Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Pink & Red Roses


I am horribly behind on posting new projects.  Although you would not know it by looking at this blog, I have been very productive in the sewing room for the last couple of months.


This dress was actually finished back in May, which is also when these photos were taken.  I guess you could say I am having a lot more fun sewing than going through photos.


This is my second version of Vogue 1043.  I love that dress!  So much so, in fact, that I decided to take another stab at the pattern.


Just for fun, I decided to use a drapey rayon from Gertie’s recent fabric collection.  I knew the skirt would look great, but I was not sure how the bodice would work without a fair amount of structure.  The neckline openings are faced . . . but would it be enough?


The answer is yes, and no.  The design definitely lends itself to a textile with more stability than a lightweight rayon.  However, I think this works.


I did have to add a snap to keep the surplice front from pulling open.  This is not an issue on the cotton version of the dress, so I am blaming this entirely on my fabric choice.


The pointed neckline also wants to flop forward.  I cannot help but think that a pair of collar stays might solve the problem.  But am I going to stitch in a channel for a stay?  Probably not.  This is not a tailored garment by any stretch of the imagination, and I am not that concerned with the problem.


And the dress is incredibly comfortable, so that is something!


I really do love the print.  I love it so much that I purchased the blue colorway and may have already made something with it.


And just like my other version of this particular Vintage Vogue pattern, this dress has already been worn a number of times.  So I am going to call this a success!

Dress:  Made by me, Vogue 1043
Jacket:  Made by me, “Spearmint” by Lolita Patterns
Shoes:  Remix “Babydoll

Friday, August 12, 2016

A Smorgasbord of Vintage Reproductions from Simplicity

I have been checking PatternReview for the past few days, waiting for the latest Simplicity patterns to appear.  Today, they did (although Simplicity still has not updated their website).  There are six new vintage reproductions in the catalog.  Okay, one of them is an apron, and they are not the most amazing vintage designs I have ever seen, but the fact that there are so many choices is pretty fantastic.


This is my favorite of the bunch.  The double breasted suit is ADORABLE!  I love it!  This design is definitely going to be added to my project list.

Someone very familiar with the features of a traditional cheongsam might take issue with this design, but I really do like the collared version of this pattern.


At first glance, I really like 8245.  But upon closer inspection, this is a rehash of a previously released design.  I am willing to bet that the top portion of the bodice is a direct copy of Simplicity 4047.  That being said, I have already made two versions of the peplum blouse and will admit that it is an excellent pattern.  So, for anyone who missed it the first time around, I would highly recommend this design.


I suppose it is possible that two patterns released in the 1950s were incredibly similar, but last February Simplicity messed with the original illustrations to match their modified version of 1155, so I am not convinced that these are two distinct designs.  Here is a comparison of the line drawings of this season's vintage reproduction versus the one released is 2007.  Doesn't this look a bit suspicious?  I am, however, reminded that I always meant to make that fabulous jacket . . . 


The same issue applies to Simplicity 8243.  I am guessing that the pants portion of this pattern is a duplication of the pants included with Simplicity 3688 except for the addition of pockets and the closure has been moved.  Also, a released dart has been substituted for a standard one on the pant front - so maybe these are not an exact copy, after all.  


But what happened to the cuff on the short sleeved blouse?  Perhaps it was simply a fold applied to a basic sleeve on the original vintage pattern, but why change that lovely feature when it clearly is a part of the original. 


This 1960s design is fairly basic, but I do appreciate the french darts on the dress.  And the jacket is pretty cute.  I do wonder why there is not photo on a model, though.  But what I really want are those hats!!


The apron is nice, although I already have five or six different vintage reproduction aprons patterns, so do I really need another?  That being said, I find that the vintage ones have so much more character than contemporary aprons made almost exclusively from rectangles with very little shaping, so hooray for more interesting choices.


There are two lingerie patterns from Madalynne in this catalog.  I have been wanting to try my hand at making a bra for some time, but I would like something more long-line than either of these designs.  I am probably better off finding a vintage pattern and working from there, but this might be a starting point for me.


also like Mimi G Style's new shirt dress pattern.  I think that the style lines are great.  This design is not made for knits, but I can absolutely see this in a fabulous DVF inspired knit.  And I am going to have to check out that double collar feature.


