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Sunshine dress – Vogue 9668

October 3, 2011

Here’s the dress I was frantically trying to finish before my recent holiday – Vogue 9668 in yellow gingham.

Vogue 9668 - Sunshine dress

Sorry about my dreadful smirk

I bought the fabric in May and it’s been marinating in my stash for a few months.  I LOVE large gingham prints, and thought this would be perfect for a beach wedding*, but didn’t want to do something too obviously 1950s. I bought a few vintage patterns on Etsy which I thought about using, but in the end  Vogue 9668 seemed like the best choice as I’ve made it twice before.
*The wedding ended up actually being in the living room of our rental house, due to a massive storm at the wrong moment, but I reckon it was still technically a beach wedding.

The fabric is so super fine and drapey, I love it. I got it from Fabrics Galore in Battersea, and apparently it’s from Paul Smith, I’m guessing it was used for their line of men’s shirts. The bodice and midriff are self-lined, and the skirt is lined with white cotton poplin.

Here’s the back:

I made a metric ton of alterations on this dress, some good, some not so good.

Before I cut the fabric -

-An FBA on the bodice
-Changed the bodice so the two sides meet in a sort of V/scoop neck,  instead of coming straight down to the midriff band (which I thought was a bit too low-cut for a wedding)
-Re-drawing the armholes so they were a better fit to add sleeves. I basically made this up as you can probably tell.

Vogue 9668 inside the bodice

Here's the inside with the bra cups sewn in

While I was making the dress -

-Bra cups sewn into the lining, as this style is too low-cut in the back to wear a normal bra.
-Added yellow piping to the midriff seams
-I changed the massive bust dart into two smaller ones, which worked extremely well in reducing-‘pointiness’, but made it a pain to sew the bodice to the midriff. Should have done this BEFORE cutting out the fabric.
-Sewed a ribbon to the back, as otherwise the dress constantly slipped off my shoulders in a Flashdance stylee.

Vogue 9668 back and ribbon

RIBBON ENHANCE! Please note my friend's amazing drawing of a jar of treacle, top left

Otherwise I pretty much followed the Vogue instructions, even hand-sewing down the midriff facing to the skirt, which is an unusual occurance as I loathe and despise hand-sewing (that’s why me and embroidery have never got on).

Reasons I love this dress:

      • It’s yellow gingham! It makes me feel like Doris Day.
      • Adding bra cups to the dress was a great idea, I feel super sewing smug about this.
      • I finished off all the seams properly for once.
      • It’s great for twirling around in, because of the bias cut skirt.

Twirling around in Vogue 9668

Reasons this dress could be better:

  • Oh dear, why didn’t I match up the checks on the front skirt? The back skirt is great but for some reason (I think it’s called ‘sewing after 11pm’) the front is totally out.
  • The fit isn’t amazing – you can see that the ribbon puts a lot of strain on the back bodice pieces, and the front stands away from my body a bit (it is fully interfaced so that doesn’t help).
  • It’s a smidgen too tight round the waist. After eating a huge meal and dancing around in 90% humidity at the wedding, I had to admit defeat and change into something more comfortable.
  • I’m not naturally a yellow sort of person, although this dress may have won me over.

On balance, I love this dress, even though it has absolutely no place in my daily life, and it’s too summery for most British weddings, so I forsee a long future in the wardrobe for poor Vogue 9668.  Somebody I know really has to get married on a beach so I have an excuse to wear it again. The South of France would be acceptable, or the Caribbean. Maybe even an Italian lake, I’m not fussy.

Jumping in Vogue 9668

Invite me to your wedding! I will jump around like a fool!

(sorry about not wearing shoes in these photos and thus exposing you to my feet. I know they look really dirty but it’s a combination of a tan and some dodgy lighting, honest)

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. sewista permalink
    October 11, 2012 5:42 PM

    I think this is fab and yes, I recommend lining cotton with cotton or lighter just makes the dress hang better and add to th cripsness

  2. February 10, 2012 5:36 PM

    I am BEYOND impressed! You look amazing & you write so eloquently! X

  3. January 12, 2012 8:57 AM

    What a completely lovely dress. I don’t think I could help feeling happy and dancing and skipping around with that fabric and that flare-y skirt!!!

