Monday, July 25, 2011

Vogue 1175: Donna Karan Bubble Dress

Over the last few years I have found that my impulse projects are generally my most successful projects. Doing the research gets me excited about the project and helps keep me motivated to finish (deadlines don't always keep the mo-jo flowing). I always check out what other people have done with a pattern on pattern review and it helps me plan and anticipate problems. I also love going out into the Garment District to purchase all the materials for a project at once. 

Last September, my college roommate got married in Nova Scotia. I don't get many opportunities to wear, let alone make a fancy dress, so this was the perfect excuse to make a pattern I had bought on impulse with no idea if I'd ever have a good reason to make it.  The dress turned out so great. I loved making it and didn't run into any problems due to my research and good luck. So here is my super late project blog post. 
Pattern Description: Vogue 1175
Close-fitting, above mid-knee length, pullover, lined dress has contrast bodice back, seam detail, pleated front and back, side front in-seam pockets and puffed hem.

Pattern Sizing: 14-16-18-20
I chose the size 14 based on my over bust measurement and did a full bust modification to make this work, which I will go into detail about below. First I traced off the size 14 bodice front and back (and CF skirt) to made a muslin to see if I was even close to making the right choice. It fit pretty well around my shoulders and back. I was definitely mashed in the front, but that was expected. I also saw that the my bust point is at least an inch lower than the pattern, which is no surprise since patterns are drafted for for someone 5'6", not my 5'10.5". I had read in the other reviews that the neckline and sides of this pattern are kind of low, but on me it didn't appear to pose a serious threat to my dignity (although I might have found a skimpier bra) and I decided to leave it alone.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, except that I added an additional dart at the center front as part of the FBA.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, but I wish the diagrams were bigger, especially for the construction of the center front. I would recommend making a complete mock up for anyone who is unsure of their skills or how the style is supposed to come together.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like how unique this design is. It was a puzzle to put together and I had fun making it. I don't usually go for voluminous bubble styles, but I felt really special wearing it. I really love that it has pockets!

 I did not like that the fabric requirements listed was 60" wide. I found my fabric in the NYC garment district so I had lots to chose from, but I found that there really is no such thing as 60" taffeta. I was worried about having enough to fit the large pattern pieces. As it turns out, even if I had made a larger size, I would not have needed fabric that wide. My fabric was 54' and it was plenty wide.
Fabric Used: Silk taffeta, silk organza (to underline the back bodice), silk charmeuse (back bodice) , silk cotton batiste (lining). I found some really great sales on 39th St and was able to get all my fabric for under $40! 

One thing I wish I had done was to serge finish the seam allowance of the bottom hem edge of the taffeta. With all the handling of the dress it had unraveled quite a bit by the time I got to the hem.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made a full bust modification following TiaDia's lead. I did mine slightly different though because I am tall and the bust point was already too high on the unmodified pattern. For my FBA I added a second pleat below the original which had the added benefit of lowering the bust point.

 I was a bit stumped on how to modify the lining since the obvious slash and spread to the CF pleat would interfere slightly with the construction which already was tricky due to the lack of clear diagrams, but it worked out fine in the end.

My only other modification was that I eliminated the CF seam on the front skirt piece.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I won't sew it again because one party dress in this style is enough for my closet, but I definitely recommend it if you like the style. It wasn't terribly difficult to put together and I am immensely pleased with the results.
I made a this party dress for roughly $40, not too much labor, I had fun making it, had more fun wearing it, and I got lots of compliments on my sewing skills. I win!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the paneling and pleating, I've never seen another finished dress from this pattern. You chose a great colour too, no wonder you got so many compliments! :)

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