Pattern Description: Lined dress with lace bodice with reapplied lace at neckline, lace sleeves (cap or long), front and back darts, front nonfunctioning buttons with loops and back zipper. Ball gown skirt with gathered sides, floor length with optional train. Ribbon or self-fabric sash.
Pattern Sizing: I purchased "D" 12/14/16 and cut the 16. I had to add to the seams when cutting the fabric. Probably ended up as a "20" when done. I wear a street size "16" on bottom and a "14" on top.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, with a petticoat. The skirt will not have the fullness you see in the picture and drawing unless you underline with organza and add a petticoat.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Mostly but I believe some steps are wrong. I made several modifications as well.
Fabric Used: Polyester matte satin for outside skirt, underlined skirt in polyester organza, embroidered lace for bodice with cotton broadcloth underlining and lining.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made a ton of alterations, partly because I had the wrong size pattern to begin with.
* I used the sash pattern included but cut the width of the sash in half. I added white cotton flannel with fusible interfacing to the front panel to add support. The pattern calls for single-sided tails on the sash with a narrow trim. I made the tails 2-sided, sewn wrong sides together and then turned out to the right sides. I attached the tails to the front panel and used a narrow white ribbon to cover the raw edges.
* I underlined the skirt in organza. The organza and satin were sewn as one piece and poly lining underneath. I pleated the waist on the poly lining instead of gathering it like the satin/organza skirt.
* I underlined and lined the bodice in cotton broadcloth and inserted boning support (center front bodice, under bust points, side seams and where the back darts would go). I took the back darts out completely. I added side bust darts for my full bust.
* I wore a ball gown slip underneath (from David's Bridal). The skirt is too flat otherwise.
* I applied horsehair braid to outer skirt hem as instructed but did not press the hem with an iron. The effect is too crisp. Finger pressing gives a nice soft edge and keeps the skirt full looking.
* I hand overcast stitch the whole neckline in a tight pattern to keep the raw edges from unraveling and the finish looks better than the recommended instructions.
Problems with the Pattern Instructions:
* You can't sew the bodice lining to the bodice fashion fabric at the armhole seams and simply turn it to the inside. Leave the center front seam of the bodice lining undone, sew the armhole seams (attaching lining to fashion fabric), and then flip the lining to the inside and sew up the center front seam for the bodice lining.
* The short-sleeved version of the dress calls for a 2-3 inch wide ribbon sash, which looks very cheap. You will also see the buttons through the ribbon. The sash for the long-sleeved dress will also look cheap as designed (see my modifications above).
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I recommend to others wishing to make a formal gown. This would look beautiful in other colors for a formal non-wedding gown.
Conclusion: The pattern is a great start and technically not difficult if you follow the instructions. If you want a better constructed gown, you will need to have other sources for formal gown construction.
Additional photos on Flickr
Difficulty rating: This is average for Vogue patterns in terms of the amount of work only. No unusual seams here so someone with solid, basic skills and lots of time could make this.