Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My little black dress Vogue 1254

Back in January this year our daughter got married in Paris.  Yes Paris! My favourite place in the world :-)  The wedding was a small affair with only 25 guests who were immediate family of the bride and groom and a handful of their very close friends who were in their wedding party.

After I got over the excitement of having an excuse to go back to Paris again, the dilemma of what to wear set in.   Paris in January is pretty cold.  Colder than what our winters here in Australia ever are.  I wanted to wear dress because I feel much more comfortable in dresses rather than pants but I didn't want to freeze.  My solution was to choose a classic dress sheath style dress V1254 and make it up in black wool crepe and fully line it.  

It was my good friend (and fellow sewer) that suggested that this pattern was a classic style with a stylish twist that I could easily adjust to fit me.  When I saw the picture on the envelope I did love the dress but couldn't imagine this dress on me. I look nothing like that model.   After some convincing my friend made a calico muslin up of the dress for me to try on to prove her point.  She was convinced it would look good on me and it did.   Even in the calico I could see the potential for this pattern.   There were two things about the original pattern that I didn't think would work for me.  The first thing was that the dress sits quite wide across the shoulders. I knew this would annoy me.   I don't like wearing things that slip and slide around on me.  We worked out that we could adjust the pattern to bring in the neckline a little without too much trouble and we did so.   The only other adjustment that was made other than increasing the width over the hips was to raise the back neckline a little more.   The two adjustments we made to the neckline required that we had to take a little off the collar pieces where they joined the centre back seam which really wasn't very complicated.  We just laid the collar pattern onto the front and back pattern pieces and worked out how much needed to come off.

Once the pattern adjustments were made the sewing of this dress was a piece of cake.  The pattern instructions were really pretty straight forward. Although the part where the collar pieces crossed over in the front did require me to sit and read through the instructions a couple of times before the penny dropped.   Then disaster struck!  I lost the pattern instructions just at the part where I was suppose to insert a piece of netting into a triangle shape space under were the collars crossed in the centre front.  Do you think for the life of me I could work out how to do this  without the instructions.  The pattern cost me about $27 to buy so I was determined I was not going to pay for another pattern just for the instructions.    I searched the house from top to bottom but couldn't find it anywhere.   Time was running out we were going to be leaving for Paris the next week.   I then decided that perhaps I could hide the space with a really nice brooch but do you think I could find one that I liked that didn't cost a few hundred dollars.  Nup!   So in the end I sewed on a button as a temporary measure to get me out of trouble.   Now that I think about it I couldn't have chosen a worse button  and it was such a LAZY thing to do but it did serve its purpose.  My excuse was I was desperate ;-)

Anyway below are the pictures of the dress on me and a close up of part of the dress that caused my problems and that ugly button..  Its hard to distinguish the style details as black doesn't photograph very well.   It does look like the dress isn't sitting well across the right side of the front but this is just because I was rushing around to get this photo with the self timer and didn't adjust myself properly before the shot was taken.

Unfortunately my dressmakers dummy is not the same shape as I am (no boobs and slim)  It does look better on me.  Oh dear I am so ashamed of that button....  


  1. What a beautiful choice of pattern, and fabric, for this special dress! The original really is wide, and low around the shoulders/neck - I love your practical change to this. And I am sure with your good old Melbourne weather you will get a lot of wear out of this dress ... J

  2. Thank you Judith for your kind comments :-)

  3. This is beautiful! I am thinking about trying this pattern, but also felt nervous about the wide neckline. Yours looks fantastic - you did such a great job altering the pattern and the collar sits beautifully. Love it!

  4. A late comment, thanks for this, I am tempted by this dress pattern but also unsure if it will suit me and how difficult the collar and neckline might be to construct. I'm still not sure but reading about your experiences has certainly helped. And I think you look lovely in it.

  5. I like the button placement. After reading your review I'm going to attempt this dress and raise the neckline as you did.
    This dress looks lovely on you.

  6. Hi Julie, I just found you via a pattern search for this exact dress. Yours looks lovely and is perfect for a Parisienne wedding.
    I'm after a copy of this pattern, so if you truly won't use it again, would you consider selling it? I'm also in Melbourne. My email is: lightningmcstitch at gmail dot com
    I hope you come back to your blog and share what you make as we all benefit from seeing these patterns made up and worn!

    1. Hi Lightining McStitch I am so sorry I haven't replied earlier but as you probably can tell I don't blog here very often. I am so sorry, I have only recently thrown this pattern out. We are moving house and I was decluttering my sewing room and didn't think I would ever make the dress again. I would have happily given the pattern to you if I had seen this earlier.