What kind of a beast* is this? No, not him – I mean the dress I’m wearing.
Django can be unpredictable (which is why I look a bit wary here). Once with his claws he accidentally shredded a dress I was wearing. But this dress is safe. The denim’s pretty thick. In fact the dress holds me up when I sit in it.
This pattern, V1285, was a gift from Lesley, a kind of reciprocal pattern exchange we tried. She’d told me she was going to send me a pattern from her stash that she thought would suit me and when it arrived I was delighted. I had an immediate vision of the dress I’d make and went straight to trouble, firstly buying this kind of dark blue-grey stretch denim with a surface sheen redolent of what some of you might call “market jeans”…. (I really believed stretch denim would work as well as the recommended “two-way stretch knits only:” Rayon, Spandex, Cotton Spandex…. )Then I did weird stuff, topstitching everything… No way was I going to tolerate those perverse ‘external darts’. I was like Harrison Ford’s character in Mosquito Coast, blinded by a ruthless determination… I was so driven to recreate the look of a heartbreakingly expensive Hobbs dress I’d seen years ago, it took me right to the end to admit I was painstakingly recreating the kind of look you get on …. market jeans. Luckily the tension on home-made topstitching it pretty rubbish so all that expensive topstitching thread is really easy to unpick. The dress now looks darker and subtler, but those flapping darts are not served well by long periods of sitting down.
But the worst part was the mistake in the instructions on what is my favourite part of this pattern, the notched neckline band (step 6). I’m struggling to understand why no review pointed this out….
This is a close up of the notch, on the right side and inside:
The right side looks fine, the inside is a bit unattractive. But that’s my second bodice. If you follow the instructions which suggest you attach the neck band to the inside first, you’ll end up with the mess on the right side of the garment. Really Vogue? That is perverse.
I think my finished dress looks better off than on. The A-line skirt is not flattering to my short shape but the notched neckline is fabulous and it’s a good transition garment (to autumn), with lots of coverage if made in a warm fabric. There’s the option of making a slip and camisole too which I may attempt if I make this again (I’m on the lookout for some shimmering stretch velvet).
How to style it though? It’s not good enough to stand alone.
A one-inch wide Belt in tan, the same colour as Django?
Or an Animal-print belt?
Tights and heels? And maybe a silk scarf.
A more colourful vest underneath (something has to be worn underneath as the neckline is low cut and stands out rigidly?)
It seems neither smart enough for an office, nor soft enough for a fun day out! In what setting does this belong? A charity shop?!
Should I just remake it, next time avoiding the self-inflicted wounds of attempt no. 1.?
* The number of the beast: V1285 (pattern envelope description) ‘Lined, mock wrap dress has collar, close-fitting bodice with bands, hook and eye, fitted skirt, overlay with mock band, belt loops, sleeve bands and invisible left side zipper. Darts are stitched on the right side of fabric. Lining forms attached slip with shoulder and lingerie straps. Purchased belt.)