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!

Warning: A Miserable Project: Burda 11/2012 #138

Burda 11-2012-138 adjustedSome people blog all their pretty perfect outfits and look pretty and perfect, which is all good and uplifting and encouraging and all, but let’s be realistic.  A lot of the garments I sew for myself take a lot of work and reworking and fitting and tweaking before I’m happy enough to wear them for a blog post photo shoot.

Well, this dress project is pissing me off because, well…. let’s be honest here.  Because I’m an idiot and didn’t bother to do a toile prior to cutting, which was beyond necessary because my fabric is wool crepe.  I quote from the pattern instructions:

Recommended fabrics:  Jersey of wool or wool blends.  Use stretch jersey fabrics only.

Yeah, I know.  But I really wanted to use this particular teal wool crepe (I love wool crepe) and I wanted to make this particular dress because the bodice looked interesting, and I needed a wildcard for that Tying-Up-Loose-Ends idea.

At least even Karl Lagerfeld himself makes mistakes matching fabric with design sometimes.  (Don’t believe me?  Watch the documentary Signe Chanel in it’s entirety here or here or buy your own copy. There’s a lovely silk velvet gown that one petite main spends twelve full days sewing by hand, only to have the master admit his original fabric choice isn’t working.)

I measured, allowed for the lack of ease in the fabric, was a good girl and did an FBA leaving the armscye unaltered….FBA Burda 11-2012-138And it failed miserably.  This is before tweaking. The sleeves are the perfect length and it looks good, right?Burda 11-2012-138 front before adjustmentBut I can’t move in it.  See what happens when I move my arms? armscye problemThe armscyes are very low.  Actually, a full 2.5 inches lower than they should be, and it’s because the top of the front armscye is entirely on the bias.  Well, mine was, because I had the brains foresight to do the required FBA. Yes, I was warned when I posted of my SWAP plans, but I’d already cut it out by then, so I just (uselessly) crossed my fingers and hoped.  See the pulling? The sleeves won’t let my arms go anywhere, so the bodice is stretching across all its bias glory to allow for arm movement. I could not reach forward or put my arms over my head if someone had held a gun in my face.

This is after tweaking, with the too-full-but-with-room-enough-to-move sleeves of the wrong length.  Burda 11-2012-138 front The re-cut the sleeves v.1 were from  Vogue 8615:  a 3/4 sleeve with an elbow dart, which was still too tight.  (?!?!)  When that didnt’ work, I thought I may as well go the whole hog and use what I know to be a loosey sort of proper fitting sleeve with wearing ease from Burda 5/2010 #112.  The original sleeve is in tissue overlaying the sleeve pattern I eventually opted to use.sleeve adjustments I used silk organza selvedge to stay the armscye and eased in about 2-3 inches of stretched bias on the bodice front into what the measurements on the pattern dictated the armscye should be (about 9 inches from shoulder to underarm).    Ridiculous.armscye fixAnd now I have this.  See all that fabric trying desperately to shrink into the armscye?  And I couldn’t recut the bodice or reduce any of the fabric from the pleats because the FBA needs the ease to fit successfully.Burda 11-2012-138 bodice adjusted It isn’t pretty and perfect, but I can raise my arms, see?  Doesn’t look great, but let me tell you, from a wearability perspective, it’s 100% better than the original version.Burda 11-2012-138 armscyeThe sleeves are loose enough that they move when I need them to now, and the armscye sits high enough that it basically stays in place when my arms move.  But it’s got to be the ugliest bodice I’ve ever seen on myself.Burda 11-2012-138 sideSo do I like anything about this dress? Yes.  I love the fabric.  I love love love wool crepe.  And the back fits well.IMG_5461 Burda 11-2012-138 backThe hemline finishing – fell stitched to the hem allowance because I wanted a clean finish.Burda 11-2012-138 lining hemMy silk lining.Burda 11-2012-138 liningBut I really hate the fit of the bodice and sleeves on my version of this dress.  I think I’ll chop it off and make a skirt.  So much for this loose end!

Brown Jeans

I made another pair.jalie brown jeansFrom the Jalie pattern again.  And here’s a conundrum perhaps you could help me with:  I cut these in a single layer, very carefully, from the very same pattern as my previous pair, and they were too small.

What’s up with that?!?

