Sunday, 30 January 2011

Vogue 1179, DKNY dress

I made my first version of this pattern last year (blogged about here). Every time I’ve worn it (and it’s been a lot) my DH has said “oh, that looks nice”. It’s one of those dresses that’s perfect to have in the wardrobe for those occasions when you’re not sure what to wear. So, I had to make another one -

The fabric for this latest one is a rayon lycra knit – it’s softer and drapier than my original version, which was made from a double-knit, but it still works very well. I like the muted autumnal colours and thought that the print had a Missoni look to it. So I have a ‘DKNY meets Missoni’ dress for not a lot of money!

There’s not a lot to tell you about this pattern, other than to say that I followed the directions pretty much as written and they worked for me. I particularly like that the instructions tell you to finish the armholes with clear elastic – it really does stop them from stretching out and gaping.

Talking of DKNY I have just bought this pattern, Vogue 1221, which is also a DKNY design.

But this one definitely isn’t going to be so fast or easy. I’ve taken a look at the instructions and the pattern pieces and was intrigued to see that the front bodice, front skirt and the waist drape is just one very strangely shaped piece, with all sorts of tucks and pleats. Phew! Hopefully, when the time comes, I shall be up to the challenge – I’m planning to give it a go later in the year. I love the style.

In the meantime I’m about to make the Hot Patterns ‘Uptown Downtown Dress’. So, more about that soon ……

Friday, 21 January 2011

Vogue 2647 + Simplicity 2599 =

An outfit! Yes, I am feeling quite pleased with myself because, at last, I have actually made two co-ordinating garments sewn specifically to work together. In the past I have tended to sew in a random, whatever takes my fancy, kind of way. But, as the New Year arrived, I decided it was really time to get myself organised and make an actual outfit.

The skirt is made from Vogue 2647 (which I think is now out of print). It’s a nice A-line shape with a slit at the centre front and zipper at centre back. Here’s a picture of the pattern envelope.

Because the fabric I picked for the top is quite a busy print I wanted to make a simple shell top and was searching for the right pattern when I realised that this one

Simplicity 2599 would fit the bill. I had made it before (blogged about here) so I had got the fit worked out – this time I just made it without the ruffles.

I bought both fabrics from Vogue Fabrics. They are from their Fall 2010 collection. The fabric for the top is called Reinhard Kernels and is a silk with a hint of lycra. The skirt fabric is a linen/cotton mix, called Reinhard Linen-Weave. As you might already know, Vogue Fabrics make co-ordination easy because in their collections they put together selections of fabrics that work together. I really like how these two fabrics look.

I should also mention that the top and skirt have something in common in that they both have a button and loop closure. At the back of the neck on the top

And at the top of the zipper on the skirt.

I’ve never come across this on a skirt pattern before and I really like it – it gives the zipper opening a neat looking finish without having to use a dreaded hook and eye. You can also, hopefully, see the topstitching which I have used on all the vertical seams and the hem of the skirt – I used a machine embroidery thread in silver, which gives a shiny but quite subtle effect.

You might also have noticed that with this outfit I am continuing my grey/gray theme from my last post. Thanks to everyone who made such nice and encouraging comments about my love of the colour. And it turns out I am not alone – Grey appears to be THE shade of the moment and lots of you (including Victoria and Allison) are going grey in the nicest possible way.

More soon ……..

Friday, 14 January 2011

Vogue 8667 - a New Year dress finished!

I can’t believe how long it has taken for me to complete my first garment of 2011! I actually had this cut out before Christmas but have only just found the time to get it finished and photographed.

After making my first version of this pattern, Vogue 8667, (blogged about here) I was keen to make another one. This one looks quite different from the last one because I have used the straight skirt and added the collar. The pattern gives you options for a few different looks.

This dress can be worn with high heels and a nice little brooch for a (Mad Men) retro/classic look but in the photo I have toughened it up a bit by wearing it with a studded belt and black boots and tights, which gives it a more casual look.

The fabric is 100% wool and I have lined it with my favourite Bemberg lining. I was interested to look back and see that the first garment I made last year was also a grey dress. This was quite coincidental. I think there must be something about the grey winter weather in London that prompts me into thinking about grey dresses! Actually, I like grey a lot. Although it is sometimes thought of as a dull shade, I like how it can be paired with so many other colours. It’s a nice neutral that makes a change from black, and, personally, I think it can look rather elegant. What do you think – is grey (or gray, if you are from the USA) a yeah or a nay?

I am feeling very happy about starting my 2011 sewing. It’s made me feel all inspired and I am now enthusiastically working out a plan for my next few projects. I hope your New Year sewing has started well and that you have some exciting projects in mind?

Saturday, 1 January 2011

2010 - what worked and what didn't!

So, 2010 is over and it’s time to take a look at how my sewing year has gone. I completed the following:
13 Dresses
10 tops
6 skirts
1 jacket

That’s a total of 30 garments. When I looked back at what I had made during 2009 I was very interested to see that I had made a total of 29 garments. So this year I have succeeded in increasing my output by, er, just one garment!

However, I can say that I feel I have made quite a lot of progress in learning to sew to a much better standard and in making clothes that I really like wearing.

So, what worked for me in 2010? My award for my best garment of the year goes to this dress

Made from Butterick 5520 (blogged about here). As it’s a very ‘dressy’ dress I have, so far, only had the opportunity of wearing it three times but each time I have received compliments and I love having it hanging in my wardrobe, ready for a special occasion.

My vote for my favourite day dress has to go to this one

Made from Vogue 8555 (blogged about here). I wore this dress numerous times during the summer and it always made me smile.

My award for my most useful garment goes to this one

A simple black pencil skirt made from Vogue 8603 (blogged about here). Since making it I have worn it a lot – it just seems to go with everything and is good for day or evening. A classic wardrobe staple.

So what didn’t work this year? I will have to say my coat. What’s that, you are saying to yourself, she didn’t make a coat. Exactly. I said I was making a coat (blogged about here). I bought fabric for a coat. But no coat has materialized. Well, all I have to say for myself is there has been a lot of research and development but not too many results. I picked out a pattern from an old Burda Magazine, I spent ages making a muslin and reworking the muslin and altering the muslin but in the end, with a little anguish and a lot of frustration, I abandoned it. Maybe you, too, know that feeling? I am going to pick another pattern and try again. Perhaps my coat will be finished by the end of next year?

I hope 2010 has been a satisfying and productive sewing year for you? I would like to take this opportunity of saying how much I appreciate you stopping by to look at what I’ve made. I love to read your comments and am very thankful indeed for your friendship, advice and encouragement.

My warmest wishes to you all for a very happy New Year

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...