Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pattern Review: Vogue 8615

Spotted Ruffled Skirt Dress

So here is the latest little number, straight off the sewing machine: Vogue 8615. This is a very retro-feeling dress, and the full skirt is meant to be worn with a petticoat, but to be honest with you all, I'm not really a petticoat kinda gal (ha! can you imagine me trying to ride my bike with all that tulle flip-flopping around?) so I decided to randomly gather up the skirt in a haphazard fashion to create my own version of fullness.

Not to blow my own horn, but gosh darn, it looks spiffy! I think this is my favourite dress so far this year! And to top off my joy, my invisible zip in the back is perfect! I invented a little trick to make the zip go in easier: firstly I sewed one side of the zip in, and then I did the zip up and basted the other side of the zip in where the waistband seams met, so that they lined up correctly. Then I sewed the other side of the zip in. Easy peasy - I'll be doing all my zips in this fashion from now on.

But here, old buddies old pals, is where the joy ends. This pattern, I hate to say, is not well drafted. The sleeve in particular is a complete joke. The sleeve cap simply did not fit correctly into the armhole. The amount of ease was ridiculous. I sat there for a full 40 minutes, trying desperately to fit the cap into the arm hole, but it was far too large. In the end I gathered the sleeve cap, and sewed it in that way, so I have a slight puff sleeve cap, which looks fine, but isn't how the pattern ought to be. That was quite disappointing.

Despite all that room in the sleeve cap, the actual cap height (the distance from the biceps to the top of the sleeve cap, running straight along the grain line) is bizarrely tight feeling. Gah! Stupid, stupid sleeve! If I had any spare fabric I think I would have drafted up my own pattern piece and cut a new sleeve out - one that actually fit and was comfortable to wear.

Another change I made was to ignore the bodice seam line. Seriously - who wants a seam running straight down their front? From a fitting point of view it wouldn't make any difference for a small busted girl like myself, so I cut the bodice on the fold, taking off the 1.5cm seam allowance. It looks much, much better that way, and I have no dissection line running down my sagittal plane.

Also, since I knew from the beginning that I wanted to make my skirt crazily gathered, I omitted putting the pockets in, since I didn't know exactly where I would put the gathers until I was standing in the dress figuring it out whilst looking in the mirror, and I suspected that the pocket holes might sit oddly. So I left them out. As somebody noted to me, I could hide my lunch in all the folds and gathers, and nobody would be any the wiser, so who needs pockets, eh?

So, to conclude: After making my changes I am happy with the dress, but it's not a pattern that I would recommend in a hurry.

Project Details
Pattern: Vogue 8615
Fabric: 3.6m Imazu Spotted - Night Japanese cotton from Tessuti Fabrics (you can see a navy version here), and 50cm silk/cotton voile for lining
Notions: 40cm invisible zip


  1. I've been waiting for you to post this! Looks great :)

  2. Its gorgeous - I love the gathered skirt.

    (Having just contemplated a Burda pattern with a bodice CF seam - I like your modification. I'm afraid of people noticing how ... ahem ... assymetrical I am)

  3. Its cool. I like what you've done with the gathers.

  4. I too had heard rumours of this latest creation. Your version of this dress is stunning!

    A hint for too much ease in your sleeve....trim off some of the sleevehead and blend it back to about where the front and back notches usually are marked! A little at a time until it's just right. There was probably alot more ease because the cotton doesn't have as much give.

  5. I too had heard a rumour of this dress being in existence! It looks awesome - the gathers are sooooo cool.

    I didn't even remember about the sleeve details when I was writing my version up. I had the same issue with the ease, but liked the puffiness. I also found them to be odd-fitting and ended up having to use 1cm seam allowances at the top, tapering down to just over 1.5cm mid-way to the bottom.

  6. You made it work. Wow. Cinching up the skirt fabric,what a great idea.

  7. Your dress is just AWESOME! I love how you thought out of the box and changed up the bottom of the dress. Wowza, just awesome!!!

  8. Oo nice! I do love what you did with the skirt too. You might have to do up a tutorial for invisible zips, I've never been friends with them!

  9. That's awesome, you really made a different dress. Original thinking!

  10. Ingrid8:09 pm

    Another fabulous creation! Love it, sorry to hear the pattern was so badly drafted, but it turned out wonderfully.

  11. Another gorgeous dress! And another fantastic photo!

  12. Your dress and the alterations makes this uniquely 'you'. How on earth did you do the gathering? I just love it!

  13. Crazy good! After seeing how cool your dress turned out, I am stunned to read about the tussle you had with this pattern. Way to turn it around!

  14. Hi, I found you on Burdastyle! Repeating myself, this dress is so beautiful! Real creative skirt treatment.

  15. I love what you did on the skirt of this. It looks great on you!


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