Saturday, May 24, 2014

Vogue 9004 - Armani tops

I decided to make the Vogue top 9004, view C. Described as a fitted top with front seam detail and back zipper.

Vogue 9004
I shopped my stash and used navy and pale lilac silk georgette ( from,  8 yard remnants purchase many years ago).  Cutting silk fabrics is a stressful  for me. When I finished, I took a break and sat down to sort through a pile of inspiration pictures I had torn from magazines.  Lo and behold, buried in the stack, was a picture of the sleeveless version of this top on a young actress with a designer name mentioned.

inspiration photo
 Doing a little Internet research, I found that the  tops in this pattern look to be very similar to two featured in Giorgio Armani’s spring 2013 line.  Here are the runway pictures ( courtesy

The pattern is rated “easy”.  View C  top is not easy.  The inset corner on the front,  the offset neckline, and the mitering needed to get the angular hem line are all intermediate level or higher sewing tasks.  I made my normal shoulder /back alterations to the pattern.   I did not use a zipper in the back. I am not terrifically busty/wide shouldered and the wearing ease in the garment plus the open neckline made it easy to pull over my head.

I liked the way view C fit so much that I decided to make view A as well. View A top is easy and goes together much faster than view C.  My version is made with more of navy silk georgette and a remnant of bright blue silk from another project.  This top finishes out at a length that I call "cover my hips” (widest part of hip) .  A popular length with women who think they can hide wider hips and bottom under fabric, when in actuality the length makes legs look munchkin short.  The vertical lines of the color blocking detract the eye from this, but if I were drafting the pattern from scratch for me, it would be shorter. These two tops use the same back pattern piece. You can see how the asymmetrical front makes the legs look longer compared to the horizontal front. Again no zipper needed and this time I did do the bias trim finish on the armhole.

I liked the way the actress Emma Robert wore the asymmetrical top. So I am on the lookout for slacks or a pattern similar to the ones she wore.  In the mean time you get to see the tops worn with jeans. The styling of these tops in the Armani fashion show was not inspiring.  But I did notice the view  A top can be worn under a jacket and only the inset shows, looking like a shell. Making it  a versatile, multi look, top for travel.  And I have more business travel coming up. A trip to Franklin Park, IL (anyone know of any good fabric stores in this area) and another trip to Nashville.  It is project Go Live time (one company, two different locations).  In reality I will probably have no time to shop, but one can dream.

On the family front, the sons are home from college for the summer. One has a job; the other does not, but is actively looking.   While I enjoy having them home,  I do not enjoy the mess that comes with them.  The mini microwaves, refrigerators and TV's from their dorm rooms are cluttering up my house.  DS1 has a new found enthusiasm. Brewing his own beer.  He takes over my kitchen and makes the house smell like hops, a very unique smell that I don’t care for.  Carboys of amber liquids, topped with bubbling scum, line the cool dark stairway to the lower level of house.  He asks me to taste test the final brews. Not being a beer enthusiast, I find it hard to find “nice” descriptive words for what I taste.  His last batch is pumpkin oatmeal stout. Pumpkin pie in a beer.  I can’t wait to taste that.

 This young lady is my niece in her prom dress. 

During the family Easter holiday get together, Auntie Audrey was enlisted to alter the bust area of the dress, reducing it by 2”. My suggestion to do it by removing the clear insert in the front was ignored. See all those had pretty crystals and sequins in a  mirror image pattern on the bodice.   Yes, I had to remove a significant amount of them around the seams where I took in the excess fabric.  Boned seams plus underlining and lining.  The final step was to sew crystals back on to cover the seams.  Fortunately there were faint white dotted lines printed on the fabric, showing the size, shape and orientation of the crystal to be sewn in that spot.  My sister had an equally fun job of shortening the length of the dress and hemming  both the voluminous chiffon over skirt and the under skirt.  But it was all worth it to see how beautiful my niece looked in her dress.

 A long holiday weekend stretches before me with no specific plans. Heaven.