Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Vintage Vogues - Individualist, Paris / Designer Originals

I haven't been posting as much as I mean to lately, probably because I haven't been sewing as much as I mean to. The weather here has gotten a little cold, our house is cold, and I don't enjoy sewing in the cold! 

Anyway, with little in the way of sewing news I thought I could do a show and tell of some of my vintage Vogue patterns picked up on the odd lucky op shop visit - judging by second hand quantities I'm guessing Vogue are either not as popular as Simplicity, McCalls and Butterick, or are hung onto by sewists!

Here are 3 recently acquired Issey Miyake patterns which I'm guessing are from the 1980s:


 
 
 
What do you think - are any of these designs wearable, or are they too dated? Feeling rather brrrrrrrrrrrrr as I am, I'm liking the look of the cosy jacket with hoodie :-)


And here are some Vogue Paris Originals / Vogue Designer Originals:

 
 My mum swears she had a dress like the above in the 1960s - but it certainly wouldn't have been YSL!
 
This Chloe dress is pretty, but to me the drawing makes it a little nightgownish...

 
I'm not sure about this one - nothing wrong with it, but it's not particularly exciting...

 
I think this Jean Muir dress is really cute and would look good in a knit, although those little pleats would then be a pain to sew! (Does anyone have any tips for sewing pleats in a knit fabric?)

 
And I love this last dress - I can see it in a Ponte di Roma, or a wool jersey. I would really like to make this - but I never stick to a sewing plan, so no promises!

That's all for now - got to supervise a playdate - I'll have to show you my Vogue American Designers patterns another time.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Burda 7576 Jacket - no longer just a muslin

I was still fitting that Burda 7576 jacket muslin - a size 14 sleeve seemed to go into the jacket muslin easily and without wrinkles, but it felt a bit tight in the sleeve cap area - when I came across This old Threads article.  It suggests that to fit your set-in sleeves comfortably you should get out an existing garment (a jacket of course if you're making a jacket) that feels like it fits well in the sleeves and measure it every which way, and take care that the measurements are consistent with those on the garment you're making. The point seemed to be that a sleeve can look to fit well but not feel like it fits well - I don't know how true this is, but measuring up a similar RTW jacket sounded good.


I got out an old favourite jacket that's a very similar style to the one I'm making (pics from Me Made March '11):

 

Interestingly they were identical in the sleeve circumference at underarm level and the armhole size. The RTW jacket was longer up to the sleeve cap by about 2cm, and the shape of the upper sleeve on the RTW jacket was broader and longer. The RTW jacket was larger in terms of shoulder width and upper back width too (by about 3cm).

I made some changes to my pattern pieces and I was going to cut out a new set of muslin sleeves when I decided I couldn't bear to keep working with that disgusting shiny polyester muslin crap. So I'm afraid I've probably skipped some crucial fitting steps but I've moved onto the real thing - proper wool fabric!  Here's a picture from just before cutting into the wool:

and there's enough for mistakes too!
Wool fabric you ask?  Wasn't it going to be linen? Well Sherry commented on my last post and noted that linen would be harder to set in than wool - I had no idea!  So although this is embarrassing, I went back into the tardis I mean stash and came out with something else; a red wool that matches the lining I was going to use with the red linen. I bought this fabric about 20 years ago I suppose from Lincraft - back in the days when they used to stock a pretty comprehensive range of Liberty lawn (how things have changed!). This fabric is nothing special and I don't know for sure how much I like it, but that means I won't have to cry when I stuff up my jacket.

And here are some progress shots - the sewing has commenced:

 
In these photos the peplum is only pinned in place - I need to attach the front facings before the peplum as the peplum front extends into facings that are just folded in place (if that makes sense).  I've also sewed the front and back facings together, and the 2-piece sleeves + sleeve facings together, and have sewn up and pressed the bodice and sleeve linings... it feels like it's coming together now!

