Simplicity 3688: the “whine” pants

I have had this pattern for quite some time now and never got around to making anything from it other then stealing the skirt pieces for another dress. I bought a pair of pine green wide leg trousers a few months back and I really loved the way looked on my so I figured this was a good pattern to start with for a me-made version.

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The end result was everything I had hoped. The only thing I would change would be to add some pockets and do a curved waistband.

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So why are they my whine pants?  Well first off they are wine colored but I had such a hard time making them that I was whining the whole time! Don’t get me wrong the pattern is actually pretty easy to make but I was a bit of a perfectionist and redid several parts 2 or 3 times ( Zipper, Cuff, and Waistband)…also when I finished Tony whined that I made another retro pattern.

I made a couple of alterations. I added 2″ to the front and back crotch length ( so 4″ total) it makes it hang a little low but it’s just perfect when I go to sit down so I’ll take it. Also most of the authentic 40s pants seem to do the same thing. I also added 5″ to the length of the pants. Some of that additional length was used to make cuffs. I think the cuffs really help to anchor the wide leg and help it hang better. Finally I widened the waistband to be 2″ though I wish I had curved it so it would have sat close to the body better.

This was my first lapped zipper. I must have watched that tutorial 8 times and it still took me 3 attempts before I sewed it correctly.  I overcame my obstacles in the end!

I took a fellow bloggers advice and put the zipper in first and then adjusted the fit along the darts. Boy did it need adjusting. In the picure you can see how I more then doubled the length of the front dart and widened them. I also took in the center front and back seems as well. After it was all said and done I think I took in almost 3″

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All the effort was worth it because I think they hang beautifully and they make my legs look ten feet long.

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Vogue 1353: AKA Luck Be A Lady Dress

I adore window shopping the ModCloth website. Even before I started sewing I remembering thinking how fabulous it would be to have a closet full of there retro dresses. Alas I could never afford them. Last year I fell in love with the Luck Be A Lady dress on Modcloth but I just knew it would be too short on me and who’s going to pay $80 for polyester anyway. I pinned it to serve as inspiration.

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It wasn’t until I found Vouge 1353 pattern that I got the idea to make this dress myself. The vogue pattern had all the important elements:  pleated neckline,  fit-n-flair shape, pleated skirt.

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I wanted to stick with the same slightly nautical colorway of the original. I picked a blue and cream fabric in a linen blend from Joann’s and went to work. Since I was super excited about this dress I actually did multiple muslins (look who’s growing up!).  To get a better fit I lowered the arm scythe by 7/8″ and narrowed the straps by 1/2″. I lengthened the front and sides by and inch but graded to nothing in the center back in lieu of a swayback adjustment.

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I kept the 6 pleats on the bodice since I wasn’t to confident in my ability to draft it down to 2. I think it gives it a softer look anyway.

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Most of the changes I made to match the inspiration happened on the skirt. I shorted the blue fabric by an 1″ and then cut a 9″ wide strip of the cream fabric folded in half. I serged the white strip onto the bottom of the skirt. Pressed towards the blue and then edge stitched it to keep the allowance in place. I vastly prefered this to my normal hem procedure and I love how clean it looks. Don’t think this would would as easily on a curved hem but I will keep in the back of my head the next time I have a similar skirt.

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The pattern had the skirt pleats all running in one direction. I used the same pleat markings but did them as inverted box pleats instead to more closely mimic the inspiration dress. I also added some side seam pockets since the original dress had them and all girls love pockets.

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I used cream Bemburg lining on the bodice and cream thread in my serger (Though in retrospect I would have preferred if I had used  navy lining darker thread).  I had a feeling that the white was going to peek out so I sewed a sort of facing around the neckline in the largest scrap of blue I could find. I figured the neckline would be the most noticeable place if the white did peak out. I also put a waist stay which is a first for me. I was hoping it would take some of the pressure off the invisible zip at the waist seam, though it seems to make it a little more difficult to zip up.

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I am so pleased with the finished dress and how close it is to the original. It’s still pretty cold here in Colorado to wear this dress but pop a blouse underneath and  it’s a much warmer option.

 

 

 

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Simplicity 2446 Blazer with Contrast

I asked Tony what I should sew next and he picked blazer so that’s what I did! I used the same Simplicity 2446 pattern as I did for my Chocolate Wool Blazer, this time I was inspired by view B and picked up a 1/4 yard of black velvet for the contrast collar and pocket flaps.

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I felt like my last blazer was a bit too long waisted ( I did add 1.5″ to just as standard practice) so this time around I removed the extensions and went back to the original pattern length. I did however keep the arm length adjustment from before. Unfortunately this blazer was not as enjoyable to sew, both the plaid and velvet were a fraying nightmare. Mostly I just wanted to be done with it….now that it is done I love it!

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I remembered to snap a picture of the insides this time before I turned it right side out. In an effort to not make another trip to Joann’s I made my own shoulder-pads this time out of batting and some remnant material. Also in the shot is the fleece that is used as the sleeve heading which gives the shoulder a nice roll.

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Even though the velvet in the collar is interface bottom and top it not as crips as I would like. I did a line of invisible hand stitching in the seams where the collar attaches to the blazer to keep it from looking baggy.

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For the front I sewed button holes in but I don’t think I will be buttoning this so I didn’t cut them open. For the front leather buttons I used small black buttons to secure them on the back side to make it look clean and professional.

