Vogue 8904 - The Shingle Dress

Ola friends! Has it really been 2 weeks since my last post?? Crazy! I don't really have any good excuses for you other than I am a huge procrastinator and my blog always seems to get pushed to the bottom of the list. But not to worry, I am still sewing my little heart out and I have lots of projects to share. So let's start with something a little different shall we. IMG_6893Many moons ago, when I didn't sew but was still a clothes addict, I came across the Column dress at Anthropologie. I remember thinking that it was super interesting looking, and one of the sales girls told me that everyone who tried it on, loved it, and that it seemed to be universally flattering on every shape. Needless to say, I never got the courage to try it on, but it stayed on my radar. When I saw Marcy Tilton's Vogue pattern (8904)  for the same style of dress, I decided to buy it. And it sat in my stash for months.

IMG_6903Then I spotted Meg's version and it got added to my queue. I was still a bit apprehensive to make it as it seemed like it would be a lot of work with all those shingles, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. I don't have a ton of experience with the Big 4 patterns, and I find choosing the correct size tricky. This pattern is designed to be quite body hugging and I was a bit nervous about just how tight it might be, so I chose my size based on the size chart. I planned this to be a wearable muslin so I wasn't overly concerned, and because it's a knit, I figured it would be better too big than too small because I could always slim it down. I traced a size 16 for the shoulders and bust and graded out to an 18. I also went with the shorter version (but I left off the sleeves) as I am short and this seemed like it might be a bit tricky to shorten due to the shingles.

IMG_6911I ended up shaving about an inch off each side seam after it was made up - which means I took a whopping 4 inches off the circumference. It might be slightly tighter than I would have liked, but in the case of a knit body hugging dress, tighter is better than looser, I think. Next time I will probably go down to a 14 or even a 12. Which brings me to a question: how do you choose the right size? I have a bit of weird shape because of my belly (so my waist measurement is always in a bigger size than my bust and hip), and I never seem to get it right, so any advice you dear readers might have would be greatly appreciated. Maybe I'm not pulling the tape measure tight enough? What's the secret? I seem to do better with Indie Patterns, although my latest Papercut Jacket was way too big too. Someday I'll get it right.

IMG_6908The fabric I used for this dress is from Girl Charlee, and it super soft and wonderful to wear. The under dress (that the shingles are attached to) is a plain navy cotton spandex, and the stripes are a cotton jersey. It's actually a bit heavier than you might guess, but it's super soft and comfy - talk about secret pyjamas!

IMG_6909This is probably my main complaint with the dress - I obviously need some sort of sway back alteration to get rid of that pooling at the back. It's okay if I straighten it and stand still, but when I move it looks pretty bad. I'm not entirely sure how to go about doing that alteration because of the shingles, but I think I should be able to just pinch out the excess, and it will probably improve if I get my size right too.

IMG_6905I really love how the stripes look with this pattern, and it think that it works out to be quite flattering. I think it would still look cool in a solid colour, but I think that might make it a bit dressy, and I like to stick with the casual. The construction is really quite simple and straightforward, and because it's made with a knit nothing is hemmed, you just leave the edges raw on all the shingles. I did end up shortening this by about 2 inches, but that is to be expected - I am vertically challenged after all.

IMG_6918I imagine wearing this dress with runners (I love my pink ones, but I think it would be super cute with white converse too) and a denim jacket on cooler days, but it could easily be dressed up with heels. I think it's quite versatile. This is definitely a different style for me, and I feel a bit out of my comfort zone when I wear it, but I do plan on wearing this version and I do want to make it again. It's nice to have something a little different.

Do you ever venture out of your comfort zone with sewing? Would you wear such a body hugging dress? I curious to know what you guys think.

Marianne goes to Maui

What's the word hummingbird? John and I are in the glorious land of sunshine and pineapples - Maui! Actually it's been quite rainy and overcast since we got here, but it's still warm so it's all good. DSC_5599I have to apologize a bit for these photos. John took them twice (on two different days) and the lighting just didn't work out very well. It probably doesn't help that I'm as pale as a polar bear and matching the overcast sky. But anyway, it is what it is, and I really didn't want to try a third time (or ask John to take them a third time). Perhaps I am being to picky, but maybe not.

Anyway, onto the dresses! This is Christine Hayne's latest release the Marianne Dress.


I have to admit that when this pattern first came out, I wasn't too excited about it. I have a couple of knit dress patterns already, and I also thought I could probably achieve a similar effect with a lengthened t-shirt pattern. But then Christine did a round-up of dresses from her sew-along, and I kind of fell in love (I especially loved the red plaid one near the end). Plus I thought the short-sleeve (or rather no sleeve) version would be perfect for this trip.

