Saturday, April 16, 2011

Vogue 1250 - the easiest Donna Karan dress, ever

I had to fly to Denver for the day yesterday (I live in St. Louis), and happened to find myself parked next to a Joann's on my way to my lunch appointment. Well, looky here, the Vogue patterns were on sale for $3.99 and me with an hour to kill...what to do, what to do.

You know what I found out? Reading through pattern instructions is an awesome way to kill time on a plane. I picked up eight of the new ones that I'd been eyeballing, and by the time I got home last night I was super excited to start Vogue 1250, a cowl-neck Donna Karan dress pattern for knits.

This past winter I bought one of my favorite fabrics ever online, a black and cream Theory knit from Emma One Sock. It was $20 a yard, probably one of the most expensive fabrics I've ever ordered! When it got here, though, it was worth every penny. It feels like heaven and I love the graphic sweater print.

As soon as I saw Vogue 1250, I knew it would be perfect for this fabric. It also helped that the lovely and talented Carolyn made this same pattern this week in a black and white print, so I knew it would work.

The pattern does not disapoint. I cut a straight 14, adding an inch at the waistline and 1/2" at the hem because that's all the fabric I had. I also extended the cowl by about 1/2" but there is easily room to add 3" or more to make sure that baby stays tucked down while you're wearing it.

I ended up tacking the cowl in the center front to make sure it won't flip. You can't even see seams in this fabric, so I knew a few tacking stitches wouldn't show.

The worst part about the whole project was my own serger. The seams were rippling, the stitches were packed together, the whole experience was frustrating me! It was literally almost the very end (of the very short five-step patterns) when I realized I'm a complete idiot. The tension setting bar had been pulled down (two guesses who did that) and it was set to ripple! So the serger is happily doing exactly what I asked it to do, and I was all boo-hooing my ripply seam over my butt.

After I adjusted it and fixed the offending seams, I was much happier and the dress looks better.

I think this is a super versatile pattern because in a solid you can appreciate the seaming and lines, and in a print there aren't too many construction details to break up the pattern. Also, in a sweater and boots it's totally practical for winter-ish weather too. Don't get me wrong, I don't expose my legs in the dead of winter, but there are plenty of weeks before and after that to wear this.

The fit is pretty good. If only I could come to grips with the fact that my bottom half is a 16, not a 14, I think it would look better. Oh, well, live and learn.

What would a blog post of mine be without the resident co-dependent dog joining in the fun?

Next up on the cutting table, a pair of camel tropical wool trousers for work. I'm going to tweak Simplicity 2700 again and get it right this time, if it kills me. Also? I'm determined to add a tuxedo stripe down the side, don't ask me why. Stay tuned...


  1. There's no way your ass is a 16 or a 14. I've seen it in a bikini, after all. (Cute dress!)

  2. Oh your dress hangs so nice. It's very pretty! I think you will be wearing this one often!

  3. This looks superb on you! I have just ordered this pattern and can't wait to make it - I love yours.

  4. Fabulous! I finally braved up and traced three patterns (top, skirt & dress) from that knipemode you passed my way. The dress will be sewn in the silky mocking rain drop fabric of mine. The top and skirt are for knits...the skirt being very straight forward, but the top construction I haven't figured out yet. Google translater isn't helping me out much!

  5. I LOVE this! I just pulled this pattern out to sew up next. It looks great in your print and I hear ya on the sizing :-) Love your dog! We'll be out in St. Louis in November at the Purina Farms for a BIG Flyball tourney. We had dinner with Michelle from Cheap and Picky last year...what a blast!

  6. Just wanted to let you know that we like your version of V1250 so much that we posted a link to your blog from our Vogue Patterns facebook page. Great job!

  7. That was such a nice call me the lovely and talented! *smile* Great minds think alike since we made the same dress using a comparable print...and yours is lovely too!

  8. Beautiful. I love your fabric choice. This dress has to move to the top of my sewing list. Nice job and it looks great on you.

  9. Ok, time for me to make this one. SERIOUSLY cute on you!