Why my Collar is Sticking Out like Bird Wings: Notching the collar seam

Previously I have posted a pattern review of McCalls 5754 Poncho/Cape and said that I had plans to make another in wool.  I cut the project out and then it lay in my UFO sewing basket until December.  Originally I had planned to have it done in time for fall and I am annoyed with myself that it won’t be appropriate until next fall, but better late than never.

Once upon a time I had the original photo I showed my foster sister, of the collar sticking out, but it must have been inadvertently deleted during all of the Christmas picture-taking.

So I sewed it up and then found something else to be annoyed about.  The collar stuck out like wings from my neckline.  Thankful to live in the post-modern era with deluxe technology I snapped a pic with my digital camera to show my foster sister.  (This really beats dragging the offending garment back and forth for her to see. Because I was raised by my great-aunt and uncle, my foster sister is much older than myself and also happens to be an excellent seamstress who had stopped sewing around the time I began.  I thought for sure she would have a fix-it.)

Expecting consolation, I show her the image on the digital. 

“Your collar is too tight,” she says flatly.

Not exactly feeling validated, I begin to make my case. 

“It can’t be too tight.  It is a plus-size.  The neckline is actually a bit too large for me.  I NOTCHED!”

“Your collar is too tight.  Get into it and loosen your collar.”

I begin to wail piteously, “But I have already bagged and closed up the lining.  I notched!  Well, it went kind of straight-like at that part of the collar and I didn’t notch a lot there.  But I’ve already bagged and closed up the lining!”

My sister looks me blandly in the eye and says, “Uh huh, get into it and loosen the collar.  It’s too tight.”

So much for a fellow sewist’s sympathy.    How could she be right?  What a bummer thing to have to rip back part of the lining.  Aarrgh!  I mean I notched.  How many notches did this thing feel entitled to?

Apparently a lot.

Over the next few weeks I kept looking at the cape on the mannequin and wishing the solution lay elsewhere, but after some thought  decided she had to be right.  I ripped out my hemstitched lining opening, turned the cape inside out, and notched the collar again.  The collar and facing are both woolen.  That made for a thick seam in the front area where the cape closes.  I notched one side every inch, and then staggered my notches for the other side.  It worked.  The collar now falls as it should.

This is what I mean by staggering the notches on the collar raw edge.

Thick fabric means a thick seam, which means more notching than you might normally do. My advice is to check out the lay of the collar before closing the lining.

The collar now lays against my shoulder as it should. It turns out I made the fix more tedious in my imagination than it was in reality. It took only about 15 minutes.

Next Post: Thursday, January 20, 2011:Starting on my Spring Sewing Resolution

McCalls 5764 Poncho:Pattern Review

McCalls 5764 Poncho

I bought this more because woolen ponchos are in the fashion magazines, than because I thought it would actually flatter me.  Usually I don’t buy “if’s” but it was a pattern sale and I thought it worth a few bucks investment in cheapo pattern tissue and an old sheet. I often find McCall’s pattern cut much too large in the neckline and didn’t have too high of hopes as I whipped up the muslin.  But this time I sold McCall’s short.  I underestimated the design and am quite pleased with my muslin.

Pros:

  • If you usually find ponchos to be too floppy and unstructured for you this pattern designs subtle structure into itself using belting, buttons and collars.  Also the heft of the fabrics suggested gives the garment a more tailored look.
  • For those who are new to tailoring it provides an opportunity to work with wool but not having to go the full monte with a traditional jacket.  Here you can concentrate on perfecting buttonholes, collars and topstitching with a professional finish.  There aren’t a lot of seams, underlining or other fussy details.
  • Flattering to many figures.  If you are an hourglass go ahead and put in that belt.  Pear-shaped, use a spunky color to accent your top half and add the standard collar.  If you want to deemphasize your bust area use a darker color and the band collar.  No matter your height, the length is easy to adjust.

