Vogue Deep V Kimono Dress - V9253

V9253 Vogue Deep V Kimono Dress in Teal Milled Linen

It has taken me so long to get around to photographing and blogging this dress that I can hardly remember any of the making details by now.  So, consider this fair warning if you’re hoping to be informed; this blog post is most likely going to be a combination of pretty pictures and pointless ramblings!

V9253 Vogue Deep V Kimono Sleeve

I made this dress for Melbourne Frocktails after seeing lots of gorgeous versions of it crop up in my instagram feed and becoming completely obsessed with it!

V9253 Vogue Deep V Kimono Dress

I wasn’t brave enough to go for the full deep V, so I just sewed it up to a point where I felt comfortable. I probably should have sewn an extra centimetre or so to stop that pesky bra peeping out, or perhaps I’ll just take it as a sign that I need to spend some time this year learning how to make pretty bras that are worthy of peeping at!

V9253 Vogue Deep V Kimono Dress front pleats

The fabric is a beautiful teal milled linen from The Fabric Store (this shade is called Blue Lagoon), I've already used this fabric for several other projects, and I love the look and feel of it and how easy it is to work with (I’m soon going to have a wardrobe full of this linen in every shade!)

I had a major freak out halfway through making where I became convinced that I didn’t actually like it at all. Fortunately all those fears disappeared when I put it on - I LOVE this dress. It’s so simple yet elegant and I’ve worn it a handful of times already.   

V9253 Vogue Deep V Kimono Dress back zipper

It was actually my first time sewing a vogue pattern - I mostly use indie designer patterns and it really highlighted for me the differences between them and ‘Big 4’ patterns. Firstly it was really expensive ($25!) and also quite hard to find - I had to DRIVE around to SHOPS (say what?!) - no simple internet download for this one.  

I also found the instructions very different, much less detailed and there were no helpful video tutorials or explanations of techniques.  While it wasn't hard to work out what to do, I did spend a lot of time hoping that I was doing it correctly, and not feeling very confident.  It’s made me realise just what a wonderful thing indie designers have done for sewing. I am essentially self taught in my sewing and all of it has come from buying sewing patterns which teach me new techniques, they don’t require you to know those techniques, they teach them! How great is that?! Thank you to all you wonderful designers out there, without you I probably would have given up on sewing before I’d ever even really started to learn!

V9253 Vogue Deep V Kimono Dress front pleats side view

One of the reasons that it's taken me so long to get around to blogging this dress is that I find taking photos really difficult.  I just feel so self-conscious and awkward in front of the camera and it shows in the photos which look awful and that in turn feeds back into a terrible loop of looking and feeling bad about myself! 

One of my resolutions for this year is to learn to feel more comfortable in front of the camera.  One of best ways seems to be to just have a little fun with it and get a bit silly.  I'm going to leave you with this gem because it just cracks me up so bad! Enjoy!

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Acton Dress

Wow, I haven’t been here for such a long time - things keep getting in the way - ordinary, everyday things:  cooking dinner, trying to stay on top of the mountains of laundry, house guests, and head colds.   

I’m making excuses of course, the truth is that I simply haven’t really felt like sewing or blogging or designing or posting on Instagram so much recently.  I’ve been focused on different things (cooking, baking, gardening, decluttering, reading, watching all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls…)  So, instead of trying to force it I decided to give myself permission to take a break for as long as I needed.

It worked - sort of.  It was good to accept that this just wasn’t where my interest was for the time being, good to take a step back and not to give myself a hard time about it.  I don’t want sewing or writing to become a chore.  I want to do it because I want to do it - otherwise what’s the point?

There’s a catch though (there’s always a catch!) - now that I finally feel inspired to make and write again, I’m freaking out, because breaking a silence is scary.  I mean, surely after taking such a long break I’d better have a good reason to come back to it, I ought to have something exceptional to say, right? Something profound. Or interesting at the very least.  I don’t though. I’m sorry.  Nothing remarkable here, just my ramblings and a realisation that I am happier when I am writing and making and designing.  So without any particular agenda I’m going to try to get back to that.  Here’s a pretty new dress that I made:

Acton Dress

I sewed myself an Acton dress by In The Folds for my lovely husband’s 40th Birthday party the other weekend. I wanted to make it in a soft black linen, with the hope that it wouldn’t look too formal and I would therefore be able to wear it fairly often.  I couldn’t find any nice linen though so I settled on this cotton silk blend instead.  It’s actually really lovely, very floaty and drapey and soft.

Acton Dress

Black fabric is so hard to photograph - sorry for the not very detailed pictures!  Although you can't see it, the dress is beautifully finished inside - lined bodice, french seams etc.  I can certainly see more Acton Dresses in my future, although I have might wait until summer now (it seems a shame to hide that beautiful bodice under layers of winter woolies!)

Drape Drape 2 - Asymmetrical Scoop Neck Tee: Pattern Review

Drape Drape 2 - Asymmetrical Scoop Neck Tee: Pattern Review |  Willow & Stitch

I've been flouncing around the house today in my favourite new me-made.  I am completely in love with this Asymmetrical Scoop Neck Tee from Drape Drape 2.  Despite having borrowed the original Drape Drape book from my friend about a year ago, I hadn't got around to making anything from it yet so this was the first of Hisako Sato's pattern's that I have actually worked with.  If I'm honest I had flicked through the first book and felt a little bit intimidated by (what appeared to be) some very fiddly patterns and hadn't managed to find the time, or the enthusiasm, to tackle any of them.  

BUT.  Then I saw a picture of this tee on Instagram and impulsively bought Drape Drape 2 purely so that I could make one.  I'm really glad I did.  It was the perfect first pattern to start with.  Ridiculously simple (It's just a single pattern piece) but with some really lovely details.  I love the way the fabric drapes at the waist and I particularly like the shape of the fitted sleeve on the right side.  The left sleeve is loose and the shoulder has a lapped seam which just looks really nice.  The neckline is lovely, if a little wide - certainly not ideal for grovelling around on the floor picking up toys / shoes / bits of banana. Unless, of course, you happen to be wearing a particularly lovely (handmade?) bra that you want to show off.  But let's face it, if you're grovelling around on the floor cleaning up discarded bits of old banana no one's really going to fancy you anyway, even if you are flashing your pretty undies at them. Probably best to just save this tee for a civilised evening with friends once the kids are in bed.

Drape Drape 2 - Asymmetrical Scoop Neck Tee: Pattern Review |  Willow & Stitch
Drape Drape 2 - Asymmetrical Scoop Neck Tee: Pattern Review |  Willow & Stitch

One more thing I should mention about this book is the sizing.  I know it's a Japanese pattern book, but still, I can't pretend my ego wasn't slightly dented by the fact that I was measuring as a size XL when I usually wear a small or medium!  I can't help but wonder how many people have bought the book and then discovered that nothing much will fit them.... Of course you'd probably all have the sense to check things like that, rather than just buying a book of patterns on a mere whim like I did...

Still, there are at least 3 other patterns in this book that I'm dying to try and on the whole I like Drape Drape 2 much more than Drape Drape 1 - there seem to be many more wearable items in it, although to be honest several of them would still be pretty obscenely revealing if wore them like the models in the book do (i.e. without anything underneath). I think layering is going to be key...  But that's a problem for another day and in the meantime I'm going to continue crushing on my new tee and flouncing around the house.  

Drape Drape 2 - Asymmetrical Scoop Neck Tee: Pattern Review |  Willow & Stitch

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