The frostiest frosting: Vogue 8866

16Jan13

I’ve recently made two fairly serious, involved projects which definitely count as sewing cake; aka classic and versatile garments that underpin an outfit. So it was definitely time for a quick and frivolous project. Even better, I had one already planned and waiting to go: a knockoff of a Christopher Kane dress in some sparkly doubleknit. By no stretch of the imagination could this dress be described as practical, classic, or versatile. But I love it.



The pattern is Vogue 8866 with a few adaptations to better match the inspiration dress. I doubled the height of the collar and added extensions to the sleeves with thumbholes. I also added small shoulder pads, all the better to get the 80s space opera look, and lengthened the skirt by a couple of inches. I don’t normally get on with just-below-the-knee skirts but it seems to work for this style.



I made a few changes to the construction. The collar on the original closes with a hook and eye. I was dubious about that staying closed, so I extended the collar to make an underlap and used four small snaps instead.

I sewed two different kinds of seam. Seams where I wanted a very flat effect, such as the centre front and back seams, were sewed on the regular sewing machine and pressed open. The rest were overlocked. The overlocked ones won’t press flat and so are slightly more visible; I deliberately overlocked the back yoke seam to gave a bit of interest to the back view. The original design has top-stitching but I doubt it would show up against the texture of the fabric so I haven’t bothered.



The fabric itself is great stuff. It’s very thick and elastic black doubleknit with a silver thread knitted in. I got it from the Birmingham Rag Market last year. Despite probably being entirely polyester and plastic it pressed quite well; by which I mean I didn’t manage to melt it despite cranking the iron up well above the ‘synthetic’ setting. The right side is somewhat scratchy so I used scraps of black cotton jersey as a neck facing and to line the sleeve extensions. This was partly why I made extensions rather than just lengthening the sleeves; the lining’s attached like the inside of a shirt cuff so it stays firmly in place. I top-stitched it in place around the thumbhole.

I couldn’t find a belt that resembled the one in the original look so I went for the shiniest one I own. It came from Karen Millen some years ago; long before I started sewing anyway. The shoes are Mel Toffee Apple wedges.

So does this dress have a place in my wardrobe? Or indeed anyone’s? I think President Servalan, an 80s scifi villainess and one of my style heroines, would definitely wear it. Of course she’d be carrying out some ridiculous plot to clone herself, take over the Galactic Federation, or steal a fortune in gold. I’ve been wearing it to laze around the house. I’d better get plotting.



42 Responses to “The frostiest frosting: Vogue 8866”

  1. This dress is elegance itself! I love the back.

  2. I love it, very space age! Great fabric find; please don’t start plotting to take over the galaxy though.

  3. That dress is just too many kinds of fabulous to do it justice with mere words! And it’s definitely not too frosty. AND you look brilliant wearing it. And and and…after rushing to Sew Direct to buy the pattern I find I in fact already have it (for the jacket, originally). That never happens.

    Divine! In all respects.

  4. In fact:

    RESPECT!

  5. I love this. It is perfect for the days when world domination is on your mind, but you just don’t have the right outfit. Now you do!

  6. This looks fabulous! Great job. Sometimes we need a bit of fun & whimsy thrown in.

  7. Wow! This dress is spectacular!! Love the fabric, the style, and the fit.

  8. Sparkly and definitely wearable! Beautiful! I love frosting. :)

  9. Fabulous outfit. I love what you have done with the back of the neck and the sleeves

  10. Love this! However, I would consider it classic. A little sparkle won’t hurt anyone. Now, if this were beaded or sequin-covered… But this, you could wear quite a few places; to work, to a bar, to a nice diner out. So what’s a little bit frosting and a little bit cake?

  11. I was thinking the same thing as Isaspacey…I think this is a very cool classic. I l adore this dress and think you could wear it a hundred different ways for a hundred years and it will still look cool.

  12. This is such a lovely dress, elegant yet practical! And the fit is incredible!!!

  13. Love it, I too would call it classic, or classic with a twist. Great fabric find!

  14. 14 carmencitabs

    World domination awaits!

  15. 15 houseofpinheiro@facebook.com

    I love this dress. It’s so sophisticated and rock and roll. Must get this pattern

  16. I love it – especially the extra long sleeves with thumb holes! Definitely what to wear for intergalactic domination.

  17. I love it! And if you’re looking for some evil foes to vanquish I have a list. Let me give it to you so that you can bring some good to the world! *LOL*

  18. That’s a very glam dress for Amazon ’round the house Catherine, very nice sewing :)! (I bought a couple of metres of the same fabric at Birmingham too, might make a bathing top from it.)

  19. Your style is awesome and this dress is no exception. Servilan, now that’s a blast from the past!

  20. OMG that is awesome and so elegant-you should totally wear it for a nightout and make everyone else look like trashy skanks XD Actually don’t-pencil skirts are hard to make a quick getaway in..
    So elegant though. The little keyhole neckline closure is cool too. I thought for a split second that there’d be a massive cut out in the back (like in the party dress book book-no idea why. I now want a jersey top/ dress with a back cutout..).

  21. Love Servalan, love the dress. Perfect attire for many an occassion but particularly perfect for flirting outrageously with Avon whilst running around a deserted quarry in high heels.

  22. Too too gorgeous and elegant. Styled perfectly with the shoes.

  23. I love this dress. I loves me some sparkle too. I totally would consider this cake. I would wear it to my old job in banking too!

  24. I can see why you love that dress. It is fabulous!

  25. Oh, do wear this out and about, rather than just at home. I really like its retro vibe. The thumb holes are way cool! (Great shoes to pair with it, too.)

  26. Oh Servalan was so beautiful, wasn’t she? Glamour and steel all wrapped up. My teenage self had a big crush on Avon.
    I totally love your dress, and the thumb holes are genius for a winter-y dress.

  27. Nice weather you are having! I love the dress, I’m all for a bit of frosting myself. You could also cake-ify it if you wanted to get more wear out of it on your days off being a sci fi villain and wear it with a black jacket and tights

  28. Oh, it is so deeply you, SpaceWoman and I have no idea who Servalan is, but I would lock this one up at night so that she doesn’t steal it to another galaxy, far, far, away. I so love your look, sleek, minimal and yet sexy. Well done, Commander!

  29. I know i tend towards the dramatic, but this is positively exquisite. The whole outfit – shoes, dress, hair, belt. This is simply perfect. You have such a fabulous figure for this kind of thing. BRAVO!!!

  30. This is so cool, and very you! Love it!

  31. When I read that title, I was totally expecting to see crazy colors or massive shoulder pads, or something. What you made is totally still versatile, and beautiful to boot.

  32. gorgeous dress, and you look totally fab!

  33. Gorgeous, one of my favorites that you’ve done!

  34. Sooo beautiful!! I love it!

  35. Love your dress…. you look fab!

  36. Gorgeous! I like it better than the inspiration dress, and the way you’ve styled it, I think you could totally pull this off as office wear, date wear, or just looking fabulous wear :)

  37. Beautiful!! And totally wearable for any occasion! Except maybe the gym. Well done!

  38. 40 Katie

    Not only a fastastic outfit, but the shadows in that pictures are absolutely glorious. Someone needs to paint that as a portrait. :-)

  39. Lovely dress, I can’t see the sparkles on my screen. The fabric looks like a tweed. But I can imagine how wonderful it twinkles in real life. I was happy to to see this dress pattern made up. I was thinking of using it to make a wrdrobe basic – black knit dress.

  40. I think its a cake dress too and you can go for presidential intergalactic power with it too. So versatile? Yep I think ’tis. Very chic too. And sparkly.



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