Something different today! I have a sewing pattern to review now ^-~ This dress is Vogue 1031, a floor length bias dress with draped neckline, spaghetti straps, pleated inset, and side zipper. Bias dresses like this are probably one of my favorite things to sew, I love the way they come together and I love the way they look. If you are a fan of the way bias works and feels, then I definitely suggest you think about getting it 😀
I used a polyester charmeuse satin – I’m not totally proud of using polyester XD;; but I thought the color, texture, and hand worked out very nicely for this gown. The dress does call for a lining, which I decided to skip because I live in Florida 😄 and having a lining would be way too much fabric in the kind of heat we’re used to seeing.
Vogue gives this pattern an advanced rating, I’m assuming from the pleats and the shape of the draping. Considering how much I love working in bias I thought it was a bit easier than advanced, but the pleats are a bit tricky to work with. I found it was easier to make them with lots of tape holding it in place as you sew. And to be honest, if you don’t get the pleats exactly right, who can really tell? The whole look of the pleats is rather haphazard (in a good way), so if you make one little fudge it won’t do much harm so long as it still fits the inset.
Because I didn’t use a lining, I was sure to sew French seams for all of the main seams throughout the dress, and I bound the seam allowance of the inset with a self-fabric bias strip. Without the lining the dress still looks great, and the wrong side of the charmeuse only looks less shiny than the right side, so it doesn’t detract from the dress when you see the wrong side slipping out. I was also impressed by the straps, which I thought came together so easily compared to other dresses of this style that I’ve made. The strips of fabric serve as both the binding to the armholes and the straps in one, so they flow beautifully together and don’t look overworked at all.
The fit of the dress is also fabulous. Again, because it is bias cut it feels snug but not too tight, which is why I love the feel of bias. The flaring in the bottom makes it perfect if you’ve got a bigger bum like me 😄 And the draping in the top is loose and comfortable without drooping so low as to show too much chest. As many sewers might know, the major pattern companies make their sizes to accommodate a size B cup, which is what I am so it fit me about perfectly. If you have a larger bust you’ll probably have to make some adjustments, as the draped front probably would show too much chest if the fit was tighter. The pleated front is also great if you don’t have a perfectly flat stomach.
So all in all, I really love this dress and how it came together. If you don’t mind the trickiness of bias fabric and you’re willing to deal with the tediousness of folding the pleats then I would highly recommend it. I definitely think I will make it again (maybe in real silk this time! oooooh, big spender! x3) because I made the floor-length version, which can only work for so many occasions (in my life, practically no occasions XD). As much as I love the drama of a floor length dress, I’d probably look better in a knee-length dress because I’m so short x3 So I really need to make this dress again in the short version so I can wear it to more places. I certainly encourage you to give it a whirl too!