Pattern Review – Vogue 2237 Badgley Mischka Gala Dress

Pour yourself a cuppa, this is going to take a while…V2237
Pattern Description: From Vogue Patterns’ website – MISSES’ BOLERO & DRESS Close-fitting, straight, partially lined bolero has raised back neckline, shoulder pads, side back seams and long sleeves with slits. No Provision for Above-Waist Adjustment. Close-fitting, straight, lined dress, floor length, has boning, foundation, inside belt, shaped, back hemline and back zipper.

Sizing: 8-18. I made a 14.

Fabric Used: For the dress – Silk Charmeuse in Pauillac, Please! (sold out, sorry) For the lining, Silk Habotai in Malbec. For the bolero, an embroidered mesh that I have had in my stash for about 3 years. For the corset, cotton flannel and the silk habotai.

Needle/Notions Used: For the corset, I used a Universal 70/10 needle; for the outer dress and lining, I used a Universal 60/8 needle; for the bolero, I used a Universal 65/9 Needle. 22 inch invisible zipper, spiral steel boning (purchased from Susan Khalje – the best!), 5/8″ petersham ribbon for the boning casings, 1″ petersham ribbon for the waistline stay.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes.

How were the instructions? I didn’t use them. I constructed the gown in the exact opposite order from what Vogue’s instructions tell you to do. I started with the corset, then made the lining, then the outer shell of the dress. Once the dress was finished, then I made the bolero.

Any changes? I made the bolero from a sheer embroidered mesh instead of velvet, as the pattern suggests. For the other changes, read on.

Construction Notes:
Inner Foundation
I started with the corset. Phyllis helped me fit the muslin. I lengthened the pattern by 2 inches, so it ends at my high hip, instead of right at the waist. Once the muslin was fitted, I cut the corset from cotton flannel. The cotton flannel hides the boning so it won’t show under the silk. Next I inserted the bones. Instead of following Vogue’s layout, which had 4 pieces of boning total, I used Susan Khalje’s guidelines, putting boning at every seam. So I had bones at the side front, side, and side back seams. I put 1 inch strips of fusible canvas interfacing at the CB to support the zipper.
Corset boning detail
I made the corset lining from the habotai and sewed them together on the sides and bottom.

Once the corset is finished, the rest of the dress is pretty easy.

Next up was the dress lining. The lining and the dress use the same pattern pieces. There are only three pieces to the dress: front and two back sections. The only tricky part of the dress is the front darts. They are quite curved, so I traced them carefully with thread markings. I hand basted them, then I stitched them on the machine. A lot of work, yes, but well worth the effort in the end. Because these darts are so curvy, you need to clip carefully to get a smooth finish.

Outer Dress
The outer dress went together very quickly. I made it the same way as the lining, hand-basting the darts before sewing them. One thing to note is that, while the fabric I used is charmeuse, I used the matte side as the face (I have an aversion to shiny fabrics of late). I inserted an invisible zipper using Els’ Amazing Method. I basted the lining and the outer dress together at the neckline, then attached them to the corset and finished the dress. Once everything was hemmed, I used thread chains to tack the lining hem to the dress hem at the side and back seams.
Chain chain chain...

I decided early that I wanted to use a fantastic beaded mesh for the bolero. Phyllis helped me with the layout. I didn’t want to line the bolero, so I pretty much threw out the instructions and made it my own way. This is a very simple pattern, and it goes together quite easily, especially if you’re not lining it. I started out by trying French seams, but because of the heavily encrusted embellishment, the seams were way too thick. Instead, I simply sewed narrow double seams and pressed them to one side. Because the mesh is so airy, I couldn’t use tailor tacks for marking it. Instead, I used little pieces of masking tape, which got trimmed off with the seam allowances.
Masking tape - it's not just for sticking stuff any more.

I used a narrow hem at the neck/hem. I thought about trimming to the edges of the motifs, but that just wouldn’t work for this pattern because of the curvature of the front pieces.
Narrow Hem All Around

I shortened the sleeves by two inches. Vogue makes their sleeves very long anyway, and the original pattern had extra length as a design feature. I laid out the sleeves so the hems fall at the selvages.
I love the way the selvages look at the hem

Speaking of the sleeves, in the original pattern, the sleeves are very close fitting. If you have large biceps, measure to be sure you have enough ease to be comfortable.

Likes/Dislikes: Love. It! This dress is a lot of work, but worth it.
One of my biggest loves about this dress is that I didn’t need to do a FBA!!!!!

I think it turned out well. I’m wearing it to the Winchester Hospital Gala tomorrow night.

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I probably won’t make another one. I only need one of these. But yes, I definitely recommend it. If you are looking for a spectacular dress, this one is a strong contender. Do consider making some changes to the foundation and adding more boning if you’re busty like me.

Conclusion: Fabulous! Here are pictures of the front and the back. I’ll get pictures of it on me tomorrow night.
On Shelly
How about that embroidered mesh, eh?

Parting Shots: Meeting Up With Friends and Making a New Friend!
When I was in New York, I met up with Renee and Rosie (Rosie, do you have a blog?). I also met the super-fantastic and delightful Trena. I didn’t get any pictures of Trena, sorry. Next time!
Yeah, that's my real haircolor these days. Sigh....
And it's going to cost me a bloody fortune to get it back to it's

Well, that was a tome. Sorry. But I hope it was worth it!

