Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Manequim 623 and some freebie patterns

Theme of this Post - I'm closing my eyes to the 'I thought it would be fabulous but is oh so NOT' dress I've been making and showing some snippets of Manequim 623 instead.

This weekend I went to a fancy formal event at short notice and on Friday night started trying to make a dress to wear the following evening.   That scenario is really just made for trouble isn't it?

The dress was this one - it looks nice on the dressform but not half so nice on me.   It needs a fix up.  I'll muse (aka mope) about the Evil Dress for a while until I can tackle it again. 

Manequim 623 - a much better subject!  This is an excellent Manequim month.  Melissa at Fehr Trade has shown some of the styles and here are a few more.

First up 'Production chic' inspired by the style of a TV character.  A woman who wouldn't have a conniption when called upon to find something dressy in her wardrobe.   Nope, she already has frocks, including this great pink number. 
Next some Manequim freebie knits.  The instructions are in portuguese but with internet translation they don't look too difficult for other language speakers.  Knitting instructions may be easier to translate than sewing instructions but err... I stand to be corrected.  
It's a good month for Manequim freebies..... I think this may be a new free downloadable dress pattern?  I haven't noticed it before.  Manequim Size 42.
A tops and skirts section follows.  This blouse is lovely - have a look at the line drawing of the sleeves.
There is a section inspired by Isabel Marant styles including this dress and the wonderful suede jacket.
The jacket has a scary looking layout diagram - scary when you see the intricate Manequim pattern sheets and think of all that tracing and squinting.
Next 'Winter Trends 2011' with a long dress, 2 jackets, day dress and a couple of pairs of trousers.  I rather like this jacket and pants.
A section on skirts of all shapes - panelled pencil, long, midi, wrapped and flared leather mini. 
And finally the Oscars dress special and the 'this goes with that' section.  
I'm looking forward to the next magazine after a flick through the taster.  The dress on the cover is pretty fab.
 Meanwhile, after I have buried the Evil Dress in the depths of some cupboard until I can look at it again, I will be back to a project that was going quite well before I got diverted. Vogue 1098 - the jacket is terrific.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Vogue 1226 Rebecca Taylor top

There were a couple of details I left out of the last post on the Patrones topper and I've been very tardy in responding to queries so here is the missing info. 

I mentioned that I'd taken 12cm out of the back neck - that was only from the neck edge (i.e. I took out a triangle, and nothing was taken out of the back hem).  I have a narrow back and usually take out 3cm or so from the neck edge, so anyone making this you may not want to take out a whole 12cm. I'd recommend erring on the side of caution as you can deal with quite a bit of any excess fabric with easestitching.
I made a size 46, although it could be any size given the style. You could make the smallest version and it would fit. I took lots off the sleeve length but as you can see the sleeves are still very long, although I suspect it is one of those fabrics that keeps growing and growing.

If the top looks familiar it is this!  Yes the Vogue 1173 sack.
I kept looking at it unworn on its hanger and decided to do the chop.   It makes a better work top and it will be worn far more.   I ripped the lining out so it is more fluid and shortened the sleeves.

Now, onto the real subject of this post - Vogue 1226. A Rebecca Taylor dress made as a top.

The dress would be lovely but not for me so I just made it as a blouse.
Pattern Sizing: 14-20. I made a 14 as it said 'loose fitting' but should have made a 16 as it was a bit tight around the chest. It isn't loose fitting enough to get away without a full bust adjustment.

Note that it looks high necked because of my photo angle but it isn't. 
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It is a nice blouse pattern - nothing fancy but the collar is interesting. The back of the collar is sewn into the neck at the end so it makes the collar stand up and the frills splay out. An unusual but nice touch.
Fabric Used: Maroon washed silk.
Pattern alterations: I have unfinished collar edges which wouldn't be to everyone's taste but being a frill-o-phobe I wanted to de-prettify it a bit.  I sewed around the seam line as normal but just didn't turn the collar inside out. 

Other than that, no changes were made. Note, you may want to check the shoulders on this style as I always have to take in the shoulders but not these ones.

Conclusion: I wouldn't make another one but it is a nice and slightly unusual blouse. I'm sure it would make a lovely dress.

On a completely different matter, this month's Manequim is a doozy!  My favourite one yet.  Isn't this leather jacket lovely.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Patrones #289 cardi

The mornings are getting cooler and my office is fridge like.  I need some warmish things but jackets demand a bit more concentration to make than I'm feeling.  Cardi time!  Cardis are such good quick gratification projects aren't they?  Good stash user-uppers too. 
You always hope that a pattern is going to be good but isn't it nice when a pattern turns out even better than you expected.  I've been meaning to make this Patrones cardi for ages.
Of course I've made 2. 
The pattern is from Patrones #289 Model 9.  The fabric for both is a modal/wool from Potters Textiles Outlet Store.  I was wondering what 'modal' was - apparently made from cellulose, as with rayon I guess.   The mix of wool and modal is wonderfully soft whatever it is. 
They do suggest 1.5 metres of 140 cm fabric but I got these out of a metre each - this is great for using up remnants.
I didn't make a muslin and when I tried on the first version discovered that the back neck was so wide it slipped straight off my shoulders and the shoulder seams were down on my collarbones.  I took 12 cm (yikes) off the length of the back neck band and eased in heaps of the fabric by gathering. 
 To make:
  • staystitch and and clip at notches.
  • Sew shoulder seams and under sleeve up to notches.  I did a french seam using wooly nylon thread in the bobbin and a stretch zigzag stitch on the sewing machine.  I so loathe trying to changing my overlocking thread I avoid it whereever possible for small projects.  
  • Sew centre back seam of bands. 
  •  Sew other band seams.
  • Sew one seam of the band to the bodice, all the way round. 
  • So it looks like this.
  • And then turn in the seam and sew around the band on the inside.  I handsewed as I was in the mood but machine stitching would be quicker I guess.
  • The sleeves were enormously long so I took quite a bit off the length.
  • The cuffs were too wide so I took in 2cm.  Sew cuff to sleeves.
And if you have this Patrones, I highly recommend this one....  a nice, quick project.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Patrones 304

Maybe it is having new reading glasses that I can actually see out of.  Maybe (urrr... well definitely) I am avoiding doing more momentous things (like cleaning the house) by sitting here with a coffee pondering why Patrones looks different this month.   But somehow it does.   I think my copy just had a printing glitch and involves peculiar colours and smudgy bits.  I've touched up the photos to look vaguely normal.
It does have some very nice patterns though.  No difference there.  
This is the summer special.   We are halfway into autumn in Australia but there are still quite a few things that would be fine for our season. 
First, a summer dress section.  The photographer needs a stern talking to for giving us mere garment glimpses.   
Next a section on white shirts - 5 white shirts, a couple of pairs of trousers, a skirt and a pair of shorts.  Very nice. The next 2 are my favourite patterns from this magazine, particularly the second- what a lovely bow detail.    
There is a section on summer casual basics.  Cotton casuals I would say.  shorts, blouses, a few trousers, a dress and even a cotton pants suit.  This top is nice.  
There are 3 summer maternity dresses.
And the final section is the plus size selection which includes an illustration of the fattening power of different clothing styles.  Same woman - but example one:
And example two.
She looks so different in each pic doesn't she?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Vogue 1127 Badgley Mischka blouse Mark II

Not so long ago, looking at the gloomy sea of black and grey offerings in my wardrobe I decided I needed to expand my comfort zone and introduce some colour. It must have worked as I'm now slightly obsessed with colour and wild patterns. They do make you feel cheery.
I so love this pattern! This second version of the Vogue 1127 blouse is made as per the pattern (save for a few modifications below).   I've just started making the jacket too - hmmm, not as nice as the pattern photo.  But the blouse is fab.
I was wary of the very, VERY long ties - which being cut on the bias take up a massive amount of fabric. If I ever made this again I'd make them a lot shorter as I'm not that keen on a big bow under my chin. Something about it reminds me of Margaret Thatcher.
I've added short sleeves.
The fabric is a silk chiffon from Textile Traders in Balcatta and it is lined with a thin mauve chiffon.
The pattern is a trapeze shape with a curved hem. I had all kinds of problems with the hem on the first version as I had to take in the sides a lot, which then made the curved hem an issue.

This time I took in the sides - 5cm in at the hemline on each side seam - drawing a line up to the underarm (which was not taken in at all).  I cut the sides a bit longer than the pattern so the hem was a straight line. Looks much better and the hem was far easier.
On to cardigans now... time to dust off this Patrones number...