Mash-up time

Nope, not a combination of your favourite songs, cos that never seems to work out well. This is a classic mash-up of differing bodice and skirt patterns.  It’s one of the things I love about sewing, you take a bit of this and a bit of that and generally you can mash patterns together.  This one is the bodice of Simplicity 2174 View A with the skirt of Vogue 8555.

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I did alter the skirt to omit the side darts, for two reasons, one, the fabric was quite thick and I didn’t want the extra bulk and secondly I didn’t have enough fabric for this width anyway!

The fabric is a poly ponte bought at The Fabric Store. Even though it is poly, the quality is amazing, wonderful stretch recovery and oh so comfy to wear.

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As the fabric has some stretch, I omitted the back zipper (so lazy!!). I also omitted the lining and instead went with an all in one facing.

I absolutely love this dress and wear it to work every single week – I love how comfortable it is to wear – it’s like secret pajamas (I seem to be accruing a few of these!!).  I NEED more of these dresses!!!

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Now if only I could find more of this fabric in other patterns…

Melbourne Frocktails Dress – V8555

Finally, behold, my Melbourne Frocktails Dress!

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I know I am remarkably tardy in posting this, but in true Lizzie form, I was chattering way too much at Frocktails to get any pictures of it. Also, going through everyone’s photos here, here and here, one would think I didn’t attend at all as there is little to no photographic evidence!

The dress is of course Vogue 8555 as per my last post and constructed much the same…

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…with one major change.  Can you see my zipper?  Nope, not the best invisible zipper ever.  When I was trying it on for fit with it basted up, I realized I didn’t require one, so I left it off!! I know, weird right? It felt a bit weird omitting it, almost like it’s an unfinished dress, but of course makes the back lovely and flat.

The only thing I was a little annoyed at myself for was the pattern matching or lack thereof.  When I cut it out for some reason I gave it very little thought and as a result have a stupid double print down the front. Whatevs.

Because I always forget, here are some shots of the insides:

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The fabric is a gorgeous patterned supposedly silk blend, which I think is maybe 5% silk at best, sure feels flammable, but whatever, it feels amazing to wear and doesn’t crease, so winning!

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The second (and final) change for this version was to raise the neckline by an inch for a little more safety and to make it a little more wearable for work.

Now to my question, if you were going to put a little jacket or cardi over this for layering warmth, what pattern would you use and what colour?  I am really having trouble pairing this with anything I currently have.  Suggestions please!!

The Distraction Dress – V8555

As many of you will know, recently Melbourne held their annual Frocktails event. I am terrible when it comes to sewing to a deadline, it’s when the ultimate of distractions happen.

Here’s how my thought pattern was working three weeks out from the event:

  1. Hmmm, frocktails is coming up, I should make a dress
  2. How about I start with one completely not intended for Frocktails
  3. Followed by, I kinda know what I better make, but I better make it in different fabric first just in case (in case of what, I am not sure)
  4. Crap, I only have one weekend left, I better get moving!!

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This is my Frocktails practice dress – Vogue 8555.

I did a muslin of the bodice first – I generally find it works well for my shape to cut a smaller size in the back than the front. I often do an FBA as well but this time it wasn’t needed! Huzzah!!  The only adjustments required were a little off the shoulders and narrowing the waistband by approx. 1.5cm.

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I love the details of the bodice, the neckline pleats, the gathering under the bust and the waistband. The skirt is lovely and full and has pockets – everyone knows all good skirts should have pockets 🙂

Warning – the neckline is pretty low, I don’t mind this too much normally, but for work I would prefer it higher as I feel like everyone can see down it!

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Construction wise, this went together fairly easily and the pattern is marked by Vogue as Easy. The only tricky bit I found was the zip.  My fabric has a lengthwise stretch so it kept bubbling when I was inserting it. I ended up having to baste it in first to get it to sit flat – very frustrating, but I got there in the end. I’m no quitter!!

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Likes:

  • bodice shape and the flared skirt
  • pockets!!
  • easy to construct

Changes for next time:

  • shorten the waist panels a little more
  • raise the neckline a little for better office suitability 🙂

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So, spoiler alert, if you haven’t guessed, I used this pattern for my Frocktails dress which I will blog soon!

PS – If you’re wondering why I am intently looking left, it’s because the sun was blinding me and I left my sunglasses at home!

PPS – Summer is on the way – yay!! Tights begone!!

V1395 – Tie-ing something new

Hello again! Finally I have chance to get back to the blog. It has been crazy busy around here lately, mostly because I went to Melbourne Frocktails last weekend and procrastinated on my dress and then decided last minute that I needed a coat too!  Yep – I am clearly quite mad!! However, job done and I will share these with you soon, just need to take some pics!

I have a shite-load of garments that I am behind on blogging, but this is my new favourite to wear so you get to see it first! I made this when procrastinating on making my Frocktails dress.

