Can we PLEASE take a moment to admire how epic Vintage Vogue 9280 is?
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve been saying this since day one of getting my hands on this pattern. The collar slays me over and over– and I can’t get over how this dress looks like it stepped out of a movie scene in the 1940s.
Everything about it is over the top, just how I like it. My inner Drag Queen is a happy girl 😘
Spending the time sewing this vintage dress makes me appreciate all the intricacies of small techniques that build on one another.
Full disclosure- there is a lot of hand sewing on this piece. But, there’s something absolutely beautiful about pulling out all the skills you’ve acquired over time, growing them into a head turner piece.
I can imagine for someone attempting to sew for the first time, it can seem like an unreachable goal. But guess what- you can make it, too!
Is Vintage Vogue 9280 complicated? Yes and No.
For intermediate and advanced seamstresses, this retro dress is not a challenge, but more of a process, meticulously working your skills into a finished piece. You can observe the instructions, nod your head in understanding, and jump in.
For a beginner, though, this dress is a journey. Expect to take your time with it, completing one step at a time with patience, as you push your experience further. Make the dress with love and care, and accept the journey.
Are there things I would have done differently with this piece? Yes.
I don’t have a laundry list of changes I would have done, but I have a few points you may want to consider as you’re working on this dress. None of them are particularly difficult, though, and the pattern is very straight from the envelope (and of course after you’ve done your fitting!)
Consideration #1: Figure out what camisole you want to wear under this dress.
As you can see in my completed photos, I wore a black camisole since it was the only piece of clothing that I owned that could work with this piece!
Less than ideal.
Remember that this dress completely opens up above the waist and is generally form fitting, so whatever is worn underneath should match in some capacity. Also, depending on your bust size, you may see more (or less) of the camisole.
Consideration #2: Wear a slip or light petticoat under V9280 for a better flare on the skirt.
No need to go crazy with a petticoat, but a couple layers of pleated tulle would be enough to give a little bit of a perk to the skirt while you’re swooshing around in it.
This is particularly noticeable at the center front, where the skirt inadvertently creates a pleat and sort of “sticks out” if you’re standing still. Not really a problem, but a light pannier would be more than enough.
Consideration #3: Re-Fit the dress before committing to the side closure.
This point is probably my biggest note, especially after having fitted the dress earlier in the video series.
Essentially what you need to consider is that when you’re matching up the center front of the dress during the fitting, you’re assuming that the center front will overlap- but it doesn’t when worn.
The center front is completely open once the piece is sewn up, causing the top of the dress to open up naturally and create a lot of extra ease in the side seams.
Suggestions to “fix” the issue:
- Stitch further up the center front seam, closing up the center front (will require drafting changes to the collar pattern pieces)
- Attach some sort of closure to the back of the detachable collar piece, to close the center front and bring in the extra fabric at the side seams
- Nip in the side seams, committing more to the open-front look (may require redrafting a muslin with the collar open more realistically)
You can see in my images that there are some gathers/extra fabric under my breasts at the side seams, which I’m guessing is because of this design feature— as well as the weight of the collar (each lapel had 6 layers of fabric.)
If I were to make this again tomorrow, I would opt for closing up the center front so I could kill multiple birds with one stone: not need a camisole and get a better fit under the breasts.
What I appreciated the most about Vintage Vogue 9280 was the lack of corner-cutting in the instructions.
Hand sewing everywhere, bound button holes (watch the Bound Buttonhole video here), waist stay, side snaps, and sew-in interfacing! Of course, to a strictly modern seamstress, all of it may seem excessive, but if you’re into doing it old school, this pattern has it all.
Even the shoulder pads are made from scratch. And they are amazing. I may have to make myself an additional set to properly finish my Butterick 6282 US Navy Dress.
Embrace the sewing techniques.
Sew-in interfacing is (arguably) easier to deal with than iron-on. Simply cut and baste and in a similar way as underlining, and the “interfacing” lends its qualities to the shell fabric.
In my case, I went with the pattern suggestion of using muslin, which lended a stable but soft feel to the collar pieces without being unnecessarily stiff.
Take care to match up your collar pattern pieces as closely as possible. With this style of collar, the drama makes any inconsistencies obvious. If you’ve had to make changes at the pattern level, be sure to walk your pattern pieces until you’re confident you’re good to go.
The only modern change I would make to the materials list would be a square piece of iron on interfacing at the center back pleat.
Unfortunately the weight of the Vogue 9280 skirt is immense and I had to go back several times to try and reinforce that pulling point.
You can see from the drag lines, the weight of the skirt is being yanked down at that point, even after reinforcing the pleat to the center back darts.
All in all, Vintage Vogue 9280 was challenging but in a good way.
When I unfolded the directions, I turned to look at Jose and said something to the effect of… “This one is going to be a biggie.” — it didn’t disappoint and is probably one of the longest videos we’ve ever filmed!
For such a luscious retro piece, I’m happy to own it and to be able to pull it out of my closet for a night out with friends, sipping champagne and being fabulous.
Need additional sewing and fitting help with this piece? Check out the V9280 Sewing Compendium!
The sewing compendium has just finished up, and from the response has been an amazing resource if you’re planning on tackling this coat dress.
It’s a three part email series that matches up with the videos in this series, giving you extra resources for making this piece!
Get the V9280 Sewing Compendium!
Get the V9280 Compendium series, featuring additional fitting tips, sewing techniques, and fabric ideas for your next vintage style Coat Dress!
This post is part of the Vintage Vogue 9280 Video series! Check out the other installment of this series by clicking the image below: