Vogue 1156 - darts a'plenty

Sunday 17 February 2019
I've recently changed roles at my work and it has meant coming back to work full time after working part time very happily for the last ten years. It's a promotion and now as the responsible adult in the room I figure I need to look the part, so I'm really trying to step up my corporate wear this year.

First corporate dress off the rank is this grey fitted sheath dress:

woman modelling a grey fitted dress in front of plants

This is Vogue 1156, an OOP print Anne Klein pattern that has been in my stash for a few years just waiting for the right fabric to come along. And actually I don't think this fabric is the right fabric - all those darts and seam lines are barely visible which is annoying because it was quite tedious doing all the ones in both the fabric and the lining!

technical drawing for a sewing pattern

close up photo of the neckline of a grey dress

Not being very blessed in the bust department those darts do create a bit of puffiness at the front of the dress that my bony chest can't fill out, but apart from that it's a well fitting dress. I made a minor sway back adjustment to the centre back, and graded out from a size 8 at the bust to a size 14 at the hip to fit my pear shape and it all turned out pretty well.

woman modelling a grey fitted dress

woman modelling a grey fitted dress

The only thing I have a minor problem with is the neckline - it is so high that I feel like I'm being choked, especially when I'm sitting down at my computer or driving. I interfaced the neckline because this fabric was a loose weave, and I under-stitched the seam allowance to the lining so I think that creates quite a hard edge to the neckline which makes it worse. I just need to find the energy to unpick the neckline and re-sew it because it really is annoying.

close up photo of the neckline of a grey dress

This fabric is a lovely soft poly-cotton tweed like fabric from The Remnant Warehouse. I bought two metres initially planning to make some trousers, but since I'm so terrible at making trousers and the fabric was quite wide I realised that making a dress and a matching jacket (which is underway) is a far better use of the fabric.

I think this is a great pattern, but it seems it wasn't so popular with all the sewists out there on the internetz. There are only 4 reviews on Pattern Review and no others that I can find. The pattern is a bit involved with all those separate pieces and darts but isn't too difficult and all those seam lines offer a lot of opportunity for fitting. I would like to remake this dress in a plainer fabric - I'll add that to my never ending to do list!

Another summery dress: Simplicity 1883

Friday 1 February 2019
I have had a flying start to my sewing year - in January I finished two UFOs, made 3 new dresses, a top, a skirt and swimmers for my daughter. Now if only my blogging could keep pace with my sewing.....

First up is another simple sundress to wear in this extreme heat we are still suffering through here in Sydney:

woman modelling a sleeveless summer dress in multi colours

This is Simplicity 1883, a wardrobe pattern that is out of print now. I actually bought it for the jacket pattern which I pulled out recently to make but made the dress instead:

Simplicity sewing pattern 1883
The dress is simple princess line v-neck dress, nothing too fancy but perfect for this busy fabric. This is another fabric I bought from a Nerida Hansen sale last year - I just cannot resist the modern and vibrant prints

Fitting wise I just ignored the pattern sizes on the envelope and went by the finished measurements on the pattern because this pattern has a lot of ease. I ended up cutting two sizes smaller than the pattern indicated, using a size 8 at the bust, a size 10 at the waist and a size 14 at the hips. I also did a basic small bust adjustment by flattening out the bust curve on the princess seam. I still had problems easing in the fabric and ended up with a few ripples there which is annoying.

close up photo of the neckline of a dress

The skirt is very a-line which I think may be further exaggerated by this mid weight cotton - a softer fabric might drape flatter to the body in gentle folds but I don't mind this look:

woman modelling a sleeveless summer dress in multi colours

The back and side views are fairly unexciting - just a plain scooped neckline at the back and the irregular print meant I didn't have to exactly pattern match at the seams for a nice change.

woman modelling a sleeveless summer dress in multi colours

woman modelling a sleeveless summer dress in multi colours

It's a bit on the casual side for my work wardrobe, but on a day when the city hit 40degC I figured it was fine. I put on a jacket to combat the air conditioner in my office which is always set to freezing and called it good!