Monday, 9 May 2016

Summer's End Top + Pants

I've whipped up a top and some black work pants - and I'm feeling really happy with them both.

The pullover top is sewn from an 80s pattern (Vogue 8313) and some vintage fabric (quite possibly from the same era).  For all that it's an old style it doesn't look particularly dated to me... and yet it's pure 80s.  In fact my mum had a top with very similar lines to this one when I was growing up, though hers was made from white linen with navy trim inset around the neckline (and no buttons), and had a matching skirt - much more of a classic look than this :).

I found the buttons in my stash - wasn't I lucky to get such a good colour match! 

I modified the pattern slightly to narrow the neckline and to make the buttons decorative rather than functional; I didn't think my loose weave fabric - a lightweight hemp perhaps? - would have stood up to buttoning, and I don't usually have any problems getting pullover tops on. The pattern also called for top stitching to hold the facings in place around the neckline, but I opted instead for lots of 'invisible' hand stitching under the buttoned corners and wherever else I could hide a few stitches...  I love this "no stitches" look and wish I'd thought of it when I was sewing the sleeve hems. 

The top is intended to be a little more cropped than mine but I wanted it to cover the waistline of whatever I wore it with, so I added a few centimetres to the length and cut the front and back with the selvedge in place of a hem.  I can *just* tuck it in too when I wear it with high waisted shorts:

I should have realised such a loose fabric would be slightly transparent - I will have to bear that in mind next time I wear it...

And the black pants are the pants from Vogue 1264 by Anne Klein, described on the pattern envelope as "semi-fitted pants with tapered leg has side invisible zipper" and reviewed here on PatternReview. They're basically just cigarette pants - no pockets, no frills!

Black is so hard to photograph!  

This pattern is a really good basic pants pattern - simple to sew with an invisible side zip and waist darts, and giving a surprisingly decent fit right out of the envelope. My only intentional adjustment from a straight size 14 was to taper the pattern to a size 16 waist, which turns out to be a bit loose on me and makes my pants end up sitting lower than my waistline and makes the pants legs look longer on me than they should (I normally lengthen Vogue pants legs by at least 5 centimetres). 

I also forgot to follow the instructions, and that led to my unintended omission of the cute side slits that should be happening just above my ankles. I'll definitely have to include them next time - they're very easy to sew. and with a nice deep hem they should have enough weight to stay in place and not flop askew.  

I've lightened the next photo so you can see the fit in the back of the pants with my top hoicked up. The fit isn't perfect, but it's a million times less saggy under the backside than all my RTW work pants and would probably look even closer to "spot on" in a drapey wool crepe (these pants are sewn from a stretch cotton):

The pants have a plain facing at the waist and no waistband, and I think this is good for those of us (like me) with a short waist - though I guess it may not work for those who need a belt to keep pants in place. Although I've sewn my pants up with too loose a waist, my impression is that the pattern is also a good starting point for those of us with flat-ish backsides (like me) - the crotch curve looks relatively shallow compared to some pants patterns I've tried.

Extra room for ice cream, right?

Next up I'm hoping to show you a winter dress that's turned out to be more "va-va-voom" than planned (I have no idea whether or not it is going to look alright in the daylight and in photos, but it's looking OK in the weak late-night light...), and then a cute but seasonally inappropriate jacket.

These photos with their varying backgrounds were all taken at Bicentennial Park on the foreshores of Rozelle Bay a couple of weeks ago (thank you mum!) with the exception of the shorts photo (thank you tripod).  I hope this doesn't feel like an excess of photos!

Thanks for reading

Gabrielle xx

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