Friday, May 22, 2015

Vogue 1236 DKNY, first dress of summer in rayon jersey panel print

Like the title says, this is the first dress of summer. But the weather is not cooperating. It's Memorial Day here in the US on Monday which means a three day weekend and the official start of summer, but it never seems to reflect that. It might even rain tonight. If only!
But I did make my first dress of summer. It qualifies as a summer item because it is rayon jersey, super comfortable to wear and sleeveless.
Before I get to the details, I have to say that this simple pattern illustrates why I really like Vogue patterns. Perhaps love Vogue patterns. Small details that go together well and result in a very pleasing garment. Of course this is a designer pattern so it is a copy of the designer's original work. But the very fact that they make these patterns is really fantastic. Plus you know my obsession with most all these Donna Karan patterns and this is another winner.

My outdoor shots of this item are mostly not good, so I will start with a dress form picture. Super simple dress but I just find it very flattering. The the width of the straps, shape of the neckline, the pleating are all very proportional and make a nice shape. This post has a lot of pics for a simple item, but if you like fitting details read on.

dress front V1236


Pattern envelope. I am quite late to the party on this one as it is from 2011 but still in print so it must sell. I suppose this is the actual designer dress but certainly not a color I would choose. This fabric almost looks like pillowcase ticking to me, maybe it is seersucker. I kind of played around with the pattern pieces and decided a drapey fabric was the way to go. Sometimes dresses with those release type pleats over the bust can get very poofy in a fabric that is not soft or drapey.

V1236 env

And on the left without the belt. I figured you might want to see how full it is. Almost a barrel shape, the waist is the widest part and then it tapers in a bit at the hemline. So in a cotton sateen or seersucker which were fabrics I considered it would really puff out. In a silk crepe or charmeuse it would be very nice. Fabric choice - it is a learning curve and I have been at it a while :)

dress unbelted V1236dress back V1236

So how was the fit? OK, I will use one of my weirdly lit outdoor photos. Overexposed on the top half but you can get the idea. Take note of the neckline. I think it is nice and hits at just the right point for comfort and wearability.  More on that below.

V1236 knit karan 4

What did I like about sewing this pattern? In a word: Facings! I know that facings get a LOT of criticism in sewing blogs I read, people seem to hate them, but I don't see why. And this pattern has a very well designed facing ( a lot of the designer patterns seem to have nice facings). So here is a look at the inside of the dress. I used a knit jersey for the facings, it is the same fabric I use for a lot of knits where I want to put a lining in all or part of the dress.

inside front facingsV1236 side view armhole

The facing is curved, and is one piece across the front and then the back, so the armhole is enclosed in the facing. I am not a fan of bias binding, particularly on wovens as I don't think you can get the smooth and flat armhole or other edges with bias binding that you can achieve with a facing. Which is under stitched. Important point!
Just to show you why this pattern goes together well, and to promote facings, here are the pertinent steps from the instructions. This is the method I use almost always on a dress with no zipper. If the dress has a center back seam then I can use the same facing, or full lining and pull through at the shoulder seams. I think this method illustrated here puts people off because they don't want to do any hand sewing?  But I like it because you can tweak that shoulder seam and adjust if needed. I sometimes need to take up things there just a smidge and this allows for that little adjustment.

V1236 Instructions for facings

How about fit? I used my usual Vogue size 12 and graded out a bit at the hips to a 14 which worked out as I prefer things to be floaty not clingy. But I pinned together the paper pattern pieces to check the neckline and saw that the neckline would be quite low and the armholes also, so I shortened the bodice in that area. I know it seems a never-ending challenge but fitting is all about knowing where to adjust as well as how much. I pleated out from the back 2 inches total and shortened the upper bodice 1.25 inches which turned out to be just right. Not always easy to tell with the pattern tissue. You may wonder why I didn't just take it up at the shoulders? because then the back neckline moves up that amount and to keep the same curves I do the shortening below the neckline. Also then you aren't messing with the width of the shoulder seam.

V1236 pattern alterations2

One thing to note is that I probably should have added back the amount I shortened at the hemline. As it is I made a half inch hem. So not much to work with. But I am happy with the length. In fact I have been looking at some of my other dresses and perhaps some hems are a bit too long, making me look shorter? Hmm. something I will have to play around with.

