Vogue 9204 –¬†a simple shirt for a complicated skirt

Note: I didn’t make the skirt!

Vogue 9204 – the shirt… the skirt was a fortune ‘find’ and shows more of my legs then usual!

I did however make the blouse to pair with the skirt.

This pattern is a bit of an ugly duckling – or perhaps more kindly, a hidden gem. Vogue 9204 is a Very Easy Vogue pattern with somewhat uninspiring envelope art and a sample garment in a busy print that disguises the garment’s design lines.

Vogue 9204 - image from Vogue Patterns, McCalls

Vogue 9204 – image from Vogue Patterns, McCalls

It’s a simple pullover top with a collar that extends into ties, lined yoke with back pleats and a shirt tail hemline.

Vogue 9204 - back view

excuse the creases – car travel to somewhere without a strong onshore wind required! Bad hair day to top it off… all the running means I pay less attention to my hair lol… true story…

There are no darts and the front v-neck is finished with a simple facing.

The fabric…

I’ve made this in a woven tencel chambray which I purchased on holiday from Ruche Fabrics in Launceston, Tasmania. If you happen to be in Launceston you should pop into Ruche. It’s the Tessuti Fabrics of Tasmania in terms of fabric quality & style.

While I love this fabric, it does show every crease and seems to amplify the shadows/ripples as it falls over your body or with movement. I don’t notice this when I’m wearing it but it’s obvious in photography.

Regardless of these gripes, the fabric is divine and very fluid.

Vogue 9204 - side view

Vogue 9204 – side view

The skirt… not made-by-me

The skirt… it’s hard not to notice isn’t it?! It was called the ‘fire & ice skirt’ by Bec & Bridge. It is fully lined and has a very deep back hem facing so the front cut away doesn’t show the reverse of the fabric at the back of the skirt. It’s some type of scuba-like fabric. I paid next-to-nothing for it, one of my unexpected finds, the fabric print drew my eye on the rack and cost me less than a coffee (yes really). It’s shorter than I usually wear but maybe it will be ok for a ‘night out’ or drinks with friends, we will see. I’m sure it will be readily adopted by my teenage daughters in due time.

Thoughts…

I deliberately chose this shirt design for its austere simplicity combined with a slightly sassy neck tie. I wanted something to quietly complement the skirt rather than compete with it.

I haven’t quite decided how I prefer to tie this… and I haven’t tried a low loose bow. The ties seem longer than the pattern illustration and I’m toying with the idea of unpicking the hand stitching on the inside back neckline and shortening them slightly… but maybe not.

I really like this simple pattern. I think I may make another in silk and/or rayon to wear as casual tops with jeans. It would also pair beautifully with a pencil skirt for work. It’s a nice change from a collared shirt yet not totally lacking in interest.

It’s a very fast make and if you can ‘burrito’ your shirt yokes, even faster. There is a small amount of hand stitching around the back neck to finish the tie neck.

Pattern: Vogue 9204
Fabric: Tencel chambray, Ruche Fabrics Launceston. Purchased in January while on holidays.
Skirt: RTW, Bec & Bridge, not current range

Thanks to my friend Susan of Measure Twice, Cut Once who lightened up my photos for me to actually show the top & skirt in their true colours (I’m not technical in this regard) and saved me taking more (clouds descended and the weather turned nasty/cold as these were taken making the colours very murky).

RUNNING

Still running! Park Run official time down to 26.02 minutes and I recently finished 10kms in 55.03 minutes. It’s four months since I attempted to run/walk my first Park Run. It’s been a lesson in persistence and perhaps sheer bloody mindedness ūüôā

I’m trying to fit 20+ kms into my week. Yesterday I did Park Run (5kms) and then a steady 11.5kms with friends in the late afternoon as I had a hockey game at night. We trotted out for another 5kms as the sunset this evening so I could tick off 21.5km this weekend and a total of 29.5kms over the week.

I’m slowly learning to approach different runs differently. Some are more about pace, others about distance and others about time on my feet. Sometimes I run and chat with friends. It’s been a really interesting process. I’m not terribly scientific about it, I simply do what works for me and feels right/sensible.

I had a complete brain fart & upgraded my July 10km event to a half marathon… I decided I just need to finish my ‘first one’ and then I can work on my time over this new-to-me distance… can’t be that hard… can it???

