Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Vogue 8972

Vogue 8972 has been finished for a couple of weeks.  It's already been road tested, too.  I've just been waiting for the right combination of good light, an available photographer, and a not-so-bad-hair-day.  I decided to take photos today anyway.

The Princess was my photographer today and I let her play with the camera settings.  I quite like the blue effect, which surprisingly kept the color of the dress pretty true.  Now.  On to the details...

This was one of the dresses released with the 2014 spring patterns. 

From the pattern back:  Lined dress has close-fitting bodice, seam detail, skirt variations, and back zipper. Topstitching. Separate pattern pieces are included for cup sizes A, B, C, D. A, B and C: semi-fitted skirt, back hemline slit and stitched hem. B and F: unlined sleeves. D, E and F: narrow hem. FABRICS: Jacquard, Crepe, Ponte Knit. Also for F: Lace. 

I made view C, with the 3/4 length sleeves and the straight skirt.  I chose this marine blue ponte knit which I got for half price at Hancock Fabrics a few weeks ago.  I had a scant 2 yards- it was cut slightly off grain.

I spent all afternoon laying this out, trying to fit the pattern pieces on the fabric so that I could eliminate the CB seams.  I just could not make them fit with the amount of fabric I had and in the end I gave in and used the layout from the pattern.  Everything fit, but I had to live with the CB seams in the bodice and the skirt.

I did, however, eliminate the zipper.  And the back vent.

I cut my "usual" size 14/16/18, using the c-cup bodice pieces.  I added 5/8" of length to the waist pieces and 1" to the skirt.

I planned all along to eliminate the lining, and instead serged all the seams.  I didn't have enough fabric to cut a facing or even a binding strip for the neckline.  So I stay stitched around the neckline and then turned the allowance in, just rolling the stay stitching to the wrong side.  I then top stitched it down.  It worked very well and I got a nice, crisp finish with no bulk.  Thank you, easy going ponte knit.

I assembled the front of the dress and the back of the dress and basted them together.  My "usual" size didn't work...  The dress was too big.

I think it may have had to do with the fabric.  Ponte knit is listed on the pattern as a suitable fabric, but this one seems a little stretchier than some others I've used.  It's also quite beefy, and heavy.  I think it may have caused the dress to hang a little lower than it might have in a woven fabric or a lighter knit.

I took up the shoulder seams by about 1/4".  I also took the side seams in by an aggressive 1/4" from the underarm all the way down to the hip and the center back from a couple of inches above the waist band to the hip line.  It helped the fit and I went ahead and set in the sleeves and finished the dress with a 2" hem.

I wore the dress to work last week to road test it.  It felt too big.  Even with the adjustments I made I felt like I was wearing someone else's dress.  I knew I could take it in some more at the sides, from wrist to hem.  And I could re-do the hem a little higher.  But before I went to all that trouble, I decided to try one other thing...

I washed the dress in extra hot water and dried it at the high heat setting.  That seems to have done the trick well enough.

If I made this again I would go down one size all over and I would eliminate the extra length I added to the skirt.  I did toy with the idea of making a color blocked version, but looking at the photos now... I don't know.  I'm not sure I like this dress on me enough to make it again.  It is an easy sew, especially in a knit.  The seams are all straight or gently curved and it's easy to ease the bust seams and sleeves.  And I do still like the style lines.  Maybe I need to let it rest and re-evaluate later.

In the mean time, I have another knit dress almost finished.  It just needs a hem.  It's a different style altogether.  Hopefully I'll have it done and can share this weekend.

How is your fall sewing going?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

October Burda Style is Here!

The October issue of Burda Style arrived today.  What a great issue!  There are a ton of things I want to make in this month's magazine.  Here, in no particular order, are my picks for October:

Coat 125:

This is gorgeous.  I love the wide lapels and the wide pocket flaps.  I probably would not use patent leather and I'd leave off the stripe on the sleeve.  The shoulder seams extend to the back- beautiful style lines back there.

Jacket 120: 

This jacket is simple, but has some great details such as the belt and the epaulettes.  I love the plain V-neckline with no lapels.  It also has side panels with modified princess seams

Dress 114:

I love love love this simple knit dress with front and back overlay just as it's shown in striped fabric.  It's offered in dress and tunic length.  I would buy extra fabric- that overlay piece looks rather large in the pattern pages.

 Dress 130:
 I would make this as a tunic/top.  The yoke and shoulder insets give this one some interest and I think this would make a nice alternative to a sweatshirt or sweater on weekends.

Biker Jacket 108:

This is a nifty little jacket, which I quite like in the ethnic print shown.  I would use a darker color- maybe black or navy for the contrast pieces.  The metallic gold is a bit garish to me.  This was also shown in a toned down grey and black combo, but the Princess and I both like this version.  It's a petite pattern so I would have to do some serious adjustments to make it work for me, but it would probably work for the Princess without too much trouble.  I may need to do some fabric shopping...

Waterfall Dress 111:

I love this one.  It looks like just another cowl neck dress (it's also offered as a top) but the neckline folds are cleverly controlled with some pleats sewn at the corners.  I imagine that would make the neckline more modest and suitable for work.

