Monday, November 25, 2013

Slow Rolling on Vogue 1370

I know that I'm known for knocking garments out 1, 2, 3 and I've been seriously slow rollin' on this one.  I don't know if its because I made so many fall/winter garments so early in the season or if life is just squeezing out the desire to sew right now.  However, I can tell you that I could have finished the dress this weekend if I'd been sewing like I normally do.  I chose to take my time and not let sewing be the focus of this weekend.

I did take pictures of various parts of the construction and they are included here.  Modeled photos will show up sooner or later... 

The neckline was large and stretched out 
so I added a basting line to the neckline

Then after pulling the threads, I pressed the neckline 
back into shape.  This is just one way to do this.

I decided I wanted more houndstooth to show on the sleeve.

Inserting the lining into the dress shell

Adding rayon seam binding to the dress's hem

I had no more black ambiance lining
so I used a steel blue instead

Front of the dress lined
Still need the sleeves added 
and the dress hemmed

Back of dress with a curved zipper 
that somehow works when the dress is on.

I have a few Christmas pieces that I want to sew...but they are simple and may or may not make an appearance on the blog.  Most of the pieces now clamoring to the front of my brain and begging to be made are simple separates.  Garments that will go with pieces already living in my closet, so they will probably be quick sews.

I know that my blogging has been scanty of late and this will probably continue through the end of the year. Lately I just don't feel as if I have much to say and since I'm also not sewing, there aren't any blog posts.  Just don't want anyone to be concerned if it gets quiet here for a minute, I'm not giving up on blogging just taking some time to recharge.

To all who celebrate, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I hope it's filled with love, family, good food and afterwards time to sew! always more later!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sewing but nuthin' to show yet...

As the title says, I'm sewing but have nuthin' to show right now.  However, this says it all about how I'm feeling this week...

From Pinterest

...more later!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Vogue 1370 - Construction Notes

After getting all of the alterations made to the pattern pieces, the cutting out process was just as involved.  There are 14 pattern pieces for the dress all of which must be cut in a flat fabric layout.

The silhouette of the pattern, as well as, the inserts attracted me to this pattern.  I don't think the fabric chosen for the pattern by Vogue was the most stunning or achieved the most dramatic results.  I always saw the pattern in black and white, literally.  Black and white is on trend for fall and this combo produces the dramatic results I think this pattern needs.  So I started with a black double sided wool crepe from Mood.

There was some deliberation over whether to use the scraps of the black 'n white houndstooth wool used in this skirt and this dress...or a black 'n white lacey piece from the collection.  Seriously this piece has been in the collection so long that I have no idea where it came from especially since it's not tagged.  I was leaning towards the houndstooth, then when I was thinking about how I would wear the dress, I remembered my houndstooth shoes and that settled the matter. 

Once all of the pieces were cut out of the black wool double crepe, I cut out the houndstooth pieces. I fused a lightweight black fusible interfacing to the back of the houndstooth scrap prior to cutting the insert pieces out. I wanted to insure that the houndstooth and the wool crepe pieces were the same weight. Also since most of the insert pieces are curved the interfacing will help them hold their shape and assist with stabilizing the seams when sewn to the wool crepe pieces.

I started assembling the back of the dress first. Honestly I did this because the backs are smaller pieces. Putting this dress together is like doing one large jigsaw puzzle and it's important that you not force the pieces together. Each piece has to meet at either end or you throw the center back or side off.  This is NOT a pattern for a beginner or an advanced beginner. You definitely need some sewing experience to handle assembling this garment.

Which brings me to a comment that Nancy asked on the V1370 - Pattern Alterations post, "Could you not have taken your TNT pattern, traced it off, and then sketched the insets on it, just like the Vogue 1370?"  Actually I never even thought of that. That is a viable alternative.  However, I think it would be just as much work as the method I chose.  Even if you'd used either method, I still say that this is an intermediate to advanced sewist's pattern.

Left side with insert

Right side with insert

As mentioned in the construction post I did omit the dart in the left back piece. Although I thought I would make a pleat where the dart portion appears in the lower back so that it would match the insert piece. That didn't work. I ended up removing the pleat and had to hand baste the pieces together to make them fit before sewing them together with the sewing machine. I highly recommend basting sections to anyone else attempting to sew this dress. It gives you so much control and allows you to make sure that the pieces work together easily.

