Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Vogue 8596 - "The Dress"

The risk I run as a plus size woman when making a dress with very few seams is the possibility that I can inadvertantly make a muu-muu. I know that seams are my friend. They add structure to a garment and a slimmer appearance to my body. Let me tell you turning this top into a dress effectively makes it a muu-muu...judge for yourself:


However, in hot, humid, soupy weather, I don't want tailored and/or structured. I want loose flowing and easy to wear. So there is a tight rope to walk...

I took a chance with this dress...at various times during its construction I wondered if I had ruined a beautiful piece of silk. And I also realized why I use TNT patterns so much...my sewing time is limited and like everyone else I only want sewing successes...

So here are the stats:

Fabric:
100% silk from Metro Textiles
Ambiance lining from Elegant Fabrics

Notions:
4 yards of yellow netting

I'm going to make the construction info short and sweet...

*The pattern is very easy to sew - even beginners could make this tunic/dress.

*I made very few changes to the pattern - normal inches added to sleeve bicep area, a pivot and slide technique on the front pattern piece to add 2" to the front of the dress, and of course length was added to the bottom of the pattern pieces to take it from tunic length to dress length.

*I added a lining. The silk is pretty but sheer so a lining was needed.

And one additional concern - this neckline is made from a sew-on casing. If you pull the drawstring tighter, the entire dress rises up. The hemline...the sleeves...everything. If you use a more relaxed neckline everything settles down a little better. Because of this I added the inch and a half of netting to the hemline (shades of Moschino, Lindsay!)



If you tie a bow at the neckline you don't have to worry about how deep the v-neck opening in the casing is...because it is totally hidden by the bow. But I would be careful because the v-neck opening is shades of BWOF deep!



Finally, in my opinion this is a knock-off of the Tom & Linda Platt Vogue Dress (which I successfully made un-muu-muu like). It's an okay knock-off but the elastic casing on the neckline of the Tom & Linda Platt dress is a more secure and flattering neckline. I can tell you that I won't use this pattern again...not for a top, tunic or a dress...however, I will remake the Tom & Linda Platt dress!



Okay I'm not sure that this dress will get much wear...or worn at all...I just wanted new sewists to see that not everything a more seasoned sewist creates turns out perfectly...sometimes it's just "meh!"

...as always more later!



41 comments:

  1. Carolyn,the dress is really very pretty.And we all need loose flowey dresses for hot humid weather.Wear it and enjoy it.I feel exactly the same about my Vogue 8486 that i made in July. Very little shape and the fabric makes me look positively top heavy, I've worn it at least four times and find it irresistably comfortable.Do I like how I look in it? Not really.I won't be making that style again but On the next muggy day,I'll reach for it and be glad I have it.

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  2. I like the dress. I'm self conscious about sleeveless dresses. I put on a shrug or light wt. sweater and move on. The insides of buildings are usually AC

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  3. I like the dress on you, it looks stunning and comfortable, you are an excellent sewist, no doubt . Also thanks so much for the birthday wish. I was away in Africa throughout July, I came back last week. I was just checking my PR mail today and saw the mail. I really aprreciate it. Have a lovely day.
    /Aminat

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  4. I like it. The fabric is beautiful and it is well-made and doesn't look like a mu-muu at all. Having never met you though, I can still assume that you carry yourself with as much poise and self-confidence as your words on your blog and you could wear a sack and it would still be a style-maker! If it's comfortable, by all means, wear it!

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  5. I like the dress. Not for work but for other summer fun activities. Very pretty.

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  6. Carolyn, I like it. It looks a bit too casual for the shoe you have on though. I think if you wear a more casual sandal, it would be great for the rest of these hot days!

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  7. I am not sure what a 'muu-muu' is, but it sounds as if it isn't something good?! I think the dress looks comfortable, summery and stylish, the fabric is divine!

