Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Peacock Feathers

I often skip over the non-designer selections of the Vogue catalogue only to find numerous finished examples appearing all over the internet that are absolutely fabulous.  I am trying to train myself to look past the unfortunate styling choices that get printed on the pattern envelopes, and head straight for the line drawings.

This was how I happened upon Vogue 8814.  And believe it or not, this pattern is rated “Easy” by Vogue.

Vogue 8814

When I first looked at the pattern, and saw all of those wonderful v-shapes, I supposed that a lot of lapped seams and top-stitching was in my future.  Somehow I managed to miss those center seams.  Whoops!  Although, the dress could certainly be put together with lapped seams to give it a more vintage look, or with some contrasting thread colors for a fun contemporary look.

This fabulous rayon challis was purchased with an entirely different dress in mind, for last week’s Vegas challenge over at The Sew Weekly.  Instead of wearing a feathered headdress, I decided that the peacock feathers would work just as well on a dress. 

I pictured an easy-to-wear maxi.  However, the pattern repeat just did not look quite right to me when I laid it out on the sewing table.  It was a risk, but I decided that randomly cutting it up would actually make the feathered motifs look better on a long dress.

I managed to miss the fact that the entire dress is lined.  Now, that is a whole lot of extra fabric.  I did have some matching bemberg in the stash (enough to line the entire dress) but the challis is a mid-weight fabric and lining that entire skirt was going to make for one heavy dress.

At the last minute, I decided that I wanted to add a bit more structure to the bust.  I do not actually remember purchasing the bra cups, but there they were in my notion drawer (I must have purchased them during a 50% off JoAnn sale at some point).  I had to use the seam ripper to get back into the finished lining, but I am glad I took the extra step.

And you may have noticed that the neckline is a bit different than the line drawing.  Against my better judgment, I used the C-cup pattern piece instead of the B, and so I had too much space up top.  Instead of ripping everything apart, I just hand-sewed the center seam up an extra couple of inches.

The hem is hand rolled and stitched.  This is certainly not necessary, but I do enjoy my hand sewing!

It is a bit of a different look for me, but the tea length pulls it all together for me.

Dress:  Made by me, Vogue 8814
Shrug:  Made by me, “Margate” from Rowan Knitting Magazine
Shoes:  BP for Nordstrom
Necklace:  Made by me


  1. Fabulous, I love the print and it goes so well with the lines of the dress, very fun for summer!

  2. I adore tea length dresses and anything with a peacock vibe to it, so you can imagine what a fan of this marvelous creation I am. Excellent work, dear gal, that rich red looks so gorgeous with your skin and hair tones.

    ♥ Jessica

  3. Beautiful! You are sewing up a storm over there. And, congrats on this week's Sew Weekly feature!

  4. It's beautiful. You are inspiring me to try it too.

  5. Your dress is just beautiful!

  6. Working with this pattern right now...just kill me! ... can you please give me more detail as to how you altered the pattern?