You know when the patterns go on sale and you think “it’s such a bargain – I should get one or two more” (or 3, or 4… you get the idea). For years, I have purchased designer patterns from Vogue only to watch them take up space on my shelf. Granted, I do pull them out and daydream. Patterns from other companies rarely call for high-end fabrics, but these do. For instance, on one pattern the only fabric option for lining is china silk.
I think it’s time to dive in. I have narrowed my selection to two patterns, both very different.
Rebecca Taylor V1395 Dress
From the envelope picture, and even the line drawings, this dress looks pretty simple. It appears to be a pullover dress with a gathered skirt and front tie. The devil is in the details, though. It wasn’t until I took the instructions out and really examined what was involved before I realized the dress’s complexity.
First, the fabric. It recommends (1) Crepe de Chine, (2) Silk Broadcloth, (3) Chambray, or (4) Rayon Blends. I get 1, 2 and 4 – they are all thin, semi-fluid types of fabric. I’m a little stumped about the Chambray option. Isn’t that going to be heavier?
Here are the unexpected bits:
- The skirt is lined. I probably skimmed over this because there is no fabric recommendation for lining.
- The arm and neck openings are bias-faced, which means making some bias binding. Not super difficult, but might be fiddly with slippery fabrics.
- The back has 2 layers. The inner layer is kind of a sleeveless shell. The outer layer attaches at the shoulder and waist, but extends the sleeves into a cap sleeve and the sides into long ties, which go to the front.
- “Very narrow hems.” I’m not exactly sure what this means, but I think it’s going to involve a new technique.
- No interfacing. There is nothing added to give any additional stability.
Rebecca Vallance V1591 Jumpsuit
Again, the cover photo and drawings don’t really do justice to the design. I impulse-bought this one because I loved the shape of the top and I had never had a jumpsuit before. But you don’t really see that the whole outfit is two-layer: lace fabric over an underlining. I didn’t realize it was lace from the printed picture, but if you zoom way in on the one on the Vogue website, you can see that it is black lace over a dark blue underlining. It uses a grosgrain ribbon for the straps – they are not fabric. You can just barely see it in the picture, but it has an exposed back zipper as well.
Clearly the jumpsuit is more complicated. Among other things, it features:
- Side pockets
- Close fitting top
- Silk (under)lining
- Interesting curved shapes at center front waist
This one does call for interfacing. Curiously, it also calls for crepe or poplin “contrast” fabric. I had to break open the envelope to find that this is just for the facings.
The recommended fabrics are lace, linen, and silk jacquard. I think it would look cool in any of those. Can you see making a big splash at a holiday party in a jacquard version?
They are both calling me, but I promised myself I would only do one at a time. It’s possible after that’s over I may decide to never do another!
Next time, my decision and getting started. Anyone up for a sew-along?