Vogue 1381


….big sigh….

It took me a long time to write a review about this one.  I didn’t want to come off as a hater, but for more than 3 months, this dress and I were at WAR!! …ahem…

OK!  SO!   I’m going to use a positive, and constructive tone, and I’ll not be negative (snort!).  Rather, I’ll give you my advice on making this one up.  And, I hope you do, make this dress, that is.  Why not?  This is like the cutest dress ever!  The A-line skirt is very pretty, I love the inset pockets, and the top doesn’t appear to have a lot of fit issues. 

Here’s the bugaboo:  the quilted inserts. 



Bulky much??

The pattern calls for “fleece interfacing”.  In quilter’s speak, that’s just plain batting.  Here, I used a product called “Warm & Natural”. 

I thought it would be thin enough, but it turned out to be way too bulky, especially at points where all the seams meet.


Even if there wasn’t a problem with intersecting seams, like the top  here, all this quilting and batting changed the hand of the fabric, so that the top no longer draped well on the body.


For me, the coup de grace came after inserting the invisible zipper.


Imagine, if you can, after perfectly matching up seams, sewing the zipper in, the darn thing breaks!  Well, why wouldn’t it?  You’re trying to fold all that bulk back over onto itself, and yank the zipper pull across all of it?  Not gonna happen.

You can also see in the above picture another view of how the bodice sits away from the body with the added stiffness of the quilting.

I’ve set this dress aside, maybe I’ll pull it out next Spring and attempt to re-work it.

SO!  Here’s my advice to you, should you choose to attempt this dress (and I really hope you try it…it’s so cute, you should try and overlook the fussy-ness):

don’t use fleece batting, or any other type of “interfacing” for the quilted sections.  Simply lay the fashion fabric and lining together and quilt with nothing in-between. 

If you just have to have that lofty-quilted look, then make sure to cut the seam allowances off your batting before you begin quilting your piece.

I suppose you could also make this up without quilting the pattern pieces altogether, but I think the quilting/topstitching lines are a key design feature of this dress.

Here are some other nice elements:


Lined skirt



Bias-finished pockets

I’m going to remain positive, it’s not a wadder.  I will fold this up til next year, though.  The quilted pieces just need to be re-cut and sewn, and it will need a new zipper.

Right now, though, I need something easy!

  1. Have you seen this dress made up by Ruth? She had quilting and bulk issues too! http://corecouture.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/more-than-i-can-chew/
    It does make you wonder why it has to be designed to have all the junctions come together at one point and also bring along the volume too. Sorry to hear about your struggle but we learn something from every pattern and alteration…sometimes it is that we just want to scream and tell others, “Don’t do it!”

  2. I have this dress in queue, and have been following various projects. I’m sorry the quilting was too heavy, but I’m glad you’ve decided not to file it under “Wadder”. I will keep your advice about trimming the batting or not using any in mind when I get around to making my version. I love your choice of colour. I do hope you can get it to work for you….. next summer. 🙂

  3. You’ve me feel so much better – thank you. When we take out dresses out the bags we can compare notes. Love your colour and don’t give up.

  4. This pattern os so deceptively lovely- I hate that it argued with you so much!

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Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Enjoying a RTW FAST since 2015! Creator of "DESIGNIN' DECEMBER!" Addicted to sewing since the 70's! In a few words, I want to try everything, learn everything and talk about it with you!

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