I’ve made quite a few loose fitting dresses already this Spring, so now that the warm weather has finally arrived I’ve been feeling a need to sew something on the opposite end of the sack-dress spectrum. Something like a vintage Fit and Flare dress. Something exactly like the new Vogue V9100 dress pattern! Now, I have plenty of great things to say about this pattern, and one semi giant “uhhhhhh…. wait, what now?!” thing to say about it. I’ll explain that bit in a minute but right now please allow me to celebrate the fit!
I am sooooo happy with the fit! Like all good things, I had to work for it, but not as hard as I was anticipating. Due to my lovely Lady Turtle shape, I often have a hard time fitting my upper back, shoulders, and under arms. But! The beauty of this pattern is there is no upper back to mess with, haha! I had no gaping with the scoop back at all. In fact, aside from a sway back adjustment I still need to work out, I didn’t have to adjust anything at the back at all.
The shoulders were a bit of a different story since mine slope forward. When I tried on my first muslin the bodice was riding up in the front because my rounded upper back was pulling things off balance. The simple fix for that was to remove a half inch from the front shoulder seam, and add one inch to the back shoulder seam. That gave my slope-y shoulders/rounded upper back the room needed so the dress would sit correctly on my frame (I learned how to make that easy shoulder adjustment in Kathleen Cheetham’s Craftsy class).
The bust would have been perfect the first time except I picked the wrong size to start with. I originally bought this pattern because it has separate pattern pieces for A,B,C, and D cup sizes. I went with my bra size (for the sake of pattern science, it’s a 30D/DD) but the muslin I made with the D pattern pieces was waaayy too big. I ended up going down to the B (still a size 6) and it was pretty perfect. Now, I *think* the reason I had such a sizing issue with the bust at first is because sewing patterns are usually drafted off the national average, which I believe is a 34B, which happens to be about the same proportions as someone who’s a 30D, which is why the B was a better fit for my size. That makes sense, right? I think so… Well if that is true, and I didn’t just make all that up, then the good news for me is I should never have to do a FBA on anything! Woo hoo!
Anyways! Moving right along…
So even though I made four bodice muslins before I figured all this out, the only changes I really had to make were the shoulder adjustment and the sway back adjustment (which isn’t perfected yet). The armholes, which I almost ALWAYS have to mess with, were perfect right off the bat! I’m also not 100% sold on the length of the bodice as it is but that’s an adjustment for another time.
The deep scoop back isn’t a style I can wear all the time because with my skin disorder I’m usually covered in scratches from head to toe, but on a decent day it’s really flattering! The cut is just deep enough that you can still wear a bra and it won’t show. Speaking of low cut, I added a hook and eye closure to the top but it’s impossible for me to fasten by myself, haha! I’d say I have an above average reach as far as the amount of surface area of my back I can touch (if the fading scratches are anything to go by lol), but I still can’t close that hook and eye. Oh well.
Hair Scarf: vintage/thrift store
Glasses: El Ria c/o Victory Optical
(use code LUCKY20 to get 20% off frames!)
Dress Pattern: Vogue V9100
Dress Fabric: Antler Damask by Joel Dewberry
Shoes: Old Navy
My only complaint with the pattern is the skirt, and it has me so puzzled I actually emailed Vogue about it (which is something I’ve never done before). I cut both pattern pieces at the View A skirt length but when I pinned the front and back pockets together there was 1″ extra length at the top of the Skirt Front, and 3.25″ extra length at the bottom of the Skirt Front!
When you look at the photo above you can see how the pocket circles and double notches don’t match up. The only way for me to save the skirt was to align the pockets at the single notches only, then trim the extra length off the top and bottom of the Skirt Front.
Again, when you look at the Skirt Front compared to the Skirt Back, it’s not even close to the same size. I cut both pieces on the Size 6 line, at the View A length, and retraced my steps several times trying to find a point where I may have made the mistake, but I can’t find it. I never like to jump to conclusions and assume a drafting mistake but when you look at the cutting diagrams in the instructions, the skirt pieces appear to be nearly identical in size except the Front is cut on the fold. I know the Big 4 companies are known to add a lot of wearing ease, and I like to gripe about that, but I’ve never had an issue like this before. It’s bizarre! Has anyone else sewn this pattern and had the same problem?
All in all I’m super happy with this dress! I’ll just retrace the skirt pieces so everything lines up correctly and then next time the sewing process should be smooth sailing. I also opted not to line this version, because lining material isn’t something I keep on hand, but next time I think I will buy some voile lining and give it a go. The bias tape works well to finish the seams but at the end of the day the shoulders stretched out a bit. I did use some Hug Snug seam binding as a built-in waist stay and I think I’ll continue to do with future versions as well.
Lucille has been really camera shy lately but I did make her take one silly picture with me this time. She’s thrilled as you can tell 😉
Making this dress and having it turn out so well has made me way more confident in my pattern fitting abilities. I’m feeling ready to return to the more complicated dress project I was working on last month and finally see it done.
Wish me luck!