19.2.12

Vogue Vena Cava 1258




When Vogue released V1258 I couldn't decide whether I liked it or not.  Then I saw EricaB's snakeskin  version and was smitten (or bitten?).  Erica also showed a similar dress from the Vena Cava RTW Collection and I liked it too.  You can see a version of this dress in her Fall '11 collection and in her Fall '10 collection.   I read all the reviews for this pattern and finally decided that the pattern was not the same as the dress in the RTW collection.  Each of the reviewers found that the shoulder was more like a cap sleeve and most found the skirt to be much drapier, which they attributed to fabric choice, but I suspect has more to do with the pattern.  I decided that I liked the RTW version better and so set out to modify the pattern.

The pattern pieces have an unusual shape, so I started by tissue-fitting the bodice pieces to my body double.  I then sat the shoulder bands where I wanted them to sit on the bodice.

 This close-up photo shows how much I moved the match point.
 The modified pattern piece....

With the shoulder band positioned over the top...


Then I sewed up a muslin.  This first photo shows the interesting design lines of the skirt.


The back view...not entirely flattering for lumpy thighs, but I was hoping that the print of my fabric would provide an adequate distraction.  It is hard to see in this photo, but I shortened the bodice by 4 cm. under the armpits, so as not to interfere with the front extension that attaches to the back.


For the front bodice, I took out 4 cm above the armholes.  Shortening by close to 4 cm is not unusual for me.  By shortening above the armhole, the neckline became less plunging and the underarms were raised, which I preferred.  Now take a look at the skirt portion of this muslin.  This is where I am beginning to doubt that the photo on the Vogue cover is made from the pattern inside its envelope.  I have folded the hem above the knee and I am not long-legged, but those drapes are large enough to stow a small child away inside.
My next step was to reduce the volume of the drapes.  The following photo shows where I taped out excess volume.

 The pattern piece laid out over the original skirt, before re-cutting.
 The resulting dress.
 I wanted to reduce the volume further.  I also thought that I should remove some length around the waist seam.  I started off with a Sz 14 bodice and Sz 16 skirt.  After the muslin, the pattern bodice was more like a Sz 10.  I re-tissue fit, to work out how much the remove from the waist seam.  It ended up between the Sz 12 - 14 lines and I still used a Sz 16 for the width of the skirt.  I marked some new match points for the waist seam and the tie.  I extended the shoulder band at the front and marked a new match point.


I taped out some more volume from the skirt (no photo).

I should have made another muslin with all my changes, but didn't have any suitable fabric on hand.  I decided to go ahead ...printed knit dresses don't last that long, so I could wear this for a while and then make another later if I wanted to change the pattern more.


The pattern shows the tie tied at the front, but as Allison found, the tie is too long for the front (well, of course, if you shorten the dress to above the knee, but maybe also at the below knee length).  I preferred it tied at the back as it defines the waist better.  I interfaced the shoulder bands, so that it would be easier to topstitch them..


I should have got somebody to mark a hem for me...but there was nobody here to help at the time...so the back is not even.  Jessica had referred to the problem with the hem in her review, so I was looking out for t, but still didn't get it right.


The fabric is a rayon print from EmmaOneSock.  I bought it before Christmas, but this week I did notice a t-shirt made from the same fabric at Anthropologie

26 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting your steps to the final product. The dress sounds like a challenge, and though it's not quite what you want it to be, it looks very good on you.

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  2. I so love the things that you make and the way that you share your alteration process. This dress looks absolutely wonderful, way better than the pattern cover. I have major sewing/blogging envy of you and your equally talented sister! You set the bar high - thank you!

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  3. Your dress looks fabulous! I love how you have made it in a print - I have this pattern in my stash and wasn't sure about it but your version is just lovely and so stylish. Many thanks for sharing your alterations - very helpful. I might have to have a go at it now....

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  4. A lot of work but so worth it! Your dress is great and I love the fabric you chose for it!

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  5. My gosh what a process but so worth it. It looks fabulous. I think all the drapes, twists and turns of fabric suit the print so well. Hmmm, what am I going to do with mine?

