Monday, February 17, 2020

Ogee Oscar - Vintage Vogue 1678

I recently participated in a Instagram vintage sew along #joyvivsewvintage.  The patterns had to be from 1995 or earlier.  Well geez, that was not a problem, Back in the 90's   I  was working in corporate America, where the work wear was still dressy. I sewed many of my work suits and dresses.  But I also had two young children, so a lot of pattern and fabric purchases never got used and went straight to the stash.

 I dug out this  1995 Vogue designer pattern from Oscar De La Renta.

Vogue 1678
I have long wanted to sew it,  mostly because of the challenge of the shaped inserts, the ogee or parenthesis shaped inserts to be more specific, especially the ones on view B yellow dress. About the same time, I was making this dress, DH was watching a woodworking show that described the serpentine, extended curve as an Ogee curve.  I googled Ogee on a favorite online fabric site and pages of decorator fabrics came up.  The ancient tile in our bathroom  has a similar pattern and when I googled “ogee tile”, a picture of it popped up on the screen.  Who knew?

Vogue 1678 

I gave a lot of thought on how I would seam the pieces to get the perfect curves. I used a technique based on one I had used for applique quilting many years ago, when  I made several Baltimore Album quilts.  A high level description of the technique would be to turn under the seam allowance of the curved edge using a template, Hand applique/tack the curved edge to the background fabric, turn to wrong side of garment and machine stitching on the seamline. Remove applique/tacking stitch.

If you have access to old Threads Magazines, these article  describe similar techniques.

Easy Applique for complex shapes    Beatriz M. Grayson        60 AUG/SEP 1995 69
Add Style with Graphic Fabric Insertions   Pamela Ptak        113 JUN/JUL 2004 48

For my template I used freezer paper.

1. Copy the pattern piece for the  curved shape including seam allowance onto freezer paper.
2. Iron waxy side of freezer paper to wrong side of fabric.

3. Stitch a scant 5/8 inch from cut edge through the paper and fabric. This line of stitching acts both as stay stitching and the seam allowance  turn under line.
4.  Remove the freezer paper in the seam allowance. This should be easy to do as the stitching perforates the paper.
5. Clip seam allowance of fabric  on curves and press back over the edge of the freezer paper along stitched line.
Wrong side of dress front with seam allowance pressed over freezer paper template

6.  Lay piece on top of adjoining fabric piece, along seam allowance line . Hand stitch the two pieces together along seam line just catching a tiny bit of the turned edge. I use a fell stitch.


 7. Flip top piece over so right sides are together, exposing seam allowances.  Remove remaining freezer paper. Sew along seam line just a smidge to outside of the stitching that marked the turn line, on the garment side of the line.
Sewing seam to outside of blue turn line stitching. Orange stitches that cross blue thread are the fell stitches 

8. Remove basting stitches

The fabric I used is actually older than the pattern. Both the black and white tweed , and the purple wool crepe were purchased in the early 80's at a place called Surplus City in central PA, where I lived at the time.   You are probably starting to guess at the age and size of my stash. Yes, it is scary.

I used a size 14 above waist and 16 below.   I took some length out of the bodice above the bust, probably the space intended for the shoulder pad.  I redrafted the sleeve head to fit the resulting armhole better.   I add an insert at the neckline to add interest and fill in the neckline. It was actually easy to create the shape. I laid view A  front pattern over view  B front pattern and the resulting difference between the two  necklines made a great Ogee shaped insert. Same for the back pieces for the two views.

View A of this dress  comes down the runway in this YouTube video   OSCAR DE LA RENTA Fall 1994/1995 New York at  6:21 min. It is mini length, which make it look a lot less matronly than it does on the pattern envelope. And the hat it is worn with is outrageous. It was interesting seeing all the super models of the time Naomi, Helena, Yasmin when they were so, so young.

Vogue 1687

Vogue 1678 side view - weird shape
Vogue 1687 back

Monday, February 3, 2020

Wardrobe Basic - Denim - Black Flair Jeans

Back in December,  Stefanie of  Sea of Teal Blog announced her  Sew Your Wardrobe Basics challenge for 2020. Every month she publishes a theme or a piece of clothing she wants/needs in her wardrobe, along with  inspirations and pattern ideas …  and she  invites anyone to sew along.

January’s theme was denim. The most worn denim pieces in my wardrobe are black denim.  Not only jeans, but I even have a black denim jean jacket. Black goes with so many garments in my wardrobe.  I was getting tired of the skinny and straight leg jean styles that I have so many of.  This challenge prompted me to add a new style of black jeans to my wardrobe: flare leg.  I have sewn jeans before, but they never seem to fit as well as RTW.  My favorite pair of flare leg jeans is a pair from the brand  Nic and Zoe. The fabric is a heavy 95% cotton, 5% lycra  fabric that may even be a knit. It is hard to tell. They fit well in the butt and are very close fitting in the hip and thigh area.

 I  copied the N&Z pair. There are many ways to copy Jeans. Just Google it, or look on YouTube and chose your method.  My first attempt, using the rubbing  method, resulted a slightly wonky looking pattern.  The second attempt,  pinning paper (Dr's examination table paper, Thanks Jane!)  to the seams of the pants, resulted in a much more accurate pattern.

copy of  N&Z  pant pattern
 The fabric I chose to use was   Telio Atwell Denim Twill Black Fabric.  Contents 65% Cotton/32% Polyester/3% Lycra Spandex.  Description: This medium weight (6.5 oz. per square yard) denim has a soft hand, a nice drape, and about 15% stretch across the grain for comfort and ease.

This fabric had a lot more stretch that the original pant fabric and I was a bit  apprehensive to do jean style top stitching on a stretch fabric.  So I added fusible, straight of grain, seam reinforcing tape (Japanese Tailoring tape) to seam lines to prevent stretching  specifically on the back yoke, the front pockets, and the center front zipper area. 

Fusible tape on  yoke seam

Leather trim on back pocket.
  I faced the waistband with elastic, something I saw in another pair of RTW jeans.  I have a problem with jeans' waistbands stretching out which  means I am constantly tugging my jeans up all day. I stamped the elastic with an "a" for Audrey.

Waist faced with elastic.

I am very happy with the fit.  Only problem is the fabric seems to be a big lint attractor.

I even dug the black denim jacket out of the back of the closet, a Burda Style magazine pattern that  predates my blogging, so at least 15 years ago.

Who picked this paint color? I need my shades!