Floral Molyneux Dress

As soon as I saw this Molyneux (Vogue Paris Orig 1841) dress pattern on etsy, I couldn’t get it in my hot little hands fast enough.  I knew it would be the perfect addition for my summer wardrobe as well as work for one of my Vintage Pattern Pledges for July.

Floral Molyneux Dress

While I’m more of a 40’s/50’s kind of girl, sometimes I can’t resist a Grecian, open-backed dress from the 70’s.  I seem to be branching out to a lot of different styles this summer…

Floral Molyneux Dress

This is actually my second version of this pattern.  While the first has yet to be blogged, I stitched up this dress literally days after completing the first.

I got this fabric as a large remnant from Sawyer Brook fabrics, without a plan of what to use it for.  When it arrived I had finished my first (long) version and knew it would be lovely as a second (short) version; the perfect pattern to show off the lovely abstract floral design.

  • Just an FYI – the remnants are actually in the regular fabric area and are called ‘last cuts’ and have special pricing on the Sawyer Brook website.  I found it kinda confusing at first so I wanted to let you know.  (In no way am I compensated here for my opinions or for fabric.)

This fabric is a rayon knit with lycra in it.  I find that if you want drape, it’s rayon all the way!  Or bamboo… bamboo has a really lovely drape also.  But I really can’t resist a pretty rayon knit.  And who knew that green + purple = wonderfulness.

Floral Molyneux Dress

Here’s the pattern envelope image.  The gal on the left is wearing the knit version, too.

Molyneux Dress

I ended up increasing the deep plunging back bodice by like 2″ or so as my first iteration wasn’t quite as close-looking to the pattern envelope.  I really wanted a deep V, almost to my waist, for dramatic effect like the pattern image is.

Floral Molyneux Dress

Most of the pattern directions are tailored towards using a woven fabric and I had to modify them greatly for my knit fabric – despite the pattern saying it can be used for either woven or knits.  In one stage, I’m supposed to close the bodice wrap section with no less than 7 hooks and eyes for a 4″ piece gathered section.  Nope!  I just stitched the two pieces together and finished the edges.

Gathered Section


What’s interesting about this pattern is not just the design but the construction.  There’s a whole under-bodice structure to this wrap dress.

IMG_7453 IMG_7452 IMG_7449 IMG_7446

You may be able to spy some white tape on the front image.  Yuppp!  Girl talk time: I taped in some support with athletic tape.  This dress really can’t be worn with a bra but I don’t feel comfortable going bra-less.  Tape suggestion came from Meg/Michelle and was such a good idea.

While this dress is made in knit, I added quite a bit of clear elastic to some inner seam allowances to make sure this dress would hold up over wearings.  I added some to the under-bodice shoulder seam, the waistband seam, and the center back V area of the top bodice wrap section.


I didn’t bother to make a muslin of the outer wrap bodice, what I did work on was perfecting the fit of the underbodice.

When I first made up a knit muslin, no matter how much I reduced the shoulder height the bodice kept falling off my shoulders.

Muslin of Molyneux


What ended up being the fix was taking wedges out – triangles – both on the neckline side as well as the armhole side on both the front and the back bodices.

Unfortunately I don’t have any more photos of these steps, but I just made sure to keep track of how much length I removed from the underbodice so that I could remove the same on the outer wrap bodice pieces.

Floral Molyneux Dress

This pattern also has you sew on a cummerbund gathered piece on the front of the underbodice so that when the outer wrap bodice splits, you can still see lovely gathers in that area.  I did it on version 1 but it really just added bulk and was pointless, imo.  So on version 2 I omitted that piece, honestly no one is the wiser; but I will admit perhaps it is needed on a woven version…

Given my bad posture, I’m quite surprised that the shoulders of my dress actually stay up.  I was worried that this design was going to not work on me (due to bad posture) and also due to my narrow shoulders.

Floral Molyneux Dress

But I wore this thing for a whole, hot day at the garden nursery with my mom.  I bent over, picking up all manner of plants and I never had an issue.  *win*

Actually all of the plants you see behind me in the photos is what I got that day with my mom.  Got some knockout roses, hydrangea, lilac, a couple silver fluffy looking plants my grandma used to have, and so much more.

