Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Vogue 1353 pattern repeated - better in cotton voile

Time for my next summer pattern repeat which is Vogue 1353, a Kay Unger designer Vogue dress pattern which I was pretty hard on when I made it the first time. Part of that should be attributed to my choice of fabric, which was a lightweight cotton poplin that was a bit too stiff, and at the time I thought it would be much better in a really light cotton, a voile or lawn.

One day I came across this fabric and it was exactly what I envisioned after the first one.

V1353 red white dress in cotton voile

I always like a print that is white with one other color. A couple of years ago I made another red and white dress but I gave that one to my hairdresser so I have been thinking about making one since. This fabric popped up one day in an email from Fabric Mart, (where I have never ordered although I get the emails). It said it was a J.Crew fabric and came in a couple of colors, for a really low price, like under $ 5 per yard. I told myself I would order later that day, then promptly forgot and when I went back a day or two later it was gone. Oh well. Then the next day I walked into my local favorite Stone Mountain fabrics and there it was. Meant to be! This dress takes suprisingly little fabric but I actually was a bit short because it was only around 50" wide instead of 54" or 60" and the skirt with all the pleats running crosswise takes up a bit. 

Consequently I had to do a little cheat on the skirt pieces so I took a tiny pleat in the pattern piece on some of the pleats, which are about 4 inches wide so it wasn't noticeable. Here is the back skirt and I did the same on the pleats on the front piece, so that narrowed the skirt by about 5 inches in total which you can't see. Sometimes you really have to improvise with fabrics that seem simple.

reducing pleats

Front and back view
             redwhite dress frontredwh dress back
A few sewing notes. This very lightweight fabric needed something to provide a nice edge and crisp turn around the neckline but nothing that would show through so silk organza to the rescue. This is a very nice pattern that has all the pieces including those for the interfacings (much like the Vogue patterns I remember when I started sewing, every pattern piece you could need, separate lining pieces etc - they should do better with that now. And mark the damn roll line on jackets! as I have said many times before. That goes for all the pattern companies, Burda, Vogue, etc. ok, rant over)

I cut the organza interfacing piece and then use the paper pattern piece to make sure the shape of the neckline is still intact when I pin it on and then sew. I really don't like gapey necklines and this helps to avoid that.
facing example
I have no idea why I took this photo of trimming the neckline other than I am a trimming maniac. This neckline was trimmed, notched and then turned, pressed and understitched. In terms of construction order, I do the whole front with lining, the whole back with lining minus zip, sew up the shoulders, pull the backs through at the shoulders,  sew ip the side seams, then the zip and center back last. It might sound strange but on a sleeveless dress pattern that I have already fitted it is really fast.
V1353 triming neck seam, silk organza

Here is a closer look at all the pleats in the neckline and skirt. So perfect for a really lightweight fabric. One of the suggested fabrics is silk duppioni which I think would be a nightmare!

redwhite dress front det2

I lined the dress with cotton batiste which I bought on a separate trip to Stone Mountain. They have every possible weight of voile, batiste, lawn and it was kind of fun to see them next to each other for comparison. White cotton voile is nice but it would have been slightly sheer. I wanted a super lightweight floaty lining but not a see-through one :).  Here you can see the separate lining pattern pieces.

redwh dress insideredwh dress side

Back view on me. I love the neckline on this dress. If you remember the first version (here is the link to that post) I was kind of critical of the shape of the shoulder strap portion which I thought was too wide and chunky. So I took out about 3/4" in the width on this version, shaving off the outside edge and I hardly see a difference. I still think it is a bit chunky looking from the front, not really a delicate design in that area. But the back neckline I really like.

red white dress back copy
I guess the designer and I will have to differ on this point.
Here they are side by side. It looks really different to me in a solid vs. a print. Maybe that blue one is better than I remember!.  In any case, LOTS of fitting information in that post so if you are interested in this pattern click over to my old post and check it out.

Vogue 1353 front view 1redwhite dress front
I guess I should remind you of the wackadoodle pattern envelope for this one. Her clown wig is a bit distracting but perhaps they were trying to get you to look away from the fabric which is hideous to me. And another time when the fabric completely obscured the design.

Vogue Pattern V1353

OK, one more garden shot. Get a good look at anything blooming behind me because they are drying up fast. August is always the least attractive month around here, everything is pretty much bloomed out and most of the plants are gasping in the heat, like the rest of us.

