Double Knit Comfort in Vintage Style (Vogue 9187)

I have some things I want to finish, and a few new, more complex projects on the way.  But first, a quick comfortable, yet stylish top.  Vogue 9187 is a re-release of a 1960 close-fitting top.  I think I have a version of the original pattern from my grandmother (it has buttons up the back).

img_3195I first did the muslin on this sometime last year, with handkerchief linen in mind.  This top is too close-fitting for linen.  I had some of the rayon/spandex double knit left over from making my niece a dress, so I thought I would adapt the pattern for a stable knit.

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I made view D, in a size 12.  There is very little ease here (great for a knit).  I eliminated the back zipper (placing the seam line on the fold).  I lengthened the torso 2 inches; this one barely came to my belly button, so that was necessary.  It’s still a bit short, but since it’s designed to be worn untucked, it’s okay.  For a bit more wearing ease, I sewed 3/8 inch side seams.  This led to some gaping under the arms.  To fix this, I tapered to 5/8th seams under the arm, starting about two inches down.

 

If I had given it any thought, I would have changed how to do the facings for the neck and arm holes.   With no back zipper, you can’t simply pull through, as instructed.  So, I stitched the neckline, under-stitched, and pressed.  Then I use the techniques from inserting a lining from Susan Khalje’s Couture Dress class to hand sew the facings in for the arm holes.  Took longer, worked just fine.

I love this top.  I will probably try the true vintage one I have first though before doing this pattern soon (I have a duppioni in mind and the buttons down the back would be pretty).

And, yes, I know, I have to get some pictures of these things with me in them.  Just haven’t wanted to photograph myself lately.

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A basic skirt: Very Easy Vogue 9209

After the Donna Karan jacket, I wanted something easy.  I chose this skirt. Yes, very easy, but it still took a couple of weeks to finish.  By that I mean, I did everything but the buttons/buttonholes in an evening, got distracted by life for a couple weeks, then finished it.

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Vogue 9209 (from 2016) is a true wrap skirt for crepe, gabardine, ponte or lightweight denim.  I chose a khaki cotton twill with loads of stretch that I  purchased from Emma One Sock in 2014. I was saving it to make a pair of cropped khakis, but finally realized I would never do that. The fabric has a nice weight to it with some good stretch, so I thought this would make a versatile skirt. I used pro-weft supreme medium interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply.  The beautiful, high-quality brass-toned buttons come from Pacific Trimming (I’m not sure where the flat clear buttons I used on the inside came from).

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Close-up of the buttons.

I followed the pattern instructions pretty faithfully, making the midi version (B). Since my weight gain has been in the tummy/hips, and I’ve always borderlined 12/14, I chose size 14 (but it still feels big in some ways).  The only thing I did different on this pattern was to underline all the facings (something by hand).  There is one error in the pattern – the placement for the interior buttons is off by two inches.

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The interior placement of the buttons is off.  I later trimmed the loose threads from those buttonholes.  Note that I machine under-stitched in most places, but around the corners of the buttons I under-stitched by hand.

The pictures were mostly taken after wearing all day (and thus show wrinkles). As for wearability?  This is an okay skirt. It’s sits 2 inches above the waist – and after two decades of low-waisted skirts/pants I’m just not accustomed to that.  The overlapping fabric means a lot of fabric in the front, and it sometimes bunches.  It only calls for two inside buttons, and I’m thinking more are necessary.  The one thing I don’t like?   How my knee kept grabbing the front hem/facing.  It stays modest (mostly closed) unlike many wrap skirts.

In the end, an easy skirt, but I’m beginning to think the pencil wrap skirt isn’t really my favorite style.

 

 

A big project, not hard, but big: Vogue 1440, Donna Karan fringe jacket OOP

No really, this jacket isn’t hard, but all the detail requires a great deal of attention and patience.  Much of the work is tedious, such as making all that piping.  Still, I am pretty happy with the result, and the style is more relaxed and fun than my usual work wear (which is highly tailored, traditional).   I encountered various problems throughout the project, these problems are addressed throughout the overview.

