Should I Wear This Dress To The Book Launch?

V8825 how to sew vogue dress

Do you ever feel as though you were born to live in a certain decade of your life?

I found my youth hard. I was too ‘fat’, I loved make-up despite the fact that my 20s were lived through the Britpop era when women were expected to be lads. My writing was gauche and immature.

But I loved to write. I vividly remember the evenings I would sit on my bedroom floor, with an electronic typewriter, hammering out letters to friends who rarely responded. It didn’t matter. I took huge comfort from the fact that Carol Shields only began writing novels at the age of 50. 50! Could anyone imagine being that old and still able to write?

And so it is no small irony that The Little Book of Sewing is published in my 49th year and I find that my sewing empowers the woman I am today. If only we knew back then what we know now.

Life will be fine, little acorn. More than fine. You’ll wear some fancy dresses, too.

how to sew a crepe jersey dress

Want to draw attention away from your white legs? Wear even whiter tights!

So… This is the V8825 dress, which is currently on sale HERE, made with fabric that is currently on sale HERE. Yup, this simple make is also a bargain.

I made this dress after seeing SewManju’s tunic version. To die for? I think so! I chose to make the dress in a claret, as red suits my colouring.

Look at those sleeves and barrel cuffs! And that faux wrap bodice! None of this is difficult, though you may find yourself adjusting the pattern to suit your personal aesthetic. For the record, I:

  • Shortened the sleeves by 1.5 inches
  • Shortened the cuff by 4 inches and took 2 inches off their width. I still ended up turning up those cuffs and catching them in place with a few hand stitches
  • Shortened the belt by 6 inches

I widened the waist to accommodate my thick torso, but then ended up taking it in again.

V8825 did you make that

Other than that, this baby was made straight out of the pattern envelope.

I added interfacing at the skirt hem for stability and hand stitched, so that there was no obvious seam line.

Do you think I should wear this dress for The Little Book of Sewing book launch? I have to say, I’m tempted…

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36 Responses to Should I Wear This Dress To The Book Launch?

  1. Penny Dolan says:

    Looks great with your hair and colouring! Congratulations on the book.

  2. Samantha Patmore says:

    Definitely !! Looks fantastic on, you wear the complete outfit. Looks confident and classy. Read the first chapter of your book,had to put it down as inspired to sew.Currently cutting out a top! xx

  3. YES! wear it to the book launch and feel really, really proud. congratulations! Jo xxx

  4. YES! That looks AY-MAZING. Congratulations!

  5. Jenni says:

    Totally wear this for the book launch

  6. Jenny Lester says:

    Yes you certainly should – you look terrific as usual! I am enjoying the book and showing all my sewing ladies some of whom you met when we bumped into you over a year ago by TMOS! Love this dress and just ordered the pattern,

  7. Wear it proudly! Looks amazing on you. Good luck with the book launch.

  8. lauriesannie says:

    Wear that gorgeous dress. And your life is better than fine!

  9. The dress looks wonderful. As a 50-year old myself, I must say that it is in many ways the best time of my life so far. Enjoy!

  10. Tasha says:

    It would be a glorious choice if you did! So wish I could be there at the book launch!

  11. Yess!! Looks great!

    And to say about the decade you were born for. I always thought my 30s would be that–I’d always felt myself to be about 36, but once I passed that, I was really lost in an otonological way. To be perfectly honest, all my thirties were like that–constant existential crisis. Now, on the cusp of 40, so many things have changed and settled and are moving in great directions. I’m so excited for the next decade!

  12. Tasha says:

    It would be glorious if you wore that dress! So sad I can’t be there for the book launch, have a wonderful time!

  13. Absolutely!!! It looks fabulous! I too have a thick torso so I will be looking at that pattern!

  14. JenL says:

    Beautiful dress – yes!

