Vogue 1282

Vogue 1282 dress front

I’ve had this lovely black and cream striped rayon jersey in my stash for about a year, and I wanted to make something unique or unusual with it.  After seeing Allison’s striped top I went on a hunt for a design idea for this fabric. I had a little more than one yard of 60″ fabric and I hoped to get a dress out of it, not just a top.

If I had any degree of creativity or technical skill, I would have tried draping this fabric in an homage to Vivienne Westwood, but I don’t, so I hunted through patterns and landed on Vogue 1282. Line ArtI know.  Not very adventurous, but I had just finished making it up in a roll-end from EOS in a dark dijon rayon knit, and wondered if it would work in a stripe. I thought perhaps the excess fabric below the waist in the top would be perfect in a lengthened dress version, creating visual interest with the stripes, and hiding fluff.  Then I stumbled upon Ellen’s version from a couple of years ago that had a subtle stripe and it decided me.  I picked laid out the fabric and the pattern….

Vogue 1282 fabric

….. and shortened the bodice above the armscye (because it sits very low) by about 2 inches (5 cm), instead of just adjusting it at the shoulder seams during construction, as I did for the top, and plunged in with my cutting shears.

Vogue 1282 alteration

Instead of facing the armholes, I cut strips of fabric on the cross grain, one stripe-width finished width and left them as an extended edging.  It completely changes the fit of the pattern since they act as little 3/4″ sleeves.  It means the neckline sits at the outer edge of my shoulders instead of close to the neck, and results in the front drapes being a bit wider/shallower instead of narrow/deep.  But it also means I don’t need bra strap keepers and the shoulders are stable.  And it creates an asymmetrical look across the top, as the binding extends the vertical stripes on the right, making it look wider than the left.  Just one of those quirky things that are currently endearing this dress to me at the moment. As for the CF plunge, I’ve discovered a new little trick:  use a bobby pin to pick up one or two seam threads and clip it to the centre bridge of my bra.  Nothing moves.  Brilliant!

Vogue 1282 sleeve detail

I honestly wasn’t sure about this, but after seeing the pics (mirrors lie, y’know) I like it, but some details bother me.  For instance, the lack of stripe matching on the CF of the drape.

Vogue 1282 striped

And again down the CB seam.

Vogue 1282 striped back

Try as I might I just could not match up those stripes without creating weird alternating patches of easing and stretching which refused to lay properly and looked terrible down the back of the dress.

Vogue 1282 dress back

Similarly, if I match the stripes on the front drape, it will mean one side is longer than the other and sits at a different angle.  But my inner seamstress/perfectionist is squirming looking at these photos!  So, because I’d like your opinion, I’ve created a poll to either leave it, or fix it.  It’s anonymous, so please be brutally honest.

Vogue 1038: The Dramatic Shirt

Vogue patterns Donna Karan

Wow.  It feels good to be sewing so much again.  And sewing garments that I like, that fit and that are fun to make and wear!  Case in point, this fantastic over-sized tunic – blouse? – shirt? – from Donna Karan, courtesy Vogue 1038.https://mezzocouture.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/fa1a3-v1038.jpg?w=203&h=204I’ve made the skirt, although I’ve never blogged it.  You can see the skirt here.  It’s a dream to wear.  But this post is about the shirt.  That glorgiously oversized off-the-shoulder shirt that I don’t wear off the shoulder…

Vogue 1038 shirt back

I delved into my linen stash for this very lightweight semi-opaque woven stripe, and started cutting. I’ve always loved Donna Karan’s designs from a construction point of view, and the fact that they are so very unusual.  This top was no disappointment in either department.

The yoke is cut so that the shoulder seam is actually sitting on the bias.  Because I don’t really want to have to wear this off the shoulder, I added strap keepers at the shoulder points along the collar seam.

Vogue 1038 bra keepers

It makes the back yoke curve down a little bit, but it’s secure this way, and the sleeve cap sits at the edge of my shoulder like it should this way.

