Kimono-inspired dress – Vogue V8825

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I have yet to show you my version of the Vogue V8825 dress. When I first sew this pattern I immediately fell in love with it because of the nice draping and front wrap. The Raglan sleeves gives it an interesting touch. I looked, and looked to find a fabric to go with it and then finally found a blue, white and black printed rayon knit. I also choose a contrasting solid black rayon knit for the tie and the sleeve cuffs.

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Me in a kimono in Japan 1998

The combination I think gives the dress a kimono-inspired look. as a young student I went as an exchange student to Japan. An amazing experience overall. One specific thing i got to experience there was to get dressed and done up in a traditional kimono and a geisha makeup and hair. Wow, how many layers of skirts and wraps there was to put on before the beautiful outer kimono was put on. I say “was put on” sins the layers were wrapped so taught and tied that you could not put them on yourself. Then there was the big wrap and bow around the midsection. Everything was so tight and I now understand why women in traditional japanese attire can only take tiny steps.

This dress is not as tight but it reminds me of the silhouette of a kimono. it has a quite long tie which can be tied either on the side or in the back. I prefer to tie it in the back.

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I extended front wrap a couple of centimeters in each direction on order to cover the bust more. Otherwise I kept pretty much to the pattern and instructions.

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I finished most of the seams with a French seam. I’ve said it before, but I LOVE French seams in jersey. They give a luxurious finish, stabilizes the dress slightly and strengthen the seams. It feels very good to wear.

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French seam finish

The only issue I have with the dress  is that the ties tend to be heavy in relation to the fabric. Now I used fabric two different fabrics but they were of approximately the same weight. As you can see on the picture below there is a tendency for the tie to stretch the bodice out of shape when not tied and hanging straight down. This is something I have to keep in mind while storing and putting the dress on.

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Here you can see how the ties weighs down the bodice.

I really love this dress and ended up wearing it on Christmas Eve, which I spent at my parents house. Here you can see me in the dress in two poses.

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Happy Holidays!

 

Sending you all my love this holiday season. Until soon.

/Annika

Butterick B5619 – jacket, skirt and dress for summer

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I’m soooo late with this post but a promise is a promise. Here is a more thorough post on the red jacket with matching skirt and contrasting dress that I made last summer. Though it was just roughly 4 months ago…

I made the ensemble based on Butterick B5619 – a Lifestyle wardrobe patterns with five different garments to mix and match. I made three.

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I made the jacket with matching a-line skirt in a bright read cotton twill. A great choice for summer, though it wrinkles easily. The jacket had three quarter length sleeves, patch pockets, large lapels and black buttons. The lapels where 5 cm larger in the original pattern but I reduced them in order not to drown behind them.

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Here you can see the buttons and one of the patch pockets with a flap up close. I chose large black buttons to contrast the bright red.

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The jacket is unlined so I made a Hong Kong finish in contrasting black again to make it look refined also when open or not worn.

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I made the Hong Kong finish from satin bias tape. Here you can see all the covered seam allowances. I hemd the jacket by hand.

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The skirt has a slightly slanted band in the waist which improves the fit just above the hips.

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Instead of using a Hong Kong finish on the skirt I folded the raw edges of the seam allowance and saw close to the folded edge. I like this finish as it is very neat. I used the same finish inside the dress. I also hemmed the skirt and the dress by hand.

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I made the skirt out of a stretchy satin cotton lycra blend fabric. It is very comfortable to wear and doesn’t wrinkle much. It is hard to see because of the busy print but the dress has three sections on front and pack, a top, a midriff and a skirt. The midriff is sewn with self facing in double layers for some extra tummy support. ūüėČ

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And here is the dress with the jacket. A nice combo.

It’s over midnight here now so this has to be all for now

Sweet sewing dreams

Annika

Thread tracing

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I’m a bit off schedule with the french jacket due to traveling. However, before starting on that journey I’m beginning to work on a raincoat. I really NEED a raincoat and since I’m still not buying any clothes I’m about to make on for myself.

Today I am tread tracing the muslin.