    If you really don't get much wear out of it, could you cut it up for something else later on? Even if you only got a top out of it, it would be such a shame to not wear it one way or another.

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  8. Some part of me thinks losing the bow would help. The main fabric is stunning and you look lovely, but the bow is kind of comical - at least in the photos.

    Could you thread elastic through the casing and close the opening with a fabulous button or brooch?

    And I agree with Erika that something about the shoe could change (should you have an extensive shoe collection - I do not, so I totally understand if you don't). Perhaps just a slightly rounder toe or even an open toe/sandal. But then maybe you can't wear shoes like that to work?

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  9. I don't think it looks like a muu-muu at all. To be a muu-muu, it would have to be much looser. It looks very stunning on you. Perfect for summer. You should wear this dress with pride and feel good in it. You look gorgeous. You pulled it off again.

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  10. I really like the dress and you look great in it. I know, you are probably done and over this dress, but I agree with the other suggestions - changing out the bow for something pretty and sparkly. I think the dress is worth having since it would be great for hot sticky days, plus you could wear a cardigan or jacket over it in the AC. If you're really into reworking the dress, shaping those side seams and adding some darts would help, too. You're probably ready to move on - there are too many other pretty fabrics in the collection calling your name!

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  11. I love the fabric. So summery and sweet,and the lose style does has definition.Nice job.

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  12. Okay, I'm going to be the spoiler . . . I don't think this is your best look. Beautiful fabric, probably a very comfy dress to wear, but I'm not sure it does you justice. I agree with you that seams ARE a good thing!!

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  13. It's so disappointing to not be thrilled with what you have just finished! I did that with the only dress I made this summer which I will never wear. That said, this is beautiful. I absolutely love the netting on the bottom -- what a nice touch.

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  14. I like the dress, but I don't think that it fits your corporate environment. But, it is summer in NYC, so maybe with a more open shoe, or is that not acceptable either? I know what you mean about the Tom and Linda Platt dress, having worn mine yesterday. I need another one! I too shy away from loose, unstructured things, they don't tend to be large bust friendly.

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  15. Okay, here's how I see it:

    - definitely not a muu-muu! It looks quite good on you, just not as good as other dresses you have made. However, it is still quite fetching.

    - the bow has to go! It is too...something...and not a good thing. I think a row of pretty little buttons to close up the slit would be nicer.

    - if you really dislike this dress, could you salvage this gorgeous fabric by taking the lower half of the dress and making a skirt?

    - I hope you still love me after reading what I wrote, 'cause you know I love you!

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  16. I love the netting detail on the bottom! Is that a trim, or yardage cut into strips?

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  17. I like it! Esp the bow. You should try a hanger fix. Hang it way in the back of your closet and don't look at it for at least a month, then try it on and see what you think.

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  18. I think the dress is beautiful - and looks nice on you. A different style than we are used to, but it looks nice. I am not so in love with the bow - but I can see that dress worn to many summer outings.
    Blessings,
    Patti

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  19. Well, I LIKE the bow! I think this is a fun, flirty summer dress, and the bow looks light-hearted. Not sure if this is appropriate for corporate wear, but looks fabulous to pull out for a hot day when you don't want your clothes sticking to you. Wish I had something like this for our church's pot luck suppers.

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  20. I'm not a fan of the bow...maybe a smaller tie. And if you want a more shaped fit, perhaps a belt might help? I personally hate wearing belts, but love how they look on some people.

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  21. I love the fabric, love the netting on the hem. I don't love the bow, but it isn't bad. It looks pretty on you. I'd follow Summerset's suggestions

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  22. I thought I recognized that Moschino touch! I think this dress is fine on you, especially for the hot days we're finally having here. The colors are really pretty.

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  23. I love the trim at the hem! And I do not think this looks like a muu muu at all! Very pretty on you. Fresh-looking.

