Friday, November 30, 2012

Vogue 8824 in Green Wool Crepe

I loved this pattern/silhouette as soon as it came out and I picked a green double sided wool crepe from Mood back in August to sew it up in.  I just needed the temperatures to drop to use it.  Of course since its the end of November, the temps have dropped so now making & wearing the dress is perfect.  Green is one of the hot colors for fall so I was thrilled to find the fabric in this color and to be able to add it to my fall wardrobe while it was still on trend. 

Some stats:
Fabric ~
Green double sided wool crepe from the Mood store in NYC

Notions ~
Gray rayon bemberg lining
1 6" Riri zipper

Pattern Alterations:
Even though this pattern goes up to an XXL (size 24-26) in Vogue land, as a plus size chick I know that Vogue cuts their plus size patterns on the slim side rather than the full size.  So the first alteration I made to all the pattern pieces (front, back & sleeve) was to alter them using my TNT (tried and true) dress pattern.  I do this by creating a pattern sandwich
  • first my TNT dress pattern is laid down
  • then the pattern piece from V8824
  • finally tracing paper is added to the top
  • then I trace a new pattern piece
All my fitting issues are resolved by using my TNT dress pattern and I don't have to start from scratch with the new pattern.  I also altered the shoulder seam on the pattern pieces front and back by 1.5".  That was the extent of the pattern alterations.  Due to a lack of fabric, I thought I had more than I did, the sleeves ended up having a seam down the middle to get them out of the yardage I had left.

Construction Changes:
I made a few changes to make the dress more like I imagined it.  I omitted the facings and added a lining to the body of the dress but not the sleeves.  The pattern suggests that you cut the back on the fold.  I need body definition so I added a center back seam. I also topstitched the v-neckline and the center seam on the sleeves. 

But the biggest change I made was to the pockets.  The pattern calls for patch pockets - big fat patch pockets on the front of the dress.  Well I guess if you're not sporting additional abdomen fat on the front of you, those pockets would work...but in my world I don't call attention to my extra large protrusions.  In my world, I hide them by any means after rooting through a few books and looking at some pics online, I decided to go with zipper pockets.

Zipper Pocket Techniques:
First, I found this tutorial online from Sew Mama Sew.  It was very helpful in making the one pocket that appears on my dress.  Now why is there only one pocket?  Because I was fearless in cutting a hole into the front of my dress piece when I didn't have any more fabric left to recut the front.  Seriously people I don't know what the hell I was thinking!  Because of course, I cut the hole to big!  Why wouldn't I?  I'm not the most precise sewist...I just like to sew and have some great ideas...but precision sewing...that ain't me!

So in the middle of the night, I'm screaming at the television and at myself because I've got to make this work.  I even started to take pictures of this before I effed it up!

Added fusible interfacing and marking the zipper pocket

Sewing the zipper pocket in

Dress front and the zipper pocket.
Look closely you can see the offense!

After many prayers, some stitch witchery and a lot of pressing I fixed the problem.  I mean you can only see the hole if you're really close to me, looking for it...or so my daughter says.  That is why there is only ONE zipper pocket (which doesn't have a pocket bag on the back because I decided to stop while I was ahead!) It does look kinda kewl on the dress front though, right?

Wearability Factor:
I wore this dress with the ivory tank top to work on Monday.  It was a pretty cold morning but the dress and turtleneck were just too warm to combine in real life.  Also, this dress needs a back zipper so that I can step in and out of it.  Even though the front v-neckline is low and you are able to get into and out of the garment that way, it's not easy for me.  So all future versions will have a back zipper.  Now if you're contemplating making the pattern, I highly suggest that you add a center back seam and use a zipper.  Otherwise, the dress wore very well and garnered quite a few compliments.

So a few more pictures...

A side/back view

Worn with a tank top 
& showing the zipper pocket

Back view

I will make this again.  I already have an idea of how I want to make it as a tunic top with a skirt and/or pants. I also have several different embellishment ideas running through my head.  Second, zipper pockets would be an amazing addition to this pattern, just leave enough fabric to practice them first!  And finally, this is a great pattern that would look great on many different body types. always more later!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Let the Pictures Speak!

