May the Force be with you: Vogue 8512

Vogue 8512 side view
I’m getting the Star Wars thing out of the way in the title, because there’s no denying this dress is something a Jedi would wear. It’s not just my version though: look at the envelope art below. All the girl in brown needs is a lightsaber to hang off her utility belt. And I can see Princess Leia in the white outfit although obviously she’d have some amazingly elaborate hairdo to go with it.

Vogue 8512 envelope art

Anyway. This is Vogue 8512, a pattern from the Very Easy range that I was given for Christmas when I first started sewing. I don’t think it stayed in print very long; there are only two reviews on Pattern Review which implies it wasn’t particularly popular. It certainly is a simple pattern in its original form: kimono sleeves so nothing to set in, princess seams for easy fitting, and there are only four pattern pieces to worry about as the lining is cut from the same pieces as the dress. The pattern has a zip down the centre back but it’s not needed if you use a fabric with any stretch. I made it up in dark grey doubleknit when I first got it and skipped the lining, substituting a facing around the neck. I never managed to get the neck to stand up as well as the one in the envelope picture though. This was way before the blog but there are some murky photos of that version here and here.

Recently I was going through my stash trying to reduce it a little and found some mocha ponte double knit. I had a plan for it when I bought it, but life moves on and the dress I’d originally intended won’t work for me any more. So I went looking for an alternative pattern with long sleeves, pockets, and a skirt I can cycle in. Nothing completely fit the bill, but Vogue 8512 looked easy enough to alter. I traced it again and altered the pattern to have large pockets in the princess panel. I also extended the sleeves to full length. I then made separate pattern pieces for a lining with facings of the body fabric around the neck, rather than simply reusing the body pieces for the lining.

Vogue 8512 front view

I was also determined to make that boat neck look like the one on the envelope. I interfaced the neck area with some knit fusible, but that didn’t look like it would give enough shape so I also attached two layers of poly organza to the wrong side of the facings before sewing them to the dress. This was not a scientific process: I tore a couple of rectangular strips of approximately the depth of the facing and basted them along the neck seam, letting the bottom edge of the organza hang free. It seems to have worked: the collar stands up on its own. I honestly did not adjust it at all for the photos, and it was a windy day when we took them.

There’s a back zip in this version because despite using a stretch lining (The Lining Company’s stretch poly satin) I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get into it without. It turns out there was no need to bother. But it’s a good invisible zip insertion.

Vogue 8512 back view

The lining was bagged: I’m proud to say there isn’t a stitch of hand sewing in this dress. I didn’t make a perfect job of it; the lining tends to pull on the lower hem a little, hence some of the strange shapes in the pictures above. The sleeve hems don’t seem to have the same problem. But now I’ve figured out the process I’ll do a better job next time.

Although this is certainly a practical dress and I’m going to wear it, styling it is a challenge. It definitely needs a belt. The one above is the best out of the ones I already have, but I think it needs something slightly different so I’m looking for a new one. Right now I’m wavering between canvas webbing or full-on metallic. Suggestions welcome!

17 thoughts on “May the Force be with you: Vogue 8512

  1. I have a belt bought from… Can’t quite remember, but one of the UK firms that does cheapish fashion anyway, that is a lighter brown and has these metallic insets (silvery, shiny, squarey) on about half of it. Something like that would work well with this I think.

  2. Sorry can’t offer help with the belt, but I think putting the pockets on was genius and when you look at the pattern you have to wonder why they didn’t design it with those pockets.

  3. I don’t think it looks Jedi-ish at all. I also really like it and that you added inseam pockets on the front. Personally, I like the idea of a metallic belt, hope you can find one! It’s a great dress and so reflective of your style.

  4. I totally love this, Jedi-vibe and all. Great easy-to-wear dress. That second picture is particularly stunning. And I think you should have both belts, if you can find or make (?) them, just to give yourself the option of changing up the styling.

  5. This is a dress I never would have considered, but you’ve convinced me that I *need* it. ! πŸ™‚

  6. I like it, though I can totally see the Jedi vibe (which, in my opinion is not a bad thing, so, take my view with a grain of salt). My vote is for a thick metallic belt – I think it needs something shiny to contrast the mellow color of the fabric.

  7. OH, this is so cool! You look like a Star Wars girl πŸ™‚ Now I want to the same dress and haircut! Regarding the belt, I think a wide metallic one would be perfect to complete your Jedi look. What do you think?

  8. Star Wars or not stylish as always! And I love the neckline. There’s some fab metallic pleather around should you want to make a belt. X

  9. This is totally ultra chic Star Wars attire! You are the coolest Jedi EVER!!! Really awesome – now please make the Princess Leia outfit in white because you could totally rock that too ^__^

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