Monday, June 30, 2014

Still On The Fringe - Part II

Hello everyone!

It's challenging to get good photos for completed projects.  So today's post is a continuation of last weeks inspiration:  On the Fringe.



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Dreamsicle Summer Dress - Vogue 8727

Summer is officially here! It's been hot and sticky in Chicago off and on for the past several weeks. Summer time is a great time to show off brightly colored floaty skirts and dresses.

Several weeks ago I stumbled upon this beautiful light weight cotton blend with a velvet flocked floral pattern and burnout flowers. I simply had to have it. So I quickly ordered five yards of it to make a special summer dress. The color of the fabric reminds me of Dreamsicle ice cream. Back in the day, when a ice cream bar was only 15 cents. Dreamsicles were my favorite. I like a lot of the trends that are out this season. Many of the runway shows featured over the top full, long floaty skirts and dresses. I've pinned a few (RTW) on my board: This Should Be In My Closet.

After my fabric arrived, I started second guessing my plans for it. I contemplated; maybe I shouldn't make the dress. The fabric is too loud. Does it look like a tablecloth? Then I said to myself, "Self who cares. Go for it!"

Silly me.  The fabric is gorgeous and makes an attractive dress. I wore it on Sunday to church receiving tons of compliments.

I used Vogue 8727, View F. It is described as an easy to sew misses dress that is close fitting through bodice, lined. I added, with straight and full skirt variations. This is recommended for all body shapes except rectangle. The pattern comes in sizes 6 to 20 with two combinations A5 (6-14) and EE (14-20). The drawings on the envelope were very much like the actual pattern. The guide sheet drawing was slightly different.

The instructions were easy and there was nothing confusing about them. I only followed half the construction steps suggested as I added piping to the bodice and changed how I installed the invisible zipper and attachment of the lining.

For the lining a used a some ivory pongee lining from my stash. It's light weight and works well with the cotton blend.

Bodice Piping - I added piping to neckline and the armholes after sewing the front and back bodice together at the shoulders. Next I attached the bodice lining along the piped edges. Then turn the bodice to the right side of the fabric and sewed the side seams.

Midriff - I cut double the lining. One set to fuse the interfacing to and the other to serve as it was intended. This was done because I didn't want the interfacing to show through the burnout. First, I attached the right side of the interfaced lining to the wrong side of each section of the midriff. Next, I sewed the midriff together forming one long band. Then I sewed the piping to the upper and lower edges of the midriff. Finally, the midriff was attached to the lower edge of the bodice. The lining was sewn and attached to the lining bodice following the same process minus the fusing and piping steps. At each intersection of the bodice and midriff, I tacked the lining to the fabric seam allowances to secure the lining to the dress.

For the Skirt - I did not attach the lining to the skirt before installing the zipper. The skirt was attached to the midriff with the midriff lining free. Then I installed the zipper. Next, the skirt lining was attached at the waist. Finally the bodice lining was hand sewn to the waist of the skirt and around the zipper concealing all exposed seaming.

Hemming - I cut the skirt 1" longer then the pattern and cut the lining the exact length of the pattern. Both were finished with a rolled hem. Because of the burnout, I had to carefully finished the hem of the skirt. There are some areas were the burnout is right at the hemline. It looks just fine.

In my photographs, I did notice that there was still a little gapping at the neckline. I think I could have sewn the shoulder seams 14 instead of 16.

Other changes and alterations are here.

I really like the style of this dress and that there are variations for the bodice as well as the skirt. This style is timeless classic. The design is easy to sew. The difficult parts are nailing down the fitting adjustments and determining what fabric/embellishments to be used.

I'm happy with the results. The dress wears well and is not difficult to sew. I will use the pattern again. The bodice will be paired with other skirts and will be used as a sloper for other pattern with similar design lines. I certainly recommend it to others. It is a timeless classic.

 Happy Sewing!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Notes on a Pattern - Vogue 8727 View F Fitting

Good afternoon all,

Today's installation of Notes on a Pattern is on fitting Vogue 8727.  This was one of the patterns I took to the Palmer/Pletsch workshop in 2012.

At the time of the initial fit, I thought using a size 16 was just too big.  In some ways it still is, but in was the correct size to start the fit process.  When this pattern was published, I knew someday I would make views C and/or F.  I liked the vintage look of it and the skirt variations.  The midriff is also a style element that I am fond of because it offers an opportunity to create definition between my bust line and my waist and hip areas.

For the most part, the dress looks like the illustration on the envelope.  It is hard to determine this from the dress on the model because of the fabric print.  Many times I use the guide sheet as a point of reference.  But this time it does not properly illustrate the peak on the midriff.  It does not start at a point; it is more rounded.  

