Thursday, July 26, 2012

Vogue 1127 Muslin Parade

This is my first time re-grading a pattern (down from a 8-10-12 to a 6) and doing a full bust adjustment.  So I made sure to sew up a muslin to make sure the fit was all right given all the pattern changes I made.  I've also been working at this in fits and starts for the last month, which means it took eons because there were so many steps.  It took forever to regrade the pattern, petitify it and then figure out the full bust adjustment because the pattern pieces weren't easy to figure out.  Then, because there are 14 pieces to cut out it took forever to get all the pieces cut and then stitched together.

I'm pretty happy with the result and will make this dress in real fabric.  I am debating a blue-gray tropical wool or a crisp gingham.  Maybe I will make both!

Lee says I should wear this to work tomorrow, or try selling it some hipster.  It's made from old bedsheets and odds and ends.  Is this really what hipsters wear? 

Now, for my horrible, low contrast, indoor lighting at night photos...

Muslin front.  I'm especially happy about how well the bust fits.  The waist is in the right place.

From the side.

From the back.  The peplum has a pleat at the center seam and the neckline is high in the back.  The zipper is poochy not because of the back bodice pieces but because I set it in slightly crooked.  This isn't sewing perfection, it's a muslin, people!

You can see the high backed neckline here as well.

Lastly, here is my full bust adjustment.  I took the piece that had the bust point marked on it, slashed and spread it 3/4" and added a dart that ended 1" from the bust point.  I am sure that there are many other ways to do this, possibly more elegantly, but this worked for me.

Vogue 1157 full bust adjustment
And in case you can't make it out underneath the pattern, here's the pattern photo for reference.  The bodice is fitted but not too much so.  I have debated making the fit closer in my version, but decided not to.  Partly because I think I've gotten close enough, and partly because (I'm not going to lie) I'm too lazy to go through the pattern drafting process again.
Vogue 1157, Tracey Reese pattern envelope photos

Friday, July 6, 2012

Butterick 5561: A grown-up t-shirt

I used to think Butterick was the frumpy maiden aunt of the Butterick-McCall's-Vogue family, but now I am convinced that Butterick is that younger sisterly aunt of the family.  You know, the one who will take you out to buy that outfit your mom won't let you buy?  But the same one who makes sure it isn't too short?

I love this shirt.  It's breezy and easy to wear.  I sewed it up in a peachy gray silk that I've moved no fewer than 3 times (worth holding onto!) that feels cool and refreshing against your skin.  In between these photos, Lee was asking if it would stop puffing up, it catches the breeze so well.  This is a grown-up's t-shirt, made in silk and easy to wear.  I'm wearing it here in jeans, but wore it yesterday with a pair of wide leg linen pants to work.  The cut is modern and has a great shape to it. 

I sewed this in a size 8, the smallest available size.  I figured regrading it down to a size 6 would make the sleeves too narrow, and that's saying a lot about how narrow the sleeves are because if anyone has twiggy arms it's me.

Butterick 5561.  I love the front pleat and gathers at the neckline.  I do not love that I'm a wrinkle magnet.
And from the side.  Isn't the pleat in the sleeve great?  It adds a little dimension of interest without being frilly.  The shoulders fit well and the drape isn't maternity-like.

A view from the back.  Can you see the 4" of stitching in a light blue, where I ran out of gray thread?  Right, I didn't think so!

As you can see from the deceptively demure pattern illustration, there is no hint that this simple design could have some edgier elements.  I can easily see making up all the variations in the future, having sewn this one up (I made the turquoise model in the lower left).
Butterick 5561 envelope illustration.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Vogue 2789: Altuzarra for J Crew knockoff

Sometimes you have a pattern in your stash that you've made a few times.  You like it, but haven't found a reason to revisit it... it's only fault is being too familiar and available. 

Then, you see something someone else has done that makes the design seem fresh and new.  I'd never heard of Altuzarra until I saw the Odette blouse on their website.  Here is my version, which I think comes pretty close to theirs.  I found this stretch gingham at Sew-Lo fabrics, down the street from my house.

Vogue 2789 in turquoise stretch gingham

Altuzarra for J. Crew Odette blouse

Some key differences: the Altuzarra version has 3/4 length sleeves (you can't tell because the model has the sleeves cuffed) and I think it has more ease.  I prefer the long sleeves on mine, which have long tapered cuffs.  I also feel obliged to crow about my "savings," as this was purely a material cost ($5 for discounted gingham and a pattern in my stash for forever) compared to the retail cost of this shirt ($175.)  Things that are the same: Both have tie front, and looking at the photos on the J. Crew website I think that they both have a slight peplum in the back.

Vogue 2789 back, you can see the peplum seam at the waist, making the shirt fitted.  The tapered cuff has 4 buttons.

I've made this shirt a few times before, but in white.  As you can imagine, a white tie front shirt is a bit of a statement, and you only need one.  But gingham totally changes the game, making the design young and fun.

Vogue 2789
This pattern is out of print, but you can get a copy off of Etsy (I saw 3 copies for about $9-$10 this morning), and is easy to sew and great for shirts with feminine details.  I've made view C (the long sleeve version) and view A (tucks and bow sleeves.)  In previous versions of this shirt, I sewed a size 10, but given my new revelation that I'm a size 6 (who would have known it would take years for me to realize that!) I sewed it in a smaller size and am very happy with the fit.

I have a few more projects in photo backlog that I hope to share with you, my sewing friends!  It's been a lovely summer here so far and it's been hard to make time for changing outfits to take photos and writing about them.  I hope that you have been enjoying the longer days and warmer weather, wherever you are.