Sunday, July 31, 2011

Burda July Model 105

Do you ever go to sew something marked 'Easy' only to find that it is the Venus Flytrap of sewing time? 

And after spending days and days making it, it has the nerve to not look very nice on. Sigh.

The Exhibit: July Burda model 105.  How innocuous it looks.  Don't be fooled.
I thought so! I'm not imagining it.  It has a sign for 'Easy'.  
On the 'Easy' side it has only 3 pieces plus a hem band and facing strips.   And Burda has the edges simply finished with zigzagging. 
On the Non Easy side it is all on the bias.  The Burda fabric is bias chiffon.  Mine is a light silk charmeuse.  It needs a very light, drapey fabric.   

The actual sewing is relatively simple as you can imagine, but the issues I encountered were:

  • being cut on the bias the front and back pieces stretched madly and it needed a lot of taking in at the sides.  I wonder if it would be better if only the front was cut on the bias?
  • From cutting out to finishing the bust dart points had slunk to the midriff and the sides had to be unpicked and darts repositioned.
  • Being bias the bottom kicks out, which is accentuated when you add the non bias band.   It looked more like a frill so I gathered in the bottom of the bodice to fit the band.   I suspect it would look better without the band altogether -  this would require lengthening the pattern.
  • It does look better without sleeves.
  • I didn't read the pattern instructions and made a mistake - although not a problematic one. I'd assumed from the photos that the front flap was a pleat, however, I think the edges are meant to be open and hemmed. 
The design also has its oddities.   I suspect it would look better without the sticky out triangular bit (on the right below).  
The front drape is held up by a dangly strip from the shoulder.
The black version isn't that good worn but ok and I'll wear it to work (I went outside to take a photo of it on, but my next door neighbours are entertaining on their verandah - much too embarrassing).

I made the mistake of trying a second version (unfortunately in a nice fabric). 
The problem with this one is the bias.  It fits very oddly, particularly at the back.  Pulls in some bits.  Sticks out in other bits.  Sigh.  This is disappearing into the Good Sammies bin forthwith.
I'm still not sure whether there is some potential in this pattern with modifications.  I doubt I have the courage to try it again but maybe in a jersey with the back cut on the straight grain rather than the bias, the sticky out bit cut off and lengthened so that it doesn't need a band.  What do you think?
Ah well, you win lose some....

Monday, July 18, 2011

Manequim 625 July 2011

I'm ashamed to say that despite loving loads of the styles in Manequim, I have made exactly ONE thing.  In a year.  That's a feeble effort isn't it.

And to add to the 'to do' list is Manequim 625.
First, some hippyish, romantic inspired styles from a TV show, including this blouse and dress.
Next up 'Neat and chic', including this nice top in 3 sizes.
The 'Inspired by...' section this month is Gucci.  Love this dress.
Next 'Black & White' with a jacket, cullottes, summery top and this dress.
A section I don't think I've seen in a magazine before, but what a useful idea.  Wedding looks, but not for the bride.  Described as the best clothes for bridesmaids, mothers of the couple and guests, for different times and types of ceremonies.   
I think the next section is 'Winter from North to South'.   This coat looks quite plain until you look at the fabulously pleated sleeves. 
And last but not least, love this whole outfit (only the pattern for the coat is in the magazine though).  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Vogue 1098 Anne Klein jacket

This is one of those projects that came out much better than I expected and I keep looking at it and thinking 'awww'.
The pattern is Vogue V1098, an Anne Klein style.  Described as 'lined jacket has front and back yokes, two piece raglan sleeves with shaped lower sleeves, lower buttonhole opening along yoke seam and topstitching'.
I made this a few weeks ago but found I didn't have anything to wear it with.  Gabrielle from Up Sew Late and I had a bit of an unofficial sew along.  I love her blue version.  From the pattern envelope the recommended fabrics are silk tweed, linen and denim but it seems perfect in a wool.   It needs something with a bit of weight and not much drape

