Mock Frock

After seeing celeb after celeb wearing Roland Mouret’s fantastic Galaxy dress and spouting the true wonders of its inner spandex core, I was very excited to see that Vogue produced its own version of the Galaxy dress, Vogue 8280, and I bought it immediately.

Fast forward several months and I finally had the time (and the small waist!) to make this dress using the gorgeous grey tartan wool I’d bought especially for it alongside the pattern. It took me two days of sewing after quite a bit of prep work, but I thoroughly enjoyed making this dress and I absolutely love the end result! It may not have the magical spandex core, but it does have a fully lined bodice and a neat skinny belt I made to further acentuate the nipped-in waist.

Having never sewn tartan before, I’d never had the pleasure of aligning the threads on the pattern pieces, but I feel I did a pretty good job for my first attempt. The skirt pieces all align perfectly, but there are a few spots on the waist and sleeves that are off by a few milimters, but I think the belt helps to distract it a bit at the waistline, anyway. I absolutely love the weave of this fabric, though! It’s a lightweight “spring wool” that isn’t scratchy in the slightest, and has threads of orange, purple, black, and white running through it that you only really see when you get close up. I’ve got about a meter of this left so I think I might make a pencil skirt from Burda WOF with the leftovers (I’ll probably wear a skirt more often than a va-va-voom dress anyway, especially with my casual office).

I do feel like this dress is a success in spite of Vogue’s instructions, however. I made View E, whose directions were split all over the sheets, saying things like “Sew steps 12-19 of View D, then sew steps 2-5 of View A, etc etc” which would’ve had me flipping the sheets all over and generally just adding to the confusion of an already confusing design. So I instead availed myself of the office photocopier and cut and pasted the various steps I needed to follow onto four sheets of A4 that I could just go through without having to follow a roadmap. If you’re going to do this pattern, I highly recommend doing something similar.

And finally I thought I’d show you my muslin for the bodice of this dress, in all its quick, dirty, and ugly glory. I use muslins only to check the fit and improve the instructions for the final garment, and I never, ever intend to wear them. This orange material was a misguided 75p a meter job from Walthamstow Market, and the beige lining used to be a duvet cover at some point in its life, I think. But it served its purpose in telling me that a 16 fits perfectly everywhere except the shoulders (I have very broad, muscular shoulders, but I still had to take in the center back seam by about two inches), and that the weird flange and sleeve pieces actually do make sense once you start working with them.

I can’t imagine I’d need two dresses like this in my wardrobe, but I am tempted to reuse the bodice of the sleeveless version and attach a fuller skirt onto it for a fun summer sundress. I love the neckline and I think it’d be just as suited to summer fun as it is to a sexy powersuit. What do you think?

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