Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Summer Vogue patterns

Everyone else is posting their picks, and here are mine.  They're pretty much divided into "I wish I had a reason to wear this," and "I love this but don't know how I would wear it."  I'm just going to pick a few views of the ones I like best.  Which ones do you want to sew?  Or wish you could sew?

Let's start with I wish I had a reason to wear this...

Lia Lia 1304.  How have I never heard of this label before?  I love this dress.  I could see it done casual in a cotton lawn or dotted swiss.  It would look awesome in a lightweight plaid suiting. I have a champagne crepe back satin that would be great for this dress.  And, Lee's sister is getting married at the end of the summer so I'd have the chance to wear this.  The skirt alone is worth the pattern.  I love the asymmetrical pleats.

And here is the back.  How cute is the sunback?

Lia Lia 1305.  One thing that I'm not sure about with these lia Lia designs is that I don't really have a lot of time for standing around with my right hand on my head.  Still, this dress is awesome.  There's a long sleeve (one sleeve) version as well, but I like the short sleeve version.  I could see shortening this, but this certainly doesn't fit into my hum drum lifestyle.

And now on to what I love but wouldn't know how to wear.
Issey Miyake 1309.  This is such an interesting top.  I could see wearing it with skinnies, but it deserves much more than that.
A second view of 1309.  This is definitely not work appropriate without a sweater or jacket.
Vogue 8821.  This has so many interesting things going on: volume, short-long hem, scallops!  And you have to stand like this all day to show it all off.  I don't think I have that in me.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

How to wear it? part 2.

Thank you for all of your comments on my last post.  I've revisited the tucking in, because I like the idea but am not sure how much I like the reality.  What are your thoughts?

Here is the shirt with a fitted, high-waisted skirt.
This isn't so bad, but it doesn't exactly tuck in neatly.

This is where I am just not sure what to do about all the volume in the shirt.   It just looks like a mess to me.

Again, this just seems huge to me.
I also loved the outfit Burda had on the pattern envelope, so made pant 7250 to wear with it.  I love the pants, but am not sure that I can ever get the shirt to tuck in the way it is shown on the pattern envelope.

Here I am wearing it with the Burda pants.  They are charcoal doubleknit from Gorgeous Fabrics.  Tucked in, the shirt looks kind of neat in the front.  But I think there's a reason why the pattern view only shows us the front!

I'm not exactly liking the back, but this is as neat as it's going to get.

And the side view is not as awful as the view with the skirt.  Of course, I could also throw a jacket or cardigan over this and call it a day.

And here it is untucked.  I don't think this looks as good as tucked in because the pant pleats add volume at the shirt's hem.

Love it, but how to wear it?

I made another tunic but this one doesn't tuck in very well.  In fact, I don't know how to wear it.  I could wear it with jeans, but jeans get old.  I don't wear leggings.  I made the pants shown in the pattern photo, and for whatever reason when I try to tuck in the shirt I can't get it to look as smooth as they've styled it.  And this just doesn't work with a skirt.  So here I am with a shirt that I love but don't know how to wear.

Burda 7665.  Too cool for school?  The hem is not shirt-tailed, it falls that way because of the deep pleat in the back.

Burda 7220.  I made the pleated pants shown on the model and can't get the styling right.
Without further ado, here are some photos of the shirt on me.  I made it from this plaid Dana Buchman silk/cotton blend at Fabric Mart.  The fabric is great, I like the weight and the uneven, oversized plaid.  The plaid was slightly off grain, so I didn't bother to match it on seams.  The fit is great in the shoulders, and the deep pleats in the front and back add a lot of volume.  The cowl is very drapey and in this fabric falls quite nicely.

Cool cuff variation.  It's cut-on with the sleeve, with a pleated closure. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Channeling 1968

When I put this outfit on, Lee asked me if I'm trying to bring the late 60s back. The top is Simplicity 2365, and it's a touch big on me. The shoulders fit fine but there's a lot of ease throughout. I really should have cut a size or two smaller (I was debating a size 6) but cut the size 10 because I was worried that if I went according to the pattern measurement instead of envelope measurement I wouldn't be able to pull it over my head. And then I remembered that I rarely unbutton my button down shirts (I am about as lazy as it gets) and I can pull those on just fine. So I am going to size down 2 sizes the next time that I make this top.

The pencil skirt is Burda 11/2005 104, which I shortened quite a bit and added a  vent to the back.  I can't believe I had to dig that far back into my magazine archive to find a plain pencil skirt with a waistband, but it is what it is.  The skirt fabric is a textured cotton twill from FFC,  and the top is made from a mystery voile (poly? cotton?) from Sewfisticated Fabrics in Somerville.  I bought it intending to make a dress, but here I am about 2 years later with a shirt.  If I had a nickel for every time I change plans for a fabric... I'd be doing pretty well!

Aside from size, I really like the design of this shirt and am pretty sure I'll make another.  The tucks and 3/4 length sleeves are a nice feminine combination.
My mother always told me to tuck in my shirt.  And while it doesn't look so bad from the front...
Oy, does she have a case from the side.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why are wedding dresses so expensive?

No, no, I'm not engaged!  I came across this short article and interesting video on yesterday and it made me think.  The economist in this video wonders why her wedding dress was $2,800.  So she takes it two experts, a fabric store proprietor and dressmaker, who tell her she's been ripped off.  The fabric can't be worth more than a few hundred dollars.  So then she gets to thinking... why do we buy big ticket items like wedding dresses or designer goods that are ridiculously marked up?  She gives two reasons.

The first is one that probably comes to mind; we're buying into a "signal" of something bigger, whether it's luxury, image, happiness, wealth, you name it.   The second is more interesting to me; it's that we only buy wedding dresses once and don't have considerable experience to compare against.  We don't know how to find a good deal.   I know that feeling. What do you think of clothing markups? A rip off or is it worth paying for the craft?

The video is 5 minutes and fun to watch.  Enjoy!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Stripy shirt and bright pants

I'm on a separates kick, and just finished this top (Burda 02-2010-112) as part of Faye's From the Top sewing challenge, the pants I sewed earlier this week and are another Burda 08-2009-127.  I've made them before in red stretch twill, denim, and black ponte.  It's a versatile pant pattern!
Top: Burda 02-2010-112 in rayon jersey, Bottom: Burda 08-2009-127 in stretch twill
Some things of note while sewing:
  • Rayon jersey is very slinky.  It's lovely to wear, but I'm not sure that the Burda design was meant for such a slinky knit.  The shirt was a cinch to sew (sleeve and shirt hems are self hemmed with a twin needle, neckline is done with a bias binding then turned and stitched) but I think it would fit better if it were done up in a firmer knit.  Look at how long those sleeves are on me!  I think I will take them  up on this version.
  • After having made these pants four times, I have learned a trick for not turning a stretch woven into a sausage casing.  My first pair, the red stretch twill, were uncomfortably tight for the first few wears because I pressed the fabric right before cutting the fabric pieces.  The jeans and ponte versions were moderately tight because I let the fabric cool a little before cutting out.  And this paid turned out just right -- not too tight, not baggy -- because the fabric cooled for more than a half hour before cutting.
  • When sewing a waistband, it is easier to catch the inner waistband from the outside if I press the seam allowance before turning and stitching.
  • I can use an off-color zipper in the front fly, which adds a fun element that nobody else can see!
A wrinkly detail shot... Fly front with green zipper and button in a different shade of blue.  Why be matchy-matchy?