Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Sewn: Vogue 8904

Hello again all! And welcome to new readers, I hope you like grey!

A few years ago, I tried on this dress. It was something like $268, and beige, but I almost bought it because the fit was amazing. I felt like a million dollars. Well, except for the beige part. So when Vogue Patterns released 8904, by Marcy Tilton, I snapped it up. And then waited and waited to find the right fabric. I find that fabric shopping is the hardest part of sewing the wardrobe of my dreams sometimes, don't you?

At any rate, there was a scant 2 metres of this fun grey (I know, I know), subtly striped knit on a Fabricland remnant table this winter, and I knew it would be great for this pattern. There was not really enough, and I had to cut a few corners, but I did make it in the end.

And yes, this is my current favourite necklace. You'll be seeing it again.

Pattern Review has loads to say about this pattern, it was one of their top picks for 2013, so head over and check it out if you need more details. Yes, I made a couple of changes. I shortened the base layer above the waist by 1" (there isn't a lengthen/shorten line, I marked a line 2" above the waist and used that). I didn't need to alter the top layers, they still fit on nicely. I cut the bottom piece with the stripes running horizontally, to mimic the original dress, and altered the pattern sleeves to a cap sleeve. The sleeves are still a bit fluttery, but they are ok. And after looking over the instructions, I did my own thing. The first step was too machine baste around every tier piece - unnecessary.

Sneaky lengthening piece.  And side seam matching!

Oh, and since I didn't have enough fabric for the longer version (View A is short!), I cheated and stitched the lowest tier to the inside of the base layer for extra length. That way if the skirt layers flipped up, you would see a stitch line, but not the edge of the lowest tier. Not ideal, but better than not wearable. You can see a lot of wrinkling and puckering in the photos, but a lot of that is not visible in real life. Still, I think this dress does need to be fitted to work well, like the inspiration dress.

Instead of a neck binding, I just stitched the two layers together at the neck, incorporating some clear elastic for stability, and flipped the outside layer to the right side before basting it to the base layer at the side seams. It made for a super clean finish, which I topstitched using a zig zag.

The bad news about this dress is the fabric. If you look at it the wrong way, it pills, and the raw edges are starting to fray! I would love to make this dress again, so I'm keeping an eye out for something amazing.

Hmm. Perhaps some swayback alteration next time?

Marcy Tilton does have her own online fabric shop, but with the current exchange rate, and shipping & duty, that's just not an option right now. Check out those stripes! But when I find some more suitable fabric, I will be trying this dress again. 

Till next time!

Friday, 17 July 2015

Sewn: Named Alexandria Trousers / Butterick 6182 Top

I'm back again, and you may be feeling some deja vu - yes, I have sewn a second pair of Named Alexandria trousers, still grey, but this time, in a woven. Ta da!

I used the same size as my previous knit pair, and I'm happy with the fit. The fabric is a lovely lovely tencel from Leo's here in Toronto. They have it in loads of neutral colours, I was hard pressed to choose! I made one change to the waistband, and created a flat front band from pocket to pocket, using fusible waist banding for a crisp finish. No messing around trying to cut shifty fusible bits for me (I usually only have knit interfacing on hand, I find it good for most projects, but frustrating to cut!). Basically, these are as close to the Eileen Fisher trousers of my dreams without drafting my own as I am likely to get.

Prepared waistband interfacing - quick and easy!

It's been a while since I made a white top, but they are one of my wardrobe workhorses, so I was overdue for a new one. This is Butterick 6182, a Lisette pattern. I bought the pattern specifically for the top, the dart placement and boxy shape really called to me.

Now, I did have to make some changes to the the pattern to get it to work for me. I think the finished version does look like the pattern envelope, but it required some tweaking. I originally cut the size 16, according to my bust measurement. However, when I pinned the tissue together to check the length, I discovered that the upper bodice is very very short. I ended up taping the shoulders/neckline back on, and using the size 22 cutting lines to get the bust marking at my actual full bust. The darts sit just below the fullest part, and I think that's a flattering spot for them. If the darts were higher, there would be a definite maternity vibe on me. Even with the additional inch in length from shoulder to bust, I used a band to finish the hem to preserve the body length, and yes, I realize this is a cropped top. It was just too cropped!

For the hem band, I cut a piece 2" deep, the width of the hem, and folded it in half with the right sides facing out. Then I put the band under the raw edge of the top, and stitched it on with two lines of stitching from the right side. The fabric was too thick for the neck binding/facing, so I used a heavy white jersey from my stash instead.

The fabric is a textured white knit, part of last year's Textile Museum haul. It seems like a cotton blend, it's not that quilted poly stuff that was everywhere this winter (which I also love). I was tempted to make a dress out of it, but I love it for this top. There is some left over, so you may see it again, depending on how much there is. It has loads of body, so I was able to turn the sleeve bands up and they stay put.

 I'm really happy with how this outfit turned out, and I love these pieces so together so much that I have yet to wear one without the other! But I have no doubt that I will, they are both standouts.