Pattern: Vogue 1225, a Tracy Reese design
Fabric: 3.5 yards of poly/lycra knit, from ebay seller BestOnlineFabrics
Shoes: Steve Madden
Notes: I have now officially become one of those people who wear spring clothes at the first hint of warmth. It almost got to 60 today – it was glorious! These shoes are hideously uncomfortable. I don’t like Steve Madden shoes at all. You would think flats couldn’t be that bad, but somehow these are. But! They match the dress, so I had to wear them. And yes, I’m still trying out the glasses (they will go back tomorrow.) These are the Coltons.
Since I had such good luck with the last Tracy Reese design I sewed, I decided to whip this one up this weekend. I made a size 8, but a six would have been better if it were offered. I usually take an 8 in vogue patterns, so this might run just a touch big. The Vogue website claims this dress is easy, but I would really question that! There is a ton of gathering involved in this dress, including five tedious rows on each shoulder (that I’m still not certain if I should remove or not… I’m leaning towards not.) Other techniques needed for this dress: baby hemming, making casings and using elastic, and an awful lot of markings for a knit. Getting the front facing to sit well was also challenging. The pattern called for pressing in 1/4″ on each side of the tie, and then edgestitching it closed. Um… on a knit? I don’t think so. I just sewed it the way you normally would a tie, and then turned it right side out with a skewer (I must get one of those tube turner sets!)
As you can see, there is a lot of skirt in this dress. The pattern called for making a petticoat (crinoline) and sewing it into the dress. I couldn’t see doing that. If I want a full skirt, I will use a separate crinoline. I don’t go to that trouble for one dress (this is also why I wear slips rather than line most things.) This skirt is actually larger than a circle, I think. I like the way it looks without the crinoline – not as poofy as the envelope photo. Please note that the waist seam has 7/8″ seam allowances. I concentrated the skirt gathers in the front (in the pattern they go towards the sides a bit more) to make up for the lack of crinoline.
The back neck ties are not elasticized, and they do not go around to the front. It’s not clear from the pattern photo (or mine, probably!) but there is an open slit under the ties. It does not show a bra strap. However, even with the ties fully tightened, I felt that I needed to wear a camisole under the dress for front coverage. You could easily add a little modesty panel there to avoid the camisole, but I like how it looks this way.
I haven’t hemmed the bottom edge – it will need a narrow hem, and I’m not looking forward to that. I want to make sure it doesn’t stretch significantly before I hem it. The skirt is quite heavy, but I think the thick elastic in the waist holds it up well. The waist sits a bit high on me (and I am short waisted) so you may wish to test that!
I am very pleased with this project. I can’t believe I nearly gave up on it – you can’t even see the place I was upset about the pattern match (it’s at center back, should you wish to check.) The pattern is recommended, but be aware that some of the instructions won’t work for a poly knit (there is a lot of “press this amount under” going on, and that doesn’t work.) You may also wish to adjust the front bustline, as it is quite low. Other than that, it’s an easy, cool spring dress. I wore it all day today, and it was so comfortable!