Friday, December 2, 2016

Chanel - A Fresh Take on Finger-less Gloves - Inspiration


Chanel is one of my favorite designers. I just love looking at the beautiful details of the garments and accessories that are post of the Vogue Magazine website. The designs are a great source of inspiration and always leave me wondering what will pattern companies draw from them. In many instances, they have already published a very simple version of some incredibly beautiful design element or garment that graces the runway.


 In this case, I noticed the finger-less gloves on almost every models' hands in the Chanel Fall/Winter 2016 runway. As I scrolled through each picture, I grow more and more fond of the finger-less glove. Some had bracelets on top, other were ruched. All were quite beautiful and helped make the outfit complete.

Simplicity recently published 8273, which covers the a portion of the thumb. While Simplicity 3942, published several seasons ago has the thumb exposed. Both patterns can help make some beautiful versions of the finger-less glove. These is an easy sewing project that offers all sorts of opportunities to make unique gloves. Great for Christmas gifts.

 Happy Sewing!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

McCall M6996 - The Second Time Around

Hi everyone,

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday.

It's already December, and I can hardly believe that we are thirty-one days away from the new year.  Incredible! The day I took these photos was November 3rd.  The day was sunny and beautiful.  The trees had most of their leaves.  Now it really feels like winter.  I hoping to publish a few more posts before the new year begins.

Anyway, for this new cardigan there is no real review needed. I just want to mention a few things about the fabric.  It's from JoAnn's Fabrics, a light weight knit with raised stripes.  The hand is smooth and the color is rich.  It has a soft drape and lays close to the body. That's about it..  My first review is here, February 2015.

So that's it for this post.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Vintage McCall's Bomber Jacket M7203 and Vogue Jogging Pants V8909

One of the things that I love to do sometimes is mix and match patterns.  In this case, I used the bomber jacket of a vintage McCall's pattern V7203 and Vogue 8909 jogging pants.

I first planned to make the bomber jacket about a year and half ago, but I never got around to it until now.  Sure, I purchased McCall's bomber jacket from last year, but I liked this one better.  The vintage pattern has two options for making the collar, waistband, and wristbands: one for ribbed knit and the other the same fashion fabric as the jacket (collar and wristband cut on the bias - the waistband with rows of elastic inserted between channel stitches.)

Here are my reviews for the McCall 7203 bomber jacket and the Vogue 8909 jogging pants:

McCall 7203 Bomber Jacket

Pattern Description: Jacket has separating zipper and long sleeves with elasticize waistband, cuffs and neckband. 

Pattern Sizing:  6-16; My pattern was size 16, copyright 1980.  Only one size per envelope during that time.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes it did. 

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes the instructions were easy to follow.  When I opened the envelope to review them, I had to chuckle.  This pattern is almost 36 years old.  The guide sheet has colored illustrations.  Unlike the guide sheets on today.  The blue indicates the right side of the fabric.  The pattern pieces are also different, having large print and numbers to indicate notches and layout instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the option of having the entire jacket had in the fashion fabric and the instructions on how to do so.  Also, bomber jackets are on trend.  No real dislikes.

Fabric Used:  I purchased this lovely faux ultra suede from JoAnn's.  The chestnut or cinnamon color is also on trend.  This warm color is perfect for my skin tone.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I didn't make any changes.  The pattern is a size 16.  So I thought it should be okay across the bust and shoulder areas. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, I want to sew it again, but in a mesh or lacy fabric.  I noticed some pull at the neck area.  So I will address that before I do so.  And, I think I will add a few inches more to the length of the waistband elastic as it pull a little more than I'd like it to.  I do recommend the construction technique to other.  You should be able to use a more recent pattern to get the same results by cutting the fabric for the collar and wristband on the bias; also by adding the elastic to the waistband with channel stitches.

I really enjoyed making this jacket.

Vogue 8909 Jogging Pants

Pattern Description: Fitted (below waist) pants have elastic waistband and purchased ribbon drawstring, yoke back, side-front seams, no side seams, and side-front pockets. A, B: Elasticized leg bands. B, C: Stitched hems.  I had view B lengthening the pant leg by a few inches.

