Love Me a Wiggle Dress

What do you get when you mix this pattern with this piping and this dress inspiration?

…You get this one…
…a vintage-inspired
(insert other)
Hands down, this is the best outcome of last year’s new-clothes-free year. Usually I would be devising a scheme to get my mits on that gorgeous Etsy dress. And it was only because buying wasn’t an option, that I even considered sewing. Now it seems crazy to have ever considered buying!
 Which came first, the pattern or the piping? I bought this pattern, found the piping and fell in love with that ‘nautical wiggle dress’ in three unrelated incidences. True. I snapped up Vogue 8280 after first seeing it here and there it sat in the stash waiting for the right fabric… and for me to grow some balls. I jumped on a review site and found lots of lovely but very sensible versions for the office. I was still hanging out for a cheeky wiggle dress and when I saw this cute fabric with little jolly-rogers and anchors…Vogue 8280 was free from her shackles!
 I had a good feeling about this one. A pattern combining a fitted bodice, sweetheart neckline and pencil skirt is a guaranteed never-fail for broad shouldered, narrow hipped, up-side down triangle shaped girls. Choosing the right size was kind of important since I am yet to figure out the making of a muslin and some of the reviews recommended you size down. According to the pattern I was between a 12 and 14. I cut the 14 to be safe but when I held up the pieces it just seemed too big, so went back and cut the 12. So far I seem to be getting away with shrinking seam allowances down if I’ve cut too smaller size rather than entirely re-fitting a bigger size. For now.
The bodice fit perfectly and with pinning help from an obliging girl at the fabric shop, I took in the sides of the skirt and changed the shape. Not leaving without my wiggle!
And yes they are fake…eyelashes. I was SO excited about how to style this dress to capture its retro rockabilly spirit. Yet to get in touch with my inner ‘girly-girl’, I had to search Pinterest for ‘pin-up’ style make-up and buy some basics. According to this tutorial you must have pin-up eyebrows so off they went for a wax. The beautician was not familiar with these so called pin-up eyebrows but somehow we nutted out that they had to be long and thin, with a high arch, please. As you can probably tell, I had fun hamming it up for the camera in a deserted (at least I think it was) carpark. Not hard to do when your eyelashes are an inch long.

One of the reviewers said she highlighted all the instructions for the particular view you want to sew because they jump about. Which it does. Invaluable. My personal tip is: write yourself encouraging messages along the way, which is especially good for sewers previously brought to tears by a vogue pattern.

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  • Mrs Biddlewrote:

    Wow! Utterly AMAZING. This is a true sewing triumph. Congratulations xx

  • Julijawrote:

    Amazing! Great dress, I really like it. And your make-up is just fantastic!

  • Kitschy Coowrote:

    Everything about this dress is awesome. I’ve had this pattern for ages but haven’t used it yet, love your take on it.

  • Emilywrote:

    Could you please stop being so damn adorable? I mean really. 😉

    That dress is AWESOME. Love love love it.

  • Vanessa@DesignsBySessa.comwrote:

    Wow! What model you are! The dress is beautiful, but you just shine in it! Seriously fantastic!

  • Carolynwrote:

    I am speechless! That dress is gorgeous and you look AMAZING in it! Truely amazing!

  • probablyactuallywrote:

    You are one hot tamale, Sophie!! That dress looks like it was tailor made for you (I mean, I guess it was, you being the tailor, but it’s just so PERFECT!). Beyond fabulous.

  • Maja Huetherwrote:

    Wow! Love your dress! You’ve inspired me to try a new-clothes-free year. Did you really go all year without buying any new clothes? Did you do it for your whole family. I’m not sure I can do that. I was just thinking of doing it for my kids, but maybe cheating a little by buying anything that might be too hard or time consuming to make (like jeans). If you have any tips for being successful, I’d love to hear them.

  • SaraJwrote:

    That dress is amazing! And you look great in it. I love sewing for my kids, but am a little nervous to attempt anything for myself!

  • Laura @ ON{thelaundry}LINEwrote:

    Wow-ee, too cute! I love it! I love me a wiggle dress.

  • hungiegungiewrote:

    WOWZA! That is such a gorgeous and flattering dress… i LOVE it! -Erin

  • Cation Designswrote:

    This is absolutely amazing! I love the fabric, the piping, the neckline, and especially the silhouette! You make an awesome rockabilly/pin-up/sailor/some other words model. Out of curiosity, what kind of modifications did you need to make to get the skirt so…wiggly…at the bottom?

  • small + friendlywrote:

    Holy smokes!!!! Love love love. That’s it. I’m buying that pattern and I am writing myself lots of encouraging notes. Incredible.
    P.S. – You are gorgeous and perfectly suited to this style!

  • strugglesewsastraightseamwrote:

    This is so lovely! You look amazing, and very bombshell nautical pin-up. I know, you probably get that all the time. Really lovely job and excellent photos!

