Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The holy grail

Not really the holy grail, a perfect fitting pants pattern is probably the holy grail, but when it's your intention to sew your wardrobe and you are over 25, the perfect knit wrap dress pattern is up there.

The gold standard: DVF
image via Pinterest

Iconic. Flattering. Seasonless. Classic. 

And spendy. Silk jersey is gorgeous and costly, and once I get it perfect I plan to invest in some, but we aren't there quite yet.  Enter Vogue 8379.

117 sewers made and reviewed this pattern on Pattern Review and it was an excellent place to start. With some $5/yard poly knit from the bargain bin at Hancocks, I began my quest. 
Most of the reviewers found the skirt much too full and removed various amounts of width. I took their advice and folded  a good 18 inches out of my skirt pattern pieces. 

I cut out the smallest size, adjusted for my small bust, per usual, and pinched a tiny bit from the shoulder seams.Since this was a "test dress" I stabilized the neck edge with clear elastic and folded it over instead of using the facing pieces. This was a fairly quick project and I mostly used my serger for construction.

The finished skirt turned out to be still too full for my taste. I tapered the side seams some more, and messed around with the front edges, which turned out to be a mistake. Instead of hanging straight from the waist, they angle in a little bit.  

Here's where I ended up.

As you can see, my belt is WAY to short. The fabric had a border print running down each edge that I had to remove, so I ran short, literally. The top part is great, perfect really, but I'm just not loving the skirt.  It's not a wadder by any means and I'll be wearing it, but the search for a better pattern will go on.  The DVF inspiration dress is straight, which I think  is more flattering but it doesn't have any bodice pleats, which is a feature I do love about Vogue 8379. I'll always take a little boost in the bust.

Hmmm.... What about this?

The Style Arc Kate dress. Straight-ish skirt with no waist- check. Bust pleats- check. Surely the collar and cuff pieces that I love from the Vogue pattern can be made to work with this one.

 I haven't tried any Style Arc patterns yet, but have read many glowing reviews about their fit. It might be time to finally place an order. If you have any experience or advice to share regarding Style Arc, I would love to hear it. 


  1. I'm still looking for the perfect wrap dress pattern, too. I'll keep an eye on your progress. I think you'll be really pleased with StyleArc patterns -- they are beautifully drafted and stylish! Good luck!

  2. Thanks Cissie. I'm looking forward to trying something new.

  3. Keep in mind that the drape will be different--much better!--when you make your final dress out of silk jersey. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

  4. You're right, Meg. I'm having fun looking at all the beautiful choices while I perfect the pattern!

  5. I'll be interested to see if you make up the StyleArc wrap pattern - and how you like it. I've got a wrap dress "planned" for the near future, and plan on combining several patterns to get what I want. Of course, it's all just in my mind right now, so we'll see... I do love the look of wrap dresses - and you seem to wear them very well!

    1. I'll keep an eye on your blog for your wrap dress. I plan to get started on my Style Arc pattern as soon as it arrives.

  6. Pam,
    I've made that Vogue pattern before (twice) and took at least 25 inches out of the skirt sweep and also lengthened the ties. I like the pattern because of the coverage and collar options. Your dress is pretty - can you add to the ties?