Vogue 1454

Thank you all for your kind comments on the last post.  You realize, right, that the topstitching on the previously posted trousers is now The Standard, which I shall drive myself insane trying to meet for the rest of my sewing life….. 🙂

Earlier this summer I went on a stash-busting spree. No particular motive in mind, except that I was so sick and tired of feeling ugly and underdressed. It started at Easter back in the spring, and I’ve been sewing up a storm, but never feeling like I wanted to photograph anything when I was wearing it. So I’m working backwards.

In August I took DD2 and DD3 on a month-long road trip to Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. I grew up in western Canada, and had a deep need to drive for miles under the open sky, wind through the mountain passes, and dip my toes into the Pacific Ocean. Along the way we visited Drumheller in the middle of the Alberta Badlands and home to the Tyrrell Museum. It’s ground zero for dinosaurs. Now, I’m not particularly interested in dinosaurs, but I do love the geography of the Badlands. It’s dry, windy, dusty, incredibly surreal and other-worldly. See?

V1454 B 1-2016-135

I’m wearing the second version of the slim BurdaStyle trousers mentioned in the last post. The fabric is a stone-coloured stretch denim from EOS that’s been languishing in my stash for I can’t remember how long. It was a roll end, I believe, and there was just enough for these jeans. (Trousers? I always want to call them ‘trousers’, even if they’re made of denim, because they don’t have all the traditional ‘jeans’ details…)

This is a softer, stretchier denim than the peach denim in the last post. This was actually the first iteration of this pattern.

Burda 01/2016 #135 details

The top is from the last set of Donna Karan patterns that Vogue put out. I purchased it just because it was a Donna Karan pattern, and I’m glad I did. I love this top. It’s boxy, but it’s so comfortable and so fun to wear. I made it up from a linen blend from very deeeeeeeep stash. I honestly cannot remember where I purchase the fabric, and that’s saying something, because I always remember where fabric comes from.

Now, I really dislike fabrics that show the outline of undergarments, and this wasn’t quite opaque enough for me. So I self-lined the bodice, and used flat-felled seams to ensure nothing will ever get shifty.

Vogue 1454 flat-fell seams

But it didn’t quite work out in my favour at the hemline… lack of planning, I suppose, in terms of which direction the ‘fell’ went in the flat-fell. 😀 But it’s not really noticeable while I’m wearing it, unless you’re a fellow seamstress looking closely at details. Yes, this is the right side of the garment, looking at it from the front.  oooopsie…

Vogue 1454 hemlines

It was windy on the photoshoot, which worked in my favour, because it shows how the back flounce moves on this top.

Vogue 1454

Here’s another photo to show how much ease is built into this design. It made for a cool top in hot weather!

Vogue 1454 back

And a last one from the front. Like I said, it’s boxy, but I’m somehow liking this at the moment.

V1454

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Burda 02/2014 #128: Painted Moto Jacket

I have been furiously working on a project that was not in my plans, queue, remote thought, or imaginary nighttime sewing.  I was pleasantly surprised to make it through to the Second Round of the PR 2015 Sewing Bee, but the challenge we were given was out of my experience and comfort zone.  I quote from the rules:

1 – You must start with an existing piece of fabric. That fabric can be either woven or knit, from stash or new.

2- You must alter or embellish the fabric with a method such as one of the following techniques: stamping, dyeing, free motion embroidery, sashiko, piecing, applique, reverse applique, screen printing, stenciling, painting, embossing, quilting, beading or smocking.

3 – You must use that fabric to create a garment. The garment you create must be a garment wearable by a person, such as a dress, top, trousers, skirt, jacket or jumpsuit. Accessories do not qualify. You may use any pattern you wish (commercial, self-drafted, draped, etc.). Note: you may also reverse the order of rule 2 and 3, modifying the garment after construction, if that works better for your selected technique.

So, what to do?  I immediately started to panic, then gave myself a stern talking to and settled down to think what I should do.  I wanted to use what materials I had at hand without having to purchase anything, therefore I was left with four options:  dyeing, embroidery/beading, smocking or other fabric manipulation, or painting.  A couple of fabrics that have been mouldering in my stash popped into mind:  a yellow-ish embroidered linen whose colour I had grown to loathe over the years, some golden yellow cotton piqué, or the remnants of peach linen from Vogue 1175.  I did dye more than one (for back up purposes, should the first project be an utter fail), but I thought I may as well use the remnant of peach mid-weight linen, since it mattered the least to me.

linen before

Now, I have no idea what I’m doing with fabric paints or dyes.  So I just jumped in.  I had brown, red, purple, pink and white/opalescent fabric paints that I chose to use after finding an inspiration fabric.

textile paints

I had no method and no plan.  I just went to work.  First I splattered with brown.  When I was done, I realized I didn’t have enough brown paint and should have watered it down… a lot.  *shrug*  Nothing I could do, so I forged ahead with the red.  I took care to splatter it differently, but ended up using a scrub brush to give large brush strokes to the fabric.  Ghastly, thought I.  Let’s see what the purple will do.  I mixed some of the pink with the purple to create a lighter shade and dry brushed it in places.  The texture of the patio stones (yes, I did this outside) rubbed through the purple… kinda cool.  Then I splattered with opalescent/white.

