Vogue V8840

I don’t remember when I purchased this pattern. It may have even been gifted to me.  I do remember why I was interested. It’s the extended shoulder with sleeve.

It had a fashionable, easy look.  Definitely a change from my usual set in sleeve silhouette. I thought it would need knit fabrics. To my surprise the recommended fabrics are: synthetic suede, charmeuse and mens suiting. All wovens without stretch. I returned my selected knit to its place on the self  and chose a rayon crepe recently purchased from Casual Elegance. I made my normal 1″ NSA and BWL pattern adjustments and cut at tunic length . Next I trimmed out the neckline as a high round neckline is definitely not my best look.  Honestly, this was enough of a departure from my usual style that I was nervous. I wanted something to reassure me.

This was a simple sew. I left a 6″ vent at the center back neck; added a button and loop before finishing the neckline with bias tape. Mostly it was straight or gently curves. I serged the shoulders and sleeves but initially basted the side seams to check for fit.

I realized, too late, that this pattern really wasn’t an easy winner when matching patterns. By that I mean, I should have taken much more care.  I didn’t want to make full pattern pieces (rather than the half front and half back provided) because I wasn’t sure I would use the pattern twice. To camouflage the mismatched stripes,  I added a 1/4″ black ribbon at the shoulder and again where the sleeve is stitched to the bodice. Even though heavily starched, the rayon crepe fabric was wiggly.  I used a glue stick to baste the ribbon in place before stitching.  Instead of a straight stitch I chose one of the decorative stitches to attach the ribbon permanently. A little bit of effort, yes. But not terribly time-consuming or difficult and very effective. I find adding a solid line between unmatched plaids, strips or patterns, reduces the jarring effect of those unmatched elements. Somehow, having a place for the eye to rest (the black ribbon) makes the mismatch un- or barely noticeable.

I finished with a 3″ hem because at fitting I felt the tunic length was much too long and disproportionate on me. I looked all torso balanced on two short sticks.

I opted to take “final” pictures without shoulder pads and then slipped the pads in to place.   I think there is a subtle and desirable difference between the two looks. I will be sewing the 1/4″ pads in permanently.

I don’t dislike this look, but I’m not wildly enthusiastic either. It is still heavily starched which will make a difference by in appearance and comfort. It’s an OK look that might be punched up into something more flattering.  Also, I think my viewpoint is colored by the 90’s when I weighed an additional 50 pounds and this was about the only style available. Even though it has both a bust dart a back shoulder neck it is rather shapeless.  (I’m not sure which bra I was wearing and that too could make a difference). I hand hemmed the bottom hem. Carefully. Also this has been pressed several times just because I press anytime the next seam will cross a previously stitched seam. I don’t know, maybe different colors would make a difference.  I like this print and it’s colors, but I look tired even though I just had a miracle mask that was supposed to brighten and lift my entire countenance.

 

Sigh, I will make this pattern once more before deciding if it is a keeper. I love the print and the colors (even if black is not one of my personal bests). This blouse will be fine beneath my winter vests and I have one less “black” fabric to return to my shelves.

Burda 2010-07-112

A caftan for me

To read about my sewing it, click here.

A Two-Fer

Sometime ago, someone asked about making multiples.  I make multiples of the same pattern. Unless it’s a really distinctive pattern. Otherwise, doing the fitting and not making the pattern again seems like a waste of time.  But I rarely make multiples of the same pattern at the same time.  It’s too much like making a uniform. But when I made 5203 for the 6PAC, at the same time sewed this version

I made this version per the pattern instructions.  I didn’t have enough fabric for the previous version and so skipped the cowl and made the garment 5″ shorter. In this version I made the ViewA, tunic length with 4″ (2″ when sewn) vents. I made my usual 1″ NSA and BWL.  I used the same pieces for both versions because View B doesn’t have any side seam shaping. In my mind, View A was designed for someone with tummy and hips.  It curves outward ever so neatly just above the hips.  As always, this was an easy quick sew, even with the few pattern alterations I made.

My one disappointment with the pattern is the cowl itself. To me this is not a cowl:

I expect a “cowl” to drape much much more. To me, this is a deep turtle neck. Like the ones I wore in the 60’s. In a way, I wonder if I wasted my money.  I haven’t made the actual comparison, but I think the pieces are almost exactly the same as 5208, Bianca’s sweater. Now I love Bianca’s sweater, dont’ get me wrong. it too was an easy fit, but I wonder if I couldn’t have drafted an 8″ wide rectangle for the “cowl” instead of paying what I did for a new pattern. Oh wait, I remember. 5208 is more like View B of 5203 with it’s straight sides.

