This week my employer and my county school board announced their fall plans. I’ll be teaching on line again at the university. My kid can enroll in the digital academy or go back to a physical school. I live in Florida. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Land of heat, humidity, snakes, alligators, mosquitoes, Florida Man, and pestilence (Covid, Zika, Lyme, Dengue). So, yes, I’ll be teaching at the university and monitoring/teaching my kid at home at the same time.
That means Zoom. Even though I’m at home, I still feel like I ought to dress for class, not just prepare lecture/discussion materials and drone into the camera. I still need to lead and set an example. Zoom just shows from the shoulders up (if you remain seated), so I’ve been thinking about blouses/interesting necklines. Clothes may be superficial to some, but for me, they are like armor. I great, well-fitting outfit gives you a +10 boost of confidence.
Enter the new Vogue release, V1701, view A. Sure, I’ll be seated. but I paired it with Butterick 6718, View E.
The top: Vogue 1701, view A.
I fell in love with this top when it was released earlier this summer. I know, not for everyone, but I loved the collar, the sleeves, the fact that it oozes both style and comfort. Sarah Sheehan of Pattern Vault notes that it is the Row’s Abel Blouse.
My fabric is deep stash: I think it is my first purchase from Emma One Sock, back in 2012. It’s a linen-silk blend, very soft, and with more body than I thought. I didn’t have enough fabric for the sleeved version, so I opted for the one that strongly resembles Marfy 1913 (excepting the collar). The fabric is a beautiful rust that gleams. It seems sheer, but doesn’t wear sheer. It’s gauzy though, which means a shifty grain.
There’s not much to note about the construction except the following.
- The top has oodles of ease. I mean it. I’ve been wearing a 12-14 in Vogue patterns, though depending on design of the blouse, I may size down. Size down. Just do it! I first cut out the Medium (size 12-14), and after I basted it together, I re-cut it in the small. Much better.
- The grain – never mind my fabric – may be a challenge. The collar is cut on the bias. It is interfaced with sew in interfacing (I used a silk-cotton voile in my stash). You sew invisibly along the roll line (how in a sheer fabric? I used a pick stitch). You need to watch for stretching. The instructions tell you to stay-stitch the armholes to prevent stretching, but the front shoulders are also on the bias, and will stretch.
- I’m not sure why the Big 4 are all into finishing armholes with purchased bias tape. I’m seeing it in patterns more and more. That wasn’t going to work, so I made my own with self-fabric.
- This fabric frayed like mad, so I made sure to finish the shoulder, side and back seams with French seams. I used a Hong Kong finish with self fabric along the zipper.
I love this blouse, and already have plans to complete the other view.
The Pants: Butterick 6718, view E.
Butterick 6718 is part of my six outfits for 2020. That’s not going well, as I’ve only completed one of the six thus far. But I thought I would test the fit and wear of the pants, using another deep stash fabric. I’m glad I did.
The linen is to die for. No really. I bought this back in 2013, from Marcy Tilton, I think as a roll end. It’s been marinating in my stash for all this time, destined to be pants. It’s a very fine cross-woven linen – black with a light taupe cross weave. The effect is a warm pewter color. It’s the kind of fabric that sews most beautifully.
I made a muslin, size 12. I was expecting to have to let out a bit, as I’m still between a 12 and 14, even after weight loss. I was mortified when I couldn’t even zip them half way up. I peeled them off and went to watch Outlander re-runs.
The next day, I looked at them again, and at the pattern, and it dawned on me. The waist is supposed to sit at the natural waist (it does NOT on the model). Yet, the rise wasn’t even close to my natural waist. There is a full 8 inches between the natural waist marking and the fullest part of the hip marking, but that was all wrong for me! How had I never noticed this in pants before? I added two inches at the shorten/lengthen line, and voila – they zipped with no problem.
The construction on this is a piece of cake. Once the fitting issue was resolved, they went together quickly. Still, I think I could use a touch more ease in the hip/upper thigh, as I don’t think they will be comfortable sitting in for long periods. That, or use a fabric with stretch.
Tia Dia of Mezzo Couture recently posted about finishing the insides and how it makes you feel special, even if no one else can see. I really like when I do something special to finish the inside, even if no one else knows. With the top, I used couture finishes. One of my favorite things is to finish the facing edges of pants with leftover scraps from other projects.
Parting Shot from the Garden