To start, from the pattern (Vogue 1440, OOP, though a 2015 release): “Unlined jacket has fringe, shoulder pads, draped front extending into back collar, wrong side shows, seam detail, no side or shoulder seams, two piece sleeves, mock band on upper sleeve, and continuous bias for piping and finishing seams.”  Note, nothing in the description discusses fit. It’s got a fair amount of ease, but most of that is due to the drape; the fit across the shoulders and upper back is semi-fitted to fitted.  And note – there is no provision for adjustments above the waist (such as for a long waist).  This is definitely a more casual jacket – or really – draped open cardigan.

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Vogue 1440, fashion photo from the pattern.

By the way, for this pattern, I had to study the instructions, the line drawings, AND the photograph to figure out some of the details.

About the fabric:  The pattern calls for lightweight tweeds, cotton blends.  I concur.  This jacket could easily overwhelm many frames, so keep the fabric on the lighter side. It’s also going to show on the reverse side, so keep that in mind.  I used a no longer available lightweight cotton blend tweed from Emma One Sock.  I scooped it up right when the pattern was released, not realizing that the reverse was going to show, primarily on those big collar “lapels”.  My reverse is more vanilla and black and far less red than the face side.  No worries, I cut it so the “face” was the reverse.  The collar covers all of the front of the jacket and also functions as the bottom few inches of the jacket.  If you look carefully you can see that the bottom front is a different shade than the rest of the jacket.  My fabric was also loosely woven, which meant that it shed to look at it. To help manage this, I cut the pattern pieces out, but left a wider seam, which I trim down with a rotary cutter right before sewing the pieces.  You don’t want to use fray block, because you do want some of those edges to fringe later. But I couldn’t wait to clean my sewing room.  It also stretched a bit on some of the pieces, leaving the shoulders slightly out of shape, so consider stay stitching some of the edges.

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If you look at the bottom of the jacket, you’ll note the reverse shows, and is a different color. I preferred the big collar part to be more red than vanilla/black, so I attached it in a way that favored it.

You’ll also need a lightweight fabric for all the piping and binding.  All of the piping pretty much is visible – but so is some of the binding.  I was glad in the end that I chose a lightweight silk charmeuse from Gorgeous Fabrics in one color for consistency across the jacket.

Notes on the The Piping and the Binding: it’s tedious.  The end.  No really, you will make 10 yards of piping.  You could purchase ready made, but most of that is low quality and fairly stiff.  For the piping, I found that using a piping foot (instead of the recommended zipper foot) to make the piping resulted in a tighter pipe. I also found that a piping foot worked better to construct the seams – except in those several occasions where you’ll have crossed seams.  With the crossed seams, use the zipper foot.  In addition, you definitely want to baste the piping as instructed, but you’ll also find that basting the seams together help keep the fabric from shifting.   By the way, in a size 12, I used slightly more than 9 yards of the 10 yards I made.

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Ten yards of piping.

I don’t recommend using the pattern piece to make the one long piece of continuous binding.  It’s only one inch wide, and if your fabric is at all thick you won’t have enough width for turn-of-the cloth (and in places you’ll have multiple layers to bind).  Cut your own strips, and slightly larger, which is what I did.

Fitting:  I read all the reviews on PatternReview, and almost everyone spent a great deal of time on their muslin.  In some cases, the changes really worked, but the jacket lost the original soul (though they looked amazing!).  I originally trimmed the pattern pieces to a size 10 (two years ago), but decided the better of it.  I had kept the trimmed edges and taped them back on.  When I made my muslin, I learned two things. One, that construction was pretty easy (excepting attaching the collar), and two, my regular size (12) fit best between the shoulders and across the back.  Wearing it today at work, I’m glad I did the 12, because I didn’t have much wiggle room when lecturing/gesticulating.  I also didn’t feel the need to add my usual length in the torso for my longer waist.  Remember, the muslin fabric is different than the fashion fabric.  I find the shoulders a bit more extended than I’m used too (about 1/4 inch); they fit the model this way as well. The sleeves are very long and narrow/fitted, which I really like.

Making the toile helps you practice matching up all those seams.  If you look at the fashion photo, you’ll note that the front piping all lines up on one side, but not the other.  They should match up according to the line drawing.  I basted seams to make sure mine met.

More on seam binding:  The inside of the jacket is quite beautifully finished.  It really is, except there are times when the seams don’t extend far enough to be caught up in the next set of seams, and you have a raggedy edge (as in the photo).  I used some silk embroidery thread and hand satin stitched over this.

