Vogue 1252: Tracy Reese Ruched Leopard Print Dress

15 Nov

Tadaa!! It’s finally done, Vogue 1252: the Tracy Reese Ruched Dress. While I still have a little Golden Girls vibe from the animal print, once I added the skirt, I started to like it a lot more. I found myself having to just walk away several times in order not to give up on this pattern.

Issues: As Amanda pointed out, this dress has no negative ease built in to the outer fashion fabric. I had to take a total of six inches out of the bodice to get a ruched look.

And, I still don’t think it’s ruched enough at the front since I only took out two inches from the front bodice vs four inches in the back.

Also, I didn’t make a FBA — which I could use. Paticularly in the drape. Some extra length and width there would make it lay the way I want (all the way across the boobage).

When you sew this dress, you’ll notice that the lining needs to be stable because it must carry the weight of the very full four-panel skirt and support the ruching of the bodice.

I decided to skip the elastic at the skirt waist casing. Well, I didn’t decide. I forgot about it during construction. The dress is snug  enough at the waist without it. But, I’d likely take in the waist another inch or two if I were sewing again. I think this cut (or maybe the gathered skirt) makes my waist look a little thicker. This might be better suited to someone who is not as well defined in the middle.

I also messed up by sewing in the bodice lining before the skirt lining. I had no interest in taking it off to add the skirt lining so I just left it out. I do like the clean finish the lining provides. I never really think about linings on a knit. I will now.

At first I thought I put the pockets in the wrong place. As drafted, they are in the front skirt seam instead of the side seam.

So, why is it impossible to find a non-seperating 20 inch zipper with aluminum teeth that’s not custom? My friend’s roommate makes felted wool bags (available here). He had a roll of aluminum zipper teeth on black tape and he cut one for me to my specs for $4. That’s what it would have cost to order online special – minus the $8.95 shipping. Oh, the zipper was also waaaay shorter than the opening the pattern called for.  Not sure if this is a pattern error or how you sew a vaguely exposed zipper. I confess to not reading the directions on inserting the zipper.

This dress is so far outside of my comfort zone in this animal print. I have many reasons for not loving animal prints, all are nitpicky and solely my issues. But, I’m glad I went with it for this. The fabric was a G Street / Groupon special and I wouldn’t have bought it otherwise. I do think I had this dress in mind when I purchased. And, of all the animal prints, this one seemed not so bad.

My dress was wildly popular in the office Wednesday. The women where I work are snazzy dressers. If totally get extra credit for making my own clothes. If I didn’t, I’d be considered one of the least interesting dressers at my job. My big boss is trying to talk me in to giving this dress to her. She loves an animal print.

As much as I like this dress and as good as I think it looks. I don’t think I can recommend this pattern. I love it. But it needs a lot of tweaking to work. The tweaking is in part based on the amount of stretch your material has. But, maybe the trick is to start by sizing down one or two sizes. If you’re patient, go for it. If you are not patient, leave it alone.

** It was 34 degrees this morning. I’m not ready for winter! So, I’m starting early with the indoor photography. I want to get better at getting the coloring (well… my coloring) right. I really need to check out an external flash and some classes.

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58 Responses to “Vogue 1252: Tracy Reese Ruched Leopard Print Dress”

  1. Kleiderschmiede November 15, 2012 at 02:18 #

    I really really love your dress. I don”t like animal prints but I think it looks good on you!

  2. carol456 November 15, 2012 at 03:11 #

    I adore animal prints and I love your dress. You look gorgeous.

  3. Marcy November 15, 2012 at 04:28 #

    That is a nice dress. I don’t like animal prints either but this one looks great on you.

