Tuesday, 11 March 2014

V8879 Work or Play: Keyboards and Angled Stripes

And here for your information, and perhaps even some viewing enjoyment, is Vogue 8879 for work (keyboards edition) and Vogue 8879 for play (angled stripes edition).

Here's the work version - made out of a delicious silk twill. It's such a gorgeous top!

The top is loose and boxy, with wide cuffs on the sleeves.  I do realise I'm showing you the back view first, but I think it's a lovely shape from the back, and really nice with narrow trousers.

I do feel awkward saying something I made is gorgeous, but LUCKILY it's OK this time. I didn't make this top - my mum did. One evening when she was visiting my place she mentioned there were a couple of tops in her car boot that she was going to leave in a charity bin; she'd made them but they were a big disappointment and didn't look good on... of course I was curious!  Can you believe this was one of them? (It's gorgeous in real life, trust me!).

From the side: it's very loose, which is ideal for sticky summer days and great for catching a breeze!

Turn around, would you!

It turns out this is a very practical shape. Being so loose makes it very comfortable in humid weather (like now), and I like that it doesn't need tucking in. Not tucked in means even more comfortable in the heat (and also means you won't notice that my pants are too big at the waist).  I also think it's a pretty stylish shape - I really like that the nicely sewn neckline band sticks out intentionally (cut on the straight, not the bias), and the oversized sleeves with a bit of fabric heft seem cool.

OK this is nearly a proper front view:

These photos were taken just before closing time in the grounds of one of Sydney's historical buildings, the Hyde Park Barracks - same place I took a photo last May :). It's a lovely photogenic spot and there weren't too many people about, just a few staff who politely checked I wasn't taking commercial photos. However, this time I noticed that the grounds are overlooked by office buildings. I hope the people working in there had their heads down :)

And here's the front view - I love, love, LOVE the sticking out sleeves:

Do you recognise the pattern?

Here's a link to the pattern, and to some reviews.

Vogue 8879 is a relatively recent pattern from the "Very Easy" range, released about a year ago. It's not one that instantly appealed to me - I had no idea it would look so good in a woven - but I did think it might work as a t-shirt basic. The silhouette is so simple that of course, the fabric is everything. 

This fabric is a silk twill from The Fabric Store in Surry Hills, and even though I know it doesn't have the right 3 / 2 pattern for the ebonies, it looks to me like stacked keyboards. The top was cropped significantly shorter than the pattern intended (variant C with the length of variant B) due to fabric limitations, but this length is just perfect for not tucking in (which is the way those of us with short bodies are supposed to play).

Interestingly, the pattern is not recommended for woven fabrics.  

I've been wearing this to work a lot, with these and other too-big black pants.I recently lost some weight around the middle (yay!), and half my wardrobe and all the pants are now too big (boo!).  I've been trying to make some new pants, but it's all ugly stuff ups so far and very discouraging. Just when I thought I knew what size I was, it changes...

When your pants are too big and your sewing efforts are failing, you might be tempted to look in a shop.  I trundled into Veronika Maine to sample their pants wares and try to work out my size (hmm it's the in-between size), and the staff started asking me about the top - "you got that here, didn't you"", "it's a Veronika Maine top, isn't it?" and scrunching up their eyes as they tried to remember which range it came from. It gave me such great pleasure to tell them my mum made it! 

And a quick summary of the sewing:

  • Made in a size 12-14 (M). In RTW Australian tops I'm a size 10-12, which would equate to a US 6-8 and I can't remember what size that is in the UK. 
  • Made from silk twill. The pattern is recommended for two-way stretch fabric, but it's a loose enough pattern to go with a woven.
  • Shortened due to lack of fabric.
  • Sleeve band ruching omitted


Let's move onto the second top, the angled stripes 'play' top.  This one too is a salvage job from mum's car boot - honestly, the stuff I find in there!

This is exactly the same variant of the same pattern, only sewn to full length and sewn from a stretch. It looks so different, doesn't it - very slouchy and relaxed.

This fabric is a beautiful cream jersey with angled blue stripes - I wish the angles were showing up a bit better in these photos. Again this fabric comes from The Fabric Store, and I think they also had it in a cream / red colourway.

 I'm looking very serious in these photos because I was keeping an eye out for movements from the neighbours' place - I just hate it when they catch me posing for blog photos!

Nothing much more to say - and even though I took a ton I haven't managed to get very nice photos of the top - so can I give you a glimpse of the greenery in my corner of suburbia?

