You may have seen this dress, Vogue 1496, sewn up already - there are some amazing examples around (like Lara's, Erika's, Lauren's...) and it's been around for a little while. I sewed it up on a whim the weekend before last with a drapey polyester from Spotlight, and have been VERY surprised at how much I like it. I like it enough that I'm seriously contemplating making another very soon - despite my insanely long to do lists!!
Size wise I cut out the dress that best matched my measurements, a size D. The pattern comes with a lot of tips, including a tip as to how to pick the right size - basically because the dress is a tapered cocoon shape, the lower edge width is the key measurement to check; this width needs to be bigger than your largest body width to ensure you can get the dress on and off. That means too that there's a lot of leeway with the fit of the dress - you can sew the dress too big or too small, and so long as you can get it on and off you can call it a fitting success :).
This is a shortened version of View B of the pattern, which is the version that doesn't include an inset neckline. But because a few other people had mentioned that the neckline on this dress is pretty low, and because the pattern includes instructions for raising the neckline, mine is raised. I raised it about 5cm at the lowest point, and I diverted from the instructions to raise it by about 0.5cm all around because I was also concerned it might be a bit too wide. I should also have top stitched the facings in place as Lara did - my facing moves around a lot and in all these photos you can see it had folded over itself on one side.
The only other change I made was to use the length of View A plus about 5cm.
In the next couple of photos I think you can see the unusual way the armholes are formed in the back of the dress - the front dress piece wraps around the neckline and forms the back yoke, with the armholes set between this yoke and the back dress pieces.
The other detail I really like on this dress is the pockets. Instead of being in-seam side pockets, they're pockets that are stitched onto the inside of the dress - and the look of these pockets reminds me very much of a particular type of funky 1960s patch pocket :). The pockets are attached to the dress with a clever technique I hadn't tried before involving steam-a-seam; I found the process a bit fiddly, but the alternative as suggested by Erika Bunker would be to use a glue stick to lightly fasten the pockets before top stitching them in place. I hope my single row of top stitching is strong enough...
All up I think this is a lovely and very informative pattern, and one that makes for a flattering and very wearable dress. If you're tossing up whether to sew this, my vote is to go for it!
Thanks for reading, and I'll be back soon!
- Gabrielle xx