Updated Vintage: Vogue 1213, part 1

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So I fell in love with an embroidered linen, on line.  Bought it, and then had to consider how to use it.  I knew I wanted a skirt, but I needed a pattern with simple lines.  I had had my eye on the top for Vogue 1213 (Lanvin-Castillo) for some time (the jacket too).  I thought I could make a work and heat friendly version of the the skirt and blouse.  One day I will make the jacket, not for a suit, but for jeans.

Lo and behold, I went to make this, and was missing the directions.  I made an appeal and Kate of Fabrikated emailed me photos of the directions from London.  I love our sewing community!  Thanks Kate!

This is an easy, easy skirt: front, back, pocket, waistband.  I didn’t really need the directions for the skirt.  But it was nice to know that I had planned to do the pocket the same way.  You see, the pocket is hidden in that front pleat!!

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The pockets were cut in batiste. I’m basting the pocket to the fashion fabric, right sides together.  The center line with pins is the cutting line.

I still had to do a muslin, as the pattern I had was for someone teeny tiny.  I needed to add 4 inches of girth.  I ended up adding most of it to the side seams, but did shift the center back and center front off the fabric fold by 1/2 inch (one each each total) to shift the darts and pleats to the right place.

I was also watching Susan Khalje’s Couture dress on Craftsy and decided to try out a few things:  the way she cuts out the fabric and uses stitching lines – not cutting lines, how she marks the backing fabric/underlining, and her hand stitched lapped zipper.

 

So the details:

Pattern Description: Vogue Paris Original 1213 by Lanvin-Castillo. “Slim skirt has side front pockets.”

Fabric:  Embroidered linen (white on black) from Farmhouse Fabrics.  Underlining (and pockets) Japanese cotton batiste from Emma One Sock that’s been stashed for some time.

Pattern Sizing:  Size 12, but the old Vogue 12, with a bust of 32 and hip of 34.  I wish.  See above.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes, but the linen isn’t as drapey, and mine is shorter on me. I’m still not sure I like the length, but I’ve got some room to play – and when I do the blouse I’ll post a photo of me in the outfit for comments about the length (hits me mid/lower knee).

Instructions? Great – though I only half used them. I’ll really need them for the blouse.  I love the old school directions.

 

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The hidden pocket

What do you like or dislike about the pattern?  Clean lines, simple. The pocket hidden in the pleat is really cool – it’s not really on the side, but further in on the hip.  They aren’t that deep/big though, so don’t expect to stick your heavy keys or smart phone in there.  I also liked that this skirt is underlined, rather than lined.  I’ve come to prefer this treatment.  It gives the fashion fabric a little something extra, and with linen, reduces wrinkling. I forgot to add in the original post:  when I traced the stitching lines onto the muslin, I noticed the darts were ever so slightly curved – not straight angles.  It made for a much nicer dart, skimming over the curve of the body.

 

Pattern alterations or design changes?  I changed the sizing.  I hand inserted a lapped zipper.  I did serge the seam edges and didn’t give myself enough to do a proper lapped zipper, so I had to insert/baste in some grosgrain, which solved the problem, and stabilized the hip curve.  I also sewed the waist band on according to her out-of-print

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The lapped zipper, with grosgrain added to widen the seam allowance.

book.  There you staystitch the waist, baste grosgrain in place, sew the waistband on, fold it over the grosgrain and finish as desired. The inside of the waist band (facing) is serged, and I sewed it in place by stitching in the ditch.  I finished my edges with the serger instead of hand overcasting.

 

 

Would you sew again? Recommend?  Sure.  I haven’t made a skirt with an actual waistband in a while, so let’s see how I like that in the Florida heat.

Conclusions:  A simple skirt, with a fun pocket that allowed me to work on fundamentals in couture.  While I didn’t apply everything I’m learning from couture classes/books, I think what I did do helped considerably:  from the muslin to the backing to hand placing the zipper.  I feel I improved my skills and I’m happy with the final product.  Surprisingly, I found all that basting quite meditative.  The end process is a skirt that I really love that I feel I did a great job on.  Even though it took longer than normal for me to make, I enjoyed every step of it, which is nice.

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Pictures don’t do it justice.  It doesn’t fit the dress form; on me, the waist sits flat and does not flare out.  A new dress form?  Or just time to go outside for pictures? Or find someone to take pictures?

 

 

 

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Retro & Floral with Vogue 2778; Wearability of the Donna Karan Shirt (Vogue 1440)

IMG_1194Every once in a while, I see a fabric I have to have, and snatch it up. Wait, that’s all the time.  But sometimes, I see something and know exactly what I want to make and even make it up fairly soon after it arrives.  This is true of this floral pique cotton I recently purchased from Marcy Tilton.  When it arrived, I almost changed my mind – it would make a great bath robe too! But I saw a pencil skirt, and it leaped into the front of the project queue.

