Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Vogue 8190 - The Finale Prom 2012

Now it's time for the finale on Vogue 8190. The prom was last Friday; but before writing the review, I needed a breather from all the activities surrounding the event. This year I had to finish two prom dresses within a four week period because of competing activities. Just a little bit of stress. The good thing, I'm pleased with the outcome of both gowns and relieved that it's all over.

My services including making six pieces for Traci's (2nd cousin) big day. So this review will encompass some mini reviews (linked) on the accessories that I made for this prom event. Yes, this review is long, but I think the details are important to cover. Let's start with the dress. I posted a few blog entries so I would not forget the alterations and design changes. So instead of repeating all of that I will refer to those posts at the appropriate time.

Here goes.., We actually started discussing this gown early March. My first shop day was March 24th, with many to following (mostly for notions). I logged 32 hours on this project. That includes: shopping, cutting, sewing (muslins and garments), cutting mistakes, sewing mistakes and adjustments, and ripping out mistakes and adjustments. A lot of hours. Compared to Vogue 2931 this dress was a bigger challenge. Vogue rating this one (8190) average and Vogue 2931 as advanced. I think they are both advanced.

Pattern Description:

MISSES’/MISSES’ PETITE DRESS: Strapless, lined, fitted, mid-calf or floor length flared dress has front and back gathers, built-in foundation with boning, flounce variation and back zipper. A: shaped flounce (wrong side of fabric will show). B: dress and flounce contrasting overlay. C: purchased trim.  

Pattern Sizing:
8 to 18. I started with size 12, but ending with a combination of sizes 8, and 10, and 12, depending on the area of the body.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
For the most part. There were a few design changes that made the finished dress slightly different.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes. I had no problems following any of them. Standard, but very time consuming.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Traci gave me a sketch of how she wanted her dress to look, I picked this pattern because it closely resembled want she had envisioned.

My likes: ruching and the flounce. It's very attractive and figure flattering. Traci, as is Dominique, is lend and shapely. Almost zero fat.

I really don't have any dislikes about this dress. Because the time consuming elements are well worth it. The outcome is splendid. The pattern design and layout are excellent.

Fabric Used:
Silk Dupioni, bemberg lining, and bridal lace from Fishman's Fabrics in Chicago.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Some of the alterations and design changes can be found here and here.

The rest are;

Lace adorned bodice - The lace was sewn together and attached to the dress bodice by hand. I used the bodice lining pattern and drafted a bodice back to create the lace overlay. The beautiful embroidered, beaded lace had small floral appliques sewn to it. I carefully removed them when they fell on the seam allowance. After the overlay was sewn together, I reattached the appliques where appropriate.

Straps - I added straps for comfort. Traci probably didn't use them. But I added them just in case. A lady has to have options. ;-)

Foundation bias tape - I made my own using the silk dupioni. I thought it would look better. And it did.

Graduated Flounce - You should make sure your fabric is wide enough to make the fabric flounce. Because the fabric was only 45" wide, I had to make the flounce (View C) shorter than the design. In this photo, you can see the front flounce is higher than the back. At the final fitting, I cut the tulle a little shorter in the front to match the curve of the fabric flounce. This was done after this photo.

Omitted the lace trim at the upper edge of the dress.


 Purse - I used the same purse pattern as before (many times). It's reviewed here. Details on how to enlarge on Flickr.

Garter - I've designed many. Here is a link to my tutorial on Flickr. There are tons of ideas for prom garters here.

 Stole - (sorry no pictures) But it looks like this one.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Only if I make it for someone else. I don't think I'll need a dress like this. Then maybe I will. :-). I highly recommend it to others. If you have the body for it, this is a gorgeous dress to show it off in. Beware it's labor intensive.

All pictures are on Flickr.

Conclusion: This was a great dress to sew with excellent results. I love how it turned out. And more importantly, Traci and her mom were very pleased with it.

Prom 2012 - Do Gentlemen Wear Coral?.., M4321

          This is one of the best photos available to me. 

I usual stay away from making anything related to the gentlemen who escort the princesses to the prom.  This time I gave the nod to make the vest and bow tie for my cousin's date.

I selected McCall's 4321.  The vest has a clean sophisticated look. It's a great complement to most tuxedo jacket.  The bow tie looked simple and easy to make.  Perfect for completing the gentleman's evening attire.

In review:
Pattern Description:
Men's Lined Vests, Bow Tie and Cummerbund: Vest A and B have collar and back belt; vest B has contrast collar; vest C and D have welts, shawl collar, front button closure, adjustable back neck button closure and back elastic with clip; bow tie E has two sections and back clasp; cummerbund F has pleated front, back lining and back elastic with clasp.

