Pattern Review – Vogue 8723 (aka The Forty Frock)

I turned 40 in that birthday no man’s land that sits in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Sucky time to have a birthday and you’d think that by 40 I’d have gotten over used to it but, no, it’s still a sucky time to have a birthday. So two and a half months later, I made a fairly spontaneous decision to mark the occasion with a small gathering of nearest and dearest because, as one mate likes to say, “you may not be around when you’re fifty”. Fair and true enough. But really, I find myself feeling pretty damn bliss-ed out about this time in my life and the people that are a part of it. That may or may not be related to my age and stage, and my 30s were not without their challenges (to be sure), but 40 so far is so far so good.

Now, let’s push aside that uncharacteristic sentimentality and move on to the dress. For this occasion I decided on Vogue 8723.

Do you pick the pattern or the fabric first? For me, this was totally and completely a fabric-first choice. Toffee Drops is a cotton/poly/metal with a beautiful velvet-y flocked, square-ish spot that is unlike any fabric I’ve seen before.

This dress was such a pleasure to sew. I took my time and made a muslin of the bodice to check for a perfect fit, mandatory with this type of design. The pattern caters for A-D bra cup sizes which gives the final garment a lovely shape. Like most Vogue patterns, I found the sizing ran large and I ended up cutting an 8 despite the fact that I generally measure between a 10-12. As with this top, I used a Mokuba grosgrain for the straps.

I added an invisible zip and the dress is fully lined with a black rayon. The metal content of the fabric (7%) gives the skirt a nice fullness which I really wanted. I’ve never before sewn with a metal fabric but I’m in love with the body and hold it gives to a garment. I even love the type of crush it gives.

And, lastly, are the pockets. Lovely pockets hidden in amongst all those lovely gathers.

If you’d like to see another version of this dress, check out Nasrin’s over here.