Saturday, April 27, 2013

Summer Vogues!

Whew! There's only so much negativity I can take. Thanks for everyone's supportive comments per a peculiar listing on etsy. I've had to turn on comment moderation to stop the nasty comments from the person who stole my pictures, but please leave your comments and I will approve them quickly.

To clear the air, lets talk about Vogue's new summer patterns! (And BTW, as I am not making any money from posting Vogue's pattern pictures, and am actually offering them some free advertising and links to their website, I am not breaking any copyright laws.)

Vogue 1350
This is a Rachel Comey shirtdress. The lines on this dress are interesting and I love the fitted shape. I'm picturing it in a solid color to showcase the design.

Vogue 1352
This is for a knit. I love the lapped fronts and neck binding. It's an easy dress to throw on and look cute without much effort. I have a lone leopard belt that I never can figure out what to wear with, so I think I'll choose my fabric with that belt in mind.

Vogue 1353

If I could reach into my computer screen and pull this exact dress out and hang it in my closet, I would be ecstatic! I do so love a neckline with visual interest to give some oomph to the small chested. This dress is by Kay Unger.

Vogue 8902
Another great design with awesome construction lines! Also, the sleeves have little gathers at the neckline. So many possibilities! I like the directional stripe example, the solid shown here, and the colorblocked ones.

Vogue 8903
Ooh, a shirtdress for knits! Wouldn't this be lovely in a silk jersey? I have the perfect royal blue silk jersey in my stash. Front pockets give extra oomph to small girls too. Plus, check out that collar with collar stand! Super cute!

Vogue 8904
This dress reminds me of one I attempted several years ago but ultimately abandoned. But oh!, how much do I love this one with different color stripes?! I think I need two, one with sleeves and stripes and one sleeveless in a solid color.

I thought the photography for this pattern release was really nice. They show the garments from every possible angle so you can really get a feel for how it will fit. Anyone have any favorites that I missed?

Friday, April 26, 2013

A peculiar listing on etsy

Anyone remember when Selfish Seamstress Elaine did a post about idiots on the internet? Reader Irene just alerted me to the following listing on etsy, and I found myself in the same predicament:

Can you believe that?!! I wonder if this has happened to me before and I just didn't know about it. As you can see in the light green highlighted area, I have reported this seller to the Marketplace Integrity team, so hopefully they can get it taken down quickly. I've had nothing but good experiences from purchases I've made on etsy (mostly bows). Do these crooks really make money off unsuspecting people wanting custom dresses?

I particularly love the "85% refund if dress does not fit you" statement. It seems so authentic, right?  People taking advantage of unsuspecting individuals via the internet makes me so angry.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Simplicity 1624 - Cynthia Rowley ruffled toddler dress

I haven't sewn much for my daughter in the past because she's always been so tiny and I didn't want to have to figure out how to alter patterns down to her tiny size. Plus I just wasn't tempted by many of the baby patterns out there. Now that she is 2 1/2 years old, though, she is finally fitting into toddler sizes, of which there are many cute patterns that I am excited to sew up. This is the new Cynthia Rowley dress pattern Simplicity just released for spring. I made size 1/2 for the width and size 1 for the length.

The fabrics I used were leftovers from this skirt which I made way back in 2008. I haven't worn that skirt in ages as it's not really my style anymore, but still have it around somewhere. I saved the remnants because I loved the fabrics so much and had just enough to eek out this dress! (Although I did have to piece the ruffles a bit in the back.)

This face cracks me up!

I love ruffles on little girl's dresses but gosh! - they are SO MUCH WORK! Hem the bottom edge, finish the top edge, two rows of gathering stitch, pin it just right and stitch times four! I'm sure I will do ruffles again, though, they are so adorable on a little girl. (Just maybe not the next thing I make for her.)

I used white thread throughout, which I really like against the black. The neckline and arms are finished with self bias binding.

The back has a slit with a button & loop closure. It's a snug fit to get her arms through but fits loosely once it's on.

