Friday, February 3, 2012

Vogue 7693, Mock Wrap Dress

V7693 Thumbnail

I've been wanting to make Vogue 7693 for a while.  So long, in fact, that the pattern has gone out of print.  Which is to your benefit, because I'm going to tell you up front that I do not recommend this pattern.  It is poorly drafted, the directions are bizarre, there is no way to complete the project without a lot of hand sewing (I don't even mind hand-sewing, but this is just because it was drafted without a way to finish it by machine, not for a high-end couture look), and the end result--while nice--is not special enough to warrant all this woe.

This is one of the fabrics I bought from the Grand Bazaar in Turkey in 2010.  Crazily enough, the Selfish Seamstress ended up getting the same fabric (with the same line about it being cotton) on her visit last year.   When I proudly told the boyfriend I had sewn up one of the fabrics I bought on our trip to Turkey, he was like, "What?  You're only now getting to it?"  Oh dear, you have *no* idea.  I reminded him that he has seen my sewing room and that it is stuffed with fabric waiting to get sewn.  He conceded the point.

SBA on Both Fronts

I did my usual broad back and swayback adjustments on the back.

On the front, I did my usual SBA for a wrap style of shortening the diagonal neckline edge.  Because I find that the Big 4 need huge amounts of length taken out to avoid gaping, I did it in two folds rather than one.  Make sure to do it to both pieces!  I also narrowed the dart in the left front.  The right front has no dart and I made no additional adjustments.  Luckily, the end fit is very good with a secure, non-gaping wrap.  

The instructions for this dress are awful.  They show the most convoluted, time-consuming, tedious method possible to finish everything.  I ignored them.  The instructions talk about something crazy with hand-sewing the shoulders of the lining after everything is done, I don't even know.  I stitched the shoulder seams in both fashion fabric and lining and stitched together at the neck, as per usual, and the sky did not fall. 

Skirt Opening Finish
One of the many drafting errors on this pattern is on the skirt.  The left front (underlayer of front) does not extend all the way to the side seam, so the waist edge of the skirt must be finished separately beyond that point.  The marking on the skirt from which you are supposed to finish is about 5/8 inch from the side seam.  However, the actual difference in length is closer to 3 inches.  I walked the pattern pieces to make sure it was not my error.  It was not. (This is in addition to the length problem with the right front bodice identified by Mickey Fan.)

For an opening that large, I felt the skirt needed more stabilization than just being turned under and stitched (as per the instructions).  The A line skirt is meant to be cut on the bias (I did not have enough fabric to do so, and this rayon has enough drape that it didn't need it), which makes stabilization even more important.

I clipped into the seam allowance from the actual joining point--not the marked joining point, and stitched a piece of ribbon on the right side with the edge just above the seamline and then flipped to the inside and topstitched.  I extended the ribbon a little bit into the joining point of the left front and skirt for full stabilization.

After the dress was completed, I had to tack the tie for the underlap to this finished edge of the skirt, because it was distorting the hang of the dress when it extended from the side front rather than the side seam.

Hand Finish on Lining

Because the lower edge of the right front (the layer that wraps over in front)  extends below the waist seam, that inner side seam on the lining must be closed by hand (leaving a gap to pass the underside tie to go through).

As drafted, the skirt is not lined, and I followed the pattern instructions on that (in retrospect, I really should have lined the skirt--rayon is quite flimsy).  So I also had to hand-stitch the lower edge of the lining to the seam allowance at the waist.  For that you, can stitch in the ditch but I am not a skilled ditch stitcher (and somehow my lining ended up short).

Treat Lining and Fashion as One at 

Once the side seams of both layers were sewn, I treated the fashion fabric and lining as one at the armscye.  The sleeve on this is quite narrow, which I didn't notice in cutting.  I stitched it with a tiny seam allowance but still have some restricted movement.

Custom Piece from Etsy
Source: via Trena on Pinterest

The best part about the pattern is the little back collar and the shaping in the front.  I will probably re-use that detail at some point.  I like this custom lace outfit from Etsy.  I can see doing something like the lace top without the full collar using the neckline from V7693.



