Vogue 9252 & Butterick 6106 Mashup
This one isn’t exactly a Plus-Size friendly post! My cousin asked me to make a dress for her graduation. It was really exciting to be asked to make something so special though I was really nervous.
My cousin had seen a couple of dresses she liked but couldn’t ind exactly what she wanted. She wanted narrow straps and a gentle a-line skirt, and in all white. She sent me two dresses she’d seen as inspiration. The first has an open criss-cross back, she liked the general shape but not the back. For the second in yellow gingham, she liked the shape but not the colour (for this dress in particular, she asked me if I could make the yellow one too though)!
This dress has a gentle a-line skirt and a darted bodice with straps. I looked around for a pattern but ended up with something slightly different. The pattern I found was Vogue 9252 which has a square neckline, princess seams and a full skirt. I knew i could use a different skirt on the same bodice but I thought the princess seams would make for an easier fit. As the fabric is all one colour, it doesn’t matter too much that there is a curve in the bust.
For the skirt I had already purchased a pattern which had an a-line skirt, I should have really just drafted one but I wasn’t clued up on how to make one for someone with much slimmer hips than me! The pattern has a hi-low hem but I knew I would need to shorten it anyway to the desired length. The curve of the waist fit perfectly into the curve for the Vogue pattern bodice which was a surprise, especially as I used two different sizes (12 for the skirt, 10 for the bodice).
Adjustments to Vogue 9252 & Butterick 6106
Lizzie is 5’2″ so I had to make some petite adjustments. I was nervous about this as I’d never done it before. I started by simply making the full height bodice as a toile. When I fitted it on her, I realised she has very similar adjustments to me. We took about 1.5 inches of height out above the bust point. The strap length was reduced, the neckline was also cut down about an inch. I also took another inch up at the waist. The skirt fitted perfectly but the length was reduced to mid-thigh.
I also had to pinch out a little at the top of the princess seam – about an inch across just the top part of the curve. This was likely due to the fact that I used a larger cup size than the pattern recommended. When I measured up, Lizzie’s bust was firmly in the size 12 however the rest was size 10. Her bust to high-bust differential put her firmly in the A-cup category, but I decided instead to size down to the 10 for her waist, thinking this would make the dress nice and snug around the straps and armholes too. I then “cheated” to get the extra bust width required by using the B-cup piece. It worked out perfectly, as only that small pinch-out was required on the princess seam.
Lizzie wanted white fabric, which is actually quite hard to find with the right sort of look. I suggested cotton sateen, as I felt the slight weight and the pleasant lustre/sheen would elevate the dress up to something a bit more “special occasion” than using a cotton. I didn’t want to use a viscose or anything that would have too much drape as I wanted the skirt to have a little structure.
I purchased a lot of samples of white cotton sateen – a lot were really nasty! In the end I settled on a white cotton sateen with elastane from Fabric Godmother. It is a lovely fabric. It has enough thickness to be opaque and enough drape for a pleasant a-line skirt with a bit of structure. The elastane makes it quite comfortable, and it was easy to sew with. It only has 2-way stretch, which is excellent as it meant I did not have to stabilise the straps as I was able to cut them so they were not stretchy.
For the lining I used a cheap polyester crepe from Goldhawk Road. I say cheap, but it certainly doesn’t feel cheap. It’s really nice and soft. I didn’t use any interfacing on this project.
Vogue 9252 Pattern Review
I can only really review the bodice part of this pattern but I thought it was really great. The construction is really simple, though you need to have a bit of finesse around the straps because you need to stitch the neckline at just the right points to be able to turn the straps so that they perfectly sit out of the neckline. With a thick fabric like mine it wasn’t too hard to locate the edge of the strap between the layers and start sewing from there. Once turned out the straps look really neat.
The neckline did seem a lot higher and more square than I envisioned based on the pattern drawing. I cut a fair bit off the top neckline.
The skirt pieces are huge and fabric hungry but they look so good in the illustration. My only concern would be that the top feels like it needs a structured fabric whereas the skirt needs draped. I guess that is why there is a contrast option, I think that would be the best way to do this pattern. If you want to make it all in the same fabric then good interfacing and lining may be needed, or expect a softer bodice.
Lizzie was really happy with the final dress and it looks so great on her graduation day! Of course the dressmaker in me can only see the flaws! I know I tacked the lining in too tight and as a result it’s causing parallel wrinkles across the bodice. Oh well. She obviously loved wearing it and I know it’s because I’m just too close to the project!
Are you going to try Vogue 9252? Let me know what you think in the comments!