Couture Lunacy

Exploring Fashion One Thread At A Time


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A Glimmer (or two) of Light Dawns

A month or so ago you may all remember my complete disgust with Vogue 8937 and the fabric choice I made. The fabric was a silk boucle’ with little or no staying power. It was a loose weave and it raveled something fierce – and it grew.

I had approached this jacket from my dearth of sewing skills. I think I can safely say this is the first time I’ve used boucle’ for anything. And it was sad.

In my last post about this jacket entitled “A Wadder” I made an offhand comment about needing to interface all of the fabric to keep it from growing. From little acorns……………..

Since that failure, which smoat me in my heart and made me weep, I have been searching for the why. I have found it. You MUST stabilize a boucle’. Wouldn’t it have been great if I’d looked for that information first? Then the jacket would still be alive and not in a landfill in Maine …………….

There are various blogs on the net – particularly this one – http://www.brensan.com/Garment/Techniques/BlackBoucleJacket.html which give you all the steps necessary to complete a stunning boucle’ jacket.

I am a very lucky person. I do still have some boucle’ – a beautiful black wool with multi-colored puffs – waiting to be put to use in my stash. After I gather ALL of the necessary interlinings and linings and read the directions several times again – I’m going to attempt that wadder and turn it into a thing of beauty!

Vogue 8937

Vogue 8937


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Work Work Work – And Fun Fun Fun

What have I been doing? Surprise! I’ve been sewing. Since the failure of Vogue 8937 – which I will insist to my dying day was the result of lousy fabric, I have finished one awesome top and started another.

Here’s the pattern I used – 

Vogue 8151

Vogue 8151

This is a Sandra Betzina Today’s Fit pattern from Vogue. I had read many great reviews on this pattern and I did try it once before. I didn’t like it. It was all my fault. I hadn’t cut the right size, didn’t lengthen the shirt and just generally messed up. But now I LOVE THIS PATTERN.

This time I did cut the right size, after tracing my pattern. I then had a decision to make about darts. Darts in a knit? Well yes it does work. I did also lengthen the shirt by two inches to a length that’s much more comfortable for me. I also fiddled with the neck band and made it smaller to give it more snap. 

Here’s the first shirt all done –

flowertop

 

For some reason the photo looks straight up and down. It is not. It fits like a dream. I only had to do a tad bit of adjusting when sewing the final seams. I took out about 1.5 inches to get the fit I wanted.

I had so much success with that one – I started another one in a really neat fabric.

secondflower

With this one I attached the neck binding before folding it in half and did the fold after it was attached. A little stitching in the ditch and I have a very neat neck band. Here’s the back –

secondflower1

 

Is this not CUTE? 

Since I have sustained my sewing spirit with two successes, I am ready to go back to Vogue 8937 and try it again. The only decision is which awesome fabric to use (and no I will not choose a nasty fabric from the stash again.)

Further on the list is a great pair of pants that FIT – 

 


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A Top that LOOKS Simple Can Drive You Nuts …………..

sim

I really like this top. It’s a Katherine Tilton pattern for Butterick and it’s 5891. The only problem for me is that the pattern is too small. Hmph.

I spent a good bit of time yesterday cutting out the pattern pieces and measuring things up. Things being in particular TWO things that the shirt has to close around, if you get my drift. I humphed and mumphed and scratched my head. This top has 15 pieces. There are directions on the pattern pieces that if you alter it, move all the markings. Well shoot – first I have to figure out how to alter it. I mean I really do. Some of these pieces are parallelograms and just imagine slashing and cutting a parallelogram and adding inches to it. I quiver in dread. I am stymied by lack of pattern enlarging experience. I keep looking at it and deciding to slash it here and there and finally I folded it all up and put it back in the bag.

My concentration level is sadly diminished these days. So I marveled around at it and finally decided the top is too simple looking to be that much trouble. Which means I’ve ditched plans to make it for now. I need to wait until my brain is sharp again – hoping that won’t be next spring ……….

So now what to make? Of course I’ve found a great pattern that lives in Australia at Style Arc but I won’t be able to get that for a while. So I can either figure out how to take all of these different pattern pieces and increase this top by 4″ or I can find another pattern in the stash …………

Here’s the Style Arc pattern I crave

LIZZIE-WRAP

It’s called the Lizzie Wrap. This too will look simple but I think the construction on this will truly BE simple. I have a great teal jacquard, a black raised design jacquard and a cool multi-colored on brown jacquard. It will need lining so I’d have to decide on a color and get that too. That’s the bad thing about sewing ………. you always need one more thing …………


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It’s All Done! Style Arc May Top!

