I actually finished this pattern a long, long time ago but completely forgot to post about it. This is one of the Vogue Designer patterns (Anne Klein) rated Average. A word of advice: A professionally finished version of this dress is not “Average” in any sense … skills or effort.
This particular pattern calls for about 5 yards of chiffon, matte jersey or charmeuse. If I were you, I would stay away from jersey for this one. For starters, there is a ton of ruching which needs to be hand-tacked in place, and the stretch of jersey would distort. Secondly, you need a fabric that the ruching can be steamed in, or else you will have an awkward lumpy mess. For my fabric pick, I selected a $2/yd poly chiffon in a teal leopard print (with some texture), which I found in the JoAnn clearance section. I lined it with a teal poly charmeuse also from JoAnn’s.
I would also caution on the sizing. Even though I was technically a size 16 at the time I made this, the size 12 fit acceptably snugly. I feel that cutting your true size would lead to gaping (unless you are broad shouldered), so you should err on the size of smaller.
I used tailor tacks in a bright contrasting yellow to transfer the pattern markings and labeled each pattern piece with a piece of tissue paper (pinned). This was in between kitty protests for attention, and kitty boredom naps, which slowed the cutting process.
Where the instructions are concerned … they are pretty good, but you would need some skill and eye to get the ruching effect seen on the model’s garment. The outer (ruched layer) is gathered and placed over the foundation bodice pieces and then the ruching is further tacked in place with invisible stitches from the back of the two layers. I carefully pinned in the “veins” of my ruching so that they looked similar to the photo, and then tacked from behind. This step was far more difficult than it sounds because getting an even distribution on both bust drapes was very time consuming. If this part is not done properly, you will look like you have saggy boobies.
For the parts of the dress that were not fully lined, I used French seams. Except they are “mock French seams”. I basted each seam, close to the edge as possible, right sides together and then used a ¼” rolled hem foot to sew the seam cleanly. The hem was finished with a narrow handkerchief roll hem on my serger.
The lining was fairly straight-forward, but the tedious need for handstitching made it more time-consuming than I was prepared for. This project took me a lot longer to finish than I had planned for – it was broken up due to periods where I lacked motivation to perform all of the handstitching and tedious pinning of the thin/slippery fabrics. I think it is much more challenging to get the garment pictured than rated, and I would go into this with eyes wide open … especially if planning to use chiffon
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