The “Lady in Samba Red” dress

The Facts

Fabric: Red cotton sateen w/ lycra
Pattern: Vogue 8850
Notions: 1 zipper, 2 packages vintage seam tape from Z : ), belting and a bakelite buckle
Year: 1951
Time to complete: 5 hours (half of that was hand stitching hems)
First worn: September 2013
Wear again? Yes
Cost – ~$30.00 I think


Talk about sliding this one in atthelastminute!!

You’d think having a whole MONTH to make an outfit would give me PLENTY of time to get my act together. In one sense you’re right, the minute I saw the Pantone colors I knew I had to do the Samba red because, you know, it’s ME : )Β  And then life happened so I had to really concentrate to get this done.

There’s lots to love about this pattern and a few things to watch out for. First, read and CAREFULLY follow the directions. That front band works but you HAVE to do it exactly the way they tell you to.

For maybe the third time in a Sew Weekly challenge there is not a finished seam in this entire dress. Not a one; nothing is overlocked, nothing is pinked, they’re all just naked : )

Honestly, it was the best I could do. One of these days I may go back in and finish things off BUT thanks to Z at Gladys and Viv the hems have LOVELY vintage tape to finish them off and, in the case of that side panel, give them some life.

The main thing I’m not so crazy about is that side drapey piece on the bodice. It’s pretty clear I don’t need any assistance in the boobage department so I wasn’t sure about that piece to begin with. My choice of fabric, the cotton sateen, meant that there would be a little more bulk than if I used a satin (like the many other versions of this out on the interwebs) but I didn’t want such a fancy, shiny dress : ) I followed the directions EXACTLY about drape and placement and after looking at the photos and wearing the dress all afternoon I think the piece is too long and puffs out awkwardly. Fortunately, because of the no-seam-finishes approach I ended up taking I’ll be able to re-drape that part pretty easily.

When it’s all put together it’s not bad. I do REALLY like that skirt drapey panel. It’s about a quarter of a total circle and not only do you have to hand hem the hem but the SIDES as well! And tack down each side of the bodice drape…goodness. So much hand work, so little time!!

But doesn’t it look pretty when the wind catches it?

I really wanted to try to incorporate one or two of the other Pantone colors in here but no. Couldn’t do it. As it was I played around with my shoes – red satin up above…

And the red/black ones here. I’ve got fabulous rhinestone jewelry for a fancy night out and the hat is from my friend John H who has great taste in women’s vintage fashion. Thanks John : )

Brittany and I headed back to Mills today to do pics. The top one and the next couple were taken in front of the music building:

This one was taken in a small garden next to the Campanil, which was designed by Julia Morgan and survived the 1906 earthquake in fine style:

And just for Vicki, an outtake photo that was taken in front of the blue doors of Lisser Hall, the theater that I spent so much of my life in as an undergrad:

I don’t remember WHAT I was looking at or if a bug flew up my nose but this is for you, Vicki : )

And we come to the end of our reunion. I can’t WAIT to see what everyone else does!!

12 thoughts on “The “Lady in Samba Red” dress

  1. Just found your delightful blog for the first time whilst searching for others who have sewn Vogue 8850. How much we have in common in what we like to sew! I’ve yet to blog my frock and clothing creations like you do, just other sewing things but you may have inspired me to do so. You look lovely in your new dress. The colour is fabulous!
    Love your blog and off to read some more.

  2. Pingback: The “Lady in Samba Red” dress by Loran | The Sew Weekly Reunion

  3. So stylish and photogenic! This is a really beautiful dress and most becoming on one so lovely as you. I’m glad you made it justintime! It wouldn’t be the same without you.

  4. Talk about a lady in red! It looks great and red is definitely your color. And the shoes! Wow.. what a great pair. It clearly was a pattern with many challenges and you have conquered it! Fantastic.

  5. You were probably looking at some sweat-pants-and-crocs-wearing folks! πŸ˜‰ I love that you’ve taken my awkward outtake tradition and decided to do it too. We are the exact opposite of those “Stop Instagramming Your Perfect Life” bloggers.

    This dress is a show-stopper. I see what you mean about the bodice drape, how it’s illustrated to hug the bodice and then appear to continue down into the skirt drape. It’s one of those things that no one else would notice, but as you say, if it’s bothering you, it’s an easy fix. I hope you wear it often: walking the dogs, feeding the chickens, posing in front of vintage automobiles…you’ll stop traffic πŸ™‚

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