Modelling the Victory Sofia Dress!

How are you holding up through COVID? I’ve been up and down, which is a pretty universal experience. I’m currently halfway through summer vacation and today it was announced that we will be back in schools full time in September. Yes, in 4 weeks I’ll be in 3 poorly ventilated buildings per week, each with with 400+ kids and 35+ adults, while my husband will be in a building with 1200 teenage students and 100+ teachers. Sounds… doomed? Time will tell, and everything changes so quickly that who knows how it will actually play out.

Instead, let’s look at my beautiful new dress, the Victory Patterns Sofia!

Kristiann from Victory emailed me back in late May to ask if I’d be willing to model the new extended size range of her upcoming pattern! It’s a hard time for photoshoots right now, and I was happy to help out. Victory bought the fabric of my choice and paid me for my time. I’ve met Kristiann before since she is based in Toronto, and she was absolutely lovely to work with. I do so love a designer who takes feedback well, is flexible, and committed to quality!

Let’s talk details! I sewed a straight size 20 at Kristiann’s suggestion, even though my measurements put me in a 18/20/22. I’m 5’2″, and shortened the straps 1/2″. I made the midi dress because I couldn’t see myself styling the crop top or peplum blouse, but it does look great on the other models!

A few thoughts and suggestions for anyone else sewing this pattern:

  • The shirring makes the fit very forgiving, and I have to say, it wasn’t nearly as tricky as I imagined! (Once I got the bobbin threaded properly, that is.)
  • I used one and a half bobbins of shirring thread for the bodice. If you are sewing a larger size or also doing shirring on the sleeves definitely order plenty of shirring thread.
  • There is 1/4″ elastic at the waist and across the neckline, which holds everything nicely in place. I could have shortened my bodice a bit because you can see it poufs over the elastic slightly… again I’m 5’2″ so regular height people need not worry!
  • Because the bodice and waistband hold the dress in place, it is important to get the straps just right. Otherwise the will fall down during wear.
  • I wear a G-cup bra, and you can see that the front of the bodice rides up. SOmething to be aware of if you really value a straight waistline! It is drafted for a D cup. I am wearing a bra with regular straps in all these pics, which you can sometimes see peeking out.
Do you love pockets? It has pockets!

My grandmother passed away at 100 last fall, and I enjoy fining fabrics with hummingbirds that remind me of her. This fabric is a lovely rayon from Art Gallery Fabrics. (Did you notice the birds are upside down on the back bodice? I hope not!!!!!)

I took these pics on a stinking hot day, with sweat dripping down my face… and people kept chasing me away from the ultimate frisbee course! Bless the power of golden hour for making them turn out alright.

If you have any questions about the pattern I’d be happy to answer them! It is always exciting when a company extends their pattern line, and I’m hopeful my old TNT Lola dress will get sized up soon.

Stay safe, and happy sewing!

14 thoughts on “Modelling the Victory Sofia Dress!

  1. This dress looks so comfortable, like it can be worn for many events… if there were places to go this summer.
    I’m concerned about schools reopening, too, since we currently have the highest transmission of cases in the country. Fortunately, your province is mandating masks for Gr 4-8 students, while our government is not.


  2. I absolutely love this dress on you Gillian! When I spotted you in it on Instagram I pretty much went straight over and bought the pattern (Clare adores shirring, and I don’t have a decent shirred top/dress pattern).
    Re covid-19 – we’re currently into week four of our second lockdown, except this time the numbers are still increasing. Clare is attending school in person as she’s in her final year of school; only kids in their final two years are there in person (all in masks) and the rest are doing remote learning. Loads of local schools have been closed while they do contact tracing of positive cases. It’s a super stressful time at present with many unknowns. Sewing is proving therapeutic for me though (although sewing masks is NOT one of my favourite things to do). I am trying to take things one week at a time. Take care and stay safe xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You know, I wasn’t feeling this dress but now that I’ve seen your version I LOVE it. This is beautiful on you G. I especially appreciate the length and the line of the front neckline.


  4. Very attractive! Looks so nice on you! Wishing you and your husband safety and good health as you start back to schooling!


  5. I love the dress! I wouldn’t have thought about making a dress with a shirred bodice, but now that I see it on you, I may change my mind. I am also a teacher. I live in California where we have some pretty good leadership around Covid. However, I also live in a smaller, conservative county where we have some officials who think it’s “fake news”. To say the least, I have been so full of anxiety this summer. For now, we are (probably) going back with distance learning for the first 6 weeks. We start school in less than 2 weeks and our board is meeting tonight to decide. EYE ROLL. What I am trying to say is, I feel you. I hope that you and your husband can push this away and rest. This is the year of self care. That is what I keep telling myself. Teachers around the world are behind you. I hope you can find more fun things to sew and share!


  6. I was so excited when I saw it was YOU in the photos for the pattern: and the dress looks beautiful. Seeing you in it makes me think that i could try it as well. Shirring is so forgiving with respect to fit: no darts or gathering or FBAs. And no, I can’t see the birds are upside down. I live in the island state south of Lara, and we are so worried about them in Victoria. I’ve been in personal lockdown for 140 days. I think there are now more than 70 school closed because if COVID-19 on The Mainland now, I don’t know why teachers are so disposable? Stay safe and well.


  7. It’s gorgeous! I love everything about this dress on you and I’m sure you will fix any “challenges” when you make it again. Because you definitely should make it again. As far as the teaching and schools in the time of a pandemic, I’m sorry that not only are the children but the teachers are being subjected to this. I hope this does work out well for you…but I just can’t imagine keeping children in masks for 8 hours a day.


  8. What a beautiful dress! So feminine. When I saw the pix I was reminded of WWI era dresses.
    Good luck with school. I live in the middle of a red state. People here still think it’s a conspiracy. I shake my head so much I’m starting to get vertigo!


  9. gorgeous! that bell sleeve is so sweet. The very first dress I ever sewed for myself at age 13 was this style without sleeves. It was just a tube with 12 rows of shirring around the chest. I made it in a red and white cotton gingham in 1972.


  10. I love this dress on you! Also, your haircut is fab. I miss haircuts. San Francisco is still on pause for salons. Anyway, lovely dress and a bit of a surprise since it’s not a style I normally respond to.


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