Sunday, December 27, 2009

Vogue 8593 - Dress Number 21

When this dress came out in the Vogue catalogue in August, I knew I had to have it.  It was an interpretation of the Maria Pinto dress that Michelle Obama wore to her first visit to the White House. 



Up until that time, I never thought that I would be able to have a version of the dress.  One ~ the original is a very tight-fitting, body-hugging dress and not something that I could actually imagine on my plus size body.  Second, the design is so distinctive that I didn't think the pattern companies would get a copy out as quickly as they did.  Now I know there is a Butterick version but I liked the style lines on this pattern better. 



However, I was wrong on both accounts!  So let's start with my favorite photo of me in the dress and move on from there...



Okay - let's discuss how dress number 21 came into being....

Fabric:
A poly doubleknit from the Vera Wang collection from fabric.com

Notions:
22" navy invisible zipper

First let me say that this is a relatively easy dress to make.  Just make sure that you mark everything and choose the right fabric to work with and you will  be fine.  However, I did read every word of the three reviews on Patternreview and Amanda's version of the dress also.

Next I guess I should address my audacity in thinking that I could make this dress fit my plus size body.  Well, it really is only a straight dress with some amazing details ~ the pleated neckline, the back shoulder darts, the dart that runs from the hem to the center back.  To me all of those details could be manipulated to fit me.

Pattern Alterations:
I didn't know that the front piece with the pleat detail was one big pattern piece when I purchased the pattern.  So my first challenge was to figure out how to get that one pattern piece (that only went up to a size 20) to fit my size 24 body.  I kept thinking that if the dress had princess seams with side front pieces that it would be perfect.  And that is when I remembered the vintage dress that I made last year using princess seams...if that side front piece could work with the dress front I would be in business.



After laying the pattern piece on top of the dress piece, matching notches at the armhole seams, I realized it would work.  I have to admit that I started to do the joy-joy dance here because that was a major part in making this dress work on my body!



The pleated neckline on the dress is the most distinctive feature to me and one of the main reasons I wanted my own version.  After reading the reviews, I noticed that one of the reviewers had topstitched her pleats down.  I really liked that feature so I included it in my dress.  Now those pleats aren't difficult at all to make.  Take your time, mark the pleats carefully and they go together without a problem.  Oh and don't forget to press them well.  I used a silk organza pressing cloth, a lot of steam and my clapper to get those crisp pleats.



I opted to use my TNT dress back piece instead of grading up the piece that came with the pattern.  That piece is tiny folks! *LOL*  I just made some adjustments to my back piece - I added back shoulder darts



and instead of a dart from the hem to center back, I added a 1/2 inch seam/pleat on both sides.  It gives a nod to the original dress design but honestly I was afraid that dart would make the dress too tight on me.  So my solution works for me:



The original dress design is slim fitting through the waist and abdomen, not exactly a plus size girl's friend so my dress has more of an a-line skirt, but I'm thinking it works for me...judge for yourself:



and one more view because I just can't believe how well this dress turned out:



I will admit that I do have my bodyshaper on under this dress but even my daughter was thrilled with how this dress fit!

How about a close up of the accessories:



I'm very pleased with how this turned out...and I'm glad that I was fearless in trying this pattern out.  With a little bit of adjustment, I made it my own.  I know that some of you think I possess these amazing patternmaking skills but really sometimes I'm just fumbling around and doing the best I can with the vision I see in my head.  I was fully prepared for this dress not to work...even had a back-up dress to work on...but I am so glad that I did take this journey.

I got an email this week and one of the things the young lady, who is plus size, said was that she hated to see the big old pieces of fabric because she was wary of making a sack when cutting out fabric for a dress.  Let me tell you this is a constant concern of mine, but my solution is to add a seam wherever possible.  It adds such a slimming effect, it makes designs that aren't originally targeted for plus size women accessible and isn't that the reason we sew for ourselves anyway!

