Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vogue 8553 • Zingy Summer Dress

 Pattern Description: Fitted (through bodice), cap sleeve dresses
A, B with sash have gathers, front and neck bands, pleated skirt, flared and mid-knee length. A: contrast sash and bands.

Pattern Sizing: AA(6-8-10-12), EE(14-16-18-20) Mine was a 14 bodice and an 18 skirt. I ended up taking 2" off each side before construction was through. I guess I thought I'd need more "give". It really didn't.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It did! (with mods)

Were the instructions easy to follow? They were, but that darn facing was SO fussy! There's really got to be an easier way, folks, but I haven't found it yet.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love that the bodice fit perfectly and the skirt is super-twirly. Just have to make sure not to pull a "Marilyn" when you do twirly-whirlies.

Fabric Used: I searched high and LOW for the perfect fabric for this dress. The search took four months, I kid you not. I LOVE the colour combination and I think it's just zingy!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added 2-1/4" to the bodice and forgot to add it to the facings initially, so had to re-cut those with the scant fabric I had. In the end, I'd totally forgotten how heavy this would be, and probably didn't need to do the adjustment. I would have rather had the waistline at the highest part of my waist, rather that the lowest.

I really, really HATED the sash that came with the pattern it was fine in the back, but drooped in the front and didn't cover the waistline seam, so I cut it apart and made a circular cummerbund that I pull on over my head. I'm thinking it'll look cute over a tunic top, too, so it's a two-fer! The neckline on me was dangerously low for my comfort, so after construction, I stitched it up an inch.

Can I tell you how much I hate hemming dresses? Thank GOD for my serger, that does a nice rolled hem. Between the lack of hem and drape of the dress, it falls to just the right spot.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would! It went together really fast (an apparent hallmark of my projects), it's comfortable, and I love twirling in it.

Conclusion: It's a great summer dress that skims over the lumps and bumps. It makes me look thinner, and there's NOTHING wrong with that!


  1. What a gorgeous dress! I never would have picked that pattern but your dress is so lovely.

  2. This dress is so beautiful! You have a knack for finding stunning vibrant prints, and for making just the right dress out of them. Want!

  3. ****You said: I love Carolyn! Thanks for showcasing her work. She inspires me daily.***

    You are so welcome.

    Love your summer dress. The print is amazing..