I love this new little thing; we are expecting more really hot weather around here and I wanted some more really cool floaty things that can waft around my body, if not picking up any actual real breezes then possibly the swishing about of fabric just might create flurries of pseudo-breezes to cool me off... I know, could be hopeless wishful thinking but in a heatwave one is willing to try anything.
You're probably wondering about the strange and seemingly random name I've given to this quite romantic little number... well remember this?
The very very sweet but fabric-clueless young man who cut, cut? nay, hacked off this piece of silk for me in the Alannah Hill outlet store in Melbourne then packaged it for me by stuffing it (and by "stuffing" I'm not speaking figuratively but quite literally) into a little sandwich bag, painstakingly sealed closed, and presented thus for me to carry out of the store... Funny! I was so entertained by this cavalier treatment of fine, high quality silk that the image just became firmly wedged in my head never to be dislodged... the Sandwich Bag dress was always going to be its name after that.
A positive, at a pinch I know I can always fit this dress in a teensy little sandwich bag if an emergency packing situation arises...
I've had this Vogue pattern for about a year, and finally have used it. I had always looked at it a bit sideways and wondered if was a very silly purchase that wasn't me at all, but I'm over that now. I've decided all those extravagant ruffles that before had me balking are really quite flattering for my figure. So it does pay to try new things and to stretch oneself out of one's comfort zone every once in a while. And fortuitously I had just exactly the right amount of fabric, lucky or what?? That young man with his jaggedy cuts did it just right!
The dress is completely lined with navy blue acetate lining, and all the ruffles and raw edges are finished with a rolled hem using two shades of red overlocking thread, just using threads I had already. The lining hem is finished in the traditional way. The buttons are these perfect dark mauve discs found at Fabulous Fabrics. Aaand, I added pockets... ! (self high five)
Below is the pattern review I submitted, in case you're interested...
Lined dresses A, B, fitted through bust area have princess seams, contrast neck and lower flounce, straps and loop closure, sash with threaded loops.
Overall 6-20, I bought the AA option with sizes 6-12 and sewed a straight size 10.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you had finished sewing it?
yes, except that I used self fabric for the ruffles, not a contrasting fabric
Were the instructions easy to follow?
yesWhat did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It is a loose fitting dress, so precision fitting is not an issue here, simplifying things.
I wasn't sure about the look of all those ruffles at first and so put off making up this one for about a year. Now I love them and feel they are very flattering to my figure. However those same extravagant ruffles are what contributes to the difficulty of getting a good finish, particularly in the neckline/shoulder strap area, sewing dress to lining and turning right side out in step 24. In this part I fully appreciated how essential thin lightweight fabric is for this pattern to work at all, so you can scrunch up those ruffles up tight enough to be contained with those thin little shoulder areas when sewing.
Understitching around these areas and the button loop area was quite fiddly. The button loop area was quite fiddly full stop, but I put this down to the delicate and slippery silk I chose to make the dress up in, and not the fault of the pattern.
Thin silk charmeuse
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I added in-seam pockets in the side seams of the dress.
I used the rolled hem function on my overlocker to finish all raw edges of the ruffles and the sash, rather than the narrow hem method described in step 4 and 5 of the instructions. So much easier! Plus instead of double stitching all the seam allowances as described I finished raw edges on the inside by overlocking.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it?
I won't sew this again in the near future, as it is such an eye-catching thing one of these is enough in my wardrobe. But when this one bites the dust I might.
I recommend this pattern as a lovely romantic little dress, perfect for summer days. It is actually simpler than it looks, my only proviso is to be certain to only attempt this with very thin fabric.
I'm a little surprised myself at how much I love the "adorableness" of this dress, not a style I usually go for. I feel so feminine in it, plus on a practical note it'll to be very cool to wear on very hot summer days.
Below: I almost didn't include this picture, but decided the wind had co-operated by showing off the lining, which I hadn't photographed otherwise...
Below at left; threaded sash loops, at right; yup, pockets!