|Pattern Description: OOP Princess seam mid-knee dress with pleated skirt. I first made this dress in 2007, when it was initially released. The princess seams were perfect for recreating the Lanvin dress from the Resort 2013 collection, which I saw modeled by Amanda Seyfried in InStyle Magazine. For my version, I used view A, eliminated the skirt ruffle, and added 3" in length.|
Here was my initial plan.
Pattern Sizing: Pretty accurate! I started with a 14 everywhere, but ended up grading down to the 12 above the hips along the side seam only.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Nope! You'd never guess it was the same pattern. But, in this case, that's a good thing!
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I really didn't look at them, because of the changes I made. I did make sure to staystitch the center front and back pieces the way they recommended for easing in the front princess seams. The pattern has neck and arm facings, but I chose to insert a full lining instead. Along with the exposed zipper installation... I left the shoulder seams open, stitched the lining to the dress (right sides together), completed the shoulder seams, and installed the zipper. Clear as mud, right? If you want details, message me!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
This pattern was perfect for recreating the Lanvin dress, since the princess seams would allow me to create the striped "grid" look. I eliminated the ruffle, and adjusted the length accordingly. It's a classic shape and style, and now that I've done it twice, it will be easy for me to create again.
Stretch Poplin from Joann's (colors "Caviar" and "Papyrus"), along with "Posh" lining from Joann's and a satin exposed zipper from Botani in NYC. Total supplies price: $44.
I created the "striped fabric" by cutting 3.5" strips from selvedge to selvedge. I used a 1/4" seam allowance to sew the ivory and black together, pressing all the seams toward the black fabric (to hide them). I ended up making 2 large blocks (1 for dress front, and 1 for dress back) each made up of 13 stripes. I then laid out my pattern pieces, using the hem as my guide to keeping the pieces straight and symmetric. I cut them in a single layer (3 pieces for dress front, 3 for dress back), and didn't have to deal with facings, since I was completely lining the entire dress. You can see the details and pics at this post on my blog. Creating the fabric was definitely the most labor intensive part of creating this garment.
Matching the stripes along the front princess curves was tricky, but slow-going (and a million pins) got me through!
Getting the steps straight for installing the lining and the zipper took me a few days of pondering. By keeping the shoulder seams undone, I was able to use the lining seams to finish the neck and armholes, and stitching them up after was a breeze. Details on that part of construction are on my blog at this post.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Aside from fit, eliminated the skirt and added 3" in length.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?You can't go wrong with a princess seamed dress, I'm pretty sure this style works on everyone! In the end, I'm thrilled with my version of the Lanvin dress. It's not an exact match because I didn't want it to be. If you look up the original, you'll see a double black band at the waist. While it does make the model's waist look super tiny... it also makes her hips look super wide! So, I altered that look for my version. I also altered the width of the "grid", using the princess seams as a natural break, which allowed me to actually enjoy constructing this dress, rather than go bonkers trying to do it "their way". I kept the exposed zipper along the center back seam, as I feel this has a very striking appearance. Adding 3" of length was essential, which gave me a "vent" in the bottom center back of my dress, as the zipper was limited to 33" in length. Yes, I'd sew it again, and yes... knocking of a garment is a great boost of confidence and makes me feel like I belong in my sewing room!
Conclusion: It's exactly what I wanted it to be. It's on "trend" for the season, and it's a heck of a lot cheaper than the original. I saved almost $3700 by making it myself! More pics at my finale blog post.