Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Anything's Better with a Bow

Here's Vogue 8409, another step towards my goal of filling my closet with cozy doubleknit dresses for winter. This doubleknit is made of actual wool, not the synthetic stuff—and it is positively luscious. I got the fabric at New York Elegant Fabrics and it's way more than I normally pay . . . but I just couldn't resist. (If you've missed it, here's my post on the basics of using doubleknits.)

Here's the pattern drawing.

I did my usual lengthening of the skirt and added the double bow because, well, anything's better with a bow. And it's twice as good with a double bow! Without it, the dress is a tad conservative, especially in navy. And I just can't abide conservative.

It also required pink heels, obviously.
I liked the pattern well enough, but it runs super big in the bodice. I made a 14 up top and ended up taking it in almost two inches on each side. I should mention, however, that using this pattern was an experiment in going against the Vogue "figure flattery" guidelines. This pattern is not recommended for "triangles" (aka pear-shaped ladies) so I think that's why I had to do a little more finessing that usual. As for figure flattery? The dress does emphasize my hips, but I'm not one of those women who thinks that's necessarily a bad thing.

I did a few fancy construction techniques, like using Kenneth King's method for staying a neckline, which I highly recommend. I've also been working on a better center lapped zipper with the help of an article called "The Perfect Center-Back Zipper" in Threads #145 (a great issue all around, if you can get your hands on it). I didn't take a single mid-process photo, though. Since we're between sew-alongs, I've been enjoying just sewing and not feeling the need to document every step. Don't worry, I'm getting that out of my system!

A few parting shots. (It's driving me crazy that the bow appears lopsided in the photos. It's not really. That's just the one downside of saucily bumping your hip out!)

60 comments:

  1. You are right, the bow and the bright pop of colour in your shoes make the whole ensemble look special. Double knit is wonderful stuff.

    You don't look like much of a triangle to me, much more like an X or an 8!

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  2. You look just lovely. Love the addition of the bow!

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  3. Oh Gertie that is absolutely beautiful - you look stunning!

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  4. The shoes are just right. The dress looks soooo cozy warm and you look stunning!

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  5. Wow the whole outfit is just amazing!

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  6. You look so classy!!! I love the dress and the bow is the perfect touch.

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  7. Hi there,
    I'm following your blog for a week now...and I love it!!!
    This dress is fantastic! You look great!
    Today I bought my first vintage pattern...Simplicity 3522...I'll keep you updated!
    Thank you for all your suggestions!

    Patrizia

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  8. I love the fit of this dress--it looks amazing on you! And the bow--you know how I love adding bows to things!! :D Beautiful dress, Gertie--bravo!

    I toyed with the idea of buying this pattern a bit ago, but didn't. I may just have to add it to my stash after all. ;)

    ♥ Casey | blog

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  9. The shoes are awesome and the position of the midriff band is very nice! You do indeed look saucy!

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  10. All of your dresses are lovely, but this one is exceptional. Smashing dress!

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  11. I think this dress is all kinds of sophisticated va-voom. It's nice that it's cozy too. I love a bow.

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  12. Classy and sexy! It's a great dress and you look fantastic.

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  13. Oh its so fabulous! You look positively foxy in it. I was thinking about purchasing some double knit wool myself and now you've just cinched the deal. Personally even though its not recommended for triangles it looks like it fills out your shape, giving you a true hourglass. And the bow....its just delightful. I need to hop on board that train, real soon. Beautiful job, as always. I love every single thing!

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  14. Super cute! That bow makes all the difference and never in a million years would I have guessed it wasn't from a vintage pattern!

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  15. Huh, I happe to be wearing a wool jersey top right this moment that is exactly the same as the bodice for your dress, minus the sleeve cuffs! Kinda crazy. (I even had to take it in like crazy at the sides too)

    Mine is from a BWOF issue, and also comes in dress length - with sleeves cuffs I believe. I had thought the dress would be neat to make, now you've totally convinced me! And I adore that bow, you won't mind if imitate, will you? As it is the sincerest form of flattery?

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  16. Gorgeous! And a squillion times nicer than the pattern illustration. Definitely good for curvy hips!

    I've taken your advice on double knits and have no less than ten samples on their way, ready for a lovely Joan-style dress pattern that keeps calling my name...

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  17. Since I'm in love with navy blue right now, this dress is really rocking! Love it on you!

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  18. Gorgeous!! And the bow is a fantastic touch.

    I have that pattern, too, and Vogue's figure flattery says I should not make it (in my case because I am on the rectangular side). I think I would need some marvellous undergarments to look good in it.

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  19. Your interpretation is v. sophisticated and flattering. You rock those clingy hips!

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  20. Wow. That looks very good.
    I like it a lot.
    Greetings.
    Annette

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  21. GORGEOUS! Both you and the dress. I love the color, the bow and the fit. You have just inspired me to give something similar a try.

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  22. I absolutely love it Gertie. In my humble opinion it's one of the most stylish and flattering of all your dresses. Having seen your version, I've just bought the pattern and intend to make it to wear to my brother's wedding. Thanks for the inspiration. x

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  23. Well... you just have to saucily bounce your hip out in a cute dress like that. I love the bow!!!!!

    and I love your blog... I've been lurking for a while. I'm not sure I've ever left a comment.
    Sorry about that.

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  24. Oh Gertie the dress looks fab on you! I'm a 'pear' too but wouldn't let that put me off using any pattern - it looks great on you because the extra length has overcome any (ahem) width in the hip area.
    How do you manage your time between life, work, blogging and sewin? What's your secret?!

