Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Vogue 1440 - White cotton tunic w/ back yoke detail

I'm taking a break from making silk blouses to add some cotton to my wardrobe. It's much easier to wear here in the summer and doesn't stick to sweaty skin as easily. I used Vogue 1440, a separates pattern by Donna Karan. Now this is a great pattern! You get three designer pieces that are very wearable for the price of one. The blouse was what called my name first, but I do plan to make both the jacket and the pants at some point.

What I loved about this design was the armhole bands and interesting back yoke feature. It calls for a solid color to show off those areas, and I picked a crisp white cotton shirting from Mood fabrics. This is a nice medium weight fabric that holds its shape well. Good quality cottons are always fun to sew with as they press well and don't slip around on you.

I really deliberated about what size to cut. Usually I cut a 12 for Vogue patterns but the bust measurements printed on the pattern were really big. My measurements put me at an 6 but I never wear that small of a size so I went for the 10 just to be safe. I'm so glad I did as the bust measurements are just plain wrong. The size 10, for example, is suppose to be 37.5" around, which I would be swimming in. As you can see, it is pretty fitted. If you decide to make this blouse, I advise actually measuring the pattern for yourself to determine which size to cut. I folded 1.5" out of each front pattern piece between the dart and the center front before I cut into the fabric. I wanted an easy-fitting blouse but it is really voluminous as drafted. This pattern could easily be used for maternity wear!

I just adore the back!!! Anyone with a muscular back or shoulders should make this top. I have neither but still think it's flattering. I'm seeing lots of RTW with that back slit detail which is another nice feature.

After I got the blouse to a stage where I could try it on but didn't yet have the collar attached, I noticed that the front neckline was really high. And then I really got to looking at the blouses others have made from this pattern and noticed how those collars folded over past the armbands. I think it's drafted that way on purpose to give it more of a relaxed look, and I can't tell if the original is like that or not. However, I wanted more of a traditional collar look for my blouse. I cut the center fronts down by 1" and used the collar and collar stand from another Vogue pattern. If I make this pattern again I will raise the center back neckline a little as I think it's pulling the collar down in the back. Weird. The front was too high and the back is too low.

Does anyone else get excited about reading pattern directions? I couldn't wait to get my hands on this pattern so I could figure out how that back band was attached. It's so unique. I did change the order of stitching the bands to the fabric in order to avoid lumpy shoulders. Being precise while topstitching is always fun to me so I enjoyed those parts a lot.

More dressform pictures:

The concealed button closure has no interfacing called for. This made me a little nervous but it turned out fine in the end and isn't floppy at all. If using a fabric that is lighter weight you may want to add interfacing to this area.

Something else I love about this pattern are the beautifully finished insides included in the directions. All fabric edges are enclosed in some manner and there's no overlocking needed. There is a bias hem facing pattern piece which I was super excited about. Wow, that made making the hem SO MUCH EASIER then the usual double folded hem that puckers and never will lay completely flat. I am using a bias hem facing for all shaped hems from now on.

This was such a fun project to work on! I think I might use the top part of this blouse again and make more of a fitted/shorter garment just for some variety. It's too lovely of a design not to make a second time.

Note: This fabric was purchased with my Mood Fabrics monthly allowance, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network.