This is not a look I usually go for. I just have to put that out there.
Those Marcy Tilton patterns that have wacky angles, questionable fit, and “interesting” design details that some sewers go nuts over? Sooo not my bag.
But this Vogue Rachel Comey pattern just wouldn’t stop calling my name — despite my best efforts to talk myself out of it. (I blame the fabric and the gorgeous model on the cover photo.)
It’s an interestingly structured bag dress, and I love the hell out of it.
Okay, let’s talk about constructing this dress:
*I struggled with the directions in a few areas, particularly that seam across the front with the inseam pocket. The way I ended up doing it is not the “right” way, but I worked it out.
(The rest of the construction is pretty straightforward.)
*The keyhole in the back dips lower than expected. There’s no bra strap reveal, but if you’re looking to wear this dress in a traditional or conservative environment, consider making the keyhole 1-2″ shorter. (Alternatively, you could just cut the back on the fold, or stitch it all the way up. Unless your melon is exceptionally large, you’ll still be able to get your head through it.)
*I did not understand the back button loop construction. At all. Using the included pattern piece resulted in a loop that came out weirdly huge, and I can’t quite figure out where I went wrong. Fortunately, internet. I followed a tutorial (that I can’t find now — similar thread loop tutorial here), and learned how to make quick and easy button loops out of thread with a zig-zag stitch! Highly recommended, and now I can stop shying away from button loop closures.
(Edited to add: Problem solved, thanks to Pattern Review peeps! There’s a box printed around the piece, and you have to cut out what’s in the box. Which makes so much sense. Total facepalm. Fellow sewers are the best, seriously!)
*The directions call for French seams. I ended serging my seams, but wanted to note this as a point of interest. The language used in the directions is very user-friendly. If you’ve ever been intimidated by French seams, consider trying this pattern out and going for it.
Confession: I topstitched everywhere as directed (neck, sleeves) in the evening. In daylight the next day, I realized my thread wasn’t black at all. I had been tricked by sneaky dark navy thread! You know what I do in these situations — rip it out and do it correctly.
I call it a “design choice” and move on.
Okay, on to the actual finished garment. It’s pretty damn amazing.
Seriously, I haven’t received so many compliments on something I’ve sewn in years! Beyond being secret pajamas, this dress is a crowd-pleaser. The funnel shape and batwing sleeves convey the intentionality of the fit — even from a glance, you can tell by the way it hangs that it’s so much more than a sack dress.
I’m in love, peeps. I wore this to work, I wore it on vacation, and then I wore it back to work. It’s such an easy, elegant piece, and I think I’ll make another in short order. (Meaning, five years from now…)
I highly recommend this pattern if you’re at all inclined to try this silhouette. For inspiration, check out Up Sew Late’s oh-such-perfect-fabric version, Thornberry’s easy and elegant version, and Maggie Elaine’s sexy lowered neckline version.
Meanwhile, don’t mind me. I’ll just be over here perfecting my flying squirrel pose…
Ha! Your writing cracks me up! I, too, fell victim to the cover art on this pattern. I haven’t made it yet, but now that I know it can double as a flying squirrel costume, I am bumping it to the top of my queue!
Oh Meg — you likewise crack me up. Flying squirrel costume potential at 100%. Do it!
You is one cute little squirrel in that! It really is a fun silhouette and manages to look cool & classy at the same time, love it.
Thank you, La Vonda! It’s such a fun dress to wear. 🙂
Your dress looks great! Thanks for mentioning my version in your post. You are right, this dress brings in so many compliments! I cracked up laughing at your “secret pajamas” comment, because I actually made this again using a jersey knit which was an absolute fail for a dress, but the most amazing nightgown that I own! Lol
LOL — the line between secret pajamas and *actual* pajamas is so very thin. Love your version!
Very elegant! Secret pajamas – I think that could be my style aspiration!
Thanks! If there were a speakeasy for the sewing community, I’m pretty sure “secret pajamas” would be the password. I’m not sure where the phrase was originally coined, but it’s genius!
Wow, how I love this dress! I was on the fence about this pattern as I am short, but I’m going to have to give it a try! Anything that wears like pajamas gets a big ‘hello’ from me. Great fabric too!
Thank you, Linda! I hope you go for it — it’s a fun dress to make. Would you believe that this fabric has been in my stash for about 15 years, just waiting for inspiration to strike?
Amazing dress, it looks amazing on you. I love the idea of a dress like this, no mum-tum worries 🙂 unsure if I could carry it off as well as you though but think I’ll give it a go sometime.
Thanks, Lynsey! I hope you do try it sometime. I got a lot of people commenting in real life on how chic and cool the dress looked, but it wears so effortlessly and I’m finding it to be surprisingly versatile. Worth a shot, is my vote!
I’ve eyed this pattern before, too, but always decided against it. But this dress looks so chic on you that I’m starting to reconsider. Great job!
Carmen, I have no doubt you could make a funky yet super chic version of this dress!
I just ordered the pattern. I saw a lady wearing this style dress in a stretchy clungy material on a cruise last year. I loved it! I have been looking for one to buy, but no luck. Then I found the Vogue pattern! I used to sew non stop in my younger days, love fashion. Then I opened up a flower shop and have only sewn sand bags to hold up my creations. Now, the corona mask making has restarted my sewing desires. Wish me luck!