Pattern Review: Vogue 8723 [Fit and Flare Dress]

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Warning: twirly poofy skirt pictures ahead. And lots of cheesiness.  Of course.

Pattern: Vogue 8723
Fabric: Cotton twill-like fabric from Metro Textile in NYC
Size: 10 bodice, 12 skirt

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I don’t think I believed everyone who said that this is a huge skirt.  Even the drawings on the envelope and the model on the Vogue Patterns website didn’t quite illustrate the poof-factor of this dress.  But I’m in love with it and that’s all the matters, right??

1) The Pattern

Can I just say, I am so glad that Custom Fit exists now and that pattern developers are realizing that even if you follow their measurements for different sizes, it’s still a challenge to get garments to fit correctly.  It really is the best thing ever for ladies like moi who are “bust challenged” and avoid tops with darts like the plague.  If you’re not familiar with Custom Fit, the pattern comes with different size pattern pieces to fit different bra sizes ranging from A-B-C-D.  Every time I make a top with darts I always have to do a SBA and move the dart up because my cup does not runneth over and there’s always too much fabric for my chest.  Not the case with Custom Fit!  I picked the pattern piece for an A cup and didn’t have to do a single modification at all.  It fit perfectly!! 

I’m sure this also a great thing for you ladies who need to do a FBA… 

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2) The Fabric(s)

The dress called for something a little bit lighter than what I chose, like cotton shirting or gingham, something with not a lot of heft.  I’m sure my using a heavier cotton with a twill weave explains why I got more of a poofy skirt than the pattern drawings.  Another thing: patterned fabric is your friend.  It hides mistakes very well…

I was surprised to find out the the dress is completely lined, which would explain why I needed to buy so much lining fabric of course!  I probably didn’t need the skirt to be lined and would omit it in the future, but I got super confused how to add in an invisible zipper with the skirt lining.  I left the entire back seam open, since that’s what you do with invisible zips, but I couldn’t have the skirt lining seam sewn the correct way with the seam allowances facing the wrong side of the dress fabric.  I guess that’s something I should have looked up before I installed the zipper.

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The graffiti in the picture adds to my street cred.

3) The Skirt

Ooooboy, what a skirt it is!  The front and back are essentially two huge rectangles that are gathered along the top and attached to the bodice.  Everyone was right about one thing: it’s really difficult to gather the skirt up using two rows of basting stitches.  I originally intended to sew a wide zig-zag stitch over a length of cord and gather up the skirt that way, but I discovered that I could only adjust the length and not the width of the zig-zag stitch on my trusty Bernina 1005.  So of course I did what everyone else did and suffered through pulling on basting stitches and sliding gathers across the skirt one by one.  That part was easily, hands down, the most difficult part of this dress.  At least the hemming was pretty simple.

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Now where am I going to wear this thing?  I feel so fancy in it, probably due to the poofy skirt.  My boyfriend joked about it and asked me who I was taking to the square dance….boys are stupid.



  1. July 2, 2012 / 11:37 am

    What a fun and flirty dress! It's far too cute to wait for a special occasion. I would totally wear it just to go grocery shopping.

    • July 2, 2012 / 9:14 pm

      I think you're right, screw it! I'm going to wear this wherever I please 🙂

  2. July 2, 2012 / 6:48 pm

    This is so great! The full skirt does make it look a little fancy, but I think the print is cute and casual enough that you really CAN wear it everywhere!

    • July 2, 2012 / 9:13 pm

      Yesss!!! I'm gaining the confidence now to wear this cutey out even to do the most mundane of tasks such as grocery shopping and laundry. Thanks!

  3. July 2, 2012 / 9:30 pm

    I just discovered your blog and I'm excited to see your dress! I plan on making this for myself too…I figure it would be perfect for me to wear to the office 🙂

    I can't wait to see more of your sewing work 🙂


    • July 2, 2012 / 9:37 pm

      This would be an AWESOME dress for work, with a cute little cropped jacket or cardigan. Great idea!

      Unfortunately for me, I have to wear all black for work and I dress down because my job gets pretty dirty…but that's why I wear cute dresses and such outside of work!

  4. Anonymous
    July 2, 2012 / 9:54 pm

    I LOVE the dress! You could wear it lots of places. Dress it up or down with jewelry or wraps, shoes. Gathering: I do best by making certain to mark the center front and center back of matching the bodice to skirt pieces for more even distribution. I like to put my gathering/basting lines 1/2 inch apart surrounding the seamline. So, for a 5/8 inch seam, put the basting lines at 3/8 inch and 7/8 inch. I also start the basting lines before the notches, so that you can actually distribute the bulk over the longest area, since gathering seems to loosen up toward the end of the basting lines.

  5. July 2, 2012 / 10:11 pm

    Oh do wear it everywhere (ok, maybe not work)!! You'll feel great, you'll bring smiles to faces and you never know, it might catch on and raise overall standards!

  6. July 3, 2012 / 9:51 pm

    the boy bit cracked me up.

    this is terrific, i LOVE how poofy the skirt is!

    i've read about using dental floss for tough gathering, but never tried it. and if you happen to come across cynthia rowley 1873, it has great instructions when it comes to the lining & zipper. i was amazed at myself when that part came out right, surely it was due to miss cynthia…

  7. July 23, 2012 / 7:35 pm

    Ooh I love this dress – great job! And the print is so pretty too. It looks great on you!

  8. August 21, 2012 / 8:49 pm

    Yours looks great. Super pretty! I've made this too and love swaying like a loon in it. You've inspired me to try another version!

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