Sunday, 27 August 2017

Vogue 1247 - Don't worry I'm wearing a vest

"Its, err, quite low cut" said Mr B *.
"Hmm, yes, definitely a vest required"

I think I'm a bit behind with making Vogue 1247, now out of print, so far in fact that I had to buy it off ebay. I knew I had discounted it when I first saw it but wasn't sure why.  I really like Rachel Comey patterns as they usually have interesting details and the instructions for finishing given with the pattern are great, this one has french seams throughout.

I realised when I came to cut out why I might have passed this one by at first, its one of very few vogue patterns not recommended for pear shaped people.  Now I don't usually hold with the idea that certain shaped people have to wear certain clothes but it does make sense when you start to look at the finished dimensions.

My measurements put me at a size 12 bust (just), 14 waist and 16 hip but I usually go for at least a size, if not two or even three, smaller at the bust (I'm not sure why Vogue insist on putting massive amounts of ease at the top and hardly any at the bottom of their patterns, as a Mathematician I suspect its due to them sticking with absolute rather than relative ease which means garments will be more closely fitting as you move up the size range - is this true?).
I ended up, after measuring a loose fitting top that I already own, cutting a size 6 at the top (43" at the bust - 9 inches of ease for my size 12 bust!) grading out to a 12 at the bottom.  It involved a bit of fudging at the side seams as the front top and lower side front pieces didn't seem to match (I checked the pattern pieces and I'm not convinced the notches and small circles would line up anyway).

Its not noticeable on my version but the lower front pieces are cut on the bias, I'm not sure if there is any particular reason for doing this, and they don't hang very well for me but its not a major issue. The major issue is the deepness of the v-neck, which if I had read some reviews first I would have known about, and the lowness of the bust but this is easily solved by a) wearing it pulled back on the shoulders and b) wearing a vest.  If I made it again I would shorten it by one or two inches above the bust and add some extra length near the bottom.

I do like it though, the fabric is very soft and drapes well and it sewed up really nicely.
Mr B took me to Washington Old Hall this afternoon so he could practice taking pictures of me but I think its my posing that needs practice!

* Mr B isn't necessarily against low cut tops but he knows that I wouldn't like to be flashing my bra entire torso if I needed to bend down lean forward move.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Vogue 1121 - Part Two

Time for an update on Vogue 1121!

I'm going to be honest and say that I hated finishing this off.  It just seemed to take for ever.
Soon after my last post I adjusted the bodice pattern pieces - a half inch narrow shoulder adjustment and adding half an inch at each side seam - and then stalled.  The lining fabric I had ordered took a month to arrive and usually I like to sew the lining first, one last chance to check the fit.  In the end I had to start with the fashion fabric, John Kaldor Coast.  I have sewn with this fabric before, here, and it came flooding back to me how easily this frays, soon the whole house seemed to be covered in pale blue thread!
Actually sewing the dress wasn't too tricky and even the top stitching went smoothly (I used proper topstitching thread for the first time ever) but I wasn't able to tackle the lining before going on holiday.

I would never normally have a two week break from a project and coming back to it when you've had two weeks to dream about what you might make next seemed tortuous.
And I made it even more tortuous by following the instructions!  I like to do this when I come across something I've not done before so that I can evaluate the technique and decide whether to do it in future (I would never have realised how brilliant hand picked zips are otherwise).

The instructions have you sew the lining in by hand at the neck facing, hem (rather that leaving it free at the bottom) and armholes and then hand sew the sleeves in as well.

I've not encountered this method before and I'm not sure of the advantage of doing this as opposed to making the lining version of the dress and then sewing it in at the neck and end of sleeves.  Needless to say I am sick of hand sewing and won't be doing lining like this again.

I'm always sad when I take against a project like this because all I can do is see the faults in it at the end.  I know full well that these perceived imperfections are not obvious to non-sewers and if they are to fellow sewers they are never mentioned.

How on earth do you ease in the fullness of a 3 inch hem on a flared skirt?  Please let me know. Please!