Last but not least, this fabric print was a bit crazy. I bought it at Joann's for under $ 12, last summer maybe? and it has taunted me with that repeating panel print for a while. I kept taking it out and playing around with t-shirt patterns but nothing grabbed me. So in desperation to try out this dress I decided to try and turn it into a border print. Reasonable success. It is not entirely centered but the width of the panels didn't allow for that in a dress.
knit fabric on floor

So nothing spectacular but the very definition of an easy-breezy summer dress in black and white with a touch of turquoise. I would say I might even repeat it, or maybe for one of my "same size as me" pals. Too many other new patterns to play with and some Girl Charlee knits that have been staring at me as I pass the spare bedroom. (where all purchases get tossed on the bed until guests come and I have to madly scramble to stash away)

V1236 DKNY knit dress

Thanks for all the NY Fabric shopping advice you left on my last post. much appreciated and I wish it was me planning to spend some quality shopping time in the Big Apple.

As for Instagram, I have stuck with it for a week and it is kind of growing on me. If you take a look at my feed you will see Laura who was my sewing student last weekend. She was here in the bay area from her home in Switzerland for almost two weeks of work meetings, so she took the opportunity to spend 2 days of sewing with me. It was so much fun to meet her (re-meet her, we actually met in 2012 at this meet up, a picture of Laura and Karen in the middle of that post). Anyway - we did fitting of a coat and a dress, covered the ins and outs of collar and lapels by making a test version, talked interfacing, bound buttonholes, sewing with silk and wool, tailoring tools and all kinds of sewing chat. I can't wait to see what she makes next!

Happy weekend sewing and a good Memorial Day weekend to everyone in the US.

Beth

Lots of garden photos this time of year, this is a Nicotiana that survived the winter in a pot. Such a great color.

Nicotiana

35 comments:

  1. Looks like a great dress to welcome the warmer weather Beth.

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  2. Very pretty dress! Thanks for such a thorough review. I will definitely add this pattern to my wish list. Love that it has facings with such a nice finish. I just figured out how to alter the top bodice piece, taking out the length to shorten up those armholes like you did. Being petite, I think this will be the norm for me.

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  3. looks like it will be cool and comfortable in the warmer weather. Those bodice adjustments seem to be pretty similar to the ones I have to make. If you do these with a sleeved garment, do you have to redraw the sleeve head?

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  4. you look great! now we just gotta wait for this weather to warm up!!

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  5. I love this pattern and have made it twice. I think I might revisit it in summer in a knit like yours. :)

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  6. I love the dress. It is very pretty.

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  7. I made up this dress when the pattern came out. Wasn't thrilled with it, but then, my "wearable muslin" was certainly not drapey enough. Looking at your lovely version, I do think that perhaps I should revisit this pattern.

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  8. I love your dress, it is beautiful. Th

    Vogue needs to reissue the pattern with your dress on the envelope cover!

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  9. Thanks so much for the insight and advice on your beautiful fabric choice. I would never have given this pattern a second look based on the picture & recomended fabric, but your version drapes so beautifully & looks great.

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  10. Very pretty dress! Thank you for the advice on the facings--if they are well drafted, as is the case for this dress, then I use them. If not, I use another method. I do really like these and may convert some of the ones that aren't so well thought out to this style. Thanks for a great review!
    Sue

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  11. Lovely dress, Beth! I think your choice of fabric is pefect. I´m with you on the facings...and with Vogue patterns too. I just finish a Burda dress, and I promised never to sew from their patterns again, or at least for a while! Enjoy the weather!

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  12. Super cute fabric and dress. I may just have to make one!

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  13. A beautiful dress as usual Beth! Great use of the border print fabric, I really like how it isn't centered actually, makes it more interesting :)

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  14. Darling dress, and you will enjoy wearing it once the weather cooperates. ;-) (BTW - have the photographer stand with sun behind him/her - will help with overexposure. And you can be at an angle where the squint factor is minimized. ;-) )

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  15. I would have not seen that lovely dress in the pattern envelope. I think it does look great (as I said in person too!) - I learnt to sew with Vogue and I still have a preference for their designer patterns.

