Jul 5, 2014

Finished Project: Vogue 8766 Hacked!

If I learned one thing from Me Made May, it's that I need more easy summer sundresses in my DIY wardrobe. And though it's my opinion that any dress that must be worn with a strapless bra does not actually qualify as "easy to wear," I do think my Vogue 8766 hack will gets lots of love from me this summer:  


I made quite a few changes: I smocked shirred the back bodice piece and created a button placket down the front; I added spaghetti straps and thread belt loops, plus side pockets. Here's Vogue's line drawing of 8766 to give you an idea of the original look. I used the strapless bodice variation with the circle skirt (bottom right):



And here's my finished look, which happily matches perfectly with my summer hat:


For the smocking shirring, I cut a large piece of my fabric and used my ruler to draw lines 1/2-inch apart. In my experience, smocking shirring can quickly get crooked without the help of a nice pencil line to keep you, er, in line:



It's a simple (if slightly tedious) task to shir your lines (elastic thread goes on the bobbin and that is all that is to it):



Then I cut my back bodice piece, which I reduced by a few inches to account for all the stretchiness (I also folded out the darts). I love the classic shirred sundress look from the back:


I used my serger to finish the top of the back bodice with a rolled hem stitch:



To create the front button placket, I simply added two inches to the center front of the bodice pattern piece. Then fold over twice and topstitch down — voila! Insta-placket:


At one point I seriously questioned how smart I was to willingly sew a dress that required me to sew 18 buttonholes. (My machine is TERRIBLE at buttonholes). But I love the look:


To keep my belt in place I added thread belt loops:


As for fit alterations to the pattern, I didn't do much. I shortened the bodice on the "petite" lines, though I think I would have liked a little extra length.


I plan on using the same pattern (and pattern mods, buttonholes be damned!) to make an Oona-fied version of this dress for Oonapalooza.  I may drop the front neckline into a slight sweetheart shape and sew a gathered skirt instead of this circle one (hemming this dress took nearly as long as sewing the entire rest of it — not for the faint of heart!). I think a gathered skirt would make this slightly more casual for day-to-day summer wear. (Of course, thicker straps would make wearing a normal bra possible, which would be awesome).

What's your favorite summer sundress pattern?

32 comments:

  1. I love how you interpreted this pattern to make it your own! Fantastic!!!

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  2. It's really cute on you! I love the idea of the smocking, too. Makes a woven dress as comfy as a knit! I always wonder about how to join a skirt to a smocked bodice though - How did you do it?

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    1. I attached the skirt to the bodice carefully using lots of pins so that the little gathers didn't get smushed up together. There's no give at the waist where they're stitched together (I'll be doing it differently next time to make it a little easier to wear). Next time, I think I will make the back in one big piece, with the top smocked and the skirt hanging freely.

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  3. Wow! Love the smocking!!!! And the button front is perfect!

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  4. I think the smocking is a very cute detail. Such a nice summer dress. I can imagine you'll get lots of wear out of it!

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  5. this is so cute! the buttons totally make this dress, but man i hate making them too! love the shirred back, definitely makes it a perfect summer dress.

    i made a shirred-back dresses for my girls a couple years ago and for the back skirt/bodice join, i used the SA top stitched to the bodice (only on the back) to thread 1/4" elastic through. that way you can cut the back skirt a little bigger so it stretches but the elastic keeps it sturdy. it does work best with a gathered skirt though. anyways, can't wait to see your next version!

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  6. This is actually shirring, not smocking. Smocking has no elastic in it, is done by hand, and consists of embroidery over tiny pleats all of the same size. There are also some versions of smocking that are larger pleated areas done by hand also know as Canadian or North American Smocking.

    Your dress is really darling and I love the changes you made. I can see why you would want several. It looks great on you. Really nice work!

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  7. I love your dress, especially the elastic back. I had no idea it was that easy. This is how personal interpretation works. A pattern merely provides the framework. Great hacking!

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  8. This is close to my dream sundress! The shirring is pure genius: looks great and must be soooo comfy. You did an awesome job on the design: the placket, the straps, everything looks fabulous.

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  9. This is my dream dress!!! I love this look on you! It's so well done. Even the buttonholes ;o)

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  10. This is truly a gorgeous dress, you look lovely!

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  11. You look strikingly gorgeous! The hat, dress, red sandals.....it's a beautiful summer portrait! Excellent job, as usual.

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  12. Your smocking is very neat. This is one special dress.

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  13. Very nice in every way. I'll have to try the smocking. You accessorized it perfectly. I especially like the belt. Is it a recent purchase?

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    1. I bought the belt a couple years ago from Modcloth.com

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  14. Love it! Am yearning for summer here as I'd love to make a similar dress in chambray, using one of the salme patterns. Your mods are so clever and stylish. Enjoy the sun!

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    1. I think I know the pattern you're taking about. It's a cute one

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  15. My machine dislikes buttonholes but I'd be totally willing to do battle with it to end up with a dress that gorgeous!

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  16. This is a really sweet dress! You did a great job. The shirring looks super professional. Great work:)

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  17. Wow, this is so gorgeous! What an awesome dress, dude! I'm with you in that I prefer to wear a regular bra, but some things are so cute that I'm willing to go strapless. This would definitely be one of those garments! Great job!

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    1. I was eyeing your latest sundress and its straps for the bra factor...

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  18. you look chic and comfortable - the two staples of a new york city summer dress. great work!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Devra! Comfort is queen...

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  19. I love all the ways you changed it :-D. My favorite part of sewing is the special creative pieces that get added

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  20. Really cute dress! I really love shiring on summer dresses :) I'll have to try it again sometime.. Last time I tried I couldn't quite get it to work right!

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  21. Super cute. I love the button placket.

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  22. *swoon* This is delightful! That shirring and the skirt flare? Perfect summer wear! Get ye to a BBQ, STAT!

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  23. Wow, I now want to make this exact dress! I've found I suddenly have no summer dresses. How did that happen?

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