Well, that’s not strictly true. I sewed this at the beginning of the summer, but apart from these photos I’ve worn it exactly once, to my boyfriend’s birthday party. Whereupon I immediately dropped chocolate on my most protruding point, i.e., my bust apex. But what is this dress?
It’s the Vogue deep-V, of course! I sewed this in white Brussels Washer linen/rayon. I wanted to add a summer dress to my stable this year (mostly I wear shorts), and white linen = summer in mah brain. I was wooed by the many beautiful versions of this pattern online and a perfectly-timed Vogue sale. I thought this would be everyday-elegant but also capable of dressing up for summer events. A fancy-type workhorse. A Thoroughbred with a job.
NOT SO. Instead I’ve made a garment that’s absolutely disqualified from attending weddings, too pristine for my caveman eating habits, and a bit, well, Deep-V-ish for family events. I also have a moment of blank terror in the middle of pulling it on, each time, as yards of white fabric billow around me and I think oh geez am I in a cult?!
Rolling the sleeves tones down that effect. I had finished the shoulder seams separately, as instructed, by serging; when it became clear I was only going to wear this with the sleeves cuffed, I tucked in the serged edge and hand-stitched it to the seam allowance. The full sleeves look beautiful elsewhere. I really think it’s the product of the color and potentially also I have a mild case of Cult Face. Despite the choir/cult associations I do really like this dress!
As a belle dame sans cleavage I don’t need to worry about a bra for support. My bust is small and wide set, and it’s only PG-13 if I’m sitting slumped with my shoulders rolled far forward. I tacked the front shut in a couple places – I think the length of the bodice grew on the hanger (that skirt is heavy), but I didn’t want to stitch the front shut entirely, because I think too much decency would totally ruin the look.
The skirt is full and I like the length! Though in white, on my skin tone this is definitely a job for light, neutral bottoms. The inseam pockets are generous and are attached in such a way that they don’t flop around, but always lay forward, which adds a little coverage in front. Meanwhile, on the verso, I still haven’t stitched the hook-and-eye to the top of the zipper. I bought it though! So it’s fine. It’s fine! It kind of counts!
I French seamed everything but the shoulder seam (weird call, weirdo; it’s the only one that ended up visible). The hem is pretty small – just ½” turned twice and topstitched. I sewed this without any changes to the Vogue construction order/directions, but if I make another, I’d sew the shoulder seams first, then bind the front edges and back neck in one swoop, instead of hemming the front and bias binding the back, as instructed. I was worried about the neck edge growing, but I staystitched all the bodice pieces, and that edge is cut on grain, which helps. Bias necklines still make me nervous!
I don’t get a ton of wear out of this, so it doesn’t really meet the “sense” requirement of my “quality and sense” goal. I’ve thought about sewing the pattern again, maybe in a solid color (I’m obsessed with that Redrock linen/rayon), a wax print, or a drapier fabric. But realistically I don’t often wear dresses, even in the summer. Hey, though, if I ever get really worried about value for money out of V9253, I can always join that cult.
Once again, my boyfriend did the hard work of photography!
Pattern: Vogue 9253
Pattern cost: $10.50
Supplies: 3 yards of Kaufman Brussels Washer Linen Blend in white, $24.00; thread, Michael’s, $3.82;, zipper and hook and eye, Gather Here, $3.12
Total time: 8.5 hours
Total cost: $41.44