Dress 101:

I really like this dress, but as of now, I have no plans to make it.  I love the horizontal section seams and the clever use of fabric in the model photo.  However, I have made a couple of Burda dresses with these horizontal seams and although I love them and wear them often, fitting is rather finicky to get the seams in the right spots and I'm just not up for that at the moment.  That doesn't mean that sometime down the road I won't come back to this one...

Egg-shaped Dress 127

I am quite surprised at how much I love this.  The dress is shown on the model with a turtle neck underneath and what appear to be tights or leggings.  I would probably wear skinny jeans and boots with it.  Made up in a snuggly fabric, this looks like it would be warm and comfortable and would be a great option for casual Fridays and weekends.  I love the sleeve shape and I'm really curious how this would look made up.  You may see this one soon.

Babydoll Dress 124:

Okay, I actually hate the photo.  I don't like the ribbon around the waist and I'm not crazy about the fussy black lace over the nude lining.  But I think the tech drawing is adorable.  I love the shift sillouette and the way the bodice is gathered onto the yoke.  I'm going to set this one aside until next spring- I think in the right fabric this could be a great dress for warm weather.

Flounce Jacket 122:

Gorgeous.  What else can I say?  Burda shows this with the ruffle edges left raw in a stretch gabardine fabric.  I kind of like it.  It would be so easy to finish the ruffles, though, if you wanted to.  Once again, the design is simple but the impact is high.

Dress 105:

This is probably my favorite look in this issue.  Yes, it's just another simple cowl neck knit dress, but I love the shoulder seams that are extended to the front and the higher, more subtle drape of the neckline. (I even love the textured fabric shown on the model.)  I have a stash fabric in mind for this and you may see this dress made up here soon.

Wrap Coat 113:

I would really love to make one of these "waterfall coats" before the trend dies and this one is a really nice specimen.  The folds in front are very generous and the back looks to have a subtle "swing" shape to it.  I need to find just the right cuddly fabric for this- it would be a perfect alternative to wrapping myself up in a blanket to keep warm at the office.

Sixties Dress 139:

This is my other favorite from this issue, a fabulous shift dress with interesting seaming offered in plus sizes!  This could be so snazzy- fit just right it would be flattering and amazingly comfortable.  It's shown in wool crepe, but I think I might try it in ponte knit.  Color choice will be critical- it needs to be something light enough to show off the seam lines and topstitching.  And in a knit, I could even leave out the zipper.

This month Burda offered some items for "bigger" kids in the children's' section.  A quick check of the measurement chart shows that these are suitable for the Princess.  Here is what she picked out...

Trench cape 146:

I was surprised that she likes this, but she does.  I think it's adorable and I should probably make it up quick so she can wear it for fall.  she would be the only one at school to be sporting a cape!

Pullover dress 144:

She really likes this one, too, and so do I.  It's really just a sweatshirt, but the section seams and multiple fabrics take it to a whole new level.  Again, with jeans or leggings, this would be perfect for school or weekends.

What an awesome issue!  So many great patterns, so little time.  What's your favorite this month?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Burda World of Fashion 01-2008-110

I will never ever ever make these jeans again.  At least not exactly as drafted.

Once again, in a quest to make some jeans for the Princess, I turned to my stack of Burda back issues.  I found this pattern, described alternately as drain/stovepipe and equestrian styled, with knee to ankle zippers and a slim fit.

 They appeared in the magazine three times but were pictured full length only once...

...and the fabric choice and lighting make the details difficult to see.  That's okay, though, the tech drawing appeared to tell the story.

What you can't see in the drawing or the photos is the "lightening bolt" side seam line:

The front pocket ends at the top of the upward pointing zig zag.  There are two inset corners to sew within a two inch span.  In denim.  Where the pocket meets the side seam.  Needless to say, marking and precision sewing are key here.

My seams did not turn out perfect.  But I pressed and then top stitched the living daylights out of those seams and the finished jeans aren't too bad.

That said, I will never do it again.  I might be willing to alter the pattern to take the seam straight from the pocket edge to the waistband- smoothing it out into a gentle curve, but no more lightening bolts for me.

Here the Princess has her hand in the pocket and you can see the stress right there at the point.  I hope that point holds.

I cut a 36, which is one size larger than the Princess's measurements.  I wanted her to have growing room and I also wanted to make sure the pants didn't fit too "skinny."  I ended up taking the center back in about 1/2".  The waistband is contoured and I had to let out the sides about 3/8" on each side.

In addition to the curved, jagged front/side seams and the back seams, there is a separate section attached with a horizontal seam below the knee.  I removed an inch of length above the seam.  I also rotated the bottom so that the seam aligned with the inner leg seam and I left off the zippers.  They are a cool feature, but I didn't have any on hand and didn't want to have to go shopping or agonize over finding the right length.

The fabric is a nice medium weight denim with a tad of stretch that I found at Walmart.  I topstitched all the seams with a rosy tan thread and added a jeans button at the waist.

The Princess is pretty pleased.  She likes the color and style and she says the fit is good.  She's planning to wear them to school tomorrow for a road test.  I'm just happy they're finished.

I'm taking the day off tomorrow and hope to get some sewing done.  I spent yesterday afternoon cutting out my next two projects- knit dresses.  All the seams should be straight or gently curved.  I do not want to see another inset corner any time soon!