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