18.12.17

Vogue 8994 in double gauze

In a recent pattern sale, I trawled through the pattern books and left the store with armfuls of Vogue patterns.  This is most unlike me.  I am not a spontaneous shopper, and usually research patterns obsessively before committing to purchase.  At these prices though, I thought it didn't matter if I got a few duds, and for a couple of patterns, I even bought them in two size ranges (bloody pear shape).  

When I got home and did a little internet research into Vogue 8994, I was surprised at how few reviews there were.  The reviews were consistent though; each of the reviewers had trouble with the fit, which is a shame for such a simple style.  Mostly there were issues with the low armholes and neck.  

I got out my sloper and made some length changes in the upper bodice.  I can't remember the details, but I know I took a fair whack out, maybe even as much as 10 cm.  Possibly more than I needed to, but I don't like necklines high up on the back of my neck







The fabric is a double gauze.  Double gauze is a pretty new fabric for me, so I am still experimenting, but I'd have to say that it is a dud choice for dresses, even summer beachy ones.  The fabric is very clingy, so even if it is not sheer, it shows up every body curve.  It wrapped itself around my tummy and thighs and I was hard put to find a photo I could use.  So many photos had the dress wedged up in my bum crack that I don't think I can actually wear this dress in public.

Which is a shame, because it took a concentrated effort to get all those stripes to match.  The fabric had a diagonal stripe.  I should have planned it more.  Next time I will draw up lined paper and sketch the pattern pieces in place, because I had fully cut one front and one back before I realised that I would have to cut the other front and back on the cross grain to get the diagonals to work.  Only, not even at a 90° angle to the first pieces, because I don't think the diagonals were 45°.  So one set of pieces are lengthwise and the other set are skewed at about 15° to the cross grain.  It is a wonder I was able to cut the pieces out of my 2 m of fabric.  I have chevrons at the front and back, but I had no hope of matching the side seams, because the angle of the stripes changes quite dramatically down the side length, which you can see if you look carefully at the photo below.  This different grains do give the dress a lovely swingy drape.



I cut the length at the indications for lining length.  I didn't use a lining, instead finishing the edges with self made bias.

I think that the pattern has potential, and I would like to make it up in another fabric.  I have a black rayon twill that I bought to make a jumpsuit, but really, I am not a jumpsuit sort of person, so I am wondering if I should use the twill for another version of this dress.  I don't much wear plain black though.  Maybe I should just sit on it until the right fabric comes along.


28.11.17

Camisole

I drafted myself a camisole.  It is similar to the Ogden Cami, except mine has bust darts.  It is a simple style, so I thought it would be quicker to draft from my block than to fit a purchased pattern.  Some fabrics look better with bust darts, and some without, so I might need to draft a second pattern without darts.






Despite my best sewing efforts, the facing is rolling to the outside.  Of course this would happen on a top that I made out of a remnant, and so used a contrasting fabric for the facings.  I went back to my pattern to see why.  This is my second cami, and the first one doesn't do this, but when I checked the pattern, I must have made changes to the pattern after my first version and not made the same changes to the facing, so the facing doesn't match the main pieces very well at all.  I'll have to fix it for the next version.  In the meantime, the facing rolls out so evenly that, in the contrasting fabric, I am considering it a design feature.




23.11.17

Vogue 1507 for me

I made my own version of V1507 this week.  It was fun to make, but I don't think that it is something I will wear much.  There is too much of it, and it is too frou-frou for me, with the layers, and the floral and the gingham.  The fabrics are from Miss Matatabi, with the main being a rayon challis and the contrast and gingham seersucker.  Maybe I should have stuck to a plain fabric.

I used a trim on the sides of the front panel, because I though breaking up the print on its own would look a bit funny.


The slits in the sleeve mean that the sleeves are very comfortable to wear.  No restrictions at all.


I faced the back ties with the gingham, both for a burst of colour and for a more structured tie.



One little extra thing I added was some stays to the shoulder, to tuck under my bra straps.  I'm never coordinated enough to do up those little ribbons and studs that you wrap around your bra strap.  Instead, I covered a short piece of boning in fabric and stitched it to the edge of the neckline.  I just tuck the boning under my bra straps to keep the blouse a little more secure on my shoulders.