Vogue 1499 – playing with stripes

I’ve had a few of these projects in the last 12 months, the things that just miss the mark. While I’m not ‘in love’ with this dress, I don’t dislike it terribly. It’s a fun design and I enjoyed making it.

Vogue 1499, Anne Klein design, side view

OK but not quite right – fit or style wise

While I used to berate myself for wasting fabric, bad choices and so on… I don’t feel that way any more. Every garment or project contains a lesson in itself, whether it is better understanding fabric choices, personal style, new construction methods and so on.

I’ve been on the hunt for some ‘pretty’ dress patterns. For casual ‘weekend’ clothes I prefer¬†loose t-shirts, simple dresses, jeans, maxi skirts and so on. However¬†the rest of my wardrobe is work/event/going-out and is quite different and I’ve been looking for dress patterns to refresh that part of my wardrobe.

I started with Vogue 1499, an Anne Klein design. Like many sewers, I’ve drawn to sewing with stripes. The fun you have stripe matching and the way stripes can quite alter your silhouette is endlessly fun.

The dress is described by Vogue as: Lined dress (partially cut on crosswise grain) has fitted bodice, cap sleeves, side-front and side-back seams, pleated skirt, and invisible back zipper. Note: No provisions provided for above waist adjustment.

Vogue 1499, Anne Klein design

Vogue 1499, Anne Klein design. Image from Vogue Patterns

While this double ikat (I think that is what is called when the stripes run both directions) is quite lovely, I think like the Burda shirt, the colour & design is just all wrong for me.

The fabric has been sitting in my stash for a couple of years so I was happy to use it.

The dress bodice and it’s cap sleeves are¬†lined with a cotton lawn and I used bemsilk for the skirt lining. The skirt has separate pattern pieces to the pleated outer skirt and is a loose a-line shape.

I did iron this – however it got slightly crushed in the car driving into town to take some rushed photos after work. Plus I think the seat belt put a huge crease in the front bodice (these are compulsory in Australia). We had to try a few spots in the CBD to escape the ever-present wind at the moment.

What’s not quite right for me

I also think that this design would have looked much better in a smaller stripe. I’ve taken a pattern and sewn it in a very casual fabric and not quite achieved my usual ‘casual’ style or a¬†dressy dress. Such is life!

The fit seemed quite roomy and I ended up having to unpick the neckline, add two back neck darts. The front bodice is still a little large at the neckline.

Vogue 1499, Anne Klein design, back view

I spent some time matching those stripes and was quite pleased with the result! It was a very windy afternoon unfortunately!

The sewn down pleats seem to length my already long torso and I am considering unpicking them.

The waistline, despite all those directional stripes, isn’t as flattering as I hoped. It seems to thicken my waist.

Maybe my shoulders are scrawny but the cap sleeves also seem a little too large.

Vogue 1499, Anne Klein design, front view

My waist seems to go on forever! Not sure if unpicking the sewn-down pleats would help.

Conclusion

It is an easy sew and spending some time, hand sewing some elements results in a really nice finish.

Despite not being my ‘dream dress’, I think it’s a lovely pattern and would be delightful on others. The bodice lines and the nice little bust darts are really lovely.

I think using some solid colour blocking on the side panels, rather than using stripes, could potentially look fabulous combined with a print.

I’ve¬†since made Vogue 8997 and LOVE it so that’s coming to the blog very soon.

Pattern: Vogue 1499
Fabric: Cotton Ikat from Spotlight Australia
Also see: Amanda’s Adventures in Sewing¬†| Pattern Review

Back from the blog holiday… and a sparkly Vogue 8280

It’s been nearly 50 days since my last post… which wasn’t much of a post just simply a note that I was disappearing. I was exhausted and took myself off the blog radar for even longer than I anticipated. I needed it.

I spent a week in Tasmania over Christmas – we stayed in a quiet little spot and had an uncomplicated, quiet Christmas. After Christmas we jumped on a plane in Sydney and flew over to the South Island of New Zealand for nearly two weeks. I made a deliberate decision NOT to make any craft-related books or projects with me despite having oodles of time to indulge. I spent my time reading, relaxing and seeing some truly magnificent country. We toured a part of the South Island – between Christchurch and Queenstown – and will no doubt return in a couple of years to tour the rest.

I won’t bore you with all my holidays pictures (there are A LOT), I did that on Instagram. This is just a small selection of my favourite pictures and places.

