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?

 

One Year Later: Vogue or Burda trouser block?

Since I can’t actually sew while my house is upside down and backwards, I thought I’d finally blog some things I’ve finished but never talked about.  Thanks for all your commiserating with me and the good wishes, too.  I cannot believe the withdrawal I am suffering through not being able to actually SIT DOWN AND SEW A SEAM.  However, the basement is dry and sanitized, so now I just need to wait for installers so everything can be put back into order and we’ll never know anything happened!

It’s almost exactly one year to the month since my first go at the skinnies from Vogue 1039.   After the saga of capris this past spring and the trouble and hassle and “it’s-better-than-it-was-but-I’m-still-not-satisfied” fitting journey, I thought I’d try my hand at these Donna Karan skinnines again with a stretch denim.

V1039.jpgNo particular reason except that in a fit of pique I thrifted all my RTW jeans and capris this spring and really really needed a pair of something to wear that wasn’t dressy, but that would keep me warmer than capris would through the coolish spring weather we’ve had this year.  And since I really truly do like that pleaty-pleat top but lack a pair of skinnies in a complementary colour, I thought I’d try another go and see if I couldn’t tweak the fit a little.  Ok.  A lot. And this is how I cheated – I mean tweaked.Burda 04-2013-114I traced off Burda 4/2013 #114 in my size (well, actually one size smaller because it’s a stretch fabric and my experience dictates going down a size with stretch fabrics) and laid each piece over the corresponding Vogue ones.  I should have taken a picture, but didn’t, of course. *handforehead* Let me just say that the difference was s.i.g.n.i.f.c.a.n.t. and similar to what you see between pattern pieces in this comparison post.  This was a good place to begin for tweaking or perfecting the fit on trousers for me.  Here is the front view.  I forgot to stand up straight (being so darned uncomfortable with the truthfulness of proper mug shots that I unconsciously avoid head-on poses), so you’ll have to believe me when I say the horizontal lines are not there when I’m standing straight.Vogue 1039 I have no intention of ever wearing these with my shirt tucked in, but as this is a sewing blog I know you’ll all appreciate the photos. ha ha (shudder)  The length of these skinnies is the Vogue length, which I’m very much on the meh side of the fence about.  Whatever.  This is a wearable muslin until the next pair. My favourite details:  the pocketses!Vogue 1039 pocketsMy thoughts after making these up without any adjustments to the Burda block:  Burda wins.  I need to add about 1 inch in length to the centre back and scoop out the back through the crotch a bit, but I just want to say that this is a much better place to begin fitting than any casual Vogue pant or capri pattern I have ever sewn (barring classic trousers). There’s been a lot of griping about the Big 4’s pattern blocks in sewing webland lately, and although I generally disagree for an entire blog post of reasons*, I can really see the point when it comes to trousers.  I cannot wait to trace off other Burda trouser patterns and see what happens.  Dare I say I’m a bit excited about this?Vogue 1039 pantsAfter reading a lot of blog posts about making jeans, fitting jeans, and wanting a few pairs that I liked in Burda mags over the last couple of years, I’ve acquired a very small stash of stretch denim to try this myself.  This is the first almost-successful go at it.  BTW, these photos were taken at the end of the day, and I’m really pleased with how the fabric held its shape.  It’s another stretch woven from EmmaOneSock.  I love the quality of her fabrics.

Oh, and I did take pics of my backside, but I’ll spare y’all that information.  Let’s just say that I really do need to scoop out the back.  I promise I’ll post pictures after I find an invisible zipper that won’t separate on me every single time I put these on.  Or maybe I’ll put in a fly zip.  But that would “ruin” the look of these.  This is the second zipper that’s unhinged itself on these.  stupid zipperThe first invisible zip was replaced by a regular zipper, but the side seams pulled away from it whilst zipped, which I thought was incredibly messy and ugly.  So I went hunting for another invisible zip, and it split on the second wearing.  I still haven’t decided what to do with this PITA conundrum.   A metal zipper like this (click for source)?  Any brilliant ideas?

Jackie Seamed Side Zip Skinny Trubador 2*Which will remain unwritten.  Suffice it to say that the more I sew the more I think muslins are in order more often than not – even for a t-shirt – and I really don’t see the point of trying to imitate casual RTW quality clothes at home.  It’s entertaining and amusing, but one-of-a-kind frosting makes my sewing heart sing, not copies of a basic t-shirt.  Just sayin’.

Unusual. Definitely unusual.

