Thursday, July 26, 2012

Vogue Patterns - Fall 2012 Collection

Vogue Patterns have just released their fall collection for 2012, and some of the pieces were really nice, some weren't, and some were bizarre, so I was inspired to do a quick review!

I've decided to call this collection the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY

V1316 - Rebecca Taylor for Vogue Patterns
I love the panelling on this dress, and I'm really tempted to buy it, even though it doesn't have a vintage vibe to it.

V1317 - Chado Ralph Rucci for Vogue Patterns
You will have to excuse the model's stupid pose - I mean seriously, what about this looks good!?!  This dress has a really cute 1960s vibe to it - and I think its a great in-between dress (and by in-between I mean in-between summer and winter) so perfect for this collection.

V1320 - Issey Miyake for Vogue Patterns
Another stupid pose... but not as stupid as the last one...
This coat is fabulous!  And SOOO retro!  You can see by the line drawings that its really more straight than A-line, but its a nice modern take on what is truly a vintage style coat.

V8828 - Vogue Easy Options
I like this dress, its a bit sweet!  However, I don't like the length of these sleeves... they're neither here nor there, and therefore confusing and ugly.  Luckily this pattern comes with quite a lot of variations (including a military-esque one) and I think the sleeveless version would be my pick.

V8836 - Very Easy Vogue
I like these pants!  With their cuffed bottoms and optional faux pockets they remind me of 1940s jeans.  It does say the pattern is only suitable for lightweight fabric, but I'm curious to see how they would make up in denim...  I think I would just shrink the width of the legs a bit...

V1322 - DKNY for Vogue Patterns
I'll start by saying that this cape also has a matching dress, which is quite nice.  But this cape... I had such potential!  But with its suit jacket style front, it just looks like a huge, oversized men's suit coat that you couldn't be bothered to finish by sewing up the sleeves!

V8832 - Very Easy Vogue
The model doesn't look impressed at having to wear this one...  and I can see why!  Its a shapeless royal blue satin sack with sleeves! Ugh!!  You could be hiding anything under there.  Good for those kleptomaniac sewers!!

And finally...


I don't know what to say... its just hideous.  I am speechless.  Ugh!

To see more designs, more silly model poses, and other designs that I didn't feature, have a look at this page.  I'd be curious to know what you think!



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wiggle it, just a little bit

Anyone else remember this song???  Its the first thing I thought of when I tried to walk in my new skirt!

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about my long list of sewing (you can read it here). I listed a pencil skirt that I wanted to sew to go with a beautiful Alannah Hill coat I now own, and a pretty blouse...  Well I made both on the weekend.

I'm going to stop calling it a pencil skirt, and start calling it a wiggle skirt.  Its quite possibly the wiggly-est wiggle skirt ever.  To make my idea easier to understand for everyone, I did a bit of a sketch:

Pretty straight-forward really... the seam lines follow the curves of the body, with different fabric in the panels on the sides compared with the front and the back, and a half circle godet/fish tail bit in the back so I can walk, nice size waist band closing with a button, and a zip in the back.

But I kinda cheated... I used the pattern I made up for my Marilyn Monroe inspired dress (read about it here) as the basis, so really most of the work was already done.

But here is why I call it the wiggly-est wiggle skirt ever... it fits REALLY well, so its restricting to walk in, so you wiggle A LOT more than you normally would.... The effect would not be so exagerated if I'd sewn it in stretch fabric though, so I'm going to make another one from the stretch denim I bought to make jeans from, cause I've got plenty of it so why not.  And its not like I wouldn't wear a sexy denim wiggle skirt!

Now for the blouse.

The lovely Laura Mae from Lilacs & Lace made a blouse a few months ago that I really loved, so I followed her lead and sewed the same thing.  So the blouse was sewn from this pattern:

But it has no sleeves, so Laura Mae used the sleeves from this pattern:

Both are readily available in shops, so you don't have to scour second hand websites to find them (however I did buy the DKNY one from ebay).

The sleeves are really really pretty, with poufy bits on the shoulders and a criss-cross band and I think they actually match the sugary sweetness of the peter pan collar and the big bow really well.  Its almost as if they should be together on the one pattern.

Here is Laura Mae's version:

I decided to sew mine from some beautiful, thick, delustred satin.  A beautiful fabric that HATES being ironed into creases!  The blouse was a very simple sew.  The same cannot be said for the sleeves.  They were rather complicated and it took me a few hours just to assemble them.  But I do think the effort was worth it.  The other good thing about them is that, because they are poufy, they make the shoulders look bigger, and therefore the hips look slimmer!!!!