Floral Molyneux Dress

Now that I’ve switched to talking about plants & my garden I guess I’m all done talking about this dress.

Floral Molyneux Dress

I’ll leave you with a silly selfie and give my husband an ever present “Thank You” for taking my garment photos.



In: Sewing

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

Comments (21)

  1. Rebecca July 14, 2016 — 7:37 AM

    Beautiful dress! The fabric is gorgeous and I just love the silhouette! That plunge back is fab. Really interesting design with the under bodice. Love it!

  2. Sarah July 14, 2016 — 7:40 AM

    What a fabulous and ingenious frock! I bet this would be super sexy in a black silk jersey too. Those Vogue Originals are always treasures!

    1. Liz July 14, 2016 — 4:46 PM

      Oh yes – I think you can say that of anything though. lol Everything is better in black silk jersey. :D

  3. The dress looks wonderful! And I like the inner bodice, that’s a clever construction.
    Rayon is awesome!

  4. Michele July 14, 2016 — 10:42 AM

    Love this dress, you did an amazing job and it looks gorgeous on you…the colours, the print, everything about it. Cheers and happy sewing. Michele

    1. Liz July 14, 2016 — 4:46 PM

      Thanks Michele. :D

  5. Gorgeous! Love the pattern and the gorgeous floral. I’m going to have to keep and eye out for that pattern as I would LOVE a version myself. Baby has to be done constantly breastfeeding first, so I guess I have a while yet…

    1. Liz July 14, 2016 — 4:47 PM

      It wasn’t terribly overpriced of a pattern too. I highly recommend it! :D Cross-over design IS breast-feeding friendly too.

  6. Jennifer Shaw July 14, 2016 — 3:29 PM

    Your dress is magnificent!! The drapey quality and the coloration is incredible. Wow!!

  7. K-Line July 14, 2016 — 7:54 PM

    It’s fantastic!

    1. Liz July 15, 2016 — 11:29 AM

      Awww thanks Kristin.

  8. Lynsey July 15, 2016 — 1:20 AM

    Cool dress, the wrap on top of the bodice is fab and looks like it works well, my last attempt at a wrap gapes and I flash random passerby’s so adding a under bodice would make a huge difference to my modesty :)

    1. Liz July 15, 2016 — 11:29 AM

      Oh yes, I hate gaping on wrap bodices – safety pins to the rescue. :D

  9. What a lovely dress, and the under bodice is a great idea for a wrap dress, especially one that isn’t conducive to wearing a bar with. Speaking of that, if the dress has the under bodice do you think you could have added a built in bra of sorts to that part? I wonder if that is even possible? Never the less it is a fabulous dress !

  10. toocutedobs July 15, 2016 — 4:06 PM

    You and your hubby are just too cute! Love that photo. Your dress is awesome as well and I love the way the top is made. Is it possible to add bra cups to that inner bodice?

    1. Liz July 18, 2016 — 9:18 AM

      Possibly… I couldn’t on this floral one as the fabric itself doesn’t have enough recovery to stitch in bra cups that would actually ‘cling’ to me. I could have seen doing it on my other version… but in truth that one is more snug with the wrap section and it already holds me in quite well, as is. But yes, my first thought was building in some support on the under-bodice.

  11. Tamara July 17, 2016 — 3:10 PM

    Gorgeous, gorgeous dress! Thanks for explaining the construction. Also I love your glasses and your hairstyle in these pictures.

    (btw I don’t want to sound like a jerk, but did you know you have analyst spelled wrong in your bio?)

    1. Liz July 18, 2016 — 9:15 AM

      Thanks Tamara!! How funny actually that I made that blatant typo; I don’t think you’re a jerk, it was very nice of you to point it out, thanks. :D

  12. Nilla July 24, 2016 — 12:12 PM

    Green and purple really equal awesomeness :)

  13. Lisette Bohensky July 24, 2016 — 8:18 PM

    This dress is beautiful! The fabric choice is perfect for this pattern…..plus, it looks great on you! So very pretty in every regard. I want one! ?

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