Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sewing: Vogue V1247

This is the blouse from Vogue patterns V1247. This is the fourth time I've sewed this pattern, which is a record because I don't think I've ever sewn any other pattern more than twice. The fabric was kindly gifted to me by a friend (Thanks, Maria!). I don't know the fiber content, but it feels breathable, has a great drape, and holds a pressing nicely. This pattern is a really loose top, but if you use a soft fabric, it works. I made the other three with lawn cottons. I made my top using the smallest size and also narrowed the neckline all around by about 1/2 inch. It actually looks better up close and personal because the interesting seams in the front add a draping effect which does not show up in the photo.

The fabric isn't really a Hawaiian print, but for some reason the end result has a bit of a Hawaiian shirt look. I feel like I should be going to a Jimmy Buffett concert now.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

FO: Counterfort pullover

This is the Counterfort pullover from Knitscene Fall 2011. My yarn is Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend. I made mine with short sleeves, and I did some sizing adjustments for the bust and sleeve circumferences.

I like this sweater a lot because it's very soft and not too warm and the fit looks great, but it does have a couple of issues. First off, the neckline is narrower than what I like to wear. I initially thought about omitting the top level of wedges and start with a wider neckline, but decided not to do it. The other issue is that this yoked sweater does not have the normal number of increases that you find on most yokes. It has a very narrow yoke, and the effect when I wear it is that the sweater "rides up" on my shoulders, which then makes the neckline even narrower. If the yoke was a normal width, the neckline would stretch with wear and I would like it better. I knew beforehand from analyzing the pattern that it has a narrow yoke, but decided to knit it anyway. It looks fine when worn, but it does feel a bit stretched. The following photo of the sweater laying flat shows how narrow the yoke is and how steeply it slopes downward.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sewing FO: Vogue V8876

This is Vogue pattern V8876. When I saw this pattern in the spring previews, I knew I had to make it because it's just my kind of dress. In fact, it was the only pattern in the new spring collection that I wanted to make. My fabric is a very soft slightly textured mid-weight cotton blend. I'm not sure of the fabric content - I bought it at Discount Fabrics on Irving St., where I've been able to find some interesting stuff but sometimes there are no fiber content labels.

For the mods, I had to take the dress in quite a bit at the sides. The pattern description reads "loose fitting", but I think it should say "very loose fitting". It's also disproportionately wider in the back than in the front, so I cut off even more on the back side edges. I also sewed the back pleat down a little longer so that it reaches the waist and I slanted it in a bit so that the back has a bit more shaping. I bought one of these "fashion zippers" that can be exposed on the outside, but I sewed in on the inside and just exposed the black teeth for good contrast. I omitted the drawstring on the collar. The collar is quite narrow, and the string is useful only if you want to wear it standing up. I tried it that way and thought it looked too vampire-style, whatever that means.

I really like this dress. Yes, the pattern is very loose, but it can be easily sized down by just taking in the side seams. The end result is that it is comfortably loose but it has a lot of shape. Also, it has pockets, which is always fun. I should also mention that the back hem curves down such that the lowest point is about an inch lower than the front hem. That's not obvious from the pattern photos or from mine.

If you're going to make this one, choose your fabric wisely. If it's too crisp, things will stick out in odd places. If it's too soft, things will droop in odd places. Also, the bottom band is two layers of fabric, so if your fabric is on the heavy side, you might consider using a lighter fabric on the inside.