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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Very Easy Vogue CustomFit Linen Dress

Do you ever feel like you picked an easy-peasy project only to discover that a--it was more involved than you thought it would be and b--very easy doesn't always translate into fast?  

I picked up this linen when I was visiting DD1 in Baton Rouge, LA.  She swore there weren't any real fabric shops but I found a few after a brief search :).  She probably should have said she hadn't really looked yet.

Sewing with natural fibers is always such a pleasure because they sort of mold how you want them to remain...darts remain crisp, pleats as well and topstitching looks sharp.  Why don't I use linen more often?

My eye was on this Vogue pattern for a while, mostly because of the lines of the top.  I like the overall shape and the front slits are a cute detail.  I'm not crazy about function-less flaps so I left those off.

This is one of those custom fit patterns and I made a 14 with a C-cup.  I am loving the fit!

The photo is much cuter than the drawings.  I couldn't find any reviews of this pattern, so Vogue, maybe use the photo on the cover of the envelope?  

What made this much more time consuming for me was I wanted to make a garment that was finished very well, that fit well, and had an amazing invisible zipper.  While this isn't exactly perfect, I am certainly proud of my fit, zipper and the slight changes I made to to the design.

The June issue of Threads discussed invisible zips and how to make them well, invisible!  I spent a great deal of time lining everything up and carefully sewing so that zipper was nearly impossible to spot.  How do you think I did?  Perhaps there is a tiny bit of pulling at the center back and I am hoping that with a few more clips in the zipper tape, it will lay flatter than it is now.

According to the pattern directions, you were supposed to use bias tape to finish off the neckline and armholes.  While I don't dislike that finish, I wanted something nicer so I made my own bias tape and sewed it to the right side of the dress, folded it to the inside and hand stitched in place.  I topstitched the front side skirt pieces, just like the directions indicate along with the waistline seam.

Only a few alterations were necessary.  The first was to very slightly let out the waist seam (by a total of 1/2") and also make a deeper bust dart (about an inch) on each side.  I found the neckline too high and lowered it by 1.5 inches in the front and a half-inch in the back.

Just because...I staystitched the neckline before attaching the bias tape.

That's it!!!

One of the things I checked out before saying this was done was inspecting how the waistline seam lay.  Was it horizontal of did it dip slightly front or to the back?  I think that if anything it may very slightly, less than 1/4" towards the back.  If I make this again, I'll check that more closely.  Right now I think I'm being too critical.  I also checked the hemline and that seemed very straight and parallel to the floor as well.

This pattern is a winner for me!  I can totally see the 3/4 sleeve top and pants in a ponte and you could eliminate the zips.

Look, no gaping armholes either!!!

Thanks for reading!  I love hearing from you!!!
Sue :)  


  1. I'm struck by your dress because I have a piece of that fabric in the collection and now I want to use it! *smile* BTW, I also do that check to make sure the hem hangs evenly in the front and back too!! The dress is very pretty and is much more appealing than the pattern envelope. Enjoy wearing it!

    1. Thank you so much Carolyn! It's a very pretty fabric, I can't wait to see what you create out of it!

  2. Although your changes seem minimal, I think the are what made the dress so appealing for me. I too understand the need to check the front and back hem. Having a sway back and prominent buttocks is all the more reason to pay close attention.
    Your dress is gorgeous.

  3. My age group, check! My body, check! The pattern I've been looking for, so I can finally start making some summer dresses, check! It looks great on you, and thanks for sharing what you checked and did. I'm psyched to get going now. I have some triple gauze that I want to use, but have never sewn before....do you have any idea if it will act like your linen? Right along side figuring the fit changes needed, is picking the right fabric for the right pattern. Who knew there was SO much that goes into making something that you love to wear? And so many ways for me to go wrong?

    1. Haha Elise! I feel your pain--you sound like me as I get ready to cut into my fabric...is this the right weight for this? Is this the right pattern to highlight my fabric? Will this work for me like I hope it will? So many decisions!
      I wish I could tell you if the triple gauze will work or not but without feeling it and comparing it to the linen, I have to honestly say I'm not sure! I hope you'll try it! I keep telling myself, it's only fabric...easier said than done!!!

  4. Perfect fabric for a springtime dress. I can't see your zip, Sue. (Oh that's how it's supposed to be) Great work!

  5. The fabric choice for that dress is perfect, I have never seen such beautiful floral linen and your zip insertion looks great as well.

    1. Thank you so much addicted! I appreciate your kind words!

  6. Love this one, Sue! A great classic dress that should be in style forever. Good call to lower the neckline, and that zipper is perfection!

    1. Hi Ann, thank you! I hope it is in style forever as I plan on wearing the heck out of it! :)

  7. I just bought this pattern, went googling to see who had already made it, and up you popped! I really shouldn't have been surprised that you had already sewn such a lovely version. Thanks for your tips - I'll definitely want to lower that front neckline too.