I went to an outdoor wedding this past weekend, and made this (fully-lined) dress to try to stay warm! The pattern is V8701. I read several reviews on sewing.patternreview.com, so entered this project with caution.
First, the fabric! The main fabric was on the sales table of “assorted fabrics,” so I’m not positive what the fiber content is, but it’s heavy, which is what I was looking for. The lining was the end of another bolt on the sales table, but has a bit of a sheen on the right side.
Because the reviews were not all raves, I made a muslin in a size smaller than I normally make. It sews up pretty quickly, but it was just a bit on the small size. So then I made a muslin in the next size up and it was ridiculously large! I ended up cutting out the smaller size in my fabric and adjusting the seam allowances slightly to give just enough ease.
Somehow, despite making two muslins, the dress turned out to be SO BIG. I really have no idea how this happened. I pretreated the material, and it’s is not elastic so did not stretch. At this point, the dress was practically completely sewn (except the zipper), so I ended up taking the bodice off the skirt and reworking several things:
1. The darts that attach to the waist on the front are crazy high. They end at the wrong place on the chest…not flattering. I let out the darts and repositioned them lower so they ended below the bust.
2. I shaped the side seams with the dress on my dress form. I ended up taking in nearly and inch on each side – again, I have no idea how it ended up so large!
3. I took about an inch off the bottom of the bodice when reattaching the skirt to try to get it to fall more closely to my natural waist.
4. I added the zipper further in than the normal 5/8″ seam allowance.
Another thing to be mindful of is attaching the lining. This was not as easy as some of the reviews led me to believe. I ended up having to attach the lining three times because it wasn’t lining up (haha, pun) correctly. The sleeve lining is also a bit tricky – it’s a little hard to describe in writing on a blog post, so if you’re working on this pattern and need help with the sleeves, just let me know and I’d be happy to help.
I don’t know that I would necessarily sew this again. I had to reconstruct a lot of it, and doing it in a patterned fabric would be a nightmare. I’m pretty happy, though, with how it turned out.