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Making a muslin is a good idea both for testing and improving fit and for getting to know the pattern better. Especially if the pattern is more complicated than average. I’m making a raincoat based on Vogue 1097 which looks like this.

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Vogue 1097, OOP but still available on the Vogue Patterns website.

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I’ll make the raincoat in a length in between A and B. To decide the exact length it is great to make a muslin.

The raincoat will be purple. This is the fabric. Hope I have enough.

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Sewalong: The Little French Jacket

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I love the elegance of french style and I adore Chanel. Therefor I got very exited when I saw that The Challanging Sew and Thewallinna are hosting a sewalong for “the little French jacket”, or the Chanel-jacket as it might also be refered to.

Here are the links to the introduction posts for the sewalong:

I have decided to join the sewalong which officially starts October 6 with the first sheduled sewing post. But to prepare I have looked at some patterns and fabrics and made some choices.

For the pattern I have chosen Vogue 7975 which is one of the recommended patterns. I like to make a jacket that meet in the front but do not overlap. I’m thinking of hook and eye fastenings in the front. For fabric I went to the Linton Tweeds website. Linton Tweeds being a British fabric mill with long traditions, among other things being a supplier of boucle fabrics to Chanel for their tweed jackets. So perfect! From Linton Tweeds I ordered 3 yards of a metallic gray wool boucle. I hope that will be enough for both a jacket and a skirt. I was looking for a fabric that would go well both with black and with blue without being neither black or blue. The metallic gray here stood out for me.

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Once I’ve gotten the fabric I will look at silk charmeuse fabrics for the lining and at trims.

Is anyone else going to do this sewalong?

Happy sewing!

/Annika

Vogue V8766 – Blue and black lace cocktail dress (aka the Ann Rowley dress)

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Vogue V8766

The dress

I made this dress to wear on a formal dinner party. It is inspired by the dress Ann Rowley, winner of the BBC show the Great British Sewing Bee, made in the final challenge of the show. Actually, it is as good as a copy as I used the same pattern as her and a similar combination of blue underlining and black lace. Here is a link to Ann’s version. When I saw the dress on the show I just loved it and wanted to give it a try. Blue is my absolute favorite color. I want to give all credit of the design ideas of this dress to Ann.

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Vogue V8766 (image from: http://www.voguepatterns.mccall.com/)

I started my making a muslin and making some smaller adjustments, though not many were needed. I used size 14 in version E for which I shortened the sleeves to just above the elbow. I also took in the side seams a couple of cm here and there. I also made some adjustment for my sway back.

For fabric I used a gorgeous royal blue polyester pearl satin for the underlining and a black lace in a rayon and nylon blend. For lining I used a black rayon lining fabric. These fabrics make the dress easy to wear as they have a good drape and doesn’t wrinkle easily. As stated in the instructions I sewed the underlining fabric and lace fabric as one.

The lace had a nice edge which I used as the finish on both the skirt and the sleeves. I let the lace hang lower than the underlining a couple of cm and didn’t underline the sleeves. Here are the results on the skirt and the sleeves:

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The hem

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The sleeves

In the instructions the bodice of the dress is not lined. However I added a lining also for the top part which changed the finish on the neckline some.¬†For the zipper in the back I used the instructions given by Susan Khalje in the Couture Dress class at Craftsy.com of how to install a zipper by hand. I love the hand sewing bits and found it both satisfying and fun to do. I’m pleased with the results. However, while wearing the dress I was a bit concerned about the zipper falling apart, even though I don’t think it was ever any risk. Hand sewing is quite sturdy but psychologically it feels less reliable than something made my machine. Wander why?¬†

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The zipper

I found that the most challenging part of the dress was sewing all the darts. All in all the dress contains 26 darts (four in the skirt, six in the bodice + the same in the lining + six in the sleeves).