Happy sewing!

39 thoughts on “Pattern Review – Vogue 2237 Badgley Mischka Gala Dress”

  1. stacy says:

    This is one pattern that I have always said, if I have an occasion to wear it, I want to make this dress! Yours is so beautiful and I can’t wait to see you in it – you are going to look stunning!

  2. BeccaA says:

    What a fabulous dress! Thank you for sharing all the construction details. You will look fantastic at the gala!

  3. Tany says:

    WOW, Ann, you really outdone yourself!!!! The dress took my breath away, I just can’t wait to see you wearing it!! BRAVO!

  4. NancyDaQ says:

    Fabulous dress! I’m looking forward to seeing what it looks like on you! My Mom used flannel to underline all my dance costumes–it really made the face fabric (satin, lame, etc) look extra luxurious.

    I’m also liking your current ‘do. That length and the platinum shade really look great.

  5. Robin says:

    Oh I would so love to see a pic of the dress on you! It is to.die.for.
    And fast – wow, you whipped that up overnight, it seems.

    Beautiful work! Wonderful to see you and Cidell, too!

  6. Mary Beth says:

    Fabulous! Thanks for the comprehensive construction details, Ann. It’s gorgeous

  7. vicki says:

    Wow, that really is a special dress. Enjoy the gala!

  8. Kristine says:

    Stunning, Ann. Simply stunning! So gorgeous… I can’t wait to see you all dolled up and modeling it!

  9. JoanneM says:

    Absolutely stunning. A beautiful dress.

  10. Digs says:

    Stunning, stunning ensemble. We want to see it on you, though!

  11. Handmade says:

    Awesome outfit – that Bolero is gorgeous!

  12. Myra says:

    Phenomenal – I hope you post a pic of you wearing it after all that work πŸ™‚

  13. Renee says:

    SO happy to finally meet you! I was a little startstuck πŸ™‚ I meant to tell you that yours was one of the very first blogs I discovered. And, I love the dress. I love the little bolero and the fine details like the thread chain πŸ™‚

  14. WOW! It’s gorgeous; absolutely exquisite; couture in every sense of the word. Congratulations. I hope you have a blast wearing it!

  15. ClaireOKC says:

    I absolutely adore this pattern…it is the epitome of great style and the designer’s maxim: great cut – everything is in the cut and it applies to this design. Love how you interpreted it – a real “WOW” look.

  16. Shannon says:

    It definitely was worth it! You will look stunning tomorrow night. Have a great time! Your bolero is the icing on the cake and the dress and all the work you put into it are absolutely amazing. I will look forward to clicking on the zipper link to check out this method you refer too. Thanks.

  17. Paco Peralta says:

    fabulous dress Ann..!!!

  18. Shannon says:

    wow, Wow, WOW! That dress is a stunner – I bet it looks amazing on you!!

  19. Phyllis says:

    Beautiful Ann! This project is definitely in your Top 5. Using selvage for the sleeve hems was perfect.

  20. janlynn says:

    A truly amazing dress. Thank you for the details on the construction. I’m sure that you will be the belle of the ball. Enjoy!

  21. Sheri says:

    You’re going to rock that dress! Can’t wait to see you in it! Have a wonderful time at the gala. Ann, you’re an inspiration to us all (and I’m not just talking about sewing…).

  22. kathleen says:

    Beautiful dress! I love that bolero, too.

  23. Valerie says:

    Utterly Awesome! Thanks for going into detail on the construction of it. I can’t wait to see it on you. Have a great time at the gala.

  24. Noile says:

    Beautiful! Love the motif placement on the bolero; the outfit’s stunning!

  25. Karen says:

    Totally gorgeous dress… Can’t wait to see pics of you wearing it..

  26. Rosie says:

    It was such a pleasure to meet you Ann. You are such a delight!! Just a beautiful lady inside and out. The dress/bolero is stunning!! Have fun at the gala!! Go knock ‘ em dead hot mama!

  27. Lisa says:

    Wow seriously I am blown away . What a completely beautiful outfit . You are going to look stunning .If I ever had an event posh enough I would love to wear something like this . Ps I love your hair it seriously makes you look younger.

  28. Karin says:

    How beautiful! I can only agree with all the other commenters. I hope we have the chance to see a picture of you in it.

  29. Liz Doerry says:

    Exquisite! I am not worthy.

  30. Mimi says:

    The dress and bolero turned out lovely!!!!

  31. Angela says:

    Beautiful job on your gala outfit!!

  32. Nancy Karpen says:

    Beautiful dress and all that work done in fabric that is worth the time and effort! It fits you beautifully. Brava!

  33. Just wanted to let you know that we really like your version of V2237 and have posted a link from the Vogue Patterns facebook page.

    1. Gorgeous Things says:

      Wow, that’s so cool Kathy, thanks!!!

  34. Linda L says:

    Anne, that dress is drop dead gorgeous!!! You do such amazing work and who would have thought of using flannel as an interlining–well you did of course and I can see how that would work so well. Lovely, lovely dress!

  35. Sandra says:

    I’m happy to have found this blog. I just purchased this pattern and am looking forward to actually making the dress now. This pattern will not end up with the others in the back of the closet.

  36. I love the bolero and I am looking for fabric just like it that I can overlay onto another plain fabric for a jacket. I show horses and am working on adding to my collection of show jackets.

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