I look like I'm having a terrible time climbing the hill here, but at least you can see the top in a front view. Somehow amongst all the photos I took, very few showed the front, and very few were not blown out or too dark.

When I tried to take photos of the back, I only got half of it - this is the best of the back views, sorry!

What you can see here though is that the neckline is quite low at the back. If you preferred you could pull it forward to make a lower front neckline, but for me the front is low enough as is. The sleeves are drop sleeves (again, the ruching was omitted), and the top falls to below hip length with a bit of a flared shape.

When I was a teenager, I had a friend who wore different coloured versions of exactly the same outfit to school all through the warm months, and then different coloured versions of another single outfit to school all through the cold months - like a uniform. 

I like this pattern so much I'm planning another in a happy pink for my wardrobe.  In fact I like it so much I'd like one in each of my favourite colours... but I really should have another go at the pants, shouldn't I!

See you soon

- Gabrielle x


  1. I adore both tops, if I had them I'd wear them all the time! Also that first fabric is seriously gorgeous.

  2. These tops are both great for hot, sticky days. The keyboard print is a classic.

  3. I love both the tops, the silk one is oh so work worthy (the boxy shape looks good in a cropped version) and the tshirt one is perfect for weekends. I don't know much about fashion, but I keep seeing boxy tops lately with sleeves sticking right out and I so want to sew a dozen like these for myself :) My weather is hot all year round, so I practically live in tops like these everyday! Aren't you lucky that your mum hadn't given these tops away?

  4. I would have never notice this pattern if it wasn´t for your two lovely versions. You are such a lucky daughter! I know you are going to wear both tops a lot.
    And great photos too!

  5. You wouldn't know these tops are from the same pattern and they look fantastic on. How wonderful is your Mum.

  6. I need my Mum to have a car boot like yours! Love both of these and the cropped length and volume of the first is indeed perfect for slim trousers. That diagonal stripe is so interesting, I like! I can see how this would become a uniform, in fact it's right up my alley. Might have to take a look at this pattern. And grrrr, ugly trouser attempts. Hang in there, in between sizes sucks.

  7. Gabrielle Corbett12 March 2014 at 19:22

    So do I - I'm finding it seriously hard not to wear them all the time! I've got another cut out now though, so hopefully that will help:)

  8. Gabrielle Corbett12 March 2014 at 19:31

    Thanks Erin, I am lucky aren't I! I don't feel like I know much about fashion either, but this sorry of top does seem to be everywhere lately doesn't it, so I guess it's 'on trend' or something :)

    I've just cut out another of these to sew for myself, with hot weather all year round you should definitely make yourself several! It looks like a quick make - nothing on the bias, nothing tricky, woven or stretch...

  9. Gabrielle Corbett12 March 2014 at 19:33

    Neither would I Merche - I only have a copy because mum accidentally bought two! And what's more, I don't think I would have particularly noticed the black and white fabric, even though I love it sewn up!

  10. Gabrielle Corbett12 March 2014 at 19:36

    Changing the fabric makes such a difference doesn't it - and I know patterns that specify stretch OR woven fabrics are annoying, but in this case I think that's what they should have done.

    I am very, very lucky - I have such a generous mum.

  11. Gabrielle Corbett12 March 2014 at 19:44

    I hadn't realised how magic that boot was before these two tops; it was an awesome surprise. I'm now wondering what delights have been chucked before though :(

    I can imagine you in either of these, Jillian - yes, definitely you! The pattern looks like nothing - but I'm sewing another one up now, so hope to be able to report the sewing low down soon.

    Yes, ugly trousers grrr... I think I've chosen the wrong pattern AND the wrong fabric!

  12. Gabrielle Corbett12 March 2014 at 19:47

    I agree - if only! I will have to keep a keen eye on that boot...

    Thanks, and sorry I didn't get better photos of the striped one, I know it's hard to see the slanted stripiness properly.

  13. Oh this is just so cute. I love that you sewed it together. And I agree that a grown up version would be equally as lovely :-)

  14. You are really working this pattern. The black and white version is perfect!

  15. Two great tops! They both look so great and breezy. Makes me long for the summer!

  16. Yup piano top is lovely and silk twill is just gorgeous to wear. I'm jealous :-). I'm loving the idea of making things in non-recommended fabrics and they work out so well .... its a reminder that we're clever enough to go off piste sometimes right?

    I love the slouchy knit stripe version too - how cool to see both fabric types and one pattern made up (thanks to your mum's car boot lol).


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