I haven’t been doing a whole lot of garment sewing this summer even though I really need to update the wardrobe. I did however find time to do a little stash busting and completed two dresses last month. One was a fail and the other a win. The lesson I learned is to disregard the pattern illustrations and know what does and doesn’t work for your body type and personal style.
First up was Vintage Vogue B8728
Illustrations looked great even though I knew that this was a classic example of physically impossible proportions for a real woman. But I’d read reviews and seen it reviewed on Sewing Pattern Review and it came out favorable for the most part. It had also been a sample dress made up at my local Joann Fabrics last summer and I bought the fabric the sample was made in because I liked it. I thought it was going to make up into a nice summer dress.
I was wrong. It makes me look like Freulein Fishwife. I had seen someone somewhere who had replaced the drindl skirt with an a-line and I think that may have saved it. But even then, I don’t like the bodice. The gathers hit me in a weird place and it just isn’t comfortable. Bottom line, it makes me look frumpy and I don’t like to look frumpy. Into the “cut up and use all the salvageable fabric for something else” pile. I’m thinking a lined, pencil skirt.
Or I can keep it in case I’m ever cast in Sound of Music again:
Then I decided to finally cut into the bright red knit I’ve had in the stash for ever and a day. I love this color too and knew I wanted something with some Va-Va-Voom.
Enter, Vogue 1250.
I’ve admired this pattern for a long time and it gets a lot of love over at Pattern Review. But I also have been a little afraid of it because I wasn’t sure it would work on my body. But I decided that was what Spanx were invented for and went for it. It ends up being one of my favorite dresses ever. Super comfortable and looks great.
It fits my curves just right and the neckline is very flattering. (And I didn’t end up having to squeeze into Spanx after all!) This will always be one of my favorite colors to wear too. I just got the latest Coldwater Creek catalog in the mail and there was this dress (sorry CWC won’t let me steal images from their website) and now I’m on the hunt for some polka dot fabric to make my own for a fraction of the CWC price.
The moral of the story here is to know what works for you and your body. Don’t fall into the trap I was in for years where I thought that because I was “plus-size” that I had to hide all that under voluminous amounts of fabric. All that did was make me look even bigger. Well-fitted, body skimming silhouettes and much more flattering. Sheath dresses and pencil skirts are my friends. When I want a little more freedom of movement I go with wrap dresses with A-line skirts.