Thursday, July 25, 2013

Vogue 8631, Kimono Style Wrap Dress

V8631 Thumbnail

I've had Vogue 8631 in the pattern drawer for several years now, waiting patiently to be made.  It's been in there so long that it is unfortunately now out of print.
Soprano Faux Wrap, Nordstrom

Anthropologie



This style has shown up in RTW fairly often the past couple years (both of these items are from last year).

I saw a girl walking down the street wearing a dress in that style a couple of weeks ago and it was so cute I decided the time had come!





Shortened Crossover as Sewn

 As usual for wrap styles, I took out 2 1/2 inches of length along the front diagonal neck opening.  For Burdas I do about 1 1/2 inches but I find the Big 4 need much more.  Here, 2 1/2 inches still wasn't enough.  I took up some of the extra length by slightly stretching clear elastic while serging it in place, but I finally had to resort to the Universal Symbol of Sewist Surrender:  tacking the crossover closed where the left and right front intersect at the neckline to prevent gapage.   For next time, I've folded out another inch of length, for a total of 3 1/2 inches.

SBA-narrowed pleats

I also narrowed the front pleats slightly for a small bust adjustment.  The dress is meant to be somewhat large/loose, but I didn't want it to veer into actively baggy.  This seemed to be just about perfect, for once!  The bodice has a lot of ease, but it does not look grotesquely oversized for my bust.

I shortened the skirt 1 1/2 inches along the lengthen/shorten line.   It is still a fairly conservative length; you can see on the pattern illustration (though we all know how accurate *those* are) that this is meant to be right at the bottom of the kneecap.  I'm not sure if it would be *quite* that long on an average height woman, but probably pretty close.

Elasticated Waist Casing



 I considered several ways to fit the dress.  In the end, I decided to make a casing out of the waistline seam allowance and use elastic to fit the waist, leaving the rest loose.  This worked quite well.  The front feels a little bulky, as there are two layers of elastic where the two fronts cross one another, but it doesn't seem to actually look bulky.

The level of ease on the un-elasticated waist is just about perfect for a woven, so it fits fairly true to size for a Big 4 pattern (true-to-size in the sense that I always make about 2 sizes smaller than I "should" and the fit usually requires only minor tweaks from there).

Fronts Tacked Together at Waist
It's supposed to be held together by inside ties, but I topstitched through both layers of the fronts at each of the front's ends (here's an inside view) to make a pullover dress.

The waist sits slightly above my natural waist, which is high to begin with.  It's a flattering spot for me, but most people will probably prefer to lengthen the bodice, and I will probably do so if I make this in a woven.

I was concerned that the sleeves might be too open.  If I were to stand sideways and hold my arms all the way out, yes, you would catch a glimpse of bra band (no side boob visible on me, but I cannot attest to that for someone with a larger bust).  However, I don't think there is any flashing in normal type of wear.  I'll just need to remember always to wear a fleshtone bra underneath (which I generally wear anyway).  That said, I am *not* crazy about the drop shoulder look for the long sleeves, and will probably redraft it to a more normal armscye if I make this with a long sleeve.

Turned Under Curved Hem

I finished the edges by turning under and twin needling.  This is perfectly fine for a knit.  For a woven I would probably make an insanely long length of bias tape to finish all the way around.

Front

In giving both knit and woven as a choice for this pattern, McVoguerick expresses once again that nobody at the company sews.

First of all, there is the difference in ease, though their philosophy is always "the more ease, the better!" so perhaps they think the extra ease that will come in making this in a knit is just a bonus.  It also has little touches, like the tiny back neck darts, that really aren't details for knits.

Nonetheless, the dress works really well in a knit (next time I would just fold out those tiny back neck darts.)  The only issue is that print poly jersey is not the absolute best choice for this pattern because there is a high likelihood the front skirt hem will flip outward occasionally, and the fabric has a distinct, lighter-colored wrong side.  But that can be an issue in wovens, too.

Front




I was genuinely surprised by how cute this turned out.  I thought the pleats might be bulky or poofy, but in fact they lay well and have a nice flow in motion.  It's also a fairly easy make with only 4 pattern pieces, once you mark and sew the 16(!!!) pleats and darts.

I made it in a knit that came in a Fabric Mart free bundle I got in September 2011 just in case I was disappointed by it.  In fact, I am pretty sure it will become a go-to piece.  I even decided that I can finally retire my short sleeved version of Simplicity 3775, which has been in my closet for over 5 years now and which I have been completely over for at least the past two.  The Simplicity was useful in its shoulder coverage and figure-flattery.  This fulfills both of those *and* is more current as well (the wide ruched midriff of the Simplicity feels dated).

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

34 comments:

Far said...

This LookS Absolutely Stunning On You!

Myrna said...

