Blue Scuba Mash Dress of Vogue 8711 and Miss Ruby Tuesday

This is still part of my 2015 sewing, and I have more yet to come before I start on 2016 makes.

I bought this blue digital printed scuba #1  fabric (95% polyester/ 5% spandex) on a whim, not sure what to make with it but decided it would become my birthday dress. Initially I was going to make the Miss Ruby Tuesday dress because it is a quick sew and I have worn this version quite a lot. Not to mention scuba doesn’t require ironing and is easy to launder.

Ruby mash frontRuby mash back                                 Ruby mash side

I decided on a mash up of the Miss Ruby Tuesday bodice because it fits well and for the fact it is quick to sew, but went with a fancy skirt portion, not ideal considering I was making this the night before my birthday dinner. I used Vogue 8711, which has been on my to sew list for ages. The fabric doesn’t really help with the pleating and to overcome the “puffy” factor at these pleats I top stitched them down for about 5cm but I don’t mind the body it gives the skirt since the bodice is simple. It’s a bit hard to see the design lines in this print but in the photo below you can just tell where the pleating ends at the front curved yoke.

Ruby mash side 2

The back of the skirt has curved yoke pieces that would otherwise be sewn to a waistband but because I was attaching them directly to the bodice, I stitched them together first in the middle. This meant the skirt wasn’t completely aligned at the sides but due to the stretch fabric it didn’t concern me. What I really should have done is sewn them to the bodice in the same manner.

line drawing

The bodice was slightly narrower than the skirt in the end but I just shaved off/curved the skirt waistline to match and I probably should have shortened the bodice by an inch as there is some pooling of fabric back there which wasn’t existent with the circle skirt attached.

For the hem I serged and turned up the amount recommended by the pattern, it was quite a deep hem from memory, and then stitched it down. Construction of the dress was done with a normal straight stitch and neatened with the serger.

I’m pleased with the outcome but still plan to sew the skirt separately in a fabric with more drape. I think that the curved back yoke pieces add some bulk to the lower back in this particular fabric because of the many interconnecting seams and if I had thought it through properly I should have made the back yoke one piece.

Vogue 8899 Midi Dress..Jungle January Here I Come!

I think I went through an animal print buying phase as I have about 4 prints in black and browns that I have recently cut into and am in the process of making since, hello, minimal thread changing.  Maybe I’ll say it was a subconscious decision to join Jungle January. Anyway, here is the first of them.

Vogue 8899 front

Vogue 8899 side 3

I’m not quite sure why at the moment I am making things with splits in them as I have been sewing them partially closed or completely closed anyway, must be the other features that I’m really drawn to. I used Vogue 8899, view A. It’s a lined, pullover, sleeveless dress, loose-fitting bodice with insets, elastic waist and side front slits.

I used a polychiffon 4615 in a green colourway, although looks more brown even to the naked eye, 150cm wide. It’s 100% polyester and a pain to cut but sewed up quite easily. For the lining I used a pongee 100% polyester cream lining. I followed the instructions as written for the order of the bodice construction however because my chiffon was sheer I used the lining as underlining as I think doing french seams at the gathers and the bodice insert would have been near impossible. I serged all the seams to give a nice clean finish. I was a little surprised though that the gathers around the triangle insert were not as pronounced as on the pattern envelope on the front and non existent on the back but I think that’s because the triangle cut out stretched out and became the same length as the seam even though I stay stitched it.

Vogue 8899 front insert

 Vogue 8899 back insert

I assembled the skirt fabric using french seams and attached to the lining at the waist. I did completely sew up the splits but I think the volume of the skirt conceals them anyway unless in motion – lots of swish factor.

Vogue 8899 skirt

  Vogue 8899 swish sideVogue 8899 swish back

I left the dress to hang for a couple of days before hemming with a rolled narrow hem on both layers. Here is the oh my god moment, at the final press on the hem I noticed a cut in the fabric, I was almost in tears after being so meticulous about everything.

Rolled hem


Initially I was going to mend it with light interfacing but that would have changed the drape of the fabric and possibly have been visible so I ended up cutting off that part of the hem and re-hemming.

It’s not that noticeable due to the full skirt but I’m still so annoyed as it’s such a careless error. Lucky I was able to mend it in this case.

I remembered this time to adjust my armholes by cutting off 2cm from the underarm. Due to the fact my construction was different to the instructions, I sewed up my side seams and overlocked them and then trimmed the armhole to what was comfortable. I finished them off with some bought bias tape and top stitched which matched the finish of the neckline which was turned twice as per the instructions to make a narrow hem. With visible topstitching it makes me wonder how best to match thread with fabric? I initially was going to use black to sew this dress together but decided on the cream in the end, especially as my lining is cream. From what I have read it is best to use the thread closest to the background colour and which blends in more. Do you have a fail proof method of deciding what colour to use or are you not as fussy?

Overall the dress went together really easily and I think if it was made up in a non-transparent, thicker fabric it would be extra quick as you could eliminate the lining all together except for the triangle insert for stability. I may make this again but it has to go to the end of the sewing line.

Getting Creative….. Not on the blog titles though! Here’s Vogue 8896

I’m not one to think of catchy titles and neither do I expect a big following with this blog but this is my own journey about what I make and do and how to get better at it.

I got inspired to make a wrap dress because (a) I don’t own one, and (b) I’ve been watching the House of DVF (Diane von Furstenberg) so why not give it a go. I used to be a jeans and top girl but lately reaching for a dress is far easier and quicker and thumbs up for minimal ironing. Vogue 8896 Front       Vogue 8896 back

So straight to sewing. The first make I am posting is a Vogue 8896 wrap dress with bias bodice and a flared skirt. Recommended for moderate stretch knits. I made view A but don’t know how I feel about shorter dresses these days, probably because I spend most of my day chasing rugrats around, although the finished garment isn’t as short as I thought it would be so that’s a bonus.

The fabric I used was a stretch crepe knit 147cm wide and I had 2m and used a ball point needle with a regular straight stitch. I cut a size 14 and I’m normally a size 12 (Australian) RTW. I really would like a maxi version of this but it requires 3.7m of fabric and I don’t really need to add to the stash quite yet.

It was probably too stretchy for this project however I think the shortVogue 8896 wrap skirt skirt version stops it from being weighed down too much. Everything went together quite smoothly and I followed the instructions as per the pattern. I wasn’t sure whether to make the dress sleeveless or add sleeves and cut them out and basted them on but I thought the versatility of having a sleeveless dress and layering in the colder months might be more beneficial. The fabric is slightly see through however with a slip all is well and also provides assurance that on a windy day the wrap won’t be too revealing although there is quite a substantial overlap.

Vogue 8896 top front

The only thing I’m unsure about is the pooling that ocurrs at the front waistline. Looking at the model the same thing is happening and the only way to smooth that out for me was to pull up the front at the shoulders or tie it really tight (and I admit that I forget to shorten the bodice which is a common alteration for me) but I might remember to do that in the next version rather than tinker with this one as it is still wearable. There is also no fear of flashing as the front overlap is quite big probably as the width of the shoulder fronts are quite wide.

Overall I am happy with this dress as it can be worn out with heels and also with sandals for a more casual look. I was thinking as to whether it could be made to be closed with a snap at the waistline rather with a tie so that it leaves more options for belting if made in a different fabric. I am also contemplating making it up in a woven and cutting the front out on the bias.

Any comments from anyone if these ideas will actually work?

Happy stitching !