DSC_5603You're loving my model in the wind pose aren't you? Just wait, there are more to come LOL.

Being the adventurous sewist that I am. I decided to jump right in and crank out three of these little babies in one night (while watching my new favourite show Nashville - have you seen it? S0 addictive!). I don't usually do that - I almost always make one version of a pattern first to check fit and what not, but I decided that knit dresses are pretty forgiving, and worst case scenario, I could just cut them all into t-shirts or skirts or something, if I didn't like the dress version.


Luckily for me, I loved this dress right away (and for an added bonus, John liked it right of the bat too). It's a perfect, lightweight, easy to throw on dress for a warm vacation. Perfect on it's own with flip-flops, and also quite cute with leggings, boots and a jean jacket or sweater.


This dress has such a nice and flattering shape. It's super simple, and I was quite surprised that it didn't look like a giant sack. Well it is a bit of a sack, but a sack with shape. I should also mention that the pdf file went together fast and painlessly, and GASP I cut it out instead of tracing like I usually do. That cut down the time considerably.

DSC_5564Based on my measurements, I went with a size 10 at the shoulders and bust, and graded to a 12 at the waist and hip. I am really happy with the fit. And I'm really loving the neckline. I know it's a little high, but I like it combined with the kimono sleeves. I also shortened this dress by 2 inches at the lengthen shorten line, and I still had to hem another 2 inches off but that might have to do with the 4-way stretch of this fabric.


This is a perfect shot of the wind hitting me. Look at that hair LOL.

DSC_5584All 3 fabrics are rayon jersey knits from Girl Charlee. And actually the floral one and the gray and white one are from my January Knitfix pack (which was jammed with fabulous fabrics by the way. I think I may have mentioned it already, but I was really happy with what I got). The blue multi-patterned one I ordered at the same time, but it wasn't part of the Knitfix.


I have kind of shied away from rayon knits in the past thinking that they would be clingy and hug all my lumps and bumps, but boy was I wrong! These three lovelies are super soft and have the nicest drape. I think they actually skim over my curves really nicely, and do the opposite of what I thought they would. I see more rayon knits in my future for sure!


All three dresses were constructed with my serger and then hemmed with the coverstitch machine. I just turned the sleeves and hem under to finish, and then I also topstitched the neckline with the coverstitch too.

This was such a super quick and easy project to make for my trip. These dresses are super easy to just toss on and I feel put together and comfortable. Not to mention that they seem to be allergic to wrinkling - perfect for packing. I've worn them all a bunch already, and I know I will continue to wear them when I get home.

Do any of you have spring/summer on the brain yet? Have you started sewing for it yet? Also any foolproof and easy tips for getting good blog photos are welcome! I hope it's warming up wherever you are (it was actually +16˚C in Calgary yesterday - wowsers!).

Where Heather Sews - Sewaholic Renfrew

I really love this pattern. I made a long-sleeve version a few months ago and it turned out really great. My only problem is I keep making mistakes. On my first one, I decided after it was completed that it was too long. So I had this great idea to just eye-ball it and cut off 3 inches. Well I did that, then reattached the bottom band and it was way too short. I loved it so much that I wore it a ton anyway. The fabric I made my first one out of was a super luxurious cotton spandex jersey from Girl Charlee (one of my favourite online shops to buy knits). This one is made out the same type of knit from Girl Charlee, just in a different colour. I love the rich purple! IMG_4433


IMG_4435I feel like a bit of a dork while I take these pictures, so I decided to just go with it, and dork right out. LOL

So while I don't think this one looks too bad, I made a pretty major mistake, I used the wrong cuffs! DOH! I was wondering why they were so hard to attach!! I used the cuff for the long-sleeve version which are a little wider (deeper?) but are meant to go around your wrist, not your bicep. Thank goodness for stretchy fabric. Do you think it looks okay?


This one is a little bit roomy and I like it that way. I used my Serger to put it all together, so I didn't strictly follow the 5/8's seam allowance. If I had, it would probably be a bit more fitted. The fabric is really nice, but it's a little bit heavier than regular t-shirt material. It's perfect for transitioning into summer and I imagine it will be perfect for fall too. While my mistake with the cuffs really cheeses me off, I am sure it will still get lots of wear.

I am really liking that I am sewing pieces that will get lots of wear. I have made a number of dresses, that I love, but sometimes you just want to throw on a t-shirt and jeans. What are your go to/staple pieces in your closet?