Finished - Vintage Vogue 8922 wrap dress.

I'm so excited to share my latest make with you. It's the last on my official winter make list, and already it's one of my favourite makes ever. You know how sometimes you make something and as soon as you put it on you feel a bit transformed and special. Thats how this dress makes me feel (my other fave is of course my denim shift).






A couple of months ago I saw Kelly's AMAZING wrap dress, made from a vintage Diane Von Furstenberg pattern from the 70's. Most of you will know that these patterns go for a ridiculous amount of money on Ebay and Etsy (although far less expensive than buying a RTW DVF dress, therefore scale of economy does need to be taken into account here!). So Kelly shouted herself a vintage pattern for her 40th and made herself an absolutely smoking wrap dress that instantly made me covetous. There's something so flattering about a wrap dress - it suits so many body types and all ages. I started perusing patterns, both modern and vintage, and couldn't decide which way to go. Jenny of Cashmerette is of course the reigning wrap dress queen, and her fave pattern is from Christine Jonson. Maris made a great version of the Style Arc Kate dress here. But I was just after something a bit different. 


I found this gorgeous 1970's Vogue 8922 pattern on Etsy, in my size for about $15 and was smitten. I loved the primary colour styling on the coverart, and I loved the unusual shoulder gathers, raglan sleeves and curved hemline. I also quite liked the idea of the shorter wrap cardigan option. But my favourite view was the long sleeved version, especially in the red! Isn't she lovely?


Fast forward a few weeks and it arrived in my letter box and I proceeded to stroke it and contemplate fabrics. I think it's important to keep in mind fabric choice when using a vintage knit pattern. Knits were pretty synthetic and heavy in those days so I was mindful to take the pattern shopping with me and use the stretch guide on the side. I really wanted to make a navy dress, but couldn't find any blue wool knit of a suitable weight that I liked, so I went with a black wool fleece knit from the Fabric Store during their recent sale. 

I did make a quick cardi length muslin, and I'm glad I did as the order of construction was a bit weird and made the sleeve insertion harder than it needed to be. The sleeves are set in the round, but for the final version I did them flat because who wants to do raglan sleeves in the round. Initially I thought I'd take it in a little in the armscye as it's quite droopy but I couldn't do it without totally stuffing up the shape of the sleeve - this is what the sleeve shape looks like:


Weird!


So I accept that it's not super fitted in the bodice, more of a blouson style - which means that to avoid a wardrobe malfunction I do need to wear a camisole underneath. It actually sits a bit better with something else underneath anyway - I think it gives the wool something to cling to rather than just a slippery bra. Being black it was of course impossible to photograph well, but the gathered shoulder details are lovely, and the armscye seam is beautiful and curved. 



The pattern is designed to be made entirely on a sewing machine, and has a few slightly odd tips and instructions. There's lots of random stay stitching (well its not random but a bit all over the place) which I followed for the most part just because it was obviously recommended for a reason. It also recommended the use of stay tape to be basted in various spots, including the entire circumference of the neckline and hem. I ordered some lovely fine knit stay tape from the US as I couldn't find knit stay tape in Australia (I found it on eBay - quite reasonable postage for some black and white tape). I guess I could have made my own using tricot interfacing but this stuff is awesome, and worth the investment. 




The neckline and lovely curved hem are finished as one seam, just turned and stitched after applying the stay tape. I was actually a bit concerned about this method as I was worried the neckline would gape too much without a band to finish the edge, but it turned out great. I took the rather unprecedented step of hand basting this hem - it took forever - pinning and fusing the stay tape, then measuring and pinning the hem, then hand basting, THEN finally topstitching it down with a twin needle but it was ABSOLUTELY worth it. I applied the stay tape about 15mm in from the edge, so that when the twin needle caught the fashion side of the fabric it didn't channel up. I also took care to just miss the edge, and as a result I have pretty much the nicest twin needle hem I've ever done. I'm fairly converted to the hand basting too, for a big hem that needs to look swish - it meant I could ease in the curved corners beautifully, no pins on the wrong side. An extra step that probably saved time really.