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It’s V1395, a sweet little pullover, elastic waist dress with waist ties (get my blog title now? insert eye roll here).  I expected this to be a comfortable dress and wasn’t sure it would be overly flattering, however I was hopeful and forged ahead in a polyester from my stash in the home of ending up with a wearable muslin.  Better than that, I have a dress that I love and now am planning more!!

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I’ve no idea why I am frowning so much in this pic!!

I cut a size 16, narrowing at the shoulders as is normal for me. I also raised the shoulders as I am short in this area. As it was intended to be a wearable muslin I skipped the French seams and just stitched and overlocked as is normal for me for most garments any way.

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I don’t like how the instructions have you attach the lining and create the casing. It is not stitched down in anyway and therefore doesn’t sit flat at the waist.  I think next time I will stitch the casing to the dress at the time of creating it. I didn’t end up with the low armholes that other bloggers have mentioned, I think because I raised the shoulders.

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I only shortened the waist a smidgeon at the back so be warned if you are taller. Also, this is the pattern length, again pretty short since I am only 5’2″.  I love the ties, but be aware if you make this that the reverse of your fabric will be visible.

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This a great versatile dress, I wear it with plain black tights and low heels to work and then with ballet flats or boots for casual. I have another one planned in a silk crepe and then another in a rayon blend – perhaps one for each day of the week! Do you think anyone would notice if I only made/wore this pattern?? 😛

Comfort Sewing, for winter and stress…

I’m keeping it pretty short and sweet today, however I do have two garments to share with you today!

This time of year is super busy for me – I’m in the financial sector (insurance) and with it coming up to end of financial year (known as EOFYS in Australia), things are ramping up something crazy at work. There is light at the end of the tunnel so I will keep pushing through!  Only a week and a half to go (and counting!).

As work has been pretty stressful the past few weeks I have been mostly looking to sew simple and gratifying garments – no brainers and avoiding any potential fitting woes. The Mabel skirt and V8780 perfectly fit that bill.

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I am super late to the Mabel Skirt party (I expect I’ll make the Sydney Jacket, currently taking sewists by storm, sometime next year!) and I didn’t expect the style to really suit me. I’m not normally drawn to a pencil skirt but thought it could be fun to try, everyone had told me it was a winner and I am always on the lookout for secret work pjs.

I got myself some heavy stretch fabric from Spotlight – it was remnant priced and only cost me $2.40 – being that cheap, there was virtually no risk to trying this new silhouette!!

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I love the drape on the back of this cardi

I cut the size L based on my measurements and went ahead and sewed it up. Knits are pretty forgiving and this one had loads of stretch so I figured it wouldn’t be too much of a gamble. Hurrah! It worked and I am super happy with the result!  The only change I made to the original pattern was to add 3″ to the length as I like the midi length.

The cardi is my new ‘go to’ cardi, V8780. This time I sized down to the small and the fit is much better across the shoulders and arms compared to my previous version.

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Not too much to say about the construction of either garment. They were both sewn using only the overlocker and coverstitch and were completed in an afternoon.

Sometimes this kind of sewing really hits the spot, especially when a de-stress brain escape is needed.  Do you sew to de-stress too? What patterns are your ‘go to’ patterns.

Wardrobe Winner Cardi – V8780

Who doesn’t love a wardrobe winner, a perfect garment that suits so many occasions? I swear Vogue were just trying to keep this pattern under wraps, the envelope is U.G.L.Y. (you ain’t got no alibi), just terrible.  Look at it:

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Seriously? What about this looks compelling? The line drawings peeps, it’s always about the line drawings. I can’t take all the credit for finding this little gem. Lizzy found it first and her cardi is marvelous!

Enough with the Vogue bashing, here is my version:

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So much better than the envelope and so much more stylish (if I do say so myself).

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No word of a lie, cutting and sewing this up took less than 30 minutes! I sewed the whole garment on my overlocker on the rolled hem setting. All the seams, edges and hem are overlocked – the super narrow finish works brilliantly.  Only the sleeve hems are done on my coverstitch.  I made a size medium, but I think this pattern runs large and really you only have to choose your size based on your shoulder width as the rest of the garment just drapes. I over estimated my size (as usual) and mine is a touch wide on the shoulder, for my second version I sized down and it is perfect.

I made View A (the shorter version) out of a lightweight merino bought at the Fabric Store.

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This really does go with everything. I wear it with jeans (obviously), I take it to work and wear it over my dresses, it goes with work pants and it squishes down and fits in my handbag to take to the movies or anywhere where the temperature is potentially questionable.  Aircon over here tends to be a little too enthusiastic for my liking.

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A word to the wise on the collar construction, the instructions are a little odd and confusing for my little brain, if you make this, just remember that it flips and rolls to the outside so you need to ensure the centre back doesn’t show.