Vogue 1038 shoulders

I made absolutely no adjustments to this shirt, except to add a self-fabric wrapped 3-inch long piece of spiral steel boning at the CF to tuck behind undergarments in order to keep the front securely in place.

Vogue 1038 bra stay

The silhouette of the shirt is so dramatic.  It’s got great lines from all angles.  And people love seeing Donna Karan garments.  Wearing this shirt was no exception.  People stopped to comment on it and ask “who I was wearing”.

Vogue 1038 side

I’m not a model, so wearing it with the skirt is completely out of the question.

Vogue 1038 front

See?  Ridiculous on anything but a 6 foot stick with legs.

Vogue 1038

I’ll pair it with one of my many versions of another Donna Karan pattern:  Vogue 1039. I’ve tried to make this pattern a TNT – I just love the details on the capris –  and I’ve made them up just recently in a leopard laminated denim and the light olive stretch denim I’m wearing with this shirt for these pics.

Donna Karan head to toe

Yeah, maybe it’s a bit on the big and loose side, but it’s super comfortable and something different for those days when I crave “unusual”.  Have you made anything outside the tried and true world of staid jeans, trousers, tops or dresses?  Do you wear your unusual make very often?

 

A Plethora of New Tops

MMM15 Day 12-2

So I’ve been sewing up a few new tops.  The first one is Burda 7/2012 #136, without the ties.  No comment on the ties.

134_0712_b_largeI’ve been wanting to use fabrics I’ve been collecting over the last few years, and this combination of 14 oz rayon-lycra jersey in oatmeal and the scraps from my chocolate Burda 1/2013 #119 seemed to fit the bill. The chocolate jersey is 11 oz, and it doesn’t have the heft of the oatmeal fabric, but it manages. The bands are cut on the cross grain, on a fold, so the folded edge is the neckline. I had to do some tweaking to get the angles of the shoulder, CF and CB seams just right in order to feel secure in this top. The neckline sits (quite) wide. I ended up putting bra keepers in the shoulder seams just for added peace of mind. If you look at the Russian Burda site, lots of versions of this sexy neckline just slip off shoulders coyly. I’m not so coy, so I made the shoulders secure.

Burda 7-2012-136 side

The next top is my go-to for tees.  I just love the fit, neckline and little gathered raglan sleeves of this design:  Burda 02/2013 #126.

I have two versions that are new to me.  First, the crocodile print.

MMM15 Day 6

And then the polka dot one, upcycled from my purged McCardell dress.

MMM15 Day 7

There was so much fabric in that skirt, that I also made a second version in a bigger size of Burda 09/2011 #106. I don’t know what it is about that dotty jersey, but I just love it. Must be the combo of chocolate and olive.

And last, but not least, this little number from Burda 06/2014 #103. 103_062014_b_largeI didn’t quite have enough linen fabric to cut the required length, since this came in a package of roll ends from EOS.  So I added tiers to the bottom.  It’s rather loose, contrary to what the photos look like, which is a good thing.

Burda 6-2014-103 linen top

Here’s a detail shot of the shoulder.

Burda 6-2014-103 liberty

The jersey is intersected by petersham ribbon, which has been edged with bias binding.  It creates a structure from which the jersey literally hangs.  Brilliant.

Burda 6-2014-103 trim back

I used a Liberty Arts Fabric print, and I cannot for the life of me find the name of it.  If you know, please share it in the comments!

Burda 6-2014-103 linen top back

I love the linen jersey.  It’s so light and comfy and luxurious.  It was a PITA to cut, though, because the grain was all skewed.  In retrospect, I coulda/shoulda used petersham in a more contrasting colour to make the binding pop a bit more.  But this is subtle, and I’m happy to wear it, as I am all these new tops!  I did make up one more top in a coral jersey, but the pattern (and solid colour) was all wrong, so I thrifted it.  Well, five keepers out of six ain’t bad! And I’m happy to be sewing my stash!

