the stash collection: vogue 9197

I’ve had so much fun this week. It’s always rewarding to have a group of projects finished and ready to show you. Sewing clothes can be quite a process, so it’s nice when it comes full circle. Today, I’m going to chat about this striped dress, a Vogue 9197 pattern, which is the last item I’m going to spotlight from the stash collection. The other two items, the denim skirt and white popover blouse (Vogue 1486 an Butterick 5997, respectively) will have their day in the sun in the coming weeks. I’m working on another version of those items, so we’ll dedicate a blog post to each one when everything is ready.

Next week is a big week. I’m making a huge, blog-related announcement (it’s all I can do to not spill the beans right here and now!), and I’ve also got a tutorial to share and a fun “ideas” post for an upcoming collection. So, come back next week. Big things are happening!

Now, let’s talk about this dress. It’s another pattern repeat–you saw the first version back in December. Funny enough, that wasn’t even the first time I made this pattern. Last fall, when the pattern came out, I made it in a summery floral sateen with a self-drafted full circle skirt, and it remains one of my favorite pieces. The thing about this pattern is that it’s simple, versatile, and super, super flattering. The bodice is fitted with a French dart and a nice sleeve, and I appreciate the high neckline because it covers that pesky scar of mine on my lower neck. I love finding a pattern that fits well that can be translated into so many different dresses, and I went with this pattern again for this dress because I knew it would showcase the stripes in an interesting way.

I’ve had this striped sateen for something like a year and half, always having it in the back of my mind waiting for the project to fall into place. I decided to cut the bodice and sleeves with the stripes going horizontally with vertical stripes on the skirt. After playing with the fabric on the dress form, I thought it would be utterly fantastic to make this dress a maxi. You’ll notice that none of the dress is actually sewn yet. I like to pin pieces on the form to get an idea for print placement, and that’s what I was doing here. I loved the longer length, but once I actually cut the skirt pieces and attached them to the bodice, the idea didn’t translate. I tried it on and knew something was off, so I ended up ignoring it for a few days while I put my finger on what it was that bothered me so much.

I felt like the maxi length was dowdy and a little sad, so I took off about 18″ to make it midi length. To me, it feels much more youthful and fresh at that length. I’m still dreaming about a striped maxi dress though, so we’ll see what I can come up with this summer. For now, I’m pretty pleased with this cute little dress.

Before cutting the dress, I spent some time thinking about the stripe placement on the bodice. By having the navy stripe concentrated slightly above the bust, the eye goes there, which creates a nice visual–the stripes around the shoulders balance out the fullness of the skirt, and the waist is nicely cinched in. I think I could have brought the stripe down just a hair on the bodice. The white space across the bust gives the illusion of a fuller bust.

I did not use the skirt pattern from the envelope; instead, I cut three rectangles and sewed them together to make the skirt. That’s one thing that’s always, always bothered me about working with stripes: if you use a shaped skirt pattern, the print gets kind of wonky. I didn’t want that. I wanted the print on the skirt to remain vertical. I had about 2 1/4 yards of fabric left to use for the skirt, so I divided it evenly, cut it, and then sewed it just like I would a regular skirt piece. It’s a dirndl skirt, which is essentially a rectangular piece.

I used an invisible zipper and matched the stripe as closely as possible. Because it’s an uneven stripe with a painted effect, it’s next to impossible to get it to match perfectly but you can still get pretty close. To help insert my zipper in the right spot so the stripe matched, I used a double sided basting tape to hold the zipper in place. Basting works well too, but the tape is a little easier to work with. It doesn’t gum up your needle or sewing machine, and it washes out in the washing machine. Easy! (More on this tape and installing zippers later. If you’re interested in the tape, it’s called Wash Away Wonder Tape, by Dritz. Lifesaver!)

I’m happy with how well this dress turned out, but I’m even happier with the collection as a whole. The challenge of using stash fabrics to make this group of garments was a great way to start a new year. Now I’m looking forward to spring! See y’all next week!


  1. Amy Pitts | 4th Apr 17

    I recently made this pattern in my sewing class and was told that because of the gathering of the skirt I can’t do a lining. But seeing all the hems and no lining underneath bugs me! Is it doable if I use a very thin lining fabric?

    • Emily | 4th Apr 17

      Hi Amy! Oh, my goodness! I’ve never heard of such a thing! You can absolutely line a gathered skirt! And I agree completely–it bugs me too seeing hems and seams. To line that skirt, you can use a lightweight lining fabric and use the gathered skirt pattern piece as your lining piece (just making it a couple inches shorter), or you could draft a half circle skirt pattern that matches the bodice and use that. I’ve done that a number of times, when my self fabric is heavier and I don’t want the added bulk. It gives you a lining, but it’s less of a pain because it’s not gathered AND you’re using less fabric. I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. (And send me the name of your teacher so I can have a word with them! Just kidding!) 🙂

      • Amy Pitts | 4th Apr 17

        Thank you! This is so helpful. If I don’t gather the lining pieces do I cut it to fit the bodice and then sew everything together once the skirt is gathered? Or can I gather the lining as well? I thought about just attaching the lining to the skirt sections and gathering them at one time but that might be where my instructor is saying it would be too bulky.

        • Emily | 4th Apr 17

          Ah, yes. That might be what you’re instructor is referring to as being too bulky. Depending on your fabric and lining, it very well might be too much bulk. If your lining is thin enough, you can do exactly as you described and gather both the lining and skirt pieces at once. That would work. You can also do it separately, so you’ll attach the gathered skirt to the bodice, and gather the skirt lining and attach that to the bodice lining. That’s my preferred method. It’s kind of like sewing two dresses, and then it’s attached at the neck. Then, I go in and hand sew the two together around the waist. If you don’t gather your skirt lining and use a straight skirt pattern or half circle pattern or what have you, you can attach that to the bodice lining and then finish the dress as you normally would. Lots of options! 🙂

          • Amy Pitts | 5th Apr 17

            This is so very helpful! Thank you for getting back to me so quickly and explaining everything.

  2. Samantha Cooper | 20th Feb 17

    Very well done! Love the stripes! The right side/wrong side dress is the best yet. Thank you for sharing!

    • Emily | 21st Feb 17

      Thank you, Samantha! The right side/wrong side garment is my favorite too, by leaps and bounds! Can’t wait to get started on more projects for spring! 🙂

  3. Laura Grabow | 17th Feb 17

    Thank you for the review!

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