the sew weekly: the “wannabe parisienne” dress (vogue 8511)

The Facts:

Fabric: wool twill/tweed in black, white, pink, mauve, magenta.  lining in silk marc jacobs heart print.
Pattern: Vogue 8511
Year: c.2000s
Notions: 22″ zipper
Time to Complete: 8 hours
First Worn: January 24, 2012
Wear Again: Yes
Total Price: ~$75
Challenge Theme:  “Made This Look”

i first spotted this photo on miss celie’s pants, when cidell posted what she called a “parisienne” dress from a BWOF pattern.  i saved the image immediately, knowing that i would come back to it one day when i was in the mood for something beyond my usual routine of cotton blouses.

“made this look” gave me several opportunities on that front–it’s january, so a cotton dress isn’t really as much fun as it usually is, to begin with.  but mostly this theme was a perfect chance to take a card off of my inspiration board and turn it into something real.

something wonderful happened while i was making this dress.  i hit what can only be called “the zone”:  that perfect chance when your skills and your image of your finished project are completely in sync.  i don’t usually say that things go together “like a dream” but there is no other word to describe how easily and perfectly the pieces on this garment came together.

i started with my moulage and learned how to adjust a princess seam using a regular darted bodice.  this was huge for me–i often avoid a princess seam because, since i need to flatten them so much, i find them even more difficult to fit than a regular darted bodice.  even more importantly than that, however, i sat and took the time to do things properly.  the seam allowances on the wool are trimmed and catch-stitched down for a clean, flat look on the bodice.  the waist stay is pick-stitched by hand to the lining.  the lining is hand-understitched to the bodice seam allowance.  the hem is hand-stitched and trimmed with lace.  the zipper is hand-picked.

i’m not going to lie.  a lot of procedural reruns were watched in the making of this dress.  but the end result was worth it and, best of all, didn’t delay my finished product.

Pattern Description:
Dresses have lined, princess seamed bodice, pleated skirt front, darts in skirt back and back zipper closure, length is 1″ below mid-knee. A: sleeveless. B: three-quarter length sleeves.

Pattern Sizing:
i re-sized using my moulage, but my base pattern was the 6-8-10-12 package.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
yes.  i got exactly the look i was going for.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
i did not use the instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
i always like a boatneck, and i like the 3/4 or “bracelet length” sleeves.  knowing that i wanted to do this in wool, i thought the pleats would give a nice sense of volume without being too much.

Fabric Used:
wool tweed from paron’s annex in NYC
silk marc jacobs print lining from mood fabrics in NYC

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
none.

Conclusion:
a great wardrobe staple.  maybe don’t need more than one, but one well-executed will be a classic for as long as it fits.


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14 Responses to the sew weekly: the “wannabe parisienne” dress (vogue 8511)

  1. I love how your cat is sitting on your lap! That posture is awesome. Could we maybe see a picture of the dress with you standing up, sans feline? I love your inspiration picture and would like to see more of your dress.

  2. Wow it’s lovely!!!! Total inspiration.

  3. Mary says:

    What a beautiful dress, and your attention to detail is inspiring. I love the stylish yet demure look of this dress.

  4. Debi says:

    LOVE this dress!!! Fabulous make! And omg. your cat is awesome!!!

  5. Jamie says:

    Love, love, love it!! I may have to make one for my daughter!

  6. Miss Celie says:

    So cute! I love the full skirt twist.

    • puu says:

      thank you! i love a full skirt-that and my dislike of tracing are all that kept me from following your excellent example more closely. that, and i can’t pull off that stunning shade of blue!

  7. domesticnews says:

    I’m looking for this pattern- any ideas? It seems to be out of print…

  8. domesticnews says:

    Thx! I had ordered one from Amazon & got skunked. My order was cancelled after not being filled within their time limit. I did find one on eBay (tried etsy first, none, sorry). It should be on the way soon! I’m looking forward to using it with the Craftsy fitting class! :-) And I want to compare it to Gretchen’s from her new book. Somebody referred to her gussets and her pattern was Mad Men inspired. Less volume over the tummy.

  9. Pingback: style in the wild: when wearing chanel makes a day bearable | puu's door of time

  10. Pingback: better late than never: the 2012 sew weekly “pantone” challenge | puu's door of time

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