The pattern and alterations
I admit I paid quite a lot of money for this iconic 1963 Yves St Laurent Vogue Paris Original pattern from a specialist supplier in Canada, but I don’t regret it. I have now made three dresses with this pattern – in linen, wool and now in pink silk – and I love them all. The pattern is an elegantly shaped shift dress from one of my favourite designers. It is very stylish while also being very simple, just the right length, with a perfect neckline. It is not difficult dress to make up. And because I had used the pattern twice before, I felt sure that I not need to adjust or alter for fit.
The pink dress is my first version with sleeves, and sequins are proposed by the pattern with drawings and instructions. So, this time, for my SWAP 2016 sweet pea collection, I just made it up, as designed, without incorporating any changes of my own.
I used a remnant of thick pink silk with a sheen, plus sequin fabric. I did not underline the silk as it was heavy and stable enough. I lined it with a good quality, blouse-weight pink silk. I used big cream coloured press studs to fasten the top yoke at the back, and an invisible zip (although a lapped zip was specified). I used an iron-on interfacing for the cuffs and hem band.
I have already outlined how to sew with sequins if you ever want to spend a long time flicking bits of plastic into your carpet. I found one stuck to the baby’s back and one jammed into my Kindle. We will be finding them for weeks.
Despite lots of anticipation and hard work, I am not happy with this dress. In fact I finished it for the 50th birthday party, but I didn’t wear it in the end. You remember how unsure I was of the pink and white colour scheme – thinking it would look too sugary? Well I think it does. Like a big pink blancmange with piped, whipped cream around the base and on the top. Also, and this is because the fabric is rather stiff, it looks too much like a column. Sarah’s sequin dress is made from wool, and my two previous V 1556 dresses were made of softer cloth – French linen and 100 per cent wool, and I think this fabric is less suitable for the dress. It doesn’t flow around the body in the same way.
I am therefore planning some alterations. I think I will remove the sequin hem (thereby shortening the dress), take a little bit of the side seam in around the waist line, consider a back dart. I may change the cuffs as well to reduce the sequins.