Saturday, May 11, 2013

Vogue 8904 - Marcy's Shingle "Wiggle" Dress


I think I've figured out why this sort of dress is called a "wiggle dress"!
For me, at least, wiggling is involved in taking it off!

This is the closest I've gotten to making a mainstream style dress in twenty years.

And I love it!

There is lots to say about this excellent pattern, so let's get started.

This dress consists of two layers of fabric, except for the sleeves. There is a base layer, and then the "shingles" are laid on top, from the bottom up, and stitched in place. I used a St John's rayon lycra striped knit that I bought from Emma One Sock some time ago. I did not have enough of the stripe (I had maybe 2.5-3 yards) for the entire dress (I made the long view, with 3/4 length sleeves) so I cut the base layer out of a solid black rayon lycra. The sleeves are a single layer of fabric.

This pattern is described as "close fitting" and calls for either a "rayon spandex" or "cotton spandex" fabric. Vogue patterns typically have the finished measurements for bust, waist and hips marked on the pattern tissue. That is not true for this pattern. So you don't know what "close fitting" means unless you measure it yourself. I never let the pattern company decide how much ease I want. I am the boss of me. ;) I am not sure why Vogue didn't include the finished measurements, but maybe they think that negative ease will scare people.

I measured the size 14 and 16 at the bust and found that they used about 1.5" to 2" of negative ease. For example, the size 16 is designed for someone with a 38" bust and the pattern tissue measured about 36.5" at the bustline. My full bust currently measures 41". I measured my best fitting t-shirt and decided I wanted to use the size 16.

If you want a looser fit, use a larger size. If you don't wear dresses, make this as a t-shirt. :)

Alterations:

I used a few alterations on the paper pattern:

  • The neckline is a boat neck. That does not work well on my narrow, rounded shoulders. So I changed the neckline to a jewel neck. This involved modifying 4 pattern pieces: the front, back, the front shingle and back shingle.

  • Because I chose the size based on the finished bust measurement, I didn't want to add width for my bust. Therefore, I did a vertical only FBA. I wanted enough fabric to go up and over my bust, so I added 1.5" to length at the bustline - this excess gets eased in at the bust level as I sew the side seam. This alteration involved modifying the front and the front shingle.

    The neckline alteration and the vertical FBA.

    I shortened the sleeve to 3/4" length.

    I did NOT have to reduce the shoulder seam, which is very unusual. Therefore, this pattern has a much narrower shoulder than most Vogue designs. (I usually have to pull in the shoulder seam by 1.5" to 2" on Vogue patterns.)

Once the dress was put together, I tweaked a couple of things. I like to do this during construction rather than during pattern alterations. I narrowed the sleeve by 2" so that it would hug the arm at the bottom edge. I also had to remove the considerable pear shaping at the hip. I removed about 6" from the hip, and carried this right down to the hem.

Construction:

A few notes about the construction of the dress:

  • All of the edges are raw. You could, of course, hem each shingle, as well as the sleeves, but if the shingles were hemmed, it wouldn't lay in quite the same way.
  • The pattern instructs you to finish the neckline with an encased binding. I didn't do this. I used one of my favorite Marcy Tilton finishes. I've never seen her publish this anywhere, but I saw it on one of her garments several years ago and have replicated it several times. It also produces a raw edge, but it's stabilized by several thicknesses of fabric, and I think it's perfect on this dress. You can see it in detail on this blog post.
  • I was a bit leery of stitching the shingles onto the base layer. Rayon lycra can be a flimsy, stretchy beast. So after I cut out the front and back layers from the solid black fabric, I used painter's tape to mark where each shingle would go. I placed the tape 5/8" above the line marked on the pattern tissue. Then I laid the shingle so that the raw edge met the edge of the painter's tape. I used lots of pins to hold the shingle in place. I stitched the seam with a long (4), narrow (2) zig zag stitch. The tape helped stabilize any wiggling. Once the shingle was secured, I removed that length of tape and proceeded to the next shingle. I don't know if these precautions were really necessary, but they worked for me.
The front with the painters tape applied
The first two shingles attached

A couple more notes about the shingles.:

  • Before I cut out the shingles, I used a sharpie to draw a line perpendicular to the grainline on each shingle. This makes it much easier to make sure you are cutting the shingles correctly by aligning the sharpie line with the stripe. I cut each shingle out one at a time, single thickness. And I hope it goes without saying, you want a stripe that has stretch in both directions. There should be a lot of stretch *around* the body.
  • One of the lower shingles. The perpendicular grainline has been drawn with a blue sharpie.
  • As you attach a shingle, it overlaps the shingle below by about 3". This is good, so that the seams and the base layer of fabric aren't exposed as you move around.
  • Once all of the shingles are attached, you are almost done. It's easy peasy from this point on - like sewing up a giant t-shirt. However, you now have multiple layers of fabric to deal with. What I did was to sew the shoulders, then to baste the neckline layers together and try them on to make sure there was no weird bumps or wrinkling. I finished the neckline. I then basted the armscye and, once again, made sure everything laid well. I sewed on the sleeves. I then basted each side seam separately (front left, front right, back left, back right). I *then* pinned the side seams, matching stripes as well as possible, and stitched. Since there is no hemming, this is a pretty fast dress to sew.
Look Ma, No Shapewear!

