Well, after making three of these skirts, I thought I’d try the top. I’ll be honest: I wasn’t really interested in this top because it’s so loose and shapeless, and I have a hard time with loose and shapeless on myself. I think loose and shapless is flattering on figures that are less curvy than I am. I was curious about the top, especially with the interesting seaming on the front. I really love Carolyn’s version in orange linen. I mean, c’mon. It’s orange and it’s linen! But what really made me want to give it a go was seeing Merche’s pretty version during MMM’13. The stripey fabric made me start thinking about this top seriously, and I started fingering and considering and rejecting fabric specimens from my stash. Enter a piece of silk chiffon that has been languishing since it didn’t make it into a sundress years ago. I had originally earmarked it for DD1, but she didn’t care much for it, so I smiled broadly and set to work.
Verdict: I like my “very loose-fitting” top. I may be tempted to try this again.
It’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.I 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. I 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?And 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.Then 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.The 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*
I really wanted to participate in the jungle that was January. I had a jungle Tiramisu in the mental planning stages to be done prior to my vacation, but it just never happened because, well, life happens regularly with three children at home during holidays. I’m not whining, I’m just stating a fact that all moms understand: Plans change, interruptions happen constantly, and, well, projects don’t materialize!
But I am pleased to say, that despite the horrid cold (and y’all know reptiles go comatose in the cold) that I’ve managed to wake this one up and convince it to be sewn and photographed. Hooray!!! I finished it last night. I hate being late, but in this case, I’m happy with the very annoying adage that’s titling this post. ‘Cuz I really like this loose trenchy take on a silk chiffon blouse from Burda 9/2010 #114. I wasn’t sure this would work – the trench style as a chiffon blouse – and thought I’d experiment. Then, of course, I realized that it just had to work. I used shell buttons, and you can see the cuff tabs with working buttonholes.
There is virtually no shape to this blouse, but it floats about beautifully while being worn. The back is very loose-fitting with a deep 8 inch pleat.
I did my standard FBA and left it at that. I debated about making it a bit more fitted, but it’s nice to have a different silhouette in my closet.
And the sleeves gave me grief – Burda’s ALWAYS give me grief. Vogue’s shoulders fit me perfectly, but Burda’s require a bit of alteration. I always have to re-draft the armscye, adding 1 inch (2.5 cm) of width at the shoulder blades, and taking out the same amount on the front. It’s like Burda’s sleeves are drafted for narrow backs and very broad pectorals. In my mind, I think they have the shape of the armscye and sleeve head reversed: the width that should be in the back is in the front in their set-in sleeves.
Yes, that’s construction – my kitchen is about to be renovated, and DD1’s graffiti art is the only thing left on the art wall! Anyways, after futzing with that fitting problem (because I didn’t do a toile, of course!!! *handforehead*) it’s done and ready to wear!
Tuesday this past week was my birthday, and I don’t like to mention birthdays out of a wish they’d go away, but since the most wonderful birthday present every showed up in my e-inbox as I was blearily getting everyone ready for school, I thought I’d share my excitement at the news and pass it around in the form of my own birthday giveaway.
Tj, of The Perfect Nose, hosts monthly giveaways, a catalogue of which can be found here. For the month of November she was offering a Knipmode winter supplement on one of my favourite items of clothing: coats. Now, never having ever beheld a Knipmode anything in the flesh, and dearly loving all things wintery and coat-ish, I threw my hat into the draw. And won! What a perfect birthday present to wake up to on Tuesday! Woo hoo! I’ve never won anything in a giveaway before, so this was doubly exciting!
I’d also like to say thank you to the lovely and inspiring Carolyn, Zoe and CherryPix for passing along the One Lovely Blog badge to me. I’m honoured! Since this blog is mostly about me and my sewing life, I shan’t bore you with more trivia than you’ve already come to know about myself, but I most definitely will pass along my appreciation of a host of blogs that I read and enjoy. Do you find it difficult to nominate blogs for awards? I do. How do I choose? So I’ll mention several that I’ve just started reading over the last few weeks, as I need to update my blog roll and you won’t find the links there as of today… yet!
Karin from Sew Here we Go Again
Anne from Petty Grievances
Mrs. Mole from Fit for a Queen
Mad for Mod – in German, but worth the translation effort!
And since it’s my birthday, I’d like to pass around the giveaway cheer and offer up a choice of the following lengths of fabric (because I cannot choose what to give away).
First, 1.4 metres (150 cm wide) of a poly-lycra knit. I’m sorry I don’t really know the difference between ITY and a plain poly knit, but the edges of this do not curl, it’s got a medium weight and it’s stable. The background is an espresso shade of brown.