It was the most horribly ugly anything I could have possibly created.  Ugh.  What to do?  Find the empty paint pots, add a lot of water to each, and splatter the fabric with the diluted mixture again.  Seemed a bit better….  But I was still horrified at the result.

I let it dry for about 2 hours (not the recommended 24 hours), and rolled it all into a ball and put it into the dryer on high for 40 minutes to set the paint.  When I took it out, I hated it.  I had a tub of avocade green dye sitting unused after dying the yellow embroidered linen (a much happier result for a different project) earlier that day, so I cut off a piece of the peach linen and stuck it into the dye along with some lightweight RPL that I was planning to make into a cardigan.

In about an hour, I checked the peachy linen and it was still very peach.  I was at least hoping for something in the brown range… y’know… pink and green together should make some sort of brownish shade.  Not this linen.  It was peach, and it was going to die peach.

Not to be beaten, I thought I could try leaving the entire mess in the dye bath overnight.  I began to wet the linen, and the paint started to smudge off.  Brilliant!!  I put it into a hot wash, then the hot dryer again and was much happier with the worn, faded look of the paint.

linen after

I was still truly horrified at the result, but my darling eldest daughter and DH insisted it didn’t look as bad as I thought it did, and both declared I should continue with the project.  DH also had very specific ideas about the jacket pattern I should choose, but I only had 1.75m to work with.  In the end, I chose this lovely little number from Burda 2/2014.

Burda 2/2014 #128

The shaped yokes and sleeve cap pieces would be useful, I thought. So I set to planning and cutting around my red paint splatters and brushstrokes, which seemed rather gory to my mind.  I had visions of blood-splattered clothing from a crime scene.  Ah well…. at least it would only cost me time.  Besides, I was starting to enjoy the challenge of working with what to my mind was an impossible piece of fabric.

Burda 02-2014-128 jacket front

So here’s the finished jacket.  About half way through the construction I almost threw it all away, but my DH and DD1 insisted that I should finish it and that it would be much better than I thought it was.  I won’t bore you with the construction details, except to say that Burda’s instructions for the reverse corners are atrocious.  Vogue would have walked the sewer through the procedure step-by-step and thoroughly.  So I went my own way, which I will share in a later post.

Burda 02-2014-128 interior finishing

It is unlined, except for the shoulder yokes and sleeve caps, which was fell-stitched into place.  I used a hong kong finish on the facings and lower armscyes.  All the seams are flat felled for a clean interior.

Burda 02-2014-128 jacket

After finishing the construction, the jacket cried out for something other than the paint, so, to emphasize the shoulders, I followed the painted patterns with beads in brown and reds.

Burda 02-2014-128 beaded shoulders

And the result?  Well, I think this is going to be something that actually gets worn, despite it’s short length.  It’s not wonderfully styled in these photos, but I was in a hurry to meet the entrance deadline for the Bee.

Burda 02-2014-128 2

If you’d like to see more pictures of this project, please check out my Flickr album.

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.jpgI’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?

 

#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?

Sheer Linen Drapes

linen sheers

I’m still struggling with the colours for my silk drapes, but I need something over those windows for now.  So I made up some sheers.  This is a gorgeous Belgian linen with woven stripes, and it was 118″ wide!  It is railroaded, which, in drapery speak, means the design runs sideways down the length of goods.  It also means I needed about half the yardage to make up these sheers as I had originally calculated.

sheers

I chose box pleats for these because it’s clean and simple, and the silk drapes will have box pleats.  Good idea to keep them similar, I’m thinking.

sheers 2

The only hand sewing in these was the tacking down of the pleats and slipstitching the linen into place over the buckram heading.  Everything else is machine stitched, so it was a rather quick project.  I always find calculating the pleats in such a way that is even and pleasing the most complicated part of making drapery.