I have three events in the next month where I can wear this. I really like my funky boots, but am not sure I like them with the dress. Thoughts?

Vogue 8904

101 comments:

  1. Oh man...you are rocking that look! I love the dress on you. WITH the boots.

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW!!! That dress looks amazing on you. You look amazing on you. ;) Great review. Thanks for all the tips!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a great dress. I really love it on you, you look fab! I'm very interested in the pattern now...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, you look just fantastic! The dress is amazing, and the shoes are great, too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Absolutely wonderful Shams !!!! I prefer a more traditional shoe that shows a little bit more skin than boots, but that's my personal preference.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You look absolutely awesome! Great work, Shams!

    ReplyDelete
  7. That dress is amazing Shams and totally wear the boots! You look great!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great job as usual. I love the dress on you but not with those boots, either wear boots that come to the knee or wear shoes. You look great, congratulations on the weight loss.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have seen this shingle style in T's and dresses everywhere. It really looks great on you. I think a funky black shoe would look fantastic with the dress. IMO, the boots are a bit too heavy and that little bit of leg peeking out between the dress and the top of boot bothers me for some reason. I want to see more leg.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wowza! Fantastic look on you! I am SO appreciative of your (thorough) review, because this one is on my top 5 chopping block list right now (all I need is time and motivation lol!)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, the boots. I think the look is almost great - I think they would be better with black tights, and maybe even better yet with fun (striped?) tights :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. You are selling that pattern, big time! I LOVE it with the boots. Overall, great look - you are looking wonderful!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. You did a great job on this dress. My vote would be the same as Connie Turner said: either boots that come to the knee or shoes. You need more leg showing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This dress is amazing, and you look truly fabulous in it! I would switch to shoes, to show off your legs too.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Fantastic! You look so svelte and continental. Actually I think the shoes are the piece de resistance.

    I cut out the under dress last night (to test fit) and I cannot wait to try this after reading your excellent guide to it.. Although my fit challenges are very different, your review really gave me insight into how it might fit me.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow -- looking great! (and another vote for the boots). Karen

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow! what a great result! Thank you for all the construction details.

    Rose

    ReplyDelete
  18. Looking great. How about keep the boots but bring the hem up about four inches?

    ReplyDelete
  19. I LOVE the dress. It looks fabulous on you.

    I have to vote against the boots with the dress though.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Love the dress. love the boots. I looked for this pattern but it was sold out. I bought fabric for it so I may make my own pattern. thanks for the tips!

    ReplyDelete
  21. WOW! You look fantastic, as does the dress...it perfectly showcases your amazing results of your body-work! It is gorgeous on you, and I love it with the boots....you ROCK!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I suggest pink tights and black boots. Or bright blue tights and black boots. Or raspberry pink boots. . . Those are my leg wear ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  23. You look great and the dress looks great on you! How about tights that match your hair (if you keep the boots)?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh my goodness - you look absolutely FANTASTIC! That dress is the perfect item to show off all your hard work. I have this pattern and fabric all ready to go and now you have convinced me that I will be cutting it out today. As always, your fitting alterations are extremely helpful. Thank you - and well done with such a brilliant dress!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Well now that's the way to debut a new body! *smile* The dress is fabulous and the stripes really work for you...however, I agree with some of the others that you need another shoe with the dress. The boots detract from the beauty of the dress. Congrats on the weight loss!

    ReplyDelete
  26. This look is dynamite on you. I have an ample bosom and I was thinking this pattern wouldn't be a good look on me. I have thought twice. Really nice work!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Terrific! Dress is spectacular and you, Skinny Minnie, look wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  28. You look amazing in that dress! I think the boot enhance the look of the dress, I love it with the boots! Thanks for reviewing this pattern, I wasn't sure about picking it up but you have convinced me to give it a try. Planning a trip to the fabric store as I type this... You did a fabulous job on that dress.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wow! Your dress is FABULOUS! You wear this look with pizazz!

    ReplyDelete
  30. So excited to see this dress made up! I just received the pattern in the mail this week! I love your version. It turned out so nice! You look superb wearing it too!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Fantastic! And thanks for all the layout and sewing tips. And the weight loss? You are my hero! But I may just put this one on the back burner until I lose the 60. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Awesome dress and fab shoes too!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love this dress, and you look amazing! I like the dress with the boots, but if it's cool enough when you need to wear it, maybe some black tights would add to the look.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Love the shoes, but I think more leg would be a better choice.

