Hot! The “Monty” Dress

Where to begin?  You see this story has several middles, no real beginning, and is at the moment without an ending.  I guess I should begin by reminding everyone that my big sewing goal for 2012 is to buy 0 new patterns.  Ya’ll are not making that one easy by the way.  Since every week I want to make exact replicas of your creations.  That did make picking a pattern for this weeks challenge relatively easy though since I had a grand total of 2 1940s reprints.  I decided to use Vogue 8728.

Now this decision brings be directly to the middle of another related issue.  That being patterns that don’t have all the sizes in one envelope and don’t overlap the size brackets.  This is a problem for me a lot because my waist usually prefers a 16 but my chest is really a 14 in most patterns.  If I simply must have a pattern that breaks between a 14 and a 16 as many do I try to read the reviews before hand to see if it tends to run big or small.  Unfortunately, when I bought this one I hadn’t done that or either I was scared it would be to small because I bought the larger bracket.  I was hoping that making it out of a woven fabric would help but when I made my muslin the shoulders were way too big (a real feet on me I might add as I cut the shoulder pads out of everything for the duration of the 80s and early 90s), the neck line gaped as did the back, the bust area did not contain my bust and the waist mostly fit.  I made some adjustments and made another muslin but the combination of taking up the shoulders and lowering the gathered area made me look a bit like I was wearing a funny turtle neck.  So I made a few more adjustments and decided to go for it with some fashion fabric that I bought because it was pretty but really could never figure out what to do with.  Not such a great idea mind you.  I ended up having to take up the shoulders and take in the back with sort of a vertical dart after binding the neckline.  I could not take it out and adjust because the fabric frayed so badly that I feared it would just fall apart if I got anywhere near it with a stitch ripper.  Perhaps even if a stitch ripper looked at it or if I said the words “stitch ripper” in its presence. So why the “Monty”dress?  Because after all that I really didn’t even like the dress and while I was sulking I watched a few episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta”.  There is a man on that show named Monty who is in charge of “jacking up” the dress when a girl thinks she has found the one but either she or her mama isn’t sure.   In this particular episode he says something to the effect of never underestimate the power of jacking up a dress and I though, “OK perhaps I should not judge this dress based on what it looked like when I put it on barefoot in my sewing room and stared critically into a full length mirror that’s nailed to a closet door.”  So I decided to wear it out for my belated Mother’s day dinner.  I put one make-up, some dangle earrings, fake pearls, and matching shoes and you know what it did look better.  I still feel a bit like I’m playing dress up in it and its still not particularly well made in comparison to some of my other creations but it looks so much better.

The Facts

Fabric: 3 yards of JoAnn’s simply silky poly purchased on sale last year for about $13.50

Pattern: Vintage Vogue 8728

Year: Its one of their reprints so its circa 1946 but currently in print

Notions: invisible zipper  How much are those?  I can never remember.  and a bit of easy pattern because I was out of stabilizer

Time to Complete:  About 8 hours but I wish I’d done another muslin and taken my time a bit more with the construction

First worn: Saturday night to a fondu place with my family for my Mother’s Day dinner.

Wear again:  I’m not sure.  I don’t totally feel comfortable in it plus my daughter dripped fondu on the skirt.  Speaking of Emily though if she has any say I will wear it a lot.  She squealed and told me I looked beautiful when I came down stairs for pictures.  Regardless, I’m glad I finished it and wore it out.

Total cost:???  Maybe about $21 including the pattern but the zipper was the only thing I bought new.




Stephanie mother tried to teach her how to sew growing up but she didn't really get serious about it until her 4 year old daughter was born and she wanted to put her in fancy smocked dresses. Since then, she has learned to smock and sew. Her blog and screen name come from the initials of her two children Elijah who is 8 and Emily who is 4.


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  1. Wow I love it! It’s my favourite of all your creations this year. I think it looks great on you and the colours suit you beautifully as does the cut. Dry cleaning gets oil stains out of polyester fabrics easily – I think it would be worthwhile.

    • Thank you. It seems to have survived the wash or at least I can no longer remember where exactly on the skirt the stain should be. I’ll but it in my closet and hope that after a bit of time to forget what went wrong I will like it more. I think right now I can only see the mistakes rather then the big picture.

  2. I also struggled with this pattern. I find vintage patterns a little difficult sometimes. I am loving the fabric you chose for this dress. Beautiful!

  3. Hi Stephanie, sorry the pattern was so frustrating, I struggled myself this week because of the fabric I chose to work with. I’m thinking of trying it again in cotton.

  4. I feel your pain but congrats on finishing it! It does look lovely and I hope you can wear it in the future with your adorable daughter : )

  5. I love it! Well worth all the hassle, I think.

  6. I think I may have ordered this pattern during the latest Vogue pattern sale (Isn’t it scary that I can’t even remember what I ordered? Maybe, I should also vow not to buy any new patterns for a while…). It’s such a pretty dress and your version makes me want to order the pattern in case I haven’t done so yet. It really looks pretty – we’re usually our worst critics, I guess. ;)

    • You sound like me. That’s why I took a break. Its actually not so bad most of the time. I have a list going of ones that I would like plus I have a lot of patterns. I may get the other size bracket of this one to try in a knit next year. Hopefully it won’t go out of print.

  7. You do look fabulous in this dress, your daughter is right. The fabric and cut are just perfect on you.