Vogue 8353 with Alteration

Finished gingham version

This pattern is out of print now, but I made it for my daughter last year.  She and I both liked the pattern and I figured she would look pretty cute in it.  As you can see from the pattern envelope illustration (bottom of the post), it is made from a one inch gingham check.  The skirt is an a-line from the waist. Before I had time to make the gingham version for her I found an orange and black zebra strip fabric in the Halloween clearance section.  This just happened to match her school colors and she had been begging for a school spirit dress.  I could test the pattern on the spirit dress so I could be sure about the size before I made the gingham version.

The orange zebra version turned out pretty cute.  She wore it each time they had spirit day.

The gingham version would be very unforgiving at the waist because to get the grey and black stripes, each white stripe is tucked into a pleat.  This also creates the fullness for the bust and the hips.  The waist is the size you need to be the most sure about before you cut out the pattern. Letting out any of the tucked pleats would result in an undesirable white line along the waist/midriff area.

By the time I made the gingham version it did not fit so nicely at the waist.  I am still not sure if this was because I may not have made a full inch tuck at each pleat on the orange version or if to be sure there was no white showing I made slightly larger than one inch tucks on the gingham version.  Either way it was a disappointing flop and I had to think about what to do so that I could salvage the dress.  It was just too tight at the waist and the pleats looked pulled and strained. One more black stripe width across the back or an extra half inch on both sides would have been enough to have prevented this tightness, but once it has been cut that alteration is not an option.

I let it hang on the rack for a couple of months before I figured out the best course of action.  Then I let it hang another month before I pulled out the scraps to see if there was enough to do what I had in mind.  When I finally checked, I realized it was about two inches short of what I needed, so I let it wait a while longer while I continued to think about what I might do to make this work. Piecing the fabric to make a big enough section was an option, probably the only option, but I didn't want to do that.  There was always give it to some one even thinner than my daughter, but she did not want anyone else to have "her dress".  That really was a valid argument because I rarely make a dress out of the same fabric as the illustration, but this dress just had to be made with the same fabric.  The fabric was the design element.

Altered Side with fabric splice.

The only way I could make this dress usable for her was to open the side seems, insert a splice the full length  of the dress plus hems from the underarm.  For the skirt portion, I made the splice portion wider on each side by two inches than the bodice portion and tucked the seams into one of the pleat areas so that it would not show.  To make sure it was even more invisible, I cut down the side seams of the skirt portion straight along black lines which changed the a-line skirt.  On top of that, I did have to piece the splice on one side, but with careful seam placement it was nearly invisible.  With the new splice, the seams were on a black and grey line making them nearly invisible.  The skirt lost the bias plaid match lines on the side, and all of the white that was on the side seams at the original waist.  The result was a better fit for her with the only white on the waist/midriff area at the front where the dress had buttons.

Now I had to resolve how this design change on the sides had changed the placement of the buttons. The original dress had buttons at about 3.5 to 4 inch spaces down the front.  To balance out the white squares I used them as placement for black buttons.  I had to add a few more buttons, but the result was a little more pleasing than standard button placement on the gingham. We never did find a wide black lace like the pattern version.

Vogue 8353 Pattern Envelope


  1. Your splice is undetectable! I was just considering this pattern and wondering about the complexities of fitting the pleats and the waist. Very interesting.

    1. Thanks for reading my blog. My alteration probably changed the underarm section a little too, but if you make sure when you cut out your pattern that it will fit at the waist then the tucks will not need the extra alteration and you will have the cute A-line shape for the skirt. Good luck, it is a very cute dress.


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