Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The What Works Observations

My daughter and grandson went to visit a friend about an hour and a half north of us yesterday so I spent some time in the studio working on the OOP Vogue 1113 Lynn Mizono jacket.




What I liked about this design was the architectural elements, especially the collar and cuffs. There's not much shape. The design is a combination of three big pieces of fabric and some facings. I chose a sweater knit to see if more drape would make it more approachable. By eliminating the seam down center back and cutting on fold, I saved half a meter of fabric which is good because I have enough left to sew a trumpet skirt that'd be gorgeous for winter.




There are stop and start stitching marks at the end of the shoulder seams to allow for the facings. Note in the diagram above how you'd need to pull the fabric to match up the notches on the underarm seam. Observe on the pattern envelope how the shoulder sits and how the sleeve hangs.




When you smooth out the shoulder seam, the underarm seam is twisted and when you smooth out the underarm seam, the shoulder is twisted. It doesn't seem like it's going to work and yet...




... on Millicent, it hangs quite well. In the image above, the shoulder and underarm seams are stitched and pressed open and the sleeve facings are stitched, trimmed, pressed, and turned. This was far enough for me to see that even though the softer fabric made a substantial difference, this is not the style for me. It's fun and it's too much fabric which is about what we all expected. 




There's enough fabric in these big pieces to cut up and sew something else however... before I do that... I thought I'd offer the partially sewn jacket, the remaining facings, and the pattern for $20.00 plus the cost of shipping. If there's any interest, I'll mail it. If not, I'll take it apart. It's cut in a size eight with a 15 3/4" center back length. My full bust is 39" and there's plenty of room.

These six patterns have been a fabulous learning experience. I've discovered that peplums are no longer for me. While they flattered the last time around - when I was younger - I think - I hope - they now make me feel like some weird combo of fat lady and little girl. So no more peplums even if they're hidden in a jacket shape like Vogue 8767 that I think I can make look good on me by using a softer, sweater-like fabric. NO - don't go there.


 


I've observed that skirts with any kind of volume at the hip or significant width through the waist like the Vogue 1333 skirt is way too much fabric while at the same time many of those details could look better on a dress with flow from shoulder to hem like the Vogue 1297 dress. Keep it smooth from shoulder to hip and play near the hemline.




I've reconfirmed that raglan sleeves do nothing to flatter my figure even if all the other details of the design are right. It's way too much fabric under the arm. When I get the pattern back, I'll try tracing a different arm shape onto OOP McCall's 6286 because the waist and front opening were fabulous.

I'm learning to keep in mind that large pieces of fabric are unlikely to be flattering whether they're in the lower garment or the upper garment. More seams equals more shape and closer to the body is better. The Vogue 1113 jacket does not matched that criteria. Too much fabric is still too much fabric even if it's pretty, soft, and draping.

Only a third of the six patterns worked out well. They are the two above - Sandra Betzina's Vogue 1297 dress and Marcy Tilton's OOP Vogue 8397 pants. Both are closer to the body from shoulder to hip and have smoother, lower, architectural moments. With the pants, I'm wearing Katherine Tilton's Vogue 8691 top which has been a highly successful for me. I've sewn numerous tops and one dress from this pattern. You can see the commonalities between it and the other two.

I have a few other projects I want to work on first and then I'm going to try choosing another six patterns based on the what works observations from these six to see if I can find that magic mix of details and shape... or at least up my odds.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - two new garments I really like and a list of thoughts to consider

10 comments:

  1. What a wonderful learning experience and you got two fantastic garments out of it as well. I did some drawings for you when I was on vacation last week and I'll send them when I have a chance to scan or photograph them. Don't know if they will appeal or not, but I had fun working on them.

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    1. I'm really happy with the two that fit and have ideas for taking them forward. This is good. I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing the drawings. Glad you had fun making them.

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  2. I have to show you this in case you haven't seen it yet: http://www.etsy.com/listing/158636130/nougat-dress-pattern-in-three-variations?
    All I've seen so far is the line drawing, so I'm curious to see who is the first to take this on, and if it's put together like a quilt pattern, then I'd hate to even imagine an fba or other alterations...but it's still an interesting design, yes?

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    1. VERY interesting design. I'll be curious to see it made up as well but I don't think I'm the one to try it. An FBA is actually easier with more seams. You can put it into the seam.

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  3. Myrna I admire your invention of this project! What a smart and fun thing to do. Also, so productive and useful. I have really enjoyed following your intensive, critical focus on the six patterns! I'm looking forward to the next six! Brava!!!

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    1. It was a very fun experiment and I think I learned enough to make it worth doing again. It'll definitely have me looking at why are those patterns in my stash and what is the part I should keep and what should I avoid. Glad you enjoyed the journey.

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  4. Go Myrna! just a great project, especially for other sempstresses on the web to get an idea of one way of going about honing their own style/fit/flatter eye. i can only imagine the number of people who will find this really helpful and yielding of more than one 'aha!' moments.

    heehee - you are so much more thorough and patient than i am. before i start any garment i'll be racking my brain for any similar successes/failures from every possible angle from both past sewing projects as well as RTW items - design lines, ease, where the ease falls, fabric, color, on and on. I keep an eye on how things are going thruout the process of construction, and evaluate how it turned out after a month or so of wear (because certain pieces just sit in the closet because they are not comfortable)....

    ... & only then i will pick another, similar project. I can't imagine going thru 6 projects like you did! That's COMMITMENT, baby! ;)

    more thosts but gotta go, happy evening!! steph

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    1. I hope it's helpful to others. That's definitely a goal for the blog. I'm not so sure about commitment. The "6 pac" was fun, experimental, and helpful for me but perhaps more in the area of confirming rather than discovering. Seems this is another stage because I do remember wracking my brain for what would work and focusing heavily on that and now I seem to be in a just try it and see place.

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  5. You have learned a lot from trying these patterns and now are way ahead of the game for your next sewing sessions. I visited the Vogue pattern website for the first time today and am amazed how much less the patterns are there, than at Jo-Ann's. I picked out about 12 dress patterns, loving each one, and at $3.99 each, if I join the club, that number is reasonable. We'll see. I need to sell more of the fabric I put on Etsy and then maybe. I love reading about what you make.

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    1. It will be interesting to see where the learning leads. On one hand, it clarifies things and on another it restricts them.

      Yes... at 3.99 the BMV site becomes a HUGE temptation especially as Butterick and McCall's are much less expensive. Probably why my stash is so large but it allows me to buy the range of sizes I need and patterns where I only want one view or a detail. Enjoy. Good luck with the fabric sales.

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.