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note how the seams aren’t caught in the binding and are hanging loose

Okay, let’s talk about the fringe, seam binding and grosgrain:  I bought this pattern immediately when it came out, so Vogue may have fixed this later in later editions.  I don’t know because they don’t have an errata on their website. But you will NOT cut enough fringe if you cut using the pattern piece they provide.  It’s simply not long enough, by quite a bit (about 12-15 inches if I remember).  The first three are fine for the top of the collar and the two sides, but the fourth piece for the bottom band is simply too short.  I had to piece the bottom band using leftover fringe from the sides of the collar.  It worked, but I was annoyed.  I also meant that I didn’t have any fringe left for the sleeves.  Since I wasn’t crazy about that, I didn’t care too much.

I studied the instructions and photo for quite some time to understand how the fringe would work and look after construction and fringing.  You apply the quarter inch grosgrain (I used petersham) to the placement line.  It doesn’t say how in the instructions – centered, top of the grosgrain to the bottom of the line or on top of the placement line.  I chose top of the grosgrain to the bottom of the placement line.  This results in a shorter fringe, which I preferred.

Second, you place the grosgrain on the right/face side of the fabric.  This means that all along the front, on that beautiful draping collar, is not grosgrain, but binding.  For me, that was far less attractive (see photo). The bound edge is not stitched down, and due the grosgrain placement, left an opening of about 3/8″ inch.  So, I used my leftover grosgrain and applied it over the binding.  Better, but now I  no longer had any grosgrain for the sleeves.  I was okay with no fringe on the sleeve, but I had planned to keep the grosgrain detail on the sleeves.   If you don’t do what I did (cover the binding), you’ll use far less grosgrain than the 5 yards listed in the notions.

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This is the front of that big lapel.  The seam binding is not tacked down here and can flip up. You could either top-stitch the loose edge (not in instructions) or apply the grosgrain for consistency (also not in the instructions).  I chose grosgrain. (This looked worse IRL than in the photo).

Take a real close look at the photo of the collar in the fashion shot.  The fringe is not fringed all the way to the black trim – that’s because the grosgrain (on the reverse of the collar) is lower than the binding.

And finally, the finishing details.  These were almost completely missing from the instructions.  Oh, sure, fringe the fringe, hem the sleeves and go.  Nope. All the tails of the binding are mingled in with the fringe and they are ugly.  You can’t fringe near the seams (including the mitered corners and CB seam).  The photo on the left below is before, with both the binding and piping hanging down. I painstakingly undid the stitching up to the grosgrain and careful trimmed excess binding and piping out of sight.  No need to finish them any more because they are caught in the two rows of stitching for the grosgrain. The photo on the right is the trimmed and completely fringed edge. Finally, you may find that you’ll have to lightly tack down some of the seams on the inside, if they still don’t behave after pressing and a clapper.

Overall: I like it, I’ll wear it, but it’s not likely I’ll make it again.  Still, it looks great, and made me really think about my own sewing skills and how to improve them. I left for work before it was light enough for pictures, but here it is on the dress form before I finished hemming the sleeves (they are basted in place) or doing a final pressing:

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Front view.
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Back view, before final pressing.

 

Summer Dress #2: Vogue 1089 (OOP)

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This dress took a while – not in terms of actual time sewing, but due to interruptions and distractions.  Even though I used mostly only couture techniques, this dress goes together quickly and well.  That having been said, I’ve incorporated a number of changes.

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The Pattern:  Vogue 1089, which was released 2009 and is now out of print.  It’s a basic fit and flare, with shaped midriff, and princess seams.

The Fabric: The pattern calls for cotton canvas, linen and lightweight denim… but I used a cotton sateen that I purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics in 2014 (for a different project).  I underlined it with silk organza and lined it with blue silk crepe de  chine.  I only interfaced the midriff, using carefully trimmed muslin.  The organza, CDC, and muslin are all from Gorgeous Fabrics as well.

