The Boden catalog arrived to tempt me awhile back. I saw many lovely dresses, but this one really caught my eye:
Not the best pictures, so here’s the photo from the website:
Also a little blurry, but you get the idea. A nice linen dress with cap sleeves and a pleated neckline. Something nice enough for work. Only problem – the price. Not really wanting to pay $88 for a dress right now.
So, here was the solution: Vogue V8552:
I could combine the cap sleeves and inner pockets to make the Boden-knock-off dress, at a much cheaper price. I used some linen fabric I had picked up at SAS for a song, something like $5, for about 2.5 yards of fabric. The pattern called for a zipper, but I didn’t want to do that – I just wanted something I could pull on and off. I figured I could tweak the pattern. I lucked out matching the fabric color to thread – I recently purchased one of the 26 spools of Gütermann thread – on sale for half off at Jo-Ann’s! I love that Gütermann thread…
So, here it is:
I didn’t follow the pattern exactly for a few reasons. First: no zipper. I made the dress body according to the size I was making, but did not include the zipper portion. I figured I could use this space to take the dress in (I could tell it was going to be ENORMOUS!) – in addition to taking in the sides. I waited to add the pockets until the dress had been taken in to the point where it didn’t look like a giant bag.
(After wearing the dress, I realize that the pockets are a bit too low on the body of the dress…but that’s an easy fix!)
The pleats turned out pretty well, given they are such thick pleats.
The sleeves took the longest amount of time to create. I followed the direction for one side. First I had to attach the sleeve to the dress. Then use bias tape (the dreaded bias tape) to line the inside of the armhole all around. The inside of the armhole – not the cap sleeve, but the inside of the armhole. Ridiculous. Why???? Then you line the cap sleeve using bais tape. Way too much bias tape, if you ask me. And it didn’t look right either.
So, on the second cap sleeve, I decided to edge the cap portion of the sleeve first with bias tape before attaching the sleeve to the dress. This look is much cleaner. Then I cut a strip of the bias tape and pinned it with each end hidden beneath the cap sleeve – so you couldn’t see the bias tape ends – which are a pain enough to finish properly. I went back and tried to mend the other cap sleeve the best I could without taking it off and starting over again.
I wore it to work yesterday and actually received complements! I’m guessing it didn’t look too handmade!
While there are modification I could make if I made this dress again, I am really quite pleased at how this Boden-lookalike turned out! And for a fraction of the cost. Oh, and I should note: it took three nap times to complete.