So I did my unintentional denim rescue trick again, since I had a good yard of fabric left over, and added a 2-inch wide strip down the outside of each leg.  At least it looks like an intentional design element.   For fun I decided to use hot pink thread in my serger.  You can see it just peeking out at you under the belt loop.copper rivetsApparently this denim-like fabric has less stretch than the cotton-lycra denim I used before.  And I totally love this denim-like fabric from EOS. It’s a cotton-poly-lycra blend with a subtle stripe effect in the weave, and it’s super comfortable.  And I decided to add a few copper rivets for a different look.  Lots of fun pounding fabric and hardware with a hammer!

I cut both the front and the back using the low-rise pattern this time, and it fits very well.  Better than the mix of the two I did for the blue pair.  I’m actually going to see if I can edit that first pair: lower the back rise and place the back pockets differently. jalie brown jeans 2I can totally see myself wearing these to death, not the least because they’re chocolate brown.  Let’s hope the fabric blend withstands hard wear.

Ikat Trousers & Metallic Jersey

Burda 10-2013-140 ikat frontI completely fell in love with this fabric when EOS was having a roll-end party a few months ago, and decided I needed a pair of trousers of this stretch ikat brocade.  These trousers have been sewn and waiting for wear since the end of December, as part of my Burda Challenge 2013, so I thought I’d finally blog them.

I confess to still not having a perfect trouser pattern block.  Recently I learned about points of measure (POM) that are necessary in the RTW and pattern making world.  Apparently, the POM at 2 inches up from the bottom of a crotch curve should equal 6 or 7 inches between CF and CB when laying out the pieces flat with the crotch a continuous curve.

Let’s just say that NONE of the trouser patterns I have made to date have that measurement, which probably explains a lot of my fitting problems.  However, I’m getting ahead of myself: I learned this little VIP piece of information after finishing these trousers.  This post is about Burda 10/2013 #140, which is for stretch leather skinny trousers.  Well, stretch anything should work, right?  And at the time I sewed up these trousers, I was pretty dayum proud of tweaking the fit of my butt.

I attempted to tackle the fit with the help of this incredible book on fitting after reading about it on A Challenging Sew.  Can I just tell you this is a gold mine?  O.  My.  Goodness.  It’s the bible of fitting.  Amazing.

fitting and pattern alterationWell, I spent hours trying to imitate my personal shape on paper with the help of a flexible ruler, and came pretty near close to it.  I didn’t capture any photos, but the lining for these pants FIT WITHOUT ANY WRINKLES ANYWHERE.  I was gobsmacked.  First time ever without wrinkles in trousers other than an 80’s loose-fitting dress trouser.  Unfortunately, these stretch trousers are not so jaw dropping.

Burda 10-2013-140 sideI only half-lined them to the knees, and I wish I’d done a complete lining because the fabric isn’t the most comfortable to wear next to the skin. I wasn’t sure about the skinny legs of this pattern, so I straightened them out a bit.Burda 10-2013-140 ikatBut you can see the inseam is pulling up. I’m not quite sure what to do about that yet. Aside from that, the fit is comfortable and I’m pleased with it through the hips, but I’m not crazy about my straight-leg adjustment.  Maybe I created the problem with the inseam by beginning my widening of the skinny above the knees? Perhaps they’d be better if they just stayed skinnines.

Burda 10-2013-140 frontI’ve no intention of wearing these as everyday trousers – they’re a little attention-grabbing for me, and I haven’t figured out the right top or shoes (definitely not the booties I’m wearing in these photos).  They need something like stilettos or kitten heels.

Maybe I’ll pair them with this top that I haven’t yet shown the light of day.  It’s another garment from my Burda Challenge 2013 (Burda 12/2013 #119a).  I thought these two would be a fun holiday outfit when I initially sewed them but I never got around to wearing them this past holiday season.Burda 12-2013-119aThere’s a lot of fabric in the front cowl – about triple what one would usually expect in a draped cowl neckline – but the excess is a nice touch in a party top.

My fabric is a metallic bronze jersey that was BOG2, and I have enough to make a maxi skirt for the fun of being over-the-top.

