Review: Vogue 1251 | The Leather & Wool Panel Dress!

11:00 AM

Leather is being called "The New Denim" for Fall/Winter 2013, because it has become just that common. And I'm loving it and wanting to add it to every project possible.  This year, I'm wanting to work with real skins, but real hides ain't cheap!  So, I'm rationing out the way I'm going to be using leather this season as to not blow my fabric budget.  And a great way to do this is to make a leather and wool panel dress.
This is Vogue 1251.  It's described as:   Fitted through bust and waist, semi-fitted through hips. Fully lined and underlined.  And it suggest fabrics such as Crepe de Chine, Charmeuse, Lightweight Jersey. Lining/Underlining: China Silk.  I used black wool/lycra suiting from Mood Fabrics.  And I lined and underlined with lingerie tricot from Hancock Fabrics.  The leather is a deliciously buttery-soft lambskin from Tandy Leather Factory.  I used a single 8 sq ft hide.  And my gold metal zippers are from Jo-Anns.
I cut the size 14 and graded to the 16 from the waist down.  If you notice the pattern envelope, this dress is meant to be VERY short.  It would've been a barely butt covering tunic on me!  I added 8 inches to the length (one of those at the waist).  And I added an inch to the sleeve length.  Probably could've gone with 2 in order to have a full-length sleeve.  With the addition of length, the dress flared to an a-line.  I had to peg in the bottom to create a sheath dress.  
I'd been wondering why I couldn't find any reviews on this dress.  Even though it was short, you can always lengthen it.  And I'd always thought it had great lines and would be a great candidate for color blocking and such.  So when I started cutting out all 18 pattern pieces, I understood.  With the fabric, lining and underling, I had about 83 pieces of fabric sorted out.
I know a lot of people aren't fond of exposed zippers, but I love them.  And the addition of them to leather just makes a garment really "badass".  But if you're going to do an exposed zipper, you better do it right.  And my favorite reference guide is from Threads Magazine:  #162 - September 2012.  

And my personal tip is to always, ALWAYS interface the area when installing a zipper... for any kind of zipper.
This dress was a labor of love.  And it's going to be a great LBD addition to my fall/winter wardrobe.  And no, I won't be making this one and it's almost 100 pieces ever again!  But it's just so awesome to be able to make a dress like this.  The RTW versions made with real leather start out at $1,000.  Mine was only 10% of that to make.

Wearing: dress: Vogue 1251; shoes: Steve Madden; bag: 3.1 Phillip Lim x Target.

You Might Also Like

131 comments

  1. This dress is fantastic Erica! It is so flattering, cool, on trend and yes, BADASS!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Knock-out dress. Love your make-up and styling too. In fact, I'd gladly copy everything! Never even noticed this pattern before, but your version certainly made me take note of it! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have to always look at the technical drawings with the patterns are released. The fabric on the envelope didn't do that dress justice. Thanks craftytraveller!

      Delete
  3. This is BADASS, yes indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Очень красиво!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Благодаря надежда!

      Delete
  5. Love this dress! The combination of wool and leather on this style is very upscale and classic. Just enough leather to look fashion forward without looking too harsh. Very pretty in a bad ass kind of way.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Made for you LBD & you will get a lot of wear from this dress, the fact that it was a labor of love. . .even better!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. You are stunning in that fabulous dress! I absolutely love it.

    Paceda
    Nashville, TN

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is AMAZING! All the little details (love the exposed zippers!) are perfect, and the fit is spot-on. Definitely worth all the effort you put into it!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Looks great!! AMAZING, AMAZING!!! Love the leather!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your dress is awesome...wonderful fit and styling....A+

    ReplyDelete
  11. I really like this dress and the way you put it together with the bag and jewelry. My firt thought was..I'm going to make this one for an event I'm attending in December but then I kept reading and realized how many pieces the pattern consisted of...LOL I'll just have to admire your beautiful work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Legsnmore, those pattern pieces were a beast! LOL Thanks!

      Delete
  12. Internet high five! I LOVE this and am inspired to take a crack at it myself.

    How would you launder this? Dry clean only?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It'll be making it's way to the cleaners. Thanks!

      Delete
  13. Also, Vogue needs to hire you to bring these patterns to life! I wouldn't have thought to take their pattern to your creation at all!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. That is so, so gorgeous. You look fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  15. You look amazing! The dress is wonderful, edgy and yet classy. Your love of fashion really shines through!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Incredible dress, love the combination of wool and leather. Plus the exposed zippers are fabulous. Where do you get your zippers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lori, I get the zippers at Joanns. They're by Coats & Clark. But they're displayed separately from the regular zippers. Thanks!

