...fabric for the Adventurous Sewist

Vogue make V8974 in Divine 'by Gertie'

Posted by Maree Cunningham on

I cannot believe the Great British Summer has come to an end and I have only just finished this dress that was on my list as my number one make of the season.
This vintage 40’s make from Vogue patterns V8974 has been on my make list since mid-summer of 2018 and it has taken me all this summer to actually finish it.  
I started this way… back… in April and then it came to a grinding halt!

At the time I didn’t have any lining for my skirt.  The pattern doesn’t require the skirt to be lined, but I find with a white the based print, these fabrics do need something under them as they tend to be a little sheer.
I couldn’t decide upon a buckle for my belt and I also struggled a little with the fit of my bodice and then lining up my stripes on my skirt, so this one, kind of ended up in the ‘frustration’ pile.
That too far made -not to finish.

On completion of vogue V8974 as much as I love the pattern and my fabric choice, I’m not as much as 'in love' with my finished dress as I thought I would be.


I love all of the designs in the Charming collection 'by Gertie' for Michael Miller fabrics and it took me ages to decide on which fabric I wanted the most to a make a dress from. 
When I finally decided on  the ‘Divine’ in blue, I opted for this vogue pattern with its unfussy styling and I thought this would be a perfect match and a nice add to my wardrobe. 

I guess the other part of this slow burn number, is that summer 2019 hasn’t been great here in old Blighty and the desire get summer makes done, hasn’t been a high on the priority list.

When I did my quick search online to find out if there was any pitfalls to this style -the main moan's, were making sure the bodice fitted at it's a darted bias cut style and thus the fit need a little work and the zip is a true pain to put in. (oddly.. I didn't have too much of a problem with that.)

I did three test pattern for my bodice as I wanted to make sure, I had a good fit. So once I was happy with my finial bodice it was just a cut and sew project.

I spent quite a bit of time matching my stripes – this is a skill; I struggle with as I wanted to make sure everything was all lined up in the right place.

When I did the straps, I pattern matched my fabric to follow on from the pattern placement in my bodice and took the additional extra length from the back length of the strap.

The only only bit that really took any time, was putting in the zip. The front pattern is cut on the bias and the back is cut on the straight grain, so you have to make sure no over stretching of the fabric is going on to get it all to line up perfectly. I took my time with this and also used a piece of grosgrain to go behind my zip, which helped with stabling my zip. 

Pattern Alterations Notes:

  • I added a little height at the underarm.  Now that it’s all finished, I wish I had raised my underarm line more to achieve a smoother look and possible added in a little side boning.
  • I removed a gap dart from the neckline edge.
  • Length was added to the bodice at the waistline.
  • I also shorten the skirt length on the pattern a hefty 15cm. I went with a skirt length, I know is the most flattering for me. 
I will add in- when I did my test bodice, I used an old sheet that was very thread bear and as it was so soft, I think it moulded better to the body than what my finished fabric did.
So, I would recommend for your test pattern, to use a fabric that is the same weight as you're finished fabric. 
I have since gone back to my old fitful and that’s a medium weight unbleached calico. I searched online to find the best deal and its from pound fabrics. The calico is £2- per meter, which was by far the best deal I could find and now I have a 10-meter roll to get me through, the foreseeable future!
What I dislike most about this patten, is the bodice style. This bodice really makes me look top heavy- I’m only just a D-cup and I can’t help but think, the top half of me is trying to escape from this dress and the darts just look pointed -no matter what I did
So my advice on Vogue V8974 is if your not a slim 1940's shaped girl-
  • Raise you're underarm seam a little.
  • Add boning to the side panel areas for additional support and a smother line, I would say a panel down each side of the side seam. 
  • and / or find the perfect cardigan - I was lucky enough to have this little green number already in my wardrobe.

Would I make this dress again...?

Umm maybe if I loose 10-15kg! I think only then I won’t feel so self-conscious in it and like the top half of me isn’t trying to escape from a bear hug. But I have to say, I do love the shape, length and fullness of the skirt. 
This bit will be added into my sewing stable wardrobe and that skirt pattern I can put any bodice with. So that is a win.

What do you need.

  • Vogue V8974
  • 3m x fabric (by Gertie’s Divine in blue)
  • 0.5 Lawn Lining if only doing the bodice.
  • 2m Lawn lining if lining the whole dress.
  • 18”/45cm zip
  • hooks and eyes
  • 60cm Grosgrain ribbon as a cover stay piece behind your zip

To complete your vintage look-

  • Check out bow and crossbones for a great range of Fakelite bangles and earring’s. I dare you to stop at one.
  • I love Lola Ramona for shoes. The retro styling in bold colour combinations are my must have shoe.
  • .. and for the perfect cardigan check out Banned apparel- just soo many options.


Sew On, till my next make. 

Maree x 'a Mad Seamstress' 



Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.