Sunday, March 27, 2011

Vogue 1217 Mark II

My sewing room has been deserted for the last couple of weeks.   Getting home from work late and lots of things taking up the weekends.  You know how it is.  I'm feeling a great need for some therapeutic sewing time.  

I did manage to make (very slowly) another version of Vogue 1217.
This is the Anna Sui dress. 
The earlier version was this one.  I received a couple of  'that's a nice top' comments at work so thought it was worth a second pattern outing.
The fabric this time is a green stretch silk charmeuse from Denver Fabrics (with the shiny side inside save for the bow).  Is it just me or are shiny fabrics hard to wear?  A bit unnecessary using a stretch for this style I know, and it did make finishing the bias side of the bow difficult, but it was the fabric in the stash that seemed to have the right weight and drape.  

I changed the bow on both tops.  The first pic below is the way recommended in the pattern.  The bow at the top is double folded - bit chocolate box I thought.  
So it was left undoubled.  
An inch was trimmed off each side seam to make it slimmer fitting.

I mentioned last time that the unaltered pattern would make a super short dress as only 9cm had to be cut off to turn it into a top.   As this version was cut narrower and is in drapier fabric it didn't look quite as short as the grey one, where the fabric wasn't drapey and stands away from the body.  A few more cms were cut off for  this green version.   
The pattern has tucks at the bottom, and these were included these for the grey version, but for the green version they made it look rather round and puffy around the hips (and who needs that?) so were left off this time.   
I'm on a mission to find some sewing time this week.  

Friday, March 11, 2011

Patrones 302

Thanks everyone for the comments on the dress in my last post.  Lots of you said it worked with tights so I'm going to keep it as a dress and wear it that way.  I tried it with purple tights too and they look quite ok.   A good out to dinner dress.

Sorry for the terrible photos here.  My laptop stopped working a while ago - if I switched it on, it switched itself off.  The substitute resolutely refuses to have anything to do with the scanner so bad photos it is! 
Patrones 302 - Full spring edition.  I was expecting not to like much in it.  By the time the spring and summer editions arrive in my mailbox in Australia I've been lying on the sofa for 6 months complaining that I'm too hot.  We don't really get 4 seasons in Perth - it is either hot or it is not.

But the first things my eyes alighted on were - wow!  I love an interesting but easy top like this.  This is going on the sewing list.
And even more wonderful... double tick for sewing list.
And there is another interesting top in the Plus section.
But oh dear, I flip over the page to a horror flashback to my youth.  Ewww!  Denim on denim - light denim moreover - and a high paper bag waist!  No!.... Some things should never come back into fashion.
And another one in the Plus Size section.  Denim on denim on denim. 
There is also a Safari style feature.  I'm a bit over safari styles - we just had the Burda magazine safari patterns and they tend to look quite similar after a while.  I like these photos although the location with these trousers and the following capey thing oddly make me think of base jumping wingsuits.
This tailcoat is wonderful.
And a section on petticoats.  That is unusual - don't think I have seen that anywhere before.
And finally, the pattern menu.  

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Vogue 1173

I bought this Sandra Betzina pattern a while ago as I liked the yellow version.  The pattern is for knits or wovens and includes a lining if required.
Now I've tried this pattern before, and failed miserably.   It was in a cotton voile and ended up looking like a very unattractive 60s house frock, but would have looked ok as a blouse had I not got distracted by the TV and cut off so much it was a crop top. 

I had a wedding to go to yesterday and decided to give it another try.  I'm not good at dressing for weddings, I don't wear dresses much and start worrying about the combination of need for appropriate dress, weather factors, need for high shoes etc etc.   

So the challenge for this wedding was - summer (hot), late morning to late afternoon, outside, and at a winery (so outside, plus on grass so stilettos are out plus likely effects of sun plus wine).
The fabric for the latest attempt is this light but horribly slippery to sew silk.  It has colours. It has python print. It has animal print. And pretty much everything else. It is OTT - but hopefully in a good way.   
I'm ho hum about the end result though.  I don't think this style suits me.  I know I'm hypercritical but the photo is far more flattering than in real life, or in particular, from a side view - eck.  Maybe this isn't good for anyone with a chest as it sticks out in front like a beach ball.
My major problem however, was the hemline - a problem of my own doing.  The dress is frumpy at knee length.  I cut it a bit shorter but in a try-on the slippery fabric was dipping everywhere.   I mustn't have cut the dress out very well.  

By the time the hem was straight(ish) - oh dear!  It is uncomfortably short and sitting or bending over is perilous, plus I'm definitely past the age for this hemline with bare legs.

So Plan B - the opaque tights.  That doesn't work either.  And tights on a summer day... nooo.  Frumpy. 
Maybe design wise the neck is too high? Sleeves too long? Just not me?  It still reminds me of a house frock.  I love the fabric but the style... maybe not.  You have to battle to make it not look frumpy.

This pattern might work best in a knit.  There are some interesting features such as darts all around the neck - you can have them on the inside like traditional darts or on the outside as a feature.
Given how busy this fabric is, the darts are on the inside.  The fabric pattern is somewhat wavy which was highlighted by the darts so I did tucks instead of darts for the middle front.
I don't think I'll ever wear it as a dress.  But as a top it could be nice.  It is lined but with the lining taken out so it is a bit lighter, and the length shortened to tunic length and the sleeves shortened a tad it may look nice over a pair of narrow leg trousers.  What do you think?

I have a feeling that this pattern came out at the same time as the wonderful DKNY pattern 1179 which is somewhat similar and is as simple as anything and yet looks hip and supremely flattering on everyone.
After trying both, I much prefer the DKNY pattern. 

And for the wedding, I ended up wearing this DKNY knit dress (without the tights) which I made a while ago. Phew.  Not quite so glam but lots more comfortable.  And it was a lovely wedding.