Kaikoura, New Zealand

Kaikoura, New Zealand


Up above Fox Glacier, New Zealand - reached via helicopter

Up above Fox Glacier, New Zealand – reached via helicopter


The girls sitting by the Haast River, New Zealand

The girls sitting by the Haast River, New Zealand


Jackson Bay - perhaps my favourite bay. Beautiful weather in a beautiful somewhat remote place.

Jackson Bay, New Zealand – perhaps my favourite day. Beautiful weather in a beautiful tiny remote place. I ate the best fish & chips (and coffee) I had in New Zealand from a tiny little caravan beside the road.


Queenstown, New Zealand - after dinner with LynneSews - Instagram meet-up!

Queenstown, New Zealand – after dinner with LynneSews – an Instagram meet-up!


Just a gorgeous lake - shot out of the car window on the way to Lake Tekapo

Lake Pukaki – shot out of the car window on the way to Lake Tekapo

When I returned to ‘reality’ I hit the deck at work at the busiest time of the year. So very little time or brain space for anything except work. I did squeeze in a quick frock for the major work function, thank you to Maria and Happylat for coming to my rescue – as naturally when I went to sew Vogue 8280 I discovered I had misplaced the first page of instructions.

The theme was blue and sparkles… from my dress to my shoes to my necklace and earrings… everything sparkled. That probably sounds a little OOT but it worked for the event. The pattern is Vogue 8280 – which is sadly OOP.

Vogue 8280 - lift selfie

Vogue 8280 – lift selfie. Looking a little ‘rumpled’

You’d think I would have stopped and taken some nice photos as my hair and make-up were ‘done’ however on days/nights like these you just fly through the moments and suddenly it is over!

I’m not going to review this dress as I have made it once before, this time I just lengthened the bodice by 1cm. I will say that it is a great pattern. Other than lengthening the bodice, this pattern fits me perfectly (the crease on my hip above is because I’m stepping forward). It’s a classic design that is very flattering and feminine without being fussy. I decided not to use two layers of the woven sequined fabric for the flanges as it would have been too itchy and thick. So I lined them instead – in hindsight I probably should have interfaced them but such is life. It worked perfectly on the night and I got lots of compliments – people were gobsmacked to find out it was ‘homemade’. LOL.

This is an iphone snap of my computer screen as I went through the pictures on my work computer. I was having a confessional moment with an audience of 600 or so people about my great love of Wuthering Heights.

'hand on my heart' Vogue 8280 is a sensational cocktail frock.

‘hand on my heart’ Vogue 8280 is a sensational cocktail frock.

And I’ve started knitting, a long-term simple project to make me relax at night… aptly named… Relax

Relax - knitting in MadelaineTosh Pashmina, Fallen Cloud. A pattern from Ravelry

Relax – knitting in MadelaineTosh Pashmina, Fallen Cloud. A pattern from Ravelry

So where to from here?

I have lots of blog posts to catch up on as mentioned in my last post.

During my time off I reflected on life – as anyone is apt to do when you are ‘getting away from it all’. It was exactly what I needed to do and while I won’t put all those thoughts here… in 2016 I’d like to do lots of sewing – highly selfish sewing. I want to sew where my imagination takes me. Random, inspired and experimental – with a few disasters along the way. That’s what motivates me to sew.

Top 5 Hits – 2014 (or perhaps 4)

Before we even start this Top 5 blogging journey, I’d just like to say that I might not always blog ‘five’ things. It’s not that I can’t count, it’s just that I’d rather pick one thing, four things or maybe eight things or more… it’s just what feels right.

I enjoy these posts – for me. So skip over it or read on if you like. I find it interesting to sit back and think about the year just gone. Whether it’s sewing or life in general, it’s good to think about what worked, what didn’t and ‘where to next’.

TOP 5 HITS

Today I’m blogging my Top 5 Hits. The¬†makes I’ve worn the most and feel most ‘like me’. It’s easy to get caught up in a trend but more and more I simply sew the things that appeal to me and my sense of style (or perhaps lack thereof!).

Drape Drape

My mother-in-law gave me Drape Drape book last Christmas – and I immediately ordered Drape Drape 2 & 3. These books really changed my sewing approach¬†and ricocheted me off into a completely different style zone – where I’ve never felt more comfortable.¬†They finally provided me with some options that were really what¬†I wanted to create and wear. Some of the makes were perhaps a little crazy but¬†I’ve found these patterns fascinating. Drape Drape posts are here…

As recently blogged, the draped singlet dress from Drape Drape 2 has been the runaway winner in this year’s sewing. This little make is simply a misshapen singlet/tank dress. It’s incredibly easy to make and takes just 1.1m of fabric. When I’ve worn them people want to know ‘who the designer is’ – that gives me particular delight with my red/white/blue one which cost me just $6 in fabric.¬†¬†

No 2. from Drape Drape 2. Without the drapes in view, it is a very simple singlet dress.

