The Gary Danko Dress – Vogue 1233

The Gary Danko Dress – Vogue 1233

The Pamella Roland dress is finally completed. I am calling it the Gary Danko  dress because that is where I wore it for the first time out as we were entertaining a business associate from Sweden. Although I love the dress, it did not pass the dinner test very well as you will read below.

Pattern Description:
Close-fitting, lined dress has front darts, princess seams, patch pockets with flaps, cap sleeves, large turned back collar with extensions, partially concealed button closure and mid-knee length. Belt with covered buckle.
Pattern Sizing:
6-12, 14-20
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Pretty darn close!

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Labor intense alert – there are 50 steps! I did not think this dress would take me so long to make. There’s a few lost weekends I barely remember except for waking up with threads hanging off me and stiff fingers. Even with the LARGE number of steps, the pattern was for the most part easy to follow. There is a mistake in Step 2. All it says is “Pin Side Front to side edge of front.” and that’s it. It should also say “Stitch” 🙂
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the unusual collar and the fun front pockets

I love that this is an actual dress from Pamella Rolands collection Spring 2010 . Overall, I like how it turned out but this took a long time to get the fit right and there is one issue I sort of fixed which I will discuss below. I cut out the pattern a little big, my mistake. I am smaller on top than my bottom so had to make adjustments to all of the princess seams to fit perfectly to my upper body as per the model photo. It was worth the effort. The flare of the lower portion of the dress was a lot more pronounced than it shows in the model photo and was very unflattering when I first tried it on.

It really stuck out at the sides. It could depend a lot on the fabric. My fabric, although not very thick, is a little stiff. I ended up taking in about half an inch of the flare on each side seam. My advice is to wait until you have sewn on the facing, collar and sleeves to see if the sides need any adjustment.
My biggest hurdles were the cap sleeves and the lower concealed button panel. It took me forever to fit the sleeves in and have them looking perfectly symmetrical. My first attempt looked too full so I ripped them out, cut the sleeves again, reduced the cap somewhat and tried again. I also interfaced the sleeve openings on the dress to prevent stretching or fraying. It took walking away from it for awhile because the third attempt went in fine.

The lining is hand stitched to the sleeve lining and I had to be careful to avoid puckering on the rs of fabric:

The bottom of the lining is hand stitched to the hem ends of the fabric which has been pressed up 2 inches, producing a fold at the bottom of the lining.

Although I detest hand sewing and this is something I would normally machine sew, this came together easily.

The lower concealed button closure was very easy to sew – however – it did not pass the dinner test. Sitting down at the table the bottom of the dress revealed the no longer concealed button closure  (this is not sitting down, but you get the idea).
I decided to tack a couple of stitches in between each button on the concealed panel  It reduces but doesn’t completely get rid this. Obviously the fact that I took in the sides may have contributed.
Fabric Used:
A silk linen type fabric with metallic threads purchased from Fabric Mart as part of their club membership. Sewing wise – It was very easy to work with and the metallic threads stood up well to ironing. This pattern needs some type of linear fabric because of the different grain detailing – on the collar:

 and the belt.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I stayed true to the pattern except for the belt. Steps 40-50 have you sew a tube out of the fabric and and slip over belting, then edgestitch etc etc. I have an easier solution:

  • 1. Buy cheap belt.
  • 2. Buy Liquid Stitch.
  • 3. Unstitch and unhook buckle.
  • 4. Glue fabric
  • 5. Reattach buckle. Voila.  

Would you sew it again?
No, it’s a pretty unique design.
Would you recommend it to others?
Yes. With an fyi on the concealed button closure.
A lot of tedious steps produces a very elegant looking dress. Except when sitting!

6 thoughts on “The Gary Danko Dress – Vogue 1233

  1. Wow! Just wow! The fabric and the pattern are beautiful. The sewing looks impeccable. This dress looks like it should cost an arm and a leg. It's too bad it didn't pass the "dinner test", hopefully you'll still get plenty of wear out of it.

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