crafts · finished objects · Sewing

Dreaming of spring: Vogue 8631

Pattern: Vogue 8631, view A

Fabric: 3 yards of rayon poplin, from the Van Gogh collection by Free Spirit.  I got my fabric from Phat Fabrics, on sale here.

Notions etc: White Grosgrain ribbon, one hook and eye

Notes: I fell in love with this fabric the moment I saw it.  Apparently, the 80s were not enough to kill my love for any and all things spatter painted!  I used to have an entire outfit made of spatter painted denim – skirt, shirt, and matching purse.  Oh yeah, I was pretty cool.  I hadn’t heard about this fabric, but it’s part of an entire collection of rayon prints released by Free Spirit last year.  It’s listed as rayon poplin, but it feels like rayon challis to me.  It’s lightweight, but not see through.  I highly recommend it, if you share my obsession with randomly painted bits of fabric.

The envelope photo for this pattern isn’t exactly wonderful, but after seeing this version, I knew I had to make one.  This is a wrap dress, but it’s a slightly unusual one.  I like the rounded front hems – it’s very similar to this dress by Diane Von Furstenberg.  The dress doesn’t come with a belt pattern, but I knew that in order for it to flatter my body type, I would need some sort of waist cinching!  I decided to make the obi belt from Kwik Sew 3758.  I’ve made it before, and it’s one of my most worn accessories!  This time I folded 1″ out of the center waist before cutting.  It was a bit too large for me before.  I used muslin as a sew-in interfacing, and the belt is structured without being too stiff.  I used fusible interfacing on my last belt, and it’s bubbling terribly!

Since I added a belt, I didn’t have enough fabric to make the required bias binding.  The pattern calls for using bias binding around the sleeve hems and the entire outer edge of the dress (technically, the dress tells you to buy readymade bias.)  I thought the bias would add too much weight to the fabric.  Instead, I serged around all the edges and made a baby hem around the whole outside edge (as in my tutorial here.)  It’s unobtrusive, and it doesn’t make the front edges floppy.

Other alterations: I used a ribbon for the inside ties, as I was short on fabric.  It’s a perfectly workable solution, and probably easier than turning out the ties.  The pattern also calls for a hook/eye closure on the outside of the wrap.  Since I’m using a belt over it, that was fine, but if I wanted to wear the dress on its own I would change that – it feels rather unsecure to me!

A comment on sizing: this dress runs big!  I cut an 8 on top, 10 on the bottom (my usual Vogue size,) but ended up taking it in by an inch all over.  I think it could come in even more, but with the belt it’s fine.  It also runs large in the chest and shoulders – I probably needed to do a small bust adjustment, which is unusual for me (I am a B cup, and most patterns are drafted for a B.)  The armholes are rather deep, and will expose a bit of whatever you wear underneath.  For that reason, I recommend planning to wear a slip or slip dress underneath this dress.  I’m wearing a vintage slip, but I’m planning to get a nude colored modern slip to wear under the dress – all my vintage slips are too high cut in the chest.  There is a potential for wardrobe malfunction otherwise – the v neck is quite deep!

This dress  will be perfect when Spring finally decides to put in an appearance!  I recommend the pattern – it’s very easy (only 4 pieces) and gives a nice result.  If you are petite you may wish to adjust the blousiness of the bodice and the length.  I think mine is actually very similar to the new Vogue Donna Karan dress.  I’m planning to make that one as well, out of a solid colored sateen (in emerald green!)  I’m a big fan of this silhouette.  I fought it at first, but I think I’m rather glad that styles with more volume are making a comeback.  As with everything else, it’s all in the proportions!

26 thoughts on “Dreaming of spring: Vogue 8631

  1. Oh wow. That is a beautiful dress. I dreamed the other night about one of my old dresses that I loved when I was young and thin, and this was the style, without the belt. You look gorgeous in it.

  2. I NEVER would have noticed this dress if not for your lovely version here. Gosh, this is an awesome dress. It’s a great marriage of pattern + fabric. Realy, really love it. Perfect for spring!

  3. That is really pretty!!! Thanks for the info on that fabric. I looked at some of it and it is really gorgeous. Your fabric really makes that dress.

  4. Oh wow, it turned out gorgeous. I love how every version of this pattern I’ve seen has turned out completely different depending on fabric choice and I adore that obi belt!

  5. i love the style and your fabric choices – some things of the 80’s will always stay with us!!! i’ve awarded you a Stylish Blogger award on my blog, just so you know, as I love reading your blog and you very inspiring to us that want to make more of our own clothes!!!

  6. The fabric is awesome, the belt rocks, and I love how you made it work, even without enough fabric to do everything the pattern instructions suggested.

  7. I would definitely have passed on this pattern based on the envelope illustration, but your dress is absolutely beautiful. It looks easy to wear, as well – this one is going into my basket right away 🙂

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