I made the dress without any alternations and here are my thoughts and some tips.
Tom and Linda Platt’s style is to use layer and color block on simple and basic garments to make them look sophisticated and elegant. V1797 is a really nice variation on top of a little black dress. It’s an A-line sheath close-fitting through bust. Thanks to the split front over dress, visually it looks more flare than it is.
Black is considered the main fabric. Under the black over dress is the underdress in contrast fabric. The same contrast fabric is used as inset. This design means the dress is self lined. The underdress and the yoke facing are sewn together to serve as a lining. Inside of the dress is clean. Nicely designed overall.
The pattern called for Crepe, Ponte Knit, Crepe Back Satin. My black fabric is crepe suiting, and the pink one is lightweight stretch suiting. My combination worked well. I don’t think structured fabric would work here as the over dress. You should be able to use sheer fabric to replace the black too if you pick an opaque yoke facing fabric. The underdress is fully composed of the yoke facing and the contrast fabric.
The instruction is easy to follow but it only listed the essential steps, and skipped many nice to have steps, like press the seams (except for the yoke one), overlock certain edges before moving on. If you strictly follow its instruction, you will have raw edges and frays beneath your overdress. But that’s between layers so it only matters when you machine wash the dress. The inside of the dress is really clean and nice.
Its zipper installation requires hand stitch. It’s a 22″ invisible zipper so you do have some hand stitching to do.
I do like this pattern and I plan to make more, in different fabric. One thing I’d change is, I will interface the insets. At least the front inset. Using a lightweight fabric of light color, it will be slightly see through. The instruction asked you to press the seams towards the inset. To prevent the black fabric from showing, and also to reduce some bulk, I used the gradual width seam approach as in my picture. But even with the pink fabric alone, it still doesn’t look neat when the shape of it showed due to the fitted bust – I should have done an FBA to be fair. But I think applying interfacing can significantly improve the situation and hide all the bumps.
I followed the instructions in Singer: The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing, 3rd Edition to apply the invisible zipper. The steps are similar to that on the pattern but the extra tips like basting, folding the fabric near the end of the zipper etc. really helped. The photos makes it much easier to follow too.
Nice design. Very wearable. Total fabric is less than 3 yards for size M yet it’s actually lined. The instruction can be improved. I wish I can simply follow and still be able to avoid all potentials problems. In particular, to make the inset neat even with the seams pressed towards it.