Cons:

  • The pattern instructions mention using a lining but offers no lining pattern nor advice for cutting one.   You may find some terrific double knit that can remain unlined, but if you are using wool, line it. 
  • And again, my recurring complaint, the collar is way too wide.  Though I am plus-size I have a long, narrow face and big collars look frumpy on me.  I put the tissue collar up to my face and without any kind of practice muslin I went ahead and cut it back a good inch all around. 

Some Assembly Required:

There is no back facing to hide your collar edge.  The pattern offers a way of applying the collar and facing at once.  The portion of the collar that will lay on your neck is pulled back and you sew from facing through undercollar and back onto the facing.   More tailored jackets do include a back facing, I believe, but this method got the job done.

The rest of the construction is very run of the mill and you probably won’t need your pattern instructions.

McCalls 5764 Practice Muslin: Yes it was a blanket, but now it's a poncho!

Fabric:

For my practice muslin I used a polar fleece blanket whose edging was torn after getting caught in the turnstile of the washing machine.  I wanted a material with more heft than sheeting and that approximated the suggested fashion fabric for this design.  I didn’t try to match or center the lined print but it came out okay anyway.

McCalls 5764 practice muslin front view:No buttons yet. The collar is finished with binding to eliminate some bulk.

Finetuning:

I didn’t interface my hem on the practice muslin but the rounded hemline might need special treatment when sewn in other fabrics. 

Will I Sew it Again:

Yes, I have my material collected for a brown woolen lined with red brocade, both fabrics from my stash.  I will show you the pics when I get it finished.

Advice to Others:

Make an informed judgment about how wide you want the collar.  If you are not one to successfully wear super-chunky jewelry then the extra wide collar might not be for you.  I found the collar to be beautifully shaped after sewing but in need of a paring.

Cutting a lining shouldn’t be difficult as the pattern pieces are simple.  Consult a sewing manual about how to cut a lining from an unlined pattern.

If you are worried about wavy rolling seaming on the collar consider binding the outside edges. 

Overall Style Grade:  A, Despite my reservations the style is cute. 

Results Grade: A, If you are using a double knit the sewing is simple, and if you want to dip into tailoring woolens the design is basic enough to provide some challenge but not overwhelm.

What I am Up to Lately

I am jumping from project to project lately.  I am trying to titrate off of caffeine so my energy levels are widely varying to say the least.  I hope to finish the poncho in the brown wool, but I am also working on McCalls 5884 a tie-front blouse.  The blouse seems to have a lot of the frump factor built into the design but I think it can be overcome.  We’ll see. 

Next Post: Saturday, September 4, 2010: The Blouse or the Poncho – I am waiting to see myself!

Altering a Shawl Collar Using Vogue 8605

Recently I have made three renditions of Vogue 8605: a practice muslin, a wearable muslin and a fleece jacket.  The pattern itself I have already reviewed, but I wanted to go over the one alteration that I foresee most sewers making on this pattern.

The collar is very large on this pattern and like many plus size women, it is my waist that is enlarged, not the back of my neck.  This is a common alteration for me and for many other sewers as customizing the pattern here is very easy. 

But if you make a change to the back center seam, remember to carry that over to the back of the shawl collar.  If you are new to sewing shawl collars you are in danger of slashing back on the wrong seamline.

I took out material and I can’t imagine too many people adding to this particular patterns neckline as it is already a very generous cut.  Here is an illustration of what I did.

Not exactly drawn to scale but here is what the back and front pieces look like.

The alterations are marked in red. It is easy to forget to decrease the front pattern also and then you have excess fabric when you go to sew together the two necklines.

To finish, I’ll go ahead and show you all three jackets, from practice to finished.  I kept progressively cutting back on both the back neck seam and the curve of the collar.  The practice muslin is made in very drapey terry and shows that you could get away with sweater fabric for this pattern.  Left alone the collar will have folds and the jacket will have a lot of flow if that is what you are going for.

