Monday, August 15, 2011

Robin's egg blue skirt: Burda 10-2010-115

Big news: I'm moving out of my little shoebox in two weeks.  This will probably be the last thing I sew here.  The fabric is a pastel blue wool gabardine that wrinkles like nobody's business.  It was left over from a failed project and has been in my stash for more than 6 years... surely, its age has nothing to do with its wrinkliness.  I really did press this!  Until I saw the photos, I thought I was still crisp and ironed!  The skirt was an instant gratification project (start to finish in 3 hours) and is a near perfect replacement of this cotton pique skirt (same color) that I spilled tea on.  That skirt just wasn't meant to be... it started off life with stains from the pocket lining fabric and then was permanently ruined by tea.

Here is my new skirt, which unlike the first skirt sits slightly below the waist.  Here is Burda's magazine shot.  It's a cute skirt, but they must not really want you to see what it looks like because the model is seated.
Burda 10-2010-115

The skirt comes in two lengths, 17" and 19".  I could have shortened it to be a mini on me, but to keep it more office appropriate I made the 17" version without alterations.  I generally like my skirts a little above the knee to offset my shortness, so this is perfect.  This is a size 36. 

Front view.  I did not know there was a huge wrinkle above my right knee until looking at this photo.

Side view.  I'm pretty sure this isn't poofy, I just have weird posture in this picture.
Back with lapped zipper.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Vogue vanity sizing?

It has cooled a little bit.  My schedule has slacked a little.  And I've been sewing.  I've sewed a few things that I'm very happy with, but haven't been blogging*.  I am so miffed with this dress that I wanted to ask my fellow sew-ers, seamstresses, seamsters (whatever you prefer to call yourselves) whether you have experienced problems with Vogue pattern sizing recently.  I haven't bought a Vogue pattern in years, mostly because I've had a Burda magazine subscription for the last few years and thought there was no need to buy paper patterns.  I hypothesize that since McCall bought Vogue a few years ago, Vogue sizing has changed.

A little background on this dress and fabric... I've had this fabric for a few years now.  I bought it from Gorgeous Fabrics, and until recently had no idea what to do with it.  It's a huge abstract floral print, and I bought it during a period when I told myself that I needed to expand my wardrobe beyond black, black, black, and jeans.  It also bled in the wash, so I wasn't dying to use it but still liked the challenge that it posed and the possibility of wearing it.  Then one night a few weeks ago I came across a lovely DVF dress, which I posted about here.

I looked through all my Burda magazines, no dice.  Then I looked on the Vogue website, and found this DKNY pattern (Vogue 1221) that looks like a close enough approximation of my inspiration dress.

Vogue 1221, taken from
I diligently cut out the pieces (from single thickness, no less!), marked all the tucks (fiddly!), sewed it up (surprisingly Burda like in their instructions!) and learned that I am no longer a true size 10 in Vogue patterns.

Here I am, wondering if it is really a sack.  Because I don't have a full length mirror (no space!) I had to take a photo.  Note, I did not crop out my frown.

Here I prove I can't dress myself.  Look at those arm facings sticking out.

Here I stand on my toes because it makes the dress a little more flattering, despite being enormous.
Admittedly, the dress doesn't look bad in photos.  But it doesn't fit the way the pattern model's dress does.

Her dress does not gape in the front or sag on her hips.  The drape is right below her bust.  Mine is somewhere around my waist.  And I can pinch out 2 inches in the front of the dress.
At this point, I was really annoyed.  Although the fabric was bled, I was so-in-love with this idea of using the abstract print for this dress that I Had To Make It Work.  I hate altering clothing, especially something I've just sewn because the point of sewing is to have clothes that fit right without having to alter.  Anyways, in my attempt to Make It Work, I ended up taking it in 1 inch on each side, and then realized that I needed to take the shoulders up 1 inch as well... and with the facings and shape of the shoulder straps that just wasn't going to happen, even if I were to do a total hack alteration of pinching out 1 inch in the shoulder straps and then tacking them on the inside because the neckline shape would then no longer fall smoothly.

taken in 1" on both sides, and still gaping in the front and back.

Something is just not right about the hips, and the neckline has a giant gap.

The bodice is way too long.  Again, weirdness in the hip area.

I think I don't need to go down just one size but TWO.  That is ridiculous.  Because I don't have a 23 inch waist, no matter how much I wish it to be so.  Does anyone else have this kind of sizing issue with Vogue?  It's annoying, because I really think that pattern companies should stick to real measurements rather than trying to cater to vanity sizing.  Back in the day, I could count on being able to sew a straight size 10 without a muslin.  I guess not anymore.

*I promise to share soon!