Saturday, 19 November 2016

V9176 Vogue Wardrobe Sheath Dress

Hi all,

Here we are with just over a month to go till Christmas and time just seems to speed up faster every year in the busy-ness of it's approach. Parties and get togethers galore, work and more work, plans and deadlines.  In Sydney we don't get a white christmas but we do get hot summer nights that are great for parties and pre-christmas dinner cruises. Last Friday night was such a night for my work's Christmas party harbour cruise. When the invitation came in I had the 'what will I wear' moment even though I of course have things to wear .. I had patterns I wanted to try and wanted something simple. I chose  V9176,  ran up a quick cotton muslin, refined the fit then decided to risk it in heavy *silk from the stash.
*Edited to add I did a burn test and found out it is not silk. I think it is cotton sateen. It's ultimately a mystery but it is a beautiful quality fabric I bought from either Tessuti or The Fabric Store, Sydney. I really should keep notes..


I lined the dress as per instructions. I also interfaced the neckline and armholes. Strangely, no sort of reinforcement is  mentioned in the instructions. I did an invisible zip, the best one I have ever done, following the sewing divas invisible zip tutorial

Just for my own records I am going to summarise what I did in my own words:

Pin back seam together, mark where zip will end, leaving 5cm of zip below the mark. Mark this with chalk on the zip, and also by your preferred method on the seam allowances.
Machine baste to mark then change stitch length and sew a few stitches, reverse a few stitches then sew the rest of the seam shut.
Press seam open.  Make sure you have pressed it enough so it will hold the crease when the basting is taken out.
Press the zipper tape and teeth open, carefully, on low heat.
Undo the basting stitches. Align zipper, face down on the seam and pin to seam allowance so that teeth are aligned with pressed edge. Pin zipper to seam allowances.
Machine baste zip to seam allowance down the middle of the tape. This is what I do to keep the zip in place for the proper stitching - it really helps. You can also do the zip up and check that both sides are sitting evenly.
Then switch to a zipper foot and sew close to the teeth from top to bottom, both sides, stopping at the chalk mark and back-stitching a few stitches.
That's it. Easier than stitching the bottom of the dress seam last, but I find even if I have to redo the bit below the zip it's somehow easier with this method. Thanks Els!

My alterations: Square shoulder adjustment, shortening the pattern at the waist by a total of 6cm and bringing out the waist curve a bit. Adding back 3cm to the hem. Note:  Watch the dress length, it's designed to be a mini. Pinching a scant .5cm out of the front neckline 'v' curve just above the bust to prevent gaping. The previously mentioned neck and armhole interfacing.

This will now be my go-to sheath dress pattern.
Leaving you with a couple of shots of Sydney harbour :)



  1. What a beautiful dress! and it fits you perfectly. At times I really miss all those occasions for dress up :-) It will be warm here as well, although we all use scented candles and cinnamon cones to at least have it smell like it's snowing outside! Hope the holidays are a wonderful time for you - Coco

    1. Thanks Coco I enjoy any chance to dress up. I took off my black stilettos at the last minute because they were not good for walking on deck! I hope your Christmas will be great!

  2. Perfect dress for your cruise and all the seam lines would make adjusting it quite easy. Interesting no mention of stabilising, and I need to try out that zipper technique, sounds very good.

    1. Thanks Sharon. The dress was easy to adjust, the pattern is a keeper :)

  3. Va va voom, what a sensational dress Val! I am fascinated with the instructions for inserting invisible zips - I have been following the instruction on the zip, but half the time it doesn't work out and I have to start over. Re the lining, do you hand baste it to the zip later?

    1. Thanks Patricia. With the zip, no matter what method you use, machine basting it in place before you do the close stitching is the key. Re the lining, I just folded the seam allowance under, pressed carefully with an iron on low heat then machine stitched the lining into place over the zipper tape. The proper method is to do it from the inside along the crease but a little way from the teeth..I simply didn't have time and my shortcut worked just as well.

  4. Gorgeous dress Valerie. And great pictures of Sydney. My daughter will be in Sydney this Christmas, I'm already jealous of her seeing all this beauty.