Sunday, May 1, 2011

Vogue 1234 Sandra Betzina dress





I'm in love. This is my new favorite dress. So comfy in 4 way stretch rayon lycra, it feels like a nightgown. The pattern description: Loose fitting, pullover dresses with hem facing. View A has the center front cut on the crossgrain. That is the view I made.

Pattern Sizing: Today's Fit sizing. I used a combo of B, C & D. The fabric is very forgiving so sizing to fit is easy.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes except mine is much longer. I removed 6 inches from the bottom and, although I am short, the length is still much longer than the photo suggests. I decided I liked it as a maxi dress.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Good instructions that are easy to follow. There are a few mistakes or odd instructions I will address under what I dislike. This is rated easy but I question that. There are several pivots to manage and the back vent area is a bit fussy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the style, love how it plays with the stripes, love the comfort, love the mostly easy construction. Dislike: I had 3 1/4 yards of fabric that was more than 60" wide. I didn't have enough even though the pattern calls for 2 7/8. I had to piece the hem facing and cut the sleeve sideways. (I didn't mind this as I wanted the stripes to change direction). So watch out for that. Also some instructions seemed not quite right to me. Sandra suggests shortening the dress at the end. Problem with this is that you may end up removing all of the back slit and complicating the vee at the center back bottom. I did have to shorten a lot and fixed that by resewing that vee so that I didn't end up with a cropped off stub. Also, she suggests not finishing the interior seams until the end in case you need to alter. But later she says the only place you may need to alter for fit is the short underarm side seams. That doesn't come to almost the end. I would suggest that if you want to finish the seams on the serger or even just trim them do it as you go. I didn't and, when I decided I did want to serge all those seams, I had to remove stitching in a number of places where the seams crossed. Extra time for that. Also, most seams are sewn just to the dots which are set back from the edge 5/8ths. Some places this is necessary to enable the pivots but others such as at the neck edge it is not. You are never suggested to close these open seams but you need to before you apply the neck or sleeve bands. Small details but surprising since the instructions are otherwise so complete.

Fabric Used: Rayon lycra jersey with 4 way stretch. I call it 4 way stretch but it can also be called 2 way stretch. Whatever, it needs to stretch both crosswise and lengthwise. This lengthwise stretch helps create the terrific drape of this dress. However it also causes it to grow lengthwise. Be sure you fold the dress over a hanger rather than hang it full length on the hanger. Full length dresses of this type of fabric will get longer and longer if you hang them.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:Changed the sleeve grain to have the stripes up and down, shortened as mentioned above.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I would love to make this again. It is a fun garment to put together, like a puzzle. Definitely recommend.

Conclusion: Very fun dress which I think will be a favorite for me this summer.

16 comments:

Little Hunting Creek said...

I love your dress! I have this pattern but haven't found the right fabric for it yet. Yours is wonderful!

Zeila said...

All I can say is wow! Once again your taste, your eye for design and your craftsmanship have produced a truly inspired garment. Great job!

KC said...

I love that dress--it is much more attractive than the pattern catalog pic! Brave and beautiful fabric choice!

vallere@comcast.net said...

This dress has been a nightmare for me - sewing the rayon knit has been almost impossible - what needle, stitch and type of foot did you use?

Eileensews said...

Fantastic! The fabric and pattern combination look great1

Gail said...

Great fabric choice - it certainly has the wow factor. Love the matching shoes too.

Heather said...

I love it! You certainly found the perfect fabric for this dress!

Anne e le manine d'oro said...

Ann, I am so happy to read your review. I am just on the verge of cutting this pattern.My machine does not like poly or rayon knits at all. I was planning on sewing it with my serger. I read your review very attentively, and I understand that your suggest to serge the seams as soon as they are sewn. But you do not mention if we could sew it all with the serger. The pivot points could be tricky with a serger. I hope will have time to answer my question. Regards, Anne-Marie from rainy Montréal

Ann said...

Anne, Perhaps you could serge the easy seams and just machine stitch at the pivots? You know, by stopping and starting. Or even hand sew for a few inches. I would be afraid to do the pivots on the serger if they hadn't already been stitched together but I'm not terribly skillful on the serger. Fortunately my sewing machine was able to handle this particular jersey just fine. Good luck, Ann

Lisette said...

Ann, I have plans to make this dress in a mix of blue, white and grey striped fabrics. I hope mine comes out as beautiful as yours! I featured you on my blog www.sewnmagazine.com

Trisha said...

I recently made a dress with what looks to be the SAME fabric! How fun. Love what you did with it-- really shows off the stripes.

Here's my striped maxi dress:
http://madebytrisha.blogspot.com/2011/05/striped-maxi-dress.html

Kuby said...

This dress looks spectacular on you! I love Sandra's patterns. I also own her Power Tools books and the hints are wonderful!

Paula K. Cravens said...

This dress is fantastic. I am so glad I found your blog. I am just learning how to sew and it is hard to visualize the patterns on a mature figure. You look great and I love your sense of style.

Jilly Be said...

Oh. My. Goddess. And at the same time Oh no........

I don't know how I missed your review of this dress, but when I saw it just now I went all nutzoid for a minute, & even though I'm alone, I'm sure I squealed out loud & said "That's IT!!! That's the dress I want to make!!!"

I even have some striped fabric that would be PERFECT! So I ran upstairs & grabbed the fabric...& that's when I said "Uh oh.... oh no...." It is EXACTLY the same fabric.

Ummmmm......would it be so terribly wrong if I basically thieved, stole, copied, plagiarized, whatever word you want to use....your dress?

I can't believe it's the same fabric.

Seriously, I will not even start unless you're ok with it....but I am IN LUST with your dress!!!

Did you get your fabric from Fabric Mart too?

Jilly Be said...

P.S. - I should clarify that I certainly wouldn't make an EXACT copy....in fact I've realized that I may not even have enough fabric, & might need to color block with something else....

Still, I wouldn't feel OK going ahead w/o an OK from you! (and it's perfectly fine if you're NOT ok with me using the same fabric - really, please be honest!)

betty jordan wester said...

wow! this is just fantastic!