Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Woman in Red

As soon as I read about the Red Dress contest over at Pattern Review I decided I wanted to enter.  I do so love red dresses, so I have no good explanation for why I did not have one already.  Oh, just remembered I do have a red ball gown, oh yeah.  But I'm talking about a dress that I can actually wear.  You know what I mean...  
When I was a teenager at school a teacher once opined that red was "my colour" and that little factoid has stuck in my head ever since.  But I do find red a quite challenging colour to mix into the wardrobe (I have a short list of stupid rules about the colour red and what other colours it can and can't be worn with; that I won't bore you with just now)  So I just have a few select red pieces.  A dress not being amongst said pieces, so it was time to remedy that! 
This beautiful scarlet rayon jersey has been sitting in my stash since my last birthday, when a group of my friends very thoughtfully gave me a Fabulous Fabrics voucher for a birthday present.  I know, I have the most amazing and fantastic friends, right?!  They know me so well!  I used my birthday voucher for this fabric, along with some other fabric that is still in the stash.
Vogue 1087 is a simply gorgeous dress pattern, and I was cross with myself that I had used such el cheapo fabric for my first version, that did not go the distance.  I've been really wanting to make the pattern up again sometime...  The same old problem about finding the right fabric and the right time, yeah.  Well I had found some great fabric.  The contest finally sparked that "right time" for my red dress to take shape.
I made a few changes to the pattern this time; which I have outlined in my new review below if you are interested...
And just saying girls; want your husband to really sit up and pay attention when you walk in the room?  Make yourself a dress like this one....  Word.  My husband absolutely looooves my new dress!


Details:
Dress; Vogue 1087, red rayon jersey
Sandals; akiel, from the op shop


below: no zip, and naturally one can still slip it on perfectly easily...  my advice? save yourself the trouble :)



Pattern Description:
Fitted dress, below mid-knee, has pleated and tucked front forming wrap effect. Front extends to back at sides, back has zipper and hemline vent. No side seams.
Pattern Sizing:
12-18.  I made mine to be a size 12 at the hips and re-graded the bodice to be a size 10.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you had finished sewing it?
Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow?
This is the second time I have made up this pattern.  The first time I made it up I wrote about steps 12-13 being tricky to work out and I ended up with the wrong side lapping over at the front and had to unpick and fix it up... well, after studying the instructions I am confident that they are wrong here.  If you follow the instructions to the letter as many other reviewers did then you WILL end up with the wrong side lapping over, and it is not your mistake.  To get the fronts lapping over the way they are on the line drawing you have to lay the OTHER side over first in step 12.  The simplest visual way to describe the correct way would be like a mirror image of how they have drawn each the two diagrams here, if you like.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I just love this pattern; the fronts folding across each other and wrapping around the body to make a gently draped X along with that curved triangle seam on the front skirt; these shapes combined together are very flattering to a woman’s curves.  The pattern pieces are very unusually shaped and the complexity of the construction makes the dress a nice challenge.
Fabric Used:
Rayon jersey
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
My first version of this dress, a size 12, was too loose and floppy for my liking in the bodice, and frequently fell off my shoulders.  So I re-graded the pattern to be a size 10 at the top and graded out to the size 12 around the hips.  I felt like this was quite a dressmaking achievement for me, since it is a complex pattern rated Advanced with unusually shaped pattern pieces, and I did not have a size 10 printed on my version and had to grade it myself by eye.  I'm pretty relieved how well-fitted it worked out!
Just like I mentioned in my first review; I see absolutely zero need for a zip in a stretch knit dress... really!? why is it even there in the pattern?!  So I cut my bodice and back neck facing on a centre fold and so eliminated both the zip and the whole seam.
According to the pattern, the darts on the back of the skirt are supposed to be facing out (sewn wrong sides together). I don't think so. Mine are on the inside of the skirt, where they should be.
I altered the final stitching of the front pieces to the bodice piece, to sit in a position that I preferred. My neckline is more "wrap" than "squared" as a result.
A bit of experimenting revealed that any sort of edge finish was going to show through on that figure hugging skirt; so I left the edges of the seam allowances here raw; for a smooth look on the outside.  All the seams were sewn on my machine but all the bodice edges, the armhole edges and lower hems are invisibly hand-sewn.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
This is already my second version of this pattern, so definitely!
Conclusion:
I just love this pattern, and this dress, and my husband really loves it too  ;)
This is my entry into the Red Dress contest

61 comments:

  1. No wonder your husband loves this. You look gorgeous!! Even though this is a bold color, you wear this dress, it does not wear you.

    Wonderful!

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  2. You exude confidence in this dress, and no wonder, you look terrific. What a great dress.

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  3. Wow, Carolyn! You look stunning. Something I notice before, your versions always look better than the envelope photos.

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  4. I can see why your DH loves it. You look gorgeous and the dress is wonderful. Great dress!

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  5. What a great, great dress! Really like that it doesn't require a fiddly zip either.

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  6. Yes red is your colour! It looks really fabulous and I agree with Shams - you wear it; it does not wear you!

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  7. Gorgeous dress! Your husband is a man of great taste.

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  8. Wow, what an amazing dress! You look stunning!

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  9. You look fabulous in this dress.