Excuse the stupid pose. blowing a gale and the camera went flat. No 2. from Drape Drape 2. Without the drapes in view, it is a very simple singlet dress. This is perhaps my favourite. I love the lyocell DKNY fabric and the vibrant colours.

No 2. from Drape Drape 2. Side view - with the drapes.

Side view – with the drapes.

Vogue 8780 – the Ugly Duckling

Despite the incredibly uninspiring pattern artwork or even more ‘blah’ Vogue photography, this cardigan is one of my most loved & versatile pieces. It’s made from a very fine merino knit from The Fabric Store¬†in Sydney¬†– plucked from the remanent bin for just $19.

It’s lovely with dresses & jeans. I wear it at work as much as I wear it casually. It’s got lovely drape at the front, a flared hem and it’s fitted across the back. I will make a size smaller next time (this is a small) as the¬†sleeves are quite roomy – but I don’t mind, I love¬†wearing it as it is. To me, this is the perfect cardigan (or whatever you call this!).

All I can say is, you need this in your pattern stash, buy it before it becomes OOP.

Vogue 8780

Sorry can’t see much of the ‘make’ but I love all the natural tones in this shot.

Vogue 8780 - so versatile

Vogue 8780 – so versatile. That’s in the work lift… it has rather a lot of mirrors. Helpful for selfies! I didn’t make the pink dress, it’s an old Metallicus which I had bagged for the op shop – then I thought would lovely it would look with this cardigan. So glad I saved it!

Vogue 1250 & Maria Denmark Day-Night Dress

I’ve made five of these dresses, my most beloved is the Sew Dolly Clackett dress which I’ve worn to work many times. It’s a versatile, comfortable, fun & flattering dress. I’ve been surprised by how much people admire this given the somewhat ‘unusual’ print – it’s not for the faint-hearted! I love¬†the quirkiness and the fact it’s a different colour palette to what I would usually wear.

I love this picture - not because it's a great one of me - but that 'window' in the print looks like a peephole into my soul... or belly button LOL

I love this picture – not because it’s a great one of me – but that ‘window’ in the print looks like a peephole into my soul… or belly button LOL

Grainline Alder Shirtdress

A very¬†recent sewing hit. I’ve worn this a lot!. It’s easy to wear¬†& I’m quite proud of my collar, placket & overall finish. I think I’m also emotionally attached to it as it was sewn on a happy, stress-free day – something¬†I relished after some long, tough months.

I’ve got another Alder to share in the next few days!

Alder, view A - back view. I sense this will be worn A LOT this summer.

Alder, view A – back view. I sense this will be worn A LOT this summer.

CONCLUSION

There you have it. One indie (Grainline). One Vogue. One Vogue & indie (Maria Denmark) hybrid. One Japanese pattern book.

I love slightly fitted, draped clothes. I adore casual wear and love nothing more than an outfit that I can wear barefoot or with heels. It suits my lifestyle. I work fulltime (so corporate office wear five days a week) and¬†when I’m not at work I like to relax – mentally and physically. We really do go to a quiet beach almost every weekend with the dog and spend plenty of time outside the house.

I’ve loved plenty of other things I’ve made, including my By Hand London¬†Hollys or the dress Holly hack which were fun to make & joyous to wear (and I love that bodice). However for my everyday wear, these four makes/patterns¬†are the ones I reach for the most often – clothes that feel most like ‘me’.

I often sew simply to experiment and¬†challenge myself. I’ve always said I’m not always a practical blogger. I make things that are buzzing around in my head or¬†make me happy (or I try to). My sewing room has many resident squirrels to distract me and one drunk monkey who wrecks havoc on my hems, buttonholes and topstitching when I’m too tired to fight him off. ¬†However on my favourite sewing days, I’m making something I have envisaged and desperately want to wear – and it comes off the sewing machine like magic. Those are the great days.

