Thursday, April 11, 2024

Elegant Comfort

I suppose the question is, does this dress look exactly like the velvet version?

And yes, it's pretty obvious, right down to coordinating color stories. 

But honestly, I don't mind having two of these dresses in my wardrobe.

What I found interesting is that I didn't notice that extra length just above the back waist with that velvet fabric.

If I look really, really closely at the photos of the velvet dress, I can see a small bit of wrinkling, but that might be due to the rotation or angle of my body.  It could also have something to do with the fact that the velvet fabric is slightly more slick than the interior of this sweater knit.

I don't work with knit fabrics all that often, and I did contemplate doing a flat back adjustment or a swayback adjustment, but decided that since there was no waist level seamline, it would be unnecessary.

Seeing these photos, perhaps one of those alterations would improve the wrinkling at the back waist.  Then again, maybe I'm overthinking it.

Because this really is an incredibly comfortable and easy to wear dress, and I am certainly happy to have it in my closet, with or without a few fit wrinkles.

Dress:  Made by me, Vogue 1907
Earrings:  Vintage
Shoes:  Vince Camuto "Alinkay" Boot 

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Sweater Knits

This is the first version of Vogue 1907 that I made.  I decided that it was time to try this pattern that had caught my attention as soon as it was released before I got distracted by something new and shiny.  It feels a bit late in the season to post a sweater knit, long sleeved garment . . . then again, it was hailing and cold two days ago so I am going to call this seasonally appropriate!

This particular sweater knit had been taking up a whole lot of space in my sewing room for at least 9 or 10 years.  I have pulled it out a few times, but it never seemed like the right project for the fabric - I think it was waiting for this dress pattern.  I used the same fabrication in a slightly different color back in 2011 to make the Vogue dupe of the Roland Mouret "Galaxy" dress.  Although this fabric is a knit, I just used it in place of a woven, including lining it with a bemberg rayon.

This time around, I figured the textile deserved to be used as it was originally intended . . . as a knit.  Part of my reservation about the fabric was that the wrong side of the fabric just seemed odd to me, and my first inclination was to cover it up with a lining.  It's not scratchy or uncomfortable, it just feels very different than the brushed side of the fabric.

One thing to note with this design is that the bodice pieces are very short.  I added a bit of length and I am glad that I did.

Other than that modification, I did shorten the sleeve length significantly.  In the end, I probably shouldn't have done this quite as much as I did.  The fact that the puffed sleeve is set slightly in from the edge of the shoulder made me think that it was drafted extra long, but it's not.

And here is another project that allowed me to use my serger.  I don't use this machine very much, so it feels good to give it a bit of a workout every once in a while.

Because of the look of the fabric, I decided to hand hem both the skirt hemline as well as the sleeve.  I think that a strong topstitched line would have looked odd.

The final adjustment that I made was to lengthen the collar by one inch.  I didn't love the look of the collar on the pattern envelope and so I wanted to have just a bit more fabric to drape along the neckline so the collar didn't look chintzy.  It's not a huge change, but I am happy that I decided to make that adjustment.  

Other than a couple of minor changes to the pattern pieces, this project went together very easily.

The pattern is given the "Very Easy" rating, and I tend to agree.  This dress goes together with a minimal amount of effort but looks quite put together.

It's also extremely easy to wear, so I believe that this garment will be a popular choice on those colder days when I can't be bothered to spend any time getting ready but need to look presentable.  I would absolutely recommend this pattern and frankly, I'm not sure why more people aren't making this one!

Monday, April 1, 2024

Cold Weather Knits in Pastels

The weather around these parts can't seem to make up its mind if Spring has sprung, or if the wet and cold weather isn't quite finished with us.

We had a few really lovely days a couple of weeks ago which felt like a tease now that the rain and wind has returned.  

I suppose that gives me some more opportunities to wear my wooly sweaters, but I am really ready for the warmer weather at this point. 

Then again, I am currently working on a wool coat, so make that make sense!  That may come to an end soon, however, as I don't have a suitable lining on hand, and I am starting to crave more Spring and Summer appropriate projects.

As for this skirt, I am very happy to have it in the wardrobe.  It's easy to wear, and who couldn't use another classic black wool skirt?!

I did underline this piece, and I was slightly concerned that the wool seam allowances might be itchy, however, I haven't noticed them, so I am going to call that a win.

I am still not completely sold on the high waistband (which you can't see here).  I think I just prefer to have my skirts hit at the waist, so that is not the fault of the design.

As for the sweater, it may not be all that exciting, but it is a great, easy to wear staple that got me through the Winter months.

I do need to remember to add more pastels to the cold weather appropriate side of the closet, because it really is nice to have a brighter option to pair with all of the dark moody pieces that lend themselves to Winter weather.

Or maybe it's just my love of anything in the turquoise color family that makes me such a fan of this simple sweater.

Sweater:  Made by me, "Cherie" by Kim Hargreaves
Skirt:  Made by me, Vogue 1961
Earrings:  Vintage
Shoes:  Nine West

Monday, March 18, 2024

A Classic Gored Wool Skirt

While it may not be the most interesting item in the world to make, a black wool skirt is certainly a useful one.

I have been meaning to try Vogue 1961 for some time, and it seemed like a good option for the textured black wool I specifically purchased for a long skirt last year.

I did decide to add some extra length to the skirt.  Although the model looks like she's tall, and the skirt is a nice tea length, when holding the pattern pieces up to my body, it just didn't look like they were going to be that long.

I was also concerned that a lightweight rayon lining was going to drape differently than the wool and potentially need to be hemmed much shorter to keep the lining from peaking out of the skirt during wear.  Although I haven't ever underlined a skirt in this manner before, I thought that I might as well give it a try.

So before any of the construction began, the main task was to hand baste the layer of wool to the rayon lining.  If you have followed me for any period of time, you are already aware of my love of hand sewing . . . but this amount of basting one black layer of fabric to another was slightly tedious, even for me.  After working with a length of black thread, I quickly realized that using a contrasting basting thread was going to be a whole lot easier on my eyes!

Once that process was complete, the project was very straight forward, sewing each gore to the next.  Since this would be underlined instead of lined, I finished my raw edges with rayon seam binding.

Whether the small amount of exposed wool in the seam allowance would be itchy on my skin was something I thought about, but in the end, decided would not be too much of a problem.

The pattern instructions suggest an invisible zipper, and since this is a princess seam finished with a facing, I decided to go for the invisible zipper.

I ended up adding a few pieces of plastic boning to the facing to keep the upper edge from collapsing.

This has become a standard addition to most of my skirts, and while it takes a little bit of extra effort, I have never been disappointed with the technique.

I also added a lightweight fusible interfacing to the facing.

And if you think that I am going to spend my time removing all of those basting threads, you would be wrong!

Honestly, it's rare that I remove any basting threads unless they are visible from the outside of the garment.

The facing was tacked in place along each seamline.

For the hem, I hand stitched the two layers of fabric together just inside the hemline.  This keeps the layers from separating and shifting as the hemline is folded and stitched into place.

And here is my classic black wool skirt.

This garment has definitely come in handy this Winter.  The textured wool does have a tendency to show lint, but that's just part of wearing dark colored wools, I guess!