So I initially planned on ranting about what an absolute failure this dress was. Then M saw me in it, and made googly eyes, and when I hear words like “Wow, that looks like something from Mad Men!”…Well, I had to revise my plan.
It has a lot going for it, this Vogue 8511 dress. I like the grey. Of course I do. It has a bit of shimmer, and could potentially rise to a party occasion if paired with some sparkly accessories. The fabric is maybe some kind of suiting? There’s a good amount of stretch, which allows for comfort, yet the fabric holds enough structure for the pleats and keeps the blubbery bits of my body hermetically sealed. The style is surprisingly flattering – I thought I would look too hip heavy, but it may actually give me an hourglass shape, sort of va-va-voom.
But it was a pain to make from beginning to end. This was my first Vogue pattern attempt, and it claims to be “very easy”. I’m sure it is for those not having a sewing mojo crisis moment like I am. Frankly, I’m surprised it fits me at all. Somehow the only super obvious mistake is that I mangled the neckline and made it an unintentional cowl and it pulls significantly on the left side (exhibit A above). The back is a little askew too (the right arm hole scoops out a little more than the left):
The skirt was actually a breeze to construct, especially since I didn’t bother with the vent due to the stretchy fabric. The pleats looked great, and I was prematurely pleased with myself. The bodice, though, had given me all sorts of trouble, from pieces not matching up and the lining appearing to be too short, etc. etc. And then I tried to attach the bodice to the skirt and there was a four-inch discrepancy. FOUR inches. The bodice was much too wide, and I couldn’t figure it out. In the end, I chopped two inches from each side of the back center opening (where the zipper would be inserted). Miraculously, the princess seams were exactly where they were supposed to be. Not sure what this says about my bust.
And I tell you, I could not get the darn invisible zipper installed correctly. I gave my seam ripper a rigorous workout, and I’m dead serious when I say I redid it 10 times. I’ve had no problems with invisible zippers before, but there I was checking tutorials and watching youtube videos and still, rip-rip-rip. I let out an epic sigh when I finally got it right, hours later. I wonder if watching the final season of Dexter had anything to do with it. I may have been a little distracted while trying to sew that zipper.
Emboldened by M’s positive appraisal, I threw on a cardi and wore the dress all day. I got compliments! True, I hid the neckline with a scarf, but still.
One thing’s for sure: I am never sewing another dress with a back zip. How can you possibly get dressed on your own? You should have seen the contortions I put my body through and in the end, I had to get K to zip it up. Not fun. Otherwise, it’s a really comfy dress, and it’s growing on me. So, not an absolute failure, and maybe next time, it will in fact be “very easy”.