Top 5 of 2014

Top 5 of 2014

Not such an ugly duckling… Vogue 8780

I love those ‘makes’ that seem like a crazy idea but just sing to you when you put them on…

Vogue 8780 - an easy layering piece

Vogue 8780 – an easy layering piece

This is Vogue 8780 – which I’m guessing many have skipped over in the catalogue because it doesn’t exactly scream ‘sew me’… well to me it’s a bit of an ugly duckling (jacket not model)… why did I pick it? I wanted a long draped cardigan/jacket layering piece and this had potential…

Vogue 8780

Vogue 8780 – the catalogue edition. I totally get some will love this but the high-low emphasis and colour is just not ‘me’. And drawstring pants? I’m out.

Yes it doesn’t have the shape of my McCalls 6844. It doesn’t have the cute peplum. I’ve deliberately sewn it in something with much more drape than pictured¬†or suggested.¬†It’s not a vivid colour…

Vogue 8780 - back view. A more softer flared shape than the deliberate peplum of McCalls 6844

Vogue 8780 – back view. A more softer flared shape than the deliberate peplum of McCalls 6844

I don’t care, I love it. I love its lack of deliberate shape and gentle soft flare. I love its neutral tones…

Vogue 8780. Soft gentle colours...

Vogue 8780. Soft gentle colours…

It’s quiet and easy. I could¬†own a million of these… and it’s very easy to make…

Perhaps the only issue I have is a raw seam is visible where the collar rolls over (which you can just see in the back view image above). If I made this in another lightweight knit (I desperately want another in merino but will have to wait for my next city trip which should be soon), I would probably French seam the collar – it’s a short seam and would improve the finish. A French seam would clearly would not work with a heavier fabric which is why it’s not suggested. With my long hair, it is not a big deal but I do notice it (#OCD).

I made this ‘small’ as I didn’t want such a lightweight knit clinging to my arms. The sleeves are slightly too big… but I don’t really mind. I tend to shove my sleeves up, I’ve just pulled them down for the pictures. The fabric is so light it would look odd too fitted I think. I made the shorter version. I didn’t want to morph into Casper The Friendly Ghost… Although he’s kinda cute…

The only things I did differently was 1) use an overlocker¬†for everything and 2)¬†the hem on the neckline and sleeves. I simply didn’t hem them. I took my queue from one of my favourite RTW brands Metalicus – which often finishes its lighter pieces with a very simple overlock rolled hem. I also finished the hemline with a rolled stitch. I just dislike raw edges on my clothes. I know – I can be a bit precious.

no 'hems'. I dislike 'raw edges' so I finished the edges with a rolled hem on the overlocker

no ‘hems’. I dislike ‘raw edges’ so I finished the edges with a rolled hem on the overlocker

This merino was so light that I felt a hem would look clunky and stop the fabric from floating and settling around me. It’s rather wispy and cloudlike. I love that.

Vogue 8780

Sorry can’t see much of the ‘make’ but I love the stillness and¬†natural tones in this shot.

I’ve paired it with a latte-coloured lace singlet. I don’t often wear such muted colourways but I think I’m falling in love. I’d love to wear this barefoot with a silk bias-cut slip dress in a soft floral print… that would be so pretty…

This is one of my favourite places. It’s right in town, a tiny secluded beach nook which is always sheltered and calm. I feel peaceful here.

One of my favourite places...

One of my favourite places…

I have a type of anaemia, it slays me some days¬†– it’s a mystery what causes it and I no longer really care. The treatment¬†manages it well enough. I suggested marking my medical file with #notbuilttolast or if that was too harsh #special would be fine. I suspect it makes me more¬†susceptible to the cold which I am really struggling with this year. And also more vulnerable than I like to be – I don’t deal with that well… at all…

Fatigue can be insidious, it just quietly slides up, wraps its arms around you, steals your breath away¬†and whispers in your ear. I guess that sounds like a rather bizarre description of how I view my fatigue but it feels like a creeping shadow that I never quite escape. Generally it’s fine but you have moments when it rules your life – I had several moments in Brisbane were I wondered if I’d have to catch a taxi because walking back to my accommodation was so daunting – but I always manage because like a fitness trainer once said ‘The day you turned up to bootcamp I thought, “man she’s a delicate one”. But¬†you get this ‘look’ on your face and despite everything we throw at you, you just keep going… a tiny mouse that roars like a lion…‘. Physical limitations are annoying, mental fortitude is everything.

I’ll be OK. I’m always OK eventually.

