Sunday, November 27, 2016

Yay! Back to sewing!

And it's a dress! Well, sort of. Or is it a jumper?

This pattern has been seducing me since I first laid eyes on it.  First, I thought the proportions could work well for a petite, shorter person. And you know how I love to mix patterns. BTW, Kenneth King has an interesting article on Pattern Mixing in the latest Threads. 

I will be doing View C which has a solid back, not the strappy back. The strappy back is just too too, at least for me.  I want this to be something I can wear to work with a black tee or such and some black boots. 
A few words about this pattern: Two weeks ago my husband and I drove for seven hours to the Cape to attend a wedding and see our big family. For two of those hours I read and reread this pattern. It looks complicated but if it is broken down and planned out it is quite easy. There are no zippers, buttons, topstitching , etc. It is all pretty straight sewing. But it IS challenging. The challenges are getting the right mix of fabrics in the right combination and fitting. Once that is settled is is all straight sewing.


Whew, those dots are making me dizzy! I have four fabrics, a solid black rayon ponte with a nice drape, a deep cherry red piece of patterned slinky whose color I adore, a knit rayon polka dot and a sheer black point d'esprit mesh knit.  


They are all very drapey but similar in weight and stretch so it should work. The black mesh will be underlined with a layer of the polka dot. Next came planning out what pieces got which fabric. I've always been good at holding color and design in my head so I didn't bother with sketching but I would recommend it if you are thinking of this pattern. Many of the sewists on PR that reviewed this pattern found the sketching very helpful to keep track of what went where. There are 14 pattern pieces! I have a notebook that I used to keep track of my choices.  Next came the fitting.

Again, Pattern Review was very helpful with fitting advice and I highly recommend you visit the reviews if you plan to make this garment. Cocosloft and Star G  have great versions and there are several others as well. Just search Vogue 9108. You will see many people have taken out some of the incredible fullness in this design. First, all that knit will be quite heavy and will pull on the simple bodice, not nice. Next, the amount of volume is HUGE. One sewist took out 58 inches from the hem width ! I wanted a compromise between the two options so took out a total of 24 inches from the skirt width. Keep in mind these are odd fitting pieces so this fit part is pretty challenging. I decided to go with a size Medium with the theory that I could take out any more if needed. It is hard to tell what is needed when it is just in cut form. I tissue fitted the muslin on my form but that wasn't much help. I am so not a tissue fitter!  I can easily adjust the seams if needed so I will stay with the larger than usual size.

If you look at the models on the pattern cover, the bodice appears snug and I am guessing  is pinned in the back for the photo. But if you look at the completed garments on PR, the bodices seam much fuller with a deeper armhole and wide bodice. Some made alterations to use this as a sleeveless dress by raising the whole dress through the straps. By using the larger size I can decide if I want to have a loose or snug bodice. Not sure yet!


One thing to be aware of, which the photo above shows, is that the pockets are rather "kangaroo" and do not fit the garment flatly.  They "hang". They are deliberately wider then the piece they are attached to. This made altering a little tough. In the end I got it done. I took one inch out of the skirt all around  near the bodice and may shorten the the other bands as well. Not sure yet. So 24 inches removed from the width from various pieces and so far one inch from the length. I am not taking out more due to the shoulder strap issue which will become more obvious as to why later on.

The pattern calls for no interfacing but  Step 1 tells you to interface the " pockets, Pocket edges on side front and upper edge with fusible tricot interfacing." Luckily I had some in black on hand So be aware you may need interfacing which is not spec'd on the back of the envelope.  I would at the least interface all the pocket edges no matter the fabric.

So much about the fit will be dealt with as the pieces go together. Hopefully that will work out.


Before I started cutting out I made a pile of each fabric and then put the pieces to be cut out in that fabric on top. I would have gone crazy otherwise.


Next was time to mark. But first I hand basted the black mesh to the polka dot bodice front. For the rest of the marking I thread marked with different colors for circles, squares, etc. I wrote the legend down on the pattern in case I forget.


Once everything was altered, cut out and marked, I made new piles. Once you are ready to sew this pattern is it quite simple. You put the front together, then the back, then add the sides and done. So I made piles for front, back and sides of all the pieces needed. Whew, I think I am finally ready to put this under the needle! That probably won't happen till next weekend but I really feel the worst is behind me. Fingers crossed.

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I hope all who celebrate had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day filled with bounty and surrounded by friends and family. We were blessed to share in the spirit of the day with our oldest daughter and her family over a long weekend. The kids made igloos out of the twenty inches of snow that fell earlier and had a great time. Friday evening we went to the new micro brewery that has opened in our little village. One of our blessings is incredible water and made this the perfect spot for a brewery. It is a gorgeous property and lots of fun to visit and share a beer. Here are DD and I sharing a sampler. 











28 comments:

  1. Seems to me you have quite a beautiful combination of fabrics to make this jumper / dress. I know it will be a work of art. Thank you for pointing out the difference between the pattern photo and the actual made up garments on Pattern Review. Oh I do look forward to seeing how you put this together!