I cut out a size larger than what I thought I'd need for the blouse and thank god I did!  Its quite tight across my bust (even though it said it should measure 37 1/2" and I have a 36" bust) but fits well everywhere else.  I really need to start making muslins of new patterns...  Anyway!  I'm going to modify it slightly by increasing the length of the slit at the front in the hope that gives me a bit more space.  And when I sew it next time I'll give myself more room in that area!

So, the outfit together!!!  This is the bit you've been waiting for:

A bit pancake-y.  Will try a different bra next time!

Curvy curvy!

I probably should have taken some detail photos of the blouse - particularly the sleeves, but I didn't...  I will do that and add them to the album on my facebook page (go like me here!)

Skirt: My own creation
Stockings: Trasparenze from Sweet Pins
Shoes: cheep and cheerful ones from Payless

Thanks for reading!


Friday, July 20, 2012

I wish I could read spanish!

Last weekend I went to visit my bestie, Miss V, and she had with her a family treasure.  She was really excited to show me, she knew I would love it and she was right!

The family treasure was this:

The Practical Art - Complete Method of Dressmaking
(or something like that!)

Now I can't read spanish, but my Miss V can - this book has been in her family for quite a while and her Aunt won't let it out of her sight for long.  But she's let it of her sight long enough for me to see it and for Miss V to photocopy the whole thing for me!  It doesn't have a date on it, but from the illustrations I think its from the 1940s.  Wait till you see what was inside!

The book starts out with how to do your measurements to make patterns, and then basic pattern pieces (blouse front and backs, skirts etc):

And then moves onto variations - and there are A LOT of variations!

A beautiful wrap skirt

A gorgeous ruffle front on a pencil style skirt

Some of the blouses were amazing:

See the illustration on the right showing you how to make your pattern piece

Look at all these collars!  I love the one on the bottom left

And these sleeves!  There were two pages of sleeve variations

And then it covered different types of capes - this was my favourite one:

I love the way it ties from the centre back around the waist!

After that it went onto more complex and difficult things like:

Wedding gowns...


Playsuits and shorts...

Girdles!!  (I was so excited by this page - you have no idea!)...

 AND BRAS!!!!!!!

Then it went on to cover mens wear, kids clothing and baby clothing.  I didn't take photos of them because I was so excited I had to have a lie down!

The fabulous thing about this book is its diagrams.  They are clear and I can understand what they are saying regardless of the fact that I can't speak spanish.  I'm looking forward to getting my photocopied copy and having some time to have a play with the designs!

Oh, and I've also googled this book and the author, hoping I could come up with my own copy but I have yet to find it... cross your fingers for me!

Does your family have any treasures like this, that to most people is junk, but to people like me is a gold mine???


Thursday, July 12, 2012

One project completed...

... about a million to go!!!

Last weekend I had hoped to have two days sewing.  My hopes were dashed when I found out my husband's race horse (don't get excited, he only owns one leg) was racing on the Saturday afternoon.  They were further dashed when I came down with some bug and spent all of Sunday in bed feeling ill.

So, I didn't manage much with my half-a-day's sewing, much I did manage to complete one blouse and make a good start on a pencil skirt!  But now for the blouse.

As discussed in my post last week, I purchased this blouse pattern recently:

I thought it looked like a fun pattern, with a long and short sleeve option, and a big bow to hide my little belly!

This pattern was designed to be easy to sew (which it was), but I'm not a fan of the cut-in-one-piece blouse front and sleeves.  I'd much prefer to curse and swear at set in sleeves and end up with a much more tailored blouse at the end... but never mind!

I do like the blouse - its very comfy and I do think its flattering, but I'm not sure about the GIANT collar.  Yes, the collar looks big on the pattern envelope, but we all know not to trust those illustrators too much!  Maybe next time I will modify the pattern to have set in sleeves and a smaller collar.  But until then, here is the version I made on the weekend:

Look how big that collar is!

I do have to confess and say that I did not do one single piece of hand sewing on this blouse.  Its all by machine.  Normally I would have hand-stitched the collar down after ironing the seam up, but I just couldnt be bothered, I just wanted to finish it.  However, the finish on it is pretty good - each seam is finished with a clean edge (this reminds me, I should do a post on my favourite seam finishing techniques...) and each hem is folded twice so there are no loose nasty bits to fray.  I did make it to last more than one wash!

