Summer Sewing No. 3 – Floral Dress

Oh my gosh! Can you believe I've completed my Summer Sewing plans? I can't. Seven pieces finished. Woohoo! This is number 3 on the list, Vogue V1152 floral dress. The pattern is from their designer series by Rebecca Taylor. After I completed it and tried it on I was really reminded of a 90's dress. But I do love it. Every girl needs at least one or five sweet floral dresses. Don't you think?

This was actually the second one that I started. I had it all cut out a couple months ago but only started sewing it together this weekend. There are so many steps that I got kind of intimidated. But I'm so happy that I conquered it. I love this dress. To get myself started sewing this baby, I laid out all the pieces in piles according to the steps.

The pattern has a lot of details including princess seams and front insets with piping. Instead of making my own piping I used a pre-made cording that contrasts nicely with the colors in the fabric. There were a lot of steps to put this together but I had a really good time sewing it. I think I was kind of frustrated with my last couple creations with the french seams and the fitting. But this one was really fun! Maybe it's that I've made gads of dresses before or that Vogue patterns are kind of my go-to. Either way, this was the piece that had me gladly staying up until 2am and wishing there was more to sew.

On the hanger the dress looks almost the same in the front and back. The sheer, busy floral pattern tricks the eye that way. The back has a yoke that extend over the shoulder to the front and elastic casings at the back waist. I made a few minor changes to this pattern. First, I lengthened the dress by about 1.5 inches in the bodice in order to make the seam with the piping fall below the bust line. To do this I lengthened all of the front and back pieces. Instead of doing a facing for the bodice, I made a full lining piece out of the fashion fabric. Because of the sheerness of the fabric, I didn't want to see the edge of the facing showing through. Also instead of doing pleated sleeve caps, I got lazy (it was 2am) and just did gathers. I figured no one is really going to be able to tell and the look will be the same. Then after it was all done, I decided that I wanted the fit at the waist to be a little tighter so I made the elastic at the back shorter by about .5 inch. 

The fabric is a sheer, polyester floral that I found in the Michael Levine bargain bin downtown. This is the kind of floral pattern that I just die for. It's so pretty! This kind of fabric frays very easily so I serged the edges with black thread. Often I will finish all of the edges of my fabric pieces before sewing them together but I wanted to cut down on some of the bulk from the gathers and all the seams so for the most part I serged after I stitched the seams. That made for a lot of switching between the serger and sewing machine but I like how it worked out. The only parts of the dress that are lined are the bodice and back yoke. So, to avoid showing my underthings to the whole world, I just wear a ready made slip with the dress.

How sweet is this dress?! I really love it. It's a little bit 30's and a little bit 90's so I styled it with red lipstick and a black patent leather vintage handbag. I picked up the silver flats at Ross over the weekend (score! they never have size 11). They are similar to these and these. I'm not sure where I'm going to wear this dress first but I'm thinking a matinee at the theatre or a weekend brunch. 

I really enjoyed this pattern and would recommend it to others. The fitting alterations I made are my standard changes. There were no surprises and it just went together really nicely. If I found the right fabric I would even consider making it again. Have you tried out Vogue V1152 before?

Check out the earlier posts in this series here:

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