      Delete
  17. Very beautiful, Erica. Expert construction and fit!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is fabulous but I knew it would be after the Instagram sneak peek!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Okay, it is completely awesome. I love it! Great work as always, and you look fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
  20. 83 pieces of fabric? Goodness gracious. It's so funky and modern and chic all in one. I *love* exposed zippers. Especially on something funky.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes ma'am. All of those pieces of fabric! I was thinking what have I gotten myself into! LOL Thanks Mrs. Smith!

      Delete
  21. A beautiful dress, as always! I'm embarassed to ask though, why did you underline AND line with the same fabric?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mrs. K, sometimes a fabric can be too drapey. The pattern suggested crepe de chine and light weight jersey. But yet this is a structured dress with a lot of seam work. Even my my wool lycra is drapey. And you still want to line a garment like this, because the underlining and the fashion fabric act as a single piece. Thanks!

      Delete
    2. Thanks! I appreciate your response.

      Delete
  22. Just so pretty!....I love it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. YOU ROCK, ERICA--OWN YOUR RUNWAY!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. You look bloody fantastic woman!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love this dress and as always you have knocked it out of the ball park. I also loved your last post about wearing what we make and also previous ones about how so many people dont bother to dress up any more. So loved everything you wrote. We are the same age too and although my style is very different to yours, I love all your makes and styling and get constant inspiration that looking gorgeous and making an effort does not stop after 40. I dont often get a chance to comment but I just devour your every post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our 40+ is not that of our mothers and grandmothers! Too much living left to do and no time for giving up on one's appearance! Thanks Sew Hopeful!

      Delete
  26. Great dress! Edgy and Classic at same time. You stylized it perfectly. How long did it take you to put this together? Did you have the accessories or did you have to go shopping?

    I have a small hide of lambskin (sooo soft) that I used to make a belt for a cape. I have hesitated to use it in a garment with another fabric because of cleaning. Doesn't leather have to be sent to a special leather cleaning place and not just a dry cleaners?

    Anyhow, it's a fabulous dress. Bet you can't wait to wear it out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Angela, I worked on this dress on and off for about a week, so from Saturday to Saturday. I'm not wearing a lot of accessories because this dress has a lot going on. Some minimalism is key. But everything is from my jewelry box... except the ear cuff. That's borrowed from my daughter! And the bag is brand new. It's from the 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target collection that was just released.

      And yes, this is dry clean only. But I'd probably do a lot of spot cleaning until it was absolutely necessary to take it in. Thanks!

      Delete
  27. Erica, this is so excellent. And may I say you look great in it. I've noticed over the years that you have made several garments I really love using fabrics that are contrary to the "suggested" textiles. Do you have a set of rules that you apply to make these decisions, a reference you consult, or is it just the benefit of experience? I'd like to make some swap outs on a few patterns myself. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, I knew the style of dress I wanted. And I knew that I would make it in either a woven with good stretch (like I used) or stable knit (like a ponte or double knit). And it's basically just experience and looking at a lot of clothes all of the time, noticing the fabric.

      If you're questioning a fabric swap, just google the RTW versions of whatever garment you're making and see what they're made of. That's what I do.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  28. Love,Love,Love the dress. The exposed zipper does make it Bad ass.

    ReplyDelete
  29. OMgoodness. That dress is so beautiful. Wish I could get up the courage to cut the 83 or so pattern pieces. I would love to have that dress!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Faye, I was so tired of cutting that I didn't know what to do! LOL Thanks!

      Delete
  30. Your dress is beautiful! I totally could not see the lines and 18 pieces you were talking about until I checked the link to Vogue. You have a good eye for picking out great stuff and using the pattern well to create awesomeness! Well done, I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks for the great tip about interfacing the zipper area, and for showing us another fabulous way to sew with leather. I still have "copy Erica B's Simplicity 2054 dress" on my to-do list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie! I love that dress! I had thought of making it into a top so I can get more wear out of it. Nope! I'm keeping my dress and I'll just make a top like that! LOL Thanks!

      Delete
  32. Erica, this is breathtaking...literally. My heart skipped a beat when I saw your beautiful dress...You outdid yourself! Congratulations...I think Vogue should get you to do their samples for their pattern photos. Yours looks so much better and would sell more patterns. Pinning you now for my inspiration board!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I agree, this is a "badass dress". You did a superb job on the construction.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Fabulous! Great looking dress!

