Sunday, February 24, 2013

Vogue 8742 Red and Rouched

 Vogue 8742 is finally done.  After getting it almost completed last weekend, I finally finished the hem today.  Here I am doing my best interpretation of the pattern envelope:

As you can see, I made View B.  And in red, no less.
This really is a very easy pattern.  There are just 6 pattern pieces and they go together perfectly.  The dress is a simple, shoulder seam princess dress with or without sleeves.  The gathered sides are what make the design and they are very easy to sew.  A beginner could handle this pattern easily.

I used red ponte knit from Hancock Fabrics to make this dress.  It sewed up beautifully with no problems.  Here's a little close-up of the side gathers.  Sorry about the shadow- my photographer is only 11!

I cut a 14 through the shoulders, a 16 from bust to hip, and an 18 from hip to hem.  The vertical princess seams make it very easy to grade from size to size for a custom fit.  In the end, I ended up taking the skirt in about a half size from the hips down.  so I guess you could say it's a size 17 on the bottom.

 I made a lot of fitting adjustments, mostly in the area of length.  I began with a 3/8" petite adjustment above the bust.  I also did a 1/2" princess FBA to give me a little extra length right over the fullest part of the bust.  I then added 1 3/8" of extra length at the waist- all standard adjustments for me.

Thank goodness I thought to check the sleeve circumference before cutting.  The sleeves are drafted rather narrow.  I ended up adding 1 1/4" at the fullest part of the bicep.  I could have added a smidge more, but I think they're okay.

I also shortened the sleeves by about 2 1/2."  I admit I got a little crazy.  I should have stopped at 1 1/2."  As it is the sleeves are slightly short on me, but it's alright because I always push my sleeves up, so no one will ever really know.

There's one other adjustment I had to make that stemmed from a mistake.  The dress is supposed to have a slit at the center back with a hook and eye to close the neckline.  I was happily sewing along with my mind on other things when I realized I had basted the CB seam and completely serged it... without leaving the slit!

At that point it was too late to try to pick it out and correct it.  So I left the CB seam and I trimmed the neckline seam allowance back by about 1/2."  I added a self fabric band by cutting a strip on the cross grain and folding it in half lengthwise.  I made sure the band was slightly shorter than the neckline and I eased it onto the dress.  Once it was sewn on, I pressed it away from the dress and topstitched about 1/16" away from the seam to hold the seam allowance down inside.  No one will ever know that it wasn't supposed to be that way all along.  (And yes, it fits over my head just fine!)

This pattern seems to be drafted rather short.  Even after adding over an inch to the length, I still had barely enough fabric to turn up a 1" hem and keep the finished hemline right at mid to high knee level.  If I made it again, I would add a little bit extra for insurance.  I suppose it's okay, though, to show a little bit of knee since the bodice is so covered up.

I quite like this dress.  The princess seams are flattering and easy to adjust and sew.  The side gathers are also easy to sew, but add a lot of drama to what is really a very simple dress.  And of course it's a knit dress, so it's comfortable and easy to wear.

When I bought this fabric and chose this pattern from my stash three weeks ago, I had no idea this would be such a popular garment.  I've seen at least four of these around the web in the last couple of weeks.  It's kind of strange that an OOP pattern would be so popular all of a sudden.  But I suppose that just goes to show what a great pattern it is.

I could see myself making this again.  The sleeveless version would be good to have for summer in a bright fabric.  It would be easy to add a short sleeve or even just a little cap sleeve as well.  You could also easily scoop out the neckline to give it a different look.  I even saw a color blocked version on Pattern Review the other day.  If you have this pattern in your stash, take it out and give it a go.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Vogue 8682 Snow Leopard

I finished Vogue 8682 Friday night and I'll be wearing it to work tomorrow to road test it.  So far I'm liking it very much.

I used the black and white leopard ponte that I bought during my retail therapy session last weekend.  The finished dress is soft, comfortable, and warm.  I think it will be perfect for my cold office.

