Friday 10 March 2017

Puppy Sized Pockets - Vogue 8813

Way back last summer I had the intention of making a Marcy Tilton knit dress...

Over a year later I've finally made it, in a woven fabric instead, and I've been wearing it almost non stop ever since.

It's not a flattering or a sexy garment, but damn if it isn't incredibly comfortable, and kind of stylish in it's own way.

Flipper's reaction was to say that I looked "like an art teacher". Cryptic sure, but since I've always quite admired the way art teachers dress I'm taking that as a compliment.

When I showed my new dress to the kids and pointed out the enormous pockets, P's eyes went wide and he breathlessly spurted out "You could fit a puppy in there!" I suspect he's right.

I'd traced off the enormous pattern pieces and cut and sewn a muslin of this dress last year, in a dreadful cheap knit fabric of no real redeeming qualities. I wasn't excited about it. It hung, and sagged and just looked blah. I even purchased the next size down pattern thinking I'd go smaller, but I just couldn't get back to it.

With our January holiday looming I decided to sew it up in a nice, cool, washed cotton and have it as my lounging round the motel dress. Sewing it in a woven, I thought I'd stick with the L size I'd traced and the fit across the shoulders is perfect. The rest is so oversized it hardly seems to matter.

The dress comes together quite quickly and is an enjoyable sew. The instructions for the gathering on the bodice were fun as they involved zig zag stitching over a thread of perle cotton (or dental floss in my case). Then, to fix the gathers, a row of straight stitching is done above and below the zig zag. The effect is kind of faux smocking and looks quite nice. I found my gathering got pushed out a bit by the straight stitching and I probably gained a centimetre and a half but since the seam lines now fall exactly on my bust like princess seams, I guess that's not a bad thing.

With all my negativity about my first test run, I've been surprised by how much I've liked wearing this final version. I have to say thanks to Thornberry Lara who encouraged me to stick with it and let me square up against her at Frocktails recently in order to convince myself I really was a large size after all!
(that's how precise my size selection is folks - find someone who's made the pattern in size "x", stand next to them and go "yeah, I'm bigger than you" and select size "x+1")

My mum came to visit recently and I suggested she tried it on. Man does it look good on her! So, maybe I've made a grandma art teacher dress, but I don't care. :)

And then mum and I found some fabulous printed linen covered in fish and the plan is she gets a fishy version for herself.  

The buttons that I've used here have little starfish/flower type things carved on them and will also be perfect for the fishy version - I'll be sure to get a close up picture then.

So, it's enjoyable to sew, comfy to wear, possibly stylish, certainly gets compliments from the other hot and bothered mums at school pick up, but...'re hanging out for the burning question  in this pattern review to be answered, aren't you...

Can you fit a puppy in those pockets?

It turns out you sort of can.

You just might have to pick a smaller breed. :)

Size: L/XL (the smallest size in the second size packet) . No alterations. I'm keeping the smaller sizes as I would definitely size down if I made a knit version.
Fabric: French navy, washed cotton from The Cloth Shop
Notions: 2 buttons from Buttonmania


  1. I Love your dress. I might reconsider making one myself. I did sew one, just when the pattern came out. In a knit fabric, just not good, like you mentioned. Looking at your version, I think I have to try it again in a woven. I even have the puppy, a real one, in a size, that fits into the pocket.

    1. Oh Annie I want to see that puppy in a pocket photo! I feel like it should work in a knit, but maybe one with no vertical stretch so it doesn't sag out too much. It's an awful lot of fabric and anything heavy and stretchy just won't work I suspect. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. I'm really glad that you persevered because it looks fabulous! I'm putting another one on my to-sew list. And I like your sizing method! (Also, thanks for the Instagram tip-off about that fish printed linen; there is now some in my stash).

    1. OOh, can't wait to see what you do with the fishy linen. Thanks for the lovely compliment and I am glad you encouraged me to go back and look at the pattern again. I'm happy to have something so easy to wear in my wardrobe.

  3. Thank you for normalising my sizing method! A grandma art teacher? Pffff! You look super stylish! I can't even imagine this dress in a knit, it looks perfect as is!

    1. :) but wait til you see my mum in hers and then you'll totally get the arty granny vibe! Maybe I'll get her to pose by the pottery wheel....

  4. Oh my goodness - this is such an awesome post. I was literally laughing out loud. (I call that a LLOL!) :P

    Flipper's comment is soo funny! I agree that art teachers have a cool vibe and I love this look. I really love the faux smocking and the pockets are so cool! This makes me want to sew for myself! I have so many garments I want to make for my kids that my wardrobe is in need of some work. I have about 5 dresses in rotation and call it good, albeit boring. Maybe I should call it my "capsule wardrobe" instead! haha

    1. I would love to see you in this dress Rachel. I think this pattern, like a lot of those "oversized" japanese patterns could look really amazing on a tall, willowy figure like yours!
      Plus, if it makes you wander about the house, exclaiming about the light, sketching the chickens and swearing in french that would just be too cool and very funny! Don't say you haven't been warned - it could have exactly that effect :)

  5. I think P was hinting myself. It looks so cool and the fact that it fits your shoulders doesn't look oversized.

  6. Puppies or not, its a beautiful dress and you look lovely in it. I am thinking that the "art teacher" comment is right on the mark!

  7. It does look a bit art teacherish but one from the very best sort of school.
    I love it.

  8. Oh my goodness. I made this same dress in a lovely purple linen, also size large. (I did measure myself carefully.). When I finished and tried it on for the first time my immediate reaction was, “Why in the world is this dress SO BIG?” I called my Mom and proclaimed that I had completed an extremely well-constructed giant purple muumuu. Since I was pleased with the quality I decided to test-drive wearing the dress while teaching piano. It turns out I LOVE my GIANT purple dress. It is the coolest and most comfortable garment I own and yes I can fit all kinds of wonderful things in those pockets: teaching supplies, snacks, devices, piano students. I ordered a second pattern a size down and another shade of the linen, dusty coral this time. However, I’ve decided to stick with my size large because I don’t want to mess with that level of comfort. I received many compliments from students, convincing me that I can pull off oversized attire in juicy colors. I may never go back to form-fitting.


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