To sew Vogue 1194. This dress has made appearances all over the sewing blogs and as of today has 17 reviews over at PatternReview.
I had originally passed on the pattern when it first became available but changed my mind after seeing how good it looked on women of all shapes and ages.
Plus I had two yards of knit fabric (Fabric Mart Fabrics, of course) that I wanted to sew a dress out of. And I was tired of wrap dresses. And did I mention I only had two yards? Vogue 1194 to the rescue.
After spending way, way, way too much time on an FBA I managed to cut out and sew the dress in just under four hours. The pattern pieces went together beautifully. The end result it pretty much as I had envisioned - a nice simple, yet stylish, knit dress perfect for the office.
The fabric, in retrospect, might not have been the perfect choice. I don't recall what the blend was, but working with it I suspect there might be some cotton. I don't like cotton knits, even blends. Just my personal preference. I don't think they drape as nicely as other knits.
This dress needs a soft drapey knit to really show off the pleats and twisted front band. While the fabric might not have been the best choice, it still works. And I love the color combo - gray with black and two shades of purple. Did you read that - two shades of purple. My fave color. Plus I have purple suede shows that would work beautifully...
The dress kinda emphasizes the bust so if you're on the larger size you may or may not like that look.
The envelope cover led me to believe that this would be a short dress. Well, short as in above the knee short. It's not. The only change I made to the length was to sew a 1-1/2" hem versus a 2" as designed. Now I'm not what you'd call tall - between 5' 5" and 5' 6" (it'd be easier to just say 5' 5-1/2" wouldn't it?) and it just hits me mid-knee.
My serger gave up while sewing through the multiple layers at the under bodice (double back band, front and double front band). Well, actually the needle busted. My fault as I don't have any serger needles on hand and I'd been pushing that one much harder than a serger needle should ever be pushed.
Now, for sizing. I cut the usual 12 (shoulder/neck/bust) tapering to a 14. I ended up taking the side seams in almost an inch on each side, beginning at the underarm and ending at the side seam pocket. It's still a bit large but I'll be sitting at a desk most of the time so it won't matter.
I probably didn't have to waste my time on an FBA, but since I did let me share with you the steps I took.
Vogue 1194 FBA (Full Bust Adjustment)
Disclaimer. I'm not saying this is how you "should" do an FBA on this pattern. I'm not sure whether or not it's the "correct" way, or even the easiest way. It's just the way I did mine.
1) I like to trace the bodice piece, especially if I'm not 100% sure how to make the FBA.
2) Draw three lines as shown to create a side dart. Cut the pattern piece along the outer armhole and side seam.
4) Close the side dart and tape in place. This will pivot the entire fullness to the bottom edge where the pleats are located.
5) Place tissue paper underneath the open area and tape in place.
6) Redistribute the added fullness equally to each pleat. The purple lines show the new pleat lines. There are still four pleats but each one is now wider. I also added an additional 3/4" length to the bodice front, tapering to the original seam at the side.
So there you have it. A new knit dress sewn during the blizzard of 2010.
And I'll leave you with the mid-morning view looking out our front door.