As a final touch I added bra strap holders at the shoulders – you know those thread chain straps with a small snap closure¬†– also using the techniques presented by Susan Khalje. I love those bra strap holders as they are very practical and discrete. Because who want’s there bra straps to glide into sight in the neckline or at the shoulders when you move? I think adding those tread chains at the shoulder make a dress, blouse or top go to the next level of quality. It’s giving it that extra touch

I like the dress very much as I feel elegant in it and hope to wear it soon again. Unfortunately, I don’t have many images of me wearing the dress at the formal dinner. Just this one taken with my iPhone with bad lighting ¬†of me sitting and having a bad posture.

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Me at the dinner party

That is all for this project. Happy sewing everyone!

/Annika

I lost my blogging mojo…but I kept on sewing

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I seem to have lost my blogging mojo. No post for a month and before that a long gap. I feel ashamed.  But I miss you guys and want to be more active.

However, meanwhile my sewing mojo has been going strong. I have finished five garments, three dresses plus a skirt and jacket for the summer wardrobe. I took some time to document them on my lady valet today, so here they are.

ImageAlso I’m working on three other projects of which at least two should be finished this week.

Hopefully you can expect more detailed individual posts on all these projects over the next couple of days and weeks.

Happy sewing everyone

/Annika

In progress: Optimizing

Just a short report from the Sewcial World sewing studiu. Right now I am in the process of trying to get three garments cut out from three meters of red cotton twill, a jacket, a skirt and a pair of shorts. The patterns I am using are Butterick B5619 for the jacket and the skirt and McCalls M6756 for the shorts.

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But before I cut the scissors into the fabric I need to eat something to make sure my hungry stomach has not hindered me from thinking clearly in the layout.

Fabric stash inventory – part two

This is the second post in which I make in inventory of the fabrics in my stash. You can read the first one here.

Apart from the fabric I have a pronounced plan for I have a few fabrics that I not yet have decided what to do with.

Fabrics without a plan – wovens

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This is a nice tropical weight bright blue wool fabric. I just can’t decide what to do with it because it has such a potential. I LOVE bright blues and could see this as a dress, a pant suit¬†or even a tree piece suite. For some time I had decided to make the popular BurdaSyle 10/2012#118A cowl dress. But inspired by Marina at Frabjous Couture I reconsidered and probably want to make the cowl dress in a tweed fabric for winter instead. However, making a three or four piece base for a wardrobe capsule would have been great of yet time consuming.¬†I believe I have about 2,5 meters but the fabric store still carry it so I might get some more to be able to make a whole collection out of it.

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To match the bright blue wool fabric above I also have about one meter of this plaid fabric in which the same blue color is taken up again. This will probably be a straight skirt of some kind.

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Talking about plaid fabrics I found this gorgeous green/blue plaid heavier wool fabric for a good price at a sewers expo I bought it because I have wanting to make a skirt like like this one I saw on Rachel Weisz in InStyle magazine (to the left below) quite a few years ago. It’s perfect for that. But I have more fabric than for a skirt so I have been thinking of maybe doing a jacket or cape or something like that as well. Maybe the cape from Butterick 5687, below on the right.

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This is another beautiful wool in black and white with a slight sheen to it that I also got for a good price at the same sewing expo. I’ll probably make a dress for work/daytime or a skirt suite out if it.

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Finally, this is another plaid wool fabric in black and white. It is actually a left over piece from a project I made in high school – a tailored jacket. I still have the jacket though I don’t use it as it was made when broader shoulders were still in. But this scrap piece is about 0,7 meters and could become a skirt or at least part of a skirt. I’ll hang on to it for a while longer.

Fabrics without a plan – knits

DSCN1321Hm, this is a sheer blue and white striped rayon knit fabric that I don’t know what to make of. The problem is that it is only one way stretch – in the directions of the stripes – which limits the possibilities. I used the same fabric but in purple and white for this top, which was a big mess. It made me realize I can’t make anything with a bias drape with this fabric – and be who looove bias drapes across the front of knit tops and dresses…

DSCN1323This is a thicker gray knit fabric with a mix of rayon, nylon and some polyester. I bought it for the Vogue 1341 Donna Karen dress, which in its RTW format has made an appearance on the TV-series Suits – there worn by the character Jessica Pearson. See below. However, after having felt the fabric some more I realized it will be too heavy for a dress like that. I might make a jacket instead.