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  10. Fantastic! Beautiful! I agree; red is a great color on you. :)

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  11. Ooh la la! You look like a high fashion model in this. Absolutely "smokin!"
    Good luck in the contest, you must be on short odds with this gorgeous dress.

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  12. Absolutely stunning in every way! Choice of pattern, fabric and how it fits you.

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  13. Wowzers! You're forcing me to take a second look at that pattern. Also, the first photo is perfect.

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  14. Wow! Beautiful! You look fantastic and the fit is absolutely perfect!

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  15. WOW! Just wow! OMG you look amazing.

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  16. Wow, what a beautiful job on the dress! And the fit is perfect, you look great.

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  17. This is a beautiful dress on you! Love it!

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  18. Very striking! and the red does look great with your coloring

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  19. Gorgeous! You look fabulous in this style and color.

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  20. You look amazing! Red is definitely your color!

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  21. Love it, looks fantastic on you. And you know my fondness for the Donna Karan Vogue patterns, they are magical. Good idea to remake this pattern.

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  22. You look like a total babe in this dress ! It a beauty ! How on earth do you have such control over your craft that everything looks couture ? Amazing job ! x

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  23. just divine! this has been one of my dream dresses for a long time, you look fabulous in it.

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  24. Kevin would love it if I made this too. Especially in red. But bright red is NOT my color, unfortunately. So lovely on you though!

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  25. Wow, Carolyn, I don't know how you top yourself with every project but you sure do. This is stunning on you!

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  26. Carolyn, this is a lovely dress on you. You have such a versatile style.

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  27. Well its just stunning and its stunning on you as well! Very flattering :O). No wonder your DH loves it! :O)...

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  28. That's a beautiful dress , good luck in teh competition.

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  29. Wow, what a great dress! It really accentuates your curves! Love the draping!

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  30. Yay! I love this dress - it even suits a curvy girl like me - and it's super smashing made-ya-look in RED! I might have to steal that idea one of these days!

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  31. Your dress is gorgeous. I love red, it is one of my favourite colours especially for winter when colours can get a bit dull.

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  32. Such a gorgeous dress! You look fantastic!

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  33. This is fabulous! Everyone should have a red dress :)

    I only wish my husband was as amenable to red as yours... mine would say "it would be nicer in black." /sigh.

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  34. What a great dress and a perfect shade of red!

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  35. Wow and wow! Love the color and love the dress. You look absolutely wonderful..

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  36. It is so beautiful and you look great in it. Best of the luck for the contest, you have some very very stiff competition in it - but it's a total winner, no matter what the outcome.

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  37. You should definitely wear red. Gorgeous.

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  38. It's a really gorgeous colour and it looks fabulous on you, as does your stunning dress.

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  39. Carolyn, you're lookin' HOT, and red is definitely your color (the teacher was right)! I really like this model, and the shape suits you so so well. No wonder your husband likes it :).

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  40. Wow! Your dress turned out wonderfully and you look amazing in it!

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  41. Carolyn you look just stunning! Your husband understandably loves this dress!

    Can we vote for you on this contest?

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  42. Hi, I saw your comment on my Mela Purdie outfit on Burda Style so I just had to hop over and look at your blog. Wow - you are very talented and stylish! I love your blog and it's very exciting to recognise many of the places in the pictures. I am sure we must walk our dogs on the same oval - do you know a black cavoodle called Truffle?!! It's usually my husband out with him, but I'll be sure to look out for you when I'm there so I can say Hi and maybe talk sewing! Thanks for your compliment on my outfit. Happy sewing, Megan

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  43. Just when I think you could not possibly sew anything more beautiful you go and do it again. Looks like another trip to your swisho restaurant is due.

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  44. Just when I think you could not possibly sew anything more beautiful you go and do it again. Looks like another trip to your swisho restaurant is due.

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  45. Not only your husband but your Dad also loves your style.
    Love Dad

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  46. Carolyn - just stunning. I love red dresses and this is a perfect marriage of cut and cloth...and she jealously says...the perfect figure to carry it off.

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  47. WOW! that last picture and pose is really killer. I love that this dress, which is perfectly modest, can look sooooo attractive. You did a fantastic job matching the color, fabric type, pattern and fit. Everything came together. I love it when that happens!

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  48. you. will. win. that. contest! Amazing, amazing dress. And, it is no wonder your husband sits up and pays attention!

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  49. Oh, I missed this post...You look amazing in this dress!!! Just gorgeous. Love how you have paired it with the nude heels too. Good luck with the contest!

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  50. What can I say other than "Whoa, it's a gorgeous dress and you look like a top model from a fashion magazine"
    Hope you win

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  51. Yes Caroline your clothes always look so much better than the pattern photos. I hope you win the contest!

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  52. Yes Caroline your clothes always look so much better than the pattern photos. I hope you win the contest!

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  53. Absolutely gorgeous! To bad those instructions were printed wrong on the bodice. Luckily you figured it out, and the finished product looks wonderful!

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  54. Congratulations on your winning dress!! I was rooting for you!

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  55. Congratulations on your PR red dress win.

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    Replies

    1. It’s look so beautiful! I am enjoy and love it very much.and I love very much sexy and wonderful dress.
      Hope you had the greatest time living it up!!
      sexy tops

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