Saturday, April 30, 2011

Patrones 302 top Model 1

I've been out of sewing form - you know when you keep making silly errors and start getting despondent about sewing?   Time, I suspect, to try a few simple and quick things I (hopefully) can't botch.   Model No. 1 from Patrones #302 fits the bill.
The Original had 2 different sleeves but I duplicated the longer sleeve when tracing.

For the muslin I tried the funny underarm sleeve thing in the Original but couldn't figure out how it worked - it has 4 identical largish crescent shapes for the one arm. That stumped me. Plus it doesn't seem like a good idea having fabric under your arm does it; wouldn't it scrunch unappealingly? 
I made another one in beige whilst how to make it was fresh in my mind.   It is such a good basic.  This pattern would be great as a tshirt too.

I made a size 46 and the fabric for both is silk charmeuse with the wrong side out.  Seems like a waste doesn't it, but I've realised shiny things on top don't suit me at all.   The pink is from Textile Traders in Balcatta, and the beige was from a pile of silks I bought from a sale at FabricClub a year or so ago - it was only about $6 a yard so I bought heaps, although I later realised that some had oil marks on it. 
Ahhhh wouldn't it be lovely if Patrones had those back and side photos of the original items like Vogue or Simplicity?   Sometimes with this magazine it is just a best guess of what the item really looks like.
I don't usually try and translate Patrones instructions as they often aren't very comprehensible after internet translation.  But despite this looking like such a simple style I couldn't quite work out the method for the front seam and tucks.  It was clear that one tuck had to be sewn before the front seam as the two front pieces are different lengths.
After spending some time on the muslin I finally did an internet translation and, wouldn't you know it, the instructions weren't so bad.  And I had sewn it wrong.   Anyway, if any other non Spanish readers don't feel like typing out the instructions into the translator  - here is the way I think you make this top.

This is not in Patrones, but first off I recommend extending the front seam pattern a little at the bottom, particularly if you are over a B cup.  I had issues with the front seam being much shorter than the rest of the hem (despite having matched up all the markings) which looked strange and made sewing the hem a problem.  If you add some extra length at the beginning you can always chop it off if you don't need it.  
  • Apply fusible interfacing to facings.
  • Crease and stitch the bottom tuck on the front left side from A to B.
  • Patrones says to next connect the two fronts from neck to base, sew and iron them.   Then the horizontal fold is made by folding and bringing the dashed line down to the line A.   To keep the fold closed baste, iron and fold.  I did mine differently however, as that method made it look a bit chunky (probably as I had done a french seam).   I instead basted (don't sew this tuck - the bottom tuck is sewn, the top one is just basted and the basting later removed) the tuck on the two front pieces.  Then I sewed the front seam.  It seemed easier. 
  • Form the vertical tuck by folding along the vertical line and folding it to the front seam line.  You need to sew from C to D on the front seam line.  On the pink version I sewed it on the outside, and on the beige version I sewed it on the inside.   The inside probably looks neater. 
  • Sew left side back to the right side back piece.
  • Sew sides and shoulders.
  • Hem sleeves.  
  • Apply neck facing.
  • Hem. 
All up I love this top - it is so easy to wear and easy to make. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Patrones 303

Here we are with the advance summer Patrones.   Quite a nice one with some casual cotton tops and skirts, a baggy trousers special and pretty summer fancy dresses.  A couple of things I really want to make.
First up there's a section on dressy summer frocks - 'The Most Beautiful Guest' I think it is called.  This dress is quite striking with the one gold embellished shoulder.
The next section is I think called 'All the Skirts' and includes 6 casual skirts and tops.  My favourite outfit from the Magazine is this one - the blouse is lovely - very plain except for the sleeve detailing. 
A section with a military theme is next.  My other favourite item from this Magazine is these cargo style pants below.  What a nice shape.
Patrones does have a strange love of shakespearean style bloomers.  
There is a special section with 9 baggy trousers styles. 
And a larger size feature with smart summery casuals - a dress, 3 jackets, trousers blouse and tshirt in Patrones sizes 50-58.
The next edition is the Summer Special and there is a Children's special.  Initially I thought subscribers would get all the new extras, but alas not.  Although from other reviews it looks like the adult style specials are compilations of patterns that have been in the main Patrones mags so those who get the standard mags aren't missing any patterns.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stockpiling for Easter Sewathon

Roll on tomorrow afternoon!  Anyone else having a sewing Easter?  I'm being left to my own devices for the 5 day break (can't wait) and am having a sewathon.   I've been stockpiling patterns, fabrics and thread for it.  Although when have I ever needed an excuse to acquire more fabrics and patterns?  

I also had a cutting out binge at the weekend.   That is 3 tops,  2 pairs of trousers and a skirt - phew.
A package of patterns has also arrived.  I do feel mildly guilty about not buying patterns in fabric shops in Perth but they don't seem to have many sales and are expensive in comparison with buying from the US Vogue site.   I ordered a pile from the Vogue site when they had recently had a $3.88 sale of their new patterns.  I must have gone a bit mad as a couple I looked at upon arrival and thought - what was I thinking?

