Taking it up a notch

Skirt Front View

The gathered seams starts at the top left and travels down the length of the skirt

Full Front View

A two piece garment, using layered, gathered outer seams

Where to begin with this one……….? As with many other patterns I bought Vogue V1259 by Donna Karan because I liked the look of it rather than deciding first if it would suit me or if I could actually make it.  It was only after a bit of searching the internet I realised it was for advanced sewers and was a nightmare to make (mentioned by many fellow sewers).  Nevertheless I took the bull by the horns and moved on.  I decided to make it out of the suggested Lycra knit.  The first thing that surprised me was the lack of pattern pieces, the skirt has two (which are put together to create one) and the top has five.  I decided to be on the safe side and make the skirt first. Ahh yes the safe side; I actually unpicked the skirt three times for various different reasons, it took me a couple of attempts to realise where the gathers and seams overlapped and it was made on the right side of the fabric rather than the wrong, just to confuse.  Anyway it came good in the end.

Close up Front

The gathered seam on the front starts around the back, travels under the arm up the front, through to the collar

Now I was familiar with how it all worked the top would be  straightforward right? Not the case, I had many a head scratching moment and plenty of time staring at the instructions open-mouthed in utter disbelief.  I genuinely felt like I had a blindfold on and really didn’t have a clue what it would look like when it was finished or even if it would work.  There are so many overlaps, seams on the outside, seams on the inside, there is an armhole with a hem on it on the inside, I really didn’t understand what that was about until the end.    The pattern relies heavily on the squares, small and large dots but the difficulty with this is there are so many of them that it is hard to determine which dot to use.  The gathered seams are all on the outside of the garment, very careful precise cutting out technique is required as all raw edges are on show, the pattern suggests to cut back seams to the stitching but I decided I quite liked the extra texture brought on by the gathered material so kept mine as it was cut out.

Full Back View

The back seam starts on the left, travels diagonally up the top and meets the front seam below the armhole

As with fellow sewers who have tackled this garment before me (some of which stated they would not attempt it again) I found that once assembled and all the gathers have been teased into their rightful place and it all looks as good as it can be everything heads South the minute you move and the skirt becomes twice the length – I think some velcro tights are in order.

Half FrontI hope I haven’t sent anyone running for the hills never wanting to attempt this fabulous outfit, it takes a lot of determination to make and a lot of guts to wear but I for one am chuffed to bits with it.  I felt the need to share the pitfalls but  all in all the immense feeling of achievement and satisfaction that follows this garment is more than worth the feeling that I was going slightly mad once or twice :-)

11 thoughts on “Taking it up a notch

  1. Good on you for tackling this one and sharing the results. The dress does look super on you in the photos. It really looks like a creative and technically challenging dress not for the faint hearted…

    • Thank you, yes it was quite a challenge, not particularly the sewing but the construction of the top itself, it has layers wrapped around it each other, its all very strange.

  2. Just picked up the pattern and definitely don’t feel ready to tackle it. Bookmarking you’re site when I get ready.

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