But what does everyone think?  I kinda like it, but bizarrely I feel very top heavy when wearing it, like all the blousey fabric makes my top half look much bigger than my bottom half, like the Incredible Hulk!  Maybe its just the collar...  I don't know.  Its comfy, and it has sleeves, and thats what counts in winter!

Oh, and here's a picture of the horse - it won by the way!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Pressure Makes Diamonds...

... but will it make me better at time management?

I have so many projects on my mind at the moment, and every time I turn around I get more inspiration!  Does anyone else have this problem?  I either need to shut my eyes permanently, or find a better way to prioritise.

Currently I'd like to make:

Two blouses to wear with my capri pants
On one of my frequent wanders through the time and money trap that is etsy, I found this pattern:

The seller wanted $45 for it (Wha?) so I did a search on ebay and found the exact same pattern IN MY SIZE for $11!  Bargain.  I think that because it has sleeves it would be a wonderful blouse for winter.  I've cut out two and I'm part way through sewing one.

A fabulous house coat
So after my favourite blogger posted about an opera coat he had made his 'cousin' Cathy, I had a look through the available patterns on etsy and found this amazing coat:

Its a house coat, but I think that if it makes up nicely, it would make a fabulous over-coat.  For warmth, I've decided to line it in soft, warm minkie fabric.  And wouldn't you know it, I didn't buy enough to cut out the sleeves!  So this one is currently all cut out (apart from the warm sleeves) and its on the floor of my sewing room until I can find more of the same fabric or come up with another solution.  Sigh!

A pair of high-waisted jeans that cover my ankles
Its winter here in Australia, and I don't want to go through another winter without a pair of pants that cover my ankles.  They are cold!  And try as I might, I can't find a pair of pants ANYWHERE that are what I want.  So I decided to make my own and bought some dark denim with a little bit of stretch.  I haven't started cutting these out... which is a good thing - because I'm running out of floor space to lay stuff...

A sexy wiggle dress and matching jacket
This one is only just a folded length of fabric and an idea at this stage - but its awesome fabric!  Its got some stretch, and the little rectangles are shiny... it kind of feels a bit like rubber but I like it.

I found it on Gorgeous Fabrics when I was buying the stretch denim, and I think it will be super sexy when I EVENTUALLY get around to creating it!  Maybe something like this:

A '12 months later' revisit of the jacket that got me started on this sewing thing
Remember this coat, which I blogged about here and here:

Well I thought it would be fun to remake the coat to see how far I've come and how much I've learnt with my sewing in 12 months, because in a couple of weeks it will be 12 months since I started sewing it.  I've bought some amazing red wool and a black and white swirly lining.  And I really need to start this SOON!

A pencil skirt
I'm sure this sounds straight forward - I mean how hard can a pencil skirt be!  Well add my creative, dreaming brain into it and you end up with a fabulous creation, yes, but the process isn't straight-forward.

On the weekend my wonderful man surprised me by buying me this coat:

Isn't it divine!  And that colour!!  Its just like wearing a cute blanket!

So I have some of this fabric left over from a dress, a jacket, and a circle skirt:

Its much less pink in person, and Yes there is still some left, I can't believe it either!

I think its a great match for the coat, and the coat is worthy of having an outfit made around it, so I'm going to make a sexy pencil skirt from my own pattern.  This of course leads to:

A sexitary blouse to go with the pencil skirt
And of course this isn't straight forward either.  I want to make the blouse from this pattern:

And combine it with the sleeves from this pattern, cause the blouse above doesn't have sleeves:

And finally:

The Paris Dress
A little while ago I was in Spotlight and I saw this fabric and fell in love.  I tried to talk myself out of it but I knew I had to have it:

And I knew it needed a special vintage pattern, so I went home and looked on etsy (again) and decided on this one:

Quite frankly the Paris Dress can wait until the weather warms up - its too cold to be getting around in dresses at the moment... unless I make a matching coat.....

I have all this sewing I want to do and I only have one day a week to sew, one and a half tops.  So you can see why I feel pressured!  I need to find a way to prioritise, but I want to sew them all NOW!  Maybe I need to flip coins to organise the order in which I sew them, and then put them in order on the pin board and add new inspirations to the end of the queue....

Does anyone out there have a way to deal with this???