Big Leaves: Vogue 9167

I’m supposed to be doing my taxes.

Meh.

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!

Miss V’s Wardrobe 2016

I was looking through my blog posts and realized I had made a collection of new clothes for Miss V only just last year!  Amazing how time flies and yet seems so far away at the same time.

Miss V was here visiting home from Cambodia for the last 6 weeks, and she wanted new clothes.  So, for a change, we went fabric shopping together at the Fabricland closest to her and bought fabric for 3 tops, 2 trousers, 4 dresses and a cardigan.  I was all ready to start sewing two weeks ago, and then everyone under the age of 18 in my household got sick.  I still don’t know what they were ill with, but it was miserable for a while.  Needless to say, there was no sewing when there should have been sewing.  But I managed to get everything done, and reasonably well enough (considering how little fitting opportunities there were), and off on the plane in Miss V’s bags earlier this week.  This is more of a catalogue for my (future) self, but I thought you’d like to see what she chose this time.

Variations on Vogue 9595 (OOP). The pink is a stretch polyester brocade with a self-lined bodice. The cotton has a mock sarong overlay. Both of them have in-seam pockets (which I hate). She prefers gathers in the bodice to pleats.

Vogue 9595 variations

Vogue 1415.  I’ve actually made the trousers from this pattern twice for another client this summer.  It’s a gorgeous pattern, and there is so little fitting to be done. Of course they look dreadful pinned to the dress form.  They’re made of a polyester linen-look, lined with poly-cotton broadcloth (her choice).  Considering how hard it is to keep white white in Cambodia, these should be easy to clean.Vogue 1415 trousers

Vogue 2064 trousers in a woven, not the called-for knit.  It fits so well as a woven for Miss V. This is the same pattern that I used for her upcycled sari and purple trousers.  You’ll see the front needs some alterations, but, in my defense, Miss V requested that I make things a ‘bit small’ because she was going back into the sauna of Cambodia and would shed the extra that made these fit poorly through the waist/high hip.  They’ll sit at her natural waist soon enough!  🙂

Vogue 2064 trousers

I copied a Vera Wang jersey top that she had worn to shreds.  I was, thankfully, allowed to cut it all up so I could use it as a pattern.  I traced the pieces and trued them up.  It’s an interesting mock crossed drape front.  Miss V was so funny when I cut the pink striped one out for her to try as a muslin (unhemmed in the pictures below).  She danced around singing, ‘My top!  My favourite top!’  I made three iterations of this, and, unfortunately, didn’t have time to tweak the fit to make it perfect. But she was sooooo happy with them that I’m not going to sweat all the things that irritate me about these.  I’ll just make notes/adjustments on the pattern for next time.Miss V draped top

Marfy 1913.  This is such a gorgeous pattern.  Why haven’t I made this for myself yet?  Even DD3 wanted one for herself after seeing the pink paisley version on my dress form.

Marfy 1913 dresses

I also managed to get a cotton/silk top out of it for her wardrobe.

Marfy 1913 top

And I copied a cardigan that she loves.  It’s a waterfall  cardigan – well, a large rectangle (2 x .70m) with sleeves added at equidistant points from the CB fold, with enough fabric in the front to throw over one shoulder as a wrap.  I cut the sleeves on the bias, using the Vogue 2064 pattern. The fabric is a mystery jersey of some sort that(surprisingly) washed well.Miss V Cardigan

I sewed all long weekend to get this done, which I never do.  I always hold weekends sacrosanct for family time.  But it was so lovely having all my DDs and my DH around cooking, cleaning and planning while I just sewed.  I need to make an excuse to have that kind of sewing weekend without interruptions again.  😀

Miss R’s Floral Graduation Dress

A few months ago I was asked to help a good friend shop for her daughter’s prom/graduation, as she didn’t feel she knew quite where to start navigating the maze of promdom.  I suggested we go on a reconnaissance mission, push the boundaries on all pre-conceived notions of likes/dislikes and appropriate/inappropriate and see where we ended up.  Everything can be duplicated, regardless of the RTW price tag, I assured her.