V1353 red white front view 2

That is probably enough for this pattern, although it would be easily adapted into a very cool skirt. More pattern repeats to come but this was the one where I surprised myself in terms of sewing again something that I wasn't that thrilled with the first time. You are redeemed, Vogue 1353.

Happy summer sewing, Beth

and my very favorite rose in the garden. I would love to know the variety (planted way before my time) but whatever it is, it loves the heat and puts out these velvety big red roses all summer long.



  1. This looks so lovely on you! I've had my eye on this pattern, although it's much more feminine than anything I usually wear. It really looks great on you!

  2. This is so so good. I would steal it from you. The fit is also really nice. I'm going to borrow your organza interfacing idea too. Great dress.

  3. I love this on you! What a flattering fit!

  4. Beth, what a great post! I love reading your blog, so informative. Let's see, I appreciate that you do not skimp on pictures - for me, a picture is definitely worth a thousand words to make everything crystal clear. Also, I love reading your "train of thought" on why you picked a certain fabric, or why another choice would NOT be good (the comment about silk duppioni) - so helpful to "hear" your thoughts on things that are basic to you but not always so crystal clear to some of us that are less experienced. The silk organza for the neckline - great idea - makes perfect sense when you say it but I KNOW I would not have thought of this on my own. I even have this exact pattern, thinking it looked like it had possibilities to turn out nicely. Reading your comments is wonderful!

    FWIW, I think I like it better with a little less fabric in the pleats. Not a huge difference, but still....

    I LOVE it when you show lots of fitting details, like in the first post about this dress.

    If you were to ever do a sew-along, I'd be the first to sign up! Unfortunately, life will not allow me to get away to take classes with you in person, so anything online is the best I can do at this time. Lucky Karen (of "Did you make that?").......I still remember her posts about how she ended up with you for a week working on a blue suit, and things you told her like "sew in the flat" (hope I said that right).

    Well, before anyone starts falling asleep reading this, I'd better get back to dishes,etc.

  5. Lovely summer dress that fits you perfectly.

  6. So so pretty. And I can just smell that rose. I used to grow roses here, it's not easy in south Florida, but gave them up when I moved into this house. I think your choice of voile is perfect, really brings out the design of this dress.

  7. I love this on you, thanks for all the information, it is a gorgeous dress.

  8. Great photos and descriptions and lovely sun dress...the print is so perfect and yet lively. Isn't it neat to find a pattern that sits so well on the neck and flatters? Yes, the gardens in the Northwest have all but had it with the 100 degree temps too so early and for so long...at least the roses love heat! You are right about that Kay Unger envelope...clown wig and all and weird geometric print...who can see the lovely hiding beneath?

  9. I love your versions of this pattern Beth! They are both very summery and cool looking! Those roses are beautiful too!

  10. Your roses look very much like those on my 35 year old Chrysler Imperial bush. Do they turn kind of maroon/purple as they age?

  11. Love this dress Beth and another great post. I think I prefer the printed one although both are beautiful.

  12. Really pretty dress - and perfect for hot summers!

  13. I can't recall now why you weren't thrilled with the blue version too, both look lovely, I agree the neckline is really nice. Mind you I have to admit that I love the Vogue fabric that you find hideous!!

  14. What a perfect summer dress!! I love it!! I have this fabric in the white on black and its so nice and cool to wear.

  15. Wonderful dress!

    I read (via comments from McCalls on Lladybird's site) that when Vogue makes up designer patterns, the DESIGNERS themselves - or someone on their team, presumably - pick the fabric for the model dress. So we can blame the detail-obscuring fabric on Kay Unger! I tend to look more at the technical drawings, anyway.

  16. Beautiful, well sewn dress! This fabric was absolutely meant to be, so glad you got it and matched it up with this pattern. Vogue patterns often are made up in fabrics which obscure the garment's design -- thank goodness for line drawings!

  17. I never get tired of seeing a beautiful sun dress. This turned out wonderfully - the voile is clearly the perfect choice for both the skirt drape and those pretty pleats at the neckline. You look great!

  18. The red and white fabric is so perfect for this dress. And the pleated neckline is so pretty!

  19. Fabulous dress! I really like the first version, but this one is my favorite!

  20. Nice dress looks good on you. I'm trying to get my sewing Joe back. Looking at this dress may help. It looks great on u. The red dress. Happy sewing. :)

  21. I'm gearing up to sew this pattern. Thanks so much for all the fitting info! Your dresses (but especially this one) are gorgeous.

  22. So lovely Beth! I love your fabric choice!

  23. So lovely Beth! I love your fabric choice!