotten about the changes you made, which made the dress look so cool.

  5. Wow, that farm looks heavenly. I hope you had a wonderful, relaxing time. The dress looks so fabulous, what a pity about the neckline issue. I bought this pattern too but now I'm dubious about making it up. If you make it again I'll be really interested in the fix you find.

  6. I love this dress. I actually had that fabric but unfortunately it went into a wander. Did you get it from a funny little garage fabric shop in Petersham.


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