Thursday, March 01, 2012

Vogue V8184

I haven't sewn anything since the last time I posted, as I have hurt my lower back (a recurring problem) and cutting out fabric on the floor definitely makes it worse, as I have found in the past. It's frustrating as I have so, so many things I want to make and I can't. Well, I could, but then I would pay for it later!

So, I thought I would post a couple of dresses I made some time ago. I had already posted about this pattern, with different fabric, but it was almost two years ago (gosh) and I think I deleted the photo from my blog by accident.

I really wouldn't have thought I was a strapless-dress sort of person, finding them a bit twee and "alice-band-ish" in the main. However, I changed my mind for this dress. And it helps to style it in an unexpected way. For instance I would never ever wear this type of girly dress with heels (not unless it was boots). I would rather wear clumpy clogs or something to give it a bit more edge and balance the look a bit.
It's a lovely dress to make up; I found it very easy and enjoyable (that must be why I have so far made three of them). The bodice is self-lined and boned, but the skirt is unlined. The cotton I used is quite a thick one (Amy Butler) so, with the self lining and the boning, it could stand up on its own. I like it having some structure. It doesn't wrinkle but it still feels very comfortable to wear. In fact, I wore a version of this dress (in one size bigger) on the beach and found it practical and comfortable, even playing ball and running about in general.

I also sewed it up in denim, but a ridiculously thick denim. Seriously, the great all-knowing Universal Consciousness only knows what was at work in my brain when I chose this fabric. It's far too thick. As a result I have never been able to wear the dress, as it's turned out smaller than it should, and I can hardly breathe when it's on. Shame, as I really like it. The lining has sentimental value: it came from a huge pair of pyjamas I wore in hospital after I gave birth to Charles. One day I will fit into this dress. But then all the others will be too big. Hmmm.
I do like these dresses so much but I think it's because the skirt is straight. I'm not sure I would like the pattern so much with the full skirt. I did buy some black and white gingham and some stiff interfacing to make a sort of fifties style version but I think I went off the idea.

I'm waiting for some blue drill to arrive, for a Beignet skirt. That could be my next project. Or it might be V1236 in a black, slightly twinkly fabric.
I got the book Patternmaking For a Perfect Fit by Steffani Lincecum and I'd like to try the rub-off technique on a fave simple top to start off with. Again, it's having the time.

I am still trying to come up with enough names for the Leibster Award but only have two so far, as most of the blogs I read already have more than two-hundred followers.


  1. The first dress is so summery looking. Looking at everyone's sewing lately on the blogs makes me wonder if I am the only person living in a muddy and cold place at this time of year! The denim dress should be worn. Is it big enough that you could squeeze into it with the right control under garment?

  2. Hi Melissa

    I can wear the denim dress if I stay standing! If I sit down it's ridiculously would make me ill.

    It is pleasantly warm(ish) here today in the sunshine but it's not warm enough for a summer dress. And by the weekend it will apparently be winter again! Yuk.

  3. Sorry to hear about your back-have you tried yoga? My mum and I both have chronic back problems and yoga has helped a lot. Its important to find a good instructor though. Perhaps you could do your cutting at your dining table while seated on a chair? I find that sitting at a table for my tracing and grading really helps my back too. The dress is very cool as usual by the way.

  4. It's amazing how active you can be in a dress that fits I always think. Must say it's a lovely design but strapless terrifies me! Looks great on you, more power to you.

    Hope your back is better soon.

  5. Thanks, Perfect Nose, for your helpful suggestions.

    I do Ashtanga Yoga. I love it. I think it's the sense of order...each specific pose coming in the same order every time. However, forward bends aren't good for sciatica or bad backs in general, so my particular yoga actually can make my back worse if I'm not careful as it has millions of them. Obviously I do the wrong type! I just can't give it up and go for the more gentle kind.

    And the table idea for cutting out is a good and sensible one. But I am too lazy to clear all my sewing stuff off the dining room table to make room (and the kitchen one is always in use). So I shouldn't complain really. My own fault.

    Catherine, thank you! And yes, it is surprising what can be carried out in a fitted dress of any kind. When it comes to strapless dresses I think you just have to make the bodice stiff enough to stand up on its own. That way there are no worries about it falling down or anything being exposed that shouldn't be! Also, it doesn't need an ample chest to keep it up (luckily for me).