I finally got some pictures of me wearing my new dress, Vogue 1351!
I sewed a size 16 with no alterations. The dress is designed for flowy wovens, but I opted for a knit-- a ITY jersey knit (92% poly/8% lycra) purchased from Fabric.com in 2011. For the lining, I used a lightweight swimsuit knit (since it had 4-way stretch like my main fabric). I found that others were able to successfully use knits based on a number of reviews posted on PatternReview.com, so I figured I could work it out. But I have to tell you: I stressed!
I knew I could forgo the zipper, but then I wasn't sure exactly what other instructions I should or should not disregard or otherwise adapt. This meant I had to fend for myself, which was kind of scary. But I think it came out alright in the end, so I guess I was successful.
One of the issues I was most worried about was stabilization in the shoulder, neck and waist areas. After trolling about for information, I finally decided to stabilize the neckline with fusible tricot interfacing. I traced the neckline shape and then cut it out along that edge, making it about 1/2" wide. Then I fused it to the neckline such that it was just into the seamline (I think my picture above better shows what I'm talking about). I did this on the lining front and back necklines as well as the outer back neckline.
I also stabilized the shoulder seam (pictured above). For this, I used a nylon stay tape. In the end, I decided against any waistline stabilization (I have read in a number of places a suggestion to use clear elastic) and opted instead to just follow the directions to handstitch the lining to the outer along the waist seam followed by a regular topstitch. The only issue with this is that I have to be careful when putting the dress on and taking it off so I don't pop the stitches.
I love that this dress is lined! And I think it is beautifully finished. The instructions were a bit labor-intensive, and involved some of handwork, but they were effective. As I couldn't think of an easier way to approach it, I went with it. The lining allows for a perfect finish to the draped neckline as well and everything stays in place-- nothing untoward is gonna be popping out of there! I really wanted an invisible hem, but I could not figure out how to execute it with such a lightweight knit (I tried a blindhem and it was completely ineffective). So the hem was finished with my coverstitch machine.
I envisioned this as a happy, summery sundress. But it almost feels too fancy for that! Almost. I'm totally going to be wearing this one out and about.
The last week has involved zero sewing while my machine made its annual visit the Bernina spa. But-- it is back home, and I'm ready to start stitching again! Huzzah!!!