These fabrics held up really well. I sent Justin outside with the camera after church on Sunday, and she'd had it on for at least 3 hours by that point without much wrinkling. Didn't he do an awesome job on the photography?! Much better then my last attempt. I think he will be my new baby photographer.

The patten calls for a fabric loop but those are always a pain for me and I much prefer a thread loop.

For the inner skirt I used some white muslin I had on hand. I was making this dress from fabric fumes, and it never shows from the outside. I made french seams for the sides and shoulders. You can see a double row of stitching at the top of each ruffle - one to sew it to the inner skirt and the other to tack the top of the SA down.

I am not in love with the rest of the pieces from this pattern, but you may see the dress again in a year or two when she grows out of this one. And how fun to have a designer make a line for toddlers! I hope they release some more in the future.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Vogue 8615 - Light green floral dress

I spotted this floral on Mood's website a few months back and thought it was really pretty. I'm gravitating towards large florals these days and I liked all the empty space around the flowers of this print. It's described as a silk and wool blend (silk mikado) which intrigued me. It's also an Oscar de la Renta fabric, so I knew it had to be luscious.

I chose Vogue 8615 for its simplicity and flared skirt. (Honestly, I wouldn't have looked twice at this pattern were it not for the beautiful black and white houndstooth example on the Vogue website.) I tweaked a few things on this pattern:

1. Added 1" to the sides of the neckline to enable me to wear a regular bra.
2. Added 3/4" to the length of the bodice to accommodate my long torso.  
3. Cut the bodice front on a fold.
4. Revamped the sleeves by allowing 1/2" more room at the upper arm and trimming some off the sleeve head.
5. Assembled the dress and lining separately, then attached at the neck. They have some other weird instructions for the sleeves that I chose to ignore.
6. Added a hem facing to avoid the 5/8" double fold hem the instructions include. I am not a fan of that type of hem unless I'm using a shear fabric.

I love these sleeves. They have little darts at the elbows and are the perfect length for a spring dress.

The back neckline has a little plunging V. My zipper went in without incidence, thank goodness. After my last skirt I did not need any more zipper drama.

I don't really get that excited about pockets in dresses like some people do but I thought I would put them in to see what all the hubbub was about. Maybe if I ever wear this dress to a wedding and don't want to carry a purse they might come in handy. Otherwise ???

I made a muslin of the bodice in order to perfect the fit. I started with a 10 at the shoulders and bustline and tapered to a 12 at the waist. It was still a little droopy under the bust so I pulled in a little more fabric there. In order to avoid pointy headlights I curved the darts slightly at the bust point. I was also careful to avoid any blooms at the bust apexes while cutting out the bodice front.

Dressform pictures:

I think this light green celadon color is so pretty and unique.

Here at the hemline you can see the facing I used in lieu of a 5/8" double folded hem. I stitched green lace hem tape to the top of the facing and slip stitched it to the dress.

The full lining is pale green Ambiance, also from Mood. I love the feel of the soft and smooth rayon lining but don't love to cut it out. Except! I have just discovered that it can be ripped from selvage to selvage to get an even grainline, which makes cutting it out soooo much easier. You might already know this but I was so excited to figure it out!

I did do the double folded hemline for the lining, which took a really long time. This is one full skirt!

This is actually my second go around with the fabric. The first time I ordered it I cut out a fitted sheath dress and spent forever laying it out so that the flowers didn't look too cut up. All was going smoothly until I tried it on halfway completed. It had shrunk along the seamlines where I used steam to press it and also grown in width. Fitted it wasn't. However, I loved the fabric so much that I re-ordered with a totally different dress in mind. Instead of princess seamed and straight I went with darted and full. In order to avoid any more fabric shrinkage on the new yardage, I put it in the dryer with a wet hand towel and dried it on high. What little bit it shrank from the steam in the dryer was totally unnoticeable. This will be my go-to method for pre-treating wools from now on.