IMG_1046 Well, it’s done!  Donna Karan’s unusual top courtesy Vogue 1039 and the accompanying pants, unveiled yesterday.  I’m not wearing this outfit today, but since I was futzing with the pants yesterday, I thought I’d throw on the top (which has been hanging in my closet for a couple of weeks) and take pictures of it.IMG_1095

Let me just say there is nothing like me-made challenges to make you understand what you should and shouldn’t wear for your body’s shape.  Take this top for instance.  I love this top.  I love everything about it:  the pleats, the fabric choice (same green silk as my Ruby camisole), the ruching down the side seams and the general weirdness of it all.  But I don’t think this top really likes me.  I made this up in my chest size – not my bust size – to get the fit through the shoulders.  This is my general rule of thumb, and then I usually proceed with an FBA.  The pattern describes this tunic as a loose-fitting.  Sure. It’s very loose fitting, but it is not loose fitting through the bust.  There is supposedly two inches of wearing ease through the bust point.  Unfortunately for me, the chest:bust ratio that I own negated that wearing ease.  I should have cut my bust size.  I just need to find an undergarment that FLATTENS instead of supports.  Then the darn thing will hang closer to my body.  But whatever! This top is so weird that I’ll probably wear it anyways just for the strange looks I’ll get! And there are a LOT pleats in the back.  Isn’t this cool?  What’s not to love about the 30 odd mini-pleats and the ruching?IMG_1037 And if it’s windy, or I turn suddenly, it billows out and adds about 100cm to my circumference.IMG_1099Well, there’s no one else in my social circle that owns such a top.  And that’s why I sew!IMG_1096

Skinny pants: Vogue 1039

OK.  Pretty pictures first.  Just keep in mind how slim, elegant and long-legged the pants on the model are in the picture above.   First, I’d love to say that I really had fun making up these pants.  Of course, mine look nothing at all like hers because I’m not elongated like she is, but the details are all the same!  First up, lookee here at the pocketses!

IMG_0855 IMG_0856And the detail at the centre back yoke.  Crappy topstitching job, but honestly, no one will notice or care once I’m wearing them.  And the little tab is truly sewn in straight – you just can’t tell from the angle at which the pants are laying!IMG_0853The inside.  I used gingham remnants for the binding and pocket liningIMG_0854 Let me just say that this pair of pants is designed a little on the large side.  I cut one full size smaller than what I usually cut for a Vogue, and this is what I ended up with.IMG_0897Not so skimming, huh?  The waist fits perfectly, after tapering down one size as per my usual adjustment.  But I had to take in a 2 full inches from the inseam and crotch.  And then I noticed that I could have should have taken in two inches at the centre front.  Too bad for this pair, because I’m not going to adjust them any more!IMG_0908Obviously I can still take in more across the back, but I’m settling for this particular pair.  The picture above was taken after wearing them for a few hours post adjustments and the fabric bagged.  I guess it’s missing the Lycra.  There’s still too much fabric in the back leg, too, which I shall fix for the next pair.

What’s that you say?  Yup.  I’ve decided these were so much fun (thank you, pockets!) that I’m going to make up a second pair and see if I can make them skinnier.  I may regret this yet….

Where did the sewing time go?

stash dreams

Do you ever notice that there’s just not enough time to sew everything you want to sew?  All those wonderful ideas get sidelined by other wonderful ideas, season after season, until you end up with a stash of fabric and patterns that would furnish an eBay store.

This is my “I’m-going-to-sew-this-up-for-summer” pile.  The bottom blue jersey has been a wanna be Vogue 8379 for two years now.  It’s ridiculous!  The ivory broderie anglaise above it was supposed to be a jacket and sheath dress this year.  The nude chiffon was to be the underlining for the graphic chiffon to its left, which was supposed to be the top for a skirt in chocolate wool (sitting untitledunderneath it).  And the olive green silk charmeuse to the right of that nude chiffon was to be the interesting Donna Karan top from Vogue 1039 (see left).  Above that is some wool that I think will eventually become a Chanel-style jacket, although I don’t have a particular timeline set for that.

And then there’s all that dark brown stuff.  Some of it is stretch denim, some Italian linen, and a very interesting snakeskin print stretch denim from EOS.  EmmaOneSock is my nemesis.  The proprietor, Linda,  stocks the most interesting fabrics, and her international postage from NY to Canada is very reasonable.  I’m forever finding something on her website and lusting after it.  Do any of you have this problem, too?  Oh, and hiding in there somewhere on the left (you may have to click to enlarge the photo) is a very uniquely woven wool challis that I have 5 yards of (five yards?!), and no idea what to create with it.  It was just so interesting that I had to have it, and buying 5 yards seemed like a good idea at the moment.  Ha!

And sitting yet above that, at the very top, is rayon jersey, again from EOS, that I intended for I-can’t-remember-what now – some dress or other (there’s 3 yards there), striped linen for summer capris/trousers, and several yards of ivory linen for a variety of summer shirts.

And now it’s September, and the winter stuff is calling my name.  I need some jackets, I’d love to sew up a couple of the latest Vogue patterns from Donna Karan with yardage from my stash (in storage, mostly accrued from double-income-no-kids years), and I’ve been commissioned to sew up a Pippi Longstocking costume for a friend’s daughter for Hallowe’en.

Hey!  Maybe I should hire some fellow sewers to help me out here!  I’m just sayin’….