October 26, 2013

Unsuitable for Plaids, Perky Plaid Vogue 1105

I apologize but this is another Out of Print pattern, Vogue 1105 designer pattern by Anna Sui from 2009. How did I manage two OOPs back to back you may ask. Well you see... I flipped my pattern drawer. Currently the newer patterns are in the back and the older stash are now getting selected and planned for fabrics.
Simple human tricks I play on myself. 
Among other self imposed tricks - when I purchase Vogue patterns I only allow myself to take home Vogue patterns classified with the skill level, average or advanced. Why? I do not know exactly. First and foremost price. I can get any pattern my heart desires for $1 but, when the Vogues are on sale for $3.99 I really need to narrow it down. Secondly, I crave challenge, knowledge and design detail and Vogue can commonly deliver at these pattern levels. I try to find design details I have never tried previously. 
When I picked up this pattern I was looking to conquer my patience with chiffon. In the end I did not find the pattern to be that complicated. There were so many  pieces to the dress but they went together easily.
My fabric is a plaid chiffon from the stash. I got the idea in my head for a girly plaid frock and then read the infamous pattern envelope verbiage, the pattern is NOT suitable for plaids stripes or the like. This pattern has so many pieces that have grain lines that go every possible direction imaginable plus there are severe bodice gathers. Rules be damned. I had limited yardage of the fabric, needless to say I elected to forgo any attempt at matching my plaid.  Again, rules be damned.

I wore the dress covered with a draped cardi as the straps were not work appropriate. This in turn covered all the details. Next time I may wear it over a turtleneck. Chiffon dresses are not winter dresses, rules be damned! 
I made the straps from an elastic trim with beaded ruffles. The ruffled beads were only on one side so I overlayed the elastic trim to get the ruffles to alternate on both sides and stitched them together in the center. In order to sew the straps into the bodice without the beads getting hit by the machine, all the beads that were connected to the strap allowance had to be crushed, broken and removed.  
I had hoped that stitching the trim layers would also reduce the give of the elastic. To some extent the technique did, but half way through the days wear the straps had stretched slightly and I found myself adjusting the bodice. To fix this I will back the straps with a thin grosgrain ribbon. 
I adjusted my over locker to roll hem finish the peplum, back bow and hem. This was tedious, sometimes if I did not catch enough of the fabric in the machine stitching line the thread hem would just unravel off.
Above: Inner garment front and back. For the lining and inner lining of the bodice I used a solid off white crepe. The skirt was underlined with scrap champagne satin. 

October 24, 2013

Lovely Lady Layers Simplicity 1607

 The pattern is Simplicity 1607 Cynthia Rowley Collection view B.
The wearable dress is in a way accidental. I was experimenting. I wanted to test the pattern for fit in order to make view A and I also wanted to experiment with layering fabrics. While "sorting" the stash had the notion to layer the floral lace behind the floral chiffon for a textural effect. 
The layered end result and hidden side zipper
I liked the idea but the two fabrics were still too sheer, I took off the scrap bin and found a lilac stripe cotton for the contrast and lining with added structure plus a pink pongee for a sheer buffering interlining behind the lace. 
The pattern went together well although I made it harder on myself than it needed to be with all my layers. I forgot to add the upper back crossing tabs when constructing the neckline so I tacked them to the lining after construction was complete. 
Alterations to the pattern were limited which was shocking. I adjusted the strap length as well as shortened the bodice and the hem. 
Currently the midwest United States is blistering cold as you can see in my face when I am sans jacket. 
The myriad hems were fun. Not so much, way too many hems for one dress, why do I do this to myself?! 
For both the purple floral chiffon and pink pongee I used a narrow hem.
I decided to keep the raw edge of the lace and extend 2 inches past the hem past the upper layer.
And for the cotton lining (which was much shorter than the other layers as not to bee seen) I just roll hemmed via the overlocker.

