Vogue 1496 ended up being my Christmas Day dress. At first I’d planned on wearing the blue linen Mary dress that I blogged a couple of days ago, but when I tried it on I just wasn’t feeling it. So at 4.15pm Christmas Eve I started cutting out and sewing this dress.
Surprise, another sack dress! What what a comfortable, and dare I say it, flattering, sack dress! Vogue describe the pattern as follows: Very loose-fitting, tapered, pullover dress has V-neckline, optional pockets (stitched in place), front extending into yoke back, no shoulder seams, back armhole openings with narrow hem, and stitched hem. A: Optional neckline inset.
I sewed view A, the shorter length, but without the optional neckline insert. I did actually read the pattern instructions and follow them when constructing this dress, and I’m really glad that I did. Firstly, I raised the neckline two inches as per the instruction. This is a very low neckline as drafted. It does say that in the pattern, and there are instructions on how to raise it. That alteration needs to be done on both the front pattern piece and the neckline facing piece.
I also topstitched the neckline facing down, after trying it on. I found that on the shifty rayon the neckline just wouldn’t sit nicely as it was (despite under stitching etc) but when I put in on my dress form and pinned it suddenly the whole neckline sat flat and the entire dress was more supported. So I topstitched it all down. Design feature!
The construction of this dress is quite unusual. Excluding the facings and pockets there are just two pattern pieces. The front piece extends around to form the back yoke – there are no shoulder seams. The armholes are formed where the lower back is seamed to the back yoke area. You definitely need to make all markings and refer to the instructions to get this right. I also used 6mm Vliesofix tape as per the instructions and found it really useful in construction.
Even the pocket construction is a bit unusual. The pocket bags are topstitched to the front pattern piece, so the front of the dress is the front of the pocket and your hand slips through a opening just beside the side seam into the pocket. The pocket opening is also topstitched.
Even though I sewed the shorter dress length, after finishing and trying on I folded the hem up another one and a half inches and topstitched it in place. That resulted in a better length on my 158cm height and a doubled hem, which gave the dress more pleasing weight and drape. Size-wise, I sewed size D (Sandra Betzina patterns have different sizing to other Vogue patterns) which was about one size smaller than my measurements suggested. The fabric is printed viscose from The Cloth Shop in Ivanhoe, bought some time a year or so ago.
This was actually really quick to make. Even though I didn’t start it until 4.15pm Christmas Eve, I didn’t take any short cuts along the way, still had dinner and went to the Christmas Eve service at church, and had the dress finished somewhere around 8.30pm. It’s a great pattern – just read the instructions before you start!