Confident BeginnerA Jack of no Trades
Vintage Vogue V8811
Oh hiii bbs!
I feel like I have been off of the soch meeds for a few days, but a lot of cray cray stuff is going down in the ol’ Natasha noggin! Like, have you guys treated your ears holes to the utter majesty that is Solange’s new album? For real though, I actually died, was resurrected, and then died again it is so good. Please keep it playing in the background while you are reading this blog post. But like, don’t stop reading this though for sure stay here wit me #greedy
I am so so excited for my very first Monthly Stitch collab coming at your eye balls right now! The Monthly Stitch is a collective of some dang fine sewists from the entire internet who rock monthly projects as set out by the editors of the Stitch. They are having some crazy fun over there, and this month is all about frocks. In honor of frocktober, I ventured out of my comfort zone and slayed my very first Vintage Vogue pattern, V8811.
First off, not to take away the true majesty of this gorgeous dress, but can we take one god damn second to look at those SOCK LINES?! I’m taking you on a real behind the scenes of my life now, readers. Anyways, let’s continue. Vogue patterns don’t come with cute names for their patterns, so I am going to call this little number the Teeny Pocket Dress, because, well, it has a teeny pocket. I am literally a Shakespeare of making up names over here, guys.
I had originally purchased this Cotton + Steel Les Fleurs Rayon for a different dress pattern, but I came to a shocking realization after sizing up all of my newly purchased vintage Vogue patterns. I had bought all of my patterns for up to size 12 without realizing that those sizes may be a bit ‘vintage’ for my modern sized grown ass whoman body. Ladies, these hips do not lie, and they are throwing some major shade for having to squeeze into a vintage size 12. The other dress pattern was far more complicated, so I decided to test out my pattern grading abilities (or lack thereof) on a more easily constructed garment.
For this pattern, I ended up sizing up about 1″ on the side seams of the skirt and the front and back bodice, and I ended up moving the front and back darts an inch over to the closest edge. I also added 5″ to the handmade belt, although in retrospect I could probably take that down a bit as the belt is a bit too long. Look at me, pretending to be a legitimate pattern alteration-ist over here.
I obviously had to make a muslin with all of this size adjustments. Furthermore, considering the material I now planned on using, I could not let anything bad happen once I started cutting into it. Look how gorgeous the fabric is! Not a single scrap could be put to waste.
Happy with the fit of my muslin (at the time…), I sauntered on. I have been born, raised, and survived on indie sewing tips and techniques, so reading these vintage vogue instructions was high-larious. Although this dress looks insanely simple, I spent many minutes audibly pondering ‘why the hell I would do that, Vogue?’. Let’s dive into a few fun quips, shall we?
a. Why would I sew my shoulders together without completing the darts first? Who knows.
b. The pocket is basically two squares sewn together, edge-stitched at the top, and then sewn on to the dress. If I were to ever redo this pattern, I would probably just have a single layer of pocket fabric, folded over twice on the top like most pockets I have sewn before. The tripled-up rayon just made everything crazy slippery, and gave me a more rounded pocket which I am all meh about now but was super p-o’ed at after completing it. Also, I know this pattern is from the 1940’s, like yeah I get it, but god daaayum that pocket is high.
Whats that? Can’t see the pocket? Is there even a pocket there? PSYCH! There totally is but it is ✨hidden✨through the power of ✨pattern matching✨ to fool your mortal eyes. ✨witchcraft✨
c. I really didn’t like how they had you finish the armhole facings. Now, this all could be hella-wrong and just me misinterpreting the instructions, but from what I can deduce: there was a huge hem on the facings and I was uh no way Jose on that. I thought such a large hem would severely cut into the pattern and overall look of the arms, so I opted to use a smaller stitch allowance so it looked more like a ‘hem’ then a ‘cuff’. However, I do have this little flippy dippy do on my arms that will not go away, but hey: I still like it better than the alternative.
d. Ok dudes, I don’t know what the hell this was all about. To sew the bodice and skirt bottom together you had to: press and baste your skirt seam allowance to the wrong side, pin that to the right side of the skirt bodice pieces placing the basted edge along the seam-line, and stitch and baste that edge. What the actual fuck? That like 400 more steps than just ‘match raw edges. sew. bingo bongo boingo you’re done get da fack outta there’ Which is exactly what I did. and I just put a huge ‘NO!’ next to that instruction so I know to never follow it ever.
e. The pattern called for a regular zipper but I didn’t want no ugly zippie toofs contrasting with the majesty of this print, so I opted to do an invisible zip. Thanks Rue, for helping me nail that talent!
f. The pattern called for shoulder pads, but like: its 2016. Soooo, yeah I definitely skipped right over those. Never having had to deal with them pads before, I didn’t know if this would have an an affect on the fit of the bodice, but I don’t think my shoulders are particularly sad without them.
Heck yah! Instructions: fuck you! Pattern: aww yis! Wardrobe: welcome your new best bb!
Like, can you guys actually get enough of this fabric? I cannot at all. The Cotton + Steel rayon is so drapey and perfect and I am Beyoncé meets Idris Alba circa 2009 obsesssssed. I was worried about washing it, as I have read rayon fabrics can get super ratchet in the washing machine, but this one handled in the delicate cycle just fine. I did not press my luck in the dryer, opting to air dry it outside with great results. So yeah, look at ya self, you sustainable fabric you! Holla at you, rayon.
I love the little peekaboo detail in the back of this dress! The little white button is vintage from my stash and I am smitten with the pullover realness of this pattern.
DIY belt hay girl hay! This was an interesting element to create. The notions store I went to only had this one particular belt buckle which is a smidgen smaller than what I actually needed. Unfortunately, I was down to the wire so I had to Tim Gunn that shit and MAKE IT WERK. Also, I tried playing around with my machines embroidery stitches, rocking those little bebe circles like a god damn boss. Now, if they were only centered correctly…?
In retrospect #hindsight2020, I think the bodice of this dress did end up being a bit too big. The line drawings of the pattern shows no wrinkles or ease in the fit of the bodice, however standing normally there is some droop-age towards the waistline area. However, I also think this may have to do with me not having big enough chesticles for this dress. Could that be a thing? All you 80 year old men and women out there, how big were the regular sized boobies in the 1940’s? If I Pam Anderson puff out my bra monkeys, wouldn’t cha know the dress fits just fine.
And there you have another look at my pattern matching extravaganza. LOOK AT IT! BE AMAZED AT WHAT I CAN DO! I AM THE HAIL MOTHER GODDESS OF PATTERN MATCHING.
YEEEAAOOO Mama’s got a brand new dress. I had to do a quick shoe change because we were trying to do some jump shots. Sadly, growing up as a chubby kid made me fear anything that could cause any physical harm what-so-ever, which does include a 3 step jump to the ground. THIS IS A NO JUDGMENT ZONE, SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST TERRIFIED OF TINY JUMPS, OK?!
So yah beech, next up I’m making a full head to toe pajama jumpsuit out of this rayon print because I actually cannot live without it. It’s just so gosh darn dreamy. Bless the Monthly Stitch for their Frocktober event and finally kicking my butt into making something out of this fabric instead of just hoarding it away forever.
Have you ever worked with a vintage Vogue pattern before? Did it also have crazy instructions or am I just not #woke to way patterns should be sewn?
Also, am I being politically incorrect by using the term #woke for a non #woke situation?
AHHH! So many philosophical questions. Now, back to #Solange.