Friday, December 6, 2013

Sew Bossy Initiative : Viviane dress

Size: size 38, graded up to a 44 at the hips.
Alterations: lowered the bust dart by 1,5cm.
Fabric: Fabric was sent to me by Julie of Jolies Bobines as part of our Sew Bossy Initiative exchange. I don't know the composition of the main fabric (Julie, help me out!), I only know that it's synthetic because, as you can see from the photos, it clings to my tights. I love the bird print so much!
For the contrast yoke, I used fleeced sent to me by Julie and some black cotton from my stash.

Do you know what the Sew Bossy Initiative is? To sum it up, two seamstresses send each other fabric, notions and a pattern to make an item, relinquishing all the decisional power to the other person.

A couple months ago I asked Julie of Jolies Bobines if she wanted to participate with me. Although we have different body shapes, we have similar taste in fashion and fabrics, so I knew this pairing was perfect!
The problem with us, is that we're both pattern junkies, so it was actually kind of difficult for both to find a pattern that the other person didn't have already. It's peculiar to say the least that we both ended up choosing dresses with a very similar silhouette for the other one. I sent Julie the Malvarosa dress by Pauline Alice and she sent me the Viviane dress by République du Chiffon. You can see her finished project here.

Julie proved to perfectly know me by sending me a black and white fabric with an animal print. I mean, seriously, that's me in fabric form!

The pattern is a thing of beauty as well. The Viviane dress is a relatively simple loose-fitting dress with a dropped waist that features a STUNNING quilted yoke with scalloped details.

This silhouette used to scare me a bit, but I'm totally in love with it right now. I know it's not the most flattering on a pear-shaped, petite girl like me, but it's not unflattering either. What's for sure, it's that it's incredibly comfortable to wear and I find it so elegant and modern. I'm thinking about making this my Christmas day dress, as Christmas at my household means a huge lunch with the family, and that also means a huge, bloated belly.

After my interview with Géraldine, many of you expressed curiosity towards République du Chiffon's downloadable patterns.
The Viviane pattern is a pdf; the pattern pieces are overlapped, just like for Burda or Named patterns. I love that, because it saves paper and a LOT of time for assembling. Of course, that means you need to trace your pattern pieces, but it's something I always do anyway.
Bear in mind that the pattern pieces have no seam allowance included, so you might want to add it while you trace them. This is the only thing I disliked about the pattern, because I hate having to take this extra step.
The instructions are also available in English, but I used the French version, so I can only speak for those. They are clear and have illustrations for the trickiest passages, so I was happy with them.

If Next time I make this dress I'll probably do a FBA on the size I've already traced, because I have some tension in the armhole and chest area. I thought I could avoid it because of the looser fit, but it will make for a more comfortable dress.
I think this pattern was made to accommodate a very small chest, so keep in mind that if you usually need an FBA, you'll probably need it here. 
Also, for next time, I definitely want to use solid fabrics, because I want that beautiful yoke to stand out as much as possible. The black fabric I used here conceals the details way too much, but I was too afraid to use another color (or colored thread) with such a busy print in the rest of the dress.

Thank you so much, Julie, I had a blast! :D


  1. This is really cute and much more flattering than I would have imagined!

  2. What a beautiful dress! I love the low waistline, very fancy :)

  3. This is so incredibly beautiful!! And you look stunning! I love the quilted detailing on the yoke, especially, and paired with the fauna fabric... just perfection! And I agree, this is a silhouette that I'm slowly coming around to - I've always thought that it would be unflattering, but it's actually quite nice! And forgiving to boot! Win!

  4. Very, very interesting dress. Love it!

  5. Love this!! I just purchased this pattern and I'm so happy to see such a lovely version of it! That fabric is amazing!

  6. I love your Sew Bossy makes! Funny that you and Julie chose similar silhouettes. This one is my favourite of the two, just because that quilted yoke is amazing!

  7. I love it, it really looks stunning!!

  8. Just been reading through your blog posts, you have made some lovely items, love your dresses, very pretty.


  9. Oh this is gorgeous! I want this exact version. I love the fabrics and the contrast yoke! I think it does suit you, but I know what you mean. Loose fitting garments can be tricky!