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    1. I always love a challenge so this has been fun so far. I just fear I will look rather clownish. We shall see!

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  2. Wow, this pattern is far more complicated than it seems. I'll be interested to see how yours looks when finished- I imagine fabric choice is crucial to this type of garment. Nice to see you and your daughter having a great Thanksgiving together :)

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    1. Thanks, Siobhan. It's the pre-sewing that's rather involved with this pattern . The actual construction is quite easy with the most difficult I see being a binding on the neckline.

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  3. Oh, wow...this brought back memories of putting my own version together! It really is a lot of prep work, but you are very nicely organized. The sewing should be enjoyable...

    Lovely pic of you and DD.

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  4. I can't wait to see this come together. I love how you prepped for this, those kinds of projects always make me feeling like I'm actually making something great...which I'm sure you are! Great picture of you and your daughter!

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  5. This will look really nice when it is done, Bunny! Are you going to stabilize the side seams? I use Seams Great when working with more substantial knits to keep the fabric from heading south. I just serge it on the same time I serge the seams. Just a thought - your projects always turn out so well!

    Very nice picture of you and your daughter. I see you opted for indoor seating over lounging in the igloo. :)

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    1. Actually, there is a heater outside. It looks like a lamp post and a gorgeous stone and wood area outside for seating. It was just rainy wet and not particularly inviting that night. The architect designed a building very complimentary to our local community.

      Great idea on the side seams. I also planned to tape all around the armholes, etc

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  6. Thank goodness you are back to sewing and blogging Bunny. We really missed your careful and fascinating posts. This dress really appeals to me, but I would definitely want it to be closely fitted in the bodice. Also it won't work, as you say, without exactly the right combo of fabrics, which is the real challenge. I like the fact that you are layering to get the ultimate effect. Can't wait to see this one come together.

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  7. Your fabric choices should eliminate any fear of you looking clownish; how you feel about it is another consideration. I have one consideration about the pattern, however. Is the front longer than the back? That is a look that could lead the future well made dress into clown territory.

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    1. Yes, another quirk with this design. I added more length in the back to even out the hem which it seems many on Pattern Review did as well. I did leave about a half inch difference because I like that detail that way but not making the back of my knees a design feature! This is just one of the many quirks of this design which make studying the pattern closely a must before starting. Another thing to be aware of are the facings. I, as others have done, have eliminated the facings and will use a simple binding.

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  8. Ahhhh,pattern seductive I know that culprit so well. This is going to be a gorgeous dress!

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  9. So glad you are going to work out the bugs for us!!!! Your eye for detail and super planning will certainly encourage more of us to try this artsy pattern! Loved all your purses and tips and tricks in the past posts but really looking forward to going on this adventure with you, Bunny!

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    1. I really want to make more bags to, but now clothes are calling me once again.

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  10. Thank goodness you are SEW well organized, Bunny! I look forward to seeing this completed.
    Loved the photo of you & your DD...both beautiful women!!

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    1. Today I took one of those meme tests you see on FB, just for the fun of it. This one was to see if I was OCD. Got a 100%. But I don't think I am OCD, just a person who is happier when things are "in order."

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  11. I love your fabric selections and I know this will be a winner when completed. But my oh my, what a lot of work. If you plan to wear it with black boots, I guess that means you are not going to sew a pair of coordinating, horizontally striped leggings? Good decision. I purchased the photo printed panel, used on the black, white, and red version, from an Etsy vender before this pattern came out. I had to buy the pattern when I saw the panel used in the dress.

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    1. I am definitely not going for the Pippi Longstocking look! Maybe some black leggings.....

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  12. Bunny, thanks for all your detailed modifications. You and I are about the same height, and I won't sew a Tilton pattern without you. ;) I own so many of them - they always tempt me!

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  13. They are seductive but I have learned to stay away from the big volume she does. It is just too much on a smaller frame, at least for my taste. I could be wrong but Tilton herself looks rather tiny but she also looks enshrouded by fabric with her own clothing choices, comfy for sure, but maybe not my type of flattering. We'll see how this goes.

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  14. Your fabric choices are much more pleasant than Marcy's. Her's make my eyes hurt. This should look lovely on you.

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  15. I ask this nervously because I'm such a novice in the world of sewing. But did I miss why you decided to eliminate facings? Aside from stabilizing the knit wouldnt they add strength to the bodice , considering the weight in the knit? Ok, now please tell me where I've got confused. I'm probably getting off track, but I wonder what the clue is with binding on knits. When I've used ghem instead of facings they want to 'roll' and not sit flat enough? Any advice ladies?
    (Sue in South Australia)

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  16. Thanks for your confidence, Nancy!

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  17. Bunny, I keep saying I'm going to get back into sewing "this year." Maybe 2017 will be The Year! In high school and through my twenties, I was always sewing and made all kinds of clothes. Who WAS that young woman!

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  18. I took your advice for the mall tool kit from Amazon and it was a Xmas gift for a gal in my sewing guild (ASG). She was pleased and said she would definitely use it. I may need to order another kit for myself now!

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