My other tip to anyone making this dress would be to use a lot of steam and liberal use of your clapper. Mine got a serious workout to help seams stay open and flat especially in the areas where the inserts merged. This steam/press was integral to making the inserts work in the dress. That and clipping the seams in stressful spots. I added quite a few more clips in the seams than the pattern instructions suggested.  Having added interfacing to the inserts, I was less worried about clipping those seams and weakening them than if the pieces hadn't been interfaced.

Finally a shot of the front of the dress with the inserts...

I made one change to the sleeves.  I added a 2" band of the houndstooth fabric to the hem of the sleeves. It lengthened the sleeve and made it hit a place on my arm that I like.  It also added some more of the houndstooth to the dress...a design feature that I wanted.

The rest of the dress will be assembled as per the instructions.  I'm adding a lining. However, since my wool crepe is thick I won't be using the fashion fabric inserts as the pattern instructions suggest, instead I will be using lining fabric to minimize the bulk in the back neckline area that I don't want.  

This is a complicated sew. I was wrong to suggest that it wasn't.  I've put about 8 hours of pattern alterations and cutting out the fabric into this and now another 8 hours of construction and I don't have the dress together yet. There is at least another 8 hours because I have to cut out the lining and stitch it together. Then assemble the dress and add the lining, finally doing all of the finishing touches.  I'm going to clock a good 24/25 hours before I finish this it's not an easy sew at all.

I'm not sure that I will do another post on this dress prior to it's reveal.  I think anything relevant can go in that last post. always more later!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

This and That Weekend Edition

Thanks to everyone who left a comment on the last post.  I'm actually leaning towards the oak tag solution and can pick up the supplies in the garment district, I just wanted to know what others thought and did.  So thanks for your thoughtful answers to the question.

+ + + + +

Second, I'm going with the houndstooth inserts for the Vogue 1370 dress. One because those insert pieces are bigger than you guys realize...remember I'm working with larger pieces than the size 8 pictured in the pattern art and two, because the outfit will work with these shoes...

Yes, I do sew based upon my accessories...

*Autumn - you are soooooo right!  I know that this is a houndstooth print but for some reason I keep typing herringbone!  I'm fixing the posts and thanks again for leaving the comment!

+ + + + +

A confession ~ the USPS boxes are still riding around in the trunk of the car.  I thought they had been dropped off but alas they are still in the car. I sincerely apologize to all who are waiting for things for has been a little hectic lately and that's why the boxes haven't been shipped.  So I'm suspending this month's fabric giveaway.  I've got to get the other boxes out first before I can do another giveaway.

+ + + + +

I'm not in the mood to sew...and my current sewing list is not appealing to me. Right now I feel like just sewing separates ~ a skirt here, a pair of pants, a simple dress, a top or a cardigan.  Things that will work with my other garments but don't require a lot of involved sewing.  Things like this:

A top from my TNT dress made from a silk border print

This Ann Taylor dress using B5147

Rachel Roy multi-print pencil skirt

Jacket and skirt with pleather accents

None of this will get sewn anytime's just things I've been lusting after while I haven't been sewing. Will do a little work on the Vogue dress today... always more later!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Transferring your most used patterns?

This is my Question of the Day - "How do you transfer your most used patterns?"

Do you use tissue paper?  Or the pattern paper with the letter and numbers? Oak tag paper like professional pattern makers?  Or do you fuse your paper patterns to lightweight fusible interfacing?

Photo courtesy of Sew Can Do blog

I would really like to know because my TNT dress pattern, pants pattern, skirt and a jacket or two really need to be transferred again to better paper.  But I'm wondering if maybe it isn't time to transfer those patterns to oak tag paper and stop remaking them every couple of years.

So I'm soliciting opinions, answers, suggestions, etc.  I think maybe it's time for the basic ones not to be folded anymore but along with that comes storage issues.  How to store them? Where to store them?  Because the present storage system I have is working pretty well.

I'm really interested and hope that you'll share what you do in the comments! always more later!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Vogue 1370 - Pattern Alterations

This pattern appears to be a simple silhouette with a few inserts.  Let me start out by saying, yeah right! *LOL*  There are 14 total pieces for the dress that includes the front and the right and left back pieces. I look at a pattern by comparing it to my TNT dress pattern because I always think of that as the basis to make any changes to a new pattern.