  4. didyoumakethat November 15, 2012 at 04:55 #

    I’m sorry it was a pig to work on, but you look very, very, VERY pretty in it! I love that section that cuts diagonally across your bodice. There’s something very flattering about the neckline it gives. I also think the sleeve length makes your arms look pretty! (Can one have ‘pretty arms’? Clearly!) So I’m not surprised the women at work want to take that off your hands…

  5. Robin November 15, 2012 at 05:48 #

    you know, I have this pattern and now that you and Amanda have worked out the kinks, I would consider sewing it. It’s just so interesting and a little different from all the other ruched and wrapped styles. It really looks great on you!

  6. lisette November 15, 2012 at 07:12 #

    This dress looks so pretty on you! I have loved this pattern since it came out and it is in my stash. Since I now know what to watch out for I will be making it too.

  7. Leanne November 15, 2012 at 07:18 #

    It looks great! I bought that pattern on sale last year, and look at it now and then. I like the design of it. Thanks for the review. I won’t be making this at the last minute, if I ever make it.

  8. kathleen November 15, 2012 at 07:45 #

    Gorgeous dress! You look great in it. I love the animal print.

  9. Carissa November 15, 2012 at 07:47 #

    The dress looks great on you! Wawak has non-separating aluminum zippers, but only in natural: http://www.wawak.com/products/product.cfm?pID=8402

  10. Lene' November 15, 2012 at 07:47 #

    Love it! I like some animal prints, but you chose a really nice one! It looks good and you did a great job!

  11. Rachelle November 15, 2012 at 07:59 #

    Really flattering, and not Golden Girl-y at all!

  12. Tracey November 15, 2012 at 08:10 #

    You and the dress look wonderful. This animal print looks great on you. It’s a keeper!

  13. oonaballoona November 15, 2012 at 08:19 #

    i adore your dress and was all ready to gush over it but i’m sorry i’m stupefied by your LIBRARY BAR CART! GIMMIE!

    • Miss Celie November 15, 2012 at 10:12 #

      I searched high and low for this! I really wanted one of the older ones, but couldn’t find it completed. This came from a surplus supply for schools. I have wine in the cabinets, liqour on top and glasses below. Total keeper.

  14. Peggy November 15, 2012 at 08:34 #

    Your dress is fantastic! I can’t see a Golden Girl anywhere!!! Love the fabric.

  15. Amanda S. November 15, 2012 at 08:36 #

    Hurray, you finished it! What an accomplishment! I think it looks amazing on you and the boots/tights the perfect compliment.

  16. Rachel November 15, 2012 at 08:59 #

    I love that so much. That dress has been on my list to make for awhile,. When you say you took out 6 inches in the bodice, did you take it out at the bottom of the bodice on on the sides?

  17. Tanika D. November 15, 2012 at 09:03 #

    All I can say is “Rooooooowwwwwrr!!”
    P.S. Is the big boss “THE” big boss?? ;-)

    • Miss Celie November 15, 2012 at 10:12 #

      Yep. THE big boss was trying to proctor a trade.

  18. CGCouture November 15, 2012 at 09:04 #

    Totally a closet animal print fan (as in, no courage to actually wear them) here, and I love the dress. And I have to give you kudos, a lot of times when I don’t like a project I don’t finish it–you stuck it out and got a great dress out of the deal. You may not think you’re ready for winter, but you look stylish and ready at the same time to me! (I’m not ready at all–stylish or otherwise, LOL!)

  19. Jenny November 15, 2012 at 09:04 #

    I’m so glad you worked it out. It looks great on you! I think I have this pattern but haven’t worked up the fortitude to try it. :-)

  20. trumbelinasews November 15, 2012 at 09:11 #

    You look amazing in this dress. It is incredibly flattering. I think it makes your waist look SO TINY. I’m glad you finished it. With so many alterations, I would have probably moved in and given myself heartburn with guilt. I also love the print. And I loved your posts about Linus.

    • Miss Celie November 15, 2012 at 10:13 #

      Thank you! I think, what I would do (if there was a next time) is extend the waist down a bit and take it in some. I think it’s more the full skirt than the ruching adding (visually) some width.

