Sunday, May 31, 2015

Vogue 1291: bat wing shirt in silk

I realize I have been a bit behind in my blogging! There are several items/outfits that I have not blogged and will probably just do a quick recap blog of them. Mostly so that I can keep track of what I have made!

In my closet I have 2 tops that are quite old that I have been wanting to replicate. Both are made from chiffon, poly chiffon I believe and both are oversized with a blouson effect. I have really been wanting to add some of these to my wardrobe. 

Vogue 1291 was a pattern that caught my eye as a great contender. It is an oversized loose top that is supposed to be tighter at the hips to have blouson effect. 

I had several issues with this pattern right from the start. The recommended fabrics are both knit and woven yet the pattern sizing is clearly for a stretch knit.... Beware when you make this top and take careful flat pattern measurements! 

I was going to make a muslin but realized that regular muslin fabric just would not be a good idea due to no drape. So instead, I used the yellow butterfly print silk charmeuse that I got from Fabricmart.com on a super sale. 

I started off with very careful flat pattern measurements and made an adjustment for the hip. I needed to add width at this area when compared to the rest of the pattern size. 

I followed the directions carefully and they were quite simply to follow. Attaching the back sleeve overlay could be tricky if you don't pay close attention. I skipped the step of finishing the neck until the end because I had a feeling that I was going to need to cut it down. Once it came to the side seams I just basted them with a 5.0 stitch length and tried the top on. At this point, armed with pins and my hand mirror, I stood in front of my full length mirror and pinned in the side seams and where I thought I would like the new neckline to be. For all the seams I used a 2.5 stitch length and then serge finished the seams together to reduce any bulk. All of the hems were done on my regular machine using the small hemmer foot. This mostly worked out great! I had one or two spots that the 'roll' did not roll under but I'm not worried about it. The neckline is a narrow bias band. 


With these marks I went back to my work table and made some changes. I left the hip where I originally basted it. However, from there up and along the bottom of the 2 part sleeve I took off an additional 5/8". There just seemed to be too much fabric!

Using my French curve, I redrew the neckline about 3 1/2 inches lower. It made a big difference! I felt that there was just too much yellow fabric and that it was overwhelming me. The lowered neckline helps. I also think that making this in a chiffon would make a big difference where you can actually see the silhouette of the body through the fabric woud be a better choice.
Imagine this neckline way up high.... Ugh.

All that said, there is something about this top that quickly grew on me. Even my husband felt that as he took my photos that the top grew on him. Ten top felt great out of this lightweight charmeuse and will be lovely to wear on a hot day. Nice and cool but still plenty covered up.

I will probably have to wear a light camisole under this because if you hold your arm out just right you can see right in. It would not be an often occurrence but, knowing me it will happen at the worst possible time!!!! LOL!!

Will I make this again?
Possibly.....
In a woven
- maybe add an elastic casing to better keep the blouson effect OR make a separate hip pattern piece out of a coordinating knit fabric.
- definitely out of a chiffon! 
In a knit it would need to be a very light knit or it will just be too much fabric sitting on the body.

My sewing work table is chocked full of projects :) mostly stuff to enhance my work wardrobe. 

Here is my happy granddaughter, Princess V, learning to pick up and eat food. She has 2 little front teeth now. :) 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Sarah Veblen Chicago Jacket Workshop

Last week I had the incredible pleasure of spending time with Sarah Veblen and 4 other incredibly talented Chicago area sewists, Wendy, Liz, Liz and Susan!

I must admit that I was initially a little nervous about heading downtown to join these ladies in the class. Why? May you ask.... Well,  what if I wasn't good enough, what if they didn't like me, yadda, yadda, yadda. Head trash, all of it!

So, I put all that head trash aside and on Monday I headed downtown to one ladies apartment for 2 hours of private fitting appointments. I was psyched about this and had prepared 4 muslins. A pair of dress pants, a sheath dress, a paneled swing jacket and a traditional French jacket. 

On that Monday we worked on the pants, sheath dress and swing jacket. The process is great. Each of the muslin pieces is marked with both horizontal and vertical lines. These help you to see where the fit is going wrong and assists in helping you to understand how to fix the fitting problems.
With my muslin on, I stood in front of a mirror with Sarah armed with pins on a rolling stool. With us looking in the mirror she would make changes. Some of these were pinning out wedges and darts horizontally, some were pinning out vertically, some also included cutting and slashing. Once pinned and discussed in the mirror, the muslin came off and was then discussed, marked and annotated in sharpie. We discussed the changes and what order to make the changes in and a quick review on how to make the pattern changes. I only spent minimal time on how to make the pattern changes because I feel pretty confident in this area. 

The 2 hours flew by and I was so excited to have several well fitted muslins. That afternoon I drove home and did some homework. I made the changes to the pants pattern, recut and sewed a new pants muslin. Whew! Power sewing on a Monday evening! 

The next 3 days were spent in the actual Jackets workshop at another ladies apartment in downtown Chicago. I felt so welcomed by this group of ladies I really was silly to even had felt anxious! 
We spent 9am to 6pm Tuesday - Thursday. The mornings were spent with Sarah Veblen in discussion. It was such great discussion among the group. The first day was a show and tell of what kind of jacket we were working or planning on working on with discussions around the considerations of the style, the fabric type, the construction. The other days had more detailed discussion on collars, cuffs, vents, and then some more detailed items such as closures. 

The afternoons were then spent with us fitting, adjusting, sewing,etc... For me I spent a lot of time on perfecting the fit and a very classic Chanel type 3 piece sleeve. I think over the week I made 2 full jacket muslins and 3 sleeve muslins. One of the great parts of this was me finally fully realizing the relationship of the armhole to the sleeve! WOW!!! It was like things just clicked into place and I actually really enjoyed making the muslins and all the pattern adjustments. Imagine I have an actual custom made sleeve pattern for me. 

Along with that, we played with different necklines that would be flattering on me.

There were many times that I put down what I was doing to go and look over someone's else's project and discussions. It was great to hear others considerations and issues and how they were being worked out. So much learning and so much inspiration! 

I did also get my new pants muslin tweaked!! Go me!! 

The week ended with a Thursday evening meeting of the ASG Chicago chapter meeting where Sarah Veblen gave the guest lecture. 

When I got home late on Thursday evening I was both utterly exhausted and feeling energized and excited to move into some very high quality sewing projects. 

I was also inspired to join the ASG :) finally after sewing for 25+ years. Better late than never!

Sarah Veblen is an AMAZING professional to work with! If you have the opportunity to take a workshop with her, do it! You won't be sorry at all. She also has classes on pattern review. Although, I have never taken any of these. She also does teach periodically at some of the expos. Check out her website www.sarahveblen.com


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saturday morning on my worktable

A busy worktable!
A skirt ready to be hemmed by hand... Needles, thread, beeswax and skirt hooks. 
A pattern ready to be altered and fabric cutout.

This busy table makes me happy!