I made two changes to the pattern.  I added strap keepers at the shoulders because the neckline is very wide. I will narrow the lower band by about 4 inches, since this is more flattering (I think) to my short waist.  Nine inches of close-fitting band around my upper hips is unthinkable.  I’ve just folded it up in these pics, hence the inconsistency from photo to photo.Burda 12-2013-119a belted partyWell, I’ve got a new party outfit for the upcoming holiday season eight months hence.  Now I just need to adjust those inseams and find a different pair of shoes.

Vogue 1054: Rucci Trousers

Vogue 1054 pantsI’m still on the hunt for trousers I’m wanting to stay with for the long haul.  I’ve had a lot of short-term relationships with most of the trousers I’ve made, so I thought I’d give these a try.  I only own two pairs of casual trousers and find myself wearing them repeatedly during an average week, and I thought it would be fun to see if these actually fit a curvy girl like me given all the design elements so I can have a new pair of trousers to wear.

Vogue 1054I made these up in a stretch cotton sateen, which is one of the suggested fabrics – minus the stretch.  The shine highlights every single possible hint of a flaw, never mind the actually fitting issues.  Completely unwearable and not a keeper in my books, so they’ve already gone to the thrift shop for some lucky person who probably won’t know she’s wearing a Chado design!!!

Anways, since I went to all the trouble of finishing these, I thought I’d share my thoughts about them. First of all, I’ve never inserted a zipper this way.  Yup, the fly is finished.Vogue 1054 pants zipperAnd the instructions never do mention that one needs to trim that extra length of zipper before attaching the waistband.  However, once it’s all trimmed and stitched, this is what you’re left with.Vogue 1054 finished zipIsn’t that gorgeous?  It’s probably one of the more visually pleasing front flys I’ve ever done in my sewing life. Vogue 1054 frontHere’s the inside view of the front.Vogue 1054 zip fly

The pockets are part of the front yokes.Vogue 1054 pocketsAnd the reverse corners were fun.  The details always make a sewing project more pleasurable, imho.  Plain and simple gets tedious after a while, and this pattern is not simple or boring by a long set of instructions.Vogue 1054 reverse corner front Beside the unmentioned need to trim the zipper, there were a couple of notch match-ups that didn’t happen properly in the lining.  Vogue 1054 lining mismatchThe side/yoke pieces double notches didn’t match up on the back pieces, as you can see above, and the same little problem popped up on the front lining piece along the top seam with the notches on the yoke.Vogue 1054 lining yoke mismatchThis wasn’t a good fabric for these trousers, although it was a luxury to sew.  It exaggerates every single wrinkle possible.Vogue 1054 sideThe back patch pockets are flattering.Vogue 1054 backThe legs are very straight, and on a curvy person, that can appear wide – something I’m not too sure about.  I felt they were very dressy trouser-ish while wearing them, and I can’t decide if that’s because they were lined or roomy or a combination of both.  Vogue 1054 shinyI wasn’t sure about altering these trousers, so I cut them according to Vogue’s size recommendations, and they are roomy.  I suppose the stretch factor didn’t help, but they could have been a full size smaller, which I’ll do the next time.Vogue 1054 front (2)And the crotch curve needs some altering for the next pair, but I wasn’t going to futz with these, and I was prepared to finish these, try them on and give them away if they weren’t a perfect fit due to the poor fabric choice.  Silly, I guess, but I had no problem finishing them up beautifully to pass on after wearing them for one afternoon.  Blame it on a new pattern with 69 (sometimes tricky) steps

Final verdict:  What an amazing trouser pattern.  I cannot wait to find the perfect fabric to make these up again.  Patterns with a thousand little details always make my sewing room a happy place, and these are the perfect ticket to happy detail sewing in a trouser pattern.

unintentional denim rescue

Burda 1-2010-136 side backI’ve tried again.  I was so hyped after making my first pair of jeans that I wanted to try again, only this time I was going to try to fix those pesky smile lines in the back.  And I wanted a pair that was heavily topstitched in a dark indigo denim.  The fabric is from my stash – a length of stretch denim blend purchased at a roll end party from Emma One Sock this past year.