      • Remnant November 21, 2012 at 10:47 #

        I was going to add a remark about how fabulous this silhouette looks on your figure and thought I’d contradict your remark about bringing the waist down. I think the waist hitting you a tad high is what makes this so successful.

        I recommend experimenting with this look in other patterns: fitted bodice, the waist sitting a bit above your natural waist (but not under your bust) and then a skirt that falls in an a-line. I’m wondering if this formula is what makes this dress so wonderful on you!

        • O. Jolly November 21, 2012 at 11:16 #

          I do agree with Remnant in that I also like the waist slightly above the natural waist. That line is so popular at the moment and so it looks very stylish. I think you should only change it next time, if it *feels* uncomfortable. :)

  21. LLADYBIRD November 15, 2012 at 09:48 #

    Despite all your construction issues, the finished dress looks great and super duper flattering on you! I love that animal print – the colors make it look a little more neutral (although I know a lot of people would argue with me that all animal prints are neutral; ahaha). And yeah, I feel ya on the runched waistline adding bulk – but you look tiny from where I’m sittin’!

  22. K-Line November 15, 2012 at 09:51 #

    You look just beautiful in this. It makes me want to try it. But maybe not quite yet :-)

  23. Seraphinalina November 15, 2012 at 10:10 #

    I understand your hesitancy with animal prints, I don’t gravitate to them either. But that looks awesome. I don’t get a GG vibe at all, live it with your boots.

  24. Amy November 15, 2012 at 10:28 #

    While you might have some reservations about this dress, I love it! I think it looks fabulous! Amazingly fabulous! Though, I hear you on the ruching. I made a maxi dress last summer that was ruched through the middle, and it looked like a saggy baggy mess when I first made it up. I ended up taking quite a bit out in order to get it to truly ruche. I have no idea how the patternmakers got theirs to work…

  25. Carmen B November 15, 2012 at 10:52 #

    The dress looks wonderful on you — it’s very flattering. Glad you stuck with it. I wouldn’t have had the courage to finish (would have ended up as a UFO). So kuddos to you!

  26. Nancy K November 15, 2012 at 11:08 #

    You look great in this dress. Shirring like that is really a pita to do, and you are right it needs negative ease to work or it just droops.
    I love black and white animal print, alright we already know I love animal prints, but black and white in a nice knit are hard to find. It’s a flattering color combo for you.

  27. Beth (SunnyGal Studio) November 15, 2012 at 11:24 #

    looks fantastic, great shape on you but I sympathise with the pattern difficulties. Some of those complicated Vogue designer patterns which are for knits are really tricky with some errors and weird constructions choices. But as Tim Gunn would say, you made it work. Fun dress for winter.

  28. Margo November 15, 2012 at 11:53 #

    I love that dress! And I think you look fantastic in it. I do love animal print, so if I worked in your office I would probably be trying to broker a trade with you as well. :) Bummer about all of the construction issues, but I think the finished product turned out great!

  29. Erica B November 15, 2012 at 12:41 #

    I don’t get Golden Girls, I get chic and modern. You look very sophisticated, yet laid back with the pairing of the boots.

  30. redsilvia November 15, 2012 at 13:08 #

    I think it looks great too and hope you get lots of wear out of it. Trust me, there is no granny in Florida look there.

    BUT, if the uber boss loves it that much I’d be tempted to wrap it up and give it to her for some future goodwill…then you can happily buy some cashmere and make a warm winter coat with a happy mind.

  31. Joy November 15, 2012 at 15:53 #

    Your dress looks fabulous! It look great on you too, really lovely!

  32. HouseOFpinheiro (@HouseOFpinheiro) November 15, 2012 at 16:28 #


    I havent comment much but I love reading your blog. Im going to NY in a few days and I would love to met up, maybe hit the garment district..

