When it comes to personal style, we all have a decade – a period of time whose iconic styles we wish to recreate with our own wardrobes. You see this everywhere with personal style and sewing blogs – many people are mesmerized by midcentury tea dresses, the A-lines of the sixties, and the bohemian and angular seventies.
Marked by abstract lines and patterns, boxy silhouettes, and ethereal drapery, I love the eighties. Punk gave way to goth and new romantic. Designers like Issey Miyake, Maison Martin Margiela, and the Antwerp Six were in the infancy of their careers. Jean-Paul Gaultier established his iconic style.
So it’s no surprise that I fell in love with the design of Vogue V1337. With its subtle pleats, form-fitting skirt, and flowing batwing sleeves, V1337 looks right at home alongside vintage pieces without being garishly retro.
And let me be real with you: I hate this dress.
Admittedly, this was a tricky one for me – not because of the pattern, but because of the fabric. When sewing patterns, I am brutal when it comes to finding the perfect fabric match.
This dress saw the maiden voyage of my new machine’s walking foot, and I am so relieved I bought it. Let this be a lesson in buying mystery fabric: sometimes feeling something on the bolt that seems like it’d be a piece of cake to work with is deceiving. In this case, the fabric was nearly impossible to work with on a standard presser foot.
I’m not going to mince words: the fabric was a real bitch to work with. I bought it several years ago with a particularly green eye for buying fabrics, and all I remember was that it was in the cotton jersey section. This is much heavier than your average cotton jersey – great for drape, not so great for actually working with it. There’s a considerable amount of stretch, and I suspect the Spandex count is pretty high.
Vogue 1337 features pleats on the shoulder seams and where the bodice joins the skirt. Rather than use Vogue’s connect-the-dot dart system through a darker fabric, I found it much easier to make the original markings and draw a line in the center and fold over that.
The pattern asks you to sew a neckline facing. I don’t have quite the opposition to sewing facings as a lot of people seem to, but I think it added unnecessary weight to the fabric I used.
This was one of those bummer projects where people who don’t sew are impressed, but you’d be ashamed to tell the truth to anyone who does and would probably just lie and say you bought it at Forever 21 to save face. The actual pattern itself was pretty straightforward and easy to follow, and I’d like to tackle it again in the future.