This top is fantastic. I wasn’t at all sure about it until I tried it on. Even seeing it on the dress form didn’t appeal to me that much. When I put it on I felt like I’d just gone out and bought a VERY nice top.

The fit is fat-lump skimming – if you know what I mean. One day – soon – I am going to get this stuff off – but until then I need clothes that make me look good. And this top does that.

The neck line is just a teensy bit low but nothing extreme, so it’s very wearable. Also that weird, hard to do seam under the bust means that it is very flattering. It hides the old tummy and it has a flattering A-line.

I hemmed it with a double needle which always turns out looking professional. I just have to keep reading the directions on how to thread the two needles because I don’t do it often enough to keep it in my head.

Here’s the pictures!!

And on another high note – I spoke to my husband just a few minutes ago and he’s doing well. He let’s me know that he likes where he’s at – that’s so good. I’m glad he’s adapting and I know I wouldn’t do it as well.

And on the second note? I have a job interview tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!! I got the call at around noon today and I cannot. wait. I love that I will actually be able to work and my husband will be taken care of at the same time!

 


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Sewing Block

You know how everyone is always talking about writer’s block? Where you sit for hours and just stare at the computer screen – it used to be the blank white page of paper for me – now it’s the screen. Well, I don’t have writer’s block. No. I have Sewer’s Block which looks like something in a sewer but it isn’t. It’s something in my sewing room.

Now I don’t have Sewer’s Block because I don’t have enough wonderful fabric. I sort of went nuts buying fabric in May, June and July – feeling sorry for myself – and I had a splurge. So I have wonderful fabric. And I have great patterns. And I can adjust them.

The problem I have is – I cannot decide what to do. I have looked at all of the patterns at least twice. I have washed the fabrics I could – patted them and folded them nicely. And sat at the table. And done nothing else.

I am awash in frustration. I want to sew. I just don’t want to decide what to cut out. I don’t know if I want to make a top, jacket, pair of pants or a tee. I just don’t know.

My fabric that has been calling to me is this one

This is a nice cotton twill. It will be great for fall and I think for winter too. I’m never too cold so wearing this fabric as a jacket with either a white or black tee-shirt would be great. I have a Flax jacket that I want to copy to make this – or maybe I’ll use a Katherine Tilton jacket pattern. Sigh. See what I mean? I also have other jacket patterns that would work and a couple of blouses. Here’s one:

widepants

 

I would seriously need to leave off the ties on the sleeves. They would drive me crazy. But I like the basic shirt style. It’s got the right feel to it. Also there’s this one:

V8813

You know – this is weird but I think I truly love the idea of that fabric in this dress. This is a Marcy Tilton Vogue Pattern. I made it the first time out of a knit and the knit was just too droopy for the pattern. I think it would be GORGEOUS in that print. And I could make the sleeves a tad bit longer because she has the option for a 3/4 sleeve. And I could wear it with leggings in the winter ……………. ooooooh I’m getting excited! Whatcha think? You know I think that’s it! I’m going to measure it out tomorrow and make sure it would all fit well. Wow. To think I almost made a simple little shirt out of that great fabric!!!!!!!


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Revamp of Vogue 1247 Complete

I loved the look of the top on the Vogue 1247 pattern by Rachel Comey. The shirt has such a casual yet stylish feel about it. The only difficulty is that the pattern only goes up to size 18. This is common in patterns from some designers. It’s very frustrating because there are those of us who can wear that style that are not small. I decided not to let the size bother me and bought it anyway – on sale, of course.

Here’s the technical drawing of the shirt and its components

V1247

If you look closely, you’ll see the bottom half of the front has four triangular pieces. The top portion has two pieces joined at center front. There are pleats from the shoulder and the line under the v-neck is really  two darts, one on each side.

Being somewhat mathematically challenged, I spent a great deal of time trying to figure out what the garment would measure in a size 18 when finished. Unlike most normal patterns, Vogue did not put this table in this pattern. Instead they marked the width of the finished garment on the pattern piece. Which was way odd because they had one width on the back and one on the front and there’s no way you could add them together and get a top out of it – it would be around 100″ around. So I measured each piece.

I figured the shirt would end up being 52.5″ when complete in a size 18. This is okay in a knit, but this will be out of a woven and that’s way too small. It also allows for around 12″ of ease in the design. So I commenced to adding 12″ to the pattern for ease to fit me.

