vogue 1247 summer tops

I’ve used two lengths of silk from my stash for a couple of new tops for late summer wear. The first is a silk chiffon, but it’s a bit more opaque than chiffon. The lack of weight to the fabric makes this floatier than the second version, if there is such a thing. (Spell check says no, there is no such thing.)

Vogue 1247 top pink silk
It was so nice to wear these wedges today!

The second is a lovely silk crepe – exactly what the pattern calls for – and the drape of it justifies the fabric suggestion on the back of the envelope.

Vogue 1247 top green
The top is supposed to have a CB seam, as per the pattern, although I prefer to cut it on the fold.

This pattern has been sewn, reviewed and posted about hundreds of times in SewingBlogLand, so I have nothing really new to say about it except for the following:

This top can be squeezed out of as little as 1.2m of 140cm wide fabric, which is less than what the envelope recommends. Speaking of which, when I learned to sew using Vogue patterns, I was taught to always purchase a little less than what the pattern envelope recommended in order to avoid having small almost-useless leftover lengths of 10 or 15 cm (instead of cutting scraps). I don’t follow that advice anymore, for some reason, but I can manage to finagle garments out of shorter lengths than what the patterns call for, pattern matching excepted, of course. Do you do this, too? I must admit it sometimes make a project more work, more involved, more mentally challenging (exhausting?) that it need be. Sometimes I wish I just had enough fabric to lay out the pattern pieces without trying to make it a perfectly-fitted puzzle, eking it out of whatever I have decided should work. On the other hand, it is very satisfying to use up an entire length of goods.

Vogue 1247 top back
I thought this top would be rather twee, but it’s so pretty. And I didn’t need to seam the centre back on this version, thank goodness. I like it better without the designer’s CB seam.

Anyway, these two tops have several adjustments:

  • Centre front has been raised 4 cm
  • Each of the seam allowances under the arms have been taken in by 1.5cm.
  • The front has been shortened by 2.5cm in length, along the hem, grading to nothing at the side seams.

Also, for reference, the lower centre front panels (triangles, really) of the green top have not been cut on the correct bias grain, in order to maintain as much of the horizontal dashy design of the fabric.  I had cut it out as instructed, but the bias grain looked completely absurd with the fabric’s design. I’ll spare you the photos. Here’s the amended, altered version. Truth be told, I was quite displeased when I took photos of this top the other day, so I dismantled the centre bottom panels, turned them around and put it back together so the fabric’s green dashes were more or less running horizontally.

Vogue 1247 green
much more pleasing to the eye, trust me….

Each of the necklines has been finished by hand because I feel like I have more control over the outcome than with a machine, as carefully as I know I am capable of stitching. Besides, it’s good practice. 🙂

The pink top’s understitching along the neckline was also done by hand because I just felt like sitting at my sewing table quietly stitching by hand.

Both hems have been hand rolled. 

Left: hand rolled hem. Right: pick stitched neckline.

Honestly, every time I try to do a narrow hem on a silk top with the machine I hate how stiff it feels, so I just do them by hand now and don’t bother with machine stitching.

hand rolled hem shown step by step, counterclockwise from top left

Both these tops have seen a lot of wear over the last few weeks.  They’re comfortable and a nice alternative to a T-shirt. And I love how they’ve been made from roll ends I’ve collected over the years.

Are you making up anything from little ‘ends’ in your fabric collection?

Vogue 1247: The top this time

Rachel Comey ensembleWell, 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.

I like the silk chiffon for a couple of reasons.  It’s floaty and drapey and it works on my figure for garments that aren’t particularly shaped by providing something resembling fit to an otherwise unflattering cut through it’s skimming qualities.  And because it’s sheer, it means my curves kinda maybe get hinted at without actually having to make the garment follow them to a “T”.
Vogue 1247 top back
I read a lot of review on PR about this top, and was a little concerned about how negative they were, but after poring over each one, I came down on the side of the designer:  it’s supposed to be a very loose-fitting garment, and that’s what I both liked and disliked about it.   However, I thought I didn’t have much to loose making it out of this bit from stash.
My one stupidity in the cutting was not grading it out a size at the hips.  Well, I actually didn’t have enough fabric to do that even if I’d wanted to.  So it catches on my hips.  I cut the straight size as dictated by my chest measurement, not my bust measurement.  I did not do an FBA, although I did cut the CF higher by about 2 inches.  Once it was partially sewn up, I did have to take in the CF an inch on each side, tapering to the horizontal bust darts, in effect giving me the equivalent of an FBA without any forethought.
Vogue 1247 top sideBecause it’s sheer, I wear it with my green Ruby which goes with everything sheer in my closet, interestingly enough.  The only other little addition to this pattern were bra strap keepers.  The neckline isn’t extremely wide, but it’s open enough to warrant something to help keep it in place.
Vogue 1247 top

Verdict:  I like my “very loose-fitting” top.  I may be tempted to try this again.


…of my wardrobe, of course!  I’ve sewn up a couple of skirts for my summer wardrobe, and it’s all been from stash.  How lovely it feels to be working through my stash!  There’s a tremendous amount of pleasure in pulling out a piece and making something that will be worn and used and therefore justify the purchase!  It’s also a good conscience cleanser.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes my own personal fabric store can be rather menacing at times.

Vogue 1247I’ve made up another skirt from Vogue 1247 in the same colour, although the fabric is different.  My first chocolate version was linen, underlined in cotton voile.  It was OK.  I added a lot of length to it to bring it to my knees, and I just wasn’t that happy with it.  Don’t get me wrong.  I wore it a lot, but eventually the linen started to fray at the bottom of the CB invisible zip (can you believe it?) and it was time to send it away.  I regret not cannibalizing it now, but I was going through a spring wardrobe cleaning fix and never bothered.  My current version is in a poly/cottton twill that will wear like Teflon, I’m sure.  I didn’t bother underlining it, and I only lengthened it by about 10cm this time instead of 10 inches.  haha!