  33. Elizabeth Shaum Delfosse November 15, 2012 at 19:25 #

    Well, it may have been a pain to make, but the finished result looks awesome! I’m with you – not generally a fan of animal prints (at least not on me), but this one works. You should be glad you stuck with it, because it really does look amazing on. Huh – the Boss is hitting you up for you clothing. One of these days we’re going to see one of your creations during a press conference! :-)

  34. Heather November 15, 2012 at 19:35 #

    I love this dress on you more than anything else I’ve seen you make, but holy crap! That’s a card catalog! Holding booze! Damn, that is fantastic.

  35. Heather November 15, 2012 at 19:38 #

    Oh, and I have a Golden Girls fears with nearly every print I look at. I’ll love it, then immediately worry that it looks about 40 years to old for me, and then I become paralyzed and can’t decide how I feel. But that animal print you used is just perfect. Perfect!!

  36. Becky November 16, 2012 at 08:26 #

    I think this dress is an example of daring to step outside of one’s usual fashion norms and finding that assumptions have been incorrect. You look fabulous! It may not be a dress you will wear as much as others, but it really is very attractive and flattering. It does not scream Jersey shore, and the pattern is actually very feminine, so win/win for you!

  37. Jane November 16, 2012 at 09:09 #

    Love the dress. You look fabulous in it!. Photography hints: Turn up your ISO to 1600 (or more if your camera goes higher for inside photography) then set your White Balance for inside lights (look for the light bulb icon). Most point and shoots will do this. If you have a DSLR you can also widen your aperture (set it at the lowest number) to allow more light into the lens – all this will help you avoid flash. :)
    Good luck!

  38. crystalpleats November 16, 2012 at 12:44 #

    I think the dress looks fantastic. I like the asymmetric draping across the neckline, and it looks chic yet cozy with tights and boots for winter.

  39. Gail November 16, 2012 at 15:23 #

    Your dress looks great and your hard work has paid off. To be honest, I’ve not been impressed with the drafting of Tracy Reese patterns.

  40. jenmcox November 16, 2012 at 17:34 #

    Wonderful, marvelous, gorgeous!

  41. Ilse Moore November 16, 2012 at 18:46 #

    It looks AWESOME!!!!

  42. O. Jolly November 16, 2012 at 22:21 #

    Beautiful dress and you look fabulous in it. Interesting that I wouldn’t have been drawn to the dress from the flat drawing, but the realization is fabulous!

  43. Phyllis November 17, 2012 at 07:35 #

    I love it and it’s killah with boots! Did you do something new with your hair? You look totally awesome head to toe.

  44. Diane Egelston November 17, 2012 at 11:49 #

    I will fight your boss for the dress. It is wonderful and you look fabulous.

  45. Carolyn November 17, 2012 at 19:32 #

    Stunning C. The dress is just stunning!

  46. Rory November 17, 2012 at 20:22 #

    You may not be comfortable with the animal print, but it is soooo comfortable with you! You look gorgeous in this. And, thank you for the review. I plan on never making this dress.

  47. gingermakes November 17, 2012 at 22:09 #

    Um… I LOVE this. It looks amazing on you, and I totally love the animal print! This is a real keeper!

  48. Debbie Cook November 17, 2012 at 22:56 #

    I agree with everyone – GREAT dress. So flattering, so cute, so everything! And I also agree your waist looks TINY.

  49. Linda L November 18, 2012 at 08:50 #

    Fabulous! This a really flattering dress on you!

  50. allisonc November 20, 2012 at 05:29 #

    Wow! Good job you didn’t give up on this pattern, it looks fantastic and I love it with the boots.

  51. Cennetta November 20, 2012 at 16:04 #

    OMG! Love it! Thanks for the great review of your construction of this dress. I have a copy of this pattern and had plan to make it this year. The combination of the ruching and needed adjustments helped move this one to the bottom of the pile. Now I may move it up ten projects. Lol All in all great dress and Kudos to you.


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