 

For as much of a struggle as this was to make i’m still pretty pleased with the results…but I have decided to put off any more jacket/coat sewing for awhile. I just want to make a satisfying girly dress next.

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Trial Run of Simplicity 1070

I have purchased all the fabric to make the complete outfit on Simplicity 1070 ( Skirt, crop top, and jacket) but I thought I would try out the skirt first to see how it goes.

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I cut and sewed up this skirt on one afternoon and then wore it on a business trip the next day. On its first outing I realized that the knit interfacing I used was not going to work so its been sitting in my closet for a few weeks for me to think of what to do. I finally just removed the facing and cut a new facing this time using just a woven interfacing instead.

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Its weird that the pattern very specifically says “Knits Only” but the skirt has a back zip and I think would actually work better in a woven because you wouldn’t have that stretching out on the waistband throughout the day.

The woven interfacing certainly help it fit a little more snugly but I am still having issues with the facing rolling over to the outside despite under stitching. I will have to go back to the drawing board and think of a way to resolve this before I  set out making the complete outfit. One thought I had was to do an encased thick elastic waist band that you fold over to the inside so that you still have that same smooth line on the outside and no zipper. The only issue with that is this is supposed to sit 2″ above the waist and I have a feeling that elastic would slide down and sit at the natural waist.

 

 

Self Drafted Vest

After sewing a cushion for uzzi out of the wool remnants from my blazer I figured I had just enough left to make a vest. With no pattern that I liked I decided to try and copy a RTW vest from my closet. For my first copycat it didn’t go too poorly though I did make it a wee bit too small. Guess its time to lay off the cookies 🙂

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I also had enough of the original red lining to do the whole vest so other then the buttons this was a complete stash buster!

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The insides have a wool facing along the front center and the rest is bemburg

 

I think it looks really great with the blazer, though I need to make some higher waisted pants (I’ve got my eye on you Ginger Jeans!).

Simplicity 8086 as seperates

I didn’t think I was going to have any more time for sewing this year but I did manage to eke out one more dress on Tuesday before my clients came to Denver for the “Ingredients Gala” . The Gala was the kick-off event for what will be my all consuming job for the next 6 weeks.

I used the last of my fabric from the Denver Sewing Guild sale to make Simplicity 8086

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I made quite a few changes to the pattern to suit my needs. When I first picked this pattern up I assumed like most people it was separates ( a dress and and and over shirt). Well a quick perusal of the directions reveled that the over shirt is in fact attached along the neck and armholes. So the first modification was to break them apart.  I had 4yds of fabric and I was able to do the over-shirt, entire bodice and bodice lining in fashion fabric as well as the longer skirt from View A.  I love the rich tones of this fabric and I think the style lines of the dress work well with fabric pattern.

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I thought I would share a little mini tutorial on the order of assembly on the dress in case anyone wanted to make them separates like I did. When doing this a sewed some on Monday night and then I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking spatially how to solve the problem and then when I woke up on Tuesday and ripped most of it apart and tried it this way.

  1. Sew the front bodice to the midriff (repeat for lining).
  2. Attach the upper back pieces at the shoulder seam (repeat for lining)
  3. Lay the out side and lining with right sides together and sew along the neck and armholes. Turn and press
  4. Sandwich the upper back between the lower back outside and lining with the outsides right sides together and the linings right side together.Press down
  5. Finally, open out the bodice and stitch to attach the side seams in one continuous line.

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Now the bodice should be complete with all the seams hidden accept the center back where the zipper will go and along the bottom where the skirt is attached.

When I got the bodice to this point I tried it on the dress form. There was a lot of excess fabric in the arm hole and it stuck out weirdly. My guess is because it only had 1 dart coming from the waist and nothing in the side seam. To solve this I cheated a dart coming from the armpit to the bust apex to help it lay a bit better.

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For the overlay I didn’t quite have enough fabric to line it so I pulled out some teal linen for it. For extra credit I made it reversible as well!

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My favorite part of this dress is the back. I think the shape is unique and I like how it is wide set so when you have the overlay on it looks as if there are no straps at all.

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There is not much to say about the insides. I had stitched the lining over the waist seem for a very clean look. Also I accidentally bought a 22″ zipper instead of a 16″ so the zipper goes way further down then it should.

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I am quite happy that I decided to make this into separates because it gives me so many more options when wearing it.  On Thursday I paired it with a fortuitous Goodwill find  deep teal cashmere cardigan that looks like it was made for this dress. It helped me keep a little warmer and totally changes the look of the silhouette.

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My only complaint is that I wished I had lengthened the midriff another inch or so. It sits a little high on me and I think it would look better if more was showing under the overlay.

 

McCall’s 7351

I had originally earmarked this fabric for another cozy fall shirt but at the last minute I changed my mind and decided to do another McCall’s 7351 since I wear my denim one so much.

I didn’t have quite enough fabric but I persevered.  I made extra sure to match the horizontal lines across the bodice unfortunately the placket doesn’t line up on the skirt. I also tried to match the vertical lines from the bodice onto the skirt in the center front and back. Considering I had less fabric then the pattern called for I consider it a success that I was able to pattern match at all! I put the pockets and the yolk on the bias to help save on fabric.


I like the style lines of this pattern and the curve of the hem. It gives a slightly different look then my other shirtwaist standby McCalls 6696. It could stand to be just a tad longer but if I wear it with tights it should be fine.

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