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  6. Wow, this is AMAZING. I love it. Great job.

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  7. Lovely finished dress, but wow, what a lot of changes. I'm not sure I would have had the motivation to finish.

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  8. I really like the changes you made to the skirt front and your fabric is divine. I might have another go at this one in a print too.

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  9. Your dress is so gorgeous. And that fabric,sigh! I really like your version but not sure I could workout all those alterations.

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  10. Great dress, but the tie on this pattern is just too long! I see that you've opted to tie at the back. Mine is so long that I bring it back to the front again.

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  11. You look terrific in this dress. I was wondering how I had missed this pattern until I scrolled down to see how hard you worked to make this look like a runway dress. Wow. I love the print and how you have adapted the pattern, but what a job to get there!

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  12. This is such a gorgeous dress! I love how the print emphasises the drapey details in all the right ways... I always struggle to visualise how a patterned fabric will turn out, so I admire creations like this all the more for it! The shape of the dress looks amazing on you. Definitely wear this one with pride!!

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  13. Um, so when you get tired of this dress, you just ship it on over to me, ok?

    Holy cow, it's gorgeous! I love everything about it. The print is super cool and I love the shape. The tie on this dress reminds me of the bow blouse I just made. It's making me rethink closing it up a little higher and just keeping it tied behind me instead of in front. Love this!

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  14. That is absolutely darling on you. I am so interested in your fearless tissue fitting and alteration process and am inspired to do the same on my next challenge. It is such a flattering dress on you. I am curled up with a blanket and dog watching the snow and enjoying your warm weather fashions!

    ps:sent you an email

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  15. Wow, you look amazing in that silhouette. A lot of really interesting details in that dress, I can see you would need to fit it really nicely to get all the swirly bits to swirl at the right place! Your fabric seems to have just the right drape for it.

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  16. You look gorgeous, I think the fabric is a great match with the pattern. Your alterations are impressive, the final look and fit is great.

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  17. LOVE it and love all the changes you made!

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  18. What a lot of work - and very clever of you! The finished dress is really lovely on, perfect with that print, and so much better with the excess volume taken out and with the shoulders bands moved. The back hemline may self-correct over a few wears - hopefully? - but I don't think people will notice it.

    It's interesting how this discrepancy happens isn't it - I've just made up a very plain dress that doesn't seem to match the pattern photo... is the envelope photo supposed to be of the real thing or of the pattern version? And is the pattern made from the real thing or is it an approximation of it?

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  19. I love this , the fabric, the colour and the changes you made are great.

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  20. Love the dress, the jewelry and the cute shoes!! You have to have good insight into design to see that the fabric would work with all those drapes!!.

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  21. This is such an amazing dress on you. I was looking at the photos and realized I bought this exact fabric! Every day I keep looking at it in my room because I love its color so but can't figure out what I want to make and this is so perfect. I really have to go down a size or 2 in Vogue knit patterns because the drape is always so much bigger than I think. Thanks for showing all the details of how you changed it. I'll try not to be a copycat ;)

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  22. This looks great with the changes you made. I've made this dress but made it out of an entirely unsuitable fabric - a very soft, heavy, clingy knit that wrinkles like mad. Of course I didn't change the sleeve bands and they look ridiculous on me with my square shoulders as they start approx. an inch down my arm and the dress is firm in the actual shoulder. Because of the fabric the pockets sag too. I need to remove the pockets and sleeve bands at least ..... I also need to reassess whether I'll bother with it at all.

    Yours however looks fab. Time well spent on making those changes.

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  23. This is beautiful. I really like your marriage of fabric with pattern. EOS is one of my favourite places to fabric shop!

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  24. Your dress is awesome! I love that fabric!

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  25. I love this dress! Beautiful colour and intriguing style. I really love the sleeve-ish detail too. And I don't mind the back hem. In fact if you hadn't mentioned it I doubt I would have noticed it wasn't perfectly level :-)

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  26. Hello, do you know where I can find the pattern?

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