Sunday, March 29, 2015

Vogue 8499 #2, the beige linen skirt

I am so stinkin' happy with this skirt! I think it looks quite upscale and does more so in person when you see the yummy linen up close. Since this is the same pattern I reviewed in the last post I am going to focus on what I did differently.

I followed Lorrie's advice and my gut instinct and took three inches of ease out of the area of the skirt above the zippers. It looks so much  better and more flattering now. All I did was take out 3/8ths of an inch on each seam = 3 inches. I tapered to nothing above the pocket zippers. I am really pleased with the fit now.

First, my apologies to Mrs. Charisma/Smith. Yes, I whipped out the simple black version on an afternoon but this puppy took me all day, 9-5, and I loved every minute. What took so much longer?

The zippers! Why? I didn't do them as the pattern suggested. The pattern has you put the right side of the lower side of the zipper to the right side of the pocket top. Then you make a seam . Turn over and topstitch. What I didn't like about this is that both sides of the zip were being treated differently. I wanted both sides to have the same look, whatever that was. So I serged the top edge of the pocket and pressed in a small hem. I placed the zipper bottom edge ON TOP of the right side and top stitched with a triple zigzag stitch. That stitch gave the white garment a bit more casual interest.  When it was time to put the pocket on the skirt I simply laid it on top of the side front and stitched the top edge of the zipper in the same way.

Now the pocket was installed the same way all around. Hubby says I can rob a store in this skirt! Those are deep pockets.

Those were the pocket zippers. Now I had to do the back zipper. I figured it wouldn't hurt me to  look at a few videos and tutes so off to the Web I went. There are MANY "exposed zipper tutorials" out there. None had the look I wanted. There were some real good ones as far as installation but they all had the two bottom "legs" of the zipper folded under and topstitched. I wanted something with a bit of a cleaner finish.

I was able to slip the zipper legs behind the fashion fabri and still have the zipper fully exposed and stitched for the rest of it's length. It was a bit involved to do this and I will have coming up a separate post on how to do it. It took LOTS of pictures.

This back CB  zipper was also triple zigzagged to secure.

This zipper LOCKS and that rocks! It actually clicks in and is very secure, love it. I love the vertical line this adds to the design as well. You can't see it here but the bottom of the zipper, on the beige linen, it is also triple zigzagged. I am on some sort of triple zigzag binge. Don't know what that's about!

Another addition to the construction, which you can see above, is that I topstitched the top edge of the waistband. I think that is always a more professional finish to an elasticized waist. I did that after the top edge was serged and turned down and pressed. Then I put in the elastic under the fold and simply stitched in a casing.

At this point, the back casing area was looking pretty nasty. So before I closed up the casing I went digging and came up with some beige silk dupioni. That was wrapped around the end of the casing and stitched in place when the casing was stitched. The top edge you see is the actual selvage edge of the dupioni. It is so much prettier now.

Again, all seams were sewn, serged, pressed to one side and topstitched.

I think you can see why this one took a full day to finish but finished it is and ready for the warm weather.

This linen is much heavier than the black linen of the original effort. It is what I would call a Home Dec Linen or bottom weight. For some reason, this skirt is heavy. The pockets I thought were a little too "Marcy" for me, I now love. The pockets are big but big means lots of fabric and lots of weight. That  keeps the skirt from ballooning out and looking silly. I really like the way they affect the drape of the garment and the weight they add.

This pattern has now been given the sacred status of

I love that. Highly recommend......Bunny


Do you think I may have worn out my IDT, aka, walking foot? I can get it to work just fine with this bull clip!..........Bunny

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sewing is Planning!

I got my off-white linen and my three brown zips to make my next iteration of Vogue skirt 8499. Of course, my unbridled enthusiasm had me jumping in full bore without the aid of the thought process. Eeeeek, step on the breaks!!!!  So much of sewing is "foreseeing". Is that even a word? For me  it means seeing ahead in the sewing process to make all the tasks fit together into a final success. But things pop up that can put that train off it's tracks, particularly if you are forging ahead with great creative abandon.

Just as I was ready to put rotary cutter to cloth, I realized that the big long kangaroo pockets on this pattern would not match the skirt properly. I almost cut everything out without even thinking about that. On my first skirt I had taken a total of three inches in length from the pattern. OK, my pattern fit has been tweaked. Aren't I ready to cut and sew? Uh, no. The big long pockets needed to have their length adjusted to be in the proportion to the skirt the way the designer had planned. Whew, I almost blew that one and would have had big billow pockets that were not part of the original look. Here's what I had to do:

Here you see the pocket. I laid it on the skirt piece and it fell within the area where I removed one inch from the skirt length.Those bottom large dots on the pocket needed to match the skirt and that meant that the same one inch needed to come out of the pocket piece. To do this I first found the straight of grain and lined up my triangle edge to that line. I traced the right angle perpendicular to the grain line with my pencil.