Doesn’t coordinate with the bright blue of my 6PAC, but looks good with the black:

Dang! Why does the camera always snap when I’m looking at the wall hung TV?

PS Fabric is a sweater knit of undetermined fiber.  I’m thinking trilobal. Nice wooly feel without being wooly itchy.

Extended My Winter 6PAC

Many of my garments are appropriate for multiple seasons and tend to last more than one year.  So when I started my 6PAC and chose black and bright blue, I expected to find several usable pieces already in my closet. Unfortunately, I went up a size earlier this year so my pickings were meagre.  I had in fact nothing in the “absolute winter” category. However I do have a few autumn/spring pieces which will work nicely.

Here’s the really nice thing about a black 6PAC:  I don’t have to wear just bright blue.  Even as I was sewing I wore a green ITY with my black pants and vest.

A few days later, I wore black pants, black top and a salmon colored vest. Black goes-with lots of colors.

Winter 6PAC + Found items

It’s enough for travel!

2014 Winter 6PAC: The Group

It’s always a pleasure to present the final and complete 6PAC:

My Winter 6PAC consists of 2 tops, 2 bottoms, 2 third layers (vest and coat).

At the beginning, I envisioned black and bright blue pieces. As I worked through  evaluating my existing clothing and planning new pieces, I realized my 6PAC would be composed mostly of solid black pieces.  But I’m not disappointed. What I have is an easy to pack and coordinate travel-wardrobe which is also wearable in my day-to-day life. I can, at any time, add more pieces in the bright  blue or other colors. I have an excellent starting point.

 

Oh and it’s done, DONE, D-O-N-E!

Final Winter 6PAC, Top #2

You feel so much joy when you get to this point, Piece #6, the final THE FINAL piece in the 6PAC.  In my case, Top #2 a sweater knit in black and bright blue made with Loes Hinse pattern 5203 the Cowl Top:

 

I’m starting with View A.  It’s tunic length but what really impressed me was the side seam shaping.  I did my normal 1″ NSA and BWL adjustments to the pattern. I was short on fabric but wanted to use this fabric. It’s a sweater knit.  I have 3 very heavy sweaters in my closet.  They are good for slogging around outside in the cold and snow.  Inside, I need something a bit lighter and I have nothing that qualifies.  Also, this was my first fabric with color, the bright blue I so wanted to use.  It’s hard to tell front the photo, but it is a black and blue in narrow stripes.  since I was short on fabric, I opted to fold up along the tunic hem line and ditch the cowl.  Because it is a sweater knit, I stabilized the shoulder and neckline with bias fusible tape. Mistake. I used a simple up and over binding.  When finished, it wouldn’t stretch to go over my head.  Could be the bias tape, but as drafted this is also a very high neckline.  I trimmed the front down about 4″ and added a regular binding made from self-fabric cut along the grain. Doesn’t quite have as much stretch as cross-grain but still I managed to get it a smidge to big.  I’ve already run 1 strand of elastic through the binding to tighten it a little.  I may need another.

I don’t know if anyone has mentioned but this is a slim arm.  I wouldn’t wear anything (T-shirt, blouse) beneath the sweater. The arms would be too tight.I was tempted to add shoulder pads. But didn’t. I mean who adds shoulder pads to a sweater? Ridiculous. Right?  But looking at the back, I may go ahead and insert a 1/4″ shoulder pad. (I need shoulder pads. My shoulders have always been sloped. They are even more sloped now that I’ve acquired a few extra years.)

Also, I really need to add length to the center front.  RTW looks like this on me. When I’m sewing I can fix that.

WINTER 6 PAC UPDATE

  1. Top -DONE
    1. Fabric: Black ITY with Sequin design
    2. Pattern LH 5213 V-Neck Tunic
  2. Top
    1. Fabric: Blue and Black narrow-strip sweater knit
    2. Pattern LH5203 Cowl Neck
  3. Pants
    1. Microfiber/cotton twill
    2. Pattern: PP113
  4. Pants DONE
    1. Jeans
    2. DG2 Purchased from HSN.com
  5. Vest  DONE
    1. Fabric Mohair/Cashmere Remnant, trimmed with Embossed Knit
    2. Pattern NL 6249 Vest
  6. Coat DONE
    1. Fabric: Polar Fleece
    2. Purchased from Walmart

 

Winter 6 Pack Item #5

My 2nd pair of pants sewn (not purchased) read details here.

