Thursday, August 03, 2017

Simple Sewing: 1970s Infinity Wrap Dress Pattern Vogue 1640

Sometimes you just need an instant gratification sewing project. That's what this one was.  It's a 1970s Vogue pattern for a wrapped dress (or skirt) that can be worn multiple ways.
 I won't wear it as a dress  but I do plan on using it as a beach cover up!

The pattern is Vogue 1640. The pattern is for a Misses' dress or skirt, scarf and turban with the description of semi-circular, wrapped dress or skirt has attached pleated tie ends (Pattern includes instructions for wearing as a dress, with bodice tied in a variety of ways, or as a skirt.) Semi-circular scarf. Rectangular turban.
There's no copyright date, and I'm guessing 1977 or 1978 as I found it in my Very Easy Vogue Patterns counter book from May 1978.

The pattern was in a large lot of patterns I bought off of eBay oh, maybe 10 years ago. I especially love that tucked inside was a page from a Vogue fashion leaflet the the previous owner had torn out.
Here's the copy from the leaflet.
With the focus on "good fashion and dollar sense" perhaps this design was in response to a sluggish economy. You only needed to spend money on one pattern and fabric to sew one dress. Yet you could wear it many ways for different occasions.

The pattern was only partially cut, leading me to believe that the original owner planned to sew the dress but never got around to it. Oh, how I can relate to that!

The dress is one large pattern piece. It took almost all of the three yards of fabric I had available. It was so large I had to use my floor instead of my cutting table.
The fabric was an ITY knit purchased a few years ago from Fabric Mart Fabrics.  I originally planned on making a maxi dress, but upon arrival I discovered the fabric was quite lightweight and somewhat slippery. It was in my donation pile until I realized it would work well for a swimsuit cover up.

Although it's not labeled as an infinity dress, the instructions included show the multiple ways it can be worn.  Including:

As a skirt with the wrap and tie in front. 
As a skirt with the wrap and tie in back.
As a dress wrapped in front forming a halter.
As a strapless dress with the ties simply tied in the front above the bust.
As a dress with the ties draped over the bust and twisted into a halter.
As a strapless dress with the ties draped over the bust and tied.

Most likely I'll just wrap it around myself as a skirt when I'm at the beach or pool.

Sewing this was so simple! I used a fusible stay tape along the top edge. To hem the edges all I did was serge each raw edge, turn to the wrong side, and stitch.

Life has been busy lately (when is it ever not busy, LOL!) and this project was just what I needed to get a little sewing fix in.

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sew Cute! Child's Butterfly Bib Apron (McCall's 6618)

How cute is this little butterfly on the bib of this apron?
I took a break from a wrap dress I'm working on as I need to fix a fit issue (it's a Vintage Vogue pattern for a Diane Von Furstenberg colorblocked wrapdress - pop over to my Instagram if you want a peek before I blog about it).  While I'm wrapping (ha!) my head around how best to fix the bodice I sewed a couple of quick kid's items.

One is this apron. The pattern, McCall's 6618, is now out of print.  The copyright date is 2012, and I don't remember exactly when I purchased it. I do know I've had it for a while.
I don't normally do a lot of craft sewing. Especially aprons as I like to create my own apron designs. But this one, with the lion, dinosaur, and butterfly faces, was too cute to pass by.

The apron is a great stash buster as there are lots of small pieces. I used yardage for the main apron body and ties. I used fat quarters for the rest of the pieces.  I didn't add the yo-yo flowers along the ric-rac as shown on the pattern envelope.  There is a nice big pocket in front. Who doesn't love a pocket?  I found the pattern piece for the pocket top binding was too small.  Other than that all the pieces fit together nicely.

The pattern calls for non-fusible fleece inside the butterfly body and wings.  I had fusible on hand so that's what I used.

The butterfly face, cheeks and circles on the wings are appliqued on. I used a narrow zig-zag stitch. The circles were pretty small and my machine applique skills are a bit rusty so it's not perfect. The butterfly eyes and mouth are embroidered and the nose is a stitched on button.

