What the Voile to do?

So I’ve recently purchased some yardage of voile fabric…it’s going for really reasonable prices a lot of places for older lines.  And I’m trying to figure out what type of pattern I want to use with it.  The only full items I’ve made with the voile have been pillow cases and infinity scarves.  Both perfectly lovely, but I’m ready to branch into some real garment sewing.  (That was my first sewing love after all)


In particular I have 3 yards available of the Joel Dewberry Heirloom Voile on the top of the pile there.  I’m going on a cruise in a bit here and I’m thinking something light weight would be perfect for the tropical weather.

I’m looking for suggestions for dresses FOR ME (not my girly…though I may make her a miniature version) and I’m leaning towards something with shirring.  I’m kind of itching to try it out.  Here are just a few images from blog world of possible ideas.  But I can’t decide if I really like them or not for me.


So help a girl out.  Suggestions?  Tips for sewing with voile?  Cruise tips? lol  (I’m soooo ready for a vacation! We haven’t had one since before my daughter was born!)


28 thoughts on “What the Voile to do?”

  1. I always figure if people ask a question, they want an honest answer. I think all these designs (with the *possible* exception of upper right) are for people with no hips or rear AT ALL, or for people who are pregnant and don't like form-fitting maternity wear. Thanks to Kelly, I have seen your bootay, and it is not nonexistent. (In fact, it is an enviable rear to those of us who might be older and less in shape, but that's not the point — the point is that you do in fact have rear.)

    You need (IMHO) something that defines your small waist and complements your curves. Have you considered the top shown on Pink Chalk this morning? I LOVE it but can't do strapless or convertible bras myself. It has a lovely waist to it. If you want to try shirring, what about shirring the waist of a skirt (a la Dana, except with half the fullness)?

    Ask a question, get an answer with me. You've been shooting straight lately, so you know what I mean. I just have a thing about these popular patterns, because I think people get so caught up in making them (because some, like Rae's, are SO cute), but don't consider whether they have the right body type for them. And by people, I mean other people.

  2. Yep, the bottom 2 would never work on my figure, because I have hips and rear that don't make a nice smooth, column of a line. I need a skirt with more flare. I like the top right, but I don't think voile has enough body to flare as a skirt, right?

  3. Voile is so comfortable to wear, you'll love it! It's a little more slippery than regular quilting cotton but I'm sure you won't have trouble with it. I like to use sharpmicrotex needles size 7010 for voiles.
    The washi dress is still on my wishlist of things to make so that would be my choice. Rae made a beautiful maxi version in voile did you see it?

  4. I love the top right! but I am obsessed with the Collette patterns at the moment and they have a few lovely dresses. Although I haven't made one yet, I'm plucking up the courage to try the Violet blouse for myself.

  5. I think the staple dress might be a good option (just google it – it's been on instagram a bunch) or the washi with pleats instead of gathers.

  6. My first voile project was Anna Maria Horner's Evening Empire Dress for my daughter. I learned that fusible interfacing does not adhere well to voile. If you use interfacing, use something like Pellon's SF101 woven fusible. Fuses well enough to get the project completed & looks good after washing. That pattern is really full so we reduced some of the fullness. Voile, when gathered, has a tendency to stand out. Rae's Washi dress would be a great choice for voile. Look at the Wiksten Tunic – not as much shape as you are looking for, but requires no interfacing. I've seen it i many fabrics on several body types & I always think it's a flattering garment.

  7. What I really dislike about the Washi dress is those little cap sleeves. If you make it please make it sleeveless!! Those cap sleeves make my arms look huge, but maybe you don't have that problem. I like the top left best and think it would flatter you.

  8. Hi Angela! Of the four dresses you showed, I like the to left one best. I'm with others in that you should maybe look for something with more waist definition of you are a little curvier on the bottom. I like the idea of empire waist dresses but they never look good on me and I'm not even all that curvy. Mostly they just make me look pregnant. LOL

    I'm not a fan of shirring on the bust. It looks adorable on little girls but I think it gives an odd shape to a woman's chest. Know what I mean?

    You might try http://www.sewaholicpatterns.com – maybe the Cambie Dress would work?

  9. I just made AMH Socialite dress in Melody miller linen. Love this pattern! Easy and would love to make it in voile or regular cotton-actually have some DW QUIlts Im thinking about using.

  10. If you can't find a dress you like I used my voile to make a full circle skirt. I then made a petticoat to go under it for a '50's look.
    The voile was really easy to sew I found, even the hem was easy to do.

  11. I love the top left dress but for me not you!! You're young with a great figure that should be shown off. I'm older with lumps and bumps where there shouldn't be. So I'd have the top left and you go and do what Jenny said because she obviously knows you.

  12. Shirring is great, but I'm not sure it would work well on voile due to how fine it is, I fear you'd end up seeing the elastic clearly, or it wouldn't shirr terribly well. I'm not sure of your shape, but having a, err, more generously proportioned front end, I would totally avoid the washi so i didn't look like I was wearing a circus tent, and in fact I'd avoid the top 2 because I couldn't be bothered to FBA them, something to think about ;o) I did get on well with the Sis Boom Meghan Peasant that does a tunic and dress, but that's because it more suited my shape

  13. I've been thinking about this myself as I just CANNOT stop obsessing about Amy Butler's Alchemy Voile (the Sketchbook print in Butter, omg, I'm in love). I finally bit the bullet and bought some this weekend. Anyway, I've never worked with it either, but I think I've settled on Butterick 5209 (a retro pattern). I'll let you know how it goes!

  14. grammytheyeti.com

    First of all, how do you say voile? Can you reply with a phoenetic? Sorry to sound like such a rube, but I honestly have never heard the word spoken. Or maybe I have but didn't realize it.

    I live in South Texas and I have to say, I HATE shirring. Not the way it looks – tis super cute. But the way it feels. It's way too hot down here to have elasticisized fabric stubbornly clinging to you in muggy conditions. You sweat and it doesn't breath well because of the rubber in the elastic. If you're going to a tropical clime, to see if you can hang, I suggest wearing a shirred top in a hot steamy bathroom for 8 hours straight and see how it goes. For happiness in the tropics, check out what the locals are wearing and go with their lead – loose cottons that give in the breeze and keep you cool.

    But if you are heart-set on shirring, here's the best tips I've found for success: http://gigglesmum-creativeheart.blogspot.com/2009/10/shirring-problems-i-cracked-it.html

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