I particularly like the Ralph Rucci white dress - which I was actually intending on making as a coat.  It looks more like a coat than a dress.
The grey Issey Miyake dress I'm not too sure about.  I'm intrigued by it but the original in the pattern looks too long to me and the grey shiny fabric is horrible.  Anyone else think it is a bit of an odd but fascinating one?
And I paid a fruitful visit to my favourite fabric shop, Potters.  From the remnant table came this lovely red and black silk/cotton voile and black cotton spandex.  
Plus a camel coloured wool/modal knit, a lightweight brown pinstripe trouser fabric, dark brown cotton/spandex satin  and some more silk/cotton.   I guess browns are going to be featuring in the winter wardrobe.
Patrones #303 also arrived yesterday (I'm having a good week!) which I'll be having a good flick through for inspiration.   A baggy trousers special, some nice summer fancy dresses and casual cotton tops and skirts.
On a totally unrelated matter, anyone who is in the Royal Wedding mood and is a fast knitter can now whip up a couple of corgis for the day- is this not cute?  The pattern is on the Guardian newspaper site and is from a book entitled 'Knit Your Own Royal Wedding', also available on the site.  Fun!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Manequim 622

I was chatting to a Brazilian woman about Manequim the other day - and please excuse me Portuguese speakers as I may be completely wrong and mangling your language - but I think it is pronounced like 'Manikin' but with an 'ee' instead of the last 'i'. So, Manikeeen. I was wondering if I could ask her to translate if I got stuck with a pattern but then I wondered how good the instructions were even if you read the language.

I can't understand the instructions in the English language Burda Style. What are Patrones and Manequim instructions like from the point of view of Spanish or Portuguese speaking sewers? I'd be really interested to know.
Manequim is in my mind as the April Mag arrived.  We are getting into early autumn styles in the Southern Hemisphere.  And they have the usual nice Manequim mix of styles and types of garments.  When I think about it they do tend to provide a nice range each month.  

First up is one of those interesting versatile pieces.  From the diagram I think it is in fact a sleeveless 'cosy'. 
The next section is styles inspired by actresses on a TV production. A nice set of separates and dresses save for one crime against fashion - the patterned jumpsuit in the photo on the actress is downright scary.
The next section I think is called 'the new long' and consists of 1970s inspired styles.  This is a pretty blouse.
And moving along... next up there are styles inspired by Missoni, although oddly with this one there are only 2 patterns.  Maybe Missoni is a bit hard to copy with all the knits.  The patterns are a cozy/cardigan and a pencil skirt.  
Chic Night comes next with some nice going out styles.  A jumpsuit, 2 dresses and 3 tops including this intriguing lace top.  It looks very pretty but I can't quite figure how it is made and Manequim does have teensy tiny diagrams. 
Oh I wish I read portuguese.  There is a spread about winter trends in fashion and notions.  I rather like the adventure one. 
There is also a plus size feature.   What I like about Manequim generally is that, as a matter of course, it shows styles on models that run the gamut of women's shapes. 

The fact that it does so is actually quite striking and makes me realise how brainwashed one becomes from most Australian /US/ European fashion magazines and fashion sites as they show a far more restricted range of body types.  

I know magazines trot out the argument that women don't want to look at clothes on people who aren't tall thin models but I wonder about that.  Manequim models express the range of normal body shapes and are no less stylish and the clothes are no less something you want to buy.
Anyway back to patterns, there is a nice little plus size wardrobe of 4 tops, skirt, 3 dresses and a jacket.
Last but not least, some separates.  I couldn't get away with these pleats but I love the pockets of these trousers.  Pretty black blouse too.
Actually, not quite last.  A gratuitous page of chocolate to look at! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Vogue 1127 and Burda 3/2009 skirt

You wouldn't know it from the lack of blogging, but I have been having a sewing spree.  My work wardrobe was suddenly very bare after a zip broke on one pair of trousers and another pair was ripped.   Time for some new work clothes.
I bought a Zara top a while ago that has been worn until the seams are splitting.  I usually avoid high necklines like this like the plague but I do love this top.
Zara inspiration
I wanted to make something similar and Vogue 1127 seems to fit the bill, with a few modifications.
The fabric is a silk georgette from Textile Traders in Balcatta.
Sleeves have been added, the ties have been omitted and the neckline is made slightly differently.   The sleeves are from my go-to short sleeve pattern Vogue 7876.  I can't remember what the pattern is for, but the sleeves have had quite a few outings.

I copied the collar on the Zara top - all that was involved was doubling over the collar from the pattern rather than ruching it quite so much. 
The ties would have been nice but they are cut on the bias and are very long so take up masses of fabric (the pattern says 3.1 metres is required for the blouse in a size 14). I didn't have quite enough fabric.

The blouse isn't difficult and it's a gorgeous pattern.  The only thing to note - it is hugely wide and I had to take off about an inch and a half on each side seam.   It also works best for a thin fabric.  The georgette I used was not a very light one and it got a bit bulky around the ruched collar ends. 
I'm definitely going to make another one of these, this time as per the pattern.

In one of those odd coincidences, March Burda Style has a pattern which is even more like the Zara top.   It has the raglan sleeves, which Vogue 1127 does not.    
And to go with the top ...a pencil skirt with a wide hip band and pockets from March 2009 Burda magazine. 
My version is in a black stretch heavy satin.  I made a couple of pairs of trousers out of this fabric and was sad to see it finished, and then was ecstatic when I found a 6 metre end roll at my favourite fabric shop reduced to $3 a metre! 

I love the style and it feels great on.  The hip band has a girdle like effect which is even better.
The sides are tapered in a bit more than the Burda version.  The construction of the hip band is also a little different.  Burda has only an unfaced hip band and a narrow rectangular facing strip around the waist.  That seemed very unfinished to me, so I cut 2 hip bands and entirely faced it.  It looks and feels better. 

So what next?  Half way through a pair of brown trousers and raring to go with some autumnal clothes.