Another work dress! This is a lovely pattern I've made before - Vogue 8811. Seriously loving it. This is my third version. And yes, this dress is a result of my annual leave sewing week.
It's the standard size 12 made with no pattern adjustments. The neckline facing was neatly top stitched, the sleeves and hem done by machine as well. The only scrap of hand stitching was the side zip. There is more stability and control when hand stitching side zips, especially when trying to match an unbalanced plaid! Oh, there is also an adorable thread loop and button at the back neck. Gorgeous vintage detail. My large button stash rewarded me with a perfect little lonely black button. I hope it enjoys its new life.
The fabric is a mid-range polyester thing from Spotlight. It's really pretty and it was lovely to sew. It has a rich navy base with dark greys, bright blues and deep reds through the plaid.
I tried to do some serious pattern matching - the centre front and back stripe, the top of the kimono sleeves, the bodice and skirt side seams... everything! What a slow process cutting out becomes when more attention is needed. To keep the centre stripe lined up on the bodice and into the skirt, the skirt had to be cut with a different grainline. That meant the skirt side seams were right through the bias. I would have finished this weeks ago through the annual leave week, but I had to let the bias settle. It ended up dropping 5cms through the sides over the course of 2 weeks! Glad I left it for as long as I did.
The shape of Vogue 8811 is so flattering and classic. It's perfect for work and pretty easy care. No difficult sleeves to press, no awkward darts to manage. Easy care is the focus of my handmade work wardrobe. The poly fabric means I can easily fold/roll/squeeze it into a suitcase and travel without an iron requirement.
By the way, I never put shoulder pads into my dresses - I have enough shoulders naturally!
Dress: Vogue 8811
Gold knot earrings: Lovisa
Shoes: Django & Juliette
This dress was made in one day!
Well, it was cut out on a Friday night, and then sewn from beginning to end on the Saturday, worn on the Sunday. It has neckline facings, French darts on the front bodice, standard darts on the back bodice, a hand picked side zipper, a 'hug snug' bound waist seam and a thread loop at the back neck also done by hand.
All that aside.... LOOK AT HOW PRETTY IT IS.
The fabric is a navy blue based Japanese cotton lawn from Spotlight (available here). It is a delight to wear, especially in the Australian summer. Or more specifically, the Sydney summer. We've had on and off heat waves of over 40ºC over the past few weeks. This dress is a dream in those temperatures.
The high neckline is flattering and great for sun protection, same as the kimono sleeves. The tea length skirt keeps behind-the-knee sunburn at bay.
Have a look at the beautiful back detail. The handmade thread loop is a delicate touch, and I was lucky enough to have a perfect green button hiding in my stash. Vogue 8811 is such a simple and stunning pattern. If it's languishing in your stash neglected and unused, then pull it out and get sewing!
The only modification I made was to omit the kimono sleeve facings like I did last time. It adds extra bulk that isn't necessary. In fact, I did a narrow hem by folding up 1cm and pressing it, then folding the raw edge inside again so I have a 5mm narrow hem. It was fiddly but it's so light and delicate.
I also did a small horizontal line of stitching just below the peek-a-boo keyhole at the back. It's to keep the facing down and sitting flat at the bottom of the keyhole. The neckline facings are kept in place by stitch-in-the-ditch at the shoulder seams.
One more picture because the neckline is so pretty!
Dress: Vogue 8811, size 12
Earrings: Equip from years ago
Hair flower: Kmart
This skirt pattern was a Christmas gift from my in-laws. I love a good pleated skirt, they never go out of style.
(Full disclosure, there will be lots of pictures)
The only pictures I took of the sewing progress was on my Instagram stories... I made the size 12, but I had to let out the side seams. Even though the waistband measurement was fine and had some wiggle room, it wasn't comfortable at all. Especially considering this will most likely be a work skirt. I let the side seams out as much as I could, graded the seam to the normal 1.5cm allowance by the length of the dart, and reattached the waistband. This fit is perfect now. Much love.
I made the long length, C, with pressed pleats. It has a centre back zip and waistband extension for a skirt hook closure. The waistband is secured with stich-in-the-ditch. Mate. That is the best way to do a waistband. Easy, fast, brilliant. If you are still hand stitching waistbands down, you gotta level up!
There was enough fabric left to make a matching neck tie. I even went so far to purchase pearl and bronze popper/snaps for the neck tie. Pearl won. I hope to make a few of these neckties to use up some scraps of fabric. I'm even thinking about doing a free pattern for you guys. Or selling them? Don't know. Hit me up with your thoughts.
Honestly, the hem doesn't look that bad in real life! I will need to press it again and steam it and press it once more. I used an invisible hand slip stitch on the hem. I am happy to hand sew a hem when I don't hand sew a waistband down.
The pleats were pressed and set (on mums advice) with a spray of diluted vinegar water. What a great vintage technique! I have cheap cleaning vinegar in my laundry so that wasn't a problem. It certainly makes the pleats look crisp. Well, not at the hem as previously mentioned...
There are three pleats at the front, three in the back and 4 waist darts in total. The pattern closes with a very short back zip (I think the zip could finish one inch lower) and a skirt hook. It fits smoothly over the hips and then softens into the pleats. I would absolutely make this skirt again. In a delicious wool blend. Or a plaid. Or a tweed. Or all of the things.
Seriously Vogue, you make great patterns. I might almost be a full time convert to only Vogue patterns....
These shoes are from a brand called Bondi Baby. After a quick Google search, they seem to not exist anymore. Shame.
Epic sun glare this morning. But look at the little matching tie! Check out the gorgeous pearl popper.
Necktie: made by me
Blouse: Uniqlo Australia
Skirt: Vogue 8066
Shoes: Bondi Baby
Can I make a dress in 3 days, only sewing in the evenings? Yes I can. It was stressful, tense, and so much swearing...but I did it!
It was cut out on Tuesday night and I constructed most of the bodice. Wednesday morning before work I finished the armhole facings. Wednesday night was the pockets, sewing the skirt together, gathering the skirt and attaching it to the bodice, inserting the zip incorrectly, and then just MacGyvering the back of the bodice to work with the incorrect zip. That last step was where all the swearing was. I tried it on. And got stuck in it. More swearing.
It was tense.
But it was finished!
I've previously made Vogue 8789 in a lovely yellow cotton duck type fabric. This time it was from a 'spots and stripes' cotton range at Spotlight. Cheap and cheerful.
I did my usual construction of this pattern which is to change the side zip to a back zip.
This is the bodice completed. It's not the best job, but I was rushing! One day I will make this in a stripe and it will be glorious. Beautifully matched stripes running to the front of that bodice.... gorgeous.
The little armhole facing is hiding in there. These armholes facings are not interfaced at all which makes this dress such a quick make. No interfacing, no messing around with stuff. Just get on with it. Perhaps my cutting out was inaccurate, but I can never get the facing seam to line up with the bodice seam. It's fine. I'll just do a little bit of invisible hand sewing to hold the facing in place.
The skirt is attached and the zipper is going in! At this point in time, I didn't know the zip was being stitched in the wrong place.... That was for future M to discover.
The Birthday Partay!
You wouldn't believe it. I didn't actually get any full length pictures in my outfit at the party! There are some almost full length like the picture below. The cardigan and beret were also made by me from a while ago.
Have a look at the general shenanigans. All names of people read from left to right. I didn't get photos with everyone. I was too busy having a lovely day!
Me and my lovely. He did the sound set up for the day. He rocks. :D Happy M.
Knitter. Home seamstress. Dance Teacher.