Vogue 1247 skirtHere’s the requisite inside shot of this skirt.  I love how the inside looks with all the seam binding.  A lot of extra fussing, but it’s so pretty when one pulls it on!

Vogue 1247 interiorThe other basic I’ve added to my wardrobe is another version of Vogue 1093 which I’ve made up a couple of times. I just love the seaming on this skirt pattern, and it fits me well through the high hip and waist, which is always a challenge for me. The fabric is a love-inspiring caramel-coloured stretch cotton sateen that’s from stash.

Vogue 1093 skirtI lowered the top of the back slit by 6 inches.  The pattern as designed has the slit start just beneath the booty, which is ridiculous. Ri-di-cu-lous. I remember the first version I didn’t bother to check on it, and I had to stitch it down to a reasonable depth.  As this skirt stands, if I just plain bend over and touch my toes, it’s basically swimsuit coverage length.  Ha!

Vogue 1093 skirt 3I’ve been sitting and getting in and out of the car all day in this skirt, and it has held up well in terms of the fabric not stretching out of shape.  It was a roll end purchased from Linda at EmmaOneSock and there wasn’t enough to cut the skirt on the straight grain, so I squeeeeeezed it out on the cross grain, which, of course, means that the stretch in this cotton is lengthwise instead of crosswise in the garment. After wearing it all day I haven’t noticed that it’s made much of a difference.  And that is a testament to the quality of stretch wovens sold by EOS.  I have always been horridly disappointed in the lack of recovery in a lot of stretch fabrics purchased in my local Fashion District or Fabricland.  However, every single stretch anything I’ve ordered from Linda has washed, worn and recovered brilliantly.

Vogue 1093 skirt (2)The length is a bit long-ish – I may really fall in love with a couple inches shorter – but I think one skirt of this longer length in my closet creates a good mix of choice. Now we just need summer weather to arrive in this town.  It’s been raining and cheerless for the last week!  TTFN!

Finishing UFO’s

I’ve decided that I need to get four UFO’s off my sewing table before I tackle my autumn sewing plan.  Here’s two of them:  a blue linen skirt from Vogue 1247 again and a Koos striped knit top (Vogue 2971).  It’s reeeeeeeeeally wide necked – I probably should have gone down one size, but it’s wearable in every other sense of the word, so I’ll just put strap keepers into the shoulders.  It’s an interesting top with long triangular ties cut on to the bodice.  There is one 4 inch seam at the waist level at CF.  This is what it looks like untied.

The ties get crossed at the front and tied in the back.  I think it looks way better on the long-waisted model, frankly, but its unusual, which is a win in my books.  And there’s a lot of colour in these stripes, which can coordinate with a lot of clothing in my wardrobe.  Here’s what it looks like from my point of view.

The skirt is a 2 inches shorter than my previous version for argument’s sake.  I think I like the slightly longer version on me.  *shrug*

I underlined the linen with silk organza.  I want to see what wears better under linen:  cotton voile or the silk, as my previous version was underlined with voile.  I think my favourite part of the skirt is the inside.  On every other version I’ve seen, the binding really makes the project fun.  It’s interesting to see what others choose for the bindings.  I just used a cotton voile from my remnant bin.

Two down, two to go.  Hopefully I’ll have all the UFO’s off my table this weekend so I can start SWAPing next week.  And I wish all my Canadian friends a Happy Thanksgiving!

Rachel Comey Skirt: Vogue 1247

v1247Well, I’ve jumped on the Rachel Comey bandwagon with this skirt, mostly because the interesting pockets were very similar to those throughout the SS Chanel couture show.  I  made the skirt out of the same brown linen of my latest pair of trousers and underlined it with cotton voile.  I’m liking the underlining with the linen instead of lining it.  It hangs and wears so much better than just a with a slippery lining underneath it.  The voile did add a little bit of heft to the linen, which I was concerned would possibly make it hotter to wear in heat and humidity, but after wearing it today, I can say it made no difference to the comfort factor.  I was actually more confident wearing this underlined skirt because I felt that it was holding it’s shape and staying as crisp as underlined linen can.

The pattern sews up very quickly, although all the bound seams take a while to do.  It does look nice on the inside, though!  Here are the front pockets.  I really don’t think I’ll be standing around with my hands in them, though.IMG_1758They’re placed so that if I did have one hand in it’s respective pocket, it may look a little odd.  IMG_1759

Here’s the back zip.  I was a bit concerned about the bulkiness of the bound voile/linen yoke seams, but the invisible zip went in just fine.  And I really like the waistband.  It’s probably 1 1/2 inches wide, which I think is perfect.   It sits at my natural waist, so the yoke seams sit exactly at my hip, which I also wondered at, since accentuating my hips is not something I really like to do.  But it’s not noticeable, and doesn’t add any bulk. And I’m very in love with this linen.  It’s just divine.IMG_1757Even the hemline was bound with bias.  The binding was very time consuming, but the end result made it all worth it.  I love finishing details like this in a garment.IMG_1756

And I lengthened the skirt by a full 8 inches to get this length.  I’m a little shy of wearing 15 inch long skirts.

v 1247

Conclusion?  It’s a cute little skirt, but I think I love it so much because of my fabric choice and all the finishing that went into the construction.  It’s A-line, but I may prefer straight or pencil skirts on me.  The bonus of the A-line is that I can carry on with my daily business with ease of movement.