    Life doesn’t end at 50 either. I think some of our notions about this age were sent back when people didn’t live so long and women often didn’t have careers. The 40s and 50s are a great time for taking leaps. I’m guessing that 60s are too. Knowing that, I think, should take off some of that pressure we’ve felt in the 20s and 30s as well. (That is, if we could have seen the future).


  15. Yes! I love it – The top of the dress would make a fab top on its own too – might have to get this pattern! xx

  16. Manju says:

    You totally made the right choice colour wise:you look powerful and sexy. Perfect for a book launch I say, especially when you are going to be the star of the show!

  17. Connie Turner says:

    That dress is perfect for you wear it everywhere. Congratulations on the book too.

  18. Congratulations on the book and that dress looks fantastic. Love the color on you!

  19. Beth Duffus says:

    Are you 49? I honestly thought you were still in your 30s. I am 57 and I’ve never been happier. The dress is knockout, definitely wear it. The tights and shoes not so much (sorry!). Nude heels and sheer tights, however…? Channel you inner Kate Middleton. Good luck with the book.

  20. Nancy says:

    Love the dress. Wear it knowing you look awesome! I personally would wear different shoes and stockings.

  21. Oh my gosh yes! It’s wonderful!!

  22. Elle says:

    You look terrific in that lovely dress! And I agree with Beth and Nancy that the shoes and stockings need a change-up. Too distracting. They draw attention away from your face. Congrats on the book–and to being happy in your own skin!

  23. That’s such a beautiful dress, and gives such a strong sense of your confidence – just right for a book launch. You should undoubtedly wear it.

    It’s hard to know what part sewing plays in my growing confidence with the clothes I choose – whether that would have happened anyway in my mid-forties or not, as you can’t exactly do a controlled trial! But it feels likely that the knowledge of shape and fabric choices, the thinking about what styles work and don’t on us, and the ability to choose for ourselves rather than buy what someone else feels we should wear – it makes wearing clothes so much more of a pleasure.

    Hope the launch is fabulous.

  24. CurlsnSkirls says:

    The dress is lovely and I’m sure you’ll be a hit! Must agree with Elle, Beth and Nancy that the shoes and tights could use some glamming up. Had you thought about a floor length dress? And fab make-up? As the star of the event you surely could! ✨✨ Whatever you decide, know the launch will be a huge success. Have great fun! 🥰

  25. Congratulations on your book! Definitely wear this dress to the book launch and with the white tights! I think they look cool, even if others disagree! So true about writing, I find my ability to write has vastly improved as I’ve got older – my writing was way too self-pitying when I was a teenager!

  26. Marie says:

    Yes. Absolutely. It is stunning on you. That said, I think the patterned white tights distract from the dress. Maybe just “nude” beige instead?
    I also love your slightly longer hair length.
    Your sewing and writing are an inspiration!

  27. didyoumakethat says:

    Guys, we’re gonna have to agree to disagree on those white fishnets – I love them! I do have a new pair of shoes, though.

  28. France Parijs says:

    You look mesmerizing in this dress! Definitely wear it for your book launch. I do agree with Marie above though, the white tights do not enhance the outfit. Nude beige would be a great option! Could you post photos of the booklaunch? And tell us all about it afterwards, of course 🙂 Have great fun!

    • didyoumakethat says:

      You know, I’m just not feeling nude tights – even though a lot of people have suggested them! I don’t want to be TOO grown up!!! I’ll definitely post photos and thank you for your good wishes. xxx

  29. Yvonne says:

    This dress looks absolutely amazing, love the colour! And yes, you should definitely wear it to the book launch! Congrats on writing your first book, that’s amazing! Can’t wait to read more from you soon.

  30. Oh, my word you should! With those tights. But maybe different shoes.

    And I have dropped severe hints to the other booklovers in my life… Congratulations and all the best for the launch. Felicity

  31. PoundCake says:

    I missed the chance to weigh in on your question, but: HOT DAMN THIS IS A KNOCKOUT. I’m glad the launch was so much fun, congratulations!

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