Vogue 1871. A Fail Turned Fantastic, Lessons in New Sustainability

African American woman wearing Vogue 1871 with a tori Burch belt

Pretty dress, right? Nope. You’re mistaken. Swipe left and watch me turn a terrible skirt into a fabulous dress with pockets. Vogue 1871 didn’t work out the way I planned. My thoughts on this sewing pattern were brilliant. I’d pair this sweet little maxi skirt with a T-shirt, crop top, or short-sleeved shirt. It’s an easy pattern.  

Pattern Features of Vogue 1871

Four distinct pieces:

  1. A pair of elastic waist shorts
  2. An elastic waist maxi skirt 
  3. Two summer tops
    1.  Wide strapped peplum top with a gathered empire waist
    2. Flutter sleeve top with gathered empire waist

Both the skirt and the shorts have pockets.  

Sewing the Skirt

This entire process should have been a cakewalk. It has a wide skirt like other Vogue patterns I’ve sewn. The front and the back are the same for the skirt. I’d quickly make a maxi skirt to wear to brunch with friends. The bonus for this sewing pattern was the pockets. The shorts also seemed easy enough to complete, and the waistband a little elevated and fashionable.

So I dug right into this pattern. The first fabric I used was wrong, and I couldn’t get the grainline to match up and look visually pleasing. Fail. Then I came across this beautiful Ankara fabric. The goal was to make a skirt for me and a jacket for my husband. It was authentic fabric from Vlisco, and I purchased 6 yards, so why not put together a little couple’s matchy-matchy thing?  

In this post, I’ll tell you about the skirt. The shorts and men’s jacket will be in another blog post. Initially, I aimed to sew this pattern for the opening night of the second Black Panther movie.

The Pros of Vogue 1871 skirt pattern

So, this skirt is straightforward to sew. There is nothing at all difficult about it. I cut all the pieces in about 5 minutes, flat. The front and the back are the same, and there are, of course, the pockets. The waist is simple. There are no zippers, buttons, or hooks. You are sold now correct, right?

The Cons of Vogue 1871 skirt pattern

It is not flattering if you have a single curve, like hips (junk in the trunk, etc.). I admit I should have shortened the hem more, but that may not help make it look better. Another thought is sewing a bigger size. I sewed my usual size 12. My concern is that the skirt gets super large and overwhelming for my frame, but I may consider this in the future.

When I tell you I was devastated, I could not believe how this skirt looked. As I attempted to take off Vogue 1871, I struggled to get it over my 41-inch hips. It was a real struggle as I pulled it over my torso. I glanced in the mirror, and in that millisecond reflective moment, I thought, ‘Wow, cute dress if I belted it.’

Wait, oh, yes. I grabbed my favorite 1.5 in Miller Reversible Tori Burch belt, and a new dress was born. It was an advantageous fabric and fashion save.  

Ways to Wear Vogue 1871

Wear the skirt as it is. Pair it with a cute pair of Sam Edelman or Tori Burch sandals and a tank top. Leave a little skin out somewhere–arms, V-neck, or boatneck top.

African American woman wearing Vogue 1871 with a white half shoulder top in the kitchen

If you are petite and hourglass-shaped like me, pull it up and make a strapless elastic top dress. Wear that favorite belt. Cinch it. Rock it with some dangly earrings and a ponytail.

Well, it’s a little shapeless, making me look bigger than I am, but it’s not terrible.

African American woman wearing Vogue 1871 with a tori Burch belt

We all need to get to work, but not in an off-the-shoulder dress, so add that jacket as I did below. Throw on a cute pair of studded earrings, slingback heels, or the Becky heels from my favorite nude heel maker Kahmune.

African American woman wearing Vogue 1871 with a tori Burch belt, black jacket and coffee mug

I hate throwing fabric or makes out. My time, energy, and not to mention love is in those outfits. So if you are like me, you can find a way to refashion a mistake. If you can’t refashion it, try repurposing the fabric before tossing it. For example, I did contemplate making a different skirt or pair of shorts. You can also use the material for pocket lining, interfacing, or other small project. Lastly, scraps make fantastic quilts. With all the waste in our society, a quilt for someone in need is worth saving some of that fabric.

African American woman wearing Vogue 1871 with a tori Burch belt

Tell me about your worst sewing mishap. Did you salvage it?

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