Pattern Sizing:
Small - XX-Large; I used size medium with modifications. Views A and E
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes.  Except for the omission of the collar on the vest.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
A piece of cake with the exception of stitching the back (3) and stopping at the circle. The circle was about two inches from the edge. I didn't get that.  So I stop about 5/8" from the bottom of the edge of the center back seam.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the fact that the design was clean and would not take away from the style or design of the jacket. I didn't know what style of tux the young man would wear. So this pattern was simple enough to complement most styles. And it sewed up quickly. This is the first time I've sewn a bow tie. No pain there either.

Fabric Used:
silk dupioni and bemberg lining.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
View A - Vest. At first I thought I needed to do a prominent shoulder blade (PSB) adjustment. But the gaping at the armholes didn't quite match with the PSB adjustment. So I looked through my Palmer/Pletsch fit book for the correct solution. And ended up doing a round back adjustment. Additionally, I needed to trim about a 1/4 inch from the side seams, and I omitted the collar. View E - Bow Tie. I searched at a few stores trying to find the hook, eye and slide for it. Finally, I went to Vogue (Roosevelt Rd). They only had 1/4", 1/2" and 3/4". The tie was about 1" wide. So I had to trim it to make it fit through the closures.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will sew both again. And yes I do recommend this pattern to others.

All photos on the vest and bow tie are here.
Conclusion: This was an easy pattern to sew. The pieces went together with no problem. The clean look of the vest is a great complement to evening attire. The bow tie literally took less than an hour to sew.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Inspiration - Haute Couture Club of Chicago - Fashion Show 2013

Now that the prom season is coming to a close (still one more dress to review), I'm turning my thoughts to fashion show 2013 projects. Next year I want to make something truly outstanding. I want to make something that has a tremendous Wow factor. At the same time I want to incorporate some trend related aspect into a few of my projects plus try a few more couture techniques. Below are a few trends I that piqued my interest.

Printed Blazer
Standout Pants
Embellished Trench
Lace Skirt
Floral Body Suit
     and of course,
Peplum Top (New Look 6030 is cute)

For today's inspirational post, I hone in on the embellished trench. I will make at least one coat during the next six months, and it may as well include some aspect of the popular trends of the day. There are many forms of embellishment. It's basically the act of adding extraneous decorations to something. As it relates to sewing, it can be as simple as sewing on an applique or trim. Or it can be as elaborate as manipulating layers of the fabric. I am drawn to several of the garments published in Cadena Mode Autumn 2010-2011.

 So here goes, I hope these choices inspire you too.

Jacquard patchwork coat with chintz finish.

Big flowers jacquard coat trimmed with passementerie on collar and cuffs.

Silk tweed (plaid) coat with patchwork embroidered details.
Jacquard coat with flowers and animal print.

Alpaca coat with line drawing made with two tones of same textile cuts, Satin silk blousson with woollen guipure overskirt

Organza embroidered dress and organza coat trimmed on same fabric than dress.

Jacquard velvet coat with geometric design and sequins dress crossed on waist.

Printer silk and wool coat, silk printed dress wit small channels on body.

Embroidery silk coat black skirt with broad belt and chiffon shirt crossed in collar and sleeves.

Description are as provided by Cadena Mode.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Brandon and Dominique Go To The Prom 2012 - Vogue 2931 & McCall 3033