In the end, the dress is pretty and flattering, but the drafting is just so terrible!  This look is generally drafted as a full front with a front overlay, as in Simplicity 2369.  S2369 is for knits, but you get the general idea.  I think that is the better way to achieve this style and there are better patterns for this look.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.


sewing spots said...

This sounds like quite a sewing adventure! But one that turned out well--it is a lovely dress and you look great in it!

Anonymous said...

One more totally pretty dress!
thanks for the advice on the badly draft pattern..... I own it (never made it) and I will trash it right now !

Clio said...

I think you managed a win with this dress event though the pattern sounds like a big lose. Very pretty!

Lori said...

Thanks for the heads up on the instructions and drafting. For all the trouble, your dress looks worth it, fabulous dress.

Kitty Couture said...

Thanks for the heads up about the pattern. You did achieve a nice result but I totally agree that this is not up to par with what you expect of a Vogue pattern.
I love the print, and love the way your blue tights bring out the blue in the pattern.

Lisette M said...

Well at least you ended up with a very pretty dress!

Amanda S. said...

Oh yes, I totally remember this pattern! I made it twice, but with the second one the skirt totally stretched out and it became a wadder. I kept it around thinking I might someday make the straight skirt version. But you are right, it was terribly drafted and not easily adapted for lining. ANYWAY, yours is very cute and I love the way you've styled it with bright tights and cowboy boots. Very fun look!

Adelaide B said...

I'm glad this turned out, especially since it was a pain. There is nothing worse than putting in extra effort and having it look like crap. It looks quite good and I love the fabric.

kathy said...

even though the selfish seamstress copied your fabric purchase, I still love the brown and blues. Good looking dress.

Maybe patterns should come with the name of the senior drafter person so we could avoid this issue in the future by staying clear of that person's work.

Merche Martinez said...

Hello! Although I follow your blog for a long time, this is my first comment. Just because I was too computer-silly... Anyway, I love the fabric and what you made with it, and it shows your expertise being the instructions so bad. Hats off to you!

kbenco said...

I adore wrap dresses, and yours looks so nice on you in the photo that I had a teeny moment of pattern lust, which was fortunately nipped in the bud by your throrough exposure of the pattern flaws. How annoying.
I am impressed that you achieved such a lovely dress with such a horrid pattern. It looks terrific with the blue tights.

Cennetta said...

Pretty dress, Trena.

McVal said...

Love that collar!!!

Faye Lewis said...

The dress looks great on you, but thanks for the pattern headsup.

gwensews said...

That is a good heads-up warning for those who wear wrap dresses. Yours did end up beautiful though. Nice job, working through some painful drafts.

Mary said...

Thanks for sharing your experience-I am taking note of this pattern and NOT buying it if it should pop up somewhere. Your dress is really pretty and flattering.

Kate said...

Gorgeous dress. It looks great on you, I love the way you've styled it with the boots.

Elizabeth Made This said...

Sorry to hear it was such a clunker of a pattern. The little collar is really flattering and I love the movement of this print.

liza jane said...

Oh man, I can't even follow your explanation of how you fixed the issue so I'm sure I'd never make it sewing up that pattern. But your end result is lovely! I'm such a fan of cowboy boots and dresses.

Anonymous said...

The end result is really pretty and so wearable (gotta love a wrap dress!) but those instructions - ugh! Toss that thing (the pattern, not the dress) right in the trash.

No wonder it's OOP.

Barbara at Cat Fur Studio said...

You made the best possible lemonade from that lemon! Love how you have the dress styled with the tights and boots, too.

Joy said...

I'm enjoying all your wraps garments. They look great on you and make me think I should try making another wrap top or dress (being less endowed as well.)

LinB said...

That neckline (pseudo-funnel neck? half stand?) is so flattering! I've been happy with a Vogue Easy Options patter, V7931 -- no waist seam, though, so silhouette is different than your new wrap dress. It's also very hard to tell from the front of the envelope that there is anything but a plain, no-neck opening. The technical drawings are tiny, tiny, tiny. I was pleasantly surprised in cutting out that the shoulder line evolves into a nice little short stand kind of thingie.