Do you like sewing new tee patterns, or go for TNTs?

#jumpingintojune with red linen

Burda 06-2010-141 red linen

Well, I’ve gone and jumped on the jumpsuit trend, thanks to Chris at Said & Done and all the general silliness that led up to it.  Y’know, a late night, one comment, and then another, and a dare and here you are!  I have no memory of ever wearing a jumpsuit.  Or romper for that matter, so the last time I wore one must have been before the age of two.  And I have no photo proof of that, either, so for all I know, I never have worn a jumpsuit until today.  Actually, I had an extremely artsy roommate during my undergrad years, and she had a beautiful jumpsuit with fish skin leather accents.  I confess to stealing it when I knew she wasn’t going to be around once or twice.  But it always looked better on her and I always felt like an idiot wearing it.

For this project, I decided to keep it simple and go with Burda 6/2010 #141.  It’s a plus-sized pattern.  Yup.  I’ve officially crossed into plus-sized territory, and I wanted this to be a cut-and-sew make.  So I measured twice and cut once.

You know I’ve loved Burda pants blocks, and this is no different. Every measurement matched mine from crotch depth to crotch length, hip width to inseam fit. Without tweaking. How lovely is that? And here’s the proof from the back.  Even Mrs. Mole has gotta be happy with this one!

Burda 06-2010-141 back

I did do a 1.5 inch FBA after I shortened the bodice by 3 inches.  I could have shortened the bodice another inch – the blousing is a little too much for me, particularly at the sides.  And I kept the super wide legs and left off the shoulder straps. I thought I may as well go the whole hog on this one. Since it’s a jumpsuit.  And it’s red.

Burda 06-2010-141

I delved deep into my stash for this washed red linen.  It was washed and dried several times prior to cutting because I was hoping for that really washed linen softeness/drape.  Although it still wrinkles and creases like linen.  Looks best from the back!

Burda 06-2010-141 red linen back

I lined the bottom half with bemberg rayon to the knees.  I cut the lining on the cross grain, so the selvedge is the lining hem.  Less work for me and it doesn’t create unwanted ridges when the garment gets pressed.

lining

I treated the lining and the trouser part of the jumpsuit as one and used the bottom edge of the bodice to create the casing for the elastic.  Burda’s version calls for elasticated ties, but I’m always going to wear this with a belt, so I left them off and stitched down the ends of the elastic on either side of the CF, so that the CF waist is flat.

Burda 6-2010-141 pockets

My favourite thing about this pattern?  The pockets.  I love them!  It’s basically a welt pocket without the welt.  A long rectangular opening about 2mm wide that is topstitched 3cm from each end, leaving an opening for your hand.  I wasn’t going to bother with them, since pockets always add bulk around the hips, in my mind, but since fitting is almost non-existent in this pull-on garment, I thought I’d just keep them.  Coolest pockets insertion ever.  I’m super happy with them, and they don’t add that much extra stuff across the high hip…. I think.

Burda 06-2010-141 linen

The first of several dance performances for DD1 was tonight, and when she saw this, she insisted on my wearing it.  I honestly wasn’t going to, as it screams RED JUMPSUIT.  But I did, and it was surprising easy to drive in, sit in, walk up and down stairs in and it was cool in a hot stuffy theatre and warm in the cool evening dampness after the show.  I didn’t lose the top.  I didn’t trip over the super long-and-wide trouser hems and no one stared at me.  (Well, that I noticed, anyway.  People can be very discreet about side-long glaces.)  My DD’s loved it (DD3 has asked for one).  DH said nothing except, “Your pants are too long.  They’re dragging on the floor.” And a good friend raved about it.  Well, now I have a crazy jumpsuit in my closet.

Are you making a jumpsuit?