This final photo shows the sleeves pinned on (only just) and the facings sitting on top of the bodice - but I think it gives you an idea of how the jacket may look in a few more steps:





Happy Easter and happy sewing everyone!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fitting and Fixing

Tanit-Isis very kindly offered some feedback on my Burda 7576 jacket muslin, and she confirmed what I thought:
  • back needs to be let out a bit
  • lapels seem to want to break higher up
  • front is gaping
  • shoulders a bit too wide
That sounded a lot to fix - and totally daunting to a muslin amateur, so for the sake of a record I can go back and review as well as for any other muslin amateurs out there I'll record how I attempted to make these adjustments.

After a lot of thinking time (also called procrastination) I had a go at removing the gapes in the front with a ton of pins - horizonally and vertically! - but the pin attack didn't look to work and there were still pull lines coming from the back.  So I decided to start by removing the tension in the back, then move onto the front when there was no more tension from the back, and then fix the shoulder width and anything else that still needed adjusting.

I'd set the sleeves in pretty badly so I started by unpicking the sleeves and a part of the back peplum so as to isolate the bodice fit issues.  I then let out the back seams tapering out from about underarm level, where the pulling starts, to a widest point at my waist - so that was the centre back seam as well as the two curved side back seams. After this the back fit looked much better...

My original picture on the left below shows the back looking too tight - the jacket was pinned as if it were buttoned up - and this new picture on the right below shows the effect of letting out those seams. You can see that the back is fitting better, although the shoulder to underarm area needs more work.

back with seams let out, muslin #1
back, muslin #1




















Before doing anything definitive with the front of the jacket I went a-googling for muslin adjustments, and came across a very useful post from Gertie on making an SBA in a muslin. Thinking about the gaping front jacket, an SBA made perfect sense... Gertie said for an SBA you needed to (1) reduce length in the bust and (2) reduce width.  I also found Kay the Sewing Lawyer had some very useful posts about adjusting a jacket muslin - this one in particular was useful to me, and I also find her post-muslin jacket photos really inspiring - she gets a marvelous fit! 

I folded out a horizontal dart in the front of my jacket continuing into the lapel (right side of jacket in photo, left side is untouched), and it seemed to remove the gaping and also to turn me into a grinning fool! I pinned the jacket as if for a couple of buttons but it should now only need one:

removing length (R side), muslin #1




















So I transferred this horizontal dart onto a new front pattern piece. I also took the opportunity to grade from a size 12 shoulder up to a size 14 arm hole, and to widen the pattern piece a little at waist level.

And here's the front view of my version #2 bodice muslin, with those new front pieces and a more comfortable back - also with the side panels cut on the straight grain instead of the bias:

front view, muslin #2




















Not good! Look at that crazy waistline - not really a straight horizontal, is it! Clearly I went overboard with my SBA; I think in transferring the pinned dart to a new paper pattern I drew the dart larger than it should have been.  When my mother-in-law visited she told me in no uncertain terms that muslin #1 fit me better than muslin #2.

Back to muslin #1 then. I tried the #1 bodice on again and re-pinned a horizontal dart on one side, this time making it just a small SBA. To remove width I also narrowed the upper part of the side panel that attaches to the front side seam, but I left the rest of the front seams and front bodice as they were. And then I drew on the muslin to work out how the jacket front should fit my narrow shoulders and cut away the excess. This is what it looked like - the "fixes" have been made on the jacket front right in this photo, and on the left side you can see the shape of my original version #1 front.


milder SBA (R), muslin #1




















I think I'm just about there now.  I think there is enough room for movement but it's comfortable and not baggy, so I should be able to go back to the original design of just 1 button at the waist.  I do still need to check the sleeves fit onto my hacked away arm hole I suppose, but assuming that's OK I should be able to start progressing with the actual sewalong :-).

