Sunday, March 6, 2011

Vogue 1173

I bought this Sandra Betzina pattern a while ago as I liked the yellow version.  The pattern is for knits or wovens and includes a lining if required.
Now I've tried this pattern before, and failed miserably.   It was in a cotton voile and ended up looking like a very unattractive 60s house frock, but would have looked ok as a blouse had I not got distracted by the TV and cut off so much it was a crop top. 

I had a wedding to go to yesterday and decided to give it another try.  I'm not good at dressing for weddings, I don't wear dresses much and start worrying about the combination of need for appropriate dress, weather factors, need for high shoes etc etc.   

So the challenge for this wedding was - summer (hot), late morning to late afternoon, outside, and at a winery (so outside, plus on grass so stilettos are out plus likely effects of sun plus wine).
The fabric for the latest attempt is this light but horribly slippery to sew silk.  It has colours. It has python print. It has animal print. And pretty much everything else. It is OTT - but hopefully in a good way.   
I'm ho hum about the end result though.  I don't think this style suits me.  I know I'm hypercritical but the photo is far more flattering than in real life, or in particular, from a side view - eck.  Maybe this isn't good for anyone with a chest as it sticks out in front like a beach ball.
My major problem however, was the hemline - a problem of my own doing.  The dress is frumpy at knee length.  I cut it a bit shorter but in a try-on the slippery fabric was dipping everywhere.   I mustn't have cut the dress out very well.  

By the time the hem was straight(ish) - oh dear!  It is uncomfortably short and sitting or bending over is perilous, plus I'm definitely past the age for this hemline with bare legs.

So Plan B - the opaque tights.  That doesn't work either.  And tights on a summer day... nooo.  Frumpy. 
Maybe design wise the neck is too high? Sleeves too long? Just not me?  It still reminds me of a house frock.  I love the fabric but the style... maybe not.  You have to battle to make it not look frumpy.

This pattern might work best in a knit.  There are some interesting features such as darts all around the neck - you can have them on the inside like traditional darts or on the outside as a feature.
Given how busy this fabric is, the darts are on the inside.  The fabric pattern is somewhat wavy which was highlighted by the darts so I did tucks instead of darts for the middle front.
I don't think I'll ever wear it as a dress.  But as a top it could be nice.  It is lined but with the lining taken out so it is a bit lighter, and the length shortened to tunic length and the sleeves shortened a tad it may look nice over a pair of narrow leg trousers.  What do you think?

I have a feeling that this pattern came out at the same time as the wonderful DKNY pattern 1179 which is somewhat similar and is as simple as anything and yet looks hip and supremely flattering on everyone.
After trying both, I much prefer the DKNY pattern. 

And for the wedding, I ended up wearing this DKNY knit dress (without the tights) which I made a while ago. Phew.  Not quite so glam but lots more comfortable.  And it was a lovely wedding. 


  1. In my opinion high necked garments just don't work unless you're trying to make your bust look bigger :/ at least the don't work on me. Does it work with a belt to creaTe an artificial empire waist? What about nude stockings if you feel it's too short?

  2. I think the look works with the tights. I prefer the DKNY version, because it has a lower neckline. You could overcome the high neckline by throwing on a long necklace or scarf. not the summer dress you were after, but would be fab for winter as a layering piece.

  3. Hi Jacquie, I think you are my WA twin. We have very similar tastes. I have the DK pattern - its in the sew soon box. Love your dress, especially with the opaque tights.

  4. Will you be my personal fabric buyer? I always love the fabrics, especially the silks, you sew. The SB dress looks okay, but it is sort of a no shape silhouette. I think the style of the dress you wore to the wedding is much more flattering on you. It shows off your nice shape.

  5. I'm with Katherine that this will look good in winter with black tights - or leggings - and layers. Alternatively do you have fabric left over for a soft belt or tie? And the other thing I was wondering is whether this would look good without the sleeves, highlighting your shoulders? Too much work unpicking to test I imagine...

  6. I also agree with the other commenters that the dress really works with tights. The fabric is absolutely beautiful. I have made the DKNY vogue 1179 dress twice now and am really happy with the results.

  7. L*VELY fabric! I too like how the dress flow with the tights.

  8. Your right. The 1179 does look better XD. I'm having a giveaway for the Vogue 1179 on my blog so if you know anyone that wants it, send them over.

  9. Hey guess what, it worked best with that black leggings! Without it, it's just bare and makes the bust look bigger. The black lines make it flow.