Vogue 8605 practice muslin:The collar extended beyond my shoulders when it was fully pulled out.

The second rendition, what started out as my wearable muslin and then transformed was made in a heftier double knit.  It has a vintage swing coat feel.  And believe it or not I lopped 1 1/2 inches off the collar outer curve and it is still a large collar.

Vogue 8605 Wearable Muslin:Made of double knit poly it hangs more like a vintage swing coat.

My final one, made in grey fleece looks more like a cape when I wear it.  I lengthened the hem and cut another 1 1/2 inches off the collar curve.  It took only four hours to make this one.  I had some practice but this isn’t a fussy design so you come out with a finished project very quickly.

Vogue 8605 in Fleece. When wearing it hangs like a cape but with more structure. The collar is significantly cut back.

I admit I was very infautated for awhile but now I am off of this pattern.  I promise no more posts about this one.  Now I am working on McCalls 5764 a poncho, something I’ve always felt was too loosey-goosey and unstructured for me to wear, but after the practice muslin I am reconsidering!

Next Post: 2 September 2010; McCalls 5764 Poncho:Pattern Review

Let the Fur Fly: Sewing Fake Fur for the First Time

Warning – this post is photo-laden even for my liking and I like a lot of photos.  I also had to make the photos fairly large so you could view the stitching.  Even on super-duper up-to-the-minute computers the post may take just a minute to load.  I have tried to include links whenever possible to decrease number of photos. Thank you for your patience.

The off-white material I used for the wearable muslin of Vogue Pattern 8605 did not quite suit me.  I knew it when I started but thought, “Oh, well.  If it works out I’ll make sure to wear a flattering turtleneck.”  After a bit of futzing with various finishing ideas for the collar, binding, cording, etc., I decided that nothing I did was going to make ancient double knit polyester look up-to-date.  That is when I laid it on Millie, my fitting mannequin, and took a long hard look.

I had achieved my desired fit in the poly and I could have just stopped there and cut the fashion fabric.  But Millie being a vintage darling herself, a refugee from the basement of a co-worker’s newly purchased mid-century built home, has a figure that is very reminiscent of the fashion illustrations from the 1950’s.   The coat seen on Millie gave me an idea.

I have a bag of fake fur remnants bought for cheap from my local thrift, small unmatched cuts that won’t make a full garment, but could be used for accent. I pulled the fur-bag out and decided on the leopard(?) .  (I don’t know my furs.)

During all this I had to contend with another fur-bag, my tomcat, Groucho. Once I flopped the plastic grocery bag of fur bits on the table, he got a wild look in his eye.  In his little catty mind a dream had come true. Here before him was the great motherload of feline fun:

Groucho

  •  a plastic bag to lick, a gross habit some males have because the plastic gives off an odor similar to feline estrus- something to think about at the grocery checkout 😉
  •  and, a pile of soft pile of fur to luxuriate in, while he licked his plastic bag.

He must have imagined I had been keeping secret the feline equivalent of a blow up doll. I had to keep removing him from the table scolding in stern language.  Finally I hung the bag on a hook close to the ceiling in my laundry room in order to finalize Groucho’s dating relationship with this most intoxicating, and compliant!, of partners.

The fur did fly a bit fending off the cat, but I still had two more problems. 

  1. The pattern did not include a traditional facing.
  2. I had never worked with fake or real fur before. 

The facing

I decided to trace out a facing from the collar pattern using a spare piece of art paper.  I knew that it might take some jiggery-pokery, as Dr. Who says.  After sewing the fur facing to the collar I went ahead and loosely pad stitched the two together to give some heft. 

Very loose padstitching done to give the collar more heft and keep the fur from shifiting too much over the poly.

Heads Up! – Cutting fur is a furry business.  The fur really did fly.  The dogs kept sneezing and my tee resembled a hairshirt by the time I was done.  And this was only a facing.  I don’t know what my house would look like if I was making an entire coat from this stuff.