That only went part way so I ran the line across by lining up the shorter line with my long ruler. I drew that across the pattern piece.

Here you can see the line across. This will be the line that is folded into a tuck. To make a tuck that will remove one inch of length a fold is made only a half inch wide. Remember, there are two sides to the fold and two halves make a whole inch. So the line was folded, the half inch tuck made and then interfacing was ironed on the back to make it secure.

These large circles (where the green lines point)  needed to match and still have four inches or so below to make the curved hem. Once the tuck was made I double checked by pinning the dots together and here you can see the results. There is a soft fold to this pocket at the bottom but if this alteration wasn't made it would have been much deeper and probably would not have draped as nicely or ended in the right location.

The large circles match, The tuck lines match and the fold is just right, in that it ends where it should in relation to the hem and skirt proportions.

You may never make this skirt and need this information but that really isn't the point of my post. If you are proceeding with wild abandonment on a project you think you have nailed down, stop and take a deep breath. Really look at the process. Read the the pattern instructions again a couple more times. Ask yourself is this all right and do that before you put scissors or rotary cutter to cloth.
T H I N K   S L O W L Y.  Then proceed. If you ever find yourself in a predicament like the above and don't quite know what your next move should be, just sleep on it. It will almost always come to you by the next morning and be clear as a bell. Funny thing about creativity, sleep and our brains!

This afternoon in quick time I had my well washed and dried on hot linen cut out and altered. Tomorrow morning I will sew full bore. Oops, maybe I'll slow down a bit before I start. Do you ever get caught up in sewing excitement to the point where you do a royal screw up? We all have.  But now we can maybe be a little more aware and prevent those wadders. ......................Bunny

Friday, March 27, 2015

Vogue 8499 finis!

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while know I love Marcy Tilton's designs but they rarely work for me, something about the neckline fit. This time I scored! I know you are looking at a basic black linen skirt but it does have it's details and I love it. I can't wait for the weather to warm and to wear it with a sleeveless off white tunic I have, a lot less structured look than what I show here and a more summery vibe. There is a lot to like about this pattern: quick, easy, and a bit of sewing and fashion detail. Sorry for the over corrected photos. You know how black is. 

This is Vogue 8499, a Marcy Tilton design. The pattern consists of three funky designs, two pants and the skirt. The skirt has large kangaroo pockets that I left off but the next version will have them. From pictures I've seen they add a nice weight to the skirt and "pull down" the fabric. This design is easy-peasy and can easily be made in an afternoon.

This is 100% black linen from who knows where. It is a nice bottom weight. I LOVE LINEN. It truly is my favorite fabric to sew and wear, so comfortable! It is a fabric that just gets better with time, the more you wash it the better it feels. There is no lining here. 


The hem is stitched by machine. It's about an inch deep and I used my "lightening" stitch to sew it down. I plan to wash and wear my linens a lot and over compensate on the stitching, no regrets. Above you can see how the lower 4 inches of the  hem curves in at the four side seams, kind of cool. It's not an overblown bubble look, just a hint of curve. All the seams got stitched, then serged, pressed to the side and topstitched. Rugged! I did draw in a slight upward curve on the hem of the center front panel but truthfully, it barely shows. Next time I will do the hem as suggested. 

This skirt has a zipper in the back yet still has an elascticized waistband. It's OK but next time I will put in a couple of darts and cut back the fullness in the top third of the skirt. There's a zipper in there so why not? I think it will give a slimmer line, but given that I will most likely wear an overblouse with this skirt, the elastic waist is not a biggy deal. I did not follow the direction for the wiastband, choosing instead just to serge the edge and fold over and stitch. 

In conclusion:

I will definitely make this again and will try the pockets and darting the waist. I highly recommend this for a summer skirt. Now that it is done, seams pressed, etc. I will throw it in the wash to give it the beloved blistery look of much loved linen clothing. This pattern is simple, quick, has a bit of style and was fun to make. 

ETA: I decided to add the information on the blouse for those who asked. I did put it in the comments section but can make it linkable here. Here are the posts on the blouse as I made a big change to the design. 

Leave it to a white shirt to upstage a black skirt!


This "Mag Eyes",  which I won in a contest by Sigrid way back when blogging was newer,  has been a Godsend in my beading/ weaving upstart. Those beading needles are a bitch to thread, thick thread and the world's tiniest eyes! This has saved my life. At loom class, two of the "professional" beaders showed up with high tech versions like the dentist uses, very expensive but that is how they make their living. I will have to check and see if my daughter has any castaways!...........Bunny