Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Sack Dress



I'm on the fence about this one.  I'm leaning towards really loving it, but there is something a little off about it.  And yes, this is most definitely a sack dress.  No waist definition at all.  I really dig the way sack dresses look... on other people.  I've tried making them from time to time and have never felt like they suited me.  However.  I honesty don't really care that this dress is not one that is considered traditionally flattering.  I like it.  There is something not quite right about the proportions, though.



I used Vogue 9022.  I'm not really sure what drew me to the pattern.  I thought the pockets were cool. And I liked the dolman sleeve.  The suggested fabrics list different wovens along with ponte.  I figured I could make it out of something stretchier than ponte, which I did.  I used a really cool textured knit of questionable content I found at Joann's.  This particular knit has a lattice texture and is very stretchy.   You can see the texture really well in that heavily edited photo below.  I was worried that it was too thin for a dress so I underlined it with a black cotton knit.  I searched for one that had the same amount of spandex as the textured knit.  But there are some issues with having the two knits together.  The cotton knit is really grabby which makes some odd wrinkles show up while I'm wearing this dress.  I can smooth them out, though.  And the two layers together make this dress extremely thick.  There is some seam rippling as a result of all the thickness, especially where the pockets are doubled over.


The pattern has a separate pattern piece for the lower pocket with a seam at the bottom.  After reading a pattern review about it, I decided to eliminate that seam and cut out the side front pieces in one giant piece.  That was an interesting pattern piece.  I'm not sure that it was a necessary move as a seam at the bottom of the pocket "bag" wouldn't have made a difference to me.   My measurements put me as a size large and that is what I cut, ignoring my instinct to go smaller since I was using a stretchier knit.  I should have cut a medium, maybe even a small.  Ok, well probably not a small.  I can't remember the last time I ever wore a size small.   It was huge when I basted everything together.  I think I ended up sewing all of my seams at an inch or more.  For real.  I cut the long sleeves and they were so long it was comical.  And I have long arms.  I took four inches off the sleeve hems and I still prefer them rolled up a little shorter.  I took two inches from the pattern shorten line before cutting my fabric.  I knew I wanted the dress to be short to balance out the ease.  Then I ended up hemming it up two more inches.  So four inches off the hem, four inches off the sleeves and I'm guessing about four inches around.  Over sized pattern?  I'd say so.


I did sew the keyhole at the back because I like the way keyholes look.  But it isn't functional.  I sewed up the hem split because it was indecently high after taking out all the length.  Anyway, I'm liking the end result.  I think I need to wear it out once before I can really make a final judgement.  I don't think I'd revisit the pattern, though.  Maybe the pattern would work better in a woven.



40 comments:

  1. Okay I like this on you! Seriously like this! I don't see or understand the proportion problem though. For the pockets why don't you add some extra large snaps in the pockets and a button on the front. The snaps will help the pockets stay closed.

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  2. I like it, and it looks super comfy

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  3. I just made up this pattern right after Christmas, and I looked all over the place for reviews. I'm glad you posted one, even if it is after the fact.
    :-) I love the textured fabric you chose. It looks warm and cozy. I added a bit of reverse appliqué to the center panel--lots of possibilities with this pattern.

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    1. Ooh, I want to see it! sounds very cool.

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  4. Oh, I love this on you!! I'm all for forgoing waist definition for a great sack dress. I don't remember seeing this pattern before, but now I totally need it. Those pockets are awesome!

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  5. I really like this dress! And while it is a bit sack like, I think it looks really nice on you. It's super cool in the textured knit! I think if you wanted to play with the proportions a little, you could shorten the bodice to raise the pockets a bit - but I do like it as is too!

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  6. This is such a versatile dress that it is sure to become a wardrobe staple. The proportions look fine to my eye. I like sack dresses and this has some cute detail...like the keyhole back. You'll be able to wear this with funky jewelry, big scarves, bright shoes etc.

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  7. I think this is very cute, and I love the way you've styled it! Perfect for teaching. Of course, I am partial to sack dresses:)

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  8. I think it's fabulous! I love Carolyn's suggestion to snap the pockets shut. You and this dress are great together! I would love to see it with some bright tights and a scarf, but I love the necklace you have with it here and your hair looks amazing! g

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  9. Okay first off, I just have to say that you would look cute even if you wore a potato sack...yes, I'm serious. You have one of those beautiful faces with perfect hair and THAT is what I always see first. Now the dress. I like it. I like that it is black which always looks dressy. I think it is a great dress and you can wear any necklace with it (love the one you have on) or bright colorful scarves. Here in Germany, people wear scarves year round, so I have quite the collection myself and trying to learn how to incorporate them into my wardrobe.

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    1. Oh my goodness, Shirley, thank you!! It would look great with a funky scarf. I have quite a few!

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  10. Well, I never thought I'd see someone rock a sack dress, and here you are, rockin' a sack dress. The horizontal seams in front add length and I like the big roomy pockets (they'd work well with large buttons, too). And I like the monochromatic look with the statement necklace. Nice work!

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  11. I love my black sack dress and wear it all the time. It has seriously become a wardrobe staple. It's a classic blank canvas that lends itself to some serious accessorising. I can see yours being just as useful and easy to wear. Yours should be even easier as it won't need ironing. If anything, I think it is still a fraction big but perfectly wearable. It must have been one over-sized pattern.