Sewing Fake Fur

I have always been intimidated by this because I haven’t met someone who had made a garment with fake fur.  Then I saw Sunny Hickey’s fur vest at the Ohio State Fair Style Revue.  Though Sunny is years ahead of me in experience and skill, just seeing another home-sewer successfully take on that material gave me a lot of confidence.  It turns out that fake fur is not the bad boy I imagined.   It is actually kind of sweet and forgiving, with mabye just a wee bit of insouciance – like my cat.

Seam Edging

Technically it is a knit so the edges do not ravel.  When you turn over fake fur you see a tough pliable knit backing.  You do need to finish your edges because I don’t think it will stand up to the abuse of wear, but the material is not as delicate as I originally imagined.

As you stitch give yourself more than the traditional 5/8ths due to shifting. You can always cut it back later and you might need the extra edge if you decide to bind.

Also, after seaming you will need to open the seam and cut back the excess fur until you have a short burr left. Again, this is a very hairy experience.   After several seams you will begin to resemble the animal from which the fur is derived.

Cut back the excess fur on the seam edge.

Stitching

Cautiously I set my machine and placed the material under the foot.  I expected the machine to bind up or the stitching to fall apart.  Five inches into my seaming I nearly fell off my sewing chair. 

The zig-zag stitch once again shows itself to be a miraculous invention!

Use a wide zig-zag stitch for seaming. I hope the stitches show up in the photo.

Now I am on the Hello Kitty machine, no less, and using the biggest zig-zag it offers, it made a strong lovely seam.  I placed my fashion fabric on the bottom and the fur on top.   Lacking any special sewing machine needles in my stash, I simply used a fresh 90/14.  I can’t tell you how surprised I was by how smoothly the fur sewed. 

Binding

I bound the one exposed edge in one-inch cotton twill that I lucked into at Hancock’s.  Warning – Buy more than you need.  I estimated by draping the twill around my neck and was lucky to have four inches left on finish.  A lot of length gets sucked into the fur. 

I used a one-inch cotton twill binding sewn with a zig-zag stitch.

What to do when Seams Show

Another huge surprise and another mystery solved.

As my original remnant was not very long I had to add a bit at the bottom of each facing.  This created a seam that showed.  Per the advice of an old sewing manual this is what you do.

Get out a dog grooming brush and brush into the seamline fuzzing it up.

Purloined from my dog's grooming kit the wire brush really did a lot to hide the seamline. You might want to purchase a fresh brush, but I thought, "Hey, we're all family here . . . "

This makes sense as this stuff is supposed to be fur and brushes are what we use to neaten animal coats.  Yet I was surprised.   Fake fur garments we see in RTW must have seams yet we don’t see them.  Brushing the seams must be part of the process. (And I thought those seemingly seamless coats were created from some kind of mysterious sewing technique not available to the masses!)

My seamlines were markedly improved after brushing though they still show a bit.  I imagine most sewers work hard to make their stitch lines vertical instead of horizontal when using fur.  In the future I will try to buy enough length to have only vertical seaming, or think of a way to incorporate a horizontal seamline into the design.

The Finished Jacket

This was my maiden voyage with a lot of new techniques and the jacket is not perfect.  A lot of the time I didn’t know what I was supposed to do so I got creative and let tidy stitching, I hope, cause the final finish to appear deliberate.   The closure I got from a bag of vintage buttons.  It is a bit worn and I wondered if I could ever use it.  When I was looking for closures this one looked the best as the fabric and style are also older, and I think the old buckle makes the garment appear as if it were made “back in the day.”

A vintage buckle. Though worn I thought it gave the jacket an authentic vintage feel.

The only thing left to do now is to find places and ways to wear it!

