I just finished sewing Vogue Patterns V1371, a Tracy Reese designer pattern. It's the wrong season for this dress, but one must think ahead, and spring and summer will be here before we know it. I'm looking forward to wearing this when the weather warms up. I used a lightweight lawn cotton for the dress and I also lined the skirt with a lawn cotton. The skirt would be too flimsy without a lining, and I was surprised the pattern does not call for it.
I really liked this pattern when I first saw it, but I decided to omit the bow because I think it would just be too twee with my pale print. I also didn't want the shoulder pads because that would just be too 1980s. The pattern is written such that each shoulder pad sits sandwiched between a shoulder facing and a larger, gathered, outer shoulder piece. In order to omit the pads, I used the smaller shoulder facing for both the facing and the top shoulder piece.
I really like the finished dress. It's got some ease so it's very comfy to wear, and I love cotton dresses in warm weather. The pattern does put some emphasis at the bust line, which can be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending upon your body type. If you're going to make this, here are my suggestions:
- Use a lightweight soft fabric. Otherwise, the bodice pleats would be too bulky and/or stiff.
- With a lightweight fabric, I think the skirt definitely needs a lining to give it body.
- Either cut the neck binding 1/4" wider or sew it on with a 1/2" seam (instead of 5/8"). I did the latter, because otherwise I think the binding would be too narrow and difficult to handle.
- Raise the position of the back zipper by about 2" or so. I did this because I think the back slit opening would be way too low otherwise.
- If you don't make muslins first, consider cutting the bodice section a little longer and adjust after trying on. I made mine about 1/2" longer and was glad I did. As a note, because of the way the pieces are put together, this pattern is a little harder to adjust sizing as you go.