Voguee 8813, Done!

At this point I've decided there is a love/hate relationship going on with me and  Marcy Tilton designs. I love them, the way they look, the way they fit and fall, just love them. But getting them to work out of the envelope, according to the envelope just seems to be such a challenge for me. Give me an Issey Miyake any day.  But I will keep on this crazy relationship as she has another dress looming on my horizon. Just bear with my dramas. 

I love this dress. It is comfy, cutesy/different, and just whimsical. Yes, Marcy's designs are whimsical and that's what keeps calling me. Now to the down and dirty. 

Fabric: a double faced  ( two layers connected by threads in the middle) fabric from Joanns. It is 65% rayon, 35% cotton. Dots are on one side and stripes are on the other.  It has that "heavy" drape that rayon knits have which I like. The texture was akin to sewing two layers of thin white Tshirt fabric that have been stuck together and it could be quite unruly. I also thought the completed dress would "stick" to my tights and other clothing but it hung beautifully. I have on just tights in these pics, too lazy to go upstairs and put on my boots.

Pattern:  Vogue 8813.  This is a Marcy Tilton design. There is little fit involved. It has two huge inseam (?) pockets that drape in a really cool way allowing the lining of the pocket to hang out like an applied cuff or edge. Because of the pocket design the hem will never hang straight on this dress. It is cut straight as you'll see when I spread it out but those crazy pockets hang in a way that alters the hemline. I like that, again that whimsical charm. So don't get hung up trying to make an even hem on this one. Just go with it. The dress has a center panel that is gathered over string and tied off and sewn into the edges. Don't do that either, more ahead.

Fit:  No horizontal fit issues were needed to be dealt with. I always do an FBA but the panel in the front of the dress allows you  to adjust  the width, therefore accommodating more or less room as needed for the front bodice area.  I had big issues with this. Because I am five feet tall I did my usual upper chest decrease of a half inch. I did this on all the pieces, sides, panel, and back bodice. This was a half inch shortening of the length of the dress. Then how come my panel hem is about four inches shorter than the rest of the dress? Luckily I was able to even out the hem without cutting into the pocket business, whew!  Sometime being short is a good thing.

Next fit issue was the bust and that gathering. I followed the pattern directions and the perle cotton specified was used. It pulled right out of the seams when I went to attach the panel to the side piece, every single stinkin' row of gathers pulled out. I didn't want to do it that way anyway. I really should have run it through my pleater but felt it was too late in the process for that. So instead I did two rows of machine basting for each row and just pulled. Once I had the gathers where I wanted I just zigzagged over the top of them across the row. It was really secure now. I had to add three more rows of gathering to get the gathers to end in the right spot.

The other fit issue was the hem. I am not sure it's in the right place for me but you can get into those kangaroo pocket if you cut the hem too short. So it is what it is and I'm fine with it. It looks cute with boots.

Construction: I did have some issues, once again, and once again it was in that neckline. It did the same bowing out thing at the bottom of the v neck just like my last MT pattern did, same drafting issue I guess. I finally got the front to lay flat when I tucked part of the panel underneath the collar to take up the slack. I steamed this in and it now layed flat at the bottom of the V neck.

And then there was the v-neck! Because every v neck I have ever sewn has gone down to my navel due to my height I knew I had to adjust the V to be higher up on my chest. I took a half inch out of my panel length to match the rest of the shortened bodice. So I then decided to raise  the neck only one half inch more, all in all only one inch of neckline height gained. Click on the pattern link and see where the neckline ends on the  five foot eleven model. Now see where it ends on my form/me. It's so high up. All dots where checked and rechecked. I had it all matching right. Well I guess I will just have a really high neck. That's OK but I can barely get this thing over my head, really. I really thought I maybe missed a back neck facing or something.

Other peaves: In step seven it has you " Pin upper side front to pocket facing, matching symbols... yada yada. " It says " pocket will not lay flat". It sure lays flat in the picture so what does that mean? Doing that pocket is really tricky and I just winged it with my sewist's intuition and it came out. I do love how the edge hangs out on the pocket and think it is just brilliant.

All in all, this is not for the faint of heart, in my opinion, but it is a really cute design, very comfortable to wear, just fun. Doubtful I will make another as it is too distinctive but I am itching to start my next MT dress. It's just gotta be easier. Third times the charm!


This young lady was in my back yard this morning with her three girlfriends. She loved chewing on my yew until I shooed her away. This is Spring in the Adirondacks and I can't wait till it's over and green grass and sunny skies greet me when I look out our windows. What a long winter! ( the reason the turleneck is under my new dress!)