Baby Blue and Navy Blue

Vogue 2396It’s done and on its way to Alberta.  I couldn’t be more pleased with this outfit – simple, chic and I’m so happy with the way it came together.  The ice-blue sheath is Vogue 2396.  Here it is without the lace shirt.Vogue 2396 sheath dressI pre-washed the linen when it was purchased about 12 months ago (longer, maybe?).  I had originally intended to simply underline it with silk organza, but it was a little on the show-all-possible-undergarment-lines semi-opaque, so I also lined with bemberg.  Vogue 2396 interiorI added a small kick pleat at the CB, since my DF isn’t a fan of hemline slits.  This is such a lovely simple design that it will be wearable for many occasions.  I faced the armholes and neckline with a self-drafted facing instead of taking the lining to the edges as per Vogue’s instructions.  I think this finishes up the edges in a much nicer way, and the support afforded by the self-fabric keeps everything in shape properly during wear.  Isn’t that icy blue such a pretty summery colour?Vogue 2396 facingAnd now the nitty gritty of the lace top.  I folded the lace in half, matching the scalloped selvedges, laid the front of the dress pattern over top to get an idea of the neckline shape, took a massively deep breath, and slashed from the centre front out to the shoulders.  I’m sorry I don’t have pics of this process, but it was pretty simple, and I’m hoping I’ll write well enough for you to follow along.  Then I put the lace “top” on over the dress as it was on Ms. Vintage, adjusted the shoulders so that the hem hung horizontally, pinned it to the shoulders of the dress, and carefully trimmed away the excess to match the dress’s neckline.  Then I tried using my silk ribbon to bind the neck edge.  I’ve not pictures of that either, and for good reason.  It was an atrocious ugly mess.  Of course, I can hear some of you more experienced sewistas muttering, because silk ribbon is not bias, and therefore will not shape smoothly.  Yup.  Stitch and learn.

So I tripped down to the fashion district last Friday and matched the lace with silk chiffon (since French navy silk organza is NOT to be had anywhere in this town and I’ve not tried dyeing anything and didn’t want this to be the start of a foray into that art form).  I cut long 1″ wide pieces of bias and made a couple of yards of narrow bias binding.  Not the most fun job in the world with chiffon, but it worked.lace shirt chiffon edgingThen I carefully trimmed away all but 1/8″ of the uglified silk ribbon neck edging and stitched the chiffon binding around the neckline by hand.  I didn’t trust my machine.  Once the neckline was all finished, I put it on Ms. Vintage again and started draping the side seams.  I ended up trimming 2″ off the front and backs at the sides, tapering to a short sleeved kimono shape.  Then I bound each long edge, back hem to front hem, and fell-stitched 8 inches of the edges together from the hem up to create the shape of the shirt.lace shirt sleevesThe bias binding is not uniform in width, but it’s complementary to the variation of widths in the design of the lace.  I think so, anyways.  It’s a pull-over style, and I’m hoping it will get worn with a myriad of other outfits. When my DF picked up the dress she was wearing a backless spaghetti strap black maxi dress. She tried on the lace shirt and it looked amazing with the dress she was already wearing. And here’s a final shot of the back.  This was a fun project.  I love working with linen and these sorts of garments are what make my sewing heart leap with giddy joy.  Next up:  boring snoring cake for DD1 and another go at the Vogue 1039 skinnies pattern.  *yawn*Lace shirt back

The Classic White Shirt

classic white shirtSleeveless version, that is.

This is the first sleeveless white shirt in my closet. Ever. I’ve never wanted one before. And I don’t particularly like them. But they’re growing on me when I see other people wearing them. So here’s mine! I used again. I’m certainly getting my money’s worth out of this pattern. I’ve made the capris, used the capri pattern to alter a previously me-made pair that I disliked, and now I’ve made the shirt. I have to say I did make the 3/4 sleeved version years ago out of Liberty Queensbury, and would love to have another Queensbury shirt, but I can’t find the fabric anymore. On my first version I hadn’t learned yet how to do an FBA, and I really needed one.

For this version, I used an ivory cotton/linen blend, I think. It’s a bit heavy and 100% linen it certainly ain’t. I’ve never seen so much lint in the dryer filter after pre-washing and drying linen. I could have sufficiently stuffed a baby pillow with it. It was ridiculous. 8094 interior And I underlined it. Even though it’s a mid-weight fabric, you could still see skin versus pants through it. I used cotton voile, and, flimsy and sheer though that fabric be, it does add that extra coverage layer. And just to test it, I wore a dark brown bra for these photos. Pretty good, eh? side fit I love the collar on this shirt. I think the fabric makes it roll perfectly.8094 collar detail I had intended this to be a quick project. HA!! Classic white shirt does NOT equal fast and easy. I didn’t do a muslin – just did the baste and fit as you go method. The front fit beautifully after doing my usual FBA. front fit The side darts are pretty deep – not quite deep enough from the photo below – and I was concerned about how they’d shape. Sometimes I like to split up a very deep dart into two or more smaller ones. I think next time this pattern gets made I’ll do the smaller darts because it’ll make the shape more pleasing. Don’t get me wrong! I’m quite pleased with this shirt, but as you all know, we sewists can get really really picky over anything that doesn’t fit perfectly. 8094 side And I think I’ve developed slightly sloping shoulders over the years. Jeepers. I wasn’t expecting my shoulders to drop as I age. This is slightly more evident in the mandatory back view of the shirt. 8094 back The front and back darts are very long in this pattern. Necessary, I guess, to obtain the fit that drew me to this pattern in the first place. And I’m not crazy about the five buttons. The last one just seems like one too many, so I’ll probably wear it unbuttoned. I’m short-waisted enough that it won’t make any difference. 8094 front