Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Vogue 1351 dress, some facts and follow ups

Thanks for all the great comments on my purple knit dress, made with Vogue 1351, a pattern from designer line DKNY. I am a big fan of all the DKNY and Donna Karan patterns and this one is no exception. A few commenters had some questions so here are the answers for everyone to read.

  V1351 Purple dressV1351 pattern photo

Girlguycatdog asked 2 questions:
1) whether it can be used for a knit or woven?  the pattern envelope says crepe, matte jersey, charmeuse. Mine is a rayon jersey knit which I did cut on the bias as indicated by the pattern. I think it would be luscious in a silk charmeuse. Rayon jersey, silk jersey, bamboo jersey, these all would be perfect. I think a cotton jersey if it is soft and drapey. No matter which fabric I would stick with cutting on the bias to get the proper drape.
2) Do I adjust my sizing since I used a knit?  No I used my usual Vogue pattern size 12. I really liked this pattern as it was not too big across the back which often is the case  (see my previous Vogue dress where I took it in almost 3" at the mid-center back).  In any case I figured I could take in a bit at the side seam if it was a bit loose at the underarm, and take up at the shoulder a smidge. Which I often have to do and did so with this one.
I have never gone down a size with knits and not had a problem. When I start with a new pattern I take a good look at the printed measurements which you can see here. That circle with X is the bust point and the finished measurements once the garment is sewn are printed for the various sizes. I know a lot of people complain about these but I have never found a glaring error and they are really useful. However that said I do a quick measure for myself to check. Sometimes I want to see the circumference at a point that they have not indicated or just to verify. Below I have the measuring tape making an "L" shape, did you know the measuring tape is 5/8" wide?  so I lay it along the edge for the size 12 and thus have eliminated the seam allowance for my measuring.

Vogue pattern measure
So based on the finished measurement around bust and hip I thought the size 12 seemed fine and it was.

Esti Koen asked if I put in a zipper? No zipper in this purple knit dress but if it were a woven fabric then the zipper would be a necessity. I basted up the side seams and checked if I could get it over my shoulders, which I could so no zipper. By the way here is a little thing I do on the side seams of lined sleeveless dresses, stitch in the ditch under the arm  for about 1-2 inches so that the lining will stay put in that area. Doesn't show from the right size of the dress. 

inside side seam purple dress

sewmanju asked if I do a muslin for knit dresses? Gosh no. I am not much of a muslin maker when it comes to sewing for myself. I weigh the complexity of the garment, expense of fabric, how "serious" the project is and then come up with a few muslins a year.  Coats that will last forever, sure. Dress bodice when I can't get a good feeling from the pattern pieces, yes a quick bodice only muslin. But knit items for myself, so far I have not. I figure if something doesn't work out I will chalk it up to experience although if I waste a good fabric on something unwearable it will be annoying. All that said, I do make muslins for other people, I made the V8787 for someone else and made a muslin in a frightening piece of poly knit in traffic cone orange. I figured if we could see the good shape in that terrible fabric then it had great potential. Despite my reluctance to make muslins for myself I do recommend if you are not sure about a pattern or to try out the fit, and consider just the top half of the dress as that is where most of the alteration angst comes from. 

A question from my previous post on a quick knit top using Girl Charlee fabric
sapphire asked if I cut the fabric on an angle or was it already that way?  The fabric is printed that way, I just cut it out as a regular fabric. It was from their Anchors Away line which appears sold out but the zig zag print is very cute and I may have to try that. I have a few striped t-shirt knits but I may save them for winter tops.

And a follow up on my Vogue 1353 dress. I do like this a lot, and yes the color is fab. I tried it with a belt and actually prefer it without. I was thinking about wearing it this weekend to a birthday dinner but we are going to a new Italian restaurant, Venetian regional cuisine and I KNOW that sure as it will be hot here in July I will get some sort of spot on that solid blue dress and be so mad. Are you with me? Olive oil - tomato sauce - a wayward drop of balsamic.  Restaurants are fraught with danger! A slight obsession with spills in restaurants but at my junior prom the waiter dropped a dish of strawberry sherbet and it landed on the skirt of my white dress. Talk about teen age trauma. OK not really, as I recall I rinsed it as well as I could and carried on with the fun. It was such a cute dress, white cotton pique with cotton lace straps and lace insets at waist and hem. I would wear it today. So for this weekend I think I will wear this dress, one of my one-hit wonders which still has not seen the light of day. About time, and possibly good for hiding tomato sauce :)

print dress 1

Up next, a black denim jacket with a new lining technique.

Stay cool and happy sewing,  Beth


  1. Ah, you have demystified a pattern I was eyeing- thank you! I love both dresses on you- lovely as always!!

  2. Thank you for the follow up post, I love the dress and bought the pattern after seeing your version :) and, like you haven't answered enough questions, here is another one: what did you use or recommend for lining? I have a rayon knit I plan to use but no idea what to put in as lining. Thank you:)

    1. for knits I use various knit linings that I have found at the big chain fabric stores. In this purple dress the lining is a poly? nylon? similar to the stretch fabric in lingerie, so that it would have a glide factor, like a slip. Generally I look for knit linings in the Dancewear and/or swimwear section as they have knit fabrics suitable for linings. The most important quality I look for in a lining is the slippery quality, so it doesn't "grab" the outer fabric, if that makes sense.

    2. That is so helpful! thank you very much for the tips. So glad i asked, the things i would have used...oh my! :) I would have never thought of the slippery factor but it makes a lot of sense. Once again thank you so much :)

  3. Love these kinds of Q&A posts - you are amazingly helpful and so gracious! The last dress is perfect for an Italian restaurant.

    Your sherbet story reminded me of my sr prom, food was buffet service, and it was slithery spaghetti with watery meat sauce! Surely all of the gals in pale dresses rued their choice that night.

  4. Thanks for answering mine and the other questions Beth...its all great learning! BTW I LOVE the Butterick dress. Love the print and the style on you. It will also be great for disguising ketchup spills :-) Have fun...

  5. Your purple dress looks just great! such a rich vibrant colour and I really loved the twirly shot!