Thank you all so much – I’ve had so many emails, messages, tweets and comments. That’s really the best medicine. Knowing there are people that want to put you back together. xo

Pattern: Vogue 8780
Fabric: cream NZ merino jersey from The Fabric Store, Sydney (it was a 2m remanent for just $19 – major score)

… and did you see that McCalls Pattern Company have a new blog?

 

Top 5 Hits of 2013

Top 5 of 2013

Top 5 of 2013

This is a tricky one… am I cheating if I have categories and post multiple makes?
I’ve hyperlinked all the images to the original posts – in case you want more pictures or details…
I’ve also created a Made-by-Me 2013 page where you can see all my makes…

BY HAND LONDON
I love all of these makes. The latest girl in the BHL Club has surfaced many many times this party season – with both heels and bare feet… Georgia is a go-anywhere girl… and seriously comfortable. I asked my husband if it was appropriate for an informal event… and he said “oh well I’ll just have to put up with having the hottest wife in the room again…” LOL I think that’s a good sign.

The new kid in town - Georgia from By Hand London

The new kid in town – Georgia from By Hand London

Elisalotte dress - back

Elisalotte dress – a combination of the Charlotte Skirt and the Elisazlex bodice

The Sari Edition - By Hand London Victoria Blazer

The Sari Edition – By Hand London Victoria Blazer

Charlotte The Second: By Hand London

Charlotte The Second: By Hand London

and my lovely Anna dresses… I love all these…

Anna Rose - a girly girly dress

Anna Rose By Hand London – a girly girly dress

Anna Blue by the seaside

Anna Blue by the seaside. By Hand London

Jungle Anna - there's that wild thigh slit... I finished it a little higher than Anna Roses...

Jungle Anna – there’s that wild thigh slit… I finished it a little higher than Anna Roses… cos Jungle Anna is a wild girl…

MEGAN NIELSEN
Love both of these makes and wear them a lot!

Tania Culottes and the odd giraffe

Tania Culottes and the odd giraffe

Love this skirt! Megan Neilsen's Cascade Skirt

Love this skirt! Megan Neilsen’s Cascade Skirt. Perfect perfect perfect fabric for this make.

GRAINLINE
It’s a recent love affair but I love the modern simplicity of Jen’s designs.

Grainline Maritime Urban butterfly

now I’m wondering if there is some halo graffiti around town somewhere….

Grainline Maritime Shorts in floral denim

Grainline Maritime Shorts in floral denim

Grainline Studio - Archer It was extremely windy - so this looks hard more fitted than it is!

Grainline Studio – Archer
It was extremely windy – so this looks more fitted than it is!

KNITTING
I re-taught myself to knit. All I can say is YouTube is a wonder! Of all my makes I adore Idlewood the most. Long, warm, casual AND it has a monster cowl.

Idlewood by Cecily Glowik MacDonald.

Idlewood – taken after 36 hours of travel. I knitted the last four rows just after I landed!

Idlewood by Cecily Glowik MacDonald COWL

Now THAT’S what I call a cowl!

Sewaholic Cambie and Whole Wheat cardigan

Sewaholic Cambie and Whole Wheat cardigan

Sewaholic Cambie & Andi Satterlund's Marion

Sewaholic Cambie & Andi Satterlund’s Marion

Chuck by Andi Satterlund - front view

Chuck by Andi Satterlund – front view

MARIA DENMARK & VOGUE MASH-UP
I adore this pattern mash-up. I wear the blue dress a lot on the weekends.
And Clairy – she’s my kinda gal… I’ve worn her to Frocktails and to a work function.
In both versions I feel fabulous and I get loads of compliments.
My original Maria Denmark day-to-night top is also heavily worn.
Buy this pattern!

Maria Denmark day-to-night dress - take 2

Maria Denmark day-to-night dress – take 2

Clairy Dress - pouting lips, shaking hips...

Clairy Dress – pouting lips, shaking hips…

HONORABLE MENTIONS

I’ve made lots of things I really like this year! I know – fatheaded of me but it’s true… so the honourable mentions go to…

Hot Mess Birthday Dress

On the beach before Birthday dinner

Hot Mess Birthday Dress – I’ve worn this quite a lot. it’s easy to wear and the b/w scheme make it as classic – despite the craziness!