    ReplyDelete
  35. WOW, you are my Shero, 80+ pattern pieces?! You have been an inspiration for me to step up my sewing game...Now I'm still too lazy for a pattern with over 15 pieces, LOL, but I'm trying! Thanks for sharing all of your projects, I just love everything you make!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Gorgeous, gorgeous , gorgeous......

    ReplyDelete
  37. This is so CHIC!!!! I love it! Thank you for another inspiring piece. Your blog has got me sewing again. Maybe someday I will finally convince my husband to be my photographer so that I can showcase....nothing as lovely as yours yet though.

    ReplyDelete
  38. That is beautiful. How hard would it be to find a RTW dress of such quality that would fit you perfectly?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That wouldn't happen! Thanks Fiona!

      Delete
  39. This is stunning and you look fantastic in it. Well done! I agree with a previous commenter - Vogue Patterns definitely needs to hire you! I've looked at many patterns with fresh eyes after seeing your creations, so thank you! Rachel

    ReplyDelete
  40. Great dress, Erica!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Erica, I look forward to checking out your latest creations. I must say this one is definitely one of my favorites! You look like a million bucks!!! The leather and wool combination is so right on for fall 2013.

    ReplyDelete
  42. This is so cool! I love it! But yikes, 83 pieces?! Gruesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! I was so happy to be finished. Thanks Ginger!

      Delete
  43. Lovely! I've had good success with fabricmartfabrics.com for inexpensive leather hides. They mark them down 50% off in November.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amanda! I'll definitely try there too!

      Delete
  44. This dress is SO gorgeous! And you look lovely in it!

    ~Whitney
    www.whitneynicjames.com

    ReplyDelete
  45. PURE Fabulousness!!!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Your dress is stunning, and you look fabulous.

    (Vogue really did a disservice to that pattern, all details are lost in the fabric.)

    ReplyDelete
  47. There is a reason you got 100 comments on this! You nailied it and in a Very Big way! Absolutley stunning. I just love it and the exposed zipper is the best I've seen. I'm a fan only if they are looking like yours...A fine leather bag with a good looking zipper and you accomplished this on this dress. BTW...I see you snagged the Phillip Lim bag. :)

    ReplyDelete
  48. tres chic! :)

    --Gaiana (www.trapkeybygaia.com)

    ReplyDelete
  49. I have been planning on making this dress in a menswear fabric but haven't gotten around to it yet. I love the zippers on the sleeves but never imagined using leather. This looks fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I wouldn't have given this pattern a second thought. Your version is amazing, especially in comparison to Vogue's insipid pattern illustration.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Please send this to Vogue and tell them to replace their picture. This is a thousand times better than their version. You are a sewin' rock star.

    ReplyDelete
  52. This is the level of sewing I aspire to. A true work of art!!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Fabulous dress!! You look amazing in it!
    I'm with Gail, I would have passed right by this pattern. Now it's on my 'to buy' list.
    You have a great design eye!!
    Linda's right--Vogue needs to give you a REALLY big thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  54. You did a great job on this dress. I love how it came out. I agree some of the other posters, Vogue needs you on their team!!!

    Love the bag...I went to our Target (two closest to me) looking for that bag. I saw it online and should have ordered it when I saw it. It's SOLD OUT everywhere!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Wow! This is uber badass! You did your thing!

    ReplyDelete
  56. This is too amazing not to comment on! I've been following your blog for a while. I love all that you make and do and you're inspiring me to sew more "fashion" items for myself. I sew "pedestrian" as zac posen would say ;) but that fits my lifestyle... but i think i need a few more fashion pieces. so thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing wrong with "pedestrian". You have to fit your own lifestyle! Thanks Risa!

      Delete
  57. OK, I am loving the leather trend and your panel dress with the exposed zipper is the business! I've never sewn with leather before and I think this kind of blocking might be the perfect way to start! I had to go and look up the Vogue pattern you used because I didn't recognise it at all - once again you have seen beyond the pattern photo to the great lines in this pattern.

    ReplyDelete
  58. This dress is just amazing - it would see for a lot more than the 100$ you mention. And I just love love love the badass-ness of it! You wear it brilliantly!

    ReplyDelete
  59. I just purchased this pattern on sale at my local fabric store ($1 !)
    Your version is really stunnng, it fits you so well (as always). I'm dreaming of a color-blocked version for sure. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such a great deal! Enjoy making it! Thanks!

      Delete

Popular Posts