Got a surprise when the page opened up. That fabric is on my cutting table ready for a t-shirt for my daughter.

Gabrielle said...

What a lovely dress; it's a really nice, balanced shape and looks great on you. The only time I've made a dress (Vogue) with this kind of neckline was a disaster and made me very aware of my lack of bustiness, so if I ever try one again I'll have to think of folding out several inches of diagonal neckline - it looks to work really well.

Lynn Mally said...

What a cute dress--and excellent instructions on how to make it.

Anonymous said...

McVoguerick--I love it!!! Teehee...
Diane Drexel

Stephanie said...

This is adorable on you. I am always afraid to make up those patterns that look like they have loads of ease and would overwhelm a petite frame. Your adjustments were spot on!

LyndaSewing.blogspot.com said...

It looks fantastic on you. Not only the length, the nice bodice, the flattering skirt, but the colors are amazing! Good job.

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

super cute dress, I can see how it would become a go to piece. That pattern always intrigued me and dont' think I have ever seen it sewn up. I agree about the works for knit or woven kind of goofy. I am loving that navy/emerald green color combo this summer so this fabric is fab.
McVoguerick...now that is genius and I predict it will sweep the sewing blogiverse!

soisewedthis said...

Cute! I love the green and navy print of that fabric! I've got a wrap dress pattern sitting waiting for me to cut it out. I need to get on that!

Ripple Dandelion said...

Very nice and, I agree with you, quite current. The colors are lovely on you!

"Universal Symbol of Sewist Surrender"--good one!

Amanda S. said...

Great summer dress on you!

Adelaide B said...

This is much cuter than the pattern envelope would have you believe. (No surprise there, I guess.)

Venus de Hilo said...

Great summer dress! And will transition to other seasons nicely, too. Love that circle print, BTW.

countrygirlcouture said...

VERY nice!! The style is flattering, the fabric is fun, it's a winner! :-)

MushyWear said...

Very nice! Love this dress, print pattern, and style on you.

Judith Stansky said...

I have a very similar pattern in my someday stack, and I have a question about the sleeves. I don't like sleeve openings large enough to show my bra. If you were to scoop a bit from the underarm, would this dress still be comfortable and allow for ease of movement? BTW, gorgeous colors on you. Brava.

Uta said...

This is so fabulous, I'd love to steal it off your back! Every sewist should have a wrap dress as flattering as this. Great job.

AngelatheCreativeDiva said...

Love it! Great fit!

Faye Lewis said...

Trena that's such an easy going classy dress!

Summer Flies said...

What a great dress on you and I love the emerald colour. Your comment "McVoguerick expresses once again that nobody at the company sews." made me laugh and reinforces my confusion at the envelope instructions at times.

Marie said...

Such a lovely dress, I really love the fabric. The colours and print are great.

McVal said...

Nice review! It looks adorable on you!

wendy said...

this came out lovely! you definitely can't see any extra thickness at the center front- instead it just looks very flattering & well fitting. :)

SEWN said...

This dress is one of faves that you have made. Love everything about it. The print, the drape. Really flattering on you.

Dilly said...

This looks fabulous! I've made this pattern twice in a woven, but neither time have I been entirely happy with it. It looks SO GOOD in a knit!!! All the things that annoyed me in a woven (poofy darts, gapey front, weirdness over the boobs) seems to disappear! I might revisit it, as I really like this pattern in principle.

The colour looks great on you, and the scale of the print is just perfect. Super.

PS Your hair has grown so much!

PPS I WANT THOSE SHOES.

Sara in Stitches said...

You win the internet with McVoguerick. Great fabric choice--this will work year-round, and also proves that front pleats sneaky SOBs. You never know what you're going to get. In this case, good sneaky--the style is really flattering!

Dana said...

That is one cute dress! I love that color on you. Nice work!

T. Sedai said...

Love this! The colors and style are great on you.

emadethis said...

The shaping on the hem is really pretty. You look great in green!

Joy said...

Green is another good color for you - besides turquoise, obviously! Holy pleats and darts, batman! But the end result is really elegant. It looks a thousand times nicer than the pattern illustration.

AllisonC said...

I feel your frustration having just finished a dress with similar crazy ease issues. Actually the skirt is almost the same as yours and I may use your very cute finished dress as inspiration for a future dress. It was obviously a lot of work to get the fit on you but the end result is really flattering, you look great.

Kelly said...

I would never go for this pattern, but it really looks fantastic on you! Maybe I should rethink this style... There's something special about the way the neckline, sleeves, and skirt drape on this pattern!

Texas Urban said...

Trena-Great dress in colors "made for you"- you have inspired me to dig this pattern out of my stash! Thank you as always for the detailed review, and for your wit--I can count on you t o make me laugh outloud in a public place!

Andrea said...

You can never go wrong with a knit dress. I love this dress on you.