  • Sarahwrote:

    oh my gosh! love this! it looks really lovely on you and suits you a treat. very inspirational too, no one wonder you had a new-clothes-free year when you sew like this. lovely pics too!

  • Elisabetwrote:

    Amazing, this looks so good on you. Love the fabric and the piping!

  • Stephaniewrote:

    LOVE IT! Your styling is darling.

  • Annawrote:

    wow, it’s totally amazing! totally. you look awesome in it and way to work the modeling, 🙂

  • skirtastopwrote:

    Someone call the fire department!! Haha, oh god, so cheesy. Seriously though, this dress is hot and you look amazing in it! VERY nicely done!!

  • Maxwrote:

    Oh my goodness you are GORGEOUS! Those are perfect eyebrows hun! I am on an eternal quest to have perfect eyebrows and I get eyebrow envy very easily.

    I love that dress so much, before I had Vinnie I was a bit of a rockabilly girl {although a bit more punk so – psychobilly} and I used to always go out in wiggle dresses! There’s something about them that makes you feel vivacious huh!

    You look gorgeous, the dress is a total win, I am in love with those sleeves! Great work!

  • aenowrote:

    Amazing! You sure can pull it off – me, not so much.

  • One Sleepy Dadwrote:

    Cool, now I know what piping is!

    Great post, great photos, great dress, great Caesar’s ghost.

  • Ololiwrote:

    Beautiful dress and great styling!

  • Amberwrote:

    So you’ve just totally encouraged me to sew a dress for myself. I sew for my kids all the time and the occasional small item for me but I’ve been tiptoeing around dress patterns for the longest. And the fake eyelashes! Added encouragement, indeed. Nice job!

  • Saschawrote:

    Holy shitballs! I love it. That dress looks amazing on you. Even before I read the part about the eyebrows I noticed their awesomeness.

  • Kimberlywrote:

    My top sewing goal for 2012 (besides taking a more relaxed, yet balls out approach) is to sew an apparel item for myself. I have wanted to make a wiggle dress so stinkin’ badly and this just seals it for me. PERFECTION and holy crap you looking amazing in it!

  • Tinawrote:

    This is lovely! I’ve been eyeballing this pattern.

  • Cirque Du Bebewrote:

    WOW! You guys blow me away. Love the profanities too, but if you keep bestowing such lovely comments on me I’m not going to want to leave the house. So, yes, if you’re not already, you should definitely start sewing lady clothes…we can’t let the kids have all the fun! Maybe instead of a no-new-clothes for a year it can be NO SEWING FOR THE KIDS for a year 😉

  • poppykettlewrote:

    Fabulous Dress? Check. Great Photography? Check. Great sewing skills? Check. That’s three outa three from mee!

  • Rosalindwrote:

    woooooot wooo, great job 🙂

  • Johannawrote:

    I just remembered I never commented! Awesome dress! You look great in it, and the fabric? perfect! I’m gonna try making a muslin first with my next dress I think, now all I need is a dress form 🙂 Hooray for sewing grown up clothes!

  • megannielsenwrote:

    Just catching up on my google reader now – and holy cow!! You look amazing hun! That dress is divine and you look absolutely fabulous in it! Bravo! I have to be honest, i would have overlooked that pattern – but after seeing it on you i am sold! Hugs! xoxo

  • Katiewrote:

    Sophie you are gorgeous! Love it all – the lashes, brows, fabric, and especially love the piping detail. Sigh. Must make me some big girl clothes. x

  • juliawrote:

    Gorgeous dress!!! Looks soooo much better than in Vogue! Love the combination of fabric and the piping..

  • Hollywrote:

    Oh god i need that dress! Well done sophie its utterly stunning! Woooohoo. p.s Happy New Year!

  • Marionwrote:

    this dress is sooo sizzling it’s a smokin

  • sallie oleta barbeewrote:

    You are a sewing goddess! So good!

  • theperfectnosewrote:

    This dress is fantastic! Also, I love the anchors on the fabric =)


  • Fairybullewrote:

    So beautiful, I love your fabric!!!

  • IeneMienewrote:


  • Neenowrote:

    You are so pretty x
    How do you get the wiggle skirt to fit around the hips/butt so snug and perfect??
    This dress is BEAUTIFUL!

  • Ritu Guptawrote:

    Hey nice dress….

  • Sassy Twrote:

  • Ada Spragg: Happy New Year and a Galaxy Dresswrote:

    […] I admit I have a huge backlog of hand-made lovelies to share, starting with this one, a second Vogue 8280, my beloved, aka the Roland Mouret Galaxy Dress in a particularly galactic looking fabric. I can […]

  • Lyndawrote:

    A little late to this post but wanted to comment to say this dress is gorgeous on you! I’ve owned this pattern for a several years and seeing this has inspired me (as do most of your makes) to make a version for this(UK) winter. Thank you:-)

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