Subversive Femme

FO: A Tuscan Summer Dress (Vogue 8789, c. 1957)

I’d been saving this 1950’s border print fabric for exactly one pattern – Vogue 8789.


And it’s perfection!

Initially I was really scared when I was cutting up the fabric – no going back to get more from the store… The printed cotton seems to be farmers in Tuscany (I think?), lots of sheep, fields and manor houses.























The pattern is very easy, although I do recommend making a muslin of the bodice first – the bias allows a lot of ease. I ended up cutting a 16 bust and waist – normally I’d taper out to an 18-20 at the waist.














And don’t forget to stay the waist! I disregarded the pattern instructions for a loose petersham ribbon stay, and opted for a sewing down a ribbon in the seam allowance instead. All my vintage dresses have this kind of stay, and it’s less fiddly to do in my opinion.

Stitched belt carriers
















Besides cutting the skirt in one piece, the only ‘mod’ I made was a small sway back adjustment (pinching the back out slightly) – easy as pie! I think it took me 3-4 hours to sew the finished version.

I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can wear it dancing!























Dress: Vogue 8789 (fabric from Stella Dallas Living, NYC)
Shoes: Miss L Fire Norma
Jewellery: various, all from Etsy
Bamboo Handbag: present from Jakk

miss l fire shoes review norma red mexican 1950s 50s bambhoo handbag retro vintage novelty print fabric














If you’ve been thinking of making it up, you won’t be disappointed!

You Might Also Like...

No Comments

  • Reply
    Lila Leeds
    August 2, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Fantastic! The dress is amazing & you look fab.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Did you use the skirt portion of the pattern as is? I have this pattern and am thinking about making it for my daughter.

  • Reply
    Georgia Rose
    August 2, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Oh my GOD. This is sooo amazing. That fabric is absolutely perfect. I've never seen that pattern before but god, it looks so amazing made up!

  • Reply
    Jana B
    August 2, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    That dress is awesome! Love that fabric! Looks great πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Claire Gittins
    August 2, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    This looks lovely! Fab fabric and your new shoes complete your outfit.
    I have some border fabric waiting in my stash – I think you have inspired me.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Hi Jen! The Vogue pattern says to cut two pieces of fabric with the print going up and down – but I thought the print going around would be better. I just used 3m of the fabric, seamed the ends together and left room for the zip at the top, viola one less seam! I gathered and sewed it in as per the instructions πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    August 2, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Aw thanks Claire – give it a go, it's a lovely pattern πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    August 3, 2014 at 4:13 am

    Absolutely gorgeous, Bex! Well done!

  • Reply
    August 3, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    What a fabulous dress!!! You picked the perfect pattern for that amazing fabric. Such nice matching. Thank you for sharing the pattern – I have some vintage fabric that is a stripe/floral very similar to the one in the illustration that I've been saving… I never through of something like that bias cut V, but it's awesome. Great outfit! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    August 3, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    your absolutely right, this dress is perfection!

  • Reply
    kate steeper
    August 3, 2014 at 7:25 pm


  • Reply
    Doris Button
    August 4, 2014 at 6:35 am

    Stunning dress – the fabric is to die for! I wish I would find such fabrics where I live… I definitely prefer earlier 1950s patterns too, but the fabric and this pattern are a perfect match!

  • Reply
    Jessica Cangiano
    August 5, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Bex, dear gal, you are knocking me out cold with this stunningly fantastic frock! The colour, the lively, detailed pattern, the gorgeous silhouette, it is all simply, entirely sublime – and so, too, do you look in it. Love, love, love!!!

    β™₯ Jessica

  • Reply
    August 7, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Wow! This dress and print is amazing!!!

  • Reply
    Shana McCracken
    August 9, 2014 at 1:16 am

    I love everything about it, including the shoes and accessories (especially the bakelite!). The fabric is perfect for the pattern — better even than what the illustration shows on the envelope (much!).

    Congratulations on your creation!


  • Reply
    Tam Kruger
    August 9, 2014 at 4:20 am

    Thank you so much for posting this terrific dress! I have this lovely pattern, so it's great to see it made up, and the fabric is too die for. I was rapt to get some information about sizing – vintage patterns can be a tad tricky with that. Will be pinning this article to my Pinterest board. Thanks once again – great work!!!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2014 at 4:29 am

    The dress is perfection and the styling is adorable, down to the fruit earrings. So wonderful.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2015 at 7:41 am

    Beautiful, I love all of it! You look amazing!
    ~Jilly oxo

  • Reply
    Oh By Jingo
    January 22, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    I absolutely adore this dress, what an amazing fabric!! All the things you make are wonderfull. Thank you so much for sharing. ^_^

Leave a Reply