    I'm going to transfer muslin markings to paper and make a new muslin. And then cut the actual fabric this weekend heh. And then post pictures :-)

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  16. Sigh... I confess to being SO very jealous of those who get to take lessons with you... I'd be there in a heartbeat if it were possible right now. But, about the dress.... I completely agree - the envelope picture looks exactly like pillow ticking from my grandparents feather pillows! LOL!!! Honestly, I also skipped it before, but after seeing your rendition, I'm going to look for it when I head out to Hancock's today - Vogue patterns on sale :)

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  17. I'm with you on the facings........don't mind them at all. I never have any luck with purchased bias binding laying flat. If I use self made bias, I have better luck. Cute summer dress, by the way.

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  18. I love facings, too, but cannot seem to get my facings on 1236 nearly as gorgeous as yours! Indeed, my shoulders are just about ready to pucker out. You did an excellent job, not that I'd expect anything less.

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  19. Really elegant. As a regular indie sewer, you're definitely making me want to explore the commercial pattern companies.

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  20. I made that pattern in 2011 but something went wrong with it for me--I think the neckline was too low and the skirt was too short and the hips were too small or something like that. Yours looks great.

    Currently the only thing growing in my backyard is a LOT of poison ivy but I hope to change that soon! The front yard has a tiny patch of sweet william and I'd like to change that too!

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  21. Your dress is lovely Beth, and beautifully finished as aways! I love the pleated neckline :)
    Now I have to confess the idea of a pillow ticking dress is now tickling my fancy. I wonder where/if I can get some?

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  22. I see why this patten is still in print...it's a very nice one! I like your version better! Very becoming on you!!

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  23. This is a great pattern, and the fabric print is nice too. Enjoy the long weekend!

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  24. The dress is beautiful! As for Instagram, I checked and if you followed a few more people, it would be even more interesting, IMHO. Following a variety of people is the draw for me.

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  25. Well, you sold me on this one! I was always put off by the envelope cover. I have quite a few designer vogue patterns that I love but never make. I'm consciously trying to change that this year!

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  26. I also love facings, and just can not for the life of me understand why anyone would prefer bias facings. I still use the bias facings for casual stuff, but regular all-in-one facings are so much easier. Anyway, your dress looks great. I keep meaning to buy this pattern! Need to get it on the list.

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  27. This is one of the few DKNY patterns I did not snap up for precisely the reasons you mentioned: in a crisp fabric (as pictured) the bodice front juts out in an unflattering way. You definitely fabric whispered the heck out of this pattern and it came out smashingly -- and it might find its way to my home because of your example.

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  28. Great dress for summer and your use of the print was very clever, completely hides the panels which can be hard to use (I have a few that I'm still figuring out). I've made this dress before and as you say although it is simple, the details are very nice - I did have to add a deep hemband on mine in a contrast fabric though as I found it really short!

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  29. Lovely dress Beth! I too like facings and Vogue patterns. One question though, how do you keep the bottom edge of the facing from curling up when using jersey? Did you interface all or part of the facing?

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    1. Hi Shari - usually I only partially interface the facing, just where the stitching will be. and I haven't had any problem with it curling.

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    2. I'll try that next time I work with knits. Thanks Beth!

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  30. Lovely dress Beth! I too like facings and Vogue patterns. One question though, how do you keep the bottom edge of the facing from curling up when using jersey? Did you interface all or part of the facing?

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  31. So pretty! I like facings, too, although I struggle to do them on garments without a CB seam. I was just working on a dress with bias-bound armholes and I just couldn't get it to look nice. I'm considering just drafting armhole facings, except I've already aggressively graded and clipped the seam allowances, so it seems like a bad idea to fiddle with them now. I'm going to have to live with ugly armholes, I think!

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  32. I have looked at this pattern so many times and passed it over but I love the fabric you used! It looks great!

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  33. I don't understand the negative attitude toward facings either. Mine look so much better than my bindings, which are invariable too tight or too loose. I just tack the facings down in a few spots and they stay in place. Love 'em.

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