A Blog for the Perpetually Frustrated Home Sewist

Uni Sews Viki Dress Pattern Review (Viki Sews юни )


Hello again! Once again I'm long overdue for another post here (despite finishing several projects along the way), but I'm excited to introduce this dress. In this post, I'll be discussing the Uni Sews Viki Dress and my experience with it! 

With this dress, I've finally dipped my toes into the puff sleeve dress trend. I've been enamored with all of the Selkie and puff sleeve dresses that have come across my social media feed in the last couple years, but I've been hesitant to wear one myself for a few reasons. Although I like the trend a lot right now, I feel like it won't age very well, and in a few years, I'll feel the same way about the large puff sleeves as I do when I look at pictures of 80's clothing. That being said, there is no way to really avoid being a victim of a time period trend- even those who don't care about fashion will look dated in old photos. So, I ought to have fun with it while I can, right? That's what I'll tell myself. (And, puff sleeves from the 60's still look super cute now! So maybe these dresses won't age too badly.) 


Anyways, my second reason for hesitating to partake in the puff sleeve trend is that so many of the cutest dresses are low cut! There's nothing wrong with this at all, but I prefer to wear things with a higher neckline (due to skin issues, mostly). Some of the Selkie dresses are quite sheer as well. Anyways, on to the project! 

Thanks to Kenji for all the photos!


THE PATTERN

I used the Uni Dress (платье юни in Russian) from Viki Sews. This was my first time using a Viki Sews pattern. 

Information page here

The Uni dress has a semi-fitted bodice with a square neckline and an empire waistline that sits slightly above the natural waist. The shaping on the front is achieved by the use of bust and waist darts. The skirt is gathered, and the balloon sleeves are incredibly full and puffy. There is no zipper or button closure; instead, the back of the dress is open and somewhat low-cut, with an elasticized edge finish and waist ties. This is better understood by looking at the technical drawings above. 

Viki Sews is a very popular sewing pattern company, and they market their patterns with professional photography and a clean, trendy social media presence. They run both an English and Russian Instagram page, with an impressive following on both! In comparison to some other pattern companies, I think the patterns are more fashion-forward and trendy, so I'm excited to try using more at some point in the future! 

After looking more closely at the brand website, I was surprised at just how many patterns were available. It seems that all of the patterns have an English translation available, but I did wonder if there were more patterns available in Russian. 

All of that being said, the photos used in the instructions for this pattern were not as clear as I would've liked. Of course, it's nice to have photos for each step of the instructions, but the fabric used in the example had a naturally crinkled texture which I don't think photographed very clearly. It was a little difficult to see the stitching lines clearly in some places, and because the fabric was creased already, it made it less clear where the fabric should be folded or pressed. While I would have preferred a different fabric and a contrasting thread for the pattern instructions, the dress itself is really not hard to construct, and I don't recall having too much trouble anywhere. 

As far as fit goes, I don't love the use of darts in this dress. They are normal darts, but I'm not sure they sit in a flattering way on my body. Initially I felt the dart points ended dangerously close to nipple territory, but after wearing this dress numerous times, it no longer bothers me that much. Other than the darts, the dress sews up easily and fits as expected. Because the dress ties in the back, it isn't difficult to loosen or tighten as desired.  

If you choose to use this pattern, please keep in mind that the patterns are sold in single size increments. It's not possible to download the pattern with multiple sizes on one file. So, if you're accustomed to making adjustments based on grading between sizes, you'll have to changed your method of alteration. There are guides on the Uni Sews Instagram though (and numerous resources around the internet), so this shouldn't be a difficult hurdle to overcome. 



THE FABRIC 

As for the fabric and materials, I used a basic pink cotton from Craft Heart Tokai. It's comfortable and easy to work with, though the fabric is a bit too sheer to wear on its own. Actually, I used this same fabric once before to make a pair of pants and learned very quickly that this fabric cannot be worn without layering. So, sadly, that project was relegated to the UFO (unfinished objects) pile. But, when used for this dress, the fullness of the sleeves and skirts make this less of a problem. 

Due to the lack of closures with this pattern, not many materials were required to complete this project! I was able to reuse some elastic, thread, and interfacing that I already had. So actually, this dress could be quite cheap to construct if you plan to work with an inexpensive main fabric. 

The fabric was tough enough to stand up to an impatient deer at Nara Park!



OUTFIT DETAILS AND LOCATIONS

Since completing this project earlier this year, I've worn and styled it a bunch of different ways. I was even able to pair it with the corset I most recently blogged about, even though the dress straps peeked out a bit. On sunny days, I have a white turtleneck I'll layer it with (it's lightweight and UV blocking). I've also been able to layer it with a few different mesh tops underneath. 

I'm still on the fence about whether or not this style is flattering on me. Even though I've gotten quite a bit of wear out of it, I don't know if I love it. This has nothing to do with pattern, however. 

I took the photos for this dress in a couple different places. One location is the Aso Kuju Flower Park in Taketa, Oita. You may have seen pictures of this place online; recently, photos of the spring flowers popped up on my Instagram Explore page. It's an expansive flower park with seasonal blooms throughout the year. You can even pick lavender and blueberries in the summer! I recommend checking this place out if you're in the Oita area– they have an English guide and bloom calendar on their website. (But keep in mind, the park closes in the coldest winter months!)

The second location was Shibuya in Tokyo. I actually booked a photoshoot session on Airbnb for the first time; normally I take my own photos with a tripod (with varying levels of success). I booked the session with Kenji (link here), who gave me a great tour around the Shinjuku area in addition to taking the photos. I recommend the experience, even though I definitely wasn't really used to having someone take portraits like these in a crowded area! I chose to wear this dress with the corset in these photos, and I also had my hair styled at Cotton Hair in Akihabara. If you're a fan of kawaii ribbons and braids, I recommend this salon for styling. They've style my hair much faster than I've ever been able to do it by myself (including curling, braiding, and creating heart shapes in my hair), and the prices are reasonable for the work completed. There Instagram is @akihabara.cotton, and you can book appointments via Hot Pepper Beauty, if you live in Japan. 





CONCLUSION 

As I've mentioned before, I'm not entirely sure I made the best choices by choosing this pattern and fabric. That being said, the pattern itself is trendy, high-quality, and easy to work with. So, if you're a fan of the style, I recommend it! Despite my misgivings, I have worn this dress frequently enough to justify the work used to create it, and I'll likely continue wearing it. Overall, this was an uncomplicated sewing project with a reasonably worthwhile result. 


As always, feel free to ask me any questions down below! I hope to be back soon with another post soon. 

To see more of my indie pattern reviews, please click here

To see some reviews of Japanese sewing patterns, please click here

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