Wednesday, January 27, 2010

V1020, Va Va Voom Side Gather Dress

V1020 Thumbnail

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.

Double Gather Stay 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.

SultryAnyway, 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 did a swayback adjustment, but since the fabric is bunched (I mean ruched) over my back as a result of the gathers I don't know if it was necessary/made a difference.

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.

47 comments:

Adelaide B said...

It's hard to see the details with this print, but it appears to be pretty flattering. I like it!

ELMO said...

That is a fabulous dress, I would have not appreciated the gather detail on the pattern photo.

Uta said...

I think it's gorgeous! And I certainly see no fault with your belly.

NGLaLALa said...

It looks great on you! I know what you mean about wearing clothes so fitted that you're conscious about the tummy area... not fun!

Little Hunting Creek said...

It looks great on you! What belly issue?

Renee said...

This is a great dress - very flattering on you!

Faye Lewis said...

Great job, looks wonderful!

Victoria said...

Very Nice! This dress suits you perfectly!

KID, MD said...

It looks beautiful!! I think between the ruching and the print, if there is a belly to be seen, it is utterly unnoticeable. I hope you do wear it, but I know that I won't wear something I don't feel great in, no matter how many other people tell me I do.

Karin said...

I think this is a flattering dress on you! It makes me want to run out and buy the pattern!

Sue said...

The dress is very flattering on you. It certainly brings no attention to your belly. I think you should wear it more!!

beangirl said...

Wait. You have a belly? I would not have known that. Seriously. In this dress or anything else. And while I am very skeptical about tight knit dresses under most circumstances, I think this looks fab on you (as opposed to looking a little too va va voom). Excellent dress.

Carol said...

I've made this dress twice and I've just cut it out in a top. I love it. I love the fabric you've used, too. I'm considering making the jacket because I think a soft cardigan style jacket in a knit is a very useful addition to any wardrobe! I think this dress looks great on you and is very flattering.

Carol said...

I've made this dress twice and I've just cut it out in a top. I love it. I love the fabric you've used, too. I'm considering making the jacket because I think a soft cardigan style jacket in a knit is a very useful addition to any wardrobe! I think this dress looks great on you and is very flattering.

ChristineB said...

Yeah, um, it's time to get over your tummy issues, my dear. Between the bunching (sorry, RUCHING!) and the print, I'm not exactly sure where your lower abdomen is, and what it may or may not be doing under there.

So please, no more kvetching, m'kay? :-)

Andrea said...

I think you look great in the dress. Nice job. By the way, I didn't comment the other day, but the Burda pencil skirt you made the other day in the red and black plaid is fabulous!!!! I love it.

Cennetta said...

Love this dress!

Vicki said...

Looks really nice. doesn't look too tight from here :)

Anonymous said...

This dress looks fabulous on you! Great fabric choice!

Trudy Callan said...

You look fabulous in the dress.

subversivesewer said...

You look really nice in your photo, and the dress is so cute!

AuntieAllyn said...

Smokin' hot!!!! You look fabulous in this dress!!!!

kbenco said...

Any belly that might be there is completely invisible in these photographs, in which you look very svelte, but if you don't feel comfortable with it as a dress,maybe it would be worn more as a top?

AllisonC said...

I think this is a very flattering dress on you, I hadn't even noticed the dress in this wardrobe pattern before.

Lori said...

I think it looks great on you.

Digs said...

I daresay you're the ONLY person on the planet who obsesses over your tum. The rest of us like you perfectly just as you are. Imperfection's all in the eye of the beholder, y'know. One woman I know has been unhappy with her body for over 40 years! can you imagine?! All through her teens/romance/marriage/childbearing etc all the way to and through menopause, and she hasn't come to terms with her body YET. Sad, that is. Don't be like her: love all of yourself NOW, starting today, and never look back. That's a rockin' sexy dress, great print, great product, and it hugs your curves just so. You look perfect in it.

Sherril said...

Trena, do you think some spanks would make you feel more comfortable in the dress. Honestly I don't think other people notice the tum, but I also know how uncomfortable it could be if you're self-conscious about it all day. I like patterned fabric as it can help camouflage lots of figure variations.

Jenny said...

You look great! I hope you wear it again.

Lisette M said...

I think you look fantastic!

BeccaA said...

This dress is very flattering on you. I hope you wear it because you look very feminine.

Peter said...

One man's opinion: that dress rocks!

senaSews said...

I agree with the others! You look beautiful in the dress. It's very flattering!

cidell said...

Me seriously likey!

San Antonio Sue said...

The dress looks great on you. However, the bold print overpowers the lines of the dress. Next time you make it in a print like this, insert some piping at those front seams. It will allow the dress lines to "pop", after all otherwise, this might as well be a sack.

amber said...

This looks fabulous on you!

Brenna said...

I thought I might chime in here...I found your blog thru pr.com and have enjoyed reading your reviews! I suspect that we are built about the same...I'm small in the bust and wider on the hips.) I had to smile when you mentioned wanting color all the time. Me too. Guilty of all pink and fuschia all the time.

I agree with the other 35 posters...the dress is fabulous!!!...but I get what you're saying about uncomfortable dresses not getting much wearing time. Have fun with it!

Dana said...

Great dress!

Violet said...

I have belly issues too so I can sympathise. But really, I don't see a problem with this dress on you. Maybe it's a combination of the ruching and the print, but your belly isn't exactly punching me in the eye here.

Anonymous said...

I think the dress looks great as is, but how about throwing on a long scarf? It would cover your belly (I don't see a problem, but of course you're entitled to your feelings) and it would add a pop of color.

Lindsay T said...

I wish I could have been the first commenter so I could have said Readers, this girl is delusional! I have seen her in person and trust me when I say there is no belly there. This dress looks great on you, Trena!

Elbee said...

I can't see you're belly in any of your pics. But I think this is one of the most flattering dresses I've seen you in. Use one of those body hugging things underneath if it really bothers you.

gwensews said...

That is a very pretty and flattering dress. There's no tummy there either!

Susan said...

This is one of my favorites of yours. The material and pattern look amazing together. I opted for a print for my version too.

Anonymous said...

As Lindsay T says above, you have some serious body dimorphism going on about your "belly". Your vision does not match reality in this area, quite literally. This dress is PERFECT on you. It suits you in every way.

Clio said...

WOW - Last week I only had time to take a quick peek at this post. I thought the dress was so flattering that I ordered the pattern at once. Now that I've read the whole post, I am totally shocked. Shocked! I guess we all have our own body issues. But the dress really looks great on you!

Isabelle said...

I can't see any tummy from here either! All I see is a fabulous dress, on a fabulous person. Seriously! You look amazing.

I have this pattern and am now hoping I have a suitable knit to go with it.

Isabelle said...

PS: I love your hair! The haircut really suits you.

I hope mt previous comment didn't annoy you. I hadn't realized how many of us had the same reaction, so I hope I didn't rub it in your face too much. :)