Superstyle me!

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1 v1285 cover pattern envelopeWhat 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.

1-creaseThis 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.

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Target: Hobbs NW3 Denim Dress

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Capture: market denim topstitch thang

 

 

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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?!1 vogue 1285 pattern envelope

Should I just remake it, next time avoiding the self-inflicted wounds of attempt no. 1.?

Please advise.

* 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.)1-django-the-pup

Pass the Pattern

1 issy pattern envelope

1 issy badMaking StyleArc Issy a couple of months ago turned out to be my biggest flop in a while.  This top swamped me.  But the fault was mine, not the pattern’s.  I’d made the cardinal mistake of not checking the sizing and picked the most lugubrious fabric!  Feeling Issy deserved more, I offered the pattern to whoever felt up to the challenge of making a better job of it.

Lesley in Australia said yes!

I can’t wait to see what she’s made of it!  She’s hinted that it’s good.  The big reveal, on Lesley’s blog Sew Nip Tuck, is imminent!

pASS THE ISSYLesley suggested we keep Issy in circulation – an admirable idea – and she’s going to pick the next recipient from those who leave a comment on her post, so do go down under and sign up!  Issy is not a particularly difficult make and the instructions (for StyleArc anyway) are sufficient.  Also, this company’s pattern paper is the proper white stuff, not tissue, so it’s likely to survive going round the blogosphere a few times.

 Lesley and Kate, at Kate's

October 2015: Lesley and Kate, at Kate’s

Another feature of Pass the Pattern challenge is that whoever wins Issy will post a reciprocal ‘mystery’ pattern to the person who sent it: something from your stash you guess might suit them.  This was also Lesley’s suggestion so when she told me something was on the way, I had a sense of anticipation.  After all, her blog and comments on my posts always reveal good judgement.  Besides,  the two of us have met in real life.  It’s like she knows me!!

When the parcel arrived, the stamps on it were so pretty the Blogstalker sat down on it with determined, possessive fury….

1 Blogstalker and the furry Antipodean cousin

Eventually I tore out this:

Vogue 1285

1 vogue 1285 pattern envelope

1 v1285 cover pattern envelope

1 Lea Wrap Dress by Stylearc PatternsImmediate thought: this looks like my Style Arc Lea (a favourite of 2015).  The ghost of my concerned grandmother began to whisper: “But Marijana, do you really need another dress?!”   Vogue 1285 by Tracy Reese, has a kind of Studio-54-Bianca-Jagger vibe and may be familiar to you as the pattern with the “inverted darts”.  They’re kind of controversial, flapping about and in the shape of fish lips.  In fact, most sewists who’ve reviewed this pattern have tended not to make them.1 fishie

1 Hobbs NW3 Denim DressAnd yet, look at this Hobbs dress in the shops a few years ago, where similar waist darts had been topstitched down on the outside.  It looks great with the rough-hewn denim look: it’s certainly an idea worth copying.  Also, a notched collar similar to the one on the V1285 recently caught my eye on this beautiful velvet coat (alas, it’s  £199!).  I cut this out from some catalogue meaning to copy that too!

1 inspiration with notched collar

So do I need another dress?  Well yeah, like, OBVIOUSLY!

Thank you Lesley!  🙂

And good luck to those playing Pass the Pattern.