I've used the straight skirt in a previous post.  There were no challenges with that.  My biggest fit issues are in the torso: across the neck, bust, and upper back.  So today I will review my process for making the full bust, prominent shoulder blade, and sway back adjustments.

NOTE:  These changes were recommended for me personally.  Remember each person's body measurements and shape is different.  So you may be able to use some of this information to help you address your unique body measurements and  shape.

The photo below shows the adjustments made in 2012 after Marta Alto helped me with fitting the bodice.  We started the process with examining the back then worked our way to the front of the bodice.

After we noted all of the front bodice adjustments, we made a few more changes to the back to match the length of the midriff and bodice.

Back Bodice and Midriff - For the prominent shoulder blades. I added 3/4" to the width of the back bodice and the back midriff.  At the shoulder, I added a dart so that the shoulder of the back and front match.  

Front Bodice and Midriff - The front has some serious pattern hacking going on.  I used the "Y"  version of the FBA because the width needed was more than and 1".  As you can, the length was added in the middle and at the bottom of the front bodice.  The width of the second leg of the "Y" was added to the midriff.

Now onto step 3 -  Making a muslin just to double check the adjustments.

I don't always make a muslin, but there are times when you simply cannot achieve good results without one or two.

The center front bodice was gapping a little and required me to take it in a little. The FBA was fine.

At the center front, the seam allowance is 7/8" and ends at 5/8" where the center of the midriff is sewn. There are no other changes after the full bust adjustment.

On the right side, about an inch down from the armhole I had to increase the seam allowance from 1/8" to 7/8" through the midriff.  For the sway back I practically, folded out the added length across the right back and 3 inches into the right side of the front bodice.

On the left side, I needed to take in the entire length of the side seam allowance 7/8".  Then I removed about 3/4"(at center back) to 1/2" (at side back) of the added length across the left back and two inches into the left side of the front bodice.   The lower center back seam was about 2" deep.  The next step was to adjust the back.

To improve the look of the center back, I increase the depth of the waist darts.  

The differences in the left and right bodice required me to make two front bodices and two back bodices to get a better fit.  Those changes are below:

My right side is slightly shorter and wider than the left.  My sway back is related to scoliosis in the lower part of my back.  I only recently found out that I had this condition.   Oh well, that's life. 

I hope this information is helpful to you.  I believe most of us need to make some adjustments to patterns before we cut into our fashion fabric.  Women with curves are not the only ones who need to make adjustments.  A pattern may be too short or too long in different areas.  It is worthwhile to test the fit and make adjustments.  Sometimes it takes awhile to finally achieve the fit that is correct and  comfortable for you.  So it may take multiple muslins to get to that point.  

Until next time, happy fitting and sewing!



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

On The Fringe

Ralph Lauren RTW Spring 2013

I love fringe.  It's on trend right now.  Got to make somethin' with fringes.  Here's a little inspiration for everyone who's thinking about adding a fringe of pizzazz to your wardrobe.

 Parting shot:  The incomparable Tina Turner working the fringe.

Happy Designing,

Monday, June 16, 2014

Wrapped Up and Skirting Around in New Look 6029, McCall's 6842, and Rhonda's Circle Skirt

Good afternoon everyone!

I hoped everyone had a great Father's Day weekend. It was a little sad for me. My dad passed in 2006. I spent some time remembering funny stories and words of wisdom that he shared during our many long conversations. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your time with family and friends.

This week I will review several patterns. Some are for projects made several months ago and a few recent projects. Today I will start with three reviews: New Look 6029-C. This pattern is about 10 years old. So it may be out of print. McCall's 6842, which was published last year. My skirt was finished in January. And finally, Rhonda's Circle skirt which was also finished in January.

Warning: This post is lengthy and has several photos.

Let me start with New Look 6029-C.

I made two wrap tops. I really like this top. It's perfect for summertime and can worn under a nice blazer/cardigan on cooler days. And I think this is a good style for me.

New Look does not provide a description. The pattern includes a tank top, a sleeveless wrap top with tie, knit coat, straight skirt and pants. The sizing is from 6 to 16.

My tops do look like the one on the cover. But I think the drawing of the slender model makes it look longer than it actually is.

There were no confusing instructions. There were several steps I did not follow because I preferred a different method. Or I needed to address a fit issue.

I actually like all of the pieces to this pattern. They are good staples for any wardrobe. Years ago I tried the tank top. It produced a gapping armhole. So I suspected the wrap top would too. It did. So be aware that this may be an issue for you too.

My changes were:

- FBA - Adding the the length of the back. It was a little short in the muslin version.

- For the neck band and the armhole facings, I used McCall 6793. The neckline was used as the neckband double the length. I did shorten both about an inch or so.

