For the Work to Weekend segment of this year’s dress project, I really wanted to feature a wrap dress with a straighter skirt. I had Vogue 9313 in my stash and decided it was a great time to try it out. I ended up making view A from a wonderful stretch cotton gingham from my stash. I love this pairing because black and white gingham is basically a neutral, which is what I was looking for for an office appropriate look, with a little extra nod to flirty vintage-y-ness. Since it’s spring, I was also mindful to make something that could transition with the season. Here I paired it with tights and my black Megan Nielsen Rowan roll neck for chillier days, but worn alone, it’s a great piece for Spring and Summer.
I love the line of Vogue Easy Options. They usually release one every season. Most often, these patterns are dresses with one basic bodice and then loads of sleeve and skirt variations. The base of this pattern is a darted, banded wrap bodice with options for either a pencil skirt with an asymmetrical button placket or circle skirt in either knee or midi length. There are three sleeve options and an option for a sash belt. The dress is closed with a hook and bar.
The fabric I used made all the difference for this project. The pattern envelope lists pretty much every type of woven fabric in their recommendation. While I’m sure the pattern works in a range of fabrics, the sewing experience between working with a cotton or working with a viscose would be vastly different. A viscose would make a lovely, swishy full skirt version, but stitching in the eight pieces of banding along the skirt and bodice would be a bit slippery. I was so happy to have used cotton for this project. After working with crepes and viscoses for my last two dresses, it was nice to work with this stable, easy cotton gingham. It has a bit of stretch in it, but not enough to cause any wobbly seams. I’ve had this fabric in my stash for almost two years and I’m so excited to see it in my closet instead of on my fabric shelf!
The construction of this dress is pretty straightforward, though I really think the fabric choice would make all the difference between a quick, easy sew and a longer, more arduous process, if not a potential headache. All nine pieces of banding, as well as the yoke, are cut on the bias. I didn’t have to worry at all about stretching with my stable cotton, but a viscose, linen or crepe would likely need extra attention.
The pattern says to machine stitch the right side of the band to the right side of the bodice, then slip stitch the inside closed and then topstitch to reinforce. It suggests this process for the four edge bands, waistband and yoke. I avoid hand stitching whenever possible, so I folded my inside seam allowance under and then stitched the ditch to close the insides. Way faster and no hand stitching! However, this method only worked because I used a stable fabric. If I were to make it again using a viscose or crepe, I would definitely hand stitch everything in place.
I was unsure about putting in-seam pockets in the pencil skirt. The pattern comes with a pocket piece but it specified that it’s for full skirt version only. When I tried it on though, I was really disappointed about the lack of pockets! Taking some inspiration from the Just Patterns Linda dress and I added some patch pockets that I stole off the upcoming pattern from Untitled Thoughts. Like the bands, I cut the pockets on the bias. Placing them was a little tricky to get them symmetrical, but totally worth the effort. I love how they turned out!
I made a size 18 with a C cup. It’s definitely wearable, but there’s certainly room for improvement. I only made one adjustment, but I think there’s really more to be done. With my fabric, a size 16D might have been a better fit. The center fronts don’t quite meet up and there’s some fabric pooling around my underarm indicating the bust is a bit tight. Then in the hip, back and shoulder, the dress is too big. Someday I’ll remove the bias binding on the armholes, undo the inside yoke and pinch out the inch and half or so of gaping excess at the shoulder. If I’d made a smaller size, I probably also wouldn’t have needed to shave off the 1/2 inch I took off the top of the shoulder. I added a snap at the bodice front just to keep the wrap secure.
The Make Breakdown
Pattern: Vogue 9313
Fabric & Notions: 2.4 Meters Woven Fabric; Hook and Bar; Three small snaps.
Design Modifications: Added patch pockets! Skipped top stitching on bands. Skipped skirt buttons and swapped them for snaps just to keep the opening from exposing too much.
Fit Alterations: Shaved 1.5cm off top of the arm scythe. I should have also taken some length out of the back yoke and shoulder.
Difficulty: Confident Beginners if using a stable fabric; Intermediate for slippery fabrics
Future Plans: I’d make it again. I’m curious to try the full skirt version.