There is something very 1970s about this dress, and I love the tie neck.  I am not so sure that a blousey elastic waist is the best look for me, but I may have to try this one as well.

So I would say that this is the most interesting Simplicity release I have seen in quite some time.  It is rather puzzling that of the thousands and thousands of vintage Simplicity designs, the company would choose to reissue duplicated designs, but I am very excited to see so many of them in one catalog.  I have a feeling, however, that anyone with a more contemporary design aesthetic is going to be rather disappointed this time around.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Floral Set


This floral print is one of the designs that I came up with for printing using My Fabric Designs print-on-demand services.  


My original intention was to make a full skirt as well as a contrasting blouse in a lighter weight fabric with a smaller scale version of the print.


I ended up with three yards of the heavy cotton twill that was my textile choice.  


The pattern I pulled out for the skirt was Butterick 6285.  I have made this design before, and actually have a third version hanging up on the back of my sewing room door along with the knit top included with the pattern that I will start wearing as soon as the weather cools down a bit.  I am slightly obsessed with the design and thank goodness the skirt requires a cross grain layout or I would probably be making myself another.


Because of the yardage requirements of My Fabric Designs (no half or quarter cuts are available), I ended up with a little too much yardage.  It was a squeeze, but I managed to cut out a matching top with the remaining bits.  I pulled out a few pattern possibilities, and Advance 8751 was the only one that I could get to fit.  In the end, I think it turned out to be the perfect choice, so hooray for challenging cutting layouts.  


Who else loves getting an extra garment out of leftover fabric?  Now I just need to figure out what to do with all those just under a yard leftovers that are taking up a ton of space . . .

Top:  Made by me, Advance 8751
Skirt:  Made by me, Butterick 6285
Shoes:  Banana Republic
Earrings: Gift


[Disclosure:  My Fabric Designs provided me with a coupon code which was used to purchase this fabric, but the opinions posted here are my own.]

Thursday, August 4, 2016

New Retro Butterick Patterns for Fall

While I have been neglecting this blog as of late, I have been accomplishing quite a lot on the sewing front.  I have not turned on my computer in over a week because I would rather spend my time sewing or knitting, which is a good thing!  But I am definitely excited about the new Fall Butterick pattern catalog, so I decided it was time to turn on the computer and take a good look at the new designs.
I am quite enamored with the new vintage reproductions.  This suit is something I can absolutely see myself wearing.  The pocket detail is fantastic.  I do wonder, though, how simplified the instructions will be.  That jacket is going to look best with some tailoring and I would love to see the instructions reflect that.  


And then there is the issue of proportion.  The vintage illustrations and the technical drawing show a jacket that ends at mid-hip and from shoulder to waist is about twice as long as it is from waist to hemline.  However, on the model, the waist to hip length looks significantly longer, making the suit silhouette appear more 1940s to me.  The pocket appears to be quite a bit farther from the hemline than is shown on the illustration and the line drawing as well.  So which version is actually printed on the pattern tissue?
Butterick 6374 is lovely.  It reminds me of Vintage Vogue 2787 that I stitched up back in 2009 (I should really pull that dress out of my closet because I have not worn it in some time!).  But I do really love the neckline treatment on this one.  


I am going to take issue with the fedora hat that was attacked by some russian veiling and the shoe choice.  But paired with a tilt hat, this one is a real winner!  


Gertie’s new dress design is a classic.  I have other patterns that are similar, but I really like the neckline treatment on this one.  (Coincidently, I have been working on a dress made from that floral fabric which may be one of the reasons I am so drawn to this dress.)  Gertie also has a new cropped jacket design which I expect will be very popular.  I am not sure I will ever be a jean jacket kind of girl, but when I start seeing everyone's versions made up, I may change my mind.
There is also a new hat pattern.  I always like to add these to the pattern stash because they really come in handy, not necessarily for their original look, but for the base pattern pieces.
The glove pattern is intriguing.  It would be great to be able to make up a pair of matching gloves to complete an outfit, but I cannot ever recall coming across fabric that feels anything like the cotton stuff used to make vintage gloves.  Does anyone know where to find that textile, or what it might be called?
So, in addition to the three projects currently residing on my sewing table and the massive catalog of ideas that is constantly floating around in my head, I can now add at least two more items to that list.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Early Fall McCalls

McCall Pattern Company released their Autumn catalog today.  I generally prefer Vogue and Butterick to McCall designs, and this season is no different (with one or two notable exceptions).
Other than the fact that the model looks incredibly uncomfortable wearing a hat and gloves, this vintage reproduction design is wonderful!  I have never seen a neckline like this on any 1940s dress, but I like it.  

