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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Vogue 1662: DVF Modern Mash-up

I typically love the clothes that Diane Von Furstenberg creates and was very sad when I worked up the nerve to finally try on one of her iconic wrap dresses and it was a complete disaster. Much as the salesgirl tried to talk me into it, it was really a hot mess. Even my husband was quietly shaking his head no. But, it really hasn't diminshed my love affair with her dresses and prints. It just seems like the best way for me to own a DVF-style dress would be to make my own.

I'm also a little bit bitter that she no longer creates patterns for Vogue. Oh sure, Vogue sells a wrap dress pattern that has been well-reviewed by many sewists, but this label whore deep down wants the DVF branded pattern in my stash. I'm just reluctant to pay upwards of $100 for it. :/ Every few weeks I troll the interwebs to see if any of her patterns are for sale and if the price is right. A couple of months ago I stumbled on a DVF knit dress pattern - not the iconic wrap dress, but one that still called out to me. Vogue 1662 from the late-70s:

I think I've mentioned it here before, but I'm a total sucker for tank style knit dress. I love how easily they can be dressed up or down and how comfy they are for work or play. I was shocked at how modern the pattern looked - in fact, I have a similar dress from Velvet (via Anthropologie) hanging in my closet that was just purchased in the past year or so. And the price? I thought it was a steal at $15! I quickly placed the order for it and later that week I had the pattern in my hot little hands.

I was pleased to see that all of the pieces were there and in pretty decent shape. It even came with the original DVF label that designer patterns used to have back in the day.

I was so excited to make this dress, but didn't know what fabric to use. I usually am drawn to solid colors, but it didn't seem to honor DVF's amazing use of prints to opt for a boring plain color. So I was thrilled when I found a purple and cream border print Anna Sui rayon jersey at Fabric Mart! It looked like it would be perfect for the dress. I also liked the idea of pairing a pattern from a classic designer with a printed fabric from a modern one.

I've shrunk a bit since I first bought the pattern so I had to make a few changes to pattern pieces before getting started. They were:
* Take in the bust by 5/8" at each side seam, tapering to 1 1/2" at the waist (This wasn't quite enough in the bust as I needed to nip in the armholes by another 1" after it was sewn)
* Removed 2" from center front at each skirt piece, 5/8" at each side seam
* Shortened the skirt by 5" (this was still too long and I chopped off another 1" before adding a 1" hem)
* Removed 1 1/4" from the width of the sash, but kept the length the same
* Used clear elastic to stabilize the shoulder and waist seams

Overall, this pattern went together so well. I was a little bummed that the neckline and armhole bands didn't lay as flat as I'd hoped, but I'm wondering if this can be blamed on the lycra content of my fabric and user error. I ultimately decided not to slipstitch the sash to the dress (as was instructed in the directions) so I could decide where I wanted it to sit on my waist or hips depending on how I was feeling when I wore it. This was a good decision and could lead to some fun interchangable options if I were to make additional sashes to pair with the dress.

Even removing over 4 inches from the width of the skirt, it is still a much fuller dress than what I typically wear. I have to say though, it's a nice silhouette to have in my closet and feels perfectly fun and flirty for summer.

Lastly, a few outtakes from the photoshoot when I was just being silly. I thought the skirt was a bit more twirly than it actually is. :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Long, luxurious weekend

Somehow I lucked out with not just having a 3 day weekend, but a 4 day weekend! We had no plans and I pretty much took full advantage of 4 full days that were wide open. It really felt like a mini-vacation, which was so nice.

We found time for trips out to Costco to restock on paper products and pantry supplies and Ikea, where we think we found a much-needed new diningroom table that will seat up to 12 people. No more having to use folding tables when we host dinner parties! Yay!

We also swung down to Williams-Sonoma to test the Nespresso Citiz espresso machine. It has received great reviews online and then when an Italian friend of mine gave it a rave review, I was pretty much sold. It was super easy to use and I found a great price on Amazon, so we should have it by the end of the week. Seeing as how I've become completely and utterly obsessed with americanos at Starbucks this year, it will be really nice to be able to make them at home.

This weekend we finally got some warm and sunny weather and we took full advantage of it by getting in some pool time. Well, I should say Jim got some pool time. The water was still waaay too chilly for me (I think we need another week of hot days before our pool temp is warm enough for swimming), so I hung out in the hot tub instead. I finally got to try out one of the new bikinis I bought for this summer. Let's just say that Peak 10 is making for a very happy bikini season for me. ;)

I had a really good weigh-in on Sunday so I treated myself to some ridiculous eating on Sunday and Monday. I'd like to say that I feel guilty, but I really don't. It was nice to be able to indulge in some treats and I feel like I got rid of a lot of cravings that I'd been having for a few weeks. Oh, and in case you're curious, Reese's peanut butter cup cookies are ah-maz-ing! I did offset the crazy food though with some great workouts. Saturday morning step class was filled with all of my favorite people and we had such a fun class - lots of hoots and hollers and general silliness.

Lastly, I actually got into the sewing room and made a dress and a skirt - both of which are for me!! :D Not only that, I also cut out a second skirt and traced off the pattern for a third one. I was so productive I shocked myself! Pictures and posts this week after I get Jim to take some pictures for me. Both were successes though with only minor issues.

I hope everyone had a nice long weekend and that this week is a good one for you. :)