17.11.17

Vogue 1507 (Rachel Comey)

When Vogue 1507 was first released, I thought it looked kind of ugly.  Spotlight had a great sale on Vogue patterns recently, and I really took my time going through the pattern books, buying up any patterns I thought I might use (I think they worked out at $6 a pattern, which is really cheap for here.  Sadly, not all the designs I picked out were in store.)  I sometimes buy the designer patterns to read, even if I don't think I will make them, because often they have interesting construction or design details.  Vogue 1507 has a lot of great details and beautiful construction techniques, and I decided to give it a whirl.

I chose a cotton + steel rayon challis, which has a much softer drape than the fabric used for the pattern envelope, so the resulting garment has quite a different look.


My daughter has grown so much this year, that she has gone from being way too tiny for adult patterns to a size 8 in just a few months.  I cut the size 8.  I basted the under layer and back sections together and did a quick fitting.  I took up the shoulders to about the size 4 line, so I used the size 4 sleeves (I think that the back yoke pattern piece has the wrong sizes printed on it.  The main pattern pieces are sized 4 - 12, and the yoke 6 - 14).  The grading on this pattern looked a little odd, in that the front neckline width hardly changed from size 4 to size 12.  It gaped on her, so I took in the under-layer at the CF and the over-layer on the seams for the centre front panel.


I put a few stitches in the CB, so she can just pull the top on without having to tie the back knot.  The back knot is not sitting at its most prettiest in this photo.  


Here you can see the split sleeve.  I only had enough fabric for one layer in the sleeves.  Also, I shortened the sleeves by about 10 cm, so that they would not overwhelm her.


I used a contrast fabric for the front panel.  It took a lot of auditioning of scraps from my remnant pile to find something that worked here.  In the end, I have layered a cotton voile over the top of a peach rayon.


The pattern instructions give beautiful finishing techniques, but I did not use them because, well, sewing for teenagers.  The over-locker really sped things up, and I used a rolled hem instead of narrow hemming the edges.  I did not have the right colour thread for the rolled hems and used a pale blue for the upper looper, a pink for the lower looper and which for the needle thread, and it looks okay.

Now I am wondering if I should make a yellow floral version for myself, before I put the pattern away?

15.11.17

Stylearc Jamie Pants

I have been wanting a pair of green trousers for a while now.  There are so many shades of green that "green trousers" isn't really enough of a description.  I was thinking of a darker green that could be considered a neutral.  So I was pretty excited when I saw the EmmaOneSock listing for fern green viscose rayon garbardine   (I'm thinking about buying the loden colour next).  Good quality plain fabrics just doesn't seem to come by often enough.



For the pattern, I went with the Stylearc Jamie Pants, which are just choc-a-bloc with details.  There are patch pockets, knee patches, an interesting cuff that is folded at the front and elasticated at the back, drawstring, back welt pockets and on the inside, the fly facing has a really lovely shape.

I was all set to cut these out, wanting to get them made as quickly as possible, when I observed that the crotch shape looked quite different to my usual trouser patterns.  I am still fairly new to Stylearc and haven't worked out the fitting changes I need, so I put my scissors down and went hunting for some calico to make a muslin.  Lucky I did, because I couldn't actually do these trousers up.  The pants are pretty close fitting, and combined with my own fit issues, the zip wouldn't close even though there was sufficient fabric to go around me.

I didn't mean to set out on a pants fitting journey, but it took me 3 muslins to get to a point where I was happy.  Clearly, far from perfect, but I don't know how to make them better and now I can do them up.




I would love to get help fitting a pants block, but I don't tend to live anywhere near a pants fitting workshop.  I'll put it on my bucket list for when the kids leave home.

Now some close-ups of the details.

Lovely cuffs.

I used grommets for the drawstring waist.  The gathers at the top of the pocket are due partly to lousy ironing, but also took a fitting dart in the trouser underneath and just eased the pocket in to fit rather than put a dart in the pocket.


Patch pockets.  I put the pocket facings on the outside of the pockets.


Knee patches.  I shortened the legs of the pattern, but if I make these again with knee patches, I think the patches need to be a bit lower on my legs.  I must have shortened in the wrong place.


Back Pockets 


The fabric care was for dry-cleaning, but I don't get my regular clothes dry-cleaned.  The fabric does shrink  or tighten up in the wash, and then relaxes with ironing and wearing.