This is a Very Easy Very Vogue pattern, and it was indeed easy to put together.  The skirt is princess seamed and the cross-over top has pleats in front and darts in the back.  The dress is designed for "crepe back satin, lightweight double knit, and stretch wovens."  My fabric has plenty of stretch so I cut the back bodice on the fold and eliminated the zipper.  It worked out well for me, although I did run into a little fitting issue that I think was due to my fabric choice.  More about that in a moment...

I like this pattern because it is relatively simple.  I like the vertical seams in the skirt which make fitting a breeze and are also visually slimming.  The cross over top is flattering, and unlike some other patterns, offers plenty of coverage.  The dolman sleeves are also easy to fit and mean no setting in of sleeves!

I cut a 16 from neck to hip and an 18 from hip to hem.  I made a muslin of the bodice which indicated that no FBA was needed.  However, I used cotton with no stretch for the muslin.  My fashion fabric is rather heavy and has stretch.  When I put the bodice together and tried the dress on, I found that the top was way too big.  The empire seam was halfway down my ribs and the dress looked like a bathrobe on me.  A pretty spiffy bathrobe, but a bathrobe none the less.

The sleeves were also loose and sloppy.  I had already finished the neckline by serging clear elastic to the front edges and then turning and top stitching them.  The back neck was finished with bias tape.  I was too lazy to take everything apart at that point (and worried that I would destroy the neckline if I tried) so I took the easy way and basted a new seam from neck to wrist taking the top up by about 1.25."

This snugged the bodice up and brought the under bust seam to the right place.  It also made the sleeves nice and comfortably snug so that I can now push them up and they will stay nicely.

I could probably stand to take the skirt in ever so slightly.  In fact I could have just cut a 16 all the way to the hem with this knit fabric.  But I don't mind it being loose, so I'll wait and see.  I would kind of like to try this again in a woven and see how the fit works...

With V8620 finished and in the closet, I have started my next dress project, V8742.  Here's a sneak peek:

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sewing on the Horizon

Recently I applied for a promotion at work.  I was really excited about it.  I had prepared really well and thought I had an excellent chance of getting it.  I interviewed twice and felt good about both.  So on Wednesday night of last week, when I found myself near a fabric store, I couldn't resist picking up a couple of fabrics:

The print on the left is a poly knit in shades of black, cream, brown, and teal.  I was thinking a wrap dress maybe.  The red on the right is a ponte knit.  I LOVE this type of fabric.  I'm thinking a sheath dress with some interesting seaming or details.

On Thursday I received the news that they decided to go with someone else for the position.  I was (am) crushed.  So what could I do but indulge myself in some retail therapy on Saturday?  Besides, Hancock's had all kinds of goodies on sale.  So back I went and I picked up these beauties:

Wow.  Can you tell I was disappointed about the job?  Where is the color?

Oh, well.  These are really great fabrics.  The zig zag stripe on the left is a ponte knit, but it's very light and drapey.  I haven't made a final pattern selection, but I'm sure whatever I make out of this will be fabulous.  The "leopard" print in the middle is also ponte, but it's very beefy and almost fleece-like on the inside.  The print on the right is a poly knit.

Since the middle fabric is so beefy and warm, and since we will have a few more chilly days before spring, I decided to make that one up first.  I've chosen Vogue 8682, an OOP Very Easy Very Vogue pattern:

I was originally thinking I'd use the long sleeves and the shorter skirt.  But after holding the pattern tissue up, I realized that those "shorter" sleeves actually look more like the long sleeves on my little T-rex arms.  I will need to make a muslin to check the sleeve length and to see if I need an FBA.

Interestingly, the pattern pieces revealed that there is a back shoulder dart on this pattern that is not evident on the technical drawing.  Hmmm.

In other news, the Simplicity pants I teased about in the last post are almost done.  I've been moving very slowly on them because there has been so much going on, and because, well... pants aren't that exciting.  I'd much rather sew (and wear) pretty dresses.

How about you?  Do you have any dresses on your cutting table?  Any spring sewing plans?