After I was done with this version of the pattern, I set off to make view A.
Bodice done and then I hit a wall. The bodice was a fun challenge to construct but even after the same adjustments were made as on view B the bodice is fitting all kinds of wrong. I have to find a solution to adjust the fit to be able to get my tiny torso length and large dome head into the dress. I will keep you posted for now the dress and I have broke up, it is mutual.  

October 22, 2013

Ponte Knit Mod Squad Dress Simplicity 2568

The pattern is out of print Simplicity 2568 (year 2009).
I picked this pattern up when it was released and it has resided in the stash ever since.
I was so excited when the pattern came out, it is a copy cat of the Marc by Marc Jacobs funnel neck dress (below) from Fall 2008.

My original plans for the dress pattern were to construct it in a tweed. None the less four years down the road my version came to life in a black ponte knit. 
At first I was apprehensive to use the knit for fear of a droopy funnel neck. But the Simplicity's neck line is tame in comparison to the Marc Jacobs inspiration (that is an extreme funnel) and the hefty knit held up well after all it is supported with an interfaced facing.

I am a ponte fan. Ponte washes and wears beyond well plus it sews like butter. Any beginer sewists looking to try sewing with knits start with ponte knits. 

The pockets on the designer dress are in set it to the dress, the Simplicity version has bias cut patch pockets with a zipper opening. 
For my pockets I used vintage metal zippers with contrasting zipper tape for a touch of visual interest. 

October 12, 2013

Pinstripe Denim Fit and Flare Dress with Decorative Stitching - Butterick 5745

Pattern: Butterick 5745
My Frocktober dress started as a doodle on the pattern envelope garment renderings. In my many years of collecting vintage patterns I ran across many notes and names and other useful info about the pattern and on a very rare occasion I have found additional drawings of the intended outcome of the garment. I always wondered how those doodles came about. I have altered and amended many patterns and never doodled on the envelope till this project. Without rhyme or reason I just pulled out the pattern and just started my doodle then I executed it, it was a different method but I might just start implementing it regularly.
My fabric is a mid weight stretch denim with white pinstripes. I chose this pattern because I could adjust the grain lines of  the pattern pieces to create visual interest in the fabric.
I cut the bodice sides and center back on the bias to create a chevron effect. The added sleeve bands were also cut on the bias.

a ribbon tie was added across the upper back for additional interest
To add to the detailing I chose decorative thick zigzag stitching in lieu of basic top stitching as directed by the pattern. 

 Do you doodle on pattern envelopes too? Have you ever came across a pre-loved pattern envelope with garment modifications?  

October 8, 2013

Floral Plaid Peplum Jacket in Marc Jacobs Wool

Pattern McCall's 5980 (out of print)
 My on trend peplum jacket is semi-fitted with notched collar; the bodice has princess seams that join to angled side front pockets on the peplum. The sleeves are two-piece with a slit opening at the cuffs. The jacket is fully lined. A sleek feature of the jacket design is the front button closure; the button opening is contained within the seam where peplum and bodice of the jacket meet.
My fall coat was born from my love of the Marc Jacobs coating fabric. The fabric consists of a navy and grey plaid with an allover textured black floral pattern on the surface. The coating is luxurious; it is thick medium weight wool with a touch of angora giving the fabric a wonderful lush hand. It is so soft and yet stable perfect for a fall weather jacket.

I amended a few of the construction steps to create a neat and tidy inner garment similar to RTW. First, I constructed the peplum and peplum lining and joining them and turning right side out. Next in the waistline seam allowance, I turned in and hand basted to the wrong side the lower portion of my button hole in the seam. After constructing the bodice and sleeves of both the main fabric and the lining/facing, I attached the peplum to the main fabric bodice, I was then able to turn up the peplum and bag the jacket lining. Bagging my jacket lining created a beautiful inner garment for a fall fashion jacket that I love to wear.
Inner Garment View
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