Next Post: Tuesday, August 31, 2010; Altering a Shawl Collar using Vogue 8605

Vogue 8605 Short-Sleeve Dolman Jacket:Pattern Review

Vogue Pattern 8605

Vogue 8605 Dolman Jacket

 

Dolmans are not usually my thing so I can’t say why I picked up this pattern.  It has sat in my pattern files a year or so and has withstood at least two clear outs.  I am very attracted to the design but I had serious doubts about how well it would flatter me.  I cut a practice muslin in fifty cent terrible terry and did not expect much during the fitting.  I looked in the mirror and nearly fell over.  This jacket pattern is unexpectedly flattering, kind of compelling even.  I so didn’t believe my eyes that I promptly cut a wearable muslin about of a poly remnant just to make sure.

Pros:

  • Dolmans are easy sleeves to construct.
  • The size of the collar means you can place a shoulder pad in unobtrusively if you need.
  • The material called for is poly double knit so you can relax about seam edges if you want.
  • The pockets and buttonholes are good intros to actual bound buttonholes.  The ones in this pattern aren’t true bound buttonholes but the simpler construction and using fabric that requires no fussiness on the edges gives beginners a chance to get a feel for this kind of technique.
  • Flatters many figure types.
  • It would be a great intro for the beginning sewer who wants to make a jacket but has been scared off by complex techniques.  There is no lining, no set in sleeves, no princess seams and if you get the correct fabric, no seam edges. 
  • As jackets go, it is a quick sew.

Cons:

  • I have cut three now, one practice muslin, one wearable muslin, and one in the desired fashion fabric.  On the last two I have taken swathes off of the collar width.  The collar has been graded too big in proportion to the plus size waist, a common problem I have with both RTW and sewing patterns.   If your fabric is drapey the extra fabric might look neat, but if you want the rather tailored smooth collar on the pattern envelope photo you are going to have to make a practice muslin and custom cut the collar down.   Heads Up!Once you cut back the collar cut you will have to alter or redraft a collar facing.
  • It is a shawl collar, the one fussy point for new sewers.  On this kind of collar you can do right sides together or wrong sides together.   I put the wrong sides together, which is traditional, so the seam edges would be under the collar and hidden in the back.  But if you have something creative planned for the seam edges, or you have a different type of facing planned, you could reverse and put right sides together which is how you do most of your construction anyway.

Some Assembly Required:

I didn’t read the pattern instructions on this one and I think most average sewers will be able to cut and run with it.   The shawl collar is the only part you might want to consult on the pattern.

Once change I did make – the fur collar is obviously heftier than the fabric and I cut it on the fly a bit since the collar actually has no traditional facing, just a small one that acts more as a binding. I made two pleats at the center back collar so too much of the cream bottom collar wouldn’t bunch up under the fur.

Fabric:

Vogue 8605 back shawl collar. The instructions do not call for pleats but I thought some tidy pleating might use up the extra fabric in the collar.

Double knit poly the kind your grandma wore in the 1970’s.  I got this as a remnant at a thrift store for about $1.50.  I also found two bags of fake fur remnants at the same time which cost me about $10.00 for the both bags.  It appears that a sewer from the 70’s or 80’s had donated a bunch of stuff which I was thrilled to get so cheaply. 

In the past I think I would have kept saving that fur for something “special”.  Then it occurred to me that I would never have another chance to practice on fake fur so cheaply.   This was the “special” thing. If I cut something incorrectly at least I hadn’t ruined a $30.00/yard piece.  (This was a bit of a brainstorm for me as I realized that in the past I have been so frugal that I actually wasn’t doing the frugal thing at all by hoarding cheaply purchased goods that I could be using!)

Vogue 8605: Not hemmed yet but I wanted to show you the fur collar. For years I have been intimidated to work with fur in any way but as is so often the case, it is easier than I thought.

When I started the wearable muslin I thought it would be of  poly only. But none of my edging ideas were working out and I then thought of the fur.  Both the poly and the fake fur which are vintage themselves give this pattern a 1950’s classic edge. I even have a vintage buckle I am going to use at the point where the fur seams show in front.  I did not set out to make a vintage item but things just came together and I’m very pleased because I have never done anything like this before. 

