I ordered some Vogue patterns online a while back when they were having a sale, and V1020 was one I just had to have.
I was drawn to it for the dress--you all know what a sucker I am for a knit dress. However, I also really dig the skirt and the jacket, if I ever had the urge to make a knit jacket (no urge so far). I think the waistband of the skirt could be a little ick, because it's designed with that wide yoke and then you put some elastic at the top. I haven't made it yet, but I fear the design would create an unattractive dowdy pouchy elastic waist look. If you have a firm stretch knit with good recovery you really don't need elastic at the top, or you can use elastic for security but don't need any ease at the waist (the line drawing shows some ease gathered in with elastic. The pants hold no appeal to me. This has been well-reviewed on PR.
I got the fabric from Fashion Fabrics Club in June 2008 for $4.75/yard. It is firmer than your usual ITY polyester knit, which is nice. I bought it because I always love black and white when I see it on the street, but then when it's in my sewing room or closet it kind of loses the appeal because I want BRIGHT! COLOR! all the time. So it took me a while to match this fabric to a pattern, but I think it was a great choice. This slinky little number does well in a more subdued print (although it also looks awesome with bright color, as made by The Lazy Milliner).
The pattern calls for a zipper, which is stupid for a knit you can pull over your head and I left it off. I finished the neckline with clear elastic and a twin needle and twin-needled the hem as well.
I also ignored the instructions for gathering the side, rather to my peril. Well, it's not much that I ignored them that I didn't read them until after I was done (it's a t-shirt dress, what's to know?). I gathered the front and back sides separately and stitched them to ribbon stays cut to the length the pattern instructs you to gather, then I sewed the side seams. In the past on projects calling for tight gathers this has always worked better than sewing the side seam then gathering it up as one. However, either Vogue's finished measurement for the gathers is off or I cut the stays too short, because the hem of the gathered side is about three inches higher than the hem of the ungathered side, so I have to hike up the ungathered side to wear it.
Which is actually fine because this puppy is, ahem, fitted. Like a glove. I fear I have officially reached the point where I am going to have to buy both sizes of pattern. I bought the size that is 6-12, cut a 6 at the top which fits well and then transitioned to a 12 at the hip. It's very snug at the hip. I had trouble knowing exactly where the waist and hip were on the curved front piece, so I may not have moved out to a 12 high enough. But really, I could have used a 14 or maybe even a 16 at the hip (and a 12 at the waist). I really hope it's just this particular pattern.
Anyway, yanking up the hem of the ungathered side allows the fabric to ruche (nicer than saying "bunch") over my belly so I am a little less uncomfortable. But I am pretty uncomfortable anyway. You all know how I feel about my belly and in this dress there is no hiding it. I made it back in November and wore it for the first time the past weekend. I was at the flattest-belly point in my cycle so figured it was now or never. It was appreciated, but I still felt self-conscious. In the photo at left I am trying to be sultry.
I just don't do t-shirt dresses because of my self-consciousness about my belly, and I thought this gathered dress might be a way for me to do it. If I seriously size it up it might work, but it will need quite a bit more room. Objectively, I know this is flattering and sexy, but that doesn't really help if all I want to do is fold my arms over my stomach or carry a big purse to hide my belly!
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.