You’d think that I would know there are two pieces to the front. Duh. Well I didn’t pay attention and I added 12 inches to one side. The next morning it dawned on me that if I did add that much to each side, I would effectively add 24 inches to the shirt. No way I need the shirt to be 76″ around!

Back to the slicing board, I cut out two of the 4″ pieces I had added to my pattern material. I then left only one 4″ piece which will add 8″ to the finished garment, making it 60″ around and giving me 10″ of ease in the garment.

I then had to add to the other pieces the same amount so they would fit when sewed and also add to the back pattern piece. I will make a muslin of this and see if everything fits. For those of you who have read this far and don’t sew – a muslin is just a trial garment which you do to fit yourself. You don’t have to finish it once you get it to the point where you like how it will fit. For this, I highly recommend a dress form because taking it on and off gets boring and you still can’t really see it. You need to look at it as others will look at it and this is best done on a dress form.

I may have to add more to the back piece. I’m not sure yet and I don’t want the back to be super baggy but I want the pieces to fit together. Since I did the enlargement of the whole front of the pattern, I don’t need to do an FBAfull bust adjustment – on the pattern.

Yesterday my latest and last big fabric purchase arrived. I have been maniacally buying fabric. I am now not allowed to go to the fabric website where I always shop. I must contain myself as I have plans in the fall I want to keep and I will need all the money I can get.

I was knocked flat by the absolute perfection of my order. Some of the fabrics looked not at all like I expected. Particularly the french cotton dots which I purchased in red/white and black/white. These will be the shirt that I made in the dark teal gauze. The dots were much smaller than I thought and I love it all the more for that.

I had been hankering after this Burning Torch embroidered cotton for months. Knowing that it wouldn’t be there forever, I finally got it. It is not inexpensive and I needed at least 3 yards. Here’s the fabric – which is even better in real life.

embcotton_BUgolden

Also in the box were these two faux leather fabrics. These are so malleable and fine. The copper I had planned for a bag but I may make a vest instead or a jacket.

The white gold is destined to be a jacket.

I also received these fabrics

The navy print lacy fabric is fantastic with a tiny floral and a nice sheer but not too sheer look. I purchased 4 yards of this because of the width but also because I am unsure which shirt pattern I’m going to use with this.

After my fabric arrived yesterday I spent a great deal of time jumping up and down screaming whoopee! I love the fabric from Emma One Sock. I’ve never been disappointed in anything I’ve ordered. That I cannot say about every online purchase of fabric I’ve made. Although I am certainly not made of money, I do follow the concept that in fabric, you get what you pay for. There is nothing worse than doing an excellent job on a garment using cheap fabric. It will look cheap no matter how great you sew. If you like disposable clothes then it’s not an issue. I want stuff to last. I had my fill of disposable clothes buying RTW.

Today I will be back in the sewing room working on the muslin for the shirt. As fast as I can because I can’t wait to get to the main event!


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Lazy Day

Holidays take a lot out of me. Not that I did anything. It’s just so HOT I’m tired.

I worked on surface design on a tank yesterday. This was a big BOMB. I really must leave the foil and the paint alone or else learn how to do it correctly. I would rather silkscreen on a design. Oh well, the fabric was $6 which is not bad for a wadder. I may have enough to recut the front.

I’m adapting this pattern to fit me now.

V1247 V1247ld

 

This top has a lot of good lines. I’m going to use a silk for this. As you can see from the line drawing that are quite a few pieces to the front. The pattern only goes up to an 18 and since I’m at least a 22, I will need to add in all directions for this. A FBA isn’t going to be a big deal as long as I get the sizing right because there’s plenty of space in the bust line.

I’ve traced all the pieces onto my pattern material and left a lot of room outside the tracing line for the additional I will need. I will do some simple math and make the adjustments.

One real peeve I have with Vogue is their finished garment measurements. I can’t find them. They say they are on the pattern tissue. Ok. The only thing I can find is a width marked at the bottom of each piece. I need a table. It looks like the back is 48″ and the front 52.5″ which can’t be right. The diameter of the whole top should be in the 52″ range. I’ve looked at the pattern sheets three or four times and I can’t see it so I am going to do my own measurements of the silly thing and add from there.

Because of the angels in this top a striped or very directional design wouldn’t look good. I am going to use a patterned silk – probably floral. I will first, however, make a muslin to make sure it’s perfect before I cut up $28 a yard fabric. Seriously.

Hope you all have a great weekend – summer has arrived in earnest!