The garments in this post have been featured in their own respective posts, so I'm just going to let the pictures speak...

First the Butterick 5760 Cardigan, blogged about here.  

Pictures of me wearing it along with Vogue 1250 top and the wool crepe brown pants ~ all are part of The City in Winter Wardrobe.

The Vogue 1250 top was blogged about here.

This is one of my favorite summer dress patterns so it was about time that I shortened it and made it into a top.

This outfit is a holdover from a few weeks ago but this was my first opportunity to get pictures of me actually wearing it...and I have to tell you I was surprised by the weight and warmth of the cardigan.  Since this is my fourth make using this pattern, I never bothered to try it on during the construction process.  This combo is professional yet sassy and will keep me warm yet not so warm that I won't wear it...essentially it's perfect! always more later!

Monday, November 26, 2012

To pocket or not to pocket...

...that was the question.  The original dress, the one that inspired my version definitely had pockets on the front.  However, I'm really NOT a pocket girl.  And while I did ponder on this and worked out two different types of pockets for the dress front, I ultimately decided that since I'm not a pocket girl there was no reason to include them.

So the dress is a basic Butterick 5147 dress made from a brown/orange tweed recently purchased.  It works with the orange turtleneck pictured above or the orange cardigan pictured below.

Some stats:
Fabric ~
Brown & Orange Rayon/Wool Tweed

Notions ~
22" brown invisible zipper
2 yards brown rayon hem tape
2 yards aubergine rayon lining
1 yard brown bias tape

I have no new construction techniques to add.  No alterations were made to the pattern.  This was a cut and sew garment ~ you know the kind that I like from a TNT pattern.  I do have one or two more versions dreamed up in the back of my mind which have slight pattern alterations that I would like to make for fall/winter.  They may show up before the season changes, they may not.

This was the first completed garment from the Thanksgiving Weekend Sew-a-thon.  A few more pics of the dress in action... always more later!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mission Accomplished...

I had a pretty intense "hope to sew" list that was actually more realistic than in years past.  I deleted one item from the list because I already owned something similar.  And I didn't start the pants because even though I finished Vogue 8824, I made a journey out of a simple dress pattern that ended up taking all of yesterday evening/night and up to this afternoon to finish.

Then it was picture time...ohmygoodness, why do I wait until I have so many items to photograph because I'm really NOT a model.  I try to use my daughter's precious time wisely but I miss living with her when she could snap a few photos quickly after the garment was finished.  Anyway, it was a good weekend.  I need to decompress a little from two screaming grandchildren...I've forgotten how little people only speak in one decibel, LOUD!

So how about some outtake photos tonight.  There are five outfits that need to be discussed/rehashed/explained away...and I still need to go upstairs and make another pass through my closet because we've scheduled a Salvation Army pick-up for tomorrow.  I've created quite a few garments this past year so I need to make space in my closet.  I only did a mini-purge when I moved last year.  The last full purge was 18 months ago so I'm ready to get rid of more pieces.

A few more things...

~I will make Vogue 8824 again...probably several times because I've already thought of a few garments that I want to add to my wardrobe.

~Two of the garments I made this weekend were part of my Mood requirement, so check out the Mood Sewing Network blog to see not only those garments before they appear here but also to see some of my fellow Mood bloggers outfits!

~I try to remember to use my camera phone when taking pictures but I always forget.  I would like to Instagram something other than flat or Lulu shoots of finished pieces.

~Next weekend I'm going to work on a piece or two of the CIW Collection because it's December after that and I have some Christmas sewing that I want to do.  Not much but I'll need at least two weekends especially since I have a lot of activities scheduled for December.

So some pics...

 One little girl who has had enough

"Oh really!" says the Little Prince!

Waving to a little one...

Searching for a new pose...

Blurry me...

...and as always more later!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Three Days into a Four Day Weekend

So far the sewing has been good.  I'm more than 1/2 way through to accomplishing my I'm thrilled.  Here's a picture of the finished pieces so far...

