Aug 30, 2015

Vogue 1387--meh

I'm now at two failed sewing projects in a row.  It's so frustrating, especially when I didn't expect to run into any major difficulties.  It's one thing to tackle a big, complicated project, but it's very much another to fail at a basic blouse.  I'm trying not to blame myself.  It's hard though; I've been sewing for long enough to have developed some confidence in my ability, and I really dislike not being able to save a project.  Wasted fabric just makes me really sad, not to mention the wasted time.

My first fail was Vogue 9085, a Very Easy Vogue pattern that should have been quick and painless.  I liked the band collar and sleeves on this blouse, and it looked to me like a pattern that would need only minimal fitting.  I chose a size according to my bust measurement, but I neglected to check the hip width.  In my defense, the line drawing looks like a loose-fitting shape, almost like a tunic.  Wrong.  I could barely get it to go over my hips, which was not the look I wanted. 

Line Art

I don't actually have this pattern anymore--it went into the trash after way too much time wasted trying to get this blouse to fit, only to realize that either I made a major mistake in cutting out the collar or the collar is not drafted to fit the neckline.  I'm leaning toward the latter.  

After removing all evidence of this first failure from my sewing space, I began anew with lots of enthusiasm.  I planned to make Vogue 1387 view B as a nice transitional blouse.

Line Art

I washed a bunch of fabric all at once so that maybe I could get on a roll with my fall sewing plans.  I thought it would be fine to wash all of my fabric together since they were all dark colors.  Word to the wise: red and black buffalo plaid flannel should always be washed separately.

I was a bit sad to see this, particularly because Cotton + Steel fabric is not cheap, but where there are problems, there can also be solutions.  My solution was hot pink Rit dye.

I had never dyed any fabric before, so this was a fun adventure.  My fabric took the color beautifully, but after the dyeing, I didn't feel like view B was a good match for it anymore.  Instead, I decided to go with view A.

This was not a good decision.  I'm going to blame most of the issues I had with this pattern on my fabric choice--too crisp, not enough drape.  The rest of my issues stem from the construction process. 

So, here's the almost finished blouse, minus the hem.  I'm not even sure I'm going to bother with hemming.  There are quite a few things I like about the design: the pleats at the yoke, the drawstring at the waist, the curved hem, the faux wrap.  I even think the fit would be pretty good in a fabric with more drape (I would probably tack the wrap closed).

I'm not crazy about the binding at the shoulders.  I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to stick out like that.  It makes me feel a little too space-agey or something.  Again, this would likely be solved by a better fabric choice.

Here's the back.  I like the V at the neckline, but the gathered yoke combined with the drawstring waist look terrible in this fabric.  Ick.

My major issues with this pattern are all with the construction of the armhole binding.  I honestly have no idea how the original directions could yield a decent result; it just doesn't make sense to me.  I hate the way my binding and gussets came out, which is a major reason why this blouse will probably never get a hem.

That's not to say that all is lost for Vogue 1387.  I will not be so easily defeated.  I have some burgundy gauze that I think will be pretty for view B, and I would really like to make view A work for me at some point.  Here are the changes I would make (you're welcome, future self):
1.  Sew the armhold binding before stitching the side seams.
2.  Finish the raw edges of the gussets before sewing them to the armholes.
3.  Sew in the gussets by stitching-in-the-ditch instead of sewing them to the seam allowance.
4.  Choose a fabric with lots of drape and no directional print.

I think it might be time to do a bit of kid sewing to get me back on track...

Aug 16, 2015

and finally, something interesting {v9077}

I haven't been around the blog nearly as much as I thought I might be this summer.  It's not for lack of sewing, but honestly, my summer sewing has been a bit repetitive and maybe even...boring.  I don't think anyone is going to be riveted by my fourth Wiksten tank or by Colin's third pair of Sketchbook shorts.


I've made a few repeat dresses too, which may make their way to the blog at some point.  I should also admit that I find taking showers and brushing my hair a little too strenuous for June and July, so taking pictures of these dresses had to wait.  However, my sweet high school babies are headed back to me on Tuesday, so I figured it was time to start practicing looking like an adult.  

I bought Vogue 9077 last spring thinking that it would be a good summer project, one that I could take my time on and enjoy.  There are a lot of interesting details in the line drawings:

Line Art 

Surprisingly, I have not found any other versions of this dress on the internet yet, so here is mine in a lovely linen/cotton blend.

I decided to put my darts on the inside instead of on the outside like the line drawing, mainly because I wasn't sure I could make my darts neat enough for them to be on display like that.  I also added a skirt lining to try to keep some of the wrinkling at bay.  Otherwise, I followed the pattern directions.  I cut a size 12, which is roughly where my measurements put me, but after looking at the finished measurement on the pattern, I decided to grade out to a 14 at the waist.  I probably don't need the extra room at the waist, but I'm happy with the amount of ease--this will be a comfortable dress to wear to work.  I also shortened the bodice by an inch, a standard alteration for my short torso.

I think the diagonal detail at the bodice looks pretty awesome, and it keeps this dress from looking boring.  I'm super proud of my button placket!  I've done a placket like this before in an Oliver and S pattern, so I don't know why it felt scarier in an adult pattern.  I'm a tiny bit annoyed by the collar--I wish I had trimmed the undercollar to accommodate turn-of-cloth, but otherwise, it turned out okay.  And, in case you're wondering what this looks like without the belt, here it is.

It's hard to decide, belt or no belt.  I like it from the front with the belt, but from the back without. 

When I first finished this dress, I put it on and strutted down the hall to show my husband, so proud of myself.  His first comment was, "you look like a flight attendant."  He later amended his statement...but now I can't get that image out of my head.  I think this is kind of a futuristic flight attendant dress, but I don't care.  Still love it.

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