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Finally, I have these two plain cotton knits. 1,5 meter each, one in deep purple and one in mauve/rose. Might become tops or dresses for summer.

So, that is everything reviled. All the content of my fabric stash. Except from this I just have some lining and underlining fabric in a paper bag in my closet and some smaller scraps from previous projects collected in one drawer.

Fabric stash inventory

I don’t think my stash is overly large. But living in a small appartment with little space for storage makes even a small stash bulky. I need to keep it in control.

How are you all doing with your fabric stashes? Do you think you have too much? Or to little?

Happy sewing, everyone!

/Annika

Fabric stash inventory – part one

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Above is my stash of fabric. It was never my intention to accumulate a large stash of fabric. However, those “now or never” opportunities when seeing a great fabric at the store tend to emerge quite frequently. Also patterns tend to inspire me to go find fabric for the next great project, even through there are other projects already in que to be executed. My fabric stash is not overly large, but it is growing and starting to slip out of control. There for I thought I would do an inventory of the fabric in my stash and make it officially in order to create accountability for myself not to buy any more fabric until at least a couple of my planed sewing projects with existing fabrics are completed.

In this post I will share my fabrics with a plan. In the next one I will share my fabrics with no definite plan.

Fabrics with a plan – knits

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This is a pink rayon blend medium weight knit fabric which I bought on sale and therefore have a lot of. My plan for this fabric is to make the Vogue 1351 DKNY dress and a summer top from McCall 6752 (probably version A).

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This is another pink knit fabric, but heavier and with nylon in it. From this fabric I want to do this Butterick 5672 dress, the view with a short sleeve.

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I was looking for an interesting fabric for the Vogue 8825 dress and found this beautiful rayon blend blue, black and white print. I want to find a black lightweight knit fabric for a contrasting sash.

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The print knit on the picture above I bought at a sewers fair and later had a hard time figuring out what to do with if. I only have about a meter or so. Then I found the Vogue 8787 pattern and thought of combining it with a black knit fabric skirt for a contrasting skirt and bodice as in view F.

Fabrics with a plan – for summer

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I found this striped two-way cotton fabric at the store and just loved it for summer. I came up making a summer “suite” of it, with a pair of shorts and a jacket. For this I have chosen this seasons McCall 6756 patterns for the shorts (probably a longer legged version) and Silhouette Patterns GA’s Jacket, pattern 1913. I will use the red side for the jacket and the blue for the shorts and then add details with the contrast.

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This is one of my latest purchases, a deep red cotton gabardine fabric. From this I will do another summer suite, that will hopefully work also with the separates in the striped fabrics. I will do the skirt and the jacket from Butterick 5619.

Fabrics with a plan – for winter

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It is hard to see from the picture, but this is a luxurious feeling midnight blue winter wool from YSL that I will make into a shell dress with long sleeves for the winters.

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This is a gray tropical wool fabric with white and yellow stripes. I will use this to make vogue 8648 dress, sleeveless, according to the methods tought in the Couture dress class at Craftsy.com.

Fabrics with a plan – the next project

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These two fabrics I bought last week for a cocktail dress for a party in a couple of weeks. It is a blue pearl satin polyester and a black nylon and polyester lace which I will combine in Vogue’s 8766 pattern, view E. Hope to at least start making this dress this weekend.

So, those are the fabrics I have a more definite plan for and which I regard as queuing to me made up. In my next post I will share my other fabrics for which my plans are still open.

Hope you enjoyed.

/Annika

 

 

 

The amazing sewing community!

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I just wanted to pop in here and praise the amaizing international sewing community out there. Daily I enjoy following the sewing adventuers of other sewing bloggers out there and I keep finding new talented people to get inspired by. In addition, I feel overwhelmed when I in the page statistics see that I have had visitors form 65 different countries¬†all over the world on my own blog. Who knew there even was so many countries in the world? (Well, of course I knew if I would have started counting…)

Thank you all for being a part of this community of ours! 

/Annika