The wool flare dress completed.
The jacket with the sleeves removed and made into a vest
The new wool knit version of Burda 8869

From my "I hope to sew this weekend" list, I've removed an ivory or white version of my Vogue 1250 top.  

I remembered that I had one I made several years ago (2008) from the Sewing Workshop Mission Top which works perfectly with the cardigan.

This is the fabric and zipper trim for Vogue 8824.  I needed to do a little research into the type of pockets I want to add to the dress.  I'm not a huge fan of patch pockets but I didn't want to remove the idea of a pocket from the dress since it's integral to its design.  I'm thinking of adding some type of zippered pocket to the dress, that's why the Riri zippers are included in the picture.

I've made the alterations to the pattern so I'm moving onto cutting out the fabric.  I'm also contemplating adding a lining to the dress because of the pockets but I'm not sure.  So once again I've taken a simple dress and complicated it by adding additional techniques.  

Of course, this will cut down on my ability to make the pants which are the final garment on my list. I don't want to rush the construction of the dress.  I may be able to complete it this evening or it may roll over into tomorrow which can present a challenge since tomorrow is picture taking day.  Hopefully I will get a burst of energy, complete the dress and manage to eek out the pants too. always more later!

Friday, November 23, 2012

I love a 4-day weekend...

Even though yesterday was Turkey Day and I spent quality time with my family, I have retreated to the sewing cave today.  Since I won't have to worry about sustenance due to the awesome leftovers...I'm hoping that I can spend every waking minute in the sewing cave...sewing for the next three days.  I have hope people...I have hope! *LOL* 

I've made what I hope is a realistic list, which would be a first, btw!  *LOL*  I've scheduled my daughter to come over Sunday afternoon to take photos...always the interesting part...and I've got all my supplies set up and ready to go.  I'm thinking that last weekend's rest will come in handy in allowing me to get bleary eyed with my sewing over the course of the weekend...I'm hoping!

So I'm sharing my list hoping that the jinx of sharing it won't cause me not to complete it. *LOL*  I've already started on it so I have hope.  Here's the list:

1.  Finish the flare tweed dress - yes I did start it and it needs hems for the dress and lining and the binding sewn down and hand stitched flat.

2.  Remove the sleeves from a jacket which my bodacious biceps have outgrown.

3.  Make another Burda 8869 cardigan from the gray wool knit I just bought from Mood.  

4.  A new make - Vogue 8824 from an emerald green wool crepe purchased a few months ago from Mood.

5.  One more garment from the CIW collection, lined pants from my TNT pattern in the gray fabric.  I need to get back on track with finishing up this collection...this ever expanding collection.

...and if I'm really diligent, I want to make another V1250 top out of an ivory knit...see this list seems doable and realistic right?  Well I hope so.  BTW, did you notice that I used the word hope/hoping quite a few times in this post?  That's because there is a lot of hope involved in the list and this weekend!  

Of course I'll be back with an update later and hopefully some finished garments! always more later!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Lazy Sunday Afternoon

I know yesterday I sounded like I would be sewing gangbusters this weekend ~ well that has not turned out to be so.  Some of it is because I spent a good portion of yesterday in the street.  By the time I got home, got things unpacked and put away and figured out that I spent too much money...*LOL*...I ending up spending the evening sitting in the sewing cave watching television...and that's all I did was watch television.

When I woke up this morning I knew I wasn't going to be knocking garment after garment out of my sewing machine. I just felt lazy and not energized and enervated to spend quality time with my sewing machine.  I did start working on the Tweed Flared Dress...but I think that my mind is moving faster than my ability and/or desire to sew this weekend.  So I'm surrendering to the fact that minimal amount will emerge from my sewing machine this weekend.

Does this happen to you?  Do you start out with the intentions of spending quality time with your sewing machine and then end up with very little to show for it?  Do you feel like if you had just a little more time that you would do more?  Just wondering because that's how I feel today.

So I have nuthin' new to share with you and with the holiday approaching, there's a pretty good chance that I won't have much to share before the weekend.  I'm going to spend some quality time watching television and deciding what to work on after Thanksgiving. always more later!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Meeting Barbara at Mood = More Fabric!

