Pants and jackets…

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It’s double-oh early on Cyber Monday! But I think I’ve already contributed all I can to the Black Friday and small business Saturday sales, so I’ll blog to keep myself out of trouble 🙂

I finished my Burda peplum jacket – it was intended as a toile, because I used remnants of a corded denim, but it’s definitely wearable. Great jacket…more details on my first post, here.

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Burda Style Collarless Peplum Jacket 11/2016 #125

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I’m planning a second version in black ponte, with long sleeves. A stable fabric with a little weight is perfect for this pattern (imagine a brocade – would be stunning).

The jacket is styled with wide leg pants done in ITY knit, a fun abstract print in grey, white, and black.

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Feeling brave, I used V9217, a Kathryn Brenne pattern that’s actually intended for woven fabrics (and I’ve sewn 3, first post is here). I love the lines and the flat front on the waistband. And it worked great in ITY!

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I used a straight hem and the slanted pocket from the Pattern Emporium Harem Pants. I use this pocket all the time, because it has a 1-piece pocket bag and doesn’t gape open at the hips.

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Fabric: Monochrome Printed ITY, Fabric Wholesale Direct

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Last but not least, I also sewed a new Tessuti Megan Cardigan in grey ponte from Fabric Mart.

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I made a black ponte version back in August, and at the time, I thought it might be a little small. But that was really my mind working on me – I love wearing it.

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As with my first version, I raised the hemline by 4″, and used a 1″ wide band (the original band is quite narrow).

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This was all fun sewing, and I have outfits!

Bye for now – Coco

Vogue 9253 Deep-V Kimono Dress muslin

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OK, work with me! My funky muslin, of a pattern that’s had a lot of air time lately – that Red Carpet Ready Vogue 9253. And since it’s muslin time, no makeup or hairdo, so head shots are limited 🙂

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Initially, I passed on this. I’ve been doing a lot of kimono-style dresses this summer, and the ones I’m sewing are very similar – except for that neckline. However, when I saw the McCalls-sponsored sewing challenge for the pattern, I picked it up. And I also got 6 yards of fabric for it.

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Nothing is hemmed in these pics…

That was the extent of my participation in the sewing challenge, but I’m grateful for all the reviews and pics it generated . They were so helpful – you can take a look with tag #V9253 on Instagram and Facebook.

I got thrown off schedule by my fabric. I thought it was cotton shirting. Apparently I don’t read every word of a fabric description, or I read the words to suit my purpose! This is polyester charmeuse – could there be anything worse to sew (or wear in Florida, for that matter). I didn’t touch it for a couple weeks, but finally decided to use it for a muslin.

SA prepAwful. The fabric ravels for no reason. More if it’s touched! This dress got tossed twice, just because fun was leaving the room.

Every single cut edge had to be serged before I could start sewing. I don’t mind that part – I was just afraid of losing my seam allowances before I got it all secured.

Back to the pattern. After my online research, and working with the pattern tissue itself, I decided on two changes:

1 – The deep V-neck is simply not something I’d wear. So I re-drafted it, using other V-neck dresses as a guide.

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2 – The waistline and tie look pretty in the envelope pictures, and in pictures on the Vogue site. However – I noticed on other versions that, in the front, the tie tends to end up several inches below the bodice seam. That would really bug me, because IMHO, the dress looks too short in the torso. (If you love it, please don’t be offended!) Anyway, I dropped the bodice, front and back, by a couple inches, which is not unusual for me. And I removed the front rise, so the tie could fall naturally on top of the seam.

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These changes actually work very pretty well for me. The neckline is comfortable, although I think I’d like it about 1″ lower, and the tie falls easily over the slightly raised waist (I’m using an Obi-ish belt that I keep in the loft for fittings. From V8807).

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I did a few more tweaks – adjusted various pleats and darts, and reshaped the skirt to fit my bodice, little stuff that took hours 🙂

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Conquered this! and I don’t know if I’ll ever sew it again. Maybe.

Ciao – Coco

African Wax Print Pants…

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I look pretty calm, right? Well, it has been interesting – my first experience with an African wax print.

As background, I’ve been enjoying Zoona Nova’s  blog and pics on Instagram so much. She lives, works, and plays in Malawi, and her stories and projects are fascinating. The local handicraft projects with which she’s involved (and pending pattern releases from her own design studio) include garments made with African wax prints. The fabrics are stunning – such variety, gorgeous designs, and so colorful! I just had to try some.

Since I can’t visit the local markets in Malawi, I ordered two pieces from Fabric Wholesale Direct.  They have an wonderful selection of African prints, their prices are so reasonable, and they ship very quickly. I like the latter – I’m impatient when I order something. I want it now, please 🙂

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Top: McCalls 7597 in bleached muslin.

I had no idea what to expect – stiff, waxed, starched? Well, in reality, both pieces were a bit stiff and rather shiny when they arrived. So, starch or some similar resist material. And drenched with color, all the way through. I wasn’t sure how to wash them or care for them. After a lot of research, and many opinions, I just threw up my hands and put them in a warm water wash with mild detergent, and then in the dryer on the delicate setting. They both came out fine, great in fact. No running or loss of color, and no discernible shrinkage. I was amazed!