Finetuning:

Shoulder pads.   Unless you have naturally broad shoulders I think shoulder pads would accentuate this jacket and the collar should cover any see-through from the outside that the insertion might create.  That is if you keep the collar large.  If you cut your collar curve way back your shoulder pad may show, but if you have the right fabric you could play around mimicking the pocket topstitching by letting the shoulder pad stitching show right through.  Or you could just say, “The hell with it.  I wear shoulder pads.”

Will I Sew it Again:

I am already.  I have another cut, this time with the longer hemline in gray fleece.  The pattern calls for ponte but I think a lightweight fleece will be nice and it too does not need fancy seam edges.  I am hoping the fleece will be my throw it on and run out the door to the bus coat.  And I don’t know where I shall wear the cream fur as it was a surprise addition to my wardrobe.

Advice to Others:

That collar – it is a casual jacket and if the collar folds a bit that can be part of the look.  But if you are a stickler about a smooth lay on the shoulder, get out some dirt cheap material and custom cut a collar to your preference.

Overall Style Grade:  A, with the right material you could go retro funky, vintage, or use a contemporary material and it will look very current.  It is also one of those few patterns offered by the Big Four which has a current look, but of which I don’t see a gazillion out on the street. 

Results Grade: A, The ease of construction allows the sewer to achieve a good result and in less time than is normally devoted to a jacket.

Next Post: Saturday, August 28, 2010:Fussing with Fur:Two Things I Did in Constructing a Fur Collar

Vogue 1476 Issey Miyake Coat:Pattern Review

Vogue 1476 Issey Miyake

Vogue 1476

I bought this pattern back in the day – the day being the mid-nineties.  The coat calls for several yards of reversible fabric and it took me quite awhile to hunt down tweed I could afford in a five yard cut.  After locating an inexpensive tan tweed I sewed it up in a size 8. The woman on the pattern envelope looks arty and chic.  I looked like a hobo wrapped in some sort of blanket-toga combination.  I had a mass of ungainly folds , slovenly compared to the loose-but-still-structured appearance of the model.    My coat was so voluminous that a friend of mine used it as an Obi-Wan Kenobi costume on Halloween. 

It looked about right on a six-foot plus, over 200 pound frame. 

I should have taken the hint.

But several years have passed.  In the mid-nineties I was an 8-10 RTW and today I am 16-20 RTW.  That is a sizeable change and you would think I now possess the girth to fill in the folds of this design.  I decided to have another go.  Only this time I bought a cheap thrift store sheet before committing to actual fashion fabric. 

Good thing I did.  Because I still have the same problem with the design.    

Pros:

  • It looks cool on the pattern envelope.
  • The design is novel.
  • After mastering construction you could play around with ornamentation.

Cons:

  • The design is novel.  Construction is not like most coats.
  • The pattern instructions are not as clear as they could be.  The drawings are cut short and I never felt oriented to the pattern.   This is a big deal since the pattern pieces are highly unusual and you can’t rely on your past experience of what a coat bodice or sleeve should look like.
  • The instructions repeatedly show me how to finish my seam edges.  I would have appreciated less instruction on this matter, and more illustration of the complete pattern pieces.

Vogue 1476 Practice Muslin Back View

Finetuning:

I didn’t staystitch every corner of the practice muslin but I would do so if it were fashion fabric.  The pattern directions tell you to finish the hem edges first but if you were hoping to apply a contrast binding you could do them later. 

Will I Sew it Again:

I keep putting this one back into my stash because it seems to unique to throw away.   However, it does not especially flatter me and is at the very far edge of arty for my style. You can’t see this on the pattern envelope but the underarms are dolman-like.  That creates a lot of material cupped around my already thick middle. I need to take the plunge and move it on.  But still the pattern rests in the filing cabinet.

Vogue 1476 Practice Muslin Front View

Advice to Others:

Study the pattern instructions. 