- For the gapping armhole, I follow Diana Sewing Lesson to correct the problem. I did not apply the twill tape.

My selected fabrics: a spandex knit from Supreme Novelty Fabrics (red) and a matte jersey from Hancock (green). No problem with sewing either. The spandex has more stretch than the jersey.

I will definitely use this pattern again. Like I said, the other views are can be used to make staple garments for any wardrobe. And I recommend it to all sewists. I'm glad I tried the wrap top. It's easy to sew with a few modifications. Make a muslin before you cut into your fashion fabric to make sure the fit and length are right for you.

Okay. Now onto my second review. McCall's 6842.

I made view B. I adore this pattern. The skirt has that swing affect going on.

McCall's describes this skirt as Misses' skirts: skirts have contour waist, yoke variation, back zipper, and narrow hem. The sizes are from 6 to 22.

The skirt certainly looks like the view on the envelope. The instructions were easy to follow. I do recommend that you carefully reinforce the inward corners of yoke front as described to ensure that the seams are the same on both sides. Also, it is so easy to fit. I added a little more to the side seam allowances just in case. When fitting, complete steps 1 through 4. Pin front and back yoke together to try it on. Make adjusts as needed. Then make the adjustments to your waistline facing and the lower portion of the skirt. I will make this skirt again. I have no dislikes.

For this first skirt, I used a ponte knit. (Yeah, it's a little on the heavy side for summer temps. But perfect for spring, fall, and winter.) Originally, I thought I would pair it with a beige cardigan and ivory T. Summer rolled around before I had a chance to wear it.

In conclusion, this is an easy skirt to make. The hardest parts are making sure the seaming is balance at the inward corners and finishing the hem. This is a circle skirt. Once the waist is finished the hem hangs uneven. I recommend that you allow it to hang for a few days before finishing it.

Now, for Rhonda's circle skirt.

I decided I would give it a try just because. My original intention was to make an Anthropologie skirt I'd seen online. I have not tried that yet. Maybe later this year. maybe..,

See Rhonda's Sew News post for the instructions and description. The instructions were easy to follow and she provides photos and drawings to help guide you through the process. You can make variations of the circle skirt based on your personal preference. I like the idea of having options to make whatever you want. This is why I so interested in learning more about drafting.

No alterations are required. It's all based on your measurements and style preference. I recommend that you give it a try. That's all for now!

Parting Shot:  Don't forget to holding your skirt when a gust of wind comes along!

Happy Sewing,

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Full, Floaty Hi-Low Butterick Skirt - B5892 - In Review

Summertime is a great time to wear full, floaty skirts. (At least I think so.) They can be made up in a variety of fabrics. The styling is comfortable and carefree, perfect for an evening stroll along Lake Shore Drive, an afternoon movie, or the jazz festival in Millennium park.

I made two skirts using this Butterick 5892 for my October 2013 vacation to Mexico. It has taken all this time for me to write the review. These skirts sew up quickly with no problems.

The description is: misses' skirt - loose-fitting, lined skirt has elasticized waist and shaped hemline (wrong side shows), and narrow hem. C and D: elasticized tie ends, and ruffle. It comes in a wide range of sizes: XS(4-6) to XXL(24-26).

The suggested fabrics are chiffon, georgette, voile, lace. lining: jersey, interlock. Some of the construction steps were tailored to address using the recommended sheer fabrics. I decided to not lining mine and use a matte jersey and a nice rayon challis, both purchase at Vogue in Evanston. I used view D with a few modifications.

My changes:

 - I stitched across the elastic to create a smooth finish across the front of the waist. This is a better for me when I wear my top on the inside of the skirt. For the blue/purple skirt, I omitted to tie and did not stabilize the waist at all.
 - since I used opaque fabric, there was no need to line them. I did follow the french seams for the ruffle because some of the inside of the skirt can be seen at the hem line.
 - I only added a few inches to the length of the ruffle.

There is nothing to dislike about this skirt. It sews up quickly and there are no confusing steps in the instructions. This skirt provides great wearing ease especially during the hot days of summer. If I sew it again, I will probably use one of the recommended sheer fabrics. This is a good pattern for beginners and well as advance sewists to try. Personally, I love full, long, floaty skirts for summer. This one was a good choice.


The top I'm wearing is Vogue 8251; view D. It is my pseudo wearable muslin. Vogue's figure flattering chart recommends it for triangle and hourglass figures. But I think everyone can wear at least one version of the top with some adjustments. I didn't quite get the FBA right on this one. I ended up with some gathering at the center front of the top. Since making it, I figured out were I went wrong. That was the only issue I had with the top. More on that later though.
Happy Sewing!


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