The Vogue 1208 dress

This summer, Mr Hubby and I were invited for the wedding of a friend in Toronto. Great! A chance to sew a cocktail dress! Except this was not an usual wedding for us. My friend is Pakistani and muslim, and therefore the etiquette rules are different. I was really scared to make a diplomatic mistake and to offend anyone so I made some research about how to dress. One of Mr Hubby’s coworker is Pakistani and told me that I needed to be shoulder covered. And as my friend invited us to different parties (the pre-wedding, the weding and the post wedding – we skipped the last one), I needed several dresses. I could re-use my Burda new dress but I still needed another dress.

After hours and hours looking for a gorgeous dress with covered shoulders (in a country where the fashion is about being strapless… what a joke!), I decided to go for the Vogue1208 dress. Considering the number of pieces the pattern includes (4. Not kidding!), it was very expensive but I really liked the assymetric collar with the knot of the shoulder.

Because I am not familiar with the bias cut and Vogue pattern (a new experience for me), I decided to go for a muslin and I used a satin fabric from my stash I didn’t know what to do with it. While the muslin needed some adjustements, the fabric and its color pattern were so gorgeous I decided the muslin would be the final dress! I just needed to find a lining that matches with the dress.

Now, let’s talk about alterations. Someone on patternreview.com wrote that this dress was not correctly tailored. Well, that’s true: I looked like I was wearing a potato bag! I reduce the waist about 1.5″ on each side and to avoid to screw the bias look, I decided to go for darts on the back. I was not comfortable with that, the darts made weird folds but I couldn’t find anything in my bible about sewing dart on a bias cut. I still believe this is a sacrilege but that was the only solution I could find.

After adding the lining, the dress started looking great and because the fabric was very colourful, I decided not to sew the knot, it would have be too much. I have to say after alterations, the dress looks great. My only concern (except for the bias darts) is the dress is too short. I may be tall but I have short legs ; a few more inches would have been great. However, I love the result and I will probably wear it in other events.

Now that you’ve seen the dress, let me tell you about the wedding. At the pre-wedding party, Mr Hubby and I arrived on time, which was in fact way too early. So everybody was watching us because we were the only non Pakistani-like people of the party. And probably because my dress was too short. In fact, all the women were wearing tunics (made from gorgeous fabrics) with long pants. I definitely felt dressed inappropriately that night. So I was relieved to have taken my Burda new year dress for the wedding, except that the cleavage was way too deep for a muslim party! I had to find a top to wear under the dress in order the reduce the depth of my cleavage. But that’s another story!

More details about the shoulders and the darts (I guess it could have been worst):

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