I never know what to expect with The Archive Collection.  It has only been around for two years, and the decades covered since its introduction already include the 1920s through the 1970s, so it is a little bit all over the place.  The styles are very hit and miss for me.  This one is a definite hit.




Just ignore the styling on this one because the pattern has a whole lot of potential.  And I know that I sound like a broken record, but I really wish that McCalls would include the original vintage illustrations with these patterns . . . 




Then there is McCalls 7431.  I cannot say exactly why I am drawn to this design, but I am.  It is certainly not the color of the fabric.  Perhaps it’s the model?
Which may, in fact, be the answer because the only other new design that is grabbing my attention is this twisted knit, worn by the same model.  This one is also not at all my style.  Maybe the stunning blue color is drawing me in.  The one thing that I consistently do not like about knit dresses is the fact that so many of them have such boring back pieces, and this one has that very issue.  The front, however, may have enough interest to make it worth my while.




And, once again, I have found more patterns to add to the stash (which is definitely out of control at this point).

Monday, July 18, 2016

Farewell DKNY


While I am still very disappointed to know that there will be no new Donna Karan designs released by Vogue Patterns, it did motivate me to dig through my pattern stash to find one to stitch up.


So now I can present my very first machine sewn knit fabric project!  It was a long time coming, and I feel like a complete beginner working with a super stretchy textile, but it also feels really great to get past that first hurdle.


And I am very pleased with how this turned out.


Without a serger, the insides do not look like a traditional ready-to-wear garment, but neither do any of my other hand made garments.


As for the pattern - I love it!  There is definitely a reason that this was such a popular pattern when it was released in 2008.  This dress is so easy to wear!


And I just may have to make myself another version if I come across a suitable fabric.


Uh-oh.  Now I am going to have to explore the knit section of the fabric store . . . more fabric choices is the last thing I need!



Dress:  Made by me, Vogue 1027
Shoes:  Banana Republic
Necklace:  Judith Jack

Thursday, July 7, 2016

New Vogue Designs

The new Fall Vogue Patterns are here . . . but there are no new Vintage Vogue designs.  Boo.  Hiss.  I know the Vintage Vogue collection is not included in every pattern release, but I really do look forward to seeing those designs.  And I was expecting at least one new design after reading the latest blog post from the company.  Perhaps the sales in this category are not doing so well?

The recent news that Donna Karan designs are no longer being produced was also a huge disappointment for me.  The Donna Karan and DKNY patterns are pretty fantastic.  Even when they were not something that I would choose to wear, examining the line drawings and looking at how those crazy shaped pieces fit together is something I am really going to miss.  No matter how simple the silhouette looked, there was always a surprise in the drafting of those patterns.  I would guess that Ms. Karan was not a huge fan of the side seam, and it made for some very creative garments.


As for the actual offerings in this catalog . . . I am intrigued by this Bellville Sassoon design, not so much for the dress, but for the internal structure.  I will definitely be looking at the instructions on this one!


The design is definitely more modern looking than I usually go for, but I am often drawn to Tracy Reese designs, and this one is no different.  The seaming on the back midriff is really lovely, and I like the dropped waist, but I am not loving the epaulets.


I see some potential in Vogue 9201, although do I really need this pattern?  Probably not, but I do like those front pleats.


Now that I am exploring the world of knits, I am thinking about Vogue 9199 as a nice basic.  I could do without the hi-low hemline, but that is an easy alteration.



And every year I think of making myself a few new slips for the colder months, but somehow, the pretty dresses are what end up on my sewing table.  Vogue 9218 may inspire me to finally make a slip.


So maybe there are a few designs here that I like - just nothing that is going to jump to the top of the list.  And I really hope that the Vintage Vogue line is not going to disappear anytime soon!