Groovy Vali Dress


The cheese and pineapple hedgehog is done, Pina Coladas are chilling and this is my entry for the #SewSeventies challenge hosted by Georgie and Yvette. If I'm being honest, I think my pattern and fabric combination is a little too on the nose, making it feel a bit costumey. You can't win them all though and it makes a comfy house dress during warmer weather.

To be clear, there's nothing wrong with the pattern, which is the Pattern Fantastique Vali Dress and Top. I just think that paired with this vintage 1970s cotton voile it's a bit much on me. Also, despite being a beautiful design that looks fantastic on everyone else I've seen wearing it, as I suspected, my proportions make it difficult for me to carry off this silhouette.

For reference, I made a size 14, shortened the skirt by an inch and the fit is pretty spot on. The pattern comes together quite quickly, but sewing the yoke and getting neat corners on the sleeves can be quite fiddly. The grown-on pockets make for an interesting and speedy construction, but I think I prefer the finish of the traditional method. As a hopefully helpful aside, despite having child-sized hands, I actually found the pocket opening to be on the snug side.

The written instructions can seem a little overwhelming, even though they include some really useful tips for steps like hemming, so I'm extremely grateful to Sara SJ Kim for sharing this brilliant step-by-step sew-along, which I followed from start to finish. 

You can't tell in these photos thankfully, but my fabric is VERY sheer, so that's another reason I won't be wearing this 'out' out. Instead, I'll happily channel my grandma as I clean the house, but my Vali Dress would also make the prettiest beach cover-up. Looking at this last photo, I wonder if making a belt from my fabric remnants would encourage me to wear it more. What do you think?


  1. The back looks fabulous but I think I have to agree with you on the front...
    I had two thoughts both involving drawing the eye up
    Channel Thea Porter: put bands of embroidered ribbon or trim or even bias tape applied flat to outline yoke and slit
    Channel Geri in Stitches who did a blog post on putting sashiko on the yoke and front...It doesn't have to be sashiko...maybe a little beading or shiny rayon channel stitching to create that subtle T shape
    I made a dresses like that-lots of fabric and easy to wear

  2. wow. Wonderful dress! Gorgeous fabric. Congratulations!Kisses!
    Lady Samy

  3. I love the fabric; not completely sold on this fabric with the pattern design. Initially I thought you have piped the seams or they were pleated---which adds to the effect of volume.

    I love how it looks in the final picture. I think a beautiful obi-style belt would make this more wearable and corral the volume.

  4. What a fun dress. Belting it, and perhaps shortening it a bit might make it more wearable for you. You can always pop a slip under it if you want to take it for a spin outside too.

  5. As someone who, ahem, lived through the 70s, I don't think it's too costumey. If the fabric was in shades of brown, maybe, but the blues and purples are lovely.
    Also, I do agree about the belt. I have an alarming soft spot for late 1970s Style patterns, and most of them are loose, but shown worn with a belt.