Pattern Description: Lined, flared, floor length dress (shaped hemline), close-fitting at bust, has back zipper, neck ruffle and bodice front extending to form neckline drape. Gathered drape is sewn over empire waist seam.
Pattern Sizing: Normal Vogue sizes. I made a size 8, which fit with no adjustments, amazingly.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, but it took a lot of tweaking and additional engineering to get it that way. More on that below.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Not bad. There were some things that left me puzzled for a few minutes but the dress comes together somewhat logically once you trust the instructions.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?The style is unlike anything I've made before so I knew this would be something different in the construction department. I also have never sewn with chiffon (and I probably won't again for a long time!) so this looked like a good chalenge for a fabric type new to me.
Fabric Used:Silk chiffon for the fashion fabric, from Gorgeous Fabrics and silk georgette for the underlining and lining, from Thai Silks. Both fabrics are really lovely. The chiffon has a great subtle luster to it and the ivory color is almost champagne. The georgette is lucious, no other word for it! However let me say here that I've now learned chiffon is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of patience to get the machine tension right, to do french seams, and to finish the hems correctly. The georgette wasn't as trying and has the most incredible drape. I'll definitely work with that stuff again whenever a slinky dress is in order.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:YES YES YES. For starters, I think you need to do some defensive sewing to get the pieces to lay "just right" all the time. I tacked the neck ruffle into place so that the back stood up (Hey, I went to school in the South and thus have a strange affection for "popped collars.")
Next, I tacked the front gathers to the underlining in the waist section. Before doing this the dress wasn't hanging in a flattering sense; I think the gathers simply need to be coaxed into place.
Third, the pattern calls for some bias fabric strips to finish the seam when you attach the bodice to the skirt. I don't know why they have you do this when you can just sew the two together like you would any other garment. I also used packaged bias tape to finish the zipper off. I prefer to have the zipper tape under the lining but I don't know how you would do that on this dress given how it's constructed.
Last, I used an invisible zipper though I think the pattern says to use a standard one. Since you have the waist gathers hitting the zipper I thought it would look cleaner (though you have to be careful the zipper doesn't snag the fabric). Other than those items, I followed the pattern through and through!
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?No, I wouldn't sew it again because it is really unique. I would only recommend this to experienced sewers AND those who are willing to work on it for many weekends/evenings. This is by no means a weekend project and I'd be impressed if someone could crank it out in a week!
Conclusion: Truth be told, this is not one of my favorite dresses. I think the dress itself turned out quite well but there's a reason that I haven't sewn this style of dress before: it's just not my bag, baby. On the upside it is incredibly comfortable to wear and it has wonderful movement to it. I'm looking forward to donning it for the ball (pics of that to come) but I now know that flowy chiffon gowns probably won't be filling my closet!