Saturday, May 19, 2012

Vogue 8511 - a favourite

What does a girl need when attending a law clerkship seminar -  a corporate dress, of course.

Needless to say, Jess doesn't own such a dress - until now.   She was going to buy a RTW dress ($199) but it meant that I would have to take it in and hem etc. Making her this dress was the simplest, cheapest thing to do - not to mention I love sewing for Jess.

In my stash found this beautiful 100% wool fabric from Agnona (part of the Zegna group) so this suiting fabric is amazing.  Purchased when on sale for 50% off and was just waiting for the right occasion to use this beautiful fabric.  Sorry the picture is a bit light - should be darker in colour - dark grey but at least you can visualise the texture of the fabric.

The dress she found for $199.00 is very similar to Vogue 8511, which I've made twice before.  This was the perfect choice.   Sad to see it is now Out of Print.

Alterations:    Found that the front bodice was quite roomy for her and didn't sit flat on her chest, so I sewed a size 6 and fitted her properly by taking in the princess seams for a perfect fit.  Also, altered the paper pattern for future use.  I should have remembered this as the first V8511 dress was made when she was away in Canberra and all I used was her body dummy - fit was perfect.

Bagged the bodice top but underlined the skirt and sleeves.  Found the sleeves to be a bit roomy so took a good 3cm out the whole length of the sleeve.  Also, didn't like the gathering so removed this by altering the sleeve head.  Conclusion - I had to fiddle a bit getting the sleeves to fit - needed to take out more fabric but in the end, it worked out.

I much prefer to have sleeves with 2 parts to them - like they do in jackets.  I wonder if this is possible in dresses or are they cut in one piece.  Would love to find out what your thoughts are as I think a sleeve block for Jess is in order, for future dresses.

Of course, she wore this with a black belt.  Am currently taking this dress up above the knees - for next time she needs that office look.

Jess loves this pattern, so much so that she's asked for an evening dress - no sleeves and longer for a formal night at uni later in the year.  Hmm still thinking of the design and definitely the fabric will play a big part in the look.   The back would be a 'V' quite low - oh well, another project in the pipeline to think about.  I'll just add this to The List.


  1. Very stylish dress. The boatneck and pleats are very flattering for her tiny waist.

    1. Thanks Katherine, yes my waist used to look like that too - many moons ago. It is a great pattern and suits her well.

  2. Dress looks terrific. The sleeves do look a little loose but this gives the dress a more relaxed look. I wonder if the sleeves are more fitted whether you would have to make the armcyce smaller as well.
    I agree with you about making the right fabric choice for the evening dress.

    1. Thanks Suellen, yes I'm definitely going to refine the sleeves for next time.

  3. beautiful on her! you did a wonderful job once again. I hadn't thought about the sleeves being different from jacket sleeves. I think for me a one piece sleeve is easier to work do a terrific job on your pieces!

  4. So beautiful, Ev. Can't believe it's OOP now. Not my favourite dress!