Friday was the big day for my niece, Dominique and Brandon. I arrived at my sisters minutes before the couple left for the prom. There was lots of excitement at the house. We were all gathered to see the lovely couple off to the prom. First a few a lot of pictures, then the reviews:
Vogue 2931 Pattern Description:
MISSES’ DRESS: Fitted, lined dress has princess seams with bow and front bra, back invisible zipper closing and neck straps. Built-in foundation with boning, hook and eye tape closing. Floor length.
Pattern Sizing:
6 to 22; I started with a size 10; but ended up using size 6 for the top and 8 from the hips down.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes it did. This pattern makes a lovely prom dress.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Simple. At first I thought the bow was going to give me a "slight headache", but no. The construction of it was no problem at all. The key is to follow every step. The rest of the instructions were pretty standard.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
My niece picked a great pattern for starters. The over-sized bow and fish tail are the speakers. And boy do say speak elegance. You don't have to add rhinestones or crystals to come up with a beautiful dress. I enjoyed making it. There are a few dislikes, and they are related to some of the construction and my own personal taste (After thoughts are making the dress.) Step 27 instruction you to sew in bra cups. I think she could have done without them. The shaping around the bust area was a little bulky. No one else noticed I noticed in the fitting, but decided not to remove them. I didn't like that the founding was all lining fabric. In hind sight, it would have been better if the outer portion had been the dutchess satin. It seemed to round up over the top of the dress. And it was snug around her upper body. And finally, for years I have hated the method used by pattern companies for creating the French tack. This time I came up with a new way to get it done quickly. I used DMS floss and a tiny crochet needle to make the tacks. At the ends I left a three tail. So that I could easily thread a needle to attached the tacks between the lining and the dress.
Fabric Used:
Dutchess satin and poly lining from Fishman's Fabric in Chicago.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Dominique was easy to fit. No serious alterations. I made the halter straps shorter and shorten the dress by an inch or so. The other fitting adjustments were made as I sewed. The princess seams made that easy. No design changes.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I probably won't sew this again. But do recommend it to others.
Conclusion: The is a great prom dress pattern that doesn't require a lot of fussy trims, rhinestones and crystals. It's speaks elegance all by itself. The indicated sewing level is advanced, but I think with careful sewing intermediate sewers could also make this dress. As part of the prom dress assemble, I made a shrug/jacket, garter, and purse for my niece. All made from the same fabric as the dress.

McCalls 3033 Pattern Description:
MISSES’ EVENING COVER-UPS: Capelet A and B are unlined with optional trim detail; shrug C is self lined has ruffle detail; shrug D is unlined has set-in sleeves; capelet E and F are lined; capelet E has trim detail.
Pattern Sizing:
X-Small to Large. I made a Small
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
The silhouette was the same. I used the pattern for View D to make a lined jacket. So my rendition of the shrug/jacket is different.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
I really didn't look at them until I started writing this review. At glance, they appear to be easy. My method is much like the instruction for views C and D.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I thought is was a perfect "chill chaser". We are have cool days in Chicago. So it's nice to have a jacket or capelet as part of the prom outfit. No dislike for this easy shrug.
Fabric Used:
Dutchess satin and poly lining from Fishman's Fabric in Chicago.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
No alterations. The design changes are: - I cut lining as well as the fashion fabric for the three pattern pieces. Sew each together the combined them using a similar method as described for view C.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes and yes. This is a great pattern to have in your collection. Especially, if you sew prom dresses. All of the views are appropriate for gowns and evening attire.
Conclusion: This is a easy pattern to sew and a great complement to evening wear. I highly recommend it.

All photos can be viewed on Flickr.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Vogue 8190, The Second Fitting - Part III

Yesterday was the second fitting of Traci's prom dress.  Boy, I tell you the ruching takes about two hours to complete.  And I've done it twice for this dress.  The good thing about it is, the effort is well worth it.  The dress is coming along nicely and I hope to have it finished by Monday.  I hope.., Lol

This lace will go across the bodice of the dress.  Sorry the photo is dark.  This lace is gorgeous.

The purse and the garter are done.  I used the McCall 4679-D (purse) again; just graded it up and added some embellishment.  The garter, I designed.  Pretty easy.

Stay Tuned; there is more to come.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Vogue 8190 Transferring Adjustments to the Pattern, Part II

This is the second installment of the Vogue 8190 prom dress for my cousin. The adjustments were pretty easy, and I was able to transfer them to the pattern pieces with no problems. Below are the steps taken to make cutting and sewing easy.

First, I drew the new line starting below the hip area to the bottom of the upper skirt.  Here you see the full back lining.

Next, I trimmed away the excess tissue.  This process was done for the front as well.                        

The same adjustment is needed for the front and back of the dress.  Both pieces have this flounce like shape.  After it has been ruched, it will resemble a typical front and back close fitting dress.

Here is the pattern with the excess trimmed away.                       

Instead of using the bodice front (center ruching) for C, I decided to use the bodice front lining for my version of View C.  The top of the dress will have a lace overlay.  I want it to be as smooth as possible.   At the top of this piece I graded the pattern down to size 8 then gradually out to size 12.  All other pieces where adjusted the same.                        

The adjustment was also made to the foundation front and back sides.     


That's it for the pattern adjustments. Next, I'll sew the dress together.

Stay Tuned!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fitting Vogue 8190 and McCall 4321

It's such a blessing to have clients with minor fitting issues.  I'm in the process of making the second prom dress.  This one is for my cousin (second) Traci.  The only fit issues are:  slightly too big in the bust area.  All is needed is a reduction is the width of the bodice.  And slightly to big below the hip area.  Simple.  (Yes the skirt is uneven due to lack of width of the muslin fabric.)