I started with a Vogue size 24. I can honestly say that if I hadn't had my TNT dress pattern to compare the pattern to, I would be lost.  There are quite a few inches difference between Vogue 1370 and my TNT pattern...which I know fits me with the right amount of ease and the correct proportions for my body. 

There were a number of alterations made to the patterns:

Changes to the front ~
1.  After laying all of the patterns on top of my TNT dress front pattern (which is getting pretty worn and will need to be traced again soon) there were so many things to change.  Trying to match the notches and dots on the pattern pieces, made me a little crazy, but I had to see how the dress was suppose to go together before I made any changes to the pattern pieces. It truly was a big old puzzle!

2.  After getting everything laid down, I started on one side and worked my way across.  I pinned the center front of the pattern pieces to the center front of my TNT dress pattern to use as a guideline and an anchor.

3.  This dress is short.  There is a 5.5" difference between the hemline of the pattern pieces and my TNT dress' hemline.  At first I was going to just add it at the hemline but then I decided to use the lengthen/shorten lines and add the length proportionally.  2.5" at the lengthen/shorten lines and 3" at the hemline.

4.  Thank goodness I had a plan because the alterations were really extensive all together especially on the front.  It took way longer to make them than I originally thought it would. I wanted to be accurate so the final dress will fit correctly.  Also, I needed to make sure that I added in all of the inches I needed without distorting the original style of the dress.

5.  Changed the dart where it appeared on the original right front pattern piece to where it is on my TNT pattern.  I just drew a new dart onto the pattern tissue after I'd enlarged the side seams so that they matched my own. But I didn't change the dart on the left side pattern piece ~ it fell into the same place on my TNT pattern, so I left it alone.

6.  There was only one piece on the front that I didn't change - #3 the insert piece.  Hopefully that won't bite me in the butt later! *LOL*

Changes to the back ~
*The changes to the back weren't quite as extensive as they were to the front.  It was more making sure that the left side and right side pieces were correct and adding a few inches to the sides.

*I also used the lengthen/shorten lines to add the 5.5" to the dress back.

*There are different changes to the left and right side back patterns.  One side required more changes than the other one did. There is a dart in the back left side pattern piece that I'm not transferring.  I don't normally use darts in the backs of my dresses and I won't in this one either.  This is a personal design choice. Another sewist may choose to use the dart.  I just hate back darts pointing at my bodacious behind. 

Final thoughts...
There was a lot of pattern alterations involved in taking this pattern from out of the envelope to matching the dimensions of my TNT pattern.  I used a lot of tape and small pieces of tracing paper.  There was so much work that I only did pattern alterations this weekend, never even turned my sewing machine on.  It took time because at times I stopped to think through what I was doing and I knew that I didn't want to rush the process.

Also, when I went to pull the fabric for this garment I ran into a small challenge. I couldn't decide between the black 'n white houndstooth or the black 'n white lace for the inserts.  I turned to Instagram for opinions but I'll ask here too since I haven't cut anything out yet.

Here is the collage. Feel free to leave your opinion in the comments on which combo you'd choose and why.

Top left - black double wool crepe and houndstooth
Bottom right - black double wool crepe and lace

I will let you know what I finally decide since I'll be cutting the dress and sewing it next weekend. always more later! 

Saturday, November 09, 2013

A Night with friends in "A Little Black Dress"

I had a great evening last night.  Sewing, good friends, new friends, designer fabric and food were involved ~ the perfect kind of evening in my book!  Well hey y'all know I'm obsessed!  *LOL*  I attended the Little Black Dress Party for PR Day at Elliot Berman's!

I'm gonna lead with pictures because thanks to my handy iPad I actually took a few...

Playing the "Name that Fabric" game

The contestants from the "Design It!" Contest
Kathleen & Liesl

Claudine, Kyle, Mary, Liesl, Bonny and Sharon

Liesl and Michael

I did have a wonderful conversation with Liesl who is the owner of Oliver & S Patterns about grading her new women's line, Liesl + Co., up to plus sizes. Thanks Liesl for putting up with me and letting me make my point!  See her new women's line, here!

Holding the winnings ~ fabric goodness!

Me, Clio & Deepika

 ...and this is what I won for answering a question...Valentino was the answer...

