Vogue 1683 – Draaaama Skirt

Vogue 1683 is from the Spring ’20 collection. I can’t recall the last time I sewed a Big Four pattern within the year it was released. I know there are many haters of a high low hem, but I could wear them all day.

V1683 Skirt 10

I was drawn to the overskirt of this pattern because I felt it would help balance out my bust when worn with a slim fit top. The red plaid cotton was in my stash, but not enough for more than the front.

V1683 Skirt 2

The remainder of the skirt was sewn with a dense double weave Ralph Lauren stretch suiting from Fabricmart. While I like the stretch and density of the skirt fabric for a pencil skirt (smoothing, less bumps) it’s all just too dang heavy for what I envisioned as a breezy summer skirt. I should have gone for a wool crepe suiting, but couldn’t find any in March when I was desperate to sew this skirt.

Naturally, the pandemic with stay-at-home orders hit and I proceeded to sew ONE THOUSAND MASKS. Well, Ok. I sewed maybe 150. But, it felt like a thousand. What a sewing buzz kill! The good news about those masks is they funded two new pairs of Sven Clogs, so it was a fair trade off.

V1683 Skirt 3


The skirt is finished with twill tape at the waist. My skirt is very heavy and I’m grateful for the twill tape to totally stabilise any growth in the bias but waist of the overskirt.

The pencil skirt is faced and lined. The lining for the front is almost treated like an underlining first, before being attached to the back lining peices.

V1683 Skirt 6

I think I would have preferred to use a thicker thread for topstitching the facing, making it more of a design feature. But, I sewed down the facing from the wrong side so I could use my topstitch foot for a close stitch. If I didn’t know how much I would hate it, I would even pickstich the front with topstitching thread by hand.

I did muslin this garment for fit. I started in the size 20 of the skirt. Funny, when I was a straight size 12 in sewing patterns, I thought the size range was fine. Now that I’m in the top of the size range, I wish it went up at least four more sizes.

  • I needed to make a full seat adjustment on the back skirt.
  • I graded out the overskirt pieces
  • Grading the front skirt pieces at the waist
  • Grading the facings to match
  • Shortened the front overskirt drape at the hem by 3″. I’m 5’6″ and the hem grazed the floor.
  • Now, after all this, I took the skirt in my inches at the waist. I’m not sure if those were my changes or because it’s mostly bias and simply grew.

V1683 Skirt 5

To note:

  • Twill tape waist finish is 1/2″. Would use 3/4″ to 1″ next time. Might also suggest using grosgrain ribbon instead.
  • Would make french seams on overskirt since they end up being visible. Consider using fabric that is the same on front and back
  • Hem facings take a lot of care to attach smoothly
  • Grade seams like hell.
  • Use a lightweight fabric
  • If waist to hip ratio is high, use a longer zipper. I have to shimmy myself into this.

The only thing that troubles me about this skirt is that I sort of have no place to wear it!  It felt strange to sew a skirt that I couldn’t see myself wearing for at least a year. The skirt is too much to wear to work. It’s the kind of thing I would wear out to dinner or to the theater. Neither of those things will be happening for some time. So, why work on the skirt that embodied how little control I had over what happened next?  Lastly, it’s too heavy for summer. At least it’s waiting for me when I have someplace to go again.

V1683 Skirt 12

This is the skirt I made my silk Cashmerette Springfield to go with. It’s too blousy and not quite the right shade. Together, I look a bit shortwaisted. I want to try something knit and blue, red or a cooler grey next.

Thanks again to my friend Liz for the photos. We’ve kind of worked out that she’ll take my pictures for a while (we’re in front of her adorable rowhouse). It goes a million times faster with help. I have five more garments to share from the last few weeks. And thanks to her, I’ll be able to!



  1. Liz’s rowhouse is a great backdrop for your skirt—it really makes it pop! I’m also struggling with making clothes that aren’t particularly suited to my new work-from-home existence, but I’m trying to use up the fabric stash I never intended to accumulate, and my only other option is to knit woolens that it’s far too hot to wear, so here we are haha. Here’s hoping we have somewhere suitably awesome to wear our fancy clothes when the pandemic ends, and I look forward to seeing what you stitch up to pair with your skirt!

  2. I am trying to get to the bottom of my long-ignored mend/alter list, and the next thing up is….a sequin gown. So if you’re feeling overdressed, you have company. 😉

  3. I enjoyed seeing your stories on Instagram where you shared your fitting changes while you were sewing up this cute skirt. I love how it turned out on you! The contrast plaid against the solid fabric is a unique contrast. One of these days, life will go back to normal and you can rock this skirt in style. Until then, you can be just as fabulous at Target!

  4. It’s a cute skirt. I’m sewing things which are totally not quarantine appropriate, then wearing them anyway. Who says I can’t wear a ball gown to watch Peaky Blinders? Well, OK, maybe that’s a bit much. But Shrimp Scampi deserves a fancy skirt like yours, don’t you think? Maybe when the weather cools down.

  5. It is a lot of fun, very dramatic. Is the overlay removable? That gives you two skirts in one.

    Glad you have a photographer, that way you can share more makes with us!

    Sewing is a great hobby, giving the option for something unusual or something necessary.

    I have been making myself long shorts, the length I want, with pockets but most importantly back crotch alterations to fit my large curvy derriere. Nothing exciting but I’ve been wearing them a lot in our strange hot weather (I’m in the UK).

  6. Having someone to take your pictures ready does help and it frees you up to show off the garment without worrying about the how and why. I hope you do make this skirt again in some lighter fabrics because like you I love a good high/low hem! Hopefully sooner rather than later you will find somewhere to wear this beautiful skirt.

  7. “…when I was a straight size 12 in sewing patterns, I thought the size range was fine. Now that I’m in the top of the size range, I wish it went up at least four more sizes.”

    Yup, yup, and yup!! I can’t believe that in my sewing “career” that I’ve now weighed my way through all the sizes. ; )

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