It's a simple project and the perfect break before I go back and tackle my wrap dress.
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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Shirr It Up! The McCall's 7465 Knit Dress with Asymmetrical Skirt Shirring

Summer loving!  This is McCall's 7465 and I am in L-O-V-E.
I know, I know, you might be thinking "What's the big deals? It's just another pullover knit dress."
First of all, can we talk about this fabric?  Those bold colors and Ikat print! As soon as I saw it on Fabric Mart's website I knew I wanted to use it to sew myself a summer dress.  And lucky me, I happened to discover this ITY knit during a sale so I only paid $4/yard (it's now sold out).

I think the shirring along the left side of the dress (only) elevates the status of this dress from "ho-hum" to "wow". 
 It's created by gathering the left side of the skirt and attaching it to the skirt lining. 
I do like that there is a lining.  It helps camouflage lumps and bumps without the need to wear restricting suck-you-in-undergarments which make me want to pass out when combined with high heat and humidity!

Only the skirt portion is lined.  I choose to use a neutral colored ITY knit instead of the fashion knit. The skirt is attached to the bodice at the waist, with a casing for 1/4" elastic. There's a pattern guide to cut the elastic, but I don't use those when sewing for myself. I cut the elastic to fit my body, not what the pattern thinks should fit me.

My serger was finicky the day was I working on this dress. As a result, on the side with the shirring I have an unsightly inside seam due to all the layers not being fed and cut properly by the machine.
I didn't do my normal FBA (full bust adjustment) on this pattern. Instead, I added some length to the center front of the bodice pattern, tapering to nothing at the side seams.

I did go up a size on the bottom as I didn't want it close-fitting. Because of that, the shirring sags a bit across the front and doesn't disguise my tummy as much as I'd like, but I don't care.  It skims, rather than hugs, and I'm much more comfortable with that.
The sleeves are finished by simply turning to the wrong side and stitching in place.
The neck band is rather wide. I'll make it narrower next time I sew this dress.

The pattern, McCall's 7465, has a few different options including a shorter version, a non-shirred skirt version, and a dolman sleeve version.
 I had passed right by this pattern when it was first released (2016).  If  KS_Sews hadn't posted her dress I would not be gushing over MY dress today!

That's about it!  It's easy to sew and fun to wear.  I will be sewing myself more in the near future.

I leave you with a picture of me with my little sewing buddy.

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

The HotPattern Riviera T-shirt Starring...the Sleeves!

This may the season of the sleeve, but this HotPattern t-shirt design hit the trend a decade before it became a big, big trend! (Like my photobomber in the bottom corner? LOL)
I'm wearing the ruffle sleeve version from the HP 105, Riviera Once, Twice, Three Times a T-shirt pattern. It doesn't appear to be available any longer (on their website). The copyright date is 2005.
While I think the sleeves on this top are fun, fun, fun, there's a few things about the pattern I wasn't fond of.

First of all, there is only one piece that is used for both the front and the back.  I sewed it as is this first time, just so I could get a feel for the design and fit.  Next time, I'll make a new front pattern piece and do an small FBA.

Next, the neckline. Ugh. Do Not Like It At All. It's designed rather wide, as you can see on my dressform - GiGi, in case you haven't met :-)
After seeing how wide it was, I removed the facing, narrowed the neckline and restitched the facing. I probably went too far in as now the neckline feels too snug.
That's okay. I'm sure it will be just right the next time!

Can we talk about the neckline facing? Another dislike. It is so wide! But again, that's an easy fix.
I do like these sleeves!  And they were so simple to sew. It's just a rectangle stitched to the armhole opening.  I didn't even hem the sleeve edges.
The pattern is easy-to-sew and can be completed in about an hour.   I found it to be longer than illustrated on the pattern envelope and will shorten it next time.
The few dislikes with that the pattern were outweighed by how much I like the top. It's  a keeper and one that I'll sew again.