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  24. I really like the fabric, and although it makes up as a lovely dress, I don't think that the silhouette of the dress does you justice. I'd suggest reducing the length to a tunic top, changing the bow to the same fabric as the dress, maybe take it in a little to give you a better shape and wear it with a belt. It would then translate into a lovely work outfit that could be worn with dress pants or jeans for casual wear. Not quite what you had in mind but a possible alternative if you're not making a connection with your dress.

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  25. The dress is pretty and to battle the heat, humidity & haze a loose dress is what is required. The only change I would make is use the same fashion fabric for the neck tie and tie a soft knot and let it hang.

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  26. Well few things from me for what it's worth:

    * I think the tie owuld look better in fasfion fabric.

    * Love the hem treatment!

    * A "Martha Bow" would drape better than a "tieing a shoe" bow because there is just one overhand knot instead of two:
    http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/article/three-perfect-bows

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  27. I love this dress the fabric is so pretty.....

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  28. How hard would it be to make this dress into a killer skirt and use that bee-u-tifull fabric with the awesome hem?
    I don't love the bow or the way it fits across your shoulders and upper arms. But I do love the fabric and the hem. I don't know that I'd go all the way to muu-muu, perhaps the floral makes you feel more muu-muuish? but...

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  29. It is very pretty, structured lines, or not. I love the fabric and it does look cool for the summertime.

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  30. The hemline trim and bow help remove it from muumuu status. It's very pretty, because that fabric is very pretty, but you are correct that you have made nicer dresses.

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  31. Very nice accents and your feet look so petite.

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  32. Carolyn - Frankly, I love this. I might be in the minority, but I like the bow and I like it with the shoes you have on. You could wear it to work with a neutral cardigan on top.

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  33. Carolyn, I think the dress is lovely. The fabric and the trim at the hem are very nice details. The bow okay too, but I think I would want a smaller version. Overall nice dress and I wouldn't think twice about wearing it.

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  34. I like this dress. I agree with Erica about the shoes and think a nice light sandal with a small heel would be better suited. I also agree with Shannon about the bow. Perhaps you could replace it with one large decorative button at the top. To me, there's a slight retro feel to this dress and perhaps a 50's style button or pin of some sort??? The fabric is very, very pretty and the colours are lovely on you, so please don't scrap it.

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  35. Love the dress but lose the bow or tie the ribbon as a tie or ascot (which actually might look as good in self fabric. I think the bow is just a bit precious.

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  36. I think the dress is very pretty. I can see where you are going with the mooo-mooo feeling. I'm wondering if you put a cardi on over it if you wouldn't feel it as much? I hope you get a chance to either wear it and feel comfortable or repurpose it into something you can enjoy. g

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  37. I think the dress is very pretty and love the hem detail! It is a departure from your usual silhouette so maybe once your eye gets used to this style you'll enjoy wearing it.

    I bought this pattern after seeing it here a few weeks ago. Not my usual silhouette either but it looks more shapely in the line drawings than in the fashion illustrations. I think I will probably use a single layer of chiffon for the tie or make it narrower so I don't have too much "bow".

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  38. The dress is lovely Carolyn. As Gigi noted it is a little departure from your normal dresses, but it is still very nice. I think the idea of a different shoe is good suggestion as well. Truly lovely fabric. And if you decide it is just is not going to be, I know that you will somehow remake or refashion it.

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  39. I think the dress is very pretty and has some beautiful and well thought out details... I think it looks really nice (and I'm not being kind, lol)

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  40. Hi Carolyn,

    Over the years we all become semi-experts at dressing the bodies we have to achieve the look we want. I'd be curious to see a picture of you in this dress next to a picture of you in a dress that you felt was really flattering. Hmmm. . .I think you did do this a while ago with something with a dropped hem. I did scroll down and found the vogue one you liked better. I think I see a bit what you are trying to explain about the "meh" characteristic of the dress. I do really really love that net trim on the hem - sigh.

    Thanks for your posts,

    Annie

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