Liesl + Co Late Lunch Tunic aka my beach shirt…

Liesl + Co Late Lunch Tunic SewBusyLizzy

The Beach edition of the Late Lunch Tunic (and my Michael Jackson moment)

McCalls 6611 Fashion Star Jacket

McCalls 6611 - Fashion Star

McCalls 6611 – Fashion Star

Sewaholic Lonsdale

Sewaholic Lonsdale - the front view

Sewaholic Lonsdale – the front view

There are a few more – but that’s enough ūüôā

Timeless: Vogue 1351 for Minerva Crafts

Vogue 1351 - the neckline

Vogue 1351 – the neckline

When Vogue 1351 was released, I was underwhelmed. The styling, the fit and photography – it does the dress no favours – I look at the models and think EAT A HAMBURGER & STAND UP STRAIGHT! Despite that I kept returning to it, perhaps because I am a cowl junkie (see here, here and here for evidence)…

Vogue 1351 - who wore it better...

Vogue 1351 – I look positively beefy here and I’m a towering 5 foot 4 & weigh in under 50kg.

I’m glad I did. It’s simply lovely. It’s not fancy, it’s not attention seeking… it’s just quietly ‘there’. Simple clean lines…

Vogue 1351, front view

Vogue 1351, front view

I know that bias-cut patterns scare some people. However the simplicity of this dress means that the construction is simple, there are minimal seams to stretch out, very few seamlines to match. The skirt skims and flares. The bodice is simple and drapes. The fit is not complex. I love bias.

This triple crepe fabric is quite heavy but falls nicely. I think the weight of the fabric lends itself well to a bias cut as it’s more forgiving over any lumps or bumps than a clingier knit fabric.

Kathryn and Laura have also made this crepe up and both commented about how it frays. As all my pieces, except the back piece, were cut on the bias, fraying was not an issue for me.

Vogue 1351, back view

Vogue 1351, back view. The skirt on this dress is simply lovely.

Here is the good news…

  • Lining: 5 pieces & Shell: 5 pieces.
  • Zip: invisible
  • Just two darts in the front bodice lining. There are no tucks, no pleats.

The dress is beautifully lined. The cowl attaches to the lining and the inside of the dress is fabulous.

You could just line the bodice if you are not a lining fan.

Vogue 1351 - interior

Vogue 1351 – interior

I adore the colour of this fabric – it’s not too purple if that makes sense. And there have been two recent Minerva makes from exactly the same shade of triple crepe – there is something about the aubergine (Kathryn’s New Look dress * Laura’s Lisette Dress)… I almost made this in ‘jade’ which I think would be gorgeous… and black would be absolutely perfection as a LBD…. note to self: make this in black…

Lining a sleeveless dress is a little bit fiddly. I needed to concentrate (ie not tweet) when attaching the cowl to the lining and bodice – and joining the shoulders.

I lined this dress with a heavier than usual ‘Italian anti static’ polyester/viscose lining. It was lovely to work with – and much easier to cut out and handle than bemsilk for a change.

Things I did differently..

  • The patterns asks you to sew above and below where you insert the zip. It’s an invisible zip and I could see no good reason to make the zip insertion more difficult. I inserted it as per a usual invisible zip insertion and sewed the seam above and below the zip afterwards.
  • I also found sewing the lining to the dress waistline very tricky after sewing the lining to the zipper tape. I would sew the lining to the waistband first next time… I think!

This dress construction is not rocket science. It’s simple yet lovely. It doesn’t need a billion pleats, pockets or design features. It just is what it is and it works.

Things I would do differently…

I should have interfaced the seam where the zip is inserted. It does ripple slightly. Not enough to be a bother but I do notice it.

The pattern features a narrow rolled hem. My last Minerva project I showed how to do this – this time I used a rolled hem foot as I got one for my birthday in November (tricky getting around the side seams though!). At first I didn’t like the rolled hem. I thought the crepe was too heavy for it… but looking at the photos I love the subtle fluting it creates so I think I will leave it. The other way to finish this hem would be creating a facing as Sam, another Minerva Blogger, did with her pink crepe skirt.

Pattern: Vogue 1351, made as a size 6, no alterations.
Fabric: Triple Crepe in Aubergine from Minerva Crafts.
Kit: available from Minerva Crafts.

Also see (fabric): Laura | Kathryn
Also see (pattern): Little Betty | Sunny Gal Studio | Very Purple Person

I’m lucky enough to be able to stop at the beach after work and stroll across the sand like this… I know, life is tough…

Vogue by the seashore

Vogue by the seashore