I leave you with a pic of me with my little sewing buddy.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Go with the Flow: Burda 05-2016-103 Blouse Review

"Oh, please, please, please pick me" begged the silk print blouse. "Aw, shoot, passed over again. I don't get it, I'm much more attractive than that boring old black top she's going to wear."

I'm pretty sure if this blouse could speak that's what I would hear when I stand in my closet debating over what to wear with my jeans. Don't get me wrong. I think it's a beautiful blouse!
The colors are vibrant, the silk fabric feels divine, and there are many understated details.

Such as the narrow neck bias binding that extends into front ties.
The soft pleats in the back sewn into the self-lined yoke.
The front pleats that provide fullness for the bust.
And my favorite detail (one that you likely wouldn't notice) is the center front placket with hidden buttons.
It might be easier to see in this picture, which shows my well used button cutter and board.
This functional front closure is not needed. After all, the blouse has a wide (and low!) neck opening and is easy to just pullover your head. But why not? I like that there's a little extra special detail to the blouse, even if I will never actually use those buttons.

So why don't I wear my beautiful silk blouse?  Because I find it too loose and flowy. Whenever I put it on and look into the mirror, it doesn't look flattering to me and I end up changing into something else.

See what I mean? There's a lot of fabric there!
Let's talk a bit about the pattern. It's from the May 2016 BurdaStyle magazine. (You can download the blouse pattern here.) When this issue arrived last year I marked nine designs that I wanted to sew, as it  was one of my favorites issues in a long time.  This blouse, number 103, was the first project I wanted to tackle.
It requires a lightweight fabric so I choose a silk that had been in my stash for a few years. The teal print was a Thakoon fabric purchased online from Mood Fabrics. I had originally bought the fabric for a project I was working on for Sew News magazine, but ended up choosing a different fabric for my final article.

I really liked working with the fabric, even though it had a tendency to ravel.  I didn't have quite enough fabric for the sleeve binding and ties, so I finished the sleeves with a casing and narrow elastic instead.
This blouse took some time to sew due to all the details.  And if you've sewn designs from BurdaStyle magazine, you already know the instructions are not always the easiest to follow.  That was especially true for this blouse in regards to the self-lined yoke.
This is how I stitched the yoke and lining to the front so the seam would be completely enclosed without hand stitching.  You may or may not find this helpful. I'm including it on this post mostly as a reminder to myself should I choose to sew this blouse again.  Note: I followed the sewing instructions to attach the yoke and yoke lining to the back of the top first.

Step 1: Baste the right side of the yoke to the right side of the blouse front, keeping lining free.
Step 2: Fold the yoke lining over and align to the basted seam.
Step 3: This looks odd, but stick with me, it works. Reach in and pin all layers together (the front of the blouse will be sandwiched in between the yoke and yoke lining).

Step 4: Stitch the seam and turn so the seam is inside of the yoke and yoke lining.
Step 5: Continue sewing the blouse per BurdaStyle magazine instructions.
I do yokes so rarely that I always have to stop and think about how to do this. I hope you find it helpful also.  Or perhaps you have an easier method!  If so, share in the comments!

If you choose to sew this blouse, you might want to go down a size, depending on how much ease you want. I used my usual BurdaStyle magazine size (I did do a small FBA). I assume there is a lot of ease because the blouse is meant to be worn tucked in, but those days are long behind me. That may be why I'm finding this fit much looser than I prefer.
Yea, yea, I know. It's an easy fix. Just eliminate some of the excess from the sides. I am going to do that - someday.  It's just that I prefer to sew something new instead of fixing something I've already finished! Maybe you can relate? I really should get on that so I can enjoy wearing this cute blouse.

Which I think is even cuter when worn with my adorable sewing accessory :-) .  She's getting pretty old so I enjoy having her pose with me. Whenever she's not sleeping that is.

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