The Instructions:  Well, since I didn’t use them, I can’t really tell you about it.  I used this pattern for Susan Khalje’s Couture Dress class on Craftsy (it’s very similar to the one she uses for the class).  In this case I followed her instructions to the letter.  It was very freeing to think about constructing a garment this way, from muslin to organza underlining to hand inserting the lining.  She’s a wonderful teacher and very easy to follow.  I learned quite a bit (some things are obvious, now that I’ve seen them).  However, if you don’t like hand-stitching, it’s not the class for you.  I like to hand-stitch, and find it very soothing.  I found every step of making this dress very enjoyable.

Changes I made:  I can’t recall every change I made as a result of the Craftsy class, but I’ll highlight the major ones.  I cut a size 12 in the bodice, tapering to a 14 through the midriff and waist.  If I lose weight, this dress will be too big, but oh well.  I also took up the shoulders 1/2 inch.   Finally, I needed to accommodate my longer torso: I added half an inch to the bottom of the bodice and half an inch to the bottom of the midriff.

In construction, I took a cue from Ann of Gorgeous Fabrics, who noted that the midriff doesn’t need to cut in half horizontally (unless you are going to add the jewels).  I also moved the zipper to the left side and hand inserted a lapped zipper (I’m losing flexibility and finding back zips a challenge). The lining is hand inserted, using the technique from the class.  That means I cut the lining from the pattern pieces, not the separate lining pieces.  It also means I eliminated the facings, and included a jump pleat for the hem.

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Showing off the jump pleated hem (and the gorgeous CDC)!
Thoughts:  I really like this dress and plan to make another one in a solid color for fall. It’s flattering, easy and fun.  Most of all, the class taught me to slow down and enjoy the process and the art of constructing a garment. For once, I paid attention to all details, including the finishing.

As always – apologies for the photos.  On top of my usual selfie with an iPhone photos, I sustained a serious knee injury last week (still can’t drive or walk properly).  Though I’m much improved, I really didn’t feel like make-up, hair, and heels to go outside and take pictures with the mosquitoes.

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Bathroom selfie with swollen knee and shaky shot.

Summer Dress #1: Vogue 8993 in linen

Or, I finally finished something.  Sewing has been taking a backseat to everything else.  On top of that, I’ve decided to incorporate couture techniques from Susan Khalje’s Craftsy courses. It’s taking a while to finish anything.

I LOVE this dress.  Not happy with the fit…. because I gained weight between the time of the muslin and finishing.  You see, it’s not just sewing that’s taken a backseat, so has my diet and exercise program…  I went for a long walk today, and am going to make it a priority again.

pattern description:   Very Easy Vogue 8993 c2014.  I bought this for something else, but never got around to it.  Then I bought the linen, and it was a good match.  From pattern: dress has neck band, cut in armholes, close-fitting lined bodice with side front and back seams, front pleated skirt, side pockets, back zipper and stitched hem.  I made View B, the midi version, which is really closer to just above the ankle (and I’m 5’9″).  I paired it with a slender silver-tone belt.

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Vogue 8993, View B
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sizing:  8 through 16. I made a 12 in shoulders and bust and graded out approximately to a 14 at the waist and hips.  I also made my standard torso length adjustment of about 1.5 inches added.

fabric:  I LOVE the linens from Marcy Tilton.  I don’t buy much else there, but I love it when she has linen.  This one was a digital print, Copeland, which is now sold out.  It’s light to mid-weight, drapey (when washed), soft.  The weave is a little looser than I like – the grain shifted a bit on the collar, I’m afraid.  I underlined the skirt with cotton batiste (from Susan Khalje).  I underlined the top with silk organza (Gorgeous Fabrics) and lined the bodice with the batiste.

tips used during construction:  I was watching Susan Khalje’s couture classes on Craftsy and used the couture techniques for the bodice.  I did the skirt the “traditional” or pattern way (but really didn’t pay that much attention to those instructions).  I used the instructions for the neck band/collar.  I added a waist stay after an exchange with Ann at Gorgeous Fabrics.

instructions?:  I didn’t really use them, except for the neck band.  There has got to be a better way to attach the neckband for a better quality result.  Here you sew the band, right sides together, trim, press and turn right sides out, stitch to bodice, slip stitch to the lining.  Easy enough, but getting things perfect at the front – not easy.  I want a nice clean line from the bodice to the band at the join, and that is a challenge to do well.

