The Perfect Princess Dress: Pattern Selection

While trying various styles as part of my Silhouette project, I have filled my closet with wearable muslins of multiple skirts, dresses, and blouses. I love some, hate a few, and found most are “okay” but don’t inspire a blog post. Now, I want to return to my first love: professional/advanced sewing techniques! These will invariably include technical explanations like my wool jacket project (which I finished! More about the final touches as soon as I get my new camera! Hurry up UPS!)

Basically, my goal for the rest of my summer break is to develop a few core patterns, so that when the next semester starts I will have a stash of “go to” patterns. These patterns would allow me to sew with less time pattern adjusting giving me more time to focus on sewing techniques. First up? The perfect, well-fitting dress! I love Craftsy.com’s series of advanced sewing courses using one pattern multiple ways (i.e. The Couture Dress class or the new Tracy Reese Vogue Pattern class). With so many gorgeous dresses to choose from, it was hard to pick one! Here are my top three:

perfect princess the contenders
Vogue 8972 (left), Vogue 8667 (center), and Vogue 8849 (with peplum!)

I chose Vogue 8972 and here’s my logic:

V89721) princess seam through the shoulder seam for easy shoulder slope/body adjustments and it is pre-adjusted with “Custom Fit” A/B, C, & D cups

2) a classic style that avoids being overly trendy for perennial wear, and easy to change for multiple looks

3) includes a pencil and a full draped skirt that can accommodate numerous fabrics and numerous occasions (i.e. a tailored wool sheath or a crepe back satin party dress)

4) the pattern includes cap sleeves and a traditional 3/4 sleeve, so it can be modified for year-round style

5) it has the nipped in waist that really flatters my figure (hard-earned knowledge courtesy of the Silhouette project)

I am already imagining a tailored B&W houndstooth with a black waist yoke, a sleeveless batik day dress, and a full-skirted party dress. The trickiest part will be balancing the yoke size with my shorter height and keeping the yoke’s shape around my back adjustments.

Honestly, Vogue 8667 was a close second, but it didn’t have the sleeve pattern or the princess seam through the shoulder. I will probably make this one in the future. Vogue 8849 was just too trendy/sexy for it to really work with for this project. I do want to go back and make this one with a boned bodice and built-in bra.

Here are my modified pattern pieces (I apologize in advance for the blurry cell phone photos):

perfect princess bodice pattern
The “C” bodice pieces with a short back waist length adjustment. I am going to check that curved seam on the muslin very carefully. I’m not sure if I maintained the style line’s angle properly.
perfect princess waistband pattern
The Waistband pieces with “select-a-size” grading up one size at side seams.
perfect princess skirt pattern
The princess seam skirt with “select-a-size” grading up one more size to the hipline, a lengthening of the CB and side back seams to match the short back adjustment, and a newly drafted side front as the pattern had one piece for both side back and side front panels. As I only needed to adjust the side back, I had to make an extra piece.

Now comes the muslin. I left out the back width adjustment since that varies greatly from pattern to pattern. I also think I might need to adjust the skirt’s fullness in the front, but we shall see!

 

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