Pattern Review – Vogue V1652 Dress
When I first decided I was going to learn how to sew a dress, this was the pattern I bought.
I remember the day I decided to get cracking on my new year’s goal. I opened up the packet, lay the tissue paper out on my office floor and stood there puzzled and bewildered. My husband came and stood with me and asked me what I was doing. My answer… ‘I have no clue’.
The fact that I thought I could just get to sewing like that is now quite ridiculous to me. I went and learnt, and researched and that all worked out well. However, in the process of my learning and research I read so much about Vogue patterns being really tricky to sew, that this pattern never resurfaced.
I figured I have learnt a lot about making my own clothes in the last year and so surely the Vogue pattern shouldn’t be so intimidating. And you know what, it wasn’t.
Ok, the instructions don’t hand hold in the way many indie patterns do, but it really wasn’t so scary. Still taking each step as it came, taking my time to really understand the instructions, it came out well and I now have a new dress that I absolutely love. I was ready to sew it now in a way I wouldn’t have been a year ago.
The V1652 has two views. View A is an over knee baby doll shape body, with cuffed balloon sleeves and a stand up collar with a built in neck tie…. Just a little bit like a Valentino hit from a few years back.
View B is a longer dress, with the addition of a bottom ruffle and without the necktie.
I chose View A.
I had recently bought a beautiful batch of silky cupro that I thought would be perfect for the dress. I felt the pattern needed a lot of drape and the cupro would give this perfectly.
Pattern & Instructions
Now, here is my big grumble with vogue patterns and this one in particular. I am a curvy sewer, fat sewer, whatever word you want to use. I am a RTW 14 (US10), so not a huge amount outside of the size curve most RTW ranges would deem ‘normal’… but I am the biggest size on this Vogue pattern. Size 22.
Why oh why have Vouge not yet got to grips with the fact that this is not the place to stop their patterns. I felt so strongly about this I have emailed their design team. I’m not sure my mail will ever get read, or make a difference, but I felt I needed to do something. Grrrr @ Vogue!
The dress has a front yoke which finishes quite high and from there it’s a loose and drapey trapeze shape.
Given this, I didn’t think that I would need an FBA and so picked my size based on my full bust size, knowing that I would then need to adjust the shoulders down. I decided not the grade the pattern and planned to adjust when I fitted the sleeves.
Stupidly or not, I decided not to make a muslin and just go straight in. I was confident enough that any adjusting I would need to do would be down and therefore I could do it as I went. I cut out my cupro and staystitched a lot of my edges! This slippery beast was going to be the biggest challenge of this sew.
Sewing the Dress
I have to say that the make was fairly straight forward. The dress is lined and the instructions covered this and the main construction well. The dress has a few trickier elements that were new for me, namely the cuff, with buttons, the stand up neck collar and the tie element. The dress also has a buttoned neckline.
It was this buttoned neckline that got be a bit stumped. It was the only bit of the instructions that I struggled with. I don’t think I sewed it quite right, but what I did, did the job! I couldn’t quite work out what the instructions were telling me to do with the bias tape. I winged it and know it’s not as it should be but you wouldn’t know … and I still don’t know what I would need to change!
I expected that the cuffs and collar would have got be confused, but the instructions were clear, I took my time and I’m really proud with how this came out.
When it came time to attach the sleeves I knew I needed to adjust the shoulders. I pinned the sleeves in and tried the dress on. I ended up taking an inch off both the front and back side of the shoulders. In reality I probably should have adjusted the top of my sleeve, but as this has a gathered set in, I decided to keep it as it was.
I did at the same time check the sleeve length and decided it was ok. By the time I added the cuff though it was about half an inch too long. I didn’t adjust it, but if I was making it again I would.
Office Glam… I’m a bit in love with this one
My Finished Dress!
I am so happy with this dress. I’d like to say I wish I had sewn it sooner, but I think I was in the right place with my sewing skill, and mindset to slow down now for it. Any sooner and it could well have been a hot mess.
The fabric I chose has worked perfectly. I has a beautiful sheen and swing that just works so well. I intended this dress to be smart enough for work, and on the first day of wearing it to the office I got so many compliments so I’m pretty sure I did a good job.
I found some vintage black glass buttons in my stash that I have used for both the neckline and the cuffs and I think they are my favourite part of the dress.
I’m glad I shrugged off the Vogue trepidation and made the dress. I honestly love it. I’m really glad I didn’t rush this one as it has given the dress such a great finish. I’ve learned my lesson from trying to get things finished too soon. View B is now on my ‘to make’ list….