This dress finished without accessories is kinda nunnish looking *LOL* but add some accessories, hair and make-up and I think I could go to the White House in this dress too!  *LOL*

BTW, this is the first piece of my SWAP for the contest on Stitchers Guild. I've named the wardrobe "Midnight at the Oasis" because it will be comprised of mostly navy garments.  The SWAP ends April 30th, so you will see more pieces in the coming months.  I think that's it...I'm off to sew...I have one more dress laid out on the cutting table...*LOL*

...as always, more later!

67 comments:

  1. GORGEOUS!!!! You did an amazing job. The neck line is a drawing factor to the dress. And the back looks spectacular!!! And the shoes, I am not a shoe person. I normally wear flip flops, but those shoes caught my attention. Love the chunky heel on them, and the accent of gold. All together a very beautiful ensamble!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This may be my favorite of all the things you have made. (And I have been lurking for years!) So beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's flattering Carolyn and the perfect foil for great accessories.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gorgeous! Your dedication to make patterns work for you is an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Carolyn, you look HOT! What a superb dress - no wonder you are thrilled. Accessories are perfect as are your modifications. I think you've inspired me to get this pattern and give it a go.

    ReplyDelete
  6. WOW Carolyn, this is an amazing fit. Honestly it looks wonderful on you! It is a very flattering dress and the accessories are definitely bang on :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love your version of this dress and it looks great on you. You did a great job of merging the design details of the pattern with one your previously made, well fitted dresses. I am looking forward to seeing your SWAP as it progresses.

    ReplyDelete
  8. well I think it's beautimous. A agree that it's one of my favorites that I've seen on you. Enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Carolyn - I am totally with you on the 'find a seam and put it there..and there..and there' thing. it's my favorite way to make things fit. The more seams the better. And I have to vote with whoever here said they like this last dress the very best. I say this dress becomes the new Carolyn TNT. I can see this in all sorts of colors - it is making the very most of you! Fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love this dress on you! I didn't realize the inspiration behind the design, love how the pattern companies seem on top of these things!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This dress looks terrific on you! The seaming details are a real coup. The dress is perfect for you--and the shoes are TDF! Good thing I love on the other side of the country--you won't have to worry about me stalking your shoes. LOL.

    Lynda in LV

    ReplyDelete
  12. Fantastic dress Carolyn, and those accessories. Love it all.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You look FANTASTIC in this dress.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This dress looks beautiful on you!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Another winner. I dont know how you do it, but I'd love to live in your head for a week! Then I'd move to your fabric colletion! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Stunning!!! The dress is gorgeous on you and the accessories are wonderful. I love those shoes. I've made this dress in red and have yet to wear it because it got hot here very suddenly last winter. What a great start to your SWAP!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Beautiful dress, beautifully modified to suit and flatter you! I'd love to see you in it in a bolder color the next time you make it!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Your white house invite will be dropping through the mailbox any day now! Great dress and I really love the accessories you chose too.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Carolyn, I really love what you did with that pattern. There is no way I could wear it straight out of the envelope either but you inspire me to try to adapt more. It looks fantastic on you.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Carolyn, this works for you - and that is an understatement! Fabulous, gorgeous, and you look great.

    ReplyDelete
  21. You most definitely made this dress your own - excellent as usual!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great dress!

    I also love love love those shoes. They are awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Amazing job! The lines are stunning and flattering on you. Your creativity in making something work is inspiring. Thanks for taking the time to blog.

    ReplyDelete
  24. This is another triumph for you - I think it is my favourite thus far!

    Also, it looks exceptional on you!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Carolyn This is absolutely gorgeous! It looks as good on you as it does on MO.

    ReplyDelete
  26. You turned this into a winner for you. You styled this to perfection!

    ReplyDelete
  27. GORGEOUS!!! I love it. I had my eye on this dress, but didn't buy the pattern. I may have to now.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I like what you've done with that pattern, Carolyn. The neckline is much more flattering in real life than on the pattern envelope. You look great in your new dress!

    Kathryn

    ReplyDelete
  29. You have done it again!!!!! The shoes are amazing.

    Lydia

    ReplyDelete
  30. Its beautiful! I think you could have tapered the skirt if you wanted to.