2014 Winter 6PAC: Vest

I have become a “vest” person. Especially during winter.  With pockets, a vest provides a convenient way to carry toys and Kleenex (when needed). During winter, the extra layer is often all I need while indoors.  So a vest was a “no brainer” for my Winter 6PAC.

I had planned to use Loes Hinse Venetian Vest. It was already traced and fitted. It is a simple sew which rewards with a beautiful garment. But while at Walmart I found this interesting New Look Pattern #6249

It too should be a simple sew. A front piece, back piece, collar band and optional pocket.  I liked the extended shoulder and that the band  was even with the hem.  This is a cheap, trendy pattern. While the Venetian Vest will always be a classic piece, there have been periods of time when the extended shoulder is considered dated and unfashionable. I decided to make this now, while it was fresh, with the thought of possibly restyling a few years down the road.  I did my standard 1″ NSA and BWL alterations. I do not tissue fit, but I did pull out the tape measure and check a few places.

The main fabric is a beautiful, soft woven natural fiber. Burn test indicate animal hair of some type. It does not smell like wool. Nor does it feel like wool. It is so soft and so smooth, I’d guess cashmere except I’ve never seen cashmere woven. It’s always been a cashmere knitted sweater in my experience. So I’m guessing mohair, except this is softer and smoother than any mohair I’ve previously experienced.  It was in the box given to me by a local farmer when she discovered I was a dress-maker.  The box contained small cuts between 1 and 2 yards of luxury fabrics. My farmer had no idea the quality of fabric she freely gave me. Only that she had been impressed upon that the fabric must not just be given away nilly willy.It had to be given to someone who could appreciate the gift, me.

This cut was 52″ wide and 1-1/3 yards long. Enough for the body of the vest, but not the band. I do have a couple of patterns that would easily make a vest from this amount of yardage. Perhaps I should have chosen one of them. Instead I purchased a second fabric to make the band and trim the pockets. My 2nd fabric is a polyester knit. An odd and maybe distasteful combination of fibers but it is embossed like suede leather.  You have to get up close and see the knit ribs to realize that it is a knit.

Front Band Close Up

I purchased this beautiful fabric at JoAnns, Sioux Falls SD. Yes I’m visiting JoAnns again. They moved the store and apparently changed management. I say apparently because there is more staff and they’ve been schooled to be helpful, polite and friendly. The new store is half crafts. The other half is divided into  1/3 fleece, 1/3 quilting cottons,  with notions, Home Dec and fashion fabrics all competing for the final 1/3 of the 1/2. The dress making selection is and most likely will remain small but at least there are some good fashion fabrics.

My pocket trim is a rectangular piece. Interfaced. Folded in half length-wise and serged to the top of the pocket.  I then folded it down and exposed 1/4″ of the main fabric at the top creating  “faux” piping and top stitched in place.

In retrospect, I wish I’d interfaced the entire pocket instead of the trim. Due to its size, the pocket tends to gape. Too late for a button, I may be adding a velcro spot.

I was concerned about the thickness when attaching the front band. The knit is beefy. Thick. The band is entirely interfaced and folded in half. The ends are sewn, right sides together and then turned.  At the hem and shoulder seams there are 7 layers of fabric.  Instead of serging the band to the garment, I serge finished the edges, stitched the ends and then stitched the band to the garment.  I carefully pressed into place and then top stitched. Even Ruby (my SM) protested over a few stitches.

This really should have been a quick and easy garment. I complicated things. First I decided the fabric deserved to be lined. Couldn’t find a lining I liked in my stash. I wanted something plain. Black or charcoal colored. This is to be a basic piece. I wanted plain, plain plain, but luxurious. I finally settled upon using the remnants from Top #1. After cutting, and having to piece together for the shoulders, I decided that sequined fabric was a bad choice and discarded the lining idea.  I’m too far away for a quick trip to a fabric store. If ordering online, I would need to delay this project for at least a week. Besides the pattern doesn’t call for a lining.   Another time-consuming activity not called for in the instructions, I serge finished all the edges before stitching together. Serging the edges ensured that my fabric did not ravel during handling and turned out to be the right choice when I stitched the band and finished the armscye. The armscye facing is formed by stitching a 1/2″ wide side- seam allowance  and then folding to the inside,  1/2″ around the armscye. Finished by top stitching in place. It’s an easy neat finish made better by the fact that I serged the seam allowance first.

