Friday, December 19, 2014

Vogue 8776 - Welcome to the Party!

Earlier this year, I finished it - it is Vogue 8776!

Back view. Please ignore the fact that my hair needs a trim
I had wanted to sew it ever since I saw it over at Miss Celie's Pants.  She looks so bad ass in her purple version.  For my take, I chose a black and white houndstooth purchased from Mood.  It's a woven wool blanket-type of fabric.  Although the fabric is beautiful, it would've be a good candidate for block fusing - the technique where you fuse the length of fabric before cutting out the pattern pieces.  It frayed so much that at some of the seams I had to "re-weave" the fabric so that I could sew it without leaving any holes.

Look at how I fray!

Here are the changes I made to the pattern:
  • Created a lining by making front and neck facing patterns.  This allowed me to use the "bagging the lining" technique.
  • Eliminated the back seam by creating a full back piece.  Now I had one less seam to match :)
  • Lowered the collar by about 2" so that the collar sits just below my chin.  I don't know, maybe my head is just too big, but before I made the adjustment, the collar was right at my chin and it was just too tight.  Now, the collar is still high, which is welcome in breezy cool weather, but it doesn't feel like my chin is in a vice.
  • I eliminated the buttons in favor of sew-in snaps.  It think button holes would've frayed way too much with this fabric, and I didn't want to interrupt the flow of the herringbone pattern.
During the process of making this, I started to second guess myself.  Would this really come out the way I had envisioned it?  Will I use a cape that doesn't cover my arms completely?  I started to think it would be kinda stupid.  But, I pushed through since all was cut out, interfaced and half sewn.  Boy, was I wrong!  It turns out that this was one of the best things I've ever made.  I absolutely love it and wear it as much as I can.  The icing on the cake is that I get complemented on it almost every time I wear it.  My most memorable complement came from a little 4-year old girl in a coffee shop.  I stood up to put it on, and she ran over and gave me a hug (she only came up to me knees), and yelled out, "I love your jacket."  Plus, I now have a coat like Posh Spice!

Here's a look at the inside with the lining and the back neck facing, a must for using the "bagging the lining" technique.
You can also see the snaps I used for closures.

Finally, a gratuitous houndstooth matching shot of one of the side seams:

I think I nailed that one!

Now, it's on to some holiday sewing!

Have you ever second guessed something you were sewing?  Did you continue or just drop the project?  Did you turn it into something else completely?  Did it end up turning out better or worse than you expected?

¡Hasta pronto!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Turkey Dress #2, Simplicity #1651 - Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

After a hiatus of a year, I'm back in blog-land.  I will explain my absence in a later post, but for now - Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

My most recent make is Turkey Dress #2 or Simplicity 1651 completed just in time for Thanksgiving dinner with Professor R. at the Round Table restaurant in the Algonquin Hotel.

Turkey Dress #2
I love how this turned out and how easy it was to make.  Simplicity 1651 is one of the company's "Project Runway" offerings.  The pattern is fun since it allows you to mix and match different bodice and sleeve styles with either a slim or a full skirt.  Because my fabric is so busy, I chose a basic bodice with the full skirt.

It's about a 1/4 or 1/2 circle.

I purchased the fabric at Jo-Ann's.  I had seen this type of fabric before and really wanted to make something from it but it intimidated me, for some reason.  Finally, I overcame my fear when I realized that this rusty orange would be perfect for Thanksgiving dinner out with Professor R.

Here's the skinny on the fabric.  Ribbon strips with these little circles are sewn in rows onto a non-stretch, mesh backing.  I think in green it might make a fun mermaid costume.  To my surprise and relief, it was fairly easy to handle and to sew.

Some changes I made to the pattern:

  • I used the v-neck bodice option but raised the neckline several inches to create a jewel neckline.
  • Folded out the bust dart and moved it to the waist.  Because of the busy fabric, I thought minimizing the darts would be less distracting.
  • I normally sew a size 10 in the top and grade out to a size 12 at the high hip.  Since this was made to wear at Thanksgiving dinner, I graded out to a size 12 after the bust.  I had to make room for turkey and pie, after all!
  • Clipped some of the circles within the darts and seam lines to reduce bulk and to prevent "half circles" from peeking out of the seams.
  • Raised the back v-neck by 2 inches (no bra buckle showing here!) and pinched out 2 inches from the side back of the bodice tapering to 1/2 inch at the armhole.  The fit was super loose without these adjustments.  I highly recommend doing a muslin of the bodice if you decide to make up this pattern.
  • Adjusted the zipper to begin at the top of the left armhole instead of sewing 2 inches below the armhole then adding the zip as the instructions dictate.
  • Added lining since the fabric would be too sheer without.
All in all, this is a fun dress to make, and I look forward to sewing some of the other options soon.  I kept the accessories minimal but got a manicure to match.

Have a great holiday weekend and Hasta pronto! - I promise.

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