Yesterday I met Barbara Emodi who authors the blog, Sewing on the Edge, and people can I tell you that she's as funny IRL as she is on her blog!  I had the most delightful afternoon and evening with her!

As you can see from the picture above, we met at Mood for some 'light' fabric shopping and then dinner.  Now to be truthful I've been badgering Barbara to meet each and every time she announces that she's coming to New York to see her son.  So after much pestering (I mean non-stop emailing, leaving messages on her blog repeatedly asking her to meet me in NY) I even thought of offering bribes...she finally relented and set up a date to meet.

I'm sure you're asking why I was so invested in meeting her?  Because when I first started my blog, I got about 30-35 visits a day, and at least five of those were mine.  Barbara contacted me and told me that she wanted to include my blog on a list of her Top Ten Favorite Sewing Blogs for an article she was writing for Australian Stitches.

Of course I said yes because someone was reading my ramblings besides me. And c'mon if you're really honest you know you want people to oooohhhh and aaaahhhh over your garments and acknowledge your sewing skill or you wouldn't make your blog public!  Anyway, I've always wanted to meet Barbara to thank her for not only acknowledging my blog but also for thinking so highly of my sewing.

I learned tonight that Barbara and I share a passion for sewing.  Sewing isn't something we do to pass the time.  Sewing is essential to our well-being.  It allows us to breathe, to take stock, to be our true selves.  Honestly, I've only met a handful of sewists who live in that space, who even know it exists.  Barbara is one of those people.  She gets it and I was thrilled to spend a few hours with her.

So at Mood I introduced her to a few of my favorite fabric people, George and Eric, persuaded her not to buy a couple of "iffy" pieces and to definitely buy more than she intended.  Hey, if you want to save money, don't fabric shop with me! *LOL*

After a quick run through SIL Thread and a more leisurely stroll through Pacific Trimmings, we headed off to find food.  Dinner was great because of the conversation way more than the food.  I was actually sad to say goodbye...hopefully we will be able to get together the next time she's in NY because I now think of her as a friend!

On another note, I will be sewing this weekend and alot next week since I'll only be working 2.5 days.  I've pushed picture taking back to the Sunday after Thanksgiving because I want to sew in the zone without interruptions.  Expect a lot of progress posts before the fashion shoot posts.

Finally, I know you don't think that I went to Mood and didn't buy any fabric! *LOL*  I kept saying that I would only get a piece or two, of course I ended up with a little more than that!  Here's what came home with me...

A black/ivory/gray wool knit
(there's still plenty of this on the 3rd floor!)

This is a ponte knit that looks like a laminated
fabric on one side and a brushed on the back
(This just arrived today, if you're in NYC run
don't walk to Mood and buy some of this fabric!)

A silk border print

Another silk border print - this
one is actually down the center of the fabric.
Barbara bought some of this fabric too
because it's so gorgeous!

Don't forget if you see a fabric here on the blog that I've purchased at the Mood NYC store, call the store and ask if they have any left.  I'm sure they would be happy to send you some if you live in the Continental USA.

Stay tuned because I'm "back in the Mood" and there will be much sewing going on at Casa de Sewing Fanatic during the next couple of days... always more later!

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Tweed Flare Dress

As I've slowly been putting fabric back into the shelves, this new piece didn't make it onto one.

Rayon Wool Heather Stretch Twill Suiting
and brown invisible zipper

I purchased it because I wanted to duplicate this Lafayette 148 dress...

After some thought, I decided not to add a metal zipper to the back.  When I wore my Jason Wu dress, I never took off my cardigan.  Even though it's a cool application, it's not something that will be shown often, so no need to apply it to this dress.

I'm starting with my Butterick 5147 dress pattern.  It's getting quite a bit of a work out this season, isn't it?  But I like the flare skirt and it will work alone or with a turtleneck and I have the perfect orange turtleneck to wear with it.  So this is my next project and I still have a few design decisions to make.  I'm not sure if it will go with the City In Winter separates, but that's fine.  Like I said before, I can wear it with a turtleneck or with an orange cardigan that I already own.