Pattern Sizing:  4-26; I used size 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, they did except I eliminated the draw string and only did two rows of elastic instead of three.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Nothing difficult about them.  Simple.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the back yoke, pocket placement, mock fly, and front/side seaming.  My only dislike was the length as shown on the model.  I like my pant a little longer.  In this case I over compensated by a inch or so. Next time I won't add as much length to them.

Fabric Used: I used a lovely faux ultra suede from JoAnn's.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  The only changes to the pants were: eliminated the draw string, only inserted two rows of elastic instead of three, and lengthen the pant leg.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, and yes.  This will be my go to jogging pant pattern.

So there you have it.  My new bomber jacket and jogging pants outfit.   They can be worn together or with other coordinates.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Comfy/ Stylish Cardigan - Butterick 6389

This is a fairly new pattern.  I like the style lines and saw the potential to beef up my casual fall wardrobe.  The long vest could be easily converted into a cozy sweater with full sleeve and the floaty wide collar.  This was the piece that "encouraged" me to buy this pattern.

I especially like the view of the model wearing the vest belted on the envelope.  The armhole falls about three inches below the base of my arm.  Perfect for wearing chunky sweater for the cool days.  It is very versatile and has the potential to be converted into a light weight coat.  So many patterns can be used for multiple purposes.  I'm always mixing and matching pattern pieces.

Butterick describes this pattern as: loose fitting vest has shawl collar and shaped hemline.  Top and tunic have turtleneck with back exposed zipper and raglan sleeves.  Pull-on pants have elastic at back waistline and side-front pockets.   It comes in sizes 4 to 26.  I used size 14 straight out of the envelope.

Minus the sleeves, my sweater does look like the drawing and modeled long vest on the envelope.  I used the sleeve from McCall's vintage pattern, M3025.  Easy fit for the loose fitting vest.

The instructions were easy to follow.  I changed a few of the construction techniques.   For the collar, I did a french seam  and sew it down instead of a flat fell seam.  I followed the same process to attach the collar to the vest.  To complete the hem, I used stitch witchery to hold it in place before sewing the hem.

I like the short and long vest as well as the mock turtleneck top.  No dislikes.  The pocket placement is  a little low.  So test the placement before you sew them to the vest.

The fabric that I used came from JoAnn's.  It's a medium weight sweater that has purple and lavender threads, which creates a purple heather color.  It's soft and appears to have good recovery.

Excuse the frown; the sun was in my eyes.

The great thing about this pattern is it is loose fitting.  I was able to make it without doing any real fit alterations.  I think I added maybe an inch or two to the length.  The most time consuming part of the process was sewing the french seams and the hem.  It was quite an easy project.

A beginner should be able to make this vest.  The flat fell seams may take some time, but doable.  I just didn't want to do them for this project.  I may sew it another, maybe..,

Anyway if this is your style, try it.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

New Look 6940 - Wardrobe Builder Making It Work for Me

Purple Skirt M5523, Red Pants M6515 and Black Pants V8909

I finished the last top of this collection a few weeks ago.  The goal I had in mind was to tweak New Look 6940 until I was satisfied with the fit and to provide some information on the changes that I made to achieve that desired fit.

Selecting a wardrobe builder was the August, 2016, challenge for the Pericrafters group on Facebook.  Many of the group member made coordinates from another New Look pattern, which I've made the cardigan. I choose this pattern because it was a t-shirt with a twist.  Plain and simple; I like it.

My first version - black (View A with sleeve from view E), I basically cut the neckline size 14  hoping it would fit so I could avoid a FBA.  NOT.  As you can see in the picture the horizontal seaming in the bust area does not fall on at the base of the bust area.  I can pull it down, but sooner than later it rising about two inches above where I think it should fall.

NOTE:  You don't see the issue when the top is on my dress form.

My second version - black and white ( View A with Sleeve from Simplicity 4076) turned out a little better.  I made a small FBA.  This version is better, but I was not completely satisfied.   I considered this one a wearable muslin.  I could get by not having a perfect fit as the busy print does hide the small fit issue.  To stabilize the neckline, I added clear elastic to it.  It eliminates any gaping affect.  But this version solidified the fact that I needed to do my typical FBA.

To fit the bust/twist area, I made the adjustment below.  The alteration adds the appropriate amount of width and length, with the lower bust area gathered to fit the lower bodice section.

