Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Assistance Requested

My resolution to work my way through the stash is not going well.  First there was the was the vest, followed by the purse (I actually don't feel too bad about because the purse because it was made from the leftover fabric from the vest - fabric that would be otherwise occupying my stash).  Then a friend from grad school asked me to make her a custom swimsuit.  This all would have been fine, but then I remembered my youngest brother is getting married this May.  While I do have dresses I could wear (and a tuxedo I made for the wedding for one of my sisters), I would prefer to make a new one.  This is where you come in, dear readers.  Due to a situation in my personal life, I am the victim of indifference and indecisiveness, so I would like your assistance in selecting a dress pattern.

There are two things to note here:
  • For anything sleeveless or short-sleeved (i.e., pretty much everything), I will probably need some sort of wrap or shrug.
  • Footwear is a bit of an issue.  I don't do shoes without socks or hosiery, unless it's sandals.  It makes my feet feel gross if I do, and I get nasty blisters.  While it won't be super hot in May, I am not sure that I am going to be comfortable in hosiery.  On the other hand, ankle socks with heels might be fine for work, but that might be too informal for a wedding.
Here they are, in no particular order:

via Butterick
Butterick 5814

  • I'd be supporting a fellow blogger and sewist Gertie.

  • I don't have the kind of curves a dress like this needs, so I might just end up coming off as pathetic.
  • Not sure how this dress would look with tights or socks.
  • This might be too risque for a wedding.
via McCall's
McCall's 5954 (view B)Pros:
  • Looks comfy.
  • Probably easy to make.

  • I think it looks a little too bridesmaid-y.
  • Might be too plain.
via Simplicity
Simplicity 1875 (view C)Pros:
  • Very interesting cut, I think.

  • This has all the problems of a short dress and a long one.
  • Boned.  Ew.

via Simplicity
Simplicity 3784 (view A)Pros:
  • Probably my favorite of the bunch.  Simple, yet elegant.

  • I freaked a little when I found this used horsehair braid.  It turns out that it isn't made from horsehair anymore, but I still haven't worked with it before and this would be quite the project to mess up on.
  • Also has boning.
  • Not that I'm known for busting moves at weddings, but this would be difficult to dance in.
via Simplicity
Simplicity 4401 (view D with E or F)Pros:
  • I've been meaning to make myself a long black satin skirt anyway.

  • It's a bad sign when the clothes don't fit the model all that well.  The top worn by the model on the right gaps in the upper chest.  Or perhaps I am just put off by her deer-in-headlights look.
via Vogue
Vogue 1176Pros:
  • Another simple, yet elegant dress.
  • No boning!

  • I generally don't do Vogue patterns because I feel they're more work but usually don't fit any better.  I have been meaning to give them another go though.
  • Anything I said about the wiggle dress applies here.
via Vogue
Vogue 1296Pros:
  • This skirt.  I LURVES IT.
  • Vogue again.
  • The top looks more like a jacket.

via Vogue
Vogue 8852Pros:
  • Likely my second favorite.

  • It's Vogue.
  • Looks difficult, and possibly uncomfortable to wear.
via Pattern Review
Simplicity 3785Pros:
  • Long sleeves, therefore no shrug required.

  • This might be too informal for a wedding.
  • I fear this would make me look shapeless.

via Ten Thousand Hours of Sewing
McCall's 5269 (view B)Pros:
  • Looks easy.

  • The tights/shoes situation.

So, readers, what do you think?  Which of these patterns do you like, and which fabrics and colors would be best?  Any other patterns out there that you would like to suggest?


  1. In terms of the shoes situation, my suggestion would be ankle socks with a stylish pair of ankle boots.

    I like the long dresses, mainly because that's my style. I am not a fan of the first dress at all. And yes, that purple dress does fit the model TERRIBLY!

    My favourite is the second one, I really want that for myself actually :P Number 3 simplicity, looks like a bridal dress, so I would avoid it, the bride might think you're trying to steal her thunder. Number four, the other simplicity really looks like it could be pulled off without boning, but I don;t know the pattern.