Last, 2.5 metres (115 wide) of silk chiffon, which would look really pretty made up as a floaty dress for spring or blouse, perhaps?
- Leave a comment telling me a) what book you’re reading now and b) what fabric you’d like. If you’d like a chance at more than one, please state that!
- I am quite happy to ship internationally, so please include yourself, wherever you may sew!
- I’ll make the draw one week from today on Saturday, December 15th.
Thank you all for playing along, and spread the word!
Thanks for all your encouraging comments about N2’s silk party dress. I’m happy to report that she wore the dress and it fit very well considering I was sewing it only from measurements without the luxury of proper fittings and muslins. The sparkle tulle was a big hit.
And I took all of your lovely advice and made myself a party dress for the wedding this past weekend, too! BTW, do any of you have DH’s that really take poopy pictures? I had to pinch the life out of DH’s backside to get him to grimace for the picture above. And it’s the best of about 17 shots. *sigh* But anyways…. back to my party dress. It’s based on Vogue 8182, and you last saw it on me waaay back here. I fell in love with the design back then. I was thrilled beyond words because I had managed to fit the bodice so well – the first time ever. For this version I used Anna Sui silk chiffon from my stash purchased from Fabric Mart eons ago. The outer layer of the skirt has a very fine dashed pinstripe in rust all over it and gives the chiffon a blush colour. I used a plain ivory chiffon as the second layer in the skirt and lined it all with silk habotai in a slightly darker shade. Both the chiffons have little ovals in satin marching orderly throughout in perfect rows. It’s really pretty fabric.
Remember this Vogue pattern from a few years ago? When I saw the silk for sale at Fabric Mart I recognized it as the silk used in this dress. And it was the right price, so I bought yards of it. The most difficult part of Vogue 8182 is the midriff. It’s got an overlay cut on the bias and the fabric droops all over the place. Pulling it taut does NOT work. I had forgotten that annoying part from my previous version. On this dress I stitched rows of gathering stitches every 3 inches or so across the midriff pieces and pulled them up to fit the lining/underlining. Then I pressed them into place.And hand tacked every single pleat so that they stay in place during wear, washing and hang drying. I chose to interface the midriff with muslin. Here’s my tacking stitches:I was in such a flurry to get this dress finished in time to wear that I forgot two things I meant to include: bra strap keepers and a waist stay. You can see from the photo below that the shoulders are slipping off slightly, and would have been kept in place properly with the keepers. I’ll be adding them tomorrow before I put it away in my closet for the who-knows-when next airing.
I substituted the skirt pattern from Burda 06-2011-118, which is basically a full length six-gored skirt. Hemming it was a bit of a chore: each layer is about 4 m in diameter and doing baby hems on chiffon is paramount to a profound exercise in torture endurance. The side zipper is hand picked. I remember the mess I made of the invisible zip from the first version and decided I’d save my sanity and just do this one by hand. And now for the bad news. Every garment has a mistake or flaw in it, and despite the prettiness of this dress, I’m annoyed about several things. Although you can’t see it, the hem is completely AWOL, but there is no length to even it out so it’s perfect. This is bugging my inner perfectionist no end. All I see is an uneven hem every time I put this on. Ugh. And I’m very sorry I was rushed with the bodice. After I had basted it all together I tried it on and was horrified at the fit. The midriff was a full size too big and the bodice gaped a good 2 inches in the front AND the back. What the heck? The previous time I’d made this dress I had actually taken the time to make a proper muslin and kept it as a pattern in the envelope. I assumed it would still fit, so I blithely went ahead and cut it out before fitting it. Wrong. I had no idea I’d change size/shape so much in such a short time? Unless there was a lot of tweaking I did in the first dress that I don’t recall, because my notes don’t reflect any other changes. Here’s a shot of the inside. I shortened the bodice by about 1.5″ at the shoulders, and I took out about 3/4″ too much which is really what is causing the shoulders to pull downwards. *sigh* I should have re-fit the midriff prior to deciding what to do with the bodice, because the alterations would have been very different. I had so wanted a perfectly perfect dress that I would be pleased to wear with sewers pride, but the truth is I just didn’t feel my best in this dress or that I’d done my best in this dress. It was a lot of fun to go swishing around in yards of chiffon, but I’m disappointed in the overall effect. I’d love to take the bodice apart and do it over, but I doubt that will ever happen. Never mind. It was a fun fairytale wedding at a castle, complete with men in uniform, cannons and swords. (They even used one to cut the cake!!) An event like this happens once every couple of years, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single second of getting dolled up and dancing the night away!