Vogue 9267 and Simplicity 1873 for weddings and parties

Hey Mississippi River: I’m crossing you in style!

Here I am on the banks of this mighty river wearing a simple mash up of Vogue 9267 and Simplicity Cynthia Rowley 1873 . This is my latest make for special occasions- specifically weddings and parties!

This dress is a perfect wedding guest dress and practically a party on its own.  This fit and flare dress accommodates a full range of dance moves with absolutely no chance of wardrobe malfunctions.  Bonus feature- partying is so comfortable in this breathable all cotton faille fabric that does not wilt or wrinkle like a wallflower.  This amazing fabric holds its perfect shape, even when you start to droop- or if you have to walk through some autumn sprinkles like I did! To top it off- the print is super cheerful- look at it cheer up this moody river landscape.

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I blended two party dresses for this special occasion dress.  I used my favorite Simplicity Cynthia Rowley for the bodice and lovely Vogue 9267 for the perfect full-not too full skirt.  While V9267 could be a perfect choice on its own, I decided to keep the bodice super simple to showcase the fabric.  I also knew the Cynthia Rowley bodice pattern was a great fit- because I have used this before. I am partial to Cynthia Rowley patterns for Simplicity. I have used them time and again as my base for a project. I used Cynthia Rowley for dresses blogged about here and here. This finished dress styling is effortlessly no nonsense: practical jewel neckline, short sleeves and a perfect skirt. 

The dress was also a party to make up. This project was completely straightforward with no pattern modifications- except using the top and bottom from two patterns; and no lining was necessary with the sturdy fabric.

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This dress is an easy win because of the attributes of this amazing cotton faille fabric. I purchased this particular fabric from EmmaOneSock, but the same fabric is currently available at Mood. Faille isn’t a super common fabric choice. Faille is defined as “a fabric woven with slight ribs from silk, rayon or cotton.” Faille fabric is woven with heavier weft yarns and finer warp yarns to create a very fine rib. This magical weave produces a silky and wonderfully lustrous surface. Below you can see a close up of the fabric and the narrow skirt hem- hand sewn because that’s the way I roll with hems! Also, the fabric has a little stiffness so that was the easiest method. You can see the ribs on the wrong side of the fabric.

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Silk faille is often used in evening wear. This particular fabric has fabulous body and a dressy sheen that is NOT shiny. Just dressy. While faille is often produced in silk- this gem is cotton- so pretty and so practical- which is also the way I like to roll as a party guest!

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Sewcial Mashup Challenge with Vogue 1395

I am a longstanding pattern masher- aka: taking pattern pieces from separate patterns to create my own unique project. So, the sewcial mash up challenge hosted by Lori of Girls in the Garden and Lindsey at Inside the Hem this month is right up my alley. I had Rebecca Taylor Vogue 1395 in my pattern queue for several years- and this challenge was the inspiration I needed to FINALLY make this dress.  I have a few Rebecca Taylor patterns and I find her designs feminine and wearable.  This pattern has a versatile and slightly casual shape that is super appealing. I love the pull on and go style- with waist definition from those ties!   But, I read several reviews that recommended some significant modifications for the shoulders and armholes- including these reviews from the sensational sewists  Katie and Lauren.  I decided this pattern would be a good candidate for pattern mashing- specifically to change out the wide neckline and the back and shoulders.  I also wanted to add longish sleeves.

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I was determined to use patterns I had on hand for this mash up- so my mash-up includes the bodice front and back and sleeves from Simplicity 8737.  I actually made the v-neckline a wee bit deeper and wider than the Simplicity pattern piece and omitted any fastening in the back.  With a slightly deeper v-neck and the full bodice, I knew it would slip easily over my head without any fussy back closures. I omitted the neckband in the Simplicity view. I also skipped the big cuff and finished the bottom of the gathered sleeve with a narrow band.  I used the front facings from the Simplicity pattern.  The Vogue pattern uses bias binding for the v-neck, but I am partial to using facings.  I had to draft a back neck facing from the altered back bodice.

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There wasn’t a lot of expertise involved in combining bits and pieces of these patterns.  One mash up task was to make certain the top fit the bottom- or skirt.  I aligned both pattern bodice fronts and backs to make sure the fullness was similar and would match up with the Vogue skirt- and the patterns were remarkably similar.  But because the back on the original dress wraps to the front- I had to ever so slightly gather the back skirt to fit the back bodice. 

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The other tricky mash-up aspect was to figure out how to add ties.  I had to improvise on both the pattern and the construction/placement of the ties because they are attached to the bodice back in the Rebecca Taylor Vogue pattern.  I drew a pattern slightly scaled from the Vogue pattern shape and attached the ties in the side seams.

The fabric is a just-right rayon crepe from the Fabric Store- perfect weight and not too slippery.

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It's a wrap

Wrap dresses are wildly popular for good reason-they are appropriate for any circumstance: work or play or dressy events depending on your fabric choice.  They are appropriate for any age.  The cross over neckline is flattering and add to this, there are no zips or buttons- which are potential stumbling blocks for a new sewist.  Yet, a wrap dress has a significant and potential pitfall- staying closed.  And it was this hazard that prevented me from making a wrap dress for years.

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The allure of the wrap dress kept calling and I spent over a year pursuing the perfect woven wrap dress pattern.  Wrap dress patterns generally are divided into two categories:  knits- like the iconic Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress introduced in the 1970s- and wovens.  There is a great round up of indie wrap dress patterns by Helen of Helen’s Closet here.  This spring, I found (and was tempted) by a new faux wrap: the Madrid dress by Coffee and Thread.

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I finally landed on the Aime Comme Mots doux -or “sweet words” wrap dress from Aime Comme Marie- and happy to report- absolutely no danger of a wardrobe malfunction with this gem.

I made a wearable toile in a sturdy Japanese cotton, a great work horse fabric that I purchased from Lakes Makerie.  Super wrinkly resistant- not at all fluid or swishy- which is the typical wrap dress fabric choice.

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The bodice of this dress has a full facing which gives the top great stability. I interfaced the facing for a smooth flat finish and to prevent the bodice edge from stretching.

This is my second go at this French pattern company, and as I stated before, you have to add seam allowances to the pattern pieces and the English instructions are extremely brief. Aside from these minor quibbles, I am pleased with the drafting and style.  I made two changes to the pattern. The bodice facing is cleverly attached to the arm seam- which is genius if you are working with a fluid lightweight fabric. But this cotton is substantial, so I trimmed the facing as indicated below. I also drafted a back neck facing instead of using bias trim.

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I only have sweet words for this lovely pattern with pretty pleats at the shoulder and excellent style. I can’t wait to make this up in a special swishy fabric!

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