    I really don't like the Michael Kors Vogue dress. The second last simplicity dress looks reather shapeless and quite 60s/ 70s hippie, and while that's not necesscarily a bad thing (I loooove 70s gunne sax) it might not be the look you want.

    The last mc call's one is quite nice. I think if you did the ruffle at the bottom, it would be quite nice with ankle boots. The witchy kind with a little heel and pointed toe. The ruffle adn cuff sleeves make it quite nice.

    1. I can probably get away without boning in any of these dresses because I don't really need the support (there are benefits to being flat-chested). It just gives me pause to skip it, even though it has always worked out for me in the past.

      Thank you for your input. The more I think about this, the harder time I having picking a pattern. :p

  2. McCall's 5269 is my personal favourite but the sleeves are so cute, it would be shame to cover them up! I went to a semi-formal wedding last summer and nobody wore a long dress except for the bride and bridesmaids. I think Vogue 8852 is nice if you decide to go for a long one.

    Either of those in a pretty satin, although I hesitate to say that - I HATE sewing satin! :o)

    1. "Hate" would be a strong word for how I feel about sewing satin; "a strong, but not overpowering, dislike" would be more accurate. The slipping against itself is probably the biggest problem I have with it, but the constant fraying is a close second. But for a dress to wear to a wedding, it would be worth it.

  3. I don't know how formal the wedding is, but having been to probably hundreds of weddings in California & the East Coast, I really haven not seen female guests wearing long dresses - that's usually reserved for the wedding party. So unless you shorten those options, I'd nix them.

    My fave is McCall's 5269 - it's classic yet also fun & could be made in a range of fabrics, a satin, brocade, velvet, any rich color or black, of course, & would look great. In May, you could either wear it with strappy heeled sandals & no hose or a sheer black hose & pumps for a very classy look.

    I also like Vogue 1296 - if the top isn't your fave, how about swapping in a different one? The skirt is fab & would go with tons of stuff, esp. made in velvet or a pretty brocade.

    1. Being overly formal does not bother me. I wore a tux to the wedding of one of my sisters, complete with a top hat. "Over the top" is just getting started for me. I don't think anyone will bat an eye if I show up in a floor-length gown.

      I am going to make the skirt from Vogue 1296, even if I don't select this pattern for the wedding because I LURVES IT.

    2. Good for you! I don't think you can ever be overdressed! I always love to dress up completely too! Casual is for everyone else! :) Dress for the theatre of your life as an awesome lady on Advanced Style said.

  4. I wanted to say the same thing as Trystan, but you already answered it. And with the long dresses the problem with the socks is not that big, I can imagine no-one would see if you wore some transparent knee-high-stockings with a floor-length dress.
    My favourite is Simplicity 3784, but in Variant D. Combined with a shrug I can well imagine it with some ankle-socks, would be kind of a 50ies-look.

    1. Thanks for your input. Still mulling over everyone's suggestions.

  5. I'm late chiming in here.... I am torn between the ones with vintage flair and a couple of the floor-length ones. As long as you are *sure* the bride and groom are fine with it (which clearly you are), I don't see a problem wearing a long dress to a wedding.

    Out of the long dresses, Vogue 8852 is definitely my favorite, by far. It's so amazingly elegant and that bow is divine!!

    For Butterick 5814, which is also fabulous, couldn't you do nude stockings? I totally agree about no direct foot contact with the inside of shoes (blech!) but even sheer hosiery does the job for me. But if you are totally used to something thicker that might be a bit of an adjustment...

    Ha - I actually have McCall's 5954, which of course I have never actually sewn... I wanted to make a fancy nightgown out of it!

    1. Well, if my brother is going to be upset about a floor-length gown, he'll be angry at my mother as well, because she's wearing one too.

      Nude stockings look ridiculous on me. Not really sure why. Sheer black might be okay though.