    The whole bra section is gorgeous. You look like a film star!!

    Sarahx

  4. October 4, 2011 12:57 PM

    Wow! Jealous of your craft skillz!

  5. October 4, 2011 9:06 AM

    Oh my! My computer hasn’t been updating me with your posts (I blame its newness) so I thought you were just taking a really long holiday. I nearly passed out when I went to investigate and saw this awesome dress!! It’s just beautiful and all the more special because of the extra finishing touches. I LOVE the fabric – I’m another gingham freak and lust after yellow for the same Doris Day reasons as you. It suits you so well and makes me think I could maybe get away with the colour after all. Fantastic job. x
    PS. If I get divorced and remarried in the near future I’ll hire you to scamper around at the wedding. x

    • October 4, 2011 10:28 AM

      Ha ha thanks Jane! I wish I had been taking an extra long holiday, although I did miss blogging (bit sad?). You should definitely make something in yellow gingham! It’s impossible to feel unhappy while wearing it.

  6. October 4, 2011 12:16 AM

    I think that the yellow actually looks really great with your blonde hair. Well done. I have also been sewing right up to a flight and even sewing while on vacation for dresses to be worn at a wedding. It is great to wear your own work though.

  7. October 3, 2011 5:12 PM

    Oh this is just divine! I love it so much. And I’m not a yellow person either! I’m impressed that you sewed in bra cups. I will have to look into this as I hold off from making low cut dresses for fear of not being able to wear a bra! Smart move with the ribbon too.

    • October 3, 2011 9:40 PM

      Thanks! They were pretty easy to sew in, definitely worth investigating.

  8. October 3, 2011 3:28 PM

    I love this! You have a real winner here and I can’t wait to try adding bra cups to something uing your info to help. You are so Doris Day in that!

    • October 3, 2011 3:34 PM

      Thanks! I used this tutorial from the Sewing Divas which was v helpful. Had to give it a couple of tries as I kept sewing them on in wonky positions, but I got there in the end.

  9. CamberwellGal permalink
    October 3, 2011 12:33 PM

    Hee hee – some one else with a gingham passion! Although trying to indulge it this summer has been a bit tricky – it’s only the last few days I’ve worn anything remotely summery. Your yellow dress is wonderfully summery; I like it’s slightly flat English mustard tones.

    I completely sympathise with the queasy pending lack of job feelings (am in similar straights). I’ve no idea what your long term plans are, but saw your RayStich post, and remembered that when I was up there two weeks ago they were looking for someone to work part time dispatching online orders. I don’t know if that would work as a stop-gap?

    • October 3, 2011 1:20 PM

      I love gingham so much, it’s trickier to find this large-print stuff, had to snap this up when I saw it. Thanks for the tip about Ray Stitch, will look into it!

  10. busyellebee permalink
    October 3, 2011 10:51 AM

    I L O V E your dress! I am about to start making dresses again, as I’m so fed up of all the short dresses currently on sale. I wasn’t a yellow dress person either, but I have been converted after reading your post. Promise me you will wear it, you can’t do all that hard, beautiful work and have it hidden in a wardrobe.

    Off to the fabric shop, wish me luck! :)

    • October 3, 2011 11:20 AM

      Good luck! I know what you mean about short dresses on the high street. I’m 5 ft 9 so everything just looks ridiculous on me, it’s a big reason why I started sewing my own clothes in the first place.

  11. October 3, 2011 10:45 AM

    What a beautiful dress! The construction sounds complicated. I applaud you for such a gorgeous finish.

    I think there might be a few more days of this Indian summer left. I bet you can frolic about in it while there’s still some sun left :)

    • October 3, 2011 11:19 AM

      Thanks! Weather forecast is looking a bit dodgy, but I guess we can’t expect too much, the last few days have been so lovely and unexpectedly hot! I might wear it when I get home just to dance around the house :)

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