My third version- purple (View A with Sleeve from View E).  This last version has the complete FBA adjustment with a neckband added to the neckline.  You can barely see the gathers.  This version works.

Now that I have gotten the bodice front fitting issue out of the way, let me continue be review the rest of my sewing process.

The basic pattern information:

Pattern Description:  Misses knit tops for bodice and sleeve variations.

Pattern Sizing:  6 - 18; I used sizes 14 with modifications.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Typical instructions; nothing confusing.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I like the twist front and the sleeve variation.  I dislike the wide neckline and the lack of a neckband.

Fabric Used:  For all three tops I used knit but of different degrees of stretch and fiber blend.

  • Version 1 - Cotton blend knit - least amount of stretch (25%) from JoAnn's  (Leftover remnant from my Vogue 8909 jogging pants, which I will review soon)
  • Version 2 - ITY knit  with about 35% stretch
  • Version 3 - Sports knit from JoAnn's with about 35% stretch

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I made my usual sway adjustment.
I made a few design/construction changes:

  • Gathers under the bust resulting from the FBA.  
  • The neckline was too wide.  This is typical of New Look patterns.  I narrowed the width of it.  See front and back pattern shown above.  

  • I like the stability of a neckband.  So I added one by measuring the length of the entire neckline.  Then substracting 3.5 inches.  I cut the neckband two inches wide.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, now that I've all the kinks out of it. I will definitely sew it again.  It's a great wardrobe builder.  I do recommend it to others.  Make a muslin first.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Red Is One of My Favorite Colors - Vogue 8871 and Butterick 5727

Every once in awhile I inventory my closets to see what needs to be retired and what needs to be added.  I noticed that I only have only red dress in rotation.  That was kind of odd, since red is one of my favorite colors.  So I decided it was time to add a little warmth to my wardrobe.

This is the perfect time.  The holiday season is around the corner, and I may as well get a head start.  So I began with a simple princess seam red dress.  Vogue 8871 is perfect:  it's simple; it's fit and flare; and it's cute.  Mood's red stretch rayon-nylon ponte knit is a perfect match for this dress.

Initially, I made view B adding the sleeve from Vogue 1314. I tried it on several times before and after hemming it.  Something wasn't right.  So I call in my little consultant, my darling daughter.  Immediately, she said, "It's too long.  Take a few inches off."  Still I was trying to make the length work, trying on various belts.  I didn't want to cut it off after all that hemming.  Tee hee.  So finally I gave in, cutting about 3.5 inches off the dress.  Now, I'm happy.

I made a few more changes:
  • Full bust adjustment
  • Sway back adjustment by adding a center back seam, folding out the access at the waist and curving the center back seam to fit.
  • I don't like to do a narrow hem at the neckline. So I made a neck band about two inches wide and two inches less than the length of the neckline.
  • I didn't top stitch around the armhole, nor did I double stitch the seams.  I stitched once and finished the edges with the serger. 
In the end, the dress did look like view A with long sleeves. I barely looked at the instructions, as this is a very easy dress to make.  The instructions were less than a page after the layout information.

My only dislike was the narrow hem for the neckline.  I like a narrow neck band that is attached then turned in for a clean sturdy finish.

Call me crazy, but I think I will try View B in a print, like the one the model is wearing on the website.  ;-)

This is a very easy pattern that beginners can sew, and it is flattering on most body shapes.  It's worth a try.

Part II:  Adding Interest to a Simple Classic Silhouette - Butterick 5727 Fur Collar

Medium Brown Lamb Shearling, Chocolate/Black Iridescent Twill Lining, and Butterick 5727.

So sorry the medium brown lamb shearling is sold out.  I was able to grab two pieces around this time last year.  Way back then, I did not know what I'd do with it.  When I saw it, I wanted it; so I got it.  The good news is, Mood has other shearlings that may interest you.  You can see them here.   As for the Chocolate/Black Iridescent Twill Lining, they have it in stock and it is perfect with the lamb shearling fur collar.

You can easily make it without a pattern, but I had it on hand.  So why not use it. ;-)  I made size medium.  The only change made: I double the ties.  It looks much nicer then the narrow hem method.
So you never see the wrong side of the fabric.


That's all for now.

Happy Sewing!


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