I'm using Vogue 8190, View C, for this dress.  The design changes are minor too.  Traci does not want the tulle exposed at the bottom so the overlay will be the same length.  A beautiful embroidered, beaded lace will adorn the top of the dress.  She wanted the bottom detachable; but I said nothing doing.  That takes too much time.  

Traci's date will wear a matching vest and bow tie.  I'm using McCall's 4321.  His muslin fitting was just as painless with adjustments along the upper back and the side seams.  I'm thankful.

Next week, I will reveal the finished gown and vest.  Meanwhile, the reveal of my niece's prom dress is scheduled for this Friday night. 

Stay tuned and Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Christine Jonson - Travel Trio 1204

This is the very first time I've tried a Christine Jonson pattern. I picked up a few at the PR pattern swap last year, but hadn't thought about trying them until the Haute Couture Club challenge. I think I'm so use to the big 4 pattern companies; it's hard to break out of the routine.  

Back in October 2011, the Christine Jonson Travel Trio challenge was announced. We could mix and match the pieces from the three travel trio patterns (1204, 226 and 331). I chose to make all three pieces from 1204.   The deadline for the challenge was the April HCC meeting.  This was the same meeting to Christine was the program guest speaker. In her talk she gave some helpful tips on how to sew knits. She also gave us her back story along with information about her company.

It wasn't until after the meeting that I decided to go ahead with completing a travel outfit in time for the fashion show.  CJ1204 sews up very quickly which is a plus. I decided to test this pattern without making all of my standard adjustments.  Time was short, the outfit was semi-fitted, and using knit fabrics gave me an extra level of forgiveness in the fitting area. Granted I had to do a little tweaking as I sewed, my first outfit turned out pretty good.  Next time, I'll make a few more adjustments before cutting the fabric.

That being said let me start the formal review.  

Christine Jonson Travel Trio 1204

Pattern Description: 
Banded Neck Tee - Long sleeved, semi-fitted tee with self-banded neckline.
Center Seam Pants - Semi-fitted, front and back seamed pants with waistline yoke.
Drape Front Jacket - Asymmetrical, semi-fitted jacket with slight bell sleeves.  Jacket ties at the left side, forming soft folds.

In each pattern a helpful perfect sizing worksheet is included with the contraction guide sheet. (I didn't look at it until I noticed the tee was too large.)

Pattern Sizing:  Sizing for the Tee and jacket are XS to XL.  The pants are sizes 4 - 22.  For the tee and jacket I cut slightly larger than M from the bust down to the hem; pants 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes, the finished garments look like the "technical drawing" on the back of the envelope.  I wanted the jacket and pants to look more like the drawing on the front.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Very easy to follow.  No problems.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

Likes -
The drape of the jacket.
Simplicity of the tee.
The center seams of the pant leg.

Dislikes -
The inside tie of the jacket is too wide.  I prefer a narrower tie. (easy fix)
Loose fit of the tee.  I prefer a little more shaping (easy fix)

Fabric Used:  Pant weight rpl British tan stretch woven from Gorgeous Fabrics; ITY Feather Print; and Black Ponte knit from JoAnn's.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: 
Tee -
It was too large for my arms and from under my bust area through the hip area.  To resolve that issue I sewed larger seam allowances.  For the type of knit (60% crosswise) I could have gone down a half size and made FBA, which I will do the next time.  Also, I think it would fit better if I made a center back seam to address the sway back issue. Added some length to the sleeves and body of the top.

Jacket -
Here again it was too large from under the bust to the hem.  The description says semi-fitted, but it was closer to loose fitting pass the bust area.  That could be due to my narrow hips.  So I increase the seam allowance from the base of the bust area down.  The rest of the jacket was okay.  Added some length to the sleeves.

Pants -
I decided to use a stretch woven for the pants.  I wanted them to look more like slacks.  So instead of  an elasticized yoke, I adopted the yoke for a waistband, trimming off an inch (width, from the top).  There was quite a bit of ease in the pants.  I trimmed about 3/4" from the side and center (front and back) seams for a close fit. Installed a zipper on the left side.

To stabilize the zipper area, I added interfacing to the seam allowance.  I also interfaced and added twill tape to stay the top of the now "contour waistband". I shorten the crotch and added length to the pant leg.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes and I do recommend it to others.  But before sewing, read all of the construction information and determine how you want to use the pattern before you cut into your fashion fabric.

Conclusion:  The is a great travel trio.  It's easy to make and to wear.  You can easily adopt the pattern to your style preference.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin