Thursday, June 18, 2015

Vogue 9107 Colorblock Knit Tunic

This is Vogue 9107. The pattern is actually designed for "silk crepe, silk-like broadcloth, heavy georgette, matte jersey"but I didn't realize that when I purchased the pattern.  I just saw the design on the website and thought "oh! cute knit dress" and picked up the pattern without a thought of looking at the suggested fabrics.
I knew I didn't want to add a dart so I choose to go ahead and sew this in a rayon knit.   Instead of doing an FBA I added 3/4" length to the upper front bodice piece. I also did a slight forward shoulder adjustment and lowered the front neckline by about an inch. Because I used a knit I eliminated the center back seam and zipper. I didn't cut the bottom pieces on the bias.

Originally this was going to be sleeveless but oh my!  The armholes were so big!  I took the shoulder seam up by about 1/2" but I still didn't like how they looked. So I added short sleeves instead.  

By the way, the sleeves for this pattern are two piece. 
I cut and sewed my usual size so I'm not sure if the too-large armholes are due to the pattern drafting or my choosing a soft knit versus a woven fabric.

I like the simplicity of the design.
The shaped hem hangs slightly longer in the front than the back.
Sewing tip:  When I stitch neck bands I keep an eye on the left side of the band rather than the right to make sure the finished band width is even all around.
Overall, I like the top although I am undecided if I'll sew another or not.
I saved the best picture for last.  My little sewing buddy!  She is rarely allowed in this area behind our house (and never off-leash). She was excited to explore and was moving so fast from bush to bush that I had to scoop her up or I would have lost her in the underbrush. 
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Style Arc Flat Bottom Flo Floral Knit Pants

I hate the name of this pattern - Flat Bottom Flo. It makes me cringe just to type it. But I do like the finished pants which (unfortunately - ha, ha) fit me rather well.
 This is second pair of FBF pants I've sewn. The first was sewn from a solid color knit from FabricMartFabrics described as a scuba knit. The finished pants were fine, just a bit too large.  They found a home with a family member who looked fabulous in them.

 When I placed the pattern order, I was having a "I've gained weight and am not sure what size to sew/order" moment and ordered a size larger than I probably should have.  The pants fit well, but I find myself constantly pulling them up and there is a more ease than I'd like. And this from someone who really dislikes wearing tight clothing.

The fabric on this pair is a fabulous floral knit that I purchased at Colorado Fabrics (formally known as Denver Fabrics) in September 2014 when I happened to be in vacationing in the area.  I think it's a scuba knit but the hand is softer than the fabric I purchased from FabricMartFabrics.  

The design has a back yoke, elastic waist and the side seams are moved to the front.

Here you can see the front side seams  (where the fabric design appears to repeat).
The elastic is stitched in place on the inside of the waistband before the band is attached to the pants.
The back yoke on the pants.

They're really fun to wear. And so comfy! Even though they are not as tight as I would have liked, I find myself reaching for them frequently. After all, I want to wear them as much as I can this season because floral knit pants may look pretty dated by next summer!


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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Vogue 2912 - A Border Print Skirt from a 1992 Calvin Klein pattern

This black and white cotton border print skirt is one I sewed in 2013.  The fabric was purchased in 2012 from Denver Fabrics (now Colorado Fabrics) when I vacationed in Colorado (and visited the lovely ladies at the Sew News offices). 

The pattern is a Calvin Klein design, Vogue 2912, from 1992. 

The fullness of the skirt comes from multiple tiny tucks and minimal gathers at the waist.

Since I was using a border print I  needed to determine the finished length of the skirt before cutting the fabric.  As you can see, I did have to shorten this pattern quite a bit.  In retrospect, I wish I had shortened it more so that it would hit at my knee, not below.  I have this picture in my files of the skirt pattern with the tucks pinned, but now that a few years have passed, I don't recall why I needed to pin everything before cutting the fabric.

I marked all those tiny tucks with tailor's tacks.

Pretty? No. But functional and much easier for me to make accurate tucks. If the tucks were sewn too big or too small the fit of the skirt would have been off.

Here's one of my Instagram pics of the skirt in progress. Those tucks were fun to sew,  but time-consuming.

When I cut and sewed the waistband I didn't realize until I was done that I had an embroidered section of fabric right at the top of the waistband. Which meant I had to substitute a hook and eye closure for the button and buttonhole (which was the pattern design).

The skirt has inseam pockets.  Love having pockets, especially in the office as it's a handy place to clip my ID badge.  I also added a full lining (white cotton) so I wouldn't need to wear a slip.

While I love the fabric and the idea of this design, the skirt is not quite my style.  I'll continue to wear it on those hot summer days when a it's more comfortable than shorts, but it's not my favorite silhouette.


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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Butterick 6172 - pullover tunic with asymmetric hi-low hem

"What's that thing hanging down in back?"  
Ha!  Not exactly what I expected to hear when I modeled this for my hubby. 

Yea, the back is long and asymmetric, and yea, I do care about his opinions. But I still like the oddness of this tunic and plan on wearing it this summer. 
The pattern is Butterick 6172, view C.  The pattern is described as a loose-fitting, pullover top or tunic has narrow hem and shaped hemline variations.  
 One thing I take into consideration when purchasing patterns is how simple it will be for me to do an FBA (full bust adjustment).  This pattern showed darts in the illustration so I knew it'd be easy to adjust.
Except, that top layer does not have a dart. 
Soooo,  do I debated if I should add one or if there would be enough ease with out the dart. I choose to alter the pattern and add a dart.  Rather than alter both sides I traced one half of the top, did my FBA and traced a new complete pattern piece using the altered piece as a guide.
I used an large scarf (the blue print) and a polka dot rayon challis from my stash. I wasn't positive if I would like this or not so I didn't want to invest too much into the fabric. 

There are three layers in the front each graduating in length.  The back is one solid piece. 

Each layer is hemmed separately and sewn into the side seam with the exception of the top layer which is not sewn into the side seam on the right side only.

This is how I did my narrow hems.  First I stitched single layer close to the raw edge. Next I turned the fabric to the wrong side and stitched again. Finally I turned the fabric one more time and stitched the hem in place. The fabric is lightweight and I found changing to a straight stitch throat plate kept the fabric from getting pulled down.

I eliminated the combination neck/armhole facing and finished those edges with bias binding instead. 
I know this is supposed to be loose-fitting, which it is, but I think it's a bit too large. I'll still wear it but the next version I'll go down in size, especially in the neck/shoulder area.  I'll probably bring that back up a bit too as I plan on wearing this with flats, not heels. The armholes are also a bit low and my bra peeks out a bit (which isn't too noticeable here as I'm wearing a blue one).  
I'd recommend the pattern. It's a pretty quick sew, and the style is similar to what I've seen in local boutiques lately. 


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Sunday, April 05, 2015

Vogue 7971 Skirt - Playing with Stripes

 Last May, when I attended the Pattern Review Weekend in Austin, TX, this striped fabric was one of my purchases.
There are bias stripes sewn to the navy cotton background.  Honestly, I wasn't completely sure what I wanted to sew with the fabric, but purchased some not knowing if I'd be able to find something similar at home.

The fabric hung in my closet waiting for inspiration for these past 11 months.  Unlike Lisette (who I met at PR weekend! She is absolutely lovely inside and out) who purchased the same fabric and used it within weeks to sew her darling Simplicity 2413 skirt.

I think I got stuck on what to sew as the prints had a bit of a "Little House on the Prairie" feel to me. Whatever I choose,  I didn't want it to look "80s" or "crafty".

Eventually I decided on Vogue 7971, a skirt design released in 2004. I came across it as I was making a donation pile for the local thrift store. I actually pulled it back out of the pile thinking this striped fabric could work well for View C (which happens to be illustrated in a pinstripe).
I especially like the front asymmetrical overlay on the skirt.  Plus the angles of the skirt definitely take away any "Little House in the Prairie" vibe I was getting.

I barely had enough fabric to cut out all of the pieces so I wasn't able to match every stripe/seam but on some parts it's  pretty darn close.  Here is a side front view of the overlay.

I added an invisible zipper and the chevrons, while not perfect, work fine.

I'm pleased with how the skirt turned out and expect it will receive a fair amount of wear this summer.

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