Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Hi everyone. I am back, after short hols in St Ives, Cornwall.
I thought, since no sewing is happening here at the moment, I would post a pic of my Vogue 8295 skirt, which I made some time ago, a couple of months I would guess.
You may remember I had said in a previous post that the skirt looked fabulous on the hanger but somehow not quite right when I wore it, and I was thinking of shortening it. Turns out I'm so glad I didn't, as I've worn it several times now and it has grown on me. It's made from a very light yet crisp dupion silk which I bought from Truro Fabrics and I think it's probably better in a longer length as it seems to weigh nothing at all and I suspect it will fly up over my head each time the teeniest little breath of a breeze catches it. Scary. That's another reason for keeping the length. I should have taken some details pics but forgot.
All the seams are bound with rayon bias binding, and so is the bottom of the skirt, which is visible in the above photo. It was my first attempt at binding seams to finish them, and I'm really pleased I tried it. The effect pleases me. I'll definitely be doing that again on other garments. The skirt is unlined, except for the yoke, which is self lined. It has a zip at the side, with a little brass hook and eye above.
I decided to lay the stripes horizontally for the yoke, as I really couldn't bear how vertical ones would never match up, what with all the gathering in the skirt. Again, I didn't take a photo, but the yoke stripes do match up at the side seams, forming chevrons.
This skirt was so simple to make and much more useful than I anticipated, even in the silk. Usually I pre-wash all my silk in the washing machine but I won't be washing this skirt, as the silk has such a wonderful texture and sheen to it. And, you see the lighter pink stripes? Well, when I look down on the skirt when wearing it, those stripes are a definite orange! Love it! I would like to make at least one more of this pattern but there are so many other more interesting things to make right now. I have such a long list of must-makes.
Before my hol I cut out and marked up the top from Vogue 1247:
The shape on me could be great or it could be a disaster. I'll let you know, although I don't envisage being able to get any sewing done for a few days. I have also made a denim Beignet, which should be useful. Will post about it when I get some time. Or, I should really admit, when it fits me! Although it's the same size as this one, I have put on so much timber (hehe) that it's too uncomfortable to wear (as is much else in my wardrobe, including the red Beignet). I am taking action to remedy this! Bring on Davina (yet again), as well as my evening dog walk/run. Yes. I know. I can't believe I have linked to The Daily Fail. But anyway, love her or hate her, Davina's vids are really excellent if you don't want to fork out for the gym membership (or are too lazy to leave home, like me).
Thursday, August 09, 2012
I've now made both views. I think the A-line version suits my figure better at the moment, probably because I made the full-skirted one a bit tight at the waist and midriff (not too tight to wear) and it makes the skirt stick out insanely in the hip area. You won't have seen that in the photos. I think I purposely may have put my hands on my hips (hehe!) I think once I have lost a couple of pounds I have put on this year, the full skirt will look better. I do still really really like the dress, but the hip area is really something I can't reckon with right now.
Anyway, as I was saying, here is my A-line version. I was looking for something to use this fabric for, and it had to be something quite sweet and girly, to balance out the gothic fabric. I knew the Cambie was it right away. I did want to make the full-skirted version but didn't have enough fabric. I'm so glad it worked out that way. No doubt (according to Hugh Everett's MWI) there are many more versions of me all inhabiting their own universe, lamenting the fact that they used this fabric for the full version...but that's a whole other issue - one that crosses my mind often - am I odd? Gosh, I do love pop science! You could say reading about stuff I don't understand is a hobby of mine. Spacetime...don't even get me started on it (not that I know anything about it, but that doesn't stop me).
But back to the dress. For the bodice lining I used some relatively thin white cotton with red hearts, and for the skirt, some really lovely quality red lining from Iana Fabrics on ebay. Oh, and as you will see, I used black lawn on the sleeves and pockets.
I had bought some French ribbon, and had planned to use it inside the hem but couldn't bring myself to hide it, so I just bound the raw edges of the hem with it and it's there for all to see, and it pleases me. Binding hems so it shows is becoming a fave of mine. I also did it with my striped silk dupion skirt but haven't blogged it yet.
I don't think there is much else to say about this dress. We all know it's a great pattern, which is a delight to make. And the dress was much admired at the Christening for which it was made (my mum did ask me if I was making some kind of point, wearing to a christening, but it was not the time to be answering that question!)
