Apologies in advance for the poor quality pics - I like to work into the night so lighting is never great at 3am ;)
I decided to make the Vogue V8229 dress after being inspired by Christina on her Assorted Notions blog. I thought all 3 versions of the dress she made looked great, and based on her experiences I wanted to try my hand at making my version in a silk to avoid it being potentially sack-like.
I managed to get some beautiful blue ex-display silk from Darn Cheap Fabrics at a decent price so I was quite excited about the whole project.
Cutting out the pattern wasn't too difficult. I decided that since I didn't want to have a ruffle at the bottom of the dress I would extend the body sections down to my knees so I could play around with the length. Also, I generally don't wear anything above the knee so I was hoping that the additional length following the line of the body would just magically look great.
After putting all the pieces together (and also making wonky darts at the back of the dress as per the pattern) I put a zip in to see how it all fit together.
There are a bunch of things I am unhappy with at the moment:
1. Poor fit
As you can see, the stomach area of the dress looks terrible. I suspect that all the wrinkling there is due to the dress pulling around my hip section - the sizing obviously wasn't generous enough in that area. This is of course why people should make muslins first to suss out pattern sizes but I am unfortunately too impatient. Also, the thin silk isn't very forgiving so any lump and bump that shouldn't be there *cough cough* is going to throw the dress out as well.
If I can be bothered I am going take the darts out of the back and let the dress out around the hips at the sides and back. I'm just worried that the silk may not like being unstitched and will show little holes.
2. To puff or not to puff
I am currently undecided about if I want to just hem the sleeves as is and leave thm long and flowy (right pic), or make them puffy (left pic) as per the design. I am leaning towards puffy since I am quite disgruntled about the lower half of the dress and want something about it to work out.
3.Long vs not-so-long
I don't know if it is because of the poor fit around the hips but the dress sometimes looks very frumpy. If you compare the top pic to the second one, it looks a lot better later on due to me standing a certain way, but I can't imagine I'd be spending the whole day standing around just like that. An alternative is to show some leg (look away now if you can't stand the exposure!) but I'm not sure I'd be comfy walking around with something that short.
Trying to fix everything in 1 go will be too painful and will mean I won't finish it since I have a short attention span and will get impatient/frustrated. I'll just take things one step at a time, starting with the sleeves I think.
Worse case scenario would be that I chop the bottom and make this into a flowy silk top - which I think I may do if the silk shows up too many holes when I try to resize it. I quite like how it looks as a top so it's no big loss - and when I have another bash at making the dress I'll have a better idea of what to watch out for!