Gosh I love this dress. It is easily my favorite dress of 2018. I spent a lot of time fitting it, but the outcome is 100% worth it.
This is Vogue 8789, a darling of the vintage sewing community. So simple, but with so much opportunity to to play with bold fabrics. Really the fabric is the star of this dress so let’s start there.
The black and white buffalo check is some glorious twill weaved yet lightweight fabric I picked up at Portland, OR’s famed Mill End. It was labeled Ralph Lauren and is likely 100% cotton, maybe a blend. Just lovely. I’d bought 4 yards knowing I’d need plenty to be able to match the pattern.
The fabric also biased horribly in the wash and all that pattern matching had me screaming in frustration. Worth it.
This version was meant to be a wearable muslin for my Costume College Gala dress, but it turned out so well that this will get far more wear in my life. It took about a month and 3 sets of plain black cotton mock ups before I was happy enough to move onto real fabric. The fit of the bodice was so terrible at the beginning. I think I started with a size 16, but I could have gone down another size. Aside from an FBA I took at least 2 inches out of the bodice length and at least 2 inches of width out of the center back.
I started by deciding whee I wanted to match up the check and decided the neckline needed to be right along the change from black to white and that mirroring the center line was most important. The waist line and side seams need not match perfectly because the eye would be drawn to the front.
The shoulders also matched because of the neckline pattern placement. A lucky thing that just adds to the magic of the ensemble.
This was just a fun dress to wear into a room filled with other sewists. I got so many compliments on my pattern matching and that is a true sign you’ve done something right.
Skirt was plain and pleated. It took some mind bending to figure out how to insert a side zipper with the pleats, but I totally had a lightbulb moment and it turned out all right. To get it just perfect the back and front have different sized pleats so the skirt could be the same width at the hem and different widths at the waist.
And here are a couple photos without the petticoat. This is how I actually wear it in my day to day life. Petticoats are fun for special occasions, but I just haven’t been able to make the leap into full vintage for my daily life.
The real bummer is that after losing weight this dress is too big now. Even in these photos the fit isn’t as great as when I first made the dress, but I’ll hold onto it and keep wearing it because it feels so special.