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construction notes:  I used a hybrid approach – home sewer techniques for the skirt and neck band, couture for the bodice and attaching the bodice to the skirt.  I did machine stitch the invisible zipper.   I feel like I got better quality results on the bodice all around.  I was more accurate using stitching lines (instead of cutting lines) and I put in the best lining I have ever done putting it in by hand the way Susan shows in her videos.  I always have difficulties with the arm holes – here perfect.

Even though this pattern is suitable for a lightweight denim, think about it before you do that.  This is a light/mid linen, underlined with very light batiste.  All the weight of the skirt is in the front – deep box pleats and pockets.  When I attached the skirt to the bodice, the weight of the skirt pulled the front of the bodice down, causing unattractive drag lines and gapping at the arms.  Ann at Gorgeous Fabrics suggested a petersham waist stay, which did the trick. I later found her blog post on the subject.  The petersham, attached at seams and darts of the waist, takes on the weight of the skirt, relieving the pressure on the bodice and shoulders.

Speaking of stays, I used organza selvedges at the v-neck and shoulders to stabilize and prevent stretching in these areas. I also used a double layer of organza, sewn in, for the neckband interfacing.  I did not top stitch the hem.

comments:  I love this dress.  I feel pretty in it, even if it’s a bit snug at the moment.  Give me a couple of weeks on that.  I will likely make this again, in the shorter version, with some design changes.  One thing I’m going to add – lingerie/bra carriers.   I didn’t realize they were showing in the photos.

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When to set aside a project?

In this case, when I can’t muster the enthusiasm to work on it and keep thinking of the next project.  I’m afraid that I will be sloppy as a result.

I’ve been working on the top to Vogue 1213, in a beautiful, easy to work with 3 ply silk crepe.  I love the blouse and I will finish it – in fact I don’t have far to go and I’m not putting it completely away.

You see, when I started this project, work was calm.  Then it became a storm – a hurricane.  I think I may have found one hour in an entire month to sew.  And now that things have calmed a bit, I’m not interested in working on it.  Part of the problem is that my brain has moved on to the next project.  And part is that the formal part of my job has ended for a few months (I’ll be working from home) and I don’t need a silk blouse right now.  I need summer dresses.

So here it is, and I do plan to finish it:

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Why do you put something aside?

 

Rucci Suit Jacket & Skirt (Vogue 1437)

I’ve completed two muslins on the blouse for 1213. But I never finished this post.  I finished the jacket in December, and almost all of the skirt then too.  I was unhappy with  the waist treatment, so came up with something different last week.  Better, but not great, still needs some work.  This was the most challenging combo I’ve ever made, and I learned a lot.  I’m happy/unhappy, and this exercise had many expensive lessons. I blogged the blouse here. I can’t believe this is already out of print.

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There’s just something about this jacket – is it the challenge?  The unusual shape?  It doesn’t scream traditional suit, which I like. I decided to make this three piece outfit in parts, interspersing “quick hits” to give me a feeling of accomplishment.  When I was finishing the Tilton raincoat, I kept thinking about this jacket, and found it distracted me from focusing on the raincoat. I also wanted to re-design the skirt entirely, which I did.

I started with a muslin.  Some reviewers on patternreview suggested that the jacket ran small, and would fit a small back well.  This was mentioned of the blouse, but the fit for me was fine.  Still, I made the muslin not so much for the fit, for the techniques.  The fit across the shoulders would be critical on this jacket (and something I think is problematic with the Tilton raincoat, even cut a size smaller).  But I read the directions several times: with the unusual shaped pieces, slash to dot techniques, etc, I knew I needed a practice version first, to work out the kinks.

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On the dress form, before completing the skirt side seams.

The muslin revealed the following:  BASTE, BASTE, BASTE.  Precision matters – I marked the dots, slashes, notches etc before even cutting. (I usually cut downstairs, carry up and mark later, but fabrics do shift).  Mark with a color scheme (squares one color, circles another). Keep track of the pieces – face side, top etc. I also cut pieces as I needed them.  The actual assembly of this jacket, wasn’t too difficult, once I got going.  It made more sense with the pieces in hand than reading alone.

But when I did the muslin for the jacket, it wasn’t enough.  I only did the one layer (outer) and discovered additional challenges working with both layers.  In addition, because the jacket is self lined, it’s also a bit smaller than a single layer muslin.  It’s close fitting.