A friend of mine has a cardi that is super similar, but hers has a little hook and eye set up for the option to wear it like this:

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What do you think? Does it look weird?

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There is already one more of these in my wardrobe and two more planned as I do believe I’ve found my favourite layering cardi.

PS – worn with M6766 tee

Check it out dress

I am loving some of the graphic style prints that I am seeing in the stores recently. Not normally one to follow trends, this grid or checked pattern is one I can get on board with. For work wear, I have been loosely trying to stick to a bit of a palette of black, white and red for work, perhaps once my wardrobe grows more colours will enter. This fabric certainly fits the brief and makes me feel a bit on trend and edgy 🙂

V8766 Raglan Hack

The pattern is a hack of my favourite 4 dart bodice, V8766 paired with the skirt of the Belladone. I love the diagonal pockets of the Belladone and I thought they would complement the shoulder detail.

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This time I hacked the bodice slightly, I wanted to play on the grid pattern and also wanted to incorporate a complimentary bias trim. I modified the bodice to have a raglan shoulder detail and cut the shoulder pieces on the bias to emphasize the design lines.

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To do this I eyeballed where I wanted the seam lines to be and marked these on my pattern pieces. I then matched the front and back pieces at the seams (omitting the seam allowances) and traced a new pattern piece for the raglan insert (including seam allowances on the new piece). Perhaps a diagram showing the end result is easier (you can see my fold lines on the pattern pieces including seam allowances, the dashed lines are the seam lines):

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Now that I have my personal alterations sorted for this bodice it all went together super quickly. I used 25mm bias to further emphasize the raglan seams, pockets, to bind the neck and armholes.

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I love how this raglan feature just adds a small point of difference. I would like to do something similar on a ponte dress with a pleather or quilted raglan piece.

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These pics were taken a couple of weeks ago, since then the temperature has dropped considerably and I’ve been wearing this with tights and a cardi. Admittedly for most people it hasn’t been that cold, about 20-25C, but I am well known as a complete wuss when it comes to the cold!

On another note – how slow is this week going?  For me it is absolutely crawling, I can’t believe I am only half way through! Roll on the weekend!!

Vintage Pledge – V2876

Hellooooo again!  Soooo…I signed up for the Vintage Pledge..yep it’s out there in the Blogosphere so I’d better do it huh? I have loads of vintage patterns, mostly from the 40s and 50s. I love the artwork and the interesting details not often seen on patterns nowadays. I also have a number of the reproduction vintage patterns and have been meaning to make them for a while now. I thought the pledge might be the motivator I need to actually sew them instead of just stare wistfully at them. I have started small and have pledged to sew three patterns this year.

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This is the first, Vogue 2876, a vintage reproduction.  The pattern is for knits and wovens apparently, I chose an ITY knit to give a dress in the Leona Edmiston style that I adore.

PSA: This pattern has EIGHTY steps!!  Don’t let this put you off, this is not as complicated as it sounds. A lot of the instructions are super basic and in my case, I felt some were completely unnecessary e.g. I omitted the shoulder pads so that eliminated 7 steps, and I left off the side opening and zip as it neither were required with the knit fabric eliminating a further 16 steps.

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The insertion of the diamond was the most tricky part as it is done via top-stitching it on rather than a back to back construction approach.

The bodice is also supposed to be attached to the skirt by top-stitching but this was not really possible with the slippery knit fabric. Instead I placed the bodice and skirt back to back and stitched most of it together this way except for the wrap section which I pinned extensively and top-stitched.

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Changes to the pattern:
– As usual I shortened the bodice, this time by 2″.
– I took the pleats out of the sleeve and made them 3/4 length
– narrowed the shoulders by 1.5″
– 3″ off the length of the skirt

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Look – faux wrap!

 

What I like:
– the front diamond and bodice gathering
– love the style
– it’s dressy enough for work
– it feels amazing to wear

What I would change for next time:
– nothing and there will be a next time for sure, I’d love to make it in a plain fabric to show off the details more

PRO TIP – Don’t try to do clever things like play pattern tetris and flip your pattern pieces. Doesn’t work with an asymmetrical pattern if you only flip some, you just may end up with two right fronts – ask me how I know 😦

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Are you participating in the #vintagepledge? How are you going so far? If I make two of these does it count towards the pledge??

Mash up magic dress

I told you I’d do it – mash up the bodice of V8766 & the skirt of M6503! It is everything I thought it would be – faultless simple four dart bodice and gently flared skirt.

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I made it in a lovely Lisette cotton sateen fabric, bought from Spotlight (the Aussie equivalent to Jo-Ann in the US).

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Construction wise it was pretty much the same as last time, except this time I “drafted” an all in one facing. When I say drafted, I really mean “cut a truncated version of the upper bodice”.

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I also lowered the back by about 4″, mostly to make it easier for me to zip up, but also for a more summery feel.

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Ummmm, not much else to say about this, so here’s a couple more photos:

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