New Year's Two-Piece Dress (Vogue 9291)

Thank you to McCall Pattern Company for sponsoring this post. Photography by Alex Craig.

Happy New Year! On this first day of 2018, I'll share one of my last projects of 2017--and one of my favorites! This year I wanted to do a modern homage to 50s designer Ceil Chapman, and took inspiration from the gorgeous portrait necklines and figure-flattering draping... but in the form of a two piece dress, a skirt and a crop top made with Vogue 9291! I've worn this to a few outings already and had so much fun wearing it; it's easy to wear and makes me feel super super glam!

The skirt I used is a simple dirndl skirt, the type you make with a few rectangles gathered together. I had pulled out a few more skirt patterns as possibilities but they were all based on circle skirts and required more yardage than I had. My favorite part of these skirts is that they are very efficient to make as far as fabric usage--I won't call it economical since one as full as this requires yards and yards but they use every single square inch.  This type of skirt is a classic 50s style and looks great with a petticoat like the one I'm wearing here! Ps: The poofier the skirt, the smaller your waist looks in comparison! ;)

The top here is the star of the show! It's made using Vogue 9291, which is actually on of Vogue's "accessories" pattern and includes three other scarf/wrap patterns. I believe this wrap is meant to be worn over a strapless dress to provide a little more coverage, and it would be gorgeous serving this purpose--I imagine it with a coordinating floor length gown (hello M7281)but it would be amazing with a wiggle dress too! Y'all know that I'm sort of obsessed with crop tops, though (also have you ever seen anything strapless on this blog? no.) so I had to go with the top and a separate skirt! When I'm standing still, it mostly looks like one piece, but when I move, the top and skirt move independently and you can see little glimpses of skin--nothing too wild though!

Although this is a designer Vogue pattern, I found it simple to make, especially given how complex it looks sewn up. The pattern calls for satin and "contrast" poly organza (for seam bindings--I went with my serger instead ;), but it looks great in this shirting for a crisper look or even novelty quilting cotton for a rockabilly look (calling all Viva Las Vegas attendees--imagine this in a great print with a high-waisted wiggle skirt). I made a straight size small with no adjustments.

Before embarking on this version, I made a "wearable muslin" of this skirt/top combo in yellow seersucker (with a more casual skirt) and immediately fell in love. Changing up the skirt style and fabric take this from a glamorous Old Hollywood frock to the perfect retro beach look, but you'll have to wait for that version: I'm going on a cruise in March and I think I'll wait to photograph it in warm weather--and with a tropical background! I also want to hack this into a proper dress, and I'm scheming how to do that--I think if I sew the pleated wraps into the opposing side seams I can add a skirt and insert a side invisible zipper...

One last plug for this new favorite pattern--if you serge your seams instead of making organza binding, this is a quick sew! Wondering what you should wear for a Valentine's Day night out? Not any more you aren't--plus, if you're catching this on January 1st, there's a $5.99 sale on the Vogue website...


ps: this looks SO CUTE with a swimsuit too as a little cover up! and now i'm pondering how to make it into a bikini top for glamorously lounging by the pool...

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  1. Hi Allie,

    I really love this dress! It looks amazing and so chic. You mentioned that you serged your seams. I'm looking into investing in a serger to take my garment sewing to the next level and I wanted to know what serger you used. I know so few people in real life who have one that I'm having a hard time finding recommendations.

    1. Hi! I have a Brother DZ 1234! It is the only serger I've used so I don't have anything to compare it to, but it works fine and jets the job done :)

  2. What a super cute outfit! And their wearability as separates is great too! :)



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