Sometimes your inspiration image at the start of the project doesn’t match the final product! This project started when I saw the model on the pattern envelope and really liked the dress. But, as the project progressed, things changed…
I’m not much for maxi dresses, and the yardage required (5 yds of 60″ wide) didn’t fit anything in my fabric stash, especially not chiffon. I pulled some chiffon that I had, thinking that if I shortened the dress, I’d have enough fabric, but that wasn’t the case. After looking closer at the pattern envelope, I noticed that the fabric recommendations included “border prints”, so I reached for a recent fabric purchase that ended up being perfect! And away we go…
Fabric: 3 lovely yards of navy blue Rayon Batik border print from Haberman Fabrics, purchased earlier this spring. I spied it on a rolling cart, it hadn’t even made it to the sales floor display yet! I can’t resist blue and white dress prints…
Pattern: Vogue 1502 (Tracy Reese)
‘Lined, floor-length dress has close-fitting bodice with front dart tucks, scoop neckline, midriff, back inset, shoulder straps, under bodice, raised waist, side-front and side-back seams on skirt, invisible side zipper, very narrow hem, narrow hem on three-quarter length sleeves, and French seams. Neck binding, facings for underbodice, and continuous bias to finish zipper and armholes.”
Lined? Nope, didn’t do that. The fabric was not sheer and I used my serger to finish all the seams and hems, so French seams weren’t necessary either.
Floor length? Nope, trimmed the skirt pattern pieces down to 24″ in length.
Invisible Zipper? Nope. When I attached the skirt to the bodice, I was able to slip it on with the side seam basted, so I skipped the zipper.
Three-quarter length sleeves: Nope. I had every intention of keeping the sleeves, I even made great use of the border and had excellent print placement! But, when I slipped the dress on after attaching the skirt, the dress just said “I’m an effortless, warm weather dress. Wear me on sunny days with your hair up!” and the sleeves just seemed… matronly and heavy to me. I hate to waste fabric, but it just seemed like the dress was more flattering on me without the sleeves. Here’s the picture I posted on Instagram seeking feedback, and the vast majority of the comments said, “Sleeveless!!!”
Construction: I followed the pattern’s instructions for guidance, but made changes along the way, since my fabric wasn’t sheer. For example, the inner “lining” (a cami top and mini skirt) weren’t necessary, although I did require the back bodice lining piece for coverage. I added about 1.5″ to the top edge for additional coverage (to hide the bra strap at center back) and attached the lining piece to the back bodice pieces along the side seams. However, I still needed to tack the lining piece to the sides of the deep “V”, as it was very drapey and wouldn’t stay up where I needed it.
The ties are a perfect length, even with the shorter skirt. I just made the bow loops a little longer to pick up the slack, and also realized that I could wrap them around my back and tie them in the front for another cute belting option.
This project is an excellent reminder that the picture on the pattern envelope, which is extremely fashionable and a beautiful garment, may not resemble your finished garment, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing! It’s important to look beyond the fabric selection, the length, or the sleeve type, and really look at a garment for it’s “bones”… the design details, the opportunities for thinking outside the box. If I’d ignored this pattern because I’m not a fan of maxi dresses on my body type, I would’ve missed out on a spectacular use for a special fabric in my stash! My favorite parts are all here: the deep v-back, the border print, the flattering style lines. I’m pretty sure I’ll reach for this pattern again, as the construction was very straightforward and the dress really has 4-season opportunity, depending on the fabric selection and the sleeve! Two thumbs up for Vogue 1502 and don’t be afraid to stray from the “norm”!