    ReplyDelete
  31. A great ending to a year of dresses!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Beautiful dress! I love how you took the design feature you liked and still altered the shape to suit... and good for you for branching out of the TNT pattern just a bit. :-) (Nothing against the TNTs - they're all great, too, and you've shown me the value of TNT patterns)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Great adaptation of that style and that pattern. You look fabulous in it. I love the way you accessorized it too. Fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  34. You look beautiful in this dress. One of my favorites by far. Lovely!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  35. WOW!
    I LOVE what you did!
    You've raised the bar with this one!

    Brenda

    ReplyDelete
  36. Carolyn, you look fabulous in this most creative of dresses. Your accessories are perfect and so is your makeup - LOVE the red lipstick on you ! When I see these pictures, I see the message "This is how much I respect and like myself - get to know me and you will too!" You are an inspiration to all of us!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Another wonderful dress pulled out of the TNT pattern!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Really, really fantastic, Carolyn! Flattering, creative... really showcases your talent and eye for making things work. Brava!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I love this dress! Beside the neckline which is what steals the show, I love the sleeve length, the hem length, the color...simply great. My new favorite :) You do some amazing things.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love how you made it work for you. Another great dress in your wardrobe. I am eagerly awaiting the rest of your new SWAP.

    ReplyDelete
  41. This dress looks great & looks great on you. Very cool ...

    ReplyDelete
  42. That dress looks AMAZING on you. I always read your blog for inspiration on how to take a style and make it work for the body you have - I never would have guessed that style would work on a curvy body - and not only does it work - you ROCK that dress!

    Thank you for the inspiration!

    Happy 2010! Please keep posting!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Fabulous. You look gorgeous in this dress (as always) and are an inspiration to those of use who are never going to be stick thin.

    Thank you for all your inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  44. This dress looks fabulous on you! I think it is my favorite this year!!!

    ReplyDelete
  45. I agree - I think this is my favorite outfit of yours of the year. You look GREAT in it. So simple, yet soooo sophisticated. The other ladies in your office must be so jealous of your wardrobe...

    ReplyDelete
  46. You look so pretty!!! Of course, you're always pretty, but. . . oh hell. You know what I mean. Number 21 is lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  47. That dress looks amazing on you. Congrats on the finished product. I can't wait to see what the rest of your SWAP entails.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Stunning dress. I love the way that you have made this work for you. The fit is perfect and the style is wonderful - I love the neckline. The shoes are just right for the dress - the whole effect is very elegant and sophisticated. This dress could take you anywhere - your invitation to the White House will be arriving any minute now!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Gorgeous! The dress came out perfect, the shoes are to DIE for!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Beautiful dress! I love it! It will be so versatile, and that neckline is just gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Just a really beautiful dress, Carolyn. You look lovely in it. Congrats! SCY

    ReplyDelete
  52. Simply stunning. You did a great job.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I will be the 60th person to post a comment. This is FABULOUS! I love your version of this dress. The First Lady herself would be proud!

    ReplyDelete
  54. I love that you were able to turn this dress into something that truly worked for you, while still maintaing the style details. Lovely!!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Wowie, zowie! The dress is gorgeous and I love your posting on being fearless and fierce. I learned a heck of a lot in just this one post!

    One question: can you explain more about that pressing cloth? Did you make it? Why use organza? I have a pressing cloth but am clueless about using other pressing cloths...

    ReplyDelete
  56. You look amazing in that dress Carolyn! Wow!

    ReplyDelete
  57. I loved this dress when I saw the pattern catalogue, but now I love it even more. You look terrific.

    ReplyDelete
  58. GORGEOUS!!!! You look STUNNING in that dress and I believe it's one of my favorite dresses from those you've made! The accessories are TDF!!! Fabulous style, and very flattering on you, congratualtions!

    Happy New Year!!!

    ReplyDelete
  59. I notice there's no comment button on your post about the pattern lady. I just wanted to comment on how very nice it is of you to help her out. Happy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I made this dress and I look frumpy and dumpy in it. I couldn't figure out why but then when I read your post it hit me--the design is not curves friendly as is. Just adding that princess seam makes all of the difference, I think.

    Because of your inspiration, I'm going to give it another shot!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! It is so appreciated.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails