Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vogue patterns: V8663

For my birthday, my awesome brother signed me up to get Vogue Patterns magazine.  It's mostly just a giant ad for Vogue patterns (hence the name), but it's working; despite previously eschewing store-bought patterns, I walked into the fabric store "just wanting to look" at the instructions for a couple of dresses featured in the magazine and walked out with ten (TEN!) patterns.  I might have bought more, but 10 was the maximum number allowable at Joann's for Vogue patterns at the bargain-basement price of $3.99 (sale ended yesterday, apparently).

Many, many patterns in Vogue are for knit fabric, but the instructions don't discuss sewing with a serger and I'm not sure I altogether like some of the instructions for constructing clothing with a conventional machine.  Seriously, if the pattern requires 2-way stretch fabric, then the garment shouldn't need a zipper.  Or bias tape around necklines.  Bottom line: I have to get better at sewing with my serger.  I have a tiny fraction of the experience working with a serger as compared to sewing with a conventional machine, but all it takes is practice, right?  Out of my huge stack of new patterns, I chose V8663 to start.  I browsed the sale fabric rack looking for 2-way stretch and found something that wasn't too atrocious-looking or expensive.

Pattern alterations
Knowing I was going to construct the garment with my serger, and I don't use the cutter (too scary!), I sized down two sizes to take seam allowance into consideration (size 6 in bust, grading up to 10 in waist), but I still had to take in the side seams about 3/4 inch on each side, as well as adjust the waist upward, despite shortening the bodice at the designated location.  I omitted the zipper, cutting the back bodice and skirt pieces on the fold where the pattern designated "center back".  I only tacked down the pleats at the top edge of the neckline (with my conventional machine)--the instructions were completely hazy on this point.  The pleats are a little wonky, but the print is crazy enough to hide the flaws!

I was planning on making the version with sleeves, but went with self-binding (1.5 inch width, folded in half) at the neckline and armholes.  It turned out fine, a huge improvement over the standard bias tape that was suggested, but it could be better (more practice needed!)  The pattern didn't call for it, but I made a self-belt to break up that belly area.  Finally, the hem is unfinished.  I don't love it, but I also don't know if I want to tackle it!

Photo-bombed by my 7 year old!
Overall, I liked the pattern a lot--if I had more experience with slinky knits, it would have been super to quick to sew up. The slightly crazy fabric was my savior, though--it hides several mistakes :)  The neckline and silhouette are flattering, and it's super comfortable!  Win!


  1. How did I miss this post before? You amaze me. I haven't tackled a dress for myself in ages, let alone anything in knit. I really must get a serger. And do you have a dressform for sizing patterns? Since I'm not any one size, I'd have to size patterns and that frightens me just a little bit. You are incredible - LOVE the dress.

  2. Thanks, Jennie! No, I don't have a dress form--I just spend lots of time getting dressed/ undressed and standing in front of mirrors pricking myself with pins!