Make a practice muslin using a sheet. 

Be very clear in your markings.  Most of the time I just slash with chalk or nip into the seam.  Here you will need to clearly mark the squares, big circles and small circles or you will go insane trying to figure out which end is up.

If you have an hourglass or inverted triangle figure type then the extra material around the middle won’t bother you.  If you are thick in the middle the design is not so flattering even though with so many folds your viewer won’t be able to say exactly what is off, but you somehow  something is just a little bit.

Overall Style Grade:  A – I always admire the coat I see on the pattern envelope.

Results Grade: B-, Normally I enjoy the Miyake designs and admire his work but after two attempts I have to conclude that the coat on the pattern envelope has had some serious tweaking in order for it to fit such a slender model without excess folding.   The model also looks to be wearing some hefty shoulder pads.  I don’t know what I would have to do to get the coat on the model – make it up in a size 2?

NOTE – WordPress is going crazy and increasing the size of my font when I update.  I am sorry that the font is all over the place.

Next Post: Saturday, August 14, 2010:Entering my County Fair

Vogue 1124 Betzina Vest:Pattern Review

Vogue 1124 Sandra Betzina Vest

I see a lot of vests and jackets of lightweight knit that are longer in front than back and I wanted to check if this fashion suited me.  I thought this pattern looked simple and quick.     

Vogue 1124 Vest in Stretch Lace

Pros:

  • It is quick.
  • You can probably find fabric cheap in the clearance rack as it seems they are always discounting stretchy knits.
  • There are no darts or fussy parts for the newbie sewer to struggle with.  If you can finish a seam edge you can make this vest.
  • It can be a very dramatic accessory.

Cons:

  • It is a lot of fabric to handle and it caught up on the edge of my sewing cabinet and dragged if I didn’t keep close watch. 
  • You kind of squish it at the collar to make the loose folds of the neckline.  This doesn’t work for my narrow shoulders.  It feels like too much material and as if the vest will fall off my shoulders if I don’t keep adjusting it.
  • Though the garment is dramatic as you can see from the photo it is ultimately better suited to my sewing mannequin than to myself.  I sometimes have a problem with unstructured garments as they tend to accentuate my prominent belly. AfterI tried several fold arrangements the fabric continued to grab me in all the wrong spots. Additionally, the length hits my leg at a bad spot making me appear short, and I’m 5’5”!  Hardly leggy, but hardly stumpy either.  Not that I couldn’t look good in this piece, just I would have to grow taller or wear heels or lose some serious weight!

Vogue 1124 Betzina Vest Another View

Some Assembly Required:

The pattern instructions are very easy to follow.  This is actually the second one I made.  I wish I had kept the first to show you but I threw it away as unwearable.

On the first vest I skipped staystitching the armhole.  Don’t make my mistake.  Staystitch with your sewing machine instead of running straight to the serger as I did.  My serger stretched out the armhole to the point where the armscye hung below my waist grazing my hipbone and the vest was always falling off.

Though I don’t often pay much attention to pattern instructions as they are prone to making more work for me, this is one time when the instructions are worth paying attention to.

Fabric:

I used a stretch lace.

Finetuning:

I don’t know if I want to make this one again.  But if I do two things:

1)      Cutting in half the front border width.

 

2)      Dart, seam or just pin out the extra at the back of the neck.

 

Will I Sew it Again:

I don’t know. If I see the perfect material, yes.

Advice to Others:

As always look for dirt cheap fabric for a practice muslin.  Just because the pattern is so simple doesn’t mean that you don’t need to make a trial run mastering the fabric and checking the length of the garment.

Overall Style Grade:  A, because even a beginning sewer can successfully execute this simple piece.

Results Grade: For me, C as it didn’t really flatter me.  But for technique and sewing ease I would say A. I guess that averages out to somewhere in the B range.

Next Post: Saturday, March 27, 2010; Design Details from Elle March 2010

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