I think it's a great pattern - elegant, chic and sexy. My beloved loves it, and I feel a million bucks in it. I'd love to make a navy silk jersey version, and of course I will be constantly on the look out for my very own DVF for 99c in an op shop. A girl can dream. 



Do you love a wrap dress? What's your favourite pattern? Lets all make them and go disco dancing together.....

Comments

  1. Gorgeous lady!!! I love the pattern and it looks fabulous in that wool knit (and I just bought my first ever wool jersey so we can be twins!). The shoulder gathers are a lovely touch as well. Hope you get bitten by the wrap dress bug now :D

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    1. Thankyou! It's so warm but light in the merino. I'm definitely bitten by the bug!

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  2. Wow - that is lovely on you!
    I can understand why wrap dresses are so sought after because they look stylish yet comfortable at the same time but its something I have never worn.
    Maybe because I'm a secondary school teacher I'm always paranoid about a wrap malfunction or something!!

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    1. I think that's a fair fear knowing what some of the boys were like when I was at school! But there's a couple of pstterns around now that have a faux wrap - no risk of a wrap malfunction there!

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  3. Love it, love it, love it! You just can't beat a good wrap dress, and that's such a gorgeous pattern - the raglan sleeves and gathers are a really lovely feature. I bet you feel as great as you look in it! I hope you do find that navy silk jersey someday - it sounds an absolutely perfect match...

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    1. Thankyou! I'm keen to try a cardi now, the more I think about it!

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  4. Gorgeous and stylish! DVF should check her wardrobe cause she's missing a dress! Love wrap dresses ... been trying to decide to make one for some time now.. seeing yours definitely gave me a push :)

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    1. Thanks Sasha - no doubt yours will be beyond amazing! :)

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  5. Lookin good! That pattern was such a find (although I think you are more than justified ignoring their instructions of setting in the raglan sleeves) and the wool looks lush. I haven't had much wrap success myself yet but may try my hand at a mock-wrap knit top sometime this fall!

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    1. Thanks Morgan! It is so lovely and cozy. Probably not so sensible for spring but I couldn't resist!

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  6. Wrap dresses are the BOMB and yours looks fabulous! After decades of coveting I finally have a DVF wrap dress in my hot little hands after a trip to the US in July. The shopping gods were smiling on me that day; navy & white print (favourite colour combo) in silk jersey (that is the fabric of the gods), on sale. I think I'm just the cat's pyjamas in it. Cost per wear is already looking really good.

    During my decades of coveting I made myself several wrap dresses using Vogue 8379. Once I adjusted for the ridiculous amount of ease it has become a TNT pattern for knits and wovens (I have an shoulder seam/armhole/sleeve adjustment that I honed over lots of trial and error that makes it work for a woven). It is such a versatile style for my shape (hourglass which is not nearly as fun to fit as people seem to think!) and I always garner compliments when I am wearing one. I look forward to seeing lots more wrap dresses on your blog. Because you can't possibly stop at one.........

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    1. Oh how utterly marvellous! I bet it's divine. My big regret is not buying more silk jersey when I was NYC last year! I bet you are the cats pyjamas in it! I did look at 8379 - it's so popular. I think it's the kind of dress one does have to perfect over time.... Enjoy your DVF!

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  7. Oh, lovely, so very chic! and you can never go wrong with a beautiful black dress like this one.
    btw, I would love to know the trouser pattern you've used nine times, sounds like a really good one. Do you have them all here on your blog?

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    1. Thanks Carolyn! I've made up the Style Arc Elle pants about 9 times in various incarnations. Some blogged, some unblogged, but it's my One Week One Pattern choice so you'll see a round of appearances in a week or so!

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  8. This looks so great on and I just love that all in one hemming action!

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    1. Thanks Kirsty - it's a great way to finish it off!

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