2 yards of amazing Missoni goodness!

Finally, Kathy Marrone, the Editor of Vogue Pattern Magazine and I spent quality time talking about sewing.  Peoples, this was truly the highlight of my evening especially when she said that she reads my blog!

It was a great evening with friends, however, please check out my fellow bloggers take on the evening....Clio - Clio & Phineas, Peter - Male Pattern Boldness, and my date for the evening ~ the awenessness herself, Oonaballoona!

A special thanks to Matthew and Eugenia proprietors of Elliot Berman Textiles for hosting such a wonderful event and giving away such great fabric gifts!

(courtesy of Oonaballoona)

and Eugenia

Peter's cousin Cathy won "The Best Little Black Dress" contest and won an awesome piece of Chanel Tweed.  Seriously Peter if you aren't making Michael a jacket from that tweed we really need to talk! *LOL*

I'll be spending the evening and most of tomorrow in the sewing cave, my Vogue pattern arrived and I'd like to have a new dress before the weekend is over!!! always more later!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Sunday Best

When I picked up this wool/poly blend gingham from Mood, I knew exactly what I wanted it to be.  A sleeveless version of my TNT dress with white piping...

I played around with several other options but I kept coming back to this simple silhouette which highlights the fabric because that's what I really wanted ~ to highlight the fabric.  Here are a few ginghams from the Mood online store.

I saw this picture of gingham style outfits in the November 2013 issue of Vogue Magazine and I knew I was on the right track.  Even when making my wool boucle jacket, I knew that I really wanted the two pieces to work together...

Notions ~
White bemberg lining
22" pink invisible zipper
White rayon seam binding
White bias binding
White satin piping

Construction Information ~
Since this dress is made from my TNT dress pattern, which I've made quite a few times already, it was a simple sew. After I pre-treated the poly/wool blend fabric, I had a few decisions to make. I couldn't decide whether to go simple and let the fabric speak or add some obvious embellishment like lace. I finally went with simple because it can be dressed up or down. So the dress is lined with white bemberg rayon lining. It has an invisible zipper closure and white piping at the neckline and armholes. All of these techniques have been reviewed here in other blog posts. Highlighting the amazing piece of fabric was what I really wanted and what I went for in the end.

At one point the boucle and the gingham fabric were laying on the sewing table together so it was just natural to make the dress to coordinate with the jacket.  Plus doesn't my pink hat look amazing with the two pieces?  And even though it's fall, I definitely have a pastel vibe going on which is also a trend for fall.

A few more pictures of the jacket, dress and hat...

I know that many sewists enjoy the challenge of making a variety of patterns. Me, I just wanna sew and own a lot of clothes.  Yeah I said it! *LOL* When a silhouette works for me and can be made on trend through fabric and styling, I'm going for it using a TNT pattern over and over every time!  Most people who don't sew don't even notice that it's the same silhouette/pattern anyway.

One more thing...about the photos.  These were taken with the new camera on the same day that the last post's pics were, so I had no opportunity to put the tips that everyone so generously shared into action.  I do understand about the shade/cloudy day, golden hours of photography giving the best pictures but I have to admit that I like the drama of the sharp background highlighting the garment. I can honestly tell you that we took 100+ photos last Sunday. Then my daughter and I sat in front of the computer and culled it down to about 30 pics. After that we culled again, then cropped and changed the exposure on some, that's how the final pictures were chosen. 

I won't belabor the taking of photos in too many more posts because it's getting colder and honestly I'm going to have to head inside soon. I felt so bad last Sunday because at one point my granddaughter kept going "Mama I'm cold!" to her mother, the photographer. So the bad is coming soon peoples ~ cause I still have to learn how to take pics with a remote by myself. I'm sure that's going to be an adventure unto itself! *LOL*

Lastly, I have one more dress that I want to make and it's not from the Five in Five collection.  I fell in love, seriously head over heels in love with this dress from the latest Vogue Pattern release...and I HAVE to make it now. 

I've ordered the pattern and am waiting for it arrive...I have an idea that I'm chomping at the sewing machine to make.  I'm also going to make a muslin, yes you heard me...a muslin for the Butterick coat.  I want to make this correctly, no jerry-rigging so look for that muslin soon!  Shew that was alot right? always more later!  


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