Anyone who also partook of the huge and wonderful selection of Vera Wang and Ralph Lauren fabrics on a couple of years ago may recognise the jacket and dress materials.  The jacket is a RL eggplant wool melton and the dress is a charcoal Vera Wang poly jersey.  
 I did make some changes:
  • I left off the collar.  Should have taken a photo of it before and after, but it makes quite a difference.  Without the collar it looked sort of sculptural.   With collar it looked like a vintage jacket...worn by Miss Marple.  It may just be me but even on the model the collar looks smallish.   
  • To take account of the lack of collar I made a facing and attached that to the lining.
  • The pattern has a buttonhole by way of a gap in the bottom of the yoke seam.   For the rest this jacket screams for bound buttonholes.  Knowing that my interest would have evaporated before the first buttonhole was finished mine has none of those lovely features - it has covered snaps.  
Likes:  The interesting sleeves.  The lovely design lines.  It has nice back and front yoke seaming.  And it's very easy to make.
Dislikes:  Actually, not a dislike, more a caveat.  Given the shape and the fact that the sleeves are 3/4 length, it isn't the most versatile jacket.   It needs something simple and long sleeved underneath.   
I ended up making a version of the Vogue 1179 dress to go under it.   This is another one of those perfect DKNY patterns. 
As mentioned, this is made in a Vera Wang Lavender charcoal poly jersey.  The sleeves are from Vogue 1194.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Patrones 306

Despite having loads of perfectly reasonable patterns do you ever get obsessed with making the one pattern that you can't get your hands on?  Burda Mags usually arrive here like clockwork - except for this month.   I've got the fabric... the scissors are poised but pattern.  I really want to make this one.  
Anyone else thinking that the July and August Burdas are looking quite promising?  Well, maybe except the Dalek cape.  
There may be no Burda but a Patrones arrived.  The Vacation edition.  As I'm currently huddled over the heater there isn't much for me here at the moment but for anyone needing floaty cotton dresses, this is your month.  
First section is beachwear.   A maxidress, the cover shortsuit, plain baggy tshirt, mini skirt and a couple of loose cotton tops.   This dress is sweet.
Next 'Travel Light'.   This dress looks really interesting when you look at the diagram.
The next section is nude, lingerie-ish dresses.  There are a couple of nice layered looks.
6 holidayish cotton dresses.  The blue one has potential.
The larger size section has some casual cotton pants and tops.
Finally a summer dress, dungarees, top and shorts for girls.
And the next mag is advance Autumn - yay!  I love all the Autumn ones.  Although 26 August does seem like a long time away.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Vogue 1027 DKNY dress

Vogue's DKNY range consistently offers up wonderful knit dress patterns doesn't it?  Easy to make, easy to wear and flattering on lots of body types.  

I'm eagerly awaiting the new Vogue patterns which seem to come out soon.  Mid July it appears.  They are previewing a couple of nice dresses in the magazine lookbook on their site.  The cover dress and the grey marle dress are wonderful.
This pattern is a classic - I think it came out in 2008 but it is still perfect.   Vogue 1027.   I've loved just about every version I've seen.
The fabric is an animal print rayon jersey from Emma One Sock.
The original didn't have sleeves but I've added the sleeves from another pattern (Vogue DKNY 1194).  I also left off the pockets and doubled over and sewed together the belt rather than hemming it.
And I'm hoping to make a jacket to go with it (if it doesn't look weird).  Vogue 2607.  I didn't realise I'd had this pattern so long - 2001!  But it hasn't dated and it must still be selling as it is on the McCalls website.  I quite like the collar and the fact that it does up with coat hooks and eyes.  
The fabric, assuming the muslin doesn't look horrific, is an unusual putty cotton - metal which I got as a $10 remnant at Potters Textiles Outlet shop.  Actually it looks more like a lump of putty in this photo than fabric.   It is an odd colour but seems to go quite well with the dress fabric and has a strange metally crinkly texture. 

Do you think cutting a cotton/metal fabric may do nasty things to scissors?    
Anyway, I'll give it go.