Vogue pattern 1234, by Sandra Betzina. I love the shape of this dress. I'd say it's fairly easy to sew, - apart from the way she does the hemline, which I didn't try - but it was quite finicky. Once I'd started sewing, I wasn't sure which way was up - I just kept piecing together the corresponding letters, step by step. When I finally had it hanging up, it looked absolutely beautiful - tall and elegant and sweeping - and then I thought, 'hang on - tall?'
I am not tall, and when I first put it on, it came down past my ankles, and I can't imagine I'd wear something so long. There are no instructions on shortening the pattern, although - very annoyingly - at the end, one of the instructions reads '...for the shorter version...'
What shorter version?!
So I went from being very chuffed to very disappointed in the space of five minutes. In the end, I hacked 7 inches off the hemline, redid a few of the vertical seams to try to restore the shape, then turned up the hem and slip-stitched it. This didn't work. I don't think the shape is what it should be, and the hemline is all bunched up. And, weirdly, although I cut exactly seven inches off all the way round, the hem is sort of W-shaped at the centre back.
So lots of flaws, but I still might wear it. It would be a good dress to go trampolining in, because the skirt has got real spring to it!
I considered different ways of shortening it. Cutting it at the hem doesn't work, and if you removed a bit from the waist the 'hip drapes' would become 'waist drapes', which doesn't sound as if it would be flattering at all. Actually though, looking at the two pictures, I think my drapes are lower-slung than those in the pattern picture, so maybe I could shorten it slightly at the waist.
Looking online for further alteration inspiration, I found a blog post by someone else who has made this dress. She altered the skirt by reducing it by small amounts in two different places, which sounds quite promising (and seemed to work for her). So thank you, sewingforfun!
It'll take me a while to save up for more fabric, but I would definitely like to have another try at this.
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