One other fix to mention - the fabric.  I must have been delusional to imagine I could make this little jacket up in a heavy wool coat fabric!  It seems much more sensible to use this nice heavy red linen instead, which was already in my stash waiting to be transformed into a little jacket.  I'm sure I'll be able to use the wool for something else!

red linen, red lining

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Burda 7576 jacket muslin

We were supposed to have our jacket muslins ready to go for Sherry's RTW Jacket Sewalong from the start of April, but like a few others I have been running late with it.  I got my pattern and fabric in time, but have only just finished the muslin - more than a week late!

Here's what it was looking like on the dressmaker's dummy last night - I was comfortable with this:

 
but today I got my partner to take some pictures of it on me - oh dear! Clearly the dummy is a better clothes horse than I (and probably not the same size as me either lol)!  Too loose in front, too tight in the back, arm set-in not right....



 







I made my muslin in a size 12 in the shoulders, arms and bust, grading out to a 16 in the waist and hips. I'm thinking to I'll adjust it to a size 18 waist and hips for the real jacket.  I don't know what else I need to fix, can you see what else I need to do? I know I set the sleeves in badly but I'm hoping that was just due to fatigue (late last night)...

The other thing is that I was planning to make this up in a warm wool, in a nice olive green sort of colour.  However, this little jacket seems to be intended to be made in light suiting or linen, and I don't think I have the skills to calculate the appropriate turn of the cloth and to add the right amounts of ease for a thicker fabric. So I may end up making it in one a red linen or a wide red/cream striped light-medium weight upholstery fabric. If I go with one of these lighter fabrics I can always have a go with the wool later, can't I - or should I push myself to the limit while Sherry and others in the Sewalong are available to help?

Friday, April 1, 2011

30 - 31 March: That's all!

Phew! The end of me made March! I soooooo don't care what I wear tomorrow.... luckily it's a casual day at work, so no one else will care either :-)




Today was definitely cold, but I was determined to wear this skirt that I didn't think I'd worn this month (please correct me if I'm wrong).  

The skirt is made from Vogue 1038, but I shortened the skirt to knee length. It's an unlined skirt with waistband made from a single piece that wraps around you from one edge of the zip to the other, but the front and back are your usual 3 pieces - the waistband was a little too big when I made it and a bity bigger now. This is a good thing but the skirt needs a longish top to cover up the gaping.

The fabric I used was some $5/metre ex-Cue fabric from Tessuti - some kind of lightweight stretch suiting material. I didn't do a great job with this; I am not proud of all that puckering along the hem (which is also too shallow) and in various places around the waistband.

My top and jacket are not me made - my favourite orange top, bought on sale at Veronika Maine a year or so ago, and a rather old Blooms jacket that my mum was throwing out as "too worn" about 5 years ago.  I like the shape of the neckline on this jacket. Nor are my shoes - favourite orange flatties from nine west, now getting rather scuffed and stained.

And yesterday looked to be a bit cold, so this is what I wore:

* Ancient me made jacket - to be quite honest, I probably made it 20 years ago (when I was 2 ;-)). I think it was made from a Burda pattern but I don't know where the pattern is so I can't tell you the number - guess it's OOP anyway.
* RTW sleeveless blue top. This top has a zip down the centre back that starts at the neckline and is just the wrong length - when you tuck the top in to your waistband you are tucking in the lower part of the zip, which feels pretty uncomfortable. If I'd made this myself it would have been a shorter zip!
* Me made Vogue 1098 Anne Klein pants, previously posted here.A terrible thing happened to these pants later - when I was hanging them up I pulled the zip on the fly up a little and the zip pull came right off! Oops - I'd forgotten I'd cut this zip down in an unthinking manner. I've already had to rethread the zip pull back on once during construction and it took a really long time. I'm not sure I can be bothered again.
* Old shoes that I don't wear very much, Witchery sunnies.

You've seen both the jacket and pants before, but here are a couple of my original pics:



 





 


I've signed up for Sherry's RTW Jacket Sewalong, which I'm really excited about, but I think I'll need a little breather first. We're supposed to have our muslins ready, but all I have is my pattern and fabric:



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