Monday, 4 March 2013

Vogue 1159 - a lovely struggle.

Vogue 1159 is out-of-print, but still available at the BMV website (and possibly elsewhere).

I bought it years ago in a fit of inspiration, but was overwhelmed and intimidated by the reviews. Mismatched notches! One giant confusing pattern piece! Not enough stretch in the fabric! No adjustments possible! Sewing the whole thing backwards! Can't comprehend finished product until the final step!

All of these things are true, of course. The weight of pattern reviews is rarely wrong. Just google "Vogue 1159 review", and you'll see what I mean.



HOWEVER. I have decided to ignore my inner voice saying "You're barely more than beginner level! You really really need a full bust adjustment!" My fabric and thread for this project cost about NZ$15. Given that the current Donna Karan Vogue pattern retails for about £1000, I feel that this is a very reasonable price. Worst case scenario, an unwearable dress.

I went into this knowing that the pattern was a PITA for almost all that attempted it. I certainly wasn't game to try an FBA on the incomprehensible pattern piece. Given the high stretch of my fabric (poly spandex crepe knit), I just graded out from a 14 at what I think was the top to a 16 at the hips - i.e. my usual Vogue sizes.


The instructions were confusing. I'm not that easily confused, and I'm a thorough (re)reader. There are only three pattern pieces - one is clearly the upper back, one is clearly the lining, and the other piece was called "front and back". I'm sure this made the confusion worse, because saying things like "sew the notched edge to the front and back" sounds quite different to "sew the notched edge to the main pattern piece". The first sounds like you'll be sewing it twice!

Note the bit of lining peeping through the middle. Also the low armhole.
And all the things I mentioned in the second paragraph do make this more difficult. You really need to stop after each step, do some origami to check how the dress goes together, and then carry on. The dress origami is easier to check if you have a mannequin.

There is a LOT of hand-basting and many tailor's tacks. Do them though, it makes it easier to put together (except for the mismatched notches). The only change I made to the instructions was that I didn't sew the top sashes together until after I'd finished the dress and tried it on. This gave me the opportunity to redistribute the gathers over my (larger) bustline, and then I just tacked them in place.

Where the three seams joined at the back is a bit off. I should have pulled this down properly over my butt, too.
After all of this, it's an economical dress (less than 2m fashion fabric, and no closures). It only took 6 hours, with a lunch break, from cutting to wearing. And I love the style.

I've now got a bit more sewing confidence, as this was my first Vogue designer pattern. I like the end result, and now I've got a stylish dress for any occasion.

Have you ever struggled through every step of a project right until the bitter/sweet end?

38 comments:

  1. Holy Crap woman, you're looking HAUTE!
    I am totally loving this dress on you - so very, very flattering. If you had a favour to ask the fiance that would take some convincing to get a yes, now would be the time to go and sit on his lap and ask!! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha, I hadn't thought of how I could use this to its fullest advantage!

      Thanks for the lovely comment, you've made my day :-D

      Delete
  2. That dress is gorgeous! If I didn't know you sewed, I would have assumed that was store bought. And even then...It looks great Kat and the color is stunning on you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Vanisha! Sewing is the only way I'll ever afford a Donna Karan dress ;-)

      And an extra thank you for the compliments!

      Delete
  3. BOO to the complicated pattern but SUPER YAY to the outcome!!! It looks awesome. And the colour is gorgeous. Well done, you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Maybe I've finally hit the sewing sweet spot. I even think this dress is somewhat slimming, albeit with my big wrestlers arms out the top ;-)

      Delete
  4. This dress looks fabulous on you. Well worth the effort.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Leonie, I'm just glad the sewing struggle was worth the effort!

      Delete
  5. WOW! That colour fabric, and style of dress on you looks absolutely stunning! So glad you gave this pattern a go - my hat goes off to you ... J

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Judith, I think I'm finally getting the hang of choosing the 'right' patterns for my shape!

      Delete
  6. The dress looks spectacular and so do you! Everything is right about it, especially that gorgeous blue colour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The blue really is that vibrant, and I think it's gorgeous too :-)

      Delete
  7. Fantastic dress, this is so flattering on you. I made this a few years ago and still wear it, it's a great dress and I'm sure you will find plenty of occasions to wear it. Hopefully this has given you the confidence to try some more designer patterns, I'm a big fan of the Donna Karan ones especially.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read your review before I started this (much appreciated). I'm definitely more confident to try the designer patterns, and am now completely in love with Donna Karan :-D

      Delete
  8. Fabulous! I enjoyed reading your review.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Gorgeous dress in a stunning color. Thanks for the detailed post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Shelley- I hope the post is useful to you :-)

      Delete
  10. You look stunning :)
    Come and visit me on: www.olivains.com :))

    ReplyDelete
  11. The draping is gorgeous! You did a great job!
    Amy from www.SewsNBows.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amy, I'm a few years late but I really like the draped look :-)

      Delete
  12. Beautiful color, style, everything! You really look stunning in this dress. Congratulations on a job well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ann - it's really satisfying to have sewn something that really *works* for me :-)

      Delete
  13. I love the colour! And you look AMAZING. It's beautiful. Congratulations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I'm going to come back to these comments whenever I'm having a bad day :-)

      Delete
  14. Your dress look gorgeous! such a va va voom colour. The design is very chic; Donna Karan really knows how to flatter a woman's curves doesn't she
    Thanks so much for the kind comment on my jacket too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Carolyn. I think Donna Karan has hit the jackpot - it flatters curves, and I suspect would add welcome curves to those who were born with less! It's a great design.

      I think we could all do with more kind comments in our lives... it is a genuinely lovely jacket!

      Delete
  15. Awesome colour and you look fabulous. Nicely done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Suzy. One thing I love about sewing is that I have some control over the colours - everything in the shops is often similar shades, and I like to wear brights!

      Delete
  16. You look fab in that dress. Well done on putting it together. I have struggled through it myself and hope that my second version will be easier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I am positive this dress would be easier to sew on the second time around :-)

      Delete
  17. What a knockout dress! You look absolutely stunning! What a fantastic color on you too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I was pretty proud of it, too :-)

      Delete
  18. This is such a great dress! Love your colour choice. I've made the dress twice, and whenever I think it's a bit "meh" because I'm getting bored of it after wearing it so much, I fall in love with it all over again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a lovely dress. I used your versions as inspiration! I've worn mine quite a bit too. I love it's versatility, and the fabric makes it just a wash-n-wear (highly unusual for a stunning cocktail dress).

      Delete

Other posts you might like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...