Vogue 9000 has been on my to do list since its release. I do have another shirt dress pattern (the lovely McCalls 6696, made by every sewing blogger ever), but this one has those cuffs, the buttons just to the waist and a paneled circleish skirt as opposed to the pleated skirt of M6696. Different enough to warrant a purchase, I say.
Difficulty level would be intermediate, I guess. Sleeves don’t have to be inserted (woo!) but there’s cuffs, armhole facings, that collar, buttons and a zip. All of which I’ve done before, so not a great stretch for me. That said, the collar part of the instructions were cray, so I ignored them. It’s a vintage reproduction, so there’s some vintage techniques happening (lots of handstitching!) which I mostly ignored because I’m a terrible person. I hate hand stitching. There’s four darts on the back piece and two on each of the front pieces, so lots of dart action happening too. My measurements (41/33/43) put me smack in between the size 18 and 20, so knowing what I know about Vogue and vintage patterns, I decided to trace out the 18, which turned out to be wise, but not wise enough. I ended up taking the dress in twice during construction. Next time I will try the 16, but I have a feeling it still might be a smidge big at the waist. I do usually need to size up in the sleeves, but these turned out to be quite roomy also. Something weird happened to my neck and collar though – they seem massive. Not sure if that was user error or not. I didn’t take enough care with the collar and ended up with a bit of the under collar rolling out. Since I knew the fit wasn’t perfect anyway, I didn’t bother fixing it.
My fabric is by the legends at Cotton and Steel, I love the colours and the print, even though I’m more of a dog person. It’s adorable, right? I grabbed it from fabric.com. I ended up adding patch pockets too, from another vintage Vogue pattern and lined them with another Cotton and Steel print.
A while ago, I picked up a mountain of sewing bits and pieces at a garage sale (after a text from my mother which just said ‘You need to be here. NOW.’ She was right, along with the braid, I got about 300m of satin bias binding, 100m of bra clasps, tricot, power net and a range of other fabrics) – this horsehair braid being one of my finds. I’ve never used it before, so decided to try it on the skirt. It was really easy to insert and gives the skirt a bit of floof without wearing a petti.
Oh and it’s worth noting that I took 10cm off the hem of each of the skirt panels because (a) I’m short and (b) it meant that the pieces could fit on the fabric folded lengthways, so I used far less fabric. I’m all about using less fabric where possible.
I hunted around in my stash for black buttons and found seven of these guys, which is exactly the amount I needed (5 for the bodice and one for each sleeve cuff). The sleeve cuff buttons weren’t part of the pattern, but I decided to add them so they weren’t flopping about all over the place. I really have no idea if I do buttonholes the right way, but I pin where they should go, sew them in and then cut the holes with little nail scissors as I find that easier than using a seam ripper.
All in all, it came together relatively easily (besides the whole huge collar thing).
I was all set to insert the shoulder pads, but when I pinned them in they looked ridiculous on me, so I decided to leave them out. I already have massive shoulders anyway. Here is the finished product on. It’s not too bad considering. It definitely needs the belt to bring the waist in a bit and break up the print. I’ll definitely wear it though.