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    1. It still is a little big for sure. If I made it again I might go down to a small for the top half and a medium for the bottom.

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  12. Your dress is seriously cute on you but I know what you mean about something being strange about the proportions. I thought the same thing when I first saw the pattern, even though they look fine in your finished dress, probably because you shortened it.

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    1. There were two shorten lines- one above waist and one below. I took an inch from both though I think it was the one above waist that made the difference.

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  13. You look darling, but i know what you mean. When I looked at it, and I really considered this pattern because the pockets are soooo cute, I decided it's because the sleeves are not set-in. The top of the dress ends up looking, well, a little matronly....ooooo. I like your short approach, really helps!

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    1. Yes! It's something about the sleeves that bothers me. Too much fabric up top. I think I'd try a sack dress again but not with a dolman sleeve like this.

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  14. All I see is cute with some back bagginess. Can you take in the center back seam at the waist and in the lining so you have a closer fit back there? If you do make this up again try using a tricot knit lining which would be lighter in weight and stretch when needed and be opaque enough. Holy Moley shortening by 4 inches for the hem and sleeves and taking 1 inch seams is an eye-opener! My advice is always, "Measure you, measure the paper pattern" before you cut so you can control the amount of ease. I'm with Carolyn on the snaps, those poor pockets will want to bag out over time. Sometimes you can sew a 1/4 inch wide elastic into the top edge and only slightly pull as you stitch to get the top edge to hug the body. Otherwise, toss on some funky earrings and enjoy being comfortable all day!

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    1. A tricot lining would have been a much better choice. And I love the idea of elastic at the top edge of those pockets! That would definitely stop the pockets from drooping so much. I usually do measure pattern pieces but for something with this much ease I don't really have reference point. Oh well, I do now!

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  15. I agree that sometimes sack dresses can look a bit meh because of the lack of waist definition, but I really like this one. I think that the pockets and seam detail on the front, the texture of the fabric and the necklace you've styled the dress with help to add interest and make it look great!

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  16. I love this!! I love sack dresses in general, and I think this dress looks totally great on you! I think a shorter hem really helps balance out the 'shapelessness' up top because you can show off your lovely legs.

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  17. This dress in black looks chic and suits you. Remember that Audrey Hepburn modelled the Sack Dress for Givenchy in 1958 and she was the epitome of chic. You are following in the footsteps of a fashion legend and you made the dress yourself too!

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  18. So, based on the title and the first row of photos my thought was seriously, "Gosh I love sack dresses on other people, but I just couldn't pull it off." I'd say this dress is just fine!

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  19. I love this Liza Jane. I think it looks great on you, I can't see a problem with the proportions at all. I've actually just (shock, horror) bought a dress of a very similar shape and am really enjoying wearing it. Mine is a drapy viscose fabric - you could something like that in place of the knit if you wanted something with a bit more movement to it.

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    1. Now you have me considering this again in something drape-y....

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  20. I really like this! I think it looks super cute on you!

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  21. This is lovely. I think you great in it, very modern and stylish. I would never have looked twice at this pattern but your dress looks fabulous. Xx

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  22. You look great in that dress! It really suits you. In the pictures, though, it looks like the back of the dress is slightly longer than the front (imho). Could that be the proportion being 'off'? In any case, stylish dress!!

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    1. It is longer in the back! I should have mentioned that. I hemmed it about an inch longer in the back. I had a reason at the time but now I'm not sure. I think because it gave me a little more sitting length, if you know what I mean. I still had the slit at that point, too, and I was trying to save it I think.

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  23. Hi Liza Jane. Just to let you know that I liked your dress so much that I have bought this dress pattern since my last comment to you. I also like that you made it in a textured knit and I also plan to make mine in a knit. Thanks for inspiring me.

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  24. I like the funky feel of the dress on you! This makes me look differently at the pattern - which I had passed over without much thought.

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  25. I think this really looks cute on you. The texture of that fabric is really amazing too. If the length feels awkward, maybe some more opaque leggings would make it more comfortable, especially when chasing the little one around.

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  26. I think this really looks cute on you. The texture of that fabric is really amazing too. If the length feels awkward, maybe some more opaque leggings would make it more comfortable, especially when chasing the little one around.

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  27. I really like it. It's a versatile and comfortable looking dress. The only thing that puts me off is the droopy pockets, but Carolyn and Mrs Mole have fantastic solutions for that. I think the for me the neckline is a little bulky and a little wide, but Shirley Ann has you covered with the scarves there. I think you'll end up wearing it a lot :)

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  28. Being an hourglass type shape I tend to steer away from these dresses which is a shame, because I really like the unrestricted feel of wearing them and the classy silhoutte. I can see this being good for every day wear when you want tolook pulled together in a hurry, I like it with the necklace or a scarf with a jacket over the top x

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  29. I adore this dress on you and love the navy colour and the boots! So, so good.

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  30. This is the dress of my dreams currently. I want to make a sack dress and hopefully pull it off as well as you do. It really looks great on you! The texture on the fabric is quite nice as well!

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