Oh and I’m happy with this addition to my closet.

WINTER 6 PAC UPDATE

  1. Top -DONE
    1. Fabric: Black ITY with Sequin design
    2. Pattern LH 5213 V-Neck Tunic
  2. Top
    1. Fabric: animal print in black, grey, cream and bright blue
    2. Pattern LH5205 Boat neck top
  3. Pants
    1. Microfiber/cotton twill
    2. Pattern: PP113
  4. Pants DONE
    1. Jeans
    2. DG2 Purchased from HSN.com
  5. Vest  DONE
    1. Fabric Mohair/Cashmere Remnant, trimmed with Embossed Knit
    2. Pattern NL 6249 Vest
  6. Coat DONE
    1. Fabric: Polar Fleece
    2. Purchased from Walmart

4 done 2 to go. Yipee 2/3 finished!!! I think that’s called “Moving Right Along”.

2014 Winter 6PAC: Top 1

Finally, I’ve been able to sew. My first finished sewn garment for my 2014 Winter 6PAC :

In my 6PAC, I’m aiming for basic black pieces that have a range of winter-uses.  This fits that bill. I’m using an ITY sequined knit with Loes Hinse V Neck Tunic pattern #5213. The fabric is not covered with sequins. Rather small 1/8″ sequins are sewn in partial arcs all over. It can be dressy. I certainly wouldn’t wear it while scrubbing the shower shall, but I also see it as a basic piece with casual possibilities.

It was time to refit this pattern. In fact except for the Venetian Vest, all my Loes Hines patterns need to be refit. For months, I’ve tweaked here and tweaked there until the previous version fit like cr@p.  It’s similar to the “too many cooks” syndrome. Too many changes and a perfectly good pattern has morphed into something rather hideous.  I expected issues. Was stunned that fitting was so easy.  I traced the next larger size. Because this is a modified raglan, I didn’t apply a NSA. I made a 1″ BWL and took a hard look at the pieces.  It has been longer than I thought since I last worked with the original pattern pieces.  I don’t remember the arms and body being so long.  I folded up the pattern along the shorter length line.  Then, because past experience reminded me that the V-neck is too deep for my liking, I raised it 1.5″. That’s it. Raising the neckline took the most time; about 5 minutes.

It’s also been a long time since I’ve sewn this pattern.  I forgot to do some things.  I didn’t tape the shoulders — something I always do with knits. I was in the middle of sewing the long underarm/sleeve seam when I remembered I should press the other serged-seams first. Too bad I didn’t think to hem the sleeve at that time.  I had planned to use my coverstitch for hemming.  The wrist was very difficult to get in under the foot. Finally I decided upon hemming at the SM.  I set my Ruby Sewing Advisor for fine knit fabrics and inserted a new 10-ball point needle (replacing the 12 universal).  No problems with hemming.  I love my Ruby. I did remember to sew the center front seam after finishing the neckline.  I once again tried Loes Turn-N-Stitch and I once again hate this method.  It just finishes unprofessionally.  It’s the finish for a new sewist.  Someone who hasn’t developed a discerning eye.  Well it’s done. I cut this blouse 2 nights ago. Today I finished it in about an hour and that includes stops to keep the laundry going. This is a wonderful pattern especially when I need instant gratification.

The picture above is lovely, but doesn’t tell me the fitting story. So after composing it, I lightened the exposure 100% to get:

I think I will lengthen the center front because I see the hem distinctly rising in front.

I see the drag lines from the bust. That’s typical in any undarted top. For me, that’s typical. I’m not a terribly busty person so I’m convinced that even when the envelope says B cup it really means double-A. I’m not worrying about the bust drag lines.  I am concerned about the back.  I did not add shoulder pads. I think that would take care of the back draping. I keep 1/4″ shoulder pads on hand (I buy them by the dozen).  It will be a quick fix.

Love this pattern. Why don’t I have a dozen versions right now?

6PAC Update

  1. Top -DONE
    1. Fabric: Black ITY with Sequin design
    2. Pattern LH 5213 V-Neck Tunic
  2. Top
    1. Fabric: animal print in black, grey, cream and bright blue
    2. Pattern LH5205 Boat neck top
  3. Pants
    1. Microfiber/cotton twill
    2. Pattern: PP113
  4. Pants DONE
    1. Jeans
    2. DG2 Purchased from HSN.com
  5. Vest
    1. Fabric Chenile Loose Weave
    2. Pattern LH 5104 Venetian Vest, Simplified, i.e. no hem flaps or closure.
  6. Coat DONE
    1. Fabric: Polar Fleece
    2. Purchased from Walmart

!!!Officially HALF WAY THROUGH!!!

2014 Winter 6PAC

This weekend I swapped the summer clothes for winter. I pulled the winter clothes out of containers and inspected their condition.  I’m pretty good at culling clothing throughout the season and always discard a few at season’s end. As expected, there were 2 that should have been discarded last spring but managed to make it into the boxes.  I shook out folds and hung the garments on hangers. I allow gravity to work before a quick press.  Then I looked over the lot from to see what was needed to complete a 6PAC.  I’m the one who likes to keep 6PAC’s in 3 basic colors: black, chocolate-brown  and navy blue. Once the basic 6PAC’s are done, I feel free to add accents, embellishments and fun garments; work on techniques or struggle with fitting.  To my horror, my winter wardrobe is deplorable. I have 3 very heavy sweaters seldom worn because they are too warm and a few pair of pants that are faded or have less than acceptable fit. Usually, I have clothes from the previous year with which to start the current season. That’s not the case this year. I need to get sewing.

For a few weeks I’ve been thinking of a black winter 6PAC with bright blue accents. I thought I had most of the individual items and would need only accents and a replacement or two. Having now pulled out the winter clothes, I know a full 6PAC is needed. I’ve pulled fabrics. In fact, I’ve reorganized the black section of my fabric stash.  I even made a separate stack of fabrics for winter pants. Grey colors are included in black section. I found that most of the black and grey are the same hue just different values. But oddly I have a small selection of blued grays and another of taupe-grays.  They are more appropriate for spring and fall so I’ve separated them for future use. (Spring will come again.)

  1. Top
    1. Fabric: Black ITY with Sequin design
    2. Pattern LH 5213 V-Neck Tunic
  2. Top
    1. Fabric: animal print in black, grey, cream and bright blue
    2. Pattern LH5205 Boat neck top
  3. Pants
    1. Microfiber/cotton twill
    2. Pattern: PP113
  4. Pants
    1. Jeans
    2. DG2 Purchased from HSN.com
  5. Vest
    1. Fabric Chenile Loose Weave
    2. Pattern LH 5104 Venetian Vest, Simplified, i.e. no hem flaps or closure.
  6. Coat
    1. Fabric: Polar Fleece
    2. Purchased from Walmart
  7. Accessories
    1. Shoes
      1. Black Boots, on hand
      2. Black flats, on hand
    2. Purse
      1. Every day: Black purse, on hand
      2. Evening:
    3. Scarf
      1. I like to wear a scarf over my shoulder and beneath my coat.  I learned this years ago from some well-to-do but thrifty woman.  A scarf worn against the body will aborb any oils and cosmetics. It can be easily laundered in the sink. A coat cannot. A scarf IMO is a necessity for each coat. I hang my coat and put the scarf on top.
    4. Hat
      1. Charcoal hat on hand (I love this hat.
    5. Gloves
      1. Charcoal – buy to match hat.
    6. Watch
    7. Wedding Ring
    8. Earrings and necklace as desired

I know I’ve kinda of cheated because I’m using 2 purchased items. But I have them. In the right color and I need them n-o-w. With vest and a top, I have one basic black outfit.

I need to refit the V-neck Tunic and Boat neck top. I’ve used these patterns over and over. I think refitting will be a matter of tracing the size for the current girth of my hips, making a 1″ BWL and 1″NSA before cutting. Oh, yeah, if I remember correctly I need to raise the V-neck.  I’m not really a cleavage baring person.

A lot of people, including myself forget to plan accessories. Accessories take you from day to night. Accessories are the final touch that make you look put together rather than thrown together. Yet we treat accessories as after thoughts.  This winter, I’m doing it differently.  This winter I’m including my accessories as items needed to make my 6PAC work.