So we went shopping.  And Miss R tried on everything from red sequin Vegas showgirl gowns to pink sherbet blinged out cotton candy dresses, to mom-approved middle-aged dowdy navy blue gowns that made her look old, and, well, dowdy.  At the end of the day, she settled on a navy beaded full length blouson dress for her prom and something made from this skirt, purchased at a steep discount by moi a few weeks after our reconnaissance escapade, for her graduation ceremony.floral skirt

The RTW beaded gown was hemmed and happily worn a couple of weeks ago.  The floral dress, however, required a bit more time and effort.  The end result was lovely, imho.  I found some stretch cotton for the bodice, and shortened the RTW skirt.  It was a few sizes too small for the client, so I used it all up making it a lovely knee-length pleated skirt.R's dress

The inside of the bodice has a boned corselette.

corselette

It’s lined in washed muslin – perhaps not the greatest choice, but comfortable in hot summer weather.

bodice interior

I kept all the petticoats and the lining from the original RTW skirt.

petticoats

The bodice has a deep V back, hence the necessity for a built-in corselette.  Here’s a couple of pics from one of the last fittings.

Some pulling and drag lines in the bodice.  So frustrating trying to eliminate them because the stretch cotton kept losing it’s shape and stretching itself out, and, of course, the snugger and tighter the better.  Between you and me, I wasn’t 100% happy with the fit of this bodice when it was all said and done.  The fabric was so lightweight and because it was stretch I didn’t (felt I couldn’t) underline it.  My mistake, in retrospect.  *sigh*  It fit beautifully before this set of pictures, just skimming the body instead of straining across it.  Ah well.  Always lessons and ‘should haves’ to take away from each project I make.  :/

In the meantime, here’s a couple of pictures of DD1’s prom dress.  It was RTW (I know, bad seamstress mom), but she fell so head-over-heels in love with it and it was impossible to find a similar fabric to make the skirt, so I caved and bought it.  I did need to alter the shoulders (forward/sloped shoulder) on the top to get the bodice to sit correctly, and some reinforcement was added through the bust.  I have to say I was surprised at the amount of reinforcement required in the bust area to keep it from collapsing on DD1.  Some US manufacturers/designers must be getting the message that most women are not B cups these days and are making busts bigger.  The skirt is huge.  HUGE.  Five layers of petticoats huge, with horsehair braid in the hem. Dressing up is such fun, isn’t it?

But I DID make the dress

Well, the bandage dress is finished, and I thought I’d share what I came up with for the bandage bodice, just in case any of you anywhere out there in sewing land would like to have something that looks kinda-sorta-almost like a Leger bandage dress, but without the $4,000 price tag. After doing some research on the Leger bandage dresses, it became very clear that they are a closely guarded copyrighted design, and it would be impossible to even find the fabric (rayon-lycra) in strips in order to stitch them together.Sherri Hill 50014

I had initially thought I would do a Sherri Hill take on the bodice, since I’d become quite familiar with her designs while trying on prom dresses with DD1 earlier this year.  Her elastic dresses are strips of elastic stitched in overlapping layers to a woven bodice. Something like this dress (which DD1 tried on and thought was a too h-u-g-e, albeit fun, dress).

I proceeded along the Sherri Hill lines, did a fitting for an underlining of power net mesh (which was easily pulled over the client’s head), and stitched the elastic, in the round, to make the bodice.

bodice fail

But at the fitting, it was impossible for her to pull it on, all elasticated, over her head.  The elastic also didn’t fit as tight and flat under the bust as hoped once she’d got it on. So, as I had initially suggested a zipper was required, which was not what she wanted, we had a discussion about adding a zipper.  I wasn’t sure what I would do for the zip, as there would be a tremendous amount of strain on any closure.  A lot of unpicking of triple stretch stitches ensued.  In the process, I discovered that the fuzzy nylon that covered the elastic snagged, pulled and warped like crazy if I wasn’t super careful.

Once it was all unpicked, I had an incredible brainwave.

I ditched the power mesh underlining and stitched the elastic together along the length, slightly overlapping each strip, and shaping each layer on my dress form.  The ends of the short pieces are all bound with bemberg lining to keep them tidy.  The bodice is snug and shaped.

It worked a treat.

But how to make that tight elasticated bodice close up?  Stitch the bottom row of elastic closed for a secure base.

zip closure

Add hook and eye closures, and an invisible zip to close over it all as neatly as possible.  Hopefully the hooks/eyes will keep the nylon invisible zip from splitting apart.

Here’s the inside back.

final bodice

Here’s the inside front, where you can see the rows of elastic stitched together and the ends bound with bemberg remnants.

front interior

The skirt was gathered and attached to a length of elastic, which was then attached to the bodice. This picture is from before I re-thought the bodice construction.

skirt

And, to date, I have no pictures of the finished dress on the client.  Hopefully she’ll remember to send me one and I’ll add it to this post.  I was surprised that the dress looked as nice as it did when it was all done, considering the poor quality of the materials.  The bodice was as snug as desired and the skirt hung gracefully to the floor.