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Sassy pants! I made these with Vogue 9217, Kathryn Brenne’s dolphin hem pants (original post here).

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With such an ‘active’ print, I left off the curved side vents and just cut a straight hemline, with an additional couple of inches to make them really long. I did keep the bound finish though. I think it adds nice balance to the print.

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Top: Grainline Studio Scout Tee in cotton seersucker.

Great project – I feel like my world has expanded, as though I’ve been travelling, and I’ve learned so much. I love my pants, and, yes, that second fabric is already in the loft, ready to be sewn 🙂

Ciao! Coco

 

Vogue 9217 – Kathryn Brenne – Wonderful

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I’m in pants heaven. I love this pattern!

From Kathryn Brenne, and I’ve found no reviews, so perk up… Great pieces. A shell, a reversible jacket, and these pants. This post is all about the pants.

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Pattern link on BMV

Another view of happy me.

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So much to talk about, but check out the ‘dolphin’ hems (usually seen on jogging shorts, so really new for me).

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Fabric: Multi-stripe Cotton Ikat from Fashion Fabric Club…totally misnamed, because it’s a jacquard!

I did a muslin of these pants last week, wrote a post about them, and then decided it was just a dreary kind of post. But the muslin was so helpful – I had planned to sew the pants in this great cotton jacquard, and I didn’t want to blow it. A view of the muslin, and, BTW, it’s a nice view of how well this pattern would work for shorts (mine are in PJ rotation):

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Back to these new britches…

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Part of the challenge with this fabric was figuring out how to place the pattern. I didn’t want the dominant white stripe to be misplaced on the front or the back 🙂 So lots of single-layer cutting. I just did it with a good movie playing.

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Some sewing notes:

  • I made the size Medium (12-14) with NO changes to the fit.
  • In an unusual move for me, I used packaged double-fold bias tape to finish the hems. IMO, it was much easier than working with bias strips cut from cotton broadcloth. Even so, I spent most of one day finishing the hems. Picky picky…but finish is really important to me, and I never mind the time or effort involved.

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  • The pattern doesn’t provide very much information about the finished garment measurements. Which can be frustrating! So I measured mine, straight size Medium:
    • Inseam 27″.
    • Outseam, below the waist, 39″.
    • Thigh circumference 28″.
    • Crotch 27″.  Front 12 1/4″, back 14 3/4″

The pants are pretty much straight up and down, so they can be shortened anywhere in the leg. And the rise can be shortened at the top edge (just be sure to move your pockets down as well if needed).

  • About that hem. I almost used a facing instead of the bias tape that the pattern uses. And I think it would be a reasonable way to finish them (although I love the taped hem). A suggestion on how to do it, simply draft the hem with its ‘natural’ seam allowance, and draft a facing to match. E.g.,

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  • The pockets provided with the pattern are standard in-seam pockets. But for pants, I really prefer a slant pocket that’s attached in the waistband. I used the pocket from Butterick 6296, but any similar pocket would work fine.

These will be my favorite summer long pants. Absolutely. I want more! Last pic of this happy woman. Photo-bomber Emile is sporting a Tessuti Megan Cardigan, finished last week, I’ll blog it soon. And my blouse is my recent camp shirt (B6296), cropped!

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Vogue 9168 Kathryn Brenne dress – end of story

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And I mean it this time!

I’ve been messing with this dress since the third week of March. When I first wrote about it (here), I mentioned that it was well-drafted (it looked just like the envelope pic), but it was uncomfortable to wear. It was destined for a re-do in the fall. But it has been on the garment rack in the loft, and it’s been bugging me. So this week I took it on once more.

A pattern refresher – ALL of the pieces, except the sleeve, are cut on the bias. I actually cut my back bodice on the straight grainline as well:

I decided to (1) put back the original flutter sleeve – it’s perfection and will be re-used, and (2) raise the waistline. The sleeve business was easy, and they’re beautiful. The waistline adjustment was a terror!

I carefully removed the skirt from the bodice and got to work. And I re-worked it 4 times! This is a rayon crepe fabric, and all those bias cuts just kept on growing and growing. I just couldn’t get and keep a straight seam in the front bodice edge.

Even the final version shows a new dip since it was finished this morning (the arrow). Looking past that, the double pleats in the front bodice are very flattering. They fit more closely than the original pattern, because I crossed the center front a bit to raise the neckline.

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 The back is very pretty, no problems there.

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An inside look – the waist has a narrow casing  with 1/4″ elastic.

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I know there are ways to stabilize the waist – a buckram waist stay, invisible side zip, etc. but I can’t wear those against my skin, and am not about to wear a slip. This hot and humid Florida, and I’m into easy dressing.

I’m glad I continued to work with this dress, which is now officially out of the house. I’m done with bias cuts! but I learned a lot. I certainly know why all those movie star bias-cut dresses have unstructured, dipped and draped bodices.

To close – here’s the same fabric, in a different colorway, in the StyleArc Toni Designer Dress (posted here, way back in November). Much better marriage of pattern and fabric. And I love the colors!

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Okey dokey – I’m off to more fun stuff! Bye for now – Coco