Tuesday, July 12, 2016

More wandering down memory lane

June, 1983
It has been a while since the last edition of "patterns from my past", hasn't it? (Even though my last project was effectively a dip into my sewing past.)

Anyway, recently it was my 33rd wedding anniversary. Naturally, I made my dress. No it was not white and poufy.

I just tried it on again.

The fit is forgiving.

This is Vogue 2473, a Vogue American Designer pattern by Albert Nipon.

Even by my current standards, I did a good job on this dress. It's made from lightweight silk with a little woven texture. I interfaced with self fabric, and made French seams. And all those pleats! They are pretty even. They are stitched down from the shoulder to hip level and then swing free. The dress buttons up the back.

There are vertical seams about where you would expect some princess shaping but the seam is completely straight. I am guessing this was so you could use really narrow fabric - there is a 35"/90cm layout. Today I would skip that seam if I didn't absolutely have to sew it but then, I did exactly what the pattern said.

There is a little elastic in casing at the waist, which still stretches, and the (foam) shoulder pads are as spongy as the day I put them in. Foam has gone downhill since the 80s (I'm guessing there are environmental reasons).

If I was making this today, I'd lower the front neck (tiniest V neck ever) and use about twice as many buttons in back, just for the statement. And I'd change the sleeves somehow, although the proportions are about right given the length of the dress.

But I won't. This is a special period piece in The Sewing Lawyer's history.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

This is my kind of maxi...

My maxi is pants.

In linen.

That was probably meant for a shirt.

I cut these sideways on my cross-grain striped fabric. Who needs horizontally striped pants?

Because the fabric is pretty light weight, I underlined the top part. I did this before with some white linen pants to prevent show-through.

I used some even more flimsy linen from stash to do the underlining. Then I used it to interface the waistband too.

As you can also see from this inside shot, I made a very deep hem. The pattern is super long because the pants have a cuff, but I decided to have a regular hem. Because the fabric is very light weight, I thought it would be good to have more of a hem, to add heft and up the swish factor.

I found some square vintage buttons for the waistband.

Style 1568. It's an oldie but a goodie, in my books.

I have enough to make a matching shirt, but it would look like a strange uniform.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bifurcated garments

In Montreal, we were working on pants fitting. I took 3 muslins and some fabric.

I had high hopes for the Sewing Workshop Hollywood Pants. High waist, three (3) pleats in front. But no. I could have fiddled the fit but the legs have that early 90s pegged shape. I wanted flowy and these are not.

So then I tried this Burda magazine pattern from 2008 that I had already traced (years ago) but never made. I like these - in theory. However: the yoke is big and the pleats start too far down, visually truncating the legs. (This model must be wearing 6" heels...)

So it came down to door number three, Style 1568. This is a pattern from 1988. I had previously made the trousers which have a very high waistband, deep front pleats and a 25" hem width. Back in the day I wasn't so finicky about fitting, but I noticed that I had lengthened the back dart to take out excess fabric. My Montreal fitting consultants told me I needed to scoop out a bit more from the crotch curve in back, and shave off a curve at the high hip, but otherwise my blaze orange muslin got a thumbs up.

My first pants from this pattern were made from a pretty stiff wool in black. I wore them for years. My current version will be the polar opposite - lightweight striped linen.

Sewing from stash is good.

In other sewing news, I made another pair of Cora shorts. So far I like them in basic black with a little pop of colour. This time in yellow.

I lengthened them 2.5cm (1") above the hem band and the same again at the waist (putting the extra length in the body pieces and leaving the waistband the same). And I cut a longer piece of elastic than called for at the waist. My previous pair is ok but the extra length makes them just great.

Monday, July 4, 2016

A sewing weekend in pictures

I went to Montreal this weekend for a sewing retreat of sorts. There were four of us. We worked on fitting pants. Progress was made, including by me. I have cut out a new pair and started sewing today.

In Terri's extremely well equipped sewing studio
Studying the crotch curve - Vicki, Julie, Terri

My little corner. I took my Featherweight.
Terri, up close and personal with Julie