I found myself unexpectedly with a new “day” job at the end of the summer. I’m now teaching middle school math at a small private school. Even though it’s only for three hours each morning, I still want to look the part. So I made myself a simple, day dress appropriate for teaching for Fresh Make #19. The pattern I choose is Vogue 8764. I already had the fabric and when I spotted this pattern, I knew it was the one. I waited a few weeks for the $4.99 Vogue pattern sale at JoAnn’s to purchase it. I have named it The Teacher Dress because it is an updated version of those full gathered dresses and jumpers of the early 90’s that my peers and I referred to as “teacher dresses.”
The fabric which I purchased online at Hawthorne Threads is a woven quilting weight cotton from the “Serafina” collection by Alice Kennedy. I got one yard of the red and two yards of the grey, both a $9.95 per yard. I had purchased the fabric a few months ago, in the middle of summer, with the intention of making another Sunshine Jumper. But summer escaped me without sewing it up, and I decided a short sleeved dress would serve me better in the fall.
The pattern actually gives instructions for a fully lined dress. I did not want the added weight of a lining with my cotton dress. So I just put a facing on the neckline, and for this, I had to make my own front and back facing pattern pieces.
LET’S BE HONEST:
1. This pattern is labeled as “very easy” and for a Vogue pattern, it probably is. There really nothing beyond basic techniques such as darts, a zipper, set-in sleeves, and, in my case, a facing. I would not, however, recommend this pattern for a beginning seamstress who is working independently.
2. I cut a size 14 on the top and graded to a 16 on the bottom. In all honesty, the bodice is still a bit big, and I could still use a tad room through belly and hips. I guess I just have to face the fact that with a semi-fitted dress, I am at least two sizes different on top and bottom. I actually do know this, but I think I’m trying to keep the original proportions of the design as illustrated. But, hey, if it’s not right for your body, don’t buy the pattern, or be happy with a change in silhouette. Right?
3. Unlike the instructions, I did a hand hem on both the bottom and sleeve. I added about 1″ to the bottom before cutting the pattern pieces to make sure I would have enough length to hit me mid-knee with a 1 1/4″ hem.
Overall, I am very happy with my new teacher dress. I wore it to school yesterday, got a compliment from one of my fashion forward 5th graders! I just love it when young people compliment someone who is even older than their mom!
Thanks for reading this post. I your welcome your comment and questions. Cheers! Lori
Congratulations on your new job! My mom was a middle school math teacher for a long time. She always believed in dressing nicely, and her students appreciated it:) I have that same pattern (and similar fitting issues). I have some quilted maroon fabric I’m thinking of using. In my experience the ‘Very Easy’ label on Vogue patterns needs to be taken with a large grain of salt.
This is my return to teaching after 20+ years and, even though I’m “old” now, the kids still notice everything about me. So, like your mom, I think it’s important to show the students that you take your job seriously by how you dress.
Also, I meant to say that I love your dress!
Hmm I’m imagining this in a charcoal grey linen with red top stitching maybe.
I am new to fashion adult sewing. I would consider myself beginner in that field but advance beginner in technique(since I have done baby & children’s projects(linen christening gowns, French heirloom girl dresses, smocking embroidery dresss) years ago, but never adventured in sewing for myself. I had this pattern for years thinking to start. I was looking for pictures of dressed done with this one, and trying to see the fabrics used since I have prints, linen, and medium weight pique and do not know which one to use.
Love your dress version and love your coordinating fabrics!!! I am worried of your comment that is not very easy as it is Vogue!