One one level, I learned a lot working with this more complex design.  I successfully applied a grosgrain waistband with an underlap in a way that is comfortable.  I learned that with patience I can do a decent job of hand top-stitching.  I feel more confident about tackling more advanced projects.  But I also learned that fabric choices can lead to other things.  Here, my fabric was a bit heavy, and nothing about this jacket is interfaced (it relies on the topstitching).  My wool gabardine needed silk organza underlining at the very least.  After hanging two months on my dress form, it’s sagging against those top stitches, creating drag lines that didn’t exist when I first finished it.

So here is the review, with some live action shots my assistant took of me delivering a lecture this morning.  I do not like this suit with the blouse tucked in on me – it blouses too much, creating even more of a tummy than I already have.

The pattern:  Vogue 1437, Ralph Rucci.  Fitted, self lined jacket has front extending into back collar, side panels, no side seams, side front slanted pockets, back seem detail and sleeves shaped at lower edge.  Semi-fitted partially lined skirt has yokes, insets extending into tie ends, left side front slit, very narrow hem.

Pattern Sizing:  6-12.  I made the size 12.   Mine looks both larger (longer) and smaller (tighter in the arms, and I’m skinny armed) than the model.  I made no adjustments to sizing the jacket, and I normally add two inches in length.  As you can see from the back photos, this cutaway style is long.  For the skirt, I think I added to the side seams a smidgen, but I can’t remember.  If I didn’t I should have.  Or I should start exercising more.

The Fabric:  I splurged.  Not because I wanted to, but my preferred fabric sources weren’t offering colors in tropical wool that I wanted.  And I couldn’t wait.  I should have, though they still haven’t offered what I had in mind.  The recommended fabric choices are tropical wool, linen, shantung.  I went with a very fine gabardine from NY Fashion Fabrics, in a blue/turquoise and black.  The lining for the skirt is Amsale black silk crepe de chine from Gorgeous Fabrics.

Look like the pictures/drawings:  Yes and no.  The jacket doesn’t hang nice like on the model (fit? fabric? both?) and I completely changed the skirt.

Pattern Alterations/Design Changes:  For the jacket, I only made two changes.  First, I eliminated the pockets.  The instructions weren’t very clear, and I wasn’t sure I was going to like the finished look.  The size was just big enough to fit a lipstick (the pockets are hidden in the front band).  The bust darts were finished after putting the lining in, so if the jacket flipped open you would see them.  I finished them separately, opened the darts and flattened them, and carefully lined the outer and lining up to stitch together.

I completely changed the skirt.  I liked the inset, hated the high slit and didn’t like the idea of a narrow hem.  It also seemed short.  I started to play around with the color blocking – my original choice was to put the blue at the bottom of the skirt.  In the end, I added three blue insets to the solid black and eliminated the ties.  The blue insets are the same size as the original one inset (3/8″).  The top two are separated by a black inset of the same size, while the third inset was placed in between the middle and lower skirt pieces.  This effectively lengthen the skirt, and made it more a-line.  I did have to edge stitch the black edges next to the insets to get the gabardine to behave.

Three other design changes to the skirt. I fully lined it.  I faced the hem.  And the waistband – the original simply had you sew the lining to the skirt, right sides together and flip the lining to the inside.  No support for the waist – no band, no interfacing, no facing.  Naturally, even with staystitching, it stretched out.  I applied a black grosgrain with an underlap, which helps, but I need to take in the waist, because it’s too big now, and sags in a not-so-flattering way.

Instructions?:  Not good.  The illustrator and the copy writer were definitely not talking about the same things at some points on the jacket.  I even emailed Vogue about some points and they said, yes, that’s wrong, but didn’t give me any clues to remedy things.  It’s been a while since I sewed this, but I will point out some places that were wrong or confusing or could have been done better:

  • The picture on step 7 appears wrong.  The directions say to put the pieces right sides together, but that’s not what’s illustrated.
  • I wrote error on step 11, but I don’t remember why. I think it has to do with the pockets, and one reason why I cut them out.
  • Step 17 shows a non-existent notch, so does 20.
  • Step 18 is not clear.  Same with 22 – I think I basted farther than I needed too, as I noted that I needed to rip the basting out later. (Another note about basting in 23).
  • I wrote wrong on the pattern for steps 25 and 26.  I’m not sure why, but I remember wrestling to finish the sleeve edges and doing it wrong, trimming where I shouldn’t have and generally cursing when I don’t normally curse.  I eventually managed it (using binder clips) but they are a bit wonky.
  • Step 30 has the darts going in weird, but not necessarily wrong, just leaves them unfinished in a place that will show.