Thank you, all of you, for your warm thoughts regarding my hubby and my frustration with the spam. Your comments are always treasured. Thank you..............Bunny

ETA, 05/24/2013, REALITY CHECK:  I have worn this dress several times. I figured it would be comfy and great for travel so have worn it a couple of times to visit my daughters in New England. MISTAKE! They have dubbed it my "frumpy dress" and say it does nothing for me and I look better in a lot of other clothing that I own, unquote! Since one's daughter's are usually one's best fashion critics I have to give this some serious consideration. No one wants their mom to leave the house looking worse than they should. So my cute little French Housewife's Dress will stay just that, something she should wear and not me, unless it is a rainy day and I am not leaving the house. Reality? I think my children don't want to see me age. They don't want me to go grey either,,,,,Bunny


  1. Fun dress Bunny.
    Horribly long winter here as well.
    Breathe deeply. And this too shall pass..... :)

  2. Exactly what Joanne said! I love the double sided fabric, it looks perfect for this particular pattern! As for the weather, we keep shaking our heads when the weatherman says, "A year ago today it was 75..." Oh, what a difference a year makes!

  3. Great dress - but absolutely love the dear. I can't imagine having something so beautiful in your yard.

  4. you are clearly born with so much patience, I think it would still be in a pile on the floor if it was me .... great looking dress.

    Our winter continues too lol hope it gets warmer soon.

  5. Oh Bunny, If you type Vogue 8813 into Google images you can see some of the nastiest dresses from this pattern. As it was designed to be a house dress it surely cannot be considered flattering or worthy of a trip out of the house. That being said, your version is quite nice and it is so great to read about you conquering all the weird directions and components to get the correct result for your body...what a trooper you are!

  6. This is a triumph! Cute, quirky and comfy to wear. The double faced fabric is perfect for a project like this.
    I had noticed this pattern when it first came out, but haven't bought it yet. I am pretty backed up on things I would like to sew anyway. Hearing that it was tricky to sew, doesn't spur me on, lol!

  7. That dress is just cute as can be on you. I feel your frustration with the artsy type patterns. I made a MC jacket which took way too much patience.

  8. Such a cute dress...and thanks for the detailed review of the Tilton pattern.

  9. I'm short and round and I thought this dress would completely overwhelm me. It looks cute on you, your modifications worked tremendously. Thanks for the rundown on the necessary alterations. I tackle tough jobs and stick with it to the end, too, but right now I wouldn't take this one on. Thanks for the heads up :)

  10. It is stylish & very cool looking. I think I could hide a multitude of sins under it! You don't need to do that, however, you tiny thang, you!
    I appreciate hearing how you modified it to work for your body. Maybe someday I'll try sewing for ME & I'll be back here, taking notes.

    Stay warm...more snow on the way for both of us!

  11. Love your dress! It looks so comfy, yet modern! Love your pictures...it's finally snowing in Baltimore...the weatherman finally got it right! I think this may be it for us...as they are calling for temps in the 50s on Friday...but you never know.

  12. The dress looks great on you. I understand your feelings about the neckline, though. I have much the same problem with v-necks, always thinking I'm making a slight change, but it ends up too high.

    I can't wait to see what you think about the other MT dress. If I can figure out how to put sleeves in it to cover the tops of my arms, I'd like to try it. It looks so cute on the model.

  13. I had my issues with this dress as well - in fact, I'm kind of on the same plane with you regarding Marcy patterns - I love the designs, but there's always SOMEthing about the fit or construction!

    That said, I think your version of this dress is my favorite that I've seen! Great choice of fabric!

  14. I missed this one. Great fabric combo. I feel the same as you do about the winter, although, I can't complain because we have not had it as hard as you have i.e. we don't have any snow on the ground. We went for a walk after dinner and I did not wear a hat. My ears were so cold that we had to go in a store to warm up!! I'm looking forward to you being able to wear that pretty dress without a turtleneck:)

  15. Don't even get me started on MT. I know her (from a Design Outside the Lines seminar), and love her. She is a very creative and inspiring person. She buys (and sells!) beautiful fabric. She designs beautiful bags. I love her silkscreen designs. I love the way she combines fabric colors and textures for very interesting garments. A pattern-maker she is not. If you are a "technical" sewist (I am), her patterns are not for you. If you are happy "winging it", then maybe you will enjoy working with her patterns. Me? Not so much!


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