Monday, February 21, 2011

Back to the Future - Dress for JK

One of the many things I like about writing a sewing blog is sharing my work with friends and family.  Last week my trip to Seattle was great, long overdue to spend some time with my friend JK.  It is fun to show my non-sewing friends the big web world of sewing, and some of the fantastic creations I have seen on other blogs.  After an hour of that I had a good idea of what she might like to have in her closet,  many thanks to Allison C who sews and models a variety of beautiful dresses to choose from. 

So this week I made this dress for JK.   It is Vogue 1159, and the pattern came out last year so I am a little late on the bandwagon but that gave me the chance to see all the other smashing versions.

Purple drape dress front
The dress doesn't really want to hang on the dress form as it does on the body, but it certainly has the wow factor, very curve hugging.   

Here is the pattern photo - what an odd fabric for Vogue to choose, you can't really see the drape because of the print.  As shown the front makes a bit of a cap sleeve - but in reality that does not happen, it hangs on the shoulder as a sleeveless dress would.

Vogue 1159 ptrn photoV 1159 tech drawing

Before I started this dress, I had read many comments about the pattern and the fact that it has more than a few quirks in the construction (not to mention maybe some errors on the pattern markings).
Here is a photo of the pattern piece.  I pinned it up to my wall after I did all my tailor's tacks and notches, because I like to see the arrows, etc. on a pattern piece that has a lot of pleats and tucks.   This is the entire dress, minus 2 more pieces which extend the skirt.  But in essence, just one crazy Mobius strip of a pattern piece (OK, not really for you mathematicians among us)  which is pleated, twisted, and attached partly to itself.    Yes, finally, for this one I looked at the instructions.  And looked.  And turned them every which way.   Finally the light bulb went on - so to speak - when I realized that the instructions were calling this piece "Dress Front and Back"  I kept seeing that phrase and thinking where is the back?  since there is another piece that is the bodice back.    But they refer to this whole piece as "Dress Front and Back" , when in actuality it is more "Dress upper front and skirt front and back".
Purple dress pattern piece

Perhaps I was overthinking it a bit, but once I got oriented with this it went together very quickly.  Here is a look at the center front which is hidden by the drape. You can see how one side crosses over the other, and attaches, creating a diagonal side seam.

  Purple drape dress close frontPurple drape dress front2

I hope JK loves wearing this dress - great excuse for new shoes!  This may have changed my mind about knits.  And it certainly was a change from my last project,  the Vintage Treasure Dress.  Despite my years of sewing - confession time - I almost never make anything with knits.  I have drawers filled with sweaters, which I buy,  and cute T-shirts are available in every possible color - so knits?  Rarely.  I really like tailoring so I do a lot of that.  But I do have have 3 new Jalie top patterns, inspired by Eugenia and others,  so I think this spring I will keep the ball point needles handy and try a few knits.  

Potato bush Feb 2011

Something blooming around the Sunnygal garden, right on time to go with the purple knit jersey dress, a purple potato vine that lives on the pool deck,  and needs to be trained a little bit better.  Like a lot of plants, the bloom is just for a few weeks, but also just what we need in rainy February.


  1. Oh my gosh, this is stunning! I found you on Pattern Review. You've done such a magnificent job of this, you've inspired me to seek out this pattern!

  2. "Beautiful" is an understatement. The color, the drape, I'm speechless. You must sew knits more often! I'll bet your friend looks amazing in this.

  3. That dress is absolutely fabulous. Thanks so much for the insight into the pattern pieces and how they fit together, that will be helpful for when I get around to finally making it. I'm sure the recipient of the dress will adore it, it truly is stunning.

  4. Love the dress. But your "Potato Vine" is an Australian Hardenbergia. Gorgeous thing but please, "Potato vine" is just too mundane.

    Christmas Hills

  5. Ditto above comments about the dress. It's a runway-type dress, for sure. Beautiful sewing!

  6. Absolutely gorgeous. I'm pulling this pattern out of my stash!

  7. You've done a wonderful job. Wish I had the figure for it!

  8. Beautiful dress! I know what you mean about knits --- I like tailoring projects more than sewing with knits for some reason.