Vogue 8631, Kimono Style Wrap Dress

V8631 Thumbnail

I've had Vogue 8631 in the pattern drawer for several years now, waiting patiently to be made.  It's been in there so long that it is unfortunately now out of print.
Soprano Faux Wrap, Nordstrom


This style has shown up in RTW fairly often the past couple years (both of these items are from last year).

I saw a girl walking down the street wearing a dress in that style a couple of weeks ago and it was so cute I decided the time had come!

Shortened Crossover as Sewn

 As usual for wrap styles, I took out 2 1/2 inches of length along the front diagonal neck opening.  For Burdas I do about 1 1/2 inches but I find the Big 4 need much more.  Here, 2 1/2 inches still wasn't enough.  I took up some of the extra length by slightly stretching clear elastic while serging it in place, but I finally had to resort to the Universal Symbol of Sewist Surrender:  tacking the crossover closed where the left and right front intersect at the neckline to prevent gapage.   For next time, I've folded out another inch of length, for a total of 3 1/2 inches.

SBA-narrowed pleats

I also narrowed the front pleats slightly for a small bust adjustment.  The dress is meant to be somewhat large/loose, but I didn't want it to veer into actively baggy.  This seemed to be just about perfect, for once!  The bodice has a lot of ease, but it does not look grotesquely oversized for my bust.

I shortened the skirt 1 1/2 inches along the lengthen/shorten line.   It is still a fairly conservative length; you can see on the pattern illustration (though we all know how accurate *those* are) that this is meant to be right at the bottom of the kneecap.  I'm not sure if it would be *quite* that long on an average height woman, but probably pretty close.

Elasticated Waist Casing

 I considered several ways to fit the dress.  In the end, I decided to make a casing out of the waistline seam allowance and use elastic to fit the waist, leaving the rest loose.  This worked quite well.  The front feels a little bulky, as there are two layers of elastic where the two fronts cross one another, but it doesn't seem to actually look bulky.

The level of ease on the un-elasticated waist is just about perfect for a woven, so it fits fairly true to size for a Big 4 pattern (true-to-size in the sense that I always make about 2 sizes smaller than I "should" and the fit usually requires only minor tweaks from there).

Fronts Tacked Together at Waist
It's supposed to be held together by inside ties, but I topstitched through both layers of the fronts at each of the front's ends (here's an inside view) to make a pullover dress.

The waist sits slightly above my natural waist, which is high to begin with.  It's a flattering spot for me, but most people will probably prefer to lengthen the bodice, and I will probably do so if I make this in a woven.

I was concerned that the sleeves might be too open.  If I were to stand sideways and hold my arms all the way out, yes, you would catch a glimpse of bra band (no side boob visible on me, but I cannot attest to that for someone with a larger bust).  However, I don't think there is any flashing in normal type of wear.  I'll just need to remember always to wear a fleshtone bra underneath (which I generally wear anyway).  That said, I am *not* crazy about the drop shoulder look for the long sleeves, and will probably redraft it to a more normal armscye if I make this with a long sleeve.

Turned Under Curved Hem

I finished the edges by turning under and twin needling.  This is perfectly fine for a knit.  For a woven I would probably make an insanely long length of bias tape to finish all the way around.


In giving both knit and woven as a choice for this pattern, McVoguerick expresses once again that nobody at the company sews.

First of all, there is the difference in ease, though their philosophy is always "the more ease, the better!" so perhaps they think the extra ease that will come in making this in a knit is just a bonus.  It also has little touches, like the tiny back neck darts, that really aren't details for knits.

Nonetheless, the dress works really well in a knit (next time I would just fold out those tiny back neck darts.)  The only issue is that print poly jersey is not the absolute best choice for this pattern because there is a high likelihood the front skirt hem will flip outward occasionally, and the fabric has a distinct, lighter-colored wrong side.  But that can be an issue in wovens, too.


I was genuinely surprised by how cute this turned out.  I thought the pleats might be bulky or poofy, but in fact they lay well and have a nice flow in motion.  It's also a fairly easy make with only 4 pattern pieces, once you mark and sew the 16(!!!) pleats and darts.

I made it in a knit that came in a Fabric Mart free bundle I got in September 2011 just in case I was disappointed by it.  In fact, I am pretty sure it will become a go-to piece.  I even decided that I can finally retire my short sleeved version of Simplicity 3775, which has been in my closet for over 5 years now and which I have been completely over for at least the past two.  The Simplicity was useful in its shoulder coverage and figure-flattery.  This fulfills both of those *and* is more current as well (the wide ruched midriff of the Simplicity feels dated).

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.


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