Purging

So I finally got around to purging my closet the other day.  It’s been gnawing at the back of my mind for a few months, mostly… well, because I’ve expanded slightly, and things that should be wearable, aren’t.  It felt good to sort through everything and make some decisions.  Ruthless decisions, I might add.  Garments were sorted into “doesn’t-fit-and-I don’t-care” for giving away; “doesn’t-fit-but-it-may-before-I-die-so-I’ll-keep-it-because-I-really-like-it”; and “alterations required”.

This is my “keep” pile.keepI confess to never wearing two of the three silk blouses in this pile.  But I like them, and maybe they’ll be wanted someday.  Most of what’s in this pile has been blogged in the previous couple of years.  But it doesn’t fit either my lifestyle or me these days, so it’s going into storage.  I just can’t part with garments that I’m proud of from a construction point of view.  Perhaps they’ll be used again in future….

This is the “alteration” pile.  Only six garments made it into this lot.

alter pileI can’t part with Liberty fabrics, so I’ll be changing up the ‘Bea’ dress on the left.  It’s got about 2 yards of fabric in the skirt, so I’m sure to remake it into something useful.  The ‘Hurren’ dress still fits, surprisingly.  I didn’t wear this at all last year, but, again, it’s Liberty, and I just can’t bear to part with it!  I’ll probably shorten it by 3 inches and change up the sash/belt.  The batik dress… I’m so in love with the fabric that I must find a way to use it again, albeit a small amount (about 1 yard total).  And on the right is the McCardell dress. I intend to remake the skirt, which has about 2 yards of fabric in it, again. The dirndl look isn’t flattering anymore. And two silk blouses that need a remake or slight tweaking.  Again, it’s the fabric that’s calling to me….

I sent one very large bag out of the house with no regrets.  I’m strangely exuberant about all this sorting.  The doesn’t-fit collection has been making me miserable for a long time, knowing the garments don’t suit lifestyle or me right now, and it feels good to get them out of sight (and mind) and open up some space for new garments.  It also gives me ‘permission’ of a sort to add to my wardrobe, something with which I struggle, since I really am trying to be driven by necessity for the most part, not want, in my effort to be economically and (I like to think) globally mindful…. in my own small way.

Don’t get me wrong!  I love to dress up and “feel oh, so pretty”, but seriously…. there’s not a place to go. It brings to mind a series of billboards from about a decade ago here in my local city, for one of the larger malls.  They consisted of a young mom all dolled up perfectly in pretty dresses, makeup and stilettos, cleaning a toilet, crawling on the floor after a toddler and changing the oil in her car.   As much as I’d like to dress like the ladies who lunch all day, it’s completely impractical and unnecessary for my lifestyle.  It’s taken a long time to let go of wanting to dress up all the time.  I have always been the overdressed person at “______________” (pick a function), because I like dressing up.  And I confess to finding some kinds of materialistic excess pretty and attractive (who doesn’t like a shoe collection? the latest makeup look? another bag?) but very irresponsible, and, (finally) quite unnecessary.  I don’t need a new wardrobe every season.  I love to build clothes that will last, not wear out or be dated in 5 years.  But this means collecting if I’m going to keep sewing, and my conscience bugs me about what it calls ‘hoarding’ sometimes.closet

So…. all that to say, I’m happy with the holes in my wardrobe!  Between my rather empty closet and Me-Made-May ’15, I’d say there’s plenty of incentive to shop my stash and get sewing me-mades that fit both me and my life.

*If you’d like to join in, click on the image above.  It’s linked to the sign-up post over at SoZoWhatDoYouKnow.

Miss V’s Wardrobe 2015

I always love hearing from Miss V with her cheerful announcement that she’s got a bag of fabric that needs to be turned into clothes.  She is back from Cambodia for a few months, and needs new clothes.  What fun for the both of us.  Here’s a catalogue of what she has added to her wardrobe this time ’round.

First, a plaid blouse, base pattern Burda 9/2010 #110.  Believe it or not, this was the first Burda pattern I ever made.  It seemed like a good place to start for the shawl collared sleeveless knit top that needed to be copied.  Never mind that this fabric is a poly woven.  The blouse has a lot of wearing ease, so I just cut off the fronts at the CF, omitting the overlap of the pattern.

Burda 09-2010-110

Then I added a band, about 4 inches wide, cut on the straight grain to the bottom of the blouse, leaving a 4-inch gap between ends at the left side seam.

Vogue 9595

This simple shift dress is Miss V’s favourite.  I use Vogue 9595 with a mock wrap sarong that I copied from one of her dresses.  It has a hidden welt pocket.

Vogue 9595 hidden welt pocket

This next dress is my least favourite, and imho, a fabric disaster.  It’s not only a sheet, but the weirdest sheeting fabric ever.  I’m sure it must be a 70/30 polycotton mix, and it’s as light as a voile.  Anways, she’s pleased with it, although I’m not.  The bodice is Burda 2/2011 #101, the first iteration of which you can see here.

Made-from-a bedsheet dress

I had originally put on a dirndl skirt, but she didn’t like that, so I substituted in the A-line version of Sewaholic’s Cambie with pockets.  I confess to doing a less-than-stellar job of accurate cutting.  *sigh*

Marfy 1913 dress back

Now this sweet little number is none other than the free Marfy 1913, lengthened into a dress.  If you search Google images, you’ll see a entire world of versions of this great pattern.  I added side seam pockets and lined it.

Marfy 1913 dress

This orange striped polycotton jumped right out of her bag of goodies and screamed, “SUNDRESS!!!”  I used Burda 9/2014 #130, which is the basic bodice associated with DD1’s recent LBD.

Striped sundress

The skirt’s pleats are all edgestitched, both on the inside and outside to keep the pleats in place after laundering, and to prevent the fullness of the skirt flying up in the wind.  I cut an A-line lining and attached it to the skirt using thread chains.  Apparently it’s quite windy in Cambodia, and flying skirts aren’t an option!

Here’s another version of Marfy 1913,  with side hemline vents and a side zipper in addition to it’s CB opening.  It can be worn outside the trousers, or tucked in.

top side vents

The trousers are Vogue 2064, which I used to re-make a sari Miss V brought last time.  The pattern is for jerseys, but I find sizing up one size takes care of the negative ease and makes the pattern work for wovens.  Miss V wanted a dramatic waist sash with a bow to finish it off.  I’m really sorry the only photos I have of this outfit on the dress form.  The fabric is quite stunning in person.

purple

And that’s all, for this round of Miss V’s sewing.  Keep stitching!

Blackwatch Plaid Coat: Finale

blackwatch twirlWell, the skirt was fun!  As mentioned before, it’s six quarter circles, and it twirls magnificently.  Perfect for a dancer, no?  I didn’t hem it.  It’s faced with a 2 inch self-fabric facing which is stitched 1/8″ from the lower edge and catchstitched on the upper edge..  The hem edges are left raw.

blackwatch side frontIt’s above the knee in length, at her request.  She doesn’t care for long “dowdy” dress coats.  I did not match up the plaid on the skirt with the CF panels deliberately.  I thought with the ample folds of the skirt, it would be nice to not have the edges match – sort of a continuation of the broken plaid lines in the skirt. I did match all the plaid horizontally at the seams of each quarter circle.

blackwatch backBTW, I didn’t get any pictures of her wearing it with her hands out of the pockets, so the sleeves all look completely wonked in these photos.  You’ll just have to believe me when I say they are the perfect length and hang properly!blackwatch coat
Whew!  I’m so happy this project was a success and that DD1 really likes the coat.  I had to wrestle her into agreeing to have it made (stylish leather jackets look ridiculous in the middle of winter with a party dress), and I think she’s happy she did.  She’s wearing her silk & spiderweb lace LBD with it today, on her way to a school semi-formal.  Happy dancing!