The psychedelic dress

18Jun12

Was it worth the wait? This dress has taken me a month to make. Now some of that is due to real life preventing me from sewing for a week or two, but even taking that into account this was a slow project. And I haven’t even hemmed it yet.



The pattern is Vogue 8489. I traced it rather than cutting it out because I wanted to lengthen the dress by a good foot and a half; the longest view on the original pattern comes to just below the knee and I wanted it to be floor length. The pattern pieces for the skirt are large to begin with, and by the time you’ve added all that length they’re uncontrollable. Combine that with slippery viscose knit and it’s a miracle this dress got finished at all. Every time I put down the pattern pieces one would make a break for it off the ironing board or down the back of the sewing table.

Amazingly I didn’t lose any cut pattern pieces during the process, although I did manage to cut a small hole in the bodice back when things shifted while trimming a seam. I patched it up with a bit of interfacing and zig-zagged over the top and you can’t see it at all in the photos. What you can see on the back view is that I eliminated the centre back seam on the bodice and bands. The pattern has a zip in that seam but it’s really not needed.



Anyway it’s done at last, and I like the result. Just need a bit more practice walking in my enormous 70s platform sandals.





37 Responses to “The psychedelic dress”

  1. This is crazy lovely: a perfect mix of fabric and pattern.

  2. Magnificent!! I’ve been missing your posts in my blog reader.

  3. 3 Helen

    It’s groovy, baby! But seriously… it makes a great maxi dress. The shaping in the bodice is lovely too.

  4. I think you look stunningly beautiful. The print is mesmerising and the whole dress just seems to channel the essence of YOU! You know you should be on the pyramid stage at Glastonbury, don’t you? You could give Florence and the Machine a run for her money. Breathtaking!

  5. 5 Dibs

    Definitely worth the wait. The print is quite nice. I actually have this pattern. I bought it to make a maternity dress, but did not make it in the end. Its really lovely.

  6. Yes, it was worth the wait. Splendid!

  7. Fabulous. That’s all, fabulous.

  8. I remember seeing that fabric a few weeks ago and thinking “I don’t know about that”. But I’m an idiot because this is awesome. I’m not sure many people could oull it off but with your lovely skin and hair it’s pretty amazing. And the butt seam is very flattering! I believe this is called a “traffic stopper”.

  9. This is gobsmakingly, bewilderingly, dazzlingly wonderful. I totally love it. If I saw you on the street (unlikely, given the disparity of hemispheres) I would be unable to stop myself from asking you a dozen questions about it. Well done!

  10. OMGwad superseventiessexxxxxy! Love it. You look so hot. Yes it is totally worth it, the back fits so well. Your make is a couple of million times better than the pattern envelope + it looks awesome on you. Super job-I’d hug you for sure if I was there XD

  11. How wonderful is this!? You should be dancing somewhere very swank.

  12. This dress is gorgeous and so flattering to you! You look terrific. Very nice!

  13. I love it, the print is so mesmerising it was definitely a good idea to use a lot of it and make a maxi. It fits you so well and no one will ever know if you don’t bother hemming it.

  14. 14 Jane's sew & tell

    Ooh! Makes my eyes go all funny in a good sort of way. Lovely dress an definitely worth the time and effort

  15. This is amazing! Super flattering – well done on persevering with such a tricky fabric too.

  16. Oh wow…. worth the wait alright! I knew this would be a stunner. I can just imagine the fight you had with that fabric so well done for your perseverance. It totally paid off!

  17. Oh – fab dress Catherine! You look really great in it :)

  18. Amazing. It was worth all the time that went into it. I love it!

  19. 19 Clio

    Groovy! Wow, I like this SO much more as a maxi then at the length Vogue drafted it. Bravo on the plunging neckline!

  20. 20 Kung

    Oh, I lurve it. I love the way you use sewing to enhance your personal zeitgeist, modernist, sexy and yet a touch of 60-70 retro intergalactic wow. Another triumph, Cybe.

  21. Oh I just love it–you always look like such a rock star!

  22. 22 Lisa

    Fabulous!!! I have this pattern and have been anxiously awaiting your results. Just beautiful. Love the material and it looks fantastic on you! And, to echo others here, your postings have been missed. Thanks for sharing this!

  23. Beautiful!

    (Love your blog, btw. You’re an inspiration.)

  24. Can you handle another gushing comment? You look incredible. Like you just stepped off a runway and your name is Tilda Swinton…but much cooler.

  25. 25 Carolyn

    There are just aren’t enough adjectives to adequately describe how amazingly awesome this dress is! Fantastic! Stunning! *standing up clapping!*

  26. WOW!!! Absolutely adore this dress. You are a goddess!

  27. 27 redsilvia

    Gorgeous marriage of fabric to pattern. Lovely job! And you’d look right at home here in San Francisco if you’re making holiday plans :-)

    You’re a rock star for tackling that slippery knit and doing it without wavy seams. Nice work.

  28. 28 Becky

    This is so chic.

  29. I think it’s awesome. so you.

  30. Catherine, you’ve done it again!

    The dress is astoundingly beautiful.

  31. 31 Gail

    Absolutely! It is stunning and making me a little jealous.

  32. Oh my god this is so very much worth the wait and the escaping pattern pieces. Fantastic and do you need to hem it? Just wondering cos the length is perfect, as long as you don’t hop out of your cool 70s platforms.

  33. 33 Kellyt

    Absolutely Fantastic!!! That has got to be the coolest dress I have seen in a long time. It looks great on your. The pattern design adds interest to the fabric and it fits you to perfection.

  34. 34 Tina

    Wow, for all of the challenges that you had, you got a beautiful result. It’s totally awesome!

  35. Loved the shape on you… This is so summery

  36. 36 Lynne

    I am absolutely speechless! That is the most amazing dress I’ve ever seen! And it’s such a perfect fit, such a perfect print and such a perfect pattern! It’s the trifecta of perfect! Just gorgeous, Catherine!

  37. Stunning!!! Everything about this is perfect.



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