Monday, May 09, 2016

Vogue 9109 A "CustomFit" Easy-to-Sew Pullover Top

Vogue 9109 is a basic, pullover top pattern designed for woven fabrics. The pattern is one of Vogue's "Custom Fit" designs that offers separate pattern pieces for A,B,C, and D cups. 
 Because I've done so many FBA pattern alterations over the years, I don't typically purchase the "Custom Fit" patterns with the intent of using the specific cup pattern piece.  However, my curiosity got the best of me and this time I decided to stitch the top using the "D" cup piece. 
That is one big dart!  Since I wanted to test the fit - and the D cup dart - I went ahead and stitched this up using a polyester print that I'd picked up for just this purpose. I made no alterations to the pattern, with the exception of widening the shoulder in case the top ended up wearable.

It was almost impossible to eliminate a dimple at the end of the dart. I manipulated the dart over a pressing ham and lightly steamed it with my iron until it was wearable. However, I wouldn't be comfortable wearing this on its own without a jacket or sweater.  Yea, I'm that unhappy with the dart. My fabric choice may have contributed to that, but I think the dart is just too large.

I used purchased bias tape for neck and armhole bindings, and finished the top of the neckline with a hook and eye per the pattern instructions.

I found the top to be fitted through the bust, almost too tight in fact, even when I used the larger cup pattern piece.  When I sew this again I will start with the standard "B" cup pattern piece and do my own full bust adjustment and see if I can get a better looking dart and a better fit.

Other than that, it's a nice basic shape that would work well on its own for warm weather or as a layering piece when worn in the office.

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Friday, May 06, 2016

Burda 04-2016 117 Trousers

I was intrigued by the 117 trousers in the April 2016 BurdaStyle magazine. Modeled in the magazine twice, they appeared to sit just below the waist with a slightly loose fit through the hip ending just above the ankle.

About a week before Hancock Fabrics announced all of their stores would close, I had purchased a floral stretch woven in the "Spot the Bolt" section (oh how I'm going to miss that!) intending to make a pair of skinny jeans.  Instead I used it to muslin these trousers. Am I glad I did as there's some fit issues that I'll take care of with the next pair.  
I traced my size based on my current measurements and, as you can see from above, these are quite roomy through the waist, hip and leg area.  Because they ride down, there is excess fabric at the center front crotch area.  The magazine describes these as narrowly cut trousers and on the model they appear to taper near the ankle.  I found they were straight versus tapered. Of course if I would have looked closer at the technical drawing I would have caught that.  

See that note on these pants?  Note: These trousers are cut slightly wider at the waistband, so that they slip down during wear. If you prefer this not to happen, try on the trousers and adjust them to fit more snugly.  

I did try these on during construction and ended up stitching a 1-1/2" seam at the center back, tapering to 5/8" at the center back crotch.  I thought that would work, but just walking for five minutes to get photographs caused the pants to slip down. Unless I plan on always having my hands in my pockets to keep these up, I'll need to add belt loops or just use these to determine fit adjustments for my next pair.
I didn't measure the finished length and for these to hit my ankle I needed to roll up the hem band. 
The trousers have a few fun details. The hem band, which I have rolled up in these photos, could be fun in a contrasting fabric.  

I eliminated the back welt pocket as these were sewn to test the fit.  The hip yoke pockets extend inside to the center front and have a decorative flap, which I ended up tacking in place at the center point of the flap.
As far as construction goes, well, Burda's instructions are brief.  Fortunately I've sewn many pants over the years so I was familiar with the order of construction. Instead of using a hammer-on hook and bar fastener as instructed, I sewed on a set I already had in my supplies.  I haven't sewn a fly front zipper in more than a year so I referenced instructions in one of my sewing books.  Perfect? Nah, but I'm okay with that.

I sewed the trousers based on how great they look on the model in the magazine. 
This is what they look like on a shorter, older, curvier figure.
Now that I know where to make fit adjustments I'll sew myself another pair!

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Sunday, May 01, 2016

Craftsy Sewing Kit: Style Arc Gorgeous Gore Skirt

I discovered Craftsy sewing kits a few months and ago, and purchased a few (when they have been on sale) and so far I've been very pleased with the fabric quality. 

