24 September 2011

A Dress That Works (For Me)!

So my plan all along has been to make dresses that look presentable but that I can wear while I commute to work on my bicycle. I do wear the lycra shorts (below-the-knee-length) but I no longer have the superhero physique to make them look good (if I ever did) or even decent. A pullover knit dress is just the ticket and now I've made one.

Bike Dress

I'm gorgeous, am I right? I'm in the subway station because I cycle from home to the subway, then take the bicycle on the train to park it at work. Where I substitute proper undergarments and shoes but wear the dress through the day if possible. Fortunately I teach "sage on the stage" style and no one has to get too close to me.


The dress is Vogue Options 8575 Here's a review:

Pattern Description: Pullover dresses in two lengths with partial self-faced, gathered bodice, lapped bodice front, princess seams front self band, tie ends, side bodice variations and gathered skirt. I made view A with mid-arm kimono sleeves.

Pattern Sizing: Size FF: 16-22. I graded from the 16 at the top to 22 at the bottom. I could have gone smaller.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Pretty much.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the shape and the princess seams. I actually like the fact that the tie ends are so long (as mentioned by another reviewer) because I can wrap them all the way around and tie them in front, which avoids the droopy tie look in back.

Fabric Used: I used a poly-cotton (or maybe just poly) jersey from Michael Levine's in Los Angeles.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I tried to adjust the lapped bodice to be more modest, but it's still too low and I have to wear a cami under it. Someday I'll get that right. I also had to take in the sides because sizing it according to my measurements resulted in it being way too big.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes and yes. Next time in a smaller size.


  1. That is a gorgeous picture of you-the setting is cool and your smile lights up the subway. I love the print you chose for this dress.

  2. "sage on the stage", that did make me chuckle!

    Love the dress, it looks great on you!

  3. You do look gorgeous! That's such a lovely print on the dress! It's all the rage over here to wear dresses with leggings.

  4. That is fabulous! Great headway in the "new lifestyle, new wardrobe" mission.

  5. Looks great! Isn't it frustrating how ginormous some clothes are when you try to be honest and just cut out the "right" size.

  6. WOOO WOOO look AT YOU! It's totally working for you!

  7. I have unfortunately never met a lapped bodice I could live with. The cami is a good solution.

  8. What a wonderful dress that allows you to cycle to work and still look so wonderfully smart and elegant! That is a definite keeper, imo :)

  9. Great dress, I love it. A dress you can cycle in is even better!