Sunday, 29 May 2011

Teal Blue Wool Jersey Dress (V8511)

I thought I was going to be posting about my finally completed V8718 suit ... but I haven't had the self-discipline to re-fit and line the skirt! The jacket is ready and looking pretty nice on the dummy, but I don't want to show you it without the skirt.

Instead, here's my latest distraction - Vogue 8511 made in a wool jersey. 

I've replaced my original late night no make-up, I-am-a-mess photos with overcast not much light in winter photos - not much gain... 

I really don't sew with a plan. I buy fabrics and patterns with a plan, but then I tend to sew what I feel like. This dress is a classic example - the fabric is a wool jersey, $24 for a 1.5m x 130cm remnant with a 'fault', and all along I was planning for this to be a plain and cosy long sleeved top that I could layer and wear with skirts or trousers.  But then I noticed this post by Carolyn, and recalled that I had a similar Vogue pattern (V8511) to the Burda one she'd used. When I checked the pattern envelope it estimated a sleeveless version of the dress in size 14 only needed 1.4m for a 150cm wide fabric! Given they always seem to allow a bit of extra fabric in these reckonings I thought it worth a try... and laying out the fabric pieces on the fabric I found I could fit the 3/4 sleeve version (pattern envelope estimate of 1.9m for 150cm wide fabric, size 14). Only just, of course. The corners of some pieces were somewhat trimmed but still within seam allowances, and the sleeves were about 2cm shorter than intended.

Here are two more views of the dress, front and back:

and the dress on the dummy:

Pattern comments:
The recommended fabrics for this dress include knits and wovens. Obviously I used a knit fabric, and I started out making this dress in a size 14 with a little extra room allowed around the waist. That turned out to be way too big, and I had to take all my bodice seams in to make it more like a size 12. I think the bodice now fits well, but that was quite a bit of taking in. Maybe it would have been fine in a size 14 with a woven fabric.  I also found a zip was not required with a knit fabric, which is always good news.  The dress has a lined bodice, but the skirt is not lined - not sure why not. I chose not to line at all, and I am thinking to make a slip separately for this and other unlined knee-length dresses. I think apart from sizes needing  to be adjusted for knits my only adverse comment about this pattern would be the sleeve widths - the envelope drawings show fitted sleeves but these turned out quite wide. If I make this again I'll take the sleeves in too.

Here's the technical drawing from the pattern envelope:

If you like this dress, Hand Sewn Home Grown, Jorth and A Sewn Wardrobe have made some lovely versions you might also want to check out...


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A postscript - although I prefer to be able to sew without a plan, I do need a plan.  I have an evening dinner "do" coming up in a few weeks, for which the dress code is cocktail.  I bought some rose coloured lace and a lining fabric at The Fabric Store's 1 day sale on Thursday, and was thinking to make a 3/4 sleeve dress with fitted bodice and ?? not sure skirt. This is what my fabrics look like:

Any suggestions as to patterns (Vogue or Burda preferably) or styles? There's 2 metres there.... if necessary I can probably get a bit more.


  1. Your blue dress is attractive and probably comfy too since it's a knit. Can't have to many of those! I am interested to see what you do with the lace. Lace seems to be very "on trend" these days. I have seen it made up into sheaths as well as more 1950s tight bodice, with full skirt styles.

  2. Your dress looks very comfortable and stylish... I love the colour! And thank you for your nice comment on my dress, and ALSO for mentioning the number of that mysterious Vogue pattern which everybody has opined as being identical to the Burdastyle one I used, and which I now can see is not! The Vogue pattern has princess seams, as opposed to bust darts in the Burdastyle. Also that the front pleats on your dress are folded and sewn down as box pleats, whereas the Burdastyle has a tulip skirt.
    I love that pink lace. I think whatever you make up in such pretty fabric will be gorgeous.

  3. Karin, Thank you, I'm hoping this blue dress will be something useful for work- a change from black and grey! I'm interested to see what I do with the lace too - I hope I don't mess it up - I'm feeling the weight of my own hopes and expectations here!

    Carolyn, Yes this pattern certainly does differ from Burdastyle 08/2009-128 (apart from those differences you've mentioned the Vogue also has back waistline, and much chunkier sleeves). Anyway this sort of fitted bodice and curved skirt is quite a classic silhouette... With all your varied sewing experience do you have any top tips or suggestions for the lace????

  4. Great dress - I think I have just made that fabric up into a cardi - mine was a remnant from Tessuti's quite a while ago now - I think? Anyway, it is lovely fabric. The lace is really pretty - a simple silhouette should do the trick.

  5. Hi Gay, yes it would be the same - mine was a 'faulty' remnant from Tessuti and I bought it last year I think. It is a nice soft fabric and I'll bet it's made a lovely cosy cardigan! Thanks, I really like this lace too. I sort of know a simple shape will work but I'm also worried that my patchy skills may let me down. Anyway, I'm reviewing a bunch of possible patterns - if I can't make up my mind I'll post the options I'm considering.


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