It will be a wonderful new addition to my work wardrobe!  Oh and one other thing, the RTW version of this dress costs $648 and doesn't come in my size (which is unusual for Lafayette 148 because he designs great plus size garments!) I will make my version for about $50.  That's a great deal...dress I want in the color and size I want...but for a fraction of the designer price! always more later!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Butterick 5760 - a little of this & a little of that...

Sooooo, I sewed yesterday.  Or maybe I should say I did a lot of pressing then!  *LOL* I got to the sewing cave and I started working on the sweater jacket...and ended up going in a totally different direction.  First I decided that I needed pockets on the jacket front.  What?  I nevah want pockets...but in this instance I clearly saw pockets on the sweater jacket front.

But how to get them there?  And how to make them stand out on the jacket front without them fading into the fabric?  Should I use buttons?  Or a trim?  I was stumbling around a little because I had no clear plan since this was an off the cuff sew.  

To solve the pocket issue, I used the pocket pattern piece that was included with the jacket that's part of the pattern's wardrobe pieces.  This was a big pattern piece that I cut down to fit not only the front of my sweater jacket but also to allow me to jam my hands into them. 

Once the pocket pattern piece challenge was resolved, my next issue became how to make the pocket stand out.  That's when I thought of the new faux leather I just received.  I bought quite a bit of this fabric ~ to use for a piece in a dress, to make a skirt and for some embellishments.  I'm now thinking I might need to get more since there are so many pieces of leather and faux leather in the designer collections for Fall 2012.  

Anyway, I decided to use the faux leather to finish off the edge of the pocket, the hemline and the neckline.  I went back and forth over whether or not to put some on the sleeve hems and finally decided to stick with my "Rule of Three."  

Pocket being applied to sweater jacket front

Faux leather applied to the neckline

Some stats:
Fabric ~
Double sided cabled wool blend sweater fabric

Notions ~
6 - 7/8" Gold Buttons from the collection
2" strips of faux leather cut from the new yardage

Machine Settings ~
* A teflon foot was used to sew the faux leather to the jacket & pockets
* A size 14 stretch needle was used per Sandra Betzina's book, Fabric Savvy.
* Stitch length was set at 3.2, though Sandra Betzina suggests a 2.5 stitch length.

Some other construction information...
Because the fabric was so thick, all of the seams were stitched first on the sewing machine and then serge finished.  This caused the seams to be a little wavy.  To correct this, I pressed them flat using a lot of steam, a silk organza pressing cloth and my clapper, then stitched them flat.  This was done to all the seams, center back, side seams and front bands.  I need to state that this was a time consuming process.  I left the clapper on for a good 2-3 minutes for each portion of the seam to insure that the seams were flat.

While working on the front piece, I must have pulled the right side because the hemline was uneven at the front - AFTER I put the leather strip on.  I debated whether I could pass this off as a design feature, then broke down and removed a portion of the hemline so that both sides would match at the center front.  This meant also removing the faux leather and reapplying it...sewing in the original stitching so that the holes wouldn't show on the finished hemline. Even then, I had to add some stitch witchery to the back of the seam to hold it together because I just couldn't add anymore stitching.

For the buttons I went with the larger gold ones and actual buttonholes.  I know originally I said that I was going to use snaps but that's when I was making a quick and easy sweater jacket.  Once I'd fallen into complicated and complex, it just seemed natural to torture myself by adding buttonholes to the VERY thick front bands.  But the buttonholes went on easily...much easier than I'd anticipated. 

A machine stitched hem was added to the sleeve hems...then the buttons were stitched onto the sweater jacket front bands and my no longer quick and easy sweater was done.

A few more pics on Lulu.  The fashion photo shoot will happen next weekend when my photographer is available.

Sweater jacket open on Lulu

Sweater jacket partially buttoned

Side view with sleeve in pocket

Back view of sweater jacket

Sweater jacket w/Vogue 1250 top

Sweater jacket, V1250 top, TNT pants
all pieces from the CIW Collection

Another piece completed for The City in Winter Collection and I love that it's hefty and warm which I think I'm going to need this winter! always more later!


Related Posts with Thumbnails