Big Leaves: Vogue 9167

I’m supposed to be doing my taxes.


I thought it would be more fun to share DD3’s latest sewing project with you instead.  🙂 We went shopping in my stash, and pulled out this fabulous fabric from EmmaOneSock, which I purchased with DD3 in mind a couple of years ago.  In the latest Vogue patterns online sale, we also purchased Vogue 9167.  She chose to work with View D.

We began with a toile of the bodice, using the 14-D cup bodice provided in the pattern, but it pulled in all sorts of unhappy ways, so I suggested that we do an additional 1.5cm FBA.  She followed the directions from the 1982 Vogue Sewing book on her own, but decided to make it a 2cm FBA instead of a 1.5, hoping she wouldn’t need to make yet another toile. And we ended up with a really good fit through the bust, if it was a little loose.  We didn’t need to lower the bust point at all.  But it looked like something my dog found in the garbage with drag lines going on in every direction FOREVER.

9167 shoulder toile

And I couldn’t for the life of me think of where to even begin with this mess. DD3 has been in physio for a couple of years because she a) sprouted so quickly; b) went from a B cup to an F cup in less than 6 months (remember, she’s 13 years old), which affected everything from posture to self-esteem; and c) swims semi-competitively. Which, all put together, makes for shoulder issues, as you can see in these photos. Oh, and we’ve just learned that she has scoliosis – minor – only 1cm, or so – but it obviously affects the fit of a bodice. Soooo….

Vogue 9167 toile no. 3

Because she’s a swimmer, I cut 5cm extra through the shoulder seams, in preparation for a square broad shoulder (remember, I’m trying to get her to work from a pattern, since that’s the way I work).  Maybe it’s time to learn to work from a moulage… Ah, well, here’s a summary of what we ended up with:

Back:  narrow back adjustment 1.5cm

Right shoulder:  took away the 5cm extra, and sloped it 1.5cm.  In effect, working from a size 14 pattern, it boils down to a 1.5cm sloped shoulder adjustment.

Left shoulder:  left the 5cm extra on the front.  Took away 5cm on the back.  What is this called?  Reverse forward shoulder adjustment? Backward shoulder adjustment?

Short waist adjustment: 5cm

R sloped shoulder
perfectly matched waistband seam on an invisible zip

This is the back of the dress. We still need more adjustments through the right shoulder… lower shoulder adjustment? narrow shoulder adjustment? sloped shoulder adjustment? Or maybe it’s a high neck issue?!?!?!

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!!

Right shoulder still troubling me
perfectly matched centre front seam, although the neckline looks kinda funny!  Maybe we should have done a mirrored version of the CF panels instead of matching them.

You can see it’s still a hot mess on the right side in this photo, but I’m not sure if she’s rolled her shoulders forward a little bit (something she is fighting on a minute-by-minute basis).  However, this is so dramatically improved from her Christmas dress fiasco (we’re re-cutting the bodice for December 2017), that we both did major happy dances. It’s not perfect, but it is 1000 times better than it was. She didn’t want it to be fitted closely under the bust, so we left it with a little more ease than I would like. But it’s her dress, and she’s happy with it.

Vogue 9167

She loves the pockets.

Vogue 9167 back

We added an A-line lining to the skirt. Working with all those box pleats was a bit of a challenge for her, since she’s just done circle skirts to this point.

Vogue 9167 side front

Thank goodness for Vogue’s wonderful instructions. She just followed them methodically and was so proud of herself when they worked out beautifully.  And me, well, I’m super proud of her.  My contributions to the project were some cutting, the back zip and colour-matching the thread for the hem.  Because it just looked better that way.  If you click on the photos, you’ll find yourself in my Flickr photostream, where you can zoom in and play Find the Stitches in the Hemline.

Vogue 9167 side

Well, now she’s working on the toile for her middle school graduation in June.  And we’re going hardcore:  foundations, boning, lace and petticoats!

Pablo the Polar Bear

polar bearDD3 has been sewing up a fleece storm lately.  She started Catie the Cat, but we had to wait for cats’ eyes to arrive in the mail, so shifted gears to Pablo the Polar Bear for a friend’s birthday in late March.

After I blogged about the horse she painstakingly sewed for my nephew, Angela from Collected Yarns commented about Linda Carr’s book of fleece animals. Fleece AnimalsOf course I purchased it for DD3.  She was a real trooper working her way through the horse pattern – it was very complicated with tiny 1/4″ seam allowances.  Fleece animals sounded just as fun with a lot less headache involved.

smiling bearPablo was quite simple to sew, although ensuring seam accuracy is a bit of a challenge with the 1/4″ seam allowances.  I did help with the embroidery, and my job was to check on the seams once they were sewn.  Isn’t he cute and cuddly?polar bear face

Vogue 7603: A Horse

Vogue 7603 frontMeet Philip, the horse.  My lovely DD3 bugged me for something to sew about 3 months ago, and since I was feeling lazy and couldn’t be bothered shopping the stash or shopping the stores, I pulled a long-ago purchased bag of fabric and stuffing out of the storage area, plunked the pattern down in front of her and said, “Here you go.  Make a horse.”

And she did.Vogue 7603 side (2)The hooves are faux leather, the mane and tail are cotton yarn and the body is a wool melton.  DD3 did all the work with minimal assistance.  I helped with things like pinning excess ease on reverse curves or translating instructions into the actual project or shaping darts, but 95% of this was done by her little crafty self.Vogue 7603 sideThis is an OOP pattern, and the first one by Linda Carr that I have put together.  I’m impressed.  The pattern was perfectly drafted and came together beautifully.  Anything less would have frustrated a 10-year-old or her mother (who was busy sewing her own stuff and didn’t want to help, thank you very much), but DD3 was happy as a clam problem solving and moving from step to step.

It was a big project – a lot of work, I thought – but she was determined to make this as a gift for my 5-year-old nephew, who appreciated it tremendously.

Phillip the horseIt’s not really strong enough to support his weight, although the legs are reinforced with 1/2″ dowels, each 12 inches long, which will give you an idea of the scale of this little pony.  He’s big enough to keep an American Girl happy (and better made than the fuzz-covered plastic AG horse, IMHO).  I’m pleased that DD3 persevered a little bit at a time (and sometimes took a break lasting a week or two) to complete this cute little project!Vogue 7603Neigh!!!


I thought I’d brag on my eldest daughter here for a bit.  She has been teaching herself to crochet for the last year or so, and what with our decision to make gifts this year, has been working hard and is really becoming quite proficient!  Case in point:  a scarf for my SIL, her Tia Luisa.scarfI’m trying to convince her to post pictures of her creations on Ravelry, since I have friends who knit and would be interested in seeing what she does.  So I offered to model the scarf for her today to get pictures for her to upload. rose scarfI have no idea what the name of the pattern is or what kind of wool she used, but I do know that the flower is cotton.  It’s very pretty, and I must say I am impressed.  And from earlier this fall here’s another example of her work.  She finally finished up a lacy tank made from mohair lace yarn and cotton that she’d started in May, I think.  It took a long time, as the pattern was a bit more difficult that she was used to following.DSC03653 It was freezing the day we took this picture, but she said she was warm in this cowl-necked tank.  She has worn it a lot, and I think the comments and encouragement she’s recieved has convinced her crocheting is rewarding.  I know she’s planning to knit little fingerless gloves for my nieces, a little hat for the nephew, another scarf in blue for Vôvô (DH’s mother), and something for me.  She hates to sew, BTW.  After making her dress last summer, she has decided she’d rather clean the house than sew up something to wear.  And she thinks the “crocheting thing” is a passing fad in her life.  Time will tell!

P.S.  Have you noticed it’s snowing at WordPress?  It’s totally cool!  I wish it would snow here….. 😦

Cut, sewn & worn in an afternoon

Butterick 5421

DD1 needed a formal and full black skirt for her concert attire.  She plays the harp.  I had ordered a skirt for her online, but the darn thing hadn’t shown up by this morning, so I toddled off (in an early morning daze) to the fabric store so she could have one by the time she came home from school today.

I chose Butterick 5421 because DD1 wanted something classic and long.  And Butterick patterns were on sale when I walked into the store.  And so was everything else – a whopping 50% off everything if you were a Fabricland Club member (I am).  Bad bad timing to be only looking for black crepe.  I came away with some beee-yew-ti-ful silks.  No idea what I’m going to do with them at this point, but I’ve got them in my stash (so much for stash bustin’!)

Well, back to the point of this post:  the black skirt.  I chose polyester satin-backed crepe for the skirt since DD1 wanted something “flowy, not crisp”.  I chose not to line it. It has no waistband, only facings, which are interfaced, and I wanted to share my little tip for finishing the edges of interfaced facings neatly.

  1. Cut the interfacing (preferably fusible) for each facing piece.
  2. With right sides together, stitch interfacing to facing along lower edge in narrow 1/4 inch seam.
  3. Trim seam allowance to scant 1/8 of an inch.
  4. Open up the two pieces from the right side of the facing fabric.
  5. Press the interfacing over the seam allowance being careful not to wrinkle interfacting or press it to the ironing board cover!
  6. Carefully turn interfacing to wrong side of facing and fuse into place.

Here’s the finished edge of the facing from the right and wrong sides.  Nice and neat!

Now it’s your turn……  🙂

I’m glad this is finished…

Vogue 8380 completed - YAY!!!

Well, we’re done.  It took some time and a little frustration on my part.  (What do you mean you don’t understand the perfectly clear directions??!?!?)  But my daughter is thrilled with her little sundress.

It was quite the learning experience for me, being the first time I’ve coached my daughter through the process of choosing a pattern, fabric and notions through to putting in a zipper.  I must say, she found the directions very confusing at times.  This was potential material for an argument, so I finally suggested she fold them up and put them away as I would tell her what to do next.  It was better in the long run – she learns by watching and picked up on things very quickly with no fussing after that.

back view

I did goof in the measuring of her, though.  We cut out a size 4, but the bodice insert was too small, so I ripped out all her sewing and had her cut a size 8 and interface it.  Then I sewed it back together for her.  She was a bit discouraged at the prospect of having to do it all over again.

Then we put in the zipper.  An invisible one would have been ideal, but I didn’t want to go there, because that would have meant I would be putting it in.  I wanted her to learn how to put in a zipper.

So we purchased a regular zipper, and she put it in using these steps:

  1. Machine baste the side seam.
  2. I pinned the zipper into place along the seamline.
  3. She hand sewed it in place using a prickstitch the length of the zipper, keeping the length of the stitches and the distance from the seam constant.
hand picked zipper detail

I think she did a pretty good job for her first zipper!  Then she finished the dress by machine instead of doing a hand sewn hem.  She just wanted to wear the dress and not bother about the finishing.

There you have it!  I’m very proud of her, and she’s pleased with her dress.

Sewing School

Well, yesterday two of my daughters decided to join me in sewing.  Hannah is sewing up her sundress using my new Babylock Crafter’s Choice machine, and Isabella is learning the all-important skill of hand stitching.

learning to sew

Hannah is working on Vogue 8380.  It’s her first foray into sewing something for a real person – she usually works with my scrap box for the Barbie and American Girl collections in our house.  But I decided it was time she actually put a garment together, so she chose the pattern and the multi-hued cotton fabric peeking in the right foreground of the picture.  I had to dig out my old Pfaff Hobbymate from 1987 to work on my stuff so she could use the newer machine!

Isabella wanted to sew once she saw both of us starting in on projects, and asked if she could do some embroidery, which I spend a lot of time doing.  Hannah suggested Mary Frances Sewing Book:  Adventures Among the Thimble People since it has simple things to start with, and goes over the basics of hand stitches in a storybook format.

So we started with the apron.

practicing the slipstitch

Then she started work on a handkerchief, using a piece of handkerchief linen from my scrap tote.   She’ll be making four of them:  one for each American Girl who lives at our house, and finishing them with a blanket stitch in DMC cotton embroidery floss in the colour of each doll’s choice – LOL!!