Monday, November 15, 2010

V8634 • Dotty Cowl

Remember this fabric? It's from my Italy haul!

Pattern Description: Close-fitting, pullover tops A, B, C, in two lengths, have collar and stitched hems. A: short sleeves. B: three-quarter length sleeves. C: long sleeves. I made view C.

Pattern Sizing: XS – XL. Mine was a straight M. (hooray!)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It did! 

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't even look at them. I put the sleeves in flat, but don't know if that differs from the pattern.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? That seam below the bust is completely unnecessary. I really like how slimming this pattern is.

Fabric Used: Delicious, heavyweight jersey from Bassetti Tessuti! The cowl gets lost in the photo, but it's there.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Like others who have made this, I eliminated the seam below the bust. It doesn't add anything to the design when you're working with such a busy fabric. I added 8" to the cowl length because I like a "meatier" cowl. 

I assembled the entire project on my serger and used 1/4" seams.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and YES! I've already made it again, in a forest green jersey. It sews up in under two hours, which is fantastic when you need a sewing quickie. I think this will be a gorgeous use of my peacock alpaca fabric, too.

Conclusion: I can't begin to tell you how much I love this top and this style! Make one already, wont'cha?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Faux Fur Stole Tutorial

In Italy, faux and real fur clothing and accessories were EVERYWHERE. Fur vests, little boxy fur jackets and fur stoles are on trend for Fall/Winter 2010. Nothing looked terribly difficult to construct, so when I got home, I decided to make a stole for myself. It's SUPER easy, incredibly quick and delightfully chic. Make one for yourself! Here's how:

  • 1/8 – 1/4 yd. faux fur
  • 1/8 – 1/4 yd. lining fabric
  • tracing paper, pen, ruler, scissors
  • razor blade 
  • needle and thread
  • one chopstick

How to:
Step 4
Step 6
  1. Make a paper template that is half the length of your finished stole. Mine was 31"L x 6.5"W. Taper and round off the ends so they're not square. 
  2. Cut out your lining fabric on the fold with this template.
  3. Lay the template on your faux fur with fur side down. Leave enough room on the fabric to "flip" the template horizontally when you're done cutting out half of the stole. Pin template to faux fur.
  4. Using a razor blade (never scissors!), cut out faux fur, slicing only through the backing of the fabric, not the fur.
  5. Flip the template horizontally and complete cutting the faux fur with the razor.
  6. With right sides together, pin the faux fur to the lining, using the chopstick to encourage all the little hairs to stay inside the "burrito". Leave a 6" gap open to pull the fabric through. (see pic, Step 6)
  7. Sew everything but the 6" gap. I used a 5/8" seam allowance.
  8. Pull the right side of the stole thru the gap.
  9. Pull out any hairs that were trapped in the seams with the chopstick.
  10. Sew up the gap, by hand, with a running stitch.
  11. Secure wrap in place with a decorative pin or drape it over yourself like a diva!
Go forth and rock that stole!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

V8413 • The Joan Dress

Look! It's all the beautiful people – all in one place.
I have a confession to make. I love Mad Men. From the amazing period clothes and furnishings to the clever dialogue and twisty-turny storylines, I look forward to every episode. I love the characters, even when helplessly flawed. And root for them when things get a little rough. (Although I'd love to take on Betty Draper and her pearls in a mudwrestling match! That girl needs to loooosen up! And maybe take a parenting class or twelve…) 

Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway
Also, when I was snoop shopping in Rome last month, Fendi had a similar dress in a mustard colour ($900…really, Fendi? REALLY?). Around the neck, they'd placed a $800 fur stole. I knew I could rock that look… and I put the whole shebang together (including leopard heels!) for less than $100. This dress alone, I will wear for YEARS. (Look for the fur stole tutorial coming soon!)


Pattern Description: Close-fitting dress have bodice, sleeve and collar variation, straight skirt with front pleats, back darts, zipper and vent. Three-quarter length sleeves, princess seams and one piece collar. Hem hits at mid-knee. (I made View D)

Pattern Sizing: 8-24.
I made 14 bodice and a 16 skirt. My usual combo.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope 

Vogue 8413
once you were done sewing with it? Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow? I looked at them once to figure out how to put the cowl and facing together.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This was a quick dress to make! The design lines are simple and it's an elegant garment I can dress up or down. My kicky black boots will look great with this, too!

Fabric Used: Polyester double knit, which I'd never sewn with before. It's is a dream, and I'm planning on using it again in dresses and other garments. (See Gertie's link for sewing with doubleknits.)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

1/2" princess FBA, added 1" to bodice length, high round back adjustment. I'm 5'9", so I added 2" to hem of skirt so it would cover my knees.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I can see it in red… and purple… The design variations in the pattern give a lot of flexibility.

Conclusion: This dress is amazing. I can dress it up or down and it's comfortable without looking slouchy. I think it'll get a lot of wear this fall and winter!