White, blue, blue

For the past month, the only outfit I’ve wanted to wear has been leggings and a tunic. For the past year, I’ve wanted to try the color-blocked version of Vogue 8805. The stars finally aligned.

I used a white linen from the stash shop for the top, the rest of my cotton-linen from this project for the bodice, and a bit of tencel purchased from Nancy’s Sewing Basket (in Seattle) for the bottom band.

crabandbee.com | Vogue 8805

I also lined it – more on that towards the bottom of this post – which reduced the wrinkle factor of the fabrics quite dramatically. I wore this for a full day without ironing it before taking these photos.

crabandbee.com | Vogue 8805

Based on my measurements, I graded from a smaller size through the waist to a larger one in the hips. I took a risk and didn’t make a muslin. Instead, I cut out the top piece first to make sure it fit through the shoulders before committing to cutting out the bodice. I figured I could minimize my fabric waste that way.

I like the final fit – the only additional modification I’d make would be taking 1″ width out of center-front from the neck through the waist (although I’d keep the neckline the same.) I could easily see this pattern working beautifully for a dressier dress – lace for the top and bottom contrasts, perhaps.

crabandbee.com | Vogue 8805

Aside from grading and the lining, I made a few modifications to the pattern. The first was keeping the upper back of the white piece open instead of stitching it partway closed. I’d read that some larger-headed sewists found the opening tight, and I didn’t want to take the risk – I’ve had issues finding hats and helmets that fit, and my graduation cap in college threatened to pop off my head throughout the ceremony.

crabandbee.com | Vogue 8805

I also shortened the sleeves by 1.75″ at the shoulder seam and 7/8″ at the armpit.

crabandbee.com | Vogue 8805

The lining was kind of a hybrid of lining and underlining. For the top piece, I sewed the fabric to the lining at the neckline and back opening, understitched at the seam and then treated it as one piece by sandwiching it with the bodice and bodice lining. I also skipped the top-stitching.

crabandbee.com | Vogue 8805

The bodice lining was a tiny chunk of linen-silk blend gifted to me by the textile artist I worked for, for shibori experiments. I thought twice about using it because it’s on the thicker side, but I’m so glad I went for it. It moves like a dream, feels great, and has reduced the wrinkling of the main fabric dramatically. I had so little fabric that I had to make a center-back seam and cut one piece on the cross-grain, but I haven’t noticed any repercussions.

The bottom band is sewn right-sides together on the front to both the fabric and the lining, and then slip-stitched closed on the inside. I also shortened the final length from what the pattern was suggesting.

crabandbee.com | Vogue 8805

The last modification I made was hemming the sleeves by hand. Since there isn’t much to this dress, I wanted to make it as luxurious as possible. And, after four years of sewing and reading sewing blogs, I finally had to see what the  fuss about hand-sewn hems was. I love how it looks and it was really fun to sew – meditative. I’m finding that I look forward to hand-sewing in my projects – do you? Am I crazy?

crabandbee.com | Vogue 8805

Or  just a tunic-and-leggings-lovin robot?


36 thoughts on “White, blue, blue

  1. Your tunic turned out great! Love the colour and fabric combinations. I agree re hand sewing. If I’m in the mood I really love it. I can connect again with the family rather than being so solitary at the machine.

    1. That’s a really interesting thought – hand-sewing is more conducive to socializing! I also think it’s easier to watch a movie or listen to something.

  2. Very cool make. Love the combination of colours and textures you’ve used. This is the nicest version of this pattern I’ve seen yet. Well done. And no, I’m not a fan of hand sewing. I don’t have any issues with it I just prefer using the blind hem foot XD.

    1. Thank you! I do love my blind hem foot and use it on pretty much everything, although I hesitated to use it on these sleeves because the hem was so narrow.

  3. Great tunic. I love that the colour blocking is subtle. I could see myself wearing this style of dress over and over again. I think I must have a big head too because I also find it difficult to buy hats.

  4. Love it! Great colour blocking choices. I love the tunic, for me it is a great shape, because all the waist darts and such on a more fitted piece just don’t fit my shape (flute, straight up and down-ish) properly. I like hand sewing as well, but more for embroidery. I find on garments, it is difficult to get through the layers, although would for sure depend on the fabrics you are using. I just learned how to use my blind hem foot and used it for the first time on a pair of culottes. It worked pretty well!

  5. Looks so stylish. Would make a great woven tee top too. And I could see it belted too. I’m not sure about loving hand sewing or looking forward to it, but I do like the finished effect and the control one has! Next time I will think of you and try to enjoy it more!

  6. Love it love it love it (you know I’m crazy about linen/blue/neutral/color-blocking). And that lining is blowing me away. Awesome as always, Morgan!

  7. Really lovely! I do not look forward to hand sewing my projects and work hard to minimize it. I think the main problem is that it cuts into my designated knitting time.

  8. What a lovely dress, Morgan. The colour combo is beautiful in its simplicity and the little details make it just perfect. Plus it looks great on you.

  9. Oh, this dress is completely gorgeous, and I love everything about it, the mix of fabrics and colours, and the beautiful finishing. Very very cool 🙂

  10. Gorgeous! I love the subtle color palette used for the blocking. And yeah, sometimes I totally look forward to hand sewing, too!! Also, love your boots!!

  11. this is very pretty! i love your eye for color, you have a way of making neutral colors so interesting. love the button back closure, very smart!

  12. Looks to me like a perfect any season dress, and let’s be honest nothing is as easy and comfortable while still looking like you’ve made an effort as leggings and a tunic! Very professional on the inside, too. One day I will sew like you!!

  13. Love your style! Seriously, can’t get enough. Your hand-makes are always a good reminder that things don’t have to be loud, less is more sort of thing. Keep em coming!

  14. I love your dress, the colours are lovely! I’ve just finished the same pattern in jersey and immediately cut out another but I will definitely be doing a linen version as well now that I’ve seen yours!

  15. Oh, I must have missed this one! So cool and perfectly understated, as always. Awesome finishing and the styling isn’t bad either. 🙂 I love Nancy’s but haven’t been there in ages, used to get much of my fabric and swatches there in college!

  16. Hi Morgan, love this linen version of this dress! Being a member of the broad shoulder society I wondered whether you made any shoulder adjustments to this pattern? Or would you have after wearing it for a while?

    1. No adjustments here (and I consider my shoulders both square and broad) and I don’t find myself wishing I’d made any after some wears! The kimono sleeve and loads of wearing ease makes it pretty forgiving to fit. The only change I would make in the future is removing some ease through the chest.

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