Recommend? Do it again?  Maybe. I don’t like the blouse tucked in with this.  I’m proud of my ability to tackle it and finish it, even if it is far from perfect.  I will likely wear the blouse and skirt as a pair more often (and not the jacket). I may try the jacket with jeans.  I’m not sure I’ll make it again, partly because it is so distinctive.  But you never know. Maybe when my skills improve, and if I found the right fabric…

Action Shots (what better way to see an outfit and how it moves, rather than posed shots, though please excuse the microphone clipped to the collar and reaching under the jacket in the back):

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Action shot

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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?

 

 

 

Help from the sewing community, please!

V1213

Does anyone happen to have the instructions for Vogue Paris Original 1213 (Lanvin Castillo)?  I’d like to make this, but the version I bought on e-bay is missing some of the instructions…

I’m sure I’ll figure it out – but there is an interesting pocket treatment on the skirt that I’m interested in…

FINALLY, the Tilton Raincoat (Vogue 8934)

This is a project that started, in some sense, when the pattern was released in 2013, and I still lived in DC.  I bought the pattern and the fabric right away.  Then I hedged on lining, which I finally bought a year ago.  At that time I sewed right up to step 26 of 35, and put it away.  Then every excuse in the book couldn’t get me to start again.  Then when I did a month ago, I procrastinated.  Hurricanes, work, the fact that it doesn’t rain here in the fall, etc. What was it really?  I hate making machine buttonholes.

I made the plain coat, version B, in a size small.  I would normally wear a size 12 (medium) but this felt big when tissue-fitting, and I’m not likely to wear heavy layers with it.  Here in Florida, it’s a winter coat more that a light raincoat.

After I took these pictures, I realized I did a terrible job pressing those darts.  Must fix.

The Fabric:  A long sold out nylon supplex, that I purchased from Marcy Tilton’s on line store. This a tightly woven synthetic, that should repel water. It is one she recommended for the coat.  I like the color, but the fabric was challenging – a hard fabric, difficult to hand sew (i.e., hems), difficult to press.  The lining was also Marcy Tilton, also sold out, a black Valentino synthetic.  It was fine for the project.

What I changed:  I cut the collar facing out of the fashion fabric.  With the wide open collar, the lining would show.  Since my lining was nothing special, I switched it out.  I wish I had done so for front facing as well. I lightly interfaced with tricot the right fly, even though the instructions didn’t call for it – I needed to do this for stable button holes.

I made a cutting error (more below) on the shoulder seam, so I edge-stitched the shoulder seams to strengthen the very narrow seam I ended up with. I also knew within one inch of ditch-stitching the collar and band seams that it wasn’t going to work with the nylon supplex.  So, I edged-stitched here as well.  Both small changes, but they did add a little something to an otherwise very plain jacket.

Construction & Instructions:  Generally speaking the directions were fine, with one major exception. I read the instructions for the right fly, buttonholes and facing (steps 26-30) at least five times.  The illustrations don’t match the text well, especially in step 29 (which seams to be in error).  I thought I had puzzled it out, but in the end, I did it wrong.  The jacket looks fine in the end, but it’s not quite what they ask you to do.

You should take extra caution when cutting out the coat.  View A and B naturally use the same pieces.  The challenge is that View A’s placement lines for the patches are very close to seam lines, especially at the shoulder.  I must have been tired because I cut along the wrong set of lines.  I’m not a big fan of multi-size patterns when the markings are very close together anyway, but this was annoying.

What I learned: Well, I can do button holes, but they still look ugly. Is it me or my machine?  I really think it’s the machine. It’s very basic.  I think I’m going to practice hand-worked buttonholes for the future.

Overall, the jacket is fine, but I don’t see it being one of my favorites. Well, off to sew the Rucci jacket, which will be a far more interesting project in an amazing wool gab.