Sunday, October 20, 2019

Diamond Dress - Burda 8 2019 109

In the last year, Burdastyle magazine  has featured several variations of one piece dresses with V necklines and longer flared skirts. I don’t recall ever wearing a dress of this style,  but it looked like a good option for work dressing on a rushed morning.

 To test the water,  I chose  what I thought was the easiest to sew version, Dress 109 from the August 2019 issue.  This dress is in tall sizes 72-88. I am an inch shorter than Burda's tall height but I haven’t found this to be a problem.   The bodice is seamed to the skirt about 1.25 inches above the natural waist. I made an 82 on top 84 below waist.

Dress description:  “Exact cuffs, inlaid pleats along the shoulder ( not in the pattern I traced from magazine )and a moderate V-neckline … the cut of this dress with the bias skirt panel looks good on paper, though the real power of the style is in the wonderfully printed crêpe in electric blue and black.”

The fabric I chose for my wearable muslin was an inexpensive  polyester crepe.

  The little diamonds were printed on the diagonal. Because the  skirt is cut on the bias, the  diamonds end up in horizontal and vertical lines on the skirt.  Probably no one but a sewist would notice, but I didn’t care for it, especially over the tummy. Why didn’t I realize that would happen before cutting?  Because I was at a sewing retreat when I was cutting this dress out and was doing more talking that paying attention to what I was doing.

I like the style and fit on me, however my choice of fabrics resulted in a rather sober, dark dress.

The dress definitely needs a belt to accent the waist and breakup the expanse of black. For fun I purchased a coordinating belt bag to copy the styling in the magazine picture.  It actually proved to be quite useful as well as decorative.  During my normal work day, I attend many meetings in different parts of a very large building.  I always carry  my laptop, wireless mouse, phone, and a pen. Often juggling the last three items or putting them in various garment pockets.  The belt bag was great for neatly carrying them all in one place.

BurdaStyle 8 2019 109

I am thinking of making this dress again but in a lovely print wool challis.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Transition Sewing Vogue 1644

My late summer sewing plans got derailed by the arrival of my new Vogue fall patterns.
Specifically Vogue 1644 described as "Fitted jacket is unlined and has buttoned trim with snap closures. B: Slightly flared pants have fly closure with zipper, waistband hook and bars, side slant pockets and back patch pockets with top stitching detail.  Recommended Fabrics: Embroidered Fabrics, Novelty Suiting, Crepe.

 One of the fashion Vlogger's I follow talks about a personal work uniform. The outfit you can easily assemble from your closet. That  makes you feel confident.  The one you would choose for a big presentation or to make a good impression.  My uniform is dark slacks or skirt, a bright solid color blouse and a black and white patterned jacket.  In its simplest form it looks like this.

My Work uniform

But  I amp it up a bit by  sewing the jackets  using black and white fabrics of different types of  tweeds, jacquard weaves,  prints, etc.  For this jacket my fabric was a cotton/poly Ecru /Navy/Black Jacketing.

 The jacket is unlined and the instructions have you bind the facing and hem edges with bias binding.  I had hoped this might become a Tried and True (TNT) pattern I could use to whip up an unlined jacket in an interesting fabric when inspiration hit.  For various reasons, this was not to be.

 Normally I have no problem with the sleeve lengths of Vogue jacket patterns. So I didn’t bother to check the length of the sleeves on this pattern. That was a big mistake.  The sleeves were too short. 2 inches too short.  What?? Was it a coincidence that the hem allowance was supposed to be 2 inches.  Any chance the pattern drafter forgot the step in the pattern drafting software to add the additional length for the  hem to the sleeve. There is no mention of sleeve length in the description and  they look full length on the model in the  envelope cover picture. Oh well, my solution was to cut off 2 inches, and used two more inches as a hem resulting in a  3/4 length sleeve.

Raw edge look?

Even before I discovered the sleeve length issue, I thought  the bottom sleeve diameter was wider than normal for  a two piece, shaped sleeve.  To confirm this,  I measured several RTW and Burda and Vogue sewn blazers.  They all had sleeve wrist circumferences between 10 and 11".  This pattern had a sleeve hem circumference of  12.5".   I  reshaped the sleeves along the seam lines, removing 2 inches of the original wrist circumference.

In case you are thinking I am being a bit of a nit picker about my sleeves...  I feel it is so important to have space between the body and a sleeve in a jacket to look slimmer. especially a shorter boxy jacket like this one. (I don't agree with the "fitted" pattern description)

I used purchased fabric covered snaps to actually hold the jacket closed.

Fabric Covered Snap Fastener
I think these look so much better than any fabric covered snap I could make with the home sewer method of covering snaps with fabric. You know the "cut circles of fabric slightly bigger than your snaps, work a running stitch around the edge of the circle, gather  etc.". Both the top and bottom of these snaps have two pieces, which are put together like a  covered button. I have never seen  uncovered snaps (just the metal bits)  of this configuration for sale.  I ordered these  through Amazon from a Chinese vendor. Low price, but three week delivery time.

Bias trimmed seams and covered snaps

The pants included in this pattern are the new wide leg style that seems to be in every new Vogue wardrobe pattern that has come out recently.  I am on the fence on this style. For the purposes of photographing the jacketing I wore it with a similar wide leg (24")  pair of Eileen Fisher silk pants and  I like the look. However I have come close to falling down the stairs, when the wide legs of the pant I was wearing caught on the heel of my shoe, so I am a bit leery about wearing wide leg pants in certain places.

Vogue 1644 Jacket

Vogue 1644  Jacket