This dress has been a long time coming. Fabric was given to me in June 2014, the dress was sewn in January 2016, it was photographed in March 2016 and has finally made it to the blog in June 2016! But I think it was worth the wait.
First, the pattern. This is Vogue 1390, and I think that it’s a brilliant pattern. It is one of Vogue’s Sandra Betzina line of patterns, so the sizing is their “Today’s Fit” sizing rather than their regular sizing. For me, this means sewing size D. As always, I look at the finished garment measurements when choosing what size to sew, taking my own measurements and my preferred ease amounts into account.
From the Vogue website: Loose-fitting, pullover dress has neckline variations, self-lined yokes, bands and sides, no side seams and bias armhole facings. A: Round neckline and optional lining. B: V-neckline and front tucks.
I chose to sew View A but with the V-neckline of view B. I didn’t want to do all those tucks, because I was instead wanting to feature this beautiful thai hand-woven fabric given to me by Gaye when we were in Thailand. It took me ages to decide on a pattern that would do the fabric justice, but I definitely feel that this one does. It also took me ages to choose a coordinating fabric for the yokes and hem and side panels. In the end I went with a silk/cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics that toned really nicely.
I knew that I would need to shorten the dress, and that I would need to remove length from the body and side panels before cutting out the dress. I folded out 1 1/4 inches at the shorten/lengthen line, but then took another four inches from the bottom of the body pieces and the side panels. I then had just enough of the hand-woven fabric for the front and back body pieces, and had the dress at a length that worked better for my 158cm height.
The construction is interesting. The yokes are self-lined. I made sure to stabilise the neckline front and back with fusible tape as soon as I cut it out, as I really didn’t want it to stretch out of shape. The side panels and the front and back hem panels are also self-lined, so don’t require hemming as instead there is a fold at the hemline. So essentially the only part that is unlined in this dress is the hand-woven feature fabric. The pattern does give instructions for fully lining the dress if you so desire. I used a combination of the sewing machine and the overlocker to construct the dress. Yokes were constructed first then sewn to the dress front and dress back. Hem bands were then added, and finally the side panels sewn in place. I had to be very careful to line up the hems before stitching. Bias strips were then used like narrow facings to finish the armholes, and it was done! Overall it was actually not difficult to sew.
Silk/cotton is also a lovely fabric to work with, and the V-neckline has worked out very nicely. It’s not a low V, as you can see, but sits nicely at the front and at the back. There is a teensy bit of pulling from the point of the V that I can see in the photos, but it’s not an issue in wearing. I’m thrilled with my dress, and it will always be a reminder of my wonderful time in Chiang Mai. Thanks so much Gaye – and hopefully we’ll see you again when we return to Thailand in January!
By the way, if you’re interested in fabrics like the handwoven Thai ikat used in this dress, Gaye has a little etsy shop called Notionally Better where she sells a beautifully curated collection of Thai fabrics and trimmings.