 

Vogue 1282: Stripe redo

First, I just want to say thank you to all of you who left feedback via the poll on my previous post. I was so pleasantly surprised that most of you (94%) liked the mismatched stripes. I also reviewed this on Pattern Review and the response was very positive again.

But…. I…. just…. couldn’t……  Argh!  My inner perfectionist just couldn’t-shouldn’t-wouldn’t rest easy.  And then I saw The Material Lady’s Drape Drape 2 tunic with perfectly matched stripes and that finished my waffling on it.  Begin digression: And speaking of Drape Drape patterns, I traced off the Drape Drape 2 No. 4 Asymmetrical Top pattern, graded up through the waist and hips and am really disappointed because the L/XL sizes with my changes fit my daughters.  Not me.  The XL size has 33″ measurement for 38″ hips.  Uh… the last time I had 38″ hips I was a 16 year-old teenager with an eating disorder.  I can’t imagine the endless hours of exercise I’d need to get down to that size.  So, no Drape Drape clothes for me.  I’ll stick with Donna Karan! End digression.

So I unpicked stretch triple stitches (Pia has the record, btw…) and made some changes.  First, I deliberately off-set the stripes down the CF like a checkerboard.

Vogue 1282 CF stripe offset

And then I fixed the centre back seam and matched those stripes from the high hip to the hem.  It cost me about 3cm in lost width, but I’m happier – so much more satisfied! – with the result.

Vogue 1282 CB stripe re-match

Perhaps a little less interesting, but my inner nerd isn’t writhing in a striped torture chamber.  😉

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!

Burda 2/2013 #122: Silk Xanthe Sunbeam

Burda 2-2013-122 redI love Liberty Art Fabrics.  All kinds.  All prints.  All qualities.  I have quite a stash of tana lawn and some wool, but I’ve never handled any of their silks.  Until DD1 set eyes upon this dress from Burda’s February 2013 issue. 122_0213_b_largeIt’s called the “City Dress”, and DD1 liked it because it’s modeled in red.  After hunting through my stash and going back and forth about the fabric, I noticed Burda mentioned Liberty as the fabric source.  So I searched through Shaukat, which their website claims is the largest stockist of Liberty fabrics in London.  Well, they had the design, Xanthe Sunbeam, in the red colourway, but in a satin crepe de chine.  I decided to splurge for my DD, and I don’t regret it.  It’s a gorgeous tightly woven silk with the most delicious hand.  There’s even a little left over for a top or blouse.xanthe sunbeamI went down to my local Mokuba to look for the petersham trim, and was shocked at the price per yard. Five to six dollars per yard for petersham ribbon?  Does anyone else think that’s absurd? I decided I could order rolls by tpetershamhe time I purchased the almost 3 yards required for this dress in the selection of colours I wanted to have from which  DD could choose.  So I bought a collection of reds-pinks-purples from TheSewingPlace, which were a lot more reasonably priced, even with the shipping, than paying what the local brick & mortar store wanted per yard.  What can I say?  I enjoy being a personal shopper for my kids. 🙂  Besides, multiple choices mean more stash.  *smug wink*Burda 2-2013-122 petersham trimI cut a straight size 38, and made no changes since the dress is so loose-fitting.  Except for that 3-inches-from-the-waist deep front slit.  Burda suggested putting a hook & eye closure at the top, and then again 5 inches down – probably about bust point level.  I cut and finished the slit as prescribed, since it’s a design feature.  See?  It’s open clear to the waistline. Burda 2-2013-122 bodiceThen I added a strip of fabric behind the slit for modesty and decency’s sake.  Besides, wearing a slip or camisole under this would not be DD1’s style.Burda 2-2013-122 modestyAnd I lined the skirt.  Because lining skirts is, imho, the proper way to make a skirt.  Linings make a garment modest to wear, ensure the garment hangs well, and contribute to a long life of happy wearing.  Besides, who wants to wear a silk crepe de chine dress that’s unlined in the skirt?  And, like I mentioned above, slips are not a first choice. Burda 2-2013-122 elastic The lining is rayon bemberg from stash.  Not quite a good match, but it’s close enough to do the job.   All the seams are sewn as French seams to keep things neat and tidy.Burda 2-2013-122 back