Monday, April 17, 2006

Asymmetrical skirt

This is Vogue 7856, which is an asymmetrical skirt. It's supposed to look like that!

It is flows in interesting ways which is rather hard to show on a non-video blog, but here are three views to make up for it.

I thought this would take much longer to make than it did, because it has quite a lot of pieces at interesting angles, but actually the cutting out was the trickiest part with the large pieces cut on the bias meaning I had to move James into the kitchen cupboard in order to make room on the floor.

I followed zipper installation guidelines from, although I didn't follow them as far as the order of stitching the facing in. It would have been easier and worked better if I had. I also have the zipper just a little bit too high, making the hook and eye a little crowded with the top of the zipper. I also hand stitched rather than top stitched the zipper because the fabric changes colour halfway down the zip (red to yellow) and I only had one colour of thread (red), so I wanted the stitching to not be visible.

I used the clever idea someone on one of my reviews suggested for sewing very fine fabric with a zig-zag stitch, which is to lay newspaper underneath the fabric while stitching. This worked extremely well, although removing the newspaper was a bit of a pain. Without the newspaper, the zig-zag stitch pulls the fabric quite badly, no matter what tension setting is used.

I used dupioni silk in 4 different colours from I cold pre-washed the fabric, which makes it much softer and with a more gentle sheen, and this also means I wont have to get the skirt dry cleaned.

I made size 12, and this is probably slightly too big, but the advantage is that the skirt sits well below my waist. I find skirts that do up below the waist much more comfortable. The flip side is that the skirt probably hangs a little low. I also am shorter than the pattern assumed 5'6". I didn't make any length alteration, which perhaps I should have, but luckily the lowest corner of the hem does not touch the ground. The highest part of the hem is above my knee - the hem really is very uneven! I straightened the curve from the waist to the hips since I am not curved like real women are.


Friday, April 14, 2006

A colourful frock for jules

This is Vogue 7820 which is a 3/4 sleeve 3/4 length dress for woven fabrics, claims to be "very easy". I made View B which has an uneven hem.

My pattern was size 12-14-16. I didn't measure the pattern before cutting, but went by the measurements and cut a petite length, size 14 at the top tapering to 12 at the waist and then size 12 below that. Ended up taking in 1.25 inches in the back seam towards the end of the work.

Even though this is labelled as Very Easy Vogue, it is actually much more complex than any of the Kwik Sew patterns I have tried. I didn't think that it was particularly more easy than the Trench Coat I made, which was also a Vogue pattern. Anyway, it seems to me that real difficulties with a pattern are often caused by use of a difficult fabric - and that's where the real skill is - in knowing how to handle the different fabrics. Sadly that is also a skill I don't have much of.

This is my first woven dress and I sewed it fairly quickly because I just wanted to see how it would turn out. The instructions were all clear and followed logically, and involved a few things that I hadn't tried before. There were lots of gathers round the waistband and also several bits had to be eased to fit. Then there was the small double hem on the bottom, which was a new technique for me.

My impression is that Vogue patterns are much more a work of art than the Kwik Sew ones, which tend to be quite shapeless - although it could just be that I have chosen the shapeless designs - ie sporty sweaters for James.

I used a cotton print from a shop in Tokyo. I thought it was nice! I liked the random diagonal pattern whcih I thought would give the frock more interest.

I am starting to think that "fitted" RTW clothes are too tight across the back for me. The clothes I have sewn for myself look like they fit, but are still comfortable and don't restrict movement! An alternative conclusion would be that Vogue patterns are drafted more cleverly than RTW. I have the same freedom of movement experience with the Vogue Trench Coat.

My Aunty Gloria (who lives in the fashionable South of England) said she thought this frock was "very fashionable". Wow! Some people think it is "Japanese" looking. Well OK, the fabric is Japanese, but the pattern sure isn't. Timmie Lenton, the famous winner of the Very Clever Not So Old Persons' prize at the EGU this year told me I looked "very bright" and accused me of trying to distract him with the glare from it when I wore it to his Medal Lecture. I don't know ... it seems that if you like bright colours and then go and make your own clothes out of fabric you like then people (who, let's face it, mostly like to blend in by wearing fawn, grey and olive) are going to make comments!