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  25. That is a fabulous dress and you look stunning in it!

    If Tim Gunn saw you in that dress, he'd be blown away.

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  26. Gorgous dress. Loves how well it fits. I am going to embark on my first knit item. I have always been intimidated by knits.
    Tania

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  27. So lovely, Gertie! You look radiant in navy, and I agree that adding the bow was a stroke of brilliance.

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  28. Another winner! That's a lovely dress that you'll wear for years--very figure-flattering. The bow is a nice added detail too.

    I like how you take current styles and add a little vintage twist, such as the bow.

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  29. It's FABULOUS!! I love everything about it and I agree with Karin... you look more like an X or an 8. That dress looks perfect on you! I am going to see about getting some double knit fabric for my next dress.... :)

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  30. Love love love your dress and the bow is perfect for ir! I agree with you on showing off your hips -
    There really is no reason not to!

    I have been following your blog for a few weeks and am addicted! Thank you for all of your advice and tips! You take a lot of the intimidating factors out of tailoring and fitting patterns. I cant wait to start the Crepe sew along and will start a blog to stay in touch and on top of it!

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  31. I wouldn't say it emphasizes your hips at all: I'd say it emphasizes your waist and makes you look super curvy. And I love the v-neckline with your tattoos peeping up like a spring garden.

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  32. It's gorgeous. I love the cuffs.
    I just made my first sofia double knit dress and I feel like I'm wearing a t-shirt to work. It's so comfortable. I now know why you want a closet full of them.

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  33. Looks very good on you. I really have to look hard to see you're pear-shaped, it's only noticeable because you have 'saddlebags' (or it's the way you're putting a hip out). I'm very pear-shaped and think Vogue is right in my case, a knit dress like this would show of all the wrong places.

    Linden blossoms in my tea

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  34. simply gorgeous!
    I can't imagine why a wrap front bodice with "V" neckline isn't on a triangle silhouette's list of good things--this one certainly is!

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  35. Did you try dress shields with this one?

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  36. Gertie, that dress is beautiful and you look gorgeous in it! I think it emphasizes your waist wonderfully and I don't see pear at all. I see hourglass!

    I never would have looked twice at that pattern based on the illustration, but I may have to grab it now. Love the bow detail!

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  37. Gorgeous! Yes the navy is a little more conservative but it looks so great on you and the bow and pink pumps are perfect and lift the whole outfit. Like many others, I never wouldn't have given it a second look on paper, but you have brought this pattern to life for me!

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  38. What a beautiful dress and it's so nicely constructed. (The bow is so adorable.) I think it gives you a lovely hourglass shape. I too believe that hips should not be minimized.

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  39. This is to die for, and the bow is genius. You are one hot hourglass in this absolutely classic dress. I may need one of those myself....

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  40. I love the bow and pink heels!

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  41. Wow, that looks fantastic! It's so chic & classic. I love the pink shoes with that.

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  42. Hey, who would Joan Holloway-Harris be if a dress didn't emphasize her hips?! You look great and are you sure you're not an hourglass, you look like one to me.

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  43. You look so very beautiful. I am going to get myself some lovely double knit and some quick to sew patterns asap. I already have the perfect pink/red shoes. If only I could look as cute as you. Thanks for continually inspiring us all Gertie. Can't wait for your book.

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  44. awesome! i love that vneck. i've had this pattern sitting in my stash for a long time & i keep skipping over it. i love this version :-)

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  45. Oh my god, I am so going to buy that pattern and make it up...as soon as I'm done with this semester. And I also think you were right to ignore the figure flattery guidlines on the back of the pattern. The whole pattern is a guideline. Doesn't mean you have to follow it to the letter.

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  46. This dress is ver Joan Holloway!
    Looks great, the sleeve cuffs are a nice detail and I have to agree everything is better with a bow, or two :-)

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  47. What a beautiful dress... you look fabulous! I love the bow!

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  48. Wow -- this is one of my favorite of your dresses yet, which surprises me because it's so simple. But the navy is great on you, and the shape is SO flattering. We have nearly identical measurements, so thanks for being my fit model on this one -- I would never have chosen it based on the drawing.

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  49. I'm so with you on the 'better with a bow' point. Looks fabulous from head to bow to toe!

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  50. Your new dress looks fabulous and you look stunning in it!
    Reading everyone's blogs I'm amassing quite a collection of patterns I'd like to make for me - now to actually sew them up!

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  51. Outstanding Gertie! Never met a bow or a polka-dot I didn't like! I think dresses like this and all the positive comments from your followers surely underlines the concept that a lady, dressed up, sophisticated and classy is about as good as it gets! I think all sewists need to proclaim their talents and style by supporting a movement, cross country and globally to demand high quality fabrics and well made clothes. Throw away clothes are an affront to humanity. OK, didn't mean to go into all that but it has to start somewhere doesn't it? Who better than a legion of ladies who sew?

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  52. You look amazing! Extra curvy too; very flattering shape.

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  53. Thanks for your anything's better with a bow post. I really like the Vogue 8409 picture. What a beautiful double-knit.

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  54. Adorable dress. Love the bow. And the pink shoes!

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  55. This is one of my favourite dresses you've made!! And love the pink shoes with it. xxx

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  56. You look so exquisite! Beautiful dress!

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  57. The cut of this dress is really wonderful and I love the pink heels with it. Brava!

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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