IMG_0684I’ve made Vogue 2778 before – it’s a 1991 Ann Klein pencil skirt.  I didn’t blog the first time(s) I made it (I made one in the 90s too), but liked the overall fit and feel of this skirt, so I reached for it again.  From my previous experience, I knew I wanted to lengthen it, so I added three inches.  I considered going for midi-length, but didn’t.

IMG_1226There isn’t much to say about construction – it’s a pretty basic skirt.  I switched to the invisible zipper, which I feel I have mastered.  I cut a size 12, but sewed half inch seams to give a bit more ease (I’m not quite a 12, especially in the waist, but definitely not a 14).  The fabric has a fair amount of stretch and is fairly substantial, so I probably didn’t need the ease.  Still, the pattern called for underlining (and this needed underlining, because I wasn’t confident about the recovery on the fabric – didn’t want saggy butt after a wearing or two). I didn’t have anything on hand with stretch, but I did have an amazing, easy to sew silk CDC from Gorgeous fabrics (more ivory than white).IMG_1234

If I make the skirt again, I’m going to change how the facings are done.  Here, it’s about a two inch facing, but needs to be slightly longer to hold the high waist comfortably in place.  It’s also underlined, not interfaced.  I didn’t do that though – I was concerned about bulk, so I used the CDC interfaced with the pro weft medium interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply.  No bulk, but the waist crumpled a bit after a full day at the office (and four of my nine hours today was standing).

IMG_1229I paired it with the Donna Karan top I finished last week – Vogue 1440.  Not the best choice, but I was running out the door this morning and the other tops needed pressing.

As for wearability, Vogue 1440 is SOOO comfortable.  It was 88 degrees

Whoops, the shirt might suffer a wardrobe malfunction if you don't stand still!
Whoops, the shirt might suffer a wardrobe malfunction if you don’t stand still!

today and I was super comfy all day, indoors and outdoors. It doesn’t really look great tucked in with the high waist skirt, though.  And, it has a slight modesty issue with the button placement – at least if you are like me, doing presentations all day and don’t want to worry about flashing folks.  I’m a small b cup, and the top button hits right at the bra band.  I’m going to need to adjust this on the next version and add a modesty snap to this version.

Early morning photos, with no help on pictures with the phone – well, my little boy tried to help as you can see in the last one.

Hey, my photographer is only 3.5!
Hey, my photographer is only 3.5!

Something for Spring… Vogue 8944

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Update January 7, 2015:  I just saw this exact same dress somewhere from Calvin Klein, on sale.  Well, not exact.  The style, colors, etc were the same, but the fabric was poly rayon.

I needed something for Spring … a pick-me-up for this very late, and very cool, spring.  So I did Vogue 8944, and in the same (unoriginal) color scheme as on the Vogue website.

Pattern Description: From Vogue’s website – Loose-fitting, lined dress has yoke front, back zipper and narrow hem. Topstitching.

Fabric Used: For the dress, three different linens. I originally chose a different color scheme, but matching the weights of the linens was critical, so the lovely plum linen will be a different project.  The black and white are both from Gorgeous Fabrics.  The “fine weave” black linen is sumptuous, as Ann describes, and I will be ordering more for some pants.  The blue is hyacinth blue from Marcy Tilton. I lined the dress in cotton batiste.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? The instructions were fine, though I did not always follow them (see below).Image

Things I changed and learned: This was a pretty easy dress.  When I work with something easy, I try to perfect the basics as much as possible.  Here, I wanted to use an invisible zipper, and I’m finally getting them in correctly on the first try.  But that meant that I constructed the front, then the back, with zipper CB, before basting the dress together at the sides. The instructions have you construct the top, then bottom, attach at the waist, then insert the zipper using the slot method. I also wanted to take out some of the ease in the bodice for a more fitted silhouette.  Changing the sewing order and basting the sides allowed me to do that better, and gave me practice matching seams with the color block (basting made that easier).  I also sewed the hem differently (using Claire Schaeffer’s instructions for a machine narrow hem).  Finally, the instructions have you top and edge stitching.  I just edge stitched.

The two areas that I still need to work on: the facing and ease stitching. Getting the facing just right – I simply cannot get it as nice as I want given the instructions (it’s the shoulder seams!) I think one of the shoulders is slightly wider as a result.  I have a few tiny puckers at the waist from improper easing.

Likes/Dislikes: Clean lines, fun, stylish. I wish it was warm enough to wear it.  Only dislike was how loose fitting the bodice was on me.  Of course, I almost always have to take in the bodice and lengthen it. My overall thought is I like it, but I need to continue improving my skills on the basics.  Oh, and pressing with linen?  I think I added a few permanent wrinkles…