Mr Roboto Dress: This Was Not a Halloween Costume

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I was, perhaps, inappropriately enthusiastic about making a dress out of some wool/silk blend I’d picked up at Fabric Mart. And determined to bash it into a dress for (another) wedding that was taking place mostly outdoors in late October. I ended up with this space/robot/future suit that prompted the husband first to ask, while it was in progress, if it was a halloween costume and then later, when I’d just finished installing the zipper, to start singing the Styx’s Mr. Roboto.


The pattern is Vogue 8902, one of those ‘easy options’ and also a ‘custom fit’, which means you can change up the bodice based on your cup size.


Anyway, I liked this enough when I wore it (I was at a wedding in wine country though, so I liked a lot of things that night…), but when we’d photographed the damn thing and I started looking at pictures, goodness gracious is it troubled. It might be that the adjustments needed with all the piecing are just a little beyond me at this point, but some thoughts anyway. Here are the basics:

:: I cut a size 10 of version C, with the C cup bodice.


:: My fabric was a pique silk/wool combination and I lined it with hot pink silk charmeuse without doing any facings at the neck or sleeves. This means that the hot pink peaks through a little at times, and while I don’t necessarily mind that, it’s not exactly the most profesh look.

:: I did a slight version of a sway back adjustment. Because of the design lines in the back, this was a little more complicated than normal. With my muslin on, I pinched out about an inch precisely at the point where all the pieces meet in the back. To execute the sway back adjustment, I basically lowered the peak of that inverted V in the back skirt and changed the acuteness of the back bodice lines. The side panels I then just adjusted to follow the lines of the skirt and bodice.

:: I increased the shoulder dart on the raglan sleeve by 3/8″ on each side, in order to ‘petite’ the pattern just a bit.

:: I did a 1/2″ full butt adjustment on the skirt, using this Juila Bobbins tutorial. What.

:: I shaved about 1/2″ off the hip curve, but then used 3/8″ seam allowances on the vertical seams because it was feeling pret.ty. tight. Too tight for wedding dancing.

:: I lowered the bust dart by about 1/2″ because the pattern looked pretty ripe for the kind of problem this lady had when she got an Oscar:

I actually found that image by searching for “Anne Hathaway oscars nipples”. You’re welcome.

But even with those, I’m not entiiiiirely happy with it. Let’s turn her around to get the full effect:

IMG_1750 IMG_1752 IMG_1757AAAACK.

What on earth is that mid-back diamond-shaped pouf??



That’s not exactly the smoothest of hand-picked zippers. But the lining is cool.

After some pondering. Possible mistakes:

1. Not underlining the fabric? The stuff was heavy, and perhaps I was fooled into thinking it didn’t need a crisp backing for it. But there seem to be a lot of wrinkles.

2. Maybe it shouldn’t be made up in this fabric anyway? The fabric suggestions are double knit and wool crepe. If I made again, I’d probably go with a double knit and leave the seam allowances at 5/8″. I think this pattern might be one that’s much, much better if you let negative ease do the fitting for you.

3. Is a sway mid-back adjustment a thing?

4. I think I need to start doing a slight narrow shoulder adjustment to account for the fact that I am smaller framed than these patterns. There’s a lot of puffing out at the back, just under my arms. This is also evident in a as-yet-unblogged Vogue blazer made in the last few months.

5. Finally, I might have needed to take a bit of length out of the front and back bodice? From about the waist line down, it looks to fit okay. But from the waist up. Well, it looks like I have a diamond-shaped back growth like my friend here.

Am I on the right track here, or were there other things that it looks like I messed up?


  1. love the pink lining! I’m no expert but it looks like you need to lose some length in the centre back, tapering to nothing at the sides of the upper back panel. Maybe your posture is more upright than the pattern’s designed for?

    1. Ah yes. I think youre on to something with the length, specifically between about bust height and hip bone height. Increasing the shiulder dart only took care of the shoulder to bust length. Ah well, something to check for in the future, but dont know how much enthusiasm id have for making another one of these…

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