    You look Fabulous in this dress. Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Great dress and you're looking fantastic in it. Terrific review too. Shoes- first impulse is a nude heeled sandal, RED toenails and bare legs! That continues the uninterrupted column. Boots yes, like Jilly says with black tights. Maybe bright ones. This dress is so recognizably RTW, it's a blank slate.

    ReplyDelete
  36. nice dress, great seam matching. Boots! too big a toe line.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Love what you did with the dress AND all the cutting/sewing tips. (I cut each shingle along the bottom of a stripe, maybe Vogue changed the directions). And I vote for the bare leg and the boots, gives the look a modern edge I am seeing in Paris....it is the more conservative older women here who go for a matchy look, tho I can see it with black tights too...and flat sandals in summer. I did mine in a below the knee length and wear it with leggings to let a bit of skin show. In one word: FABULOUS!!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Wow! This looks fabulous on you!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Wow! Fabulous look on you, Shams! You look wonderful.
    The boots are fun but I'd try something different - something simpler, maybe, that won't compete with the stunning dress.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Pretty much what everyone else has said... wow! I think this the first time I've seen you in a dress, and I'm absolutely LOVING every aspect of it on you. Great pick with the fabric and I'm in full agreeance at the jewel neck on you over the bateau. Was lovely to read about the construction methods you've used and the patterns' quirks (they've all got something).
    Just. smashing.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Wow! That dress is perfect for showing off your newly svelte figure.

    I also like the steampunk boots, but perhaps not with that dress.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Wow - you are one hot chick! You look fabulous. You are ROCKING that dress.

    I am in 2 minds about the shoes. They are so you but I think a little heavy for the slim dress.

    Can I say again WOW.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Gosh, this is a triumphant success!!! Both you and the dress look fabulous.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I absolutely love that dress on you! You need more of these in your life. It gives me a headache even trying to think about the construction.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Shams, you look amazing! I haven't been reading blogs for the past few months, and apparently, I missed quite a lot! Congratulations! I love this dress. It reminds me of a maxi dress I saw at the Calgary Stampede last summer. I will have to refer to this in the future, because I absolutely love how you've arranged the stripes!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Wowwwwwwwwwwww.... It's so beautiful on you and it's such clever design.. I need this dress. You rocked it

    ReplyDelete
  47. Wonderful!!!! And thank you for the helpful sewing tips. This dress is perfekt on you an I think you can wear it every day, it seeams to be very comfortable!?

    ReplyDelete
  48. You look stunning. I love this dress on you. Your construction details are very thorough and helpful as usual! You have terrific legs and shoes that show more of them would be even better than your cool boots.

    ReplyDelete
  49. You look absolutely fantastic! Great pattern + great fabric + even greater body = VaVaVoom!!!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I love the boots with the dress. You look fab U las!! Great dress and it shows off the new you to perfection. Love your version of this dress - using the same fabric looks more classy I think.

    ReplyDelete
  51. What else can I add! You look fantastic and the dress makes that even more apparent. Happy Mother's Day!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Wonderful job with the dress, it looks fabulous on you. I like the boots, but not with the dress. I think it is the length of the dress and the height of the boots that goes against the golden rule of proportion and doesn't creat a pleasing balance. I vote for sexy heels.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Can I get a DANG! Up in here? YOu look gorgeous and your skills do show on this make,. Nicely done!!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Wow, you look great--both the dress and your new shape! Thanks for this detailed review.

    ReplyDelete
  55. This is a spectacular look on you! I also have this pattern and really appreciate the details about the construction that you included. Thanks for posting.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Dress is awesome! You look awesome!! Definitely a model!

    The shoe/boots?...I don't prefer them with this dress...too much going on for them. I think plain black high heels would be perfect.

    Again, WOW.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Looks great on you! And I love those boots with the dress -- maybe some black tights so the line of the leg isn't interrupted? Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  58. This is a great look for you! and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the funkiness and edginess of the boots, especially with this dress!

    ReplyDelete
  59. fabulous, great fit and fabric choice.

    ReplyDelete
  60. My dear, you are looking hot in that dress! Thanks for all the sewing tips for this pattern. I do so love the boots. (Just ignore the naysayers!)

    ReplyDelete
  61. Jilly and I think alike - keep the boots and add black or funky tights. The change in your body is amazing! You are just going to fade away to nothingness.

    ReplyDelete
  62. The dress is so flattering on you! You look amazing. Now I want one!

    ReplyDelete
  63. The dress is so flattering on you! You look amazing. Now I want one!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Everyone has said everything--but or my two cents--you look amazing! The dress is fabulous and yes--the boots go great with it. Edgy and cool.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I love it! You look amazing in this dress, It's perfect for your narrow hips. I love the boots, whose are they by the way? I just don't love them with this dress. I agree with someone else who said that there is too much going on with the dress for those boots. I am curious, how tall are you? It's longer than on the model and I want to judge how long it would be on me.
    Thanks for all the tips.