How is that for a fabulously matching pattern?!
Monday, August 06, 2012
Yay! I have completed my first ever Burdastyle Magazine pattern! It almost didn't happen though: a few minutes after sitting down to trace off the pattern I had total pattern blindess, and went into panic mode, thinking I would never ever be able to trace off any of this mess. The thing that kept me going was knowing that everyone else manages it, so unless I have the brain of a fruit fly, I should be able to, too. So I did, and actually enjoyed it, after all. I used Kwik Sew Kwik Trace, which is this nylon stuff that can be used as a muslin. Since I didn't use it as a muslin, it was an expensive way of tracing a pattern. I've now got some straightforward tracing paper for future requirements.
I had never made anything by Burda before, so wasn't sure what the fit might be like. As people seem to say that the fit is usually quite true to size, I thought for once in my life I would go by the correct pattern size for my actual measurements (with the big three I always go down a size or maybe two). Now, I don't know if that was where it all went wrong, but good grief, once I had tacked together the side seams, and sleeves, I could see something was definitely wrong. I'm not sure if this pattern is an odd shape or if it just came up too big (the finished garment measurements didn't seem to be on the pattern), but I had oodles and oodles of extra fabric horizontally and vertically, through the midriff section, starting around the waistline. Taking the side seams in didn't help at all, it was just as baggy in the middle, so I ended up pinching out two inches (tapering to nothing at top and bottom) from the V of the waistband, right up to the V of the neckline. That did the trick. The waistband is actually cut on the fold of the fabric, so it shouldn't have a centre seam, but because the front bodice does have a centre seam, it doesn't look odd that the waistband now does, too. I also took out about one inch from each side seam on the skirt. Phew!
The alteration to the midriff suddenly accentuated a really odd amount of baggy fabric on the stomach area of the skirt, which was very unflattering (see the photo below, although the fit is obscured by the pattern of the fabric). I unpicked the stabilising strip from behind the ruching and then unpicked the ruching itself, regathered it and took up a lot more fabric in the gathers. Hey presto! The improvement was dramatic. This dress, in my opinion, should be fairly form fitting through the hip, waist and midriff, in order to show off the shape of the bust and shoulders and hip. If it's too big, it looks like a sack, as you can see here:.
My measurements lined up pretty much exactly with the Burda size 12 on their chart. In fact, my waist size is half an inch bigger. My back length is exactly right, too. I don't know if this pattern has too much ease in it or what, but even so...two inches ?. It's hard to tell, as the shape isn't so straightforward. The sleeves are HUGE puffy, almost batwing things (I like them a lot, as well as having puffed caps, they also have an inverted pleat at the bottom, and the "cuff" is elasticated), so I couldn't tell if they came up bigger than they should have been. I'm not sure whether to go for a smaller size next time. Maybe I will try something really standard, with quite fitted sleeves in order to see how the sizes come up.
One thing I have learnt is that, as long as I cut a big enough size, if I'm too lazy to make a muslin, somehow I will probably be able to make the thing fit me, if I just machine baste each seam, including the zip, and try it on before actually sewing it all together. That's what I did in the case of this dress, and it worked really well.
What can I say? The shape of this dress is a departure from the norm for me, but I LOVE this dress. It is probably the most comfy dress I have. And it has sleeves. I always gravitate to dresses without, but somehow sleeves feel more elegant.
I would love to make this dress again but don't know if I could be bothered with the alterations. Yes, I have altered my pattern pieces, but waistband alteration has curved the centre front seam, so it would mean cutting the fabric differently, not on the fold, etc, etc.
Maybe the solution is to find some other dress patterns with a bit of a 40s vibe going on. I do think I like this silhouette.
Edited to add: I have just noticed that the waist of the dress is a LOT lower on the model in the photo than on me. There seems to be less fabric above the waistband on my dress (I didn't alter that aspect of it) Before you ask, I did add the correct seam allowances, and I did take them into account when sewing!
By the way, the fabric is another Liberty Lawn. And I used some grey bias tape inside the hem, to neaten. All the seams are overlocked on my sewing machine (the dress is not lined, and, due to issues with the fit, it was too tricky to bind the seams with bias tape as I would have liked to).
Look at my dog! She collected all her precious bones and put them on her place on the sofa one evening. Now, that is contentment.