I have had a passing fancy for Vogue 8904 – an interesting “shingle” dress made up of layers of contrasting fabrics, and have, unusually for me, read reviews prior to making, which said things such as “really easy”; “made in an afternoon”, “I didn’t need to read the instructions”, and so on. You get the idea. This is a really easy dress to make; so easy, in fact, that the directions aren’t even necessary! Yeah, right…
I really like the stripes and the way they go in different directions, so when I discovered some knit fabric in Knitwit that is actually reversible with thick stripes on one side and thin on the other, I knew exactly what I was going to make with it. Fabric duly purchased (and not even a remnant!) and then I spent quite a long time pinning on the pattern before remembering that I hadn’t washed it – doh! So…. eventually I had the fabric sorted and then dallied trying to work out whether the actual dress should be made of the thick stripe or the thin. Hmm, I eventually went with thin, and then cut everything out being mindful of any stripes that needed matching. As I began piecing it together my mind went to those reviews and I thought I might do one of my own – from the point of view of a jobbing sewist who is clearly not as proficient as all those reviewers who have previously made this dress.
Very unusually Roxie decided to join me for the photos.
back to back they faced each other!
but are still friends…
This is a Marcy Tilton design and on her blog she describes it as “base sheath dress with fabric panels placed on top from hem to neck, so the entire body of the dress is a double layer”. She also claims that the layers hide figure imperfections – hah!
6 – 22. Marcy states that it can be made one size smaller to “hug” the figure, or one size bigger to “skim” the figure. Well I went with the size 10, which is one size larger than my regular size because I wanted a bit of skimming. Guess what? It finished up a bit narrow on the shoulders and a bit fuller than I would like on the hips. This is because I refused to take off whatever I was wearing on the bottom when doing my test try-on! I also think that the arms are a little baggy so I will be adjusting these at some point.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
You be the judge, but I don’t think it’s too different.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Well yes, I could follow them, but this doesn’t mean that the dress was totally easy to make. I used chalk to mark the placement lines (as suggested) and this managed to vanish between the drawing and the pinning. After I assembled the dress I realised that one shingle was completely misplaced. This took a couple of hours to correct (sigh). Note to self: read Marcy’s blog before attempting her designs – it would really help.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I would have liked to have known that I could use almost any knit fabric for the base dress! I went with the stripe, agonising over which side to use (as previously mentioned) only to find that it didn’t matter a whit. The fabric is also heavy and there is a double (and sometimes triple) layer, which means that the whole dress weighs quite a bit. On the other hand, it might be warm in the winter ;). None of the edges are finished, and I went along with this but am not sure that my cutting out skills are up to this finish. I also was flung back into matching stripes when I had sworn off them for life! This is not the pattern’s fault, obviously!
A thick reversible knit from Knitwit in pink and black stripes. This is a lovely fabric and didn’t roll at all, which made it much easier to sew.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I simply reduced the seam allowance to give myself room to breathe! Then when finished I found that I hadn’t needed to do this for the bottom half. I may fix this later.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Not sure. I think I would choose to use a thinner knit to make the base dress and then add something a bit more floaty for the shingles. [later edit: having worn the dress all day I am loving it and am already planning a summery version!]
In the spirit of Master Chef, the main pressure points were: matching stripes, matching the edges of the various shingles, holding my stomach in when trying on, and managing my expectations and frustrations!
On a complete side note, today is my Mum’s 90th birthday and I thought I would post a photo of her because a couple of my followers might be interested (you know who you are!). Archie did a touch of photobombing!
Global Corporate Challenge:
Going ok – more than halfway through thank heavens! The pedometer is a pain in the proverbial when wearing anything form fitting. I had a visible lump under my dress all day!