    ReplyDelete
  66. This dress is amazing on you. You are looking wonderful and this style is just perfect for your shape. I like the boots. They make the ensemble "you". Great work!

    ReplyDelete
  67. You look wonderful in that dress Shams. Thanks for this post. I've ordered the pattern and will bookmark this for all your wonderful tips!

    ReplyDelete
  68. You are looking terrific! What an inspiration. Do you feel ok to share some more of your journey? I would love to see the 'next instalment'. ;)

    btw as gorgeous as those boots are, I don't think they do justice to the dress. Maybe dark tights would help. Or perhaps wear simple shoes and wear those boots with an outfit that isn't quite so strong in itself.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Great dress, Shams! I like the boots. They are you. They add pizzazz to an already great dress! Wear what you like.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Great review and you look awesome in the dress. You really have lost weight. I love the shoes with the dress. This style is very becoming on you. Great job.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Incredible on you. Keep the boots. They match the look and capture your personality.

    ReplyDelete
  72. This is off the chain! You look like a model. I'm in love with this pattern, too and cannot wait to try it out now. You just sold Vogue a lot more of this one!

    ReplyDelete
  73. You look fantastic, Shams! Thanks for unlocking the mystery of this dress construction. Hope you'll make another one for yourself!

    ReplyDelete
  74. I looked at that pattern and sort of wondered...nah, I decided. But you look great in that dress! May have to think again.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Fantastic look.....your weight loss is so apparent in this dress...you look really svelte. I think I would wear those boots, that are adorable, with a shorter dress perhaps. Fabulous job and thank you for the "tips".

    ReplyDelete
  76. You look positively gorgeous in that dress!

    ReplyDelete
  77. I just did a post on how to wear stripes when the person has a busty H shape. Wish I had seen your results I would have put a link to this post. Wow I love this dress. I love the boots with it too. I think a funky bootie is crazy good lookin on you. Since we have a very similar appearance I guess this dress will work on me too. We are currently rocking the same hairdo as well. Love the tutorial what good information about this pattern. I so appreciate the time you take to share your knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Shams, Thanks for posting this. I have been wondering about this dress. Now I'm sold! Sorry I didn't get a chance to meet you at PR weekend in SF. It seemed like we just didn't have enough time for getting together with many of the group.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Wow, are you ever rockin' this look! The dress looks absolutely fabulous on your newly svelte figure. Hot mama!

    ReplyDelete
  80. wow you look great . Love the dress , Love the boots , I would probably wear that dress with full boots or with shoes like the ones in the pattern pic.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Oh Wow!!! vava voom! I don't know how I missed this post the first time around... but you look sensational!! This dress, and you in it, are da bomb!

    ReplyDelete
  82. Stunning! You and the dress, and as always, the fabulous notes

    ReplyDelete
  83. Skinny you! I know you want us to praise the dress but what immediately struck me was how fantastically well you look. Great dress too!!!

    ReplyDelete
  84. looks just amazing on you, nice work!

    ReplyDelete
  85. OMG!! Shams, What a progress! And with how much discipline!!

    What you have been doing is definitely working! I can tell by the healthy glow on your face!

    ReplyDelete
  86. was finally able to order this pattern and it has been shipped. I am phsyched to maked it. I have the fabric lined up!

    ReplyDelete
  87. That dress is awesome! How did you learn to alter patterns and get the fit so perfect? I still struggle with that and have not found a good resources to tell me how to get better! Suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  88. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  89. What an adorable dress, and it looks so good on you! And those booties are adorable as well. When I first saw this pattern in the catalogue, I thought "Not for me", but now that I've seen it here, I think maybe I could pull it off. So very cute, and easy but such a pulled together look at the same time!

    ReplyDelete
  90. J'adore! The dress looks amazing on you and I'm feeling inspired to give it a shot. I love the boots but I'm thinking a similarly styled flat-heel boot would look even more fab - more like a "combat boot" perhaps? Or of course you could go the other way with something like the Keen "Naples" sandal in black or red.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Fabulous! Have the pattern, still to choose fabric, but can't wait to make this dress after seeing how wonderful it looks on you. However, I will need some shapewear!!

    ReplyDelete
  92. I must have this dress, too! Fell in love iwth the pattern the minute I saw it! Love your version, too!

    ReplyDelete
  93. This dress looks fantastic on you!!!! Great job.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Wow, I don't know how I missed your post about this dress pattern. You look great in this dress and rocking your new skinny self! Great post on how you sewed this dress, most helpful. I have this in my sewing line up to make soon.

    ReplyDelete