Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Vogue Issey Miyake 1052

This is Vogue's latest Issey Miyake pattern. I have loved Miyakes from the beginning. The last few years they have not been designed my Miyake himself as he has retired. These more recent designs tend to be less innovative and more conservative. They are also scaled closer to the body which probably reflects current styles more than the change of designers. This pattern reflects this aesthetic and follows more normal construction techniques. However the collar lifts the design into the unusual that we love from the Miyake company.

Pattern Description: Here is Vogue's description: Loose-fitting, lined, above hipline jacket with double draped collar, welt pockets, princess seams and back ties. Topstitch trim and stitched hems. The pattern also includes very loose-fitting, below waistline pants, with front casings, fly button closing, back waistband, tie ends and carriers. Slightly flared above ankle length. I just made the jacket.

Pattern Sizing: 2 combinations: AA (6-8-10-12) and E5 (14-16-18-20)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Pretty much except I changed some of the button and buttonhole positions to suit myself. The highest buttonholes would show one the collar all the time as I don't plan to button up around the neck.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Although this is listed as advanced I think that it is not that tough and the instructions are clear. If you eliminate the welt pockets and keep an open mind about how to button this it should be doable by an intermediate sewer.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Love the collar. The design has two layers of collar that are open at the outer edge. The suggested finish for this outer layer is to turn under, zigzag the edge, and then trim the seam allowance close to the zigzag stitch. This is time consuming and nerve-wracking as one has to worry the entire time you are trimming the 200 inches of collar edge. I was terrified I would cut a slash in the fabric. An easier, faster, and perhaps better looking edge would be to do an overlock or rolled edge. I tested these and decided I liked the zigzag with my fabric and felt it suited the look. Another thing to take note of is that the underside of the fabric will show as the two collar pieces are stitched wrong sides together. Thus the lower collar is wrong side up. As the collar falls into folds both sides show. Usually Vogue mentions that the wrong side of the fabric will show in the fabric selection area on the pattern. They neglected to do that this time.

Also I quite like the unusual sleeve. The undersleeve becomes the jacket side. Very cool. Although there are princess seams they are not very shaped so the silhouette is somewhat boxy. Be prepared for lots of top-stitching with a large size spool of thread. I had to run out and buy another one mid-stream.

Fabric Used: Silk/linen blend in dark brown. This style needs a fabric with body that also drapes well.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I made a few changes. The main thing was to eliminate the lining and welt pockets to make it lighter weight and more blouse like. This necessitated drafting a back neck facing. It also called for interfacing the entire front which I skipped on. I made my usual FBA. The other change was to eliminate some of the buttonholes because I decided I would never button it up high.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I think it is a great jacket/blouse. I probably won't sew it again as I rarely do that but I definitely recommend it.

Conclusion: I like it. This is how it looks open. And this is buttoned as high as I plan to wear it. This shows partial buttoning.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Haute Couture Fashion Show

Last Sunday I attended the annual fashion put on by a club called Haute Couture. This organization has been around for many years, started back in the days when ladies wore hats, gloves and suits. The women who started it were interested in learning more about sewing high fashion and couture quality garments for themselves. Years passed and now many of these women are still members but no longer sew for themselves. However they are still interested in learning about new sewing techniques and many sew for their daughters or grandchildren and of course, make quilts. We have meetings once a month with very interesting speakers, we have field trips to fabric stores, artists studios, and other related spots. There are charity projects such as sewing gowns for hospice. There are occasional classes such as shibori silk dying. All in all an interesting organization. We just need more younger members!

Last weeks fashion show was the annual fund raiser. 55 - 60 different garments were modeled, all sewn by members. There were two celebrity guests who modeled their own designs. And my own sewing friend Barbara modeled 3 knockout outfits. Here she is wearing the last outfit, the beautiful lace dress she reviewed on PR. Leslie (looloo44) wore her fantastic Burda 7783 dress also reviewed on PR. And I wore my Vogue Anne Klein ultra suede jacket with 4 ply silk pants.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Butterick 4527 Maternity top

I decided to sew some maternity clothes for my DIL. She especially needs tops for hot weather as she is due in early September. She liked the empire waisted  top on this pattern so I dove into my stash to find something appropriate. It is amazing how few things seemed right in a stash of 700+ pieces. It appears I have mostly silk, wool, velvet,knits,  etc. Not much for a simple summer woven top. I found this piece, circa 1960's I think! She liked it so I stitched it up.

I widened the straps because we felt a 7 to 9 month would want to wear a bra. Even with wider straps the top of the top doesn't cover the top of her bras. We decided she would wear a tank top underneath. 

Fit was the big issue with this pattern. I understand that you use the non-pregnant measurements to choose the size so I did this. Doing so resulted in a garment too big at the bust. I think she has done most of her growing there already so they allowed more than she needed. That may be hard to gauge as it is probably very different from woman to woman. The bigger issue is the size around the bump. Not really enough for 8 and 9 months. I took tiny side seams but I fear, just when the weather really heats up in July and August, she will have outgrown the space allowed.

Other than these issues, the top is easy to make and a cute, current style for the mom-to-be.