I got cocky distracted this time around and didn’t measure properly, so this is a rescue post.  First, I had to add width.  Yup.  I wanted a pair of jeans that fit a little looser than my previous pair, but I didn’t add the extra inch or two of width when I cut.  *headdesk* So, after offering them to DD1 and DD2 (neither of whom were particularly enthused about a new pair of mom-made jeans) I put them aside and went to bed.  For the second day.  During the night, of course, inspiration arrived and I added a strip about 1 3/8 inch wide down the sides.  Piece work was required because I was using scraps.Burda 1-2010-136 cute backI was pretty dayum pleased with myself for this little bit of ingenious rescuing.  Of course it turned the jeans into dress jeans because the legs are wider than I wanted them to be.  My DH thinks they’re too wide.  I will not pick out all that topstitching, so they’re staying wide.  *humph*Burda 1-2010-136 side frontBut let me tell you, I had a saaaagaaaa of fitting frustration that drove me to distraction.  They’re still not the way I want them to fit, but they’re pretty good.  And I think I’ve finally figured out how to fix those lovely little smile lines.  Of course, I learned it too late for this particular pair.  But I now know.Burda 1-2010-136 backAnd they’re too short, damn it.  I wonder how stupid they’d look with a hemline add-on…Burda 1-2010-136 sideY’know… maybe something a bit flared and cut on the bias, because that’s all the scraps I have left!

Rooibos Flavour: Purple

Rooibos frontI’ve had this Colette pattern in my queue for a couple of summers now, and lo and behold, I get to make it for someone else!  Don’t misunderstand:  I am happy to fit it on a body other than mine.  So much easier than fitting me and I still get to try this pattern.

This is dress # 3 for Miss V, and the polycotton fabric is a very pretty purple flowers print on an extremely lightweight broadcloth.  It’s almost like an organdy, but more loosely woven and not as crisp.  The pictures of the dress on Vintage Judy don’t do it justice.  There are a lot of pieces in this design:  a shaped midriff, a bodice with a cute foldover “collar” at the centre front, and shaped pockets integrated into a 6 gore high-waisted skirt.  The line drawing is beautiful, but I must confess I’ve really not been that enamoured of any finished versions that I’ve seen.  I think it must be the combination of wrinkly cotton stuff and the short lengths.  Most dresses just look like a glorified apron.  Please don’t hate me.  There are one or two versions that appear to be made of wool or something more substantial that hang beautifully and the piping and details are done to perfection, but this is a fussy finicky dress to both fit and finish well.  Especially with that piped “collar”.

Rooibos necklineThis one looks skewed on the dress form, but Miss V has a 1/4″ difference between shoulder heights, so when it’s on her, it sits perfectly straight.  Can I just tell you that I redid this bodice TWICE to get it so that I was happy with the piping?  It was one of the fussiest things I’ve ever done, surpassing all the piping on smocked dresses.  I’d rather hand stitch buttonholes, frankly.  The pattern has a bodice facing, but I lined the entire dress in white polycotton broadcloth.  Miss V wanted the dark purple contrast on the collar, and in order to keep the colour of the dress uniform (lining the bodice in the dark purple would have been very noticeable with the remainder of the dress lined in white) I did a little purple patch at the CF of the bodice facing.  rooibos collar facingOn the bright side, the piped pockets were simple to do, and the curved pocket edge is pretty.  These pockets are very deep and roomy.  Nice!
Rooibos pocket pipingAnyways…the back of this dress is low, and it’s a beautiful silhouette.  And the piping makes all the difference in this busy print.  There’s a part of me that wanted to pipe the midriff section, too, so that the shaping and lines of the design would be more noticeable,  but I thought that would be overkill.  *shrug*  Maybe it would’ve been a nice extra touch, but c’est la vie. It’s un-piped!  I lengthened this dress considerably – by 10 inches.  Miss V is petite, but the skirt on this was really short.  I was surprised, and looking at all the versions on PR and around the web turned me off the short original length.  I think it’s classier at knee length. Rooibos backI’m a little stumped by this dress, honestly.  There’s something about the line drawing that just doesn’t translate to the actual garment.  All the lovely pieces get lost in the fabric unless attention is drawn to them.  I haven’t decided if I want a version for myself although it’s an extremely flattering dress in person. Miss V loves hers!  From a construction point of view, if you ignore the collar piping, it was a relatively straight-forward garment to fit and sew.  The instructions are lovely – all bound in a little book, well-written and easy to understand.  But I think I’d have a dickens of a time altering the fit of this dress for myself.  Have you made a Rooibos?  Did you like it?