Guest blog: Rachel’s Goodyer’s sewing journey

posted in: Finished projects, Guest blog | 15

You may remember that Rachel wrote to me asking what patterns would be good for a beginner. I, and a number of others, made some suggestions.

Well Rachel recently got in touch again, with some photographs of how she has been getting along.

She chose the Vogue 8379, which I have made three times myself. It is a nice pattern. Although it is not the easiest pattern it isn’t too challenging either, and because Rachel likes this style she kept working on it until she was finally happy with the look she achieved.

Rachel Goodyer
Version 1

Rachel explains:


“My first attempt was in a size 20. I measured myself and chose the size according to the envelop instructions. It is too big, but wearable. It was my first attempt at using a slippery stretch fabric, which was lovely to sew with. I didn’t like the interfacing on the neck, or the length of the sleeves which are neither here nor there. It would be a great dress for a hairdresser as it looks nice and fresh and hair won’t stick to the fabric”.


“I persevered. For my next attempt I went down to the size 18 but this one is too short in the body, and too short overall. I actually find this one really uncomfortable to wear as a result. It is one of those dresses that you have to fiddle with every few minutes. I will take this one to the charity shop I think. The paintings behind me are done by my 85 year old father in law. He lives next door to us. And that is my dog Oscar”

Wrap dress Vogue

“By the time I got to my third version I was almost happy with the outcome. I bought the fabric online – it wasn’t very expensive. It was labelled as pink, but when it arrived it seemed to be magenta – not my best colour. For this one I used the size 18 but lengthened the bodice by an inch. I also went onto youtube to find out how to set in a sleeve properly, and how to make bias binding. I got one of those clips that helps you iron it properly. This worked really well on the neck and the dress is really comfortable. I thought it looked a bit like a dressing gown so I added the collar.”

Rachel Goodyer in wrap dress
Version 3


“My fourth attempt started with the pattern in a size 16. I think the hem needs a press and I shall probably shorten the belt. But I am absolutely delighted with this one and I have bought some Cadbury purple in the same fabric to make another one to see me into autumn and winter.”

wrap dress
Version 4


Phew! What dedication to getting a good fit. In the meantime Rachel tells me she has made curtains from two bedspreads she bought for £2.50 in the charity shop.

“The fabric was excellent quality and I lined them with fabric I got from the market. I also made a pelmet. I like recyling and making something out of nothing – it gives me a buzz. I nearly forgot – I have also perfected a button hole!”

The wrap dress suits women with shaped bodies really well and this neckline is very flattering on a fuller bust. By choosing great colours and getting a really good fit I think she looks amazing. All I can say is Well Done Rachel!

15 Responses

  1. Joyce Latham

    Wow! Bravo ?. You look adorable and classy in your final attempt Rachael ! Absolutely beautiful! Excellent ?

  2. Caroline

    These look great – Rachel has lots of perseverance to figure out the best possible combo of size and alterations, but it should mean that she is now in a good position to use other Vogue patterns – making similar adjustments to their block to suit her through a range of pattern styles. A classic wrap dress never goes out of style!

  3. Susie

    What a great learning experience. I am impressed at your perseverance, Rachel! I like your latest (blue) dress the best, also. It looks great.

  4. Cherie

    Rachel, your perseverance is awesome, and your result is awesome! You look great – what a reward to end up with by a beginning sewer!

  5. Karen K

    Thanks Kate for sharing this. Rachel chose a great pattern and has persevered with it, to her credit. I’m not sure I would have wanted to share my early results with everyone.

  6. Stephanie

    Wow – all of the hallmarks of a good seamstress, namely perfectionism in the pursuit of fit and the right combo of fabric and pattern. Unlike me and my Dirty Dancing Pepto Bismol shirt that I paraded around in front of everyone quite prematurely. 🙂 Rachel looks lovely and I love the final blue dress outcome.

  7. patsijean

    Excellent progress, and I love that you love color, Rachel. That style dress is lovely on you. I’ve been thinking about the wrap dresses for a while and this could push me over the edge.

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