Warning: twirly poofy skirt pictures ahead. And lots of cheesiness. Of course.
Pattern: Vogue 8723
Fabric: Cotton twill-like fabric from Metro Textile in NYC
Size: 10 bodice, 12 skirt
I don't think I believed everyone who said that this is a huge skirt. Even the drawings on the envelope and the model on the Vogue Patterns website didn't quite illustrate the poof-factor of this dress. But I'm in love with it and that's all the matters, right??
1) The Pattern
Can I just say, I am so glad that Custom Fit exists now and that pattern developers are realizing that even if you follow their measurements for different sizes, it's still a challenge to get garments to fit correctly. It really is the best thing ever for ladies like moi who are "bust challenged" and avoid tops with darts like the plague. If you're not familiar with Custom Fit, the pattern comes with different size pattern pieces to fit different bra sizes ranging from A-B-C-D. Every time I make a top with darts I always have to do a SBA and move the dart up because my cup does not runneth over and there's always too much fabric for my chest. Not the case with Custom Fit! I picked the pattern piece for an A cup and didn't have to do a single modification at all. It fit perfectly!!
I'm sure this also a great thing for you ladies who need to do a FBA...
2) The Fabric(s)
The dress called for something a little bit lighter than what I chose, like cotton shirting or gingham, something with not a lot of heft. I'm sure my using a heavier cotton with a twill weave explains why I got more of a poofy skirt than the pattern drawings. Another thing: patterned fabric is your friend. It hides mistakes very well...
I was surprised to find out the the dress is completely lined, which would explain why I needed to buy so much lining fabric of course! I probably didn't need the skirt to be lined and would omit it in the future, but I got super confused how to add in an invisible zipper with the skirt lining. I left the entire back seam open, since that's what you do with invisible zips, but I couldn't have the skirt lining seam sewn the correct way with the seam allowances facing the wrong side of the dress fabric. I guess that's something I should have looked up before I installed the zipper.
The graffiti in the picture adds to my street cred.
3) The Skirt
Ooooboy, what a skirt it is! The front and back are essentially two huge rectangles that are gathered along the top and attached to the bodice. Everyone was right about one thing: it's really difficult to gather the skirt up using two rows of basting stitches. I originally intended to sew a wide zig-zag stitch over a length of cord and gather up the skirt that way, but I discovered that I could only adjust the length and not the width of the zig-zag stitch on my trusty Bernina 1005. So of course I did what everyone else did and suffered through pulling on basting stitches and sliding gathers across the skirt one by one. That part was easily, hands down, the most difficult part of this dress. At least the hemming was pretty simple.
Now where am I going to wear this thing? I feel so fancy in it, probably due to the poofy skirt. My boyfriend joked about it and asked me who I was taking to the square dance....boys are stupid.