This is one of those kits: The Style Arc Gorgeous Gore Skirt. Honestly I purchased the kit because I'm secretly addicted to Style Arc patterns and this Craftsy kit included a printed multi-size copy of the pattern. Sold!  
This kit was described as having  1-1/2 yards for the skirt sized 4-18.  There was closer to 1-3/4 yards, which was good as I was able to match the design at the seams (and the edges were cut a bit jagged.)  

Because the pattern on the fabric had a large repeat I wasn't able to recreate the Craftsy skirt exactly. But close enough!  The knit skirt consists of six identical flared panels sewn to a yoke. I stitched all the seams using my serger.  The waist is finished with 1/2"elastic. 

 I wasn't sure which size to sew, and next time I'll go down a size.  I plan on shortening my next one also so it will hit just about my knee. I know my daughter will want one, so another reason I'm pleased the pattern is multi-sized. 

Since the skirt only takes 1-1/2 yards of fabric I plan on sewing more for summer wear.
By the way, the pattern can be purchased directly from Style Arc, or as a PDF pattern from their Etsy shop. (No affiliation, just a fan.)

I'm wearing the Style Arc Gorgeous Gore skirt with a knit top from The Loft, a denim jacket from Maurices, wedge lace up shoes from DSW, and a necklace from a consignment shop.

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Saturday, March 05, 2016

Butterick 4989 - Cascading Front Vest

This cascading front duster vest came to be when I purchased fabric online without reading the description clearly.  
When the fabric arrived and I discovered it was semi-sheer I knew it wouldn't work for my original plans. However, I had been thinking of sewing a long cascading front vest after trying one on in a boutique just a few weeks earlier.  I managed to save myself about $60 by sewing my own.

I used Butterick 4989, copyright 2007, which recently went out of print.
The vest consists of two pattern pieces, with the back cut on the fold.

After stitching the shoulder and side seams, the armhole is finished with bias tape.  I used this cotton/lycra jersey bindin
g purchased from Fabric Mart Fabrics.   
I also finished all the edges with the knit binding.
Nothing more to add about the construction. The pattern is labeled "Very Easy" for a reason.

Since the little one accompanied me on this photo shoot I'll end this post with the pics that include her.
 She's obviously much more interested in exploring her surroundings that in having her photo taken.
Apparently I think if I point to the camera she'll look in that direction. While it looks like it worked, I'm pretty sure my hubby said something to get her attention.

By the way, the striped top I'm wearing is from the Burda September 2011 issue, tunic 108 blogged about here

And now back to the vest.  I sewed it this past January and have only worn it once,  but I expect this will get a lot of wear over the spring and summer months.
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Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Style Arc Maddison Top - Times Two

The Style Arc Maddison Top is a raglan sleeve top has a slight trapeze shape, a wide hem, three-quarter length sleeves with a stitch on cuff and round neckline finished with a narrow binding.

I found this interesting patterned stripe ponte knit locally at SR Harris. I wanted to use it for a dress but there was less than two yards left on the bolt. I purchased what was left and decided to test the fit of this Maddison Top.
The top went together quickly with sewing time about an hour.  As with other Style Arc patterns I've sewn, the pieces fit together perfectly. I was so pleased with the top that I quickly stitched a second one using a lighter weight black ponte knit leftover from the Sewing Workshop Euraka Skirt Craftsy kit. (I wish I knew where they purchased the fabric as it is wonderful!)

You can see from the pictures how the fabric choice changes the look of this top. I sewed the exact same size and hemmed each identical. The stripe is the heavier knit and the black is the lighter weight.
I added lace trim to the bottom of the black top as I like that detail when I see it on tops in boutiques. To do so, I placed the lace on the wrong side of the top about 2-1/2" from the bottom edge.
Next, I turned the hem up and stitched it in place, per the instructions. The lace hangs freely below the hemline.
I thought I could wear it with the Style Arc Taylor Knit Skirts that I've sewn, but the proportion is a little off, so pants it is!

Here's the patterned striped version.  Front view:
Back view: 
I found the tops a little boxier than I expected. I did an FBA, but in retrospect I probably could have made a smaller one as there seemed to be plenty of ease. I did take each side seams about an inch.

I purchased a navy and white stripe knit and plan on stitching another Style Arc Maddison Top soon! Pin It


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