Emerald and Violet Garden Dress

It’s been awhile… I always feel a little bad when bloggers come back from a hiatus with apologies and explanations as if they owe it to their readers, but I get it, it’s hard to just jump back in. I don’t even have an excuse – I’ve just been unable to muster the energy to do the photos+post thing. I also have such a backlog of garments to photograph and the inevitable (for me) months of delay before a garment is finally photographed was getting me down. I want to share what I’m doing now, what I’m excited about now! Unfortunately that’s just not a reality for me right now, at least with me modeling, but I’ve made a decision. Instead of the months of delay problem… we now get the purple dress form problem!

I don’t even care, though, when it comes to sharing this dream-come-true dress.

V1395 fullfrontThis is Vogue 1395, a Rebecca Taylor design, made up in a silk-cotton voile from Fabric Mart. This was one of those J. Crew fabrics that so many of us jumped on, and I really love it. It’s soft and light with just a little sheen, and the colors, not at all like the photos, are rich emerald and violet.

Vogue 1395, image from Pattern Review

I live in a place that is completely fogged in for a few months of the year, and I am terribly thankful for the huge windows that let in a ton of light, even in pea soup conditions. They make for really hard photo-taking, though, so much light and so little blank wall space. I doubt this color would photograph well anyway, though. I took photos at night for my fabric stash app and took in-progress Instagram photos at various times of day in various rooms, and they hall have this washed out color. It’s emerald, you’ll have to take my word for it!

V1395 back and sideThe second I saw this dress I felt like it was designed just for me, and I like the design even more now that it’s done. The back is a double layer, with the overlay extending into ties at the front. I love this feature! Some reviewers complained that the wrap at the armhole is too low and you can see undergarments, and that is true. Luckily, I recently made a slip out that will always be worn with this dress. The purples coordinate perfectly, and I don’t mind at all that it shows. Secretly I kind of like it…

Here's the slip, V8888, made out of Bemberg lining, which is by far the most difficult fabric I've ever worked with. It's nice to wear, though!
Here’s the slip, V8888, made out of bias-cut Bemberg lining, which is by far the most difficult fabric I’ve ever worked with. It’s nice to wear, though!

Another common complaint about this pattern is the difficulty of the narrow hems on the ties, especially when made in a slippery fabric. I can guarantee I would have had problems with this on the pointy tie ends on my machine, but I just hand rolled the entire thing. I learned to hand roll hems when making pocket squares for a friend’s wedding, and fell in love with the technique. It is so fun to do, and I couldn’t love the results more. The tiny hem is so neat and tidy, and it has a soft, handmade look that I really like. Handmade is a key descriptor here, this is not a RTW look. Even after pressing the hems flat I think you can tell that this was done by hand. For the sake of durability I also take big enough bites of fabric that you can see the stitching as well. I don’t mind that at all, I’m using stitches and thread to make this, why not let the medium show? I know it’s not for everyone, though.

V1395 hem 2
Here’s a snippet of the tie where you can see right and wrong sides of the hand rolled hem.

So, I love this dress. It’s just the sort of garment I feel like myself in and the little details make it special. I haven’t actually worn it yet because I had to get around to hemming that slip, which I hand rolled yesterday while watching the new Cosmos series. I think it will get its debut tomorrow!

V1395 close

10 thoughts on “Emerald and Violet Garden Dress

  1. This is gorgeous! I LOVE the fabric, purple and green are my two favourite colours. Is is wrong to love your slip so much?! It is absolutely beautiful, and the v shaped panel under the bust is such a lovely detail. I watched Cosmos too, is it a second series that you’re watching. I thought the presenter was great (his name escapes me just now), and loved how he managed to keep mentioning that he’d met Carl Sagan!

  2. So pretty! I love the print as well as the dress style, especially the tie front. I love hand-rolled hems too. I hear you about taking photos and posting — you are not alone!

    1. Sometimes it feels like everyone in the world manages to take fantastic blog photos, thanks for reminding me there are more like me out there! Hand-rolled hems are a revelation. I want to hand-roll everything!

  3. I’ve been intrigued by this pattern for a while. It reminds me a bit of the very popular Rachel Comey (V1247 I think? Or 1427…) top pattern, which I love. Your version is lovely!

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