Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Vogue 1515, Sandra Betzina Skirt, meh


I am not crazy about this skirt. I started out liking it but now that it's done it just varies too much from what I saw and expected.

I also think some of the issues were the pattern itself. Here's the down and dirty.

Pattern:

This is Vogue 1515, a Sandra Betzina Today's Fit pattern. Today's fit was just fine but there were other issues. I started out with thinking it was all my fault but now really think it's the pattern.  The description is "below waist skirts have wide yoke, piping, cargo pocket, hidden pocket on front yoke facing, and shaped hem." Choosing not to emphasize my already wide hips I did not do the cargo pocket. The interior facing pocket was just too much futz and I was just not in the mood for piping. I wanted a simple skirt with an interesting cut. The pattern photo is a busy print so really hard to see drape and volume. Check out this line drawing:


I really expected a lot more fabric in the bottom layer of the skirt. It looked like the classic circle cut to me and this shape was why I bought the pattern. Alas, you can see that there really is not that much shape and the bottom tier is really just more fabric added to make it more A line. I also thought where the bottom tier met the middle tier the fabric would sort of "stick out", Marcy Tilton style. It didn't. It really just had a rather ugly little puff at the intersection. It looked bad, IMO, so I stitched again to make a smoother transition.

Then there was the pattern layout. Look at this skirt well.


No, that's not two different fabrics. I SWEAR each piece was marked on the wrong side with masking tape. Each piece was laid out with a nap layout, nothing turned, that is nothing unless it was indicated.

But I think the issue can be possibly found above. The red serrated line on piece #9 indicates the straight of grain and that is how these pieces were laid out.  The green lines show which sides connect to which. You can see that this is really pretty much a sort of odd A-line. The purple arrow/line shows how other than the higher side seam this pretty much is a flat piece, therefore no volume like the tech drawing. Given all that, is my piece off grain enough to look like a different fabric? At the least it is contributing. Moving around the fabric at this point shows it matches but I think having it cut and turned this way makes it appear "off" As is true to all sewing dilemmas, this was discovered near the end of construction, when hems were interfaced, topstitched,etc. Boo hoo.

Fabric:

The fabric is a black rayon/poly/lycra ponte, mostly rayon but I'm not sure of the ratio at this point other than it is mostly rayon.It's nice looking up close and drapes nicely. It is not super heavy. It didn't call for it but I fused the yoke and the  facing with fusible tricot to help stabilize it. That definitely worked.

Construction:

There are two different "skirts" described in the pattern. One has a zipper, one is pull on so each has it's own yoke. I used an invisible zipper and it came out pretty decent. It had been a while. I really think they are easier than the lapped versions.

I changed the sequence a bit. The pattern has you attach the yoke at the end. I put the yoke on first with the top tier of fabric. It was then very easy to put the zip in with the facing. I used this tutorial from Tessuti as a reminder on how to do a faced invisible zip. At first sight it looks like a Rubik's Cube, but it really is quite easy.


This is the hem I prefer on all the knits I sew now. It is backed with tricot fusible interfacing. It is first stitched on the fold of the hem and then an inch and a  quarter away. The edge stitching really helps the hem drape nicely. Give it a try.

I think, given my work and the folks I hang with, I can wear this skirt with a tunic or long sweater. Hopefully, like most sewists, I will be the only one who sees the shading difference. In the meantime I am just movin' on!

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My next project will be with one of my very favorite fabrics. I used it often. It is Kauffman Essex linen blend, a linen cotton yarn dye. This one is the denim blue. I haven't solidified on a pattern yet, but soon!

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This has been our focus lately so the sewing has to fight for my time. This is primed and ready for wall paint. Plumbers are called for the changeout. Walls will be painted, shelves put up, and cabinets painted as well. Bye Bye "golden oak" that I have detested since day one. ..............Bunny



25 comments:

  1. I'm going to try this hem. Thank you! Truly, though, it's a lovely skirt despite the grainline issue.

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    1. You can see in the pics how smoothly it falls. I think I saw this on something retail first.

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  2. I'm sorry the skirt is disappointing and you're unhappy with the result. Will you wear it? Recycle your fabric? Or donate it?

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    1. I'll wear it, probably with a long sweater so the difference won't be obvious. I think I can manage some use from this.

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  3. Oh, I'm so glad you posted this! I've looked at this pattern so many times, but just couldn't take the plunge. Great review, all info much appreciated. That Essex - such a great fabric. Meanwhile, enjoy all the refit and painting. And I'm with you on golden oak :-)

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    1. WE bought this home brand new and the oak cabinets were what the 70 year old builder put in. He was a good builder but good taste....not so much. It was hard to justify getting rid of brand new cabinets but at this point we'be had it. They will be a soft gray.

      I LOVE that Essex linen. I just bought several yards of the "Malibu" color. It's gorgeous and I will make that up after the denim. I figured I would go with this classic look first to help oomph up my summer work wardrobe.

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  4. How disappointing! Funny how it looks like a different fabric. I would have thought that there would be more fullness in the bottom section as well.

    I don't "get" the hem. Do you sew 2 tiny strips of the interfacing? Is one strip right next to the fold, or do you fold the interfacing? Inquiring minds want to know. It does look fabulous!

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    1. The strip of fusible tricot is about a 1/4 inch wider than the finished hem. It is ironed on the inside edge to edge. The hem is then pressed in at 1 1/4 inches and topstitched on the edge, #6 click on my Pfaff. Then, an inch away it is is topstitched again. I think you can see how nice the hemline fold drapes. The edgestitching does it IMO.

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  5. I agree with you that it would have looked better with more fullness in the lower tier. The fullness looks like it is concentrated at the side seam rather than being evenly distributed. I know you are a fan of Roberta Carr and her book shows how the grain line affects where the ripples on a full skirt fall. I like your hem finish. It looks like you have loads of projects competing for your time.

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    1. Roberta is my sewing heroine. I will go look that right up and thanks for the reminder. Yup, lots going on here. I will start doing some cutting in shortly.

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  6. I love your hem treatment and will definitely be using it. I'm wondering where you buy that Essex linen blend fabric? Maybe online somewhere? It looks lovely.

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    1. It's sold in a lot of places but I usually get it through Amazon or Fabric.com.

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  7. The skirt fabric is lovely and I think it looks good, ponte is great for skirts. I agree that the "flounce" is a bit on the lean side. The latest Threads has an article about adding more volume to a flounce, it may work for you if you decide to make it again. I think I would like to try it.

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  8. Replies
    1. We've gotten another four inches since breakfast so probably about 34-35 inches so far. Its still snowing and they predicted another 5-8 today on top of the thirty we woke up to.

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  9. From the line drawing I would have thought a gentle flounce would be on the bottom section, which is not what the pattern piece looks like.

    Given the shape of the pattern piece and the way it was attached to the upper skirt probably causes the difference in shading seen in the photos. It will still be a nice casual skirt, though!

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    1. I think it's wearable and knowing my friends they will think it is one of my crazy deliberate sewing ideas. I will wear it. Thanks for the validation on the issues.

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    2. I think you right - to me it looks deliberate and I rather like the effect!

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  10. I can see how the line drawings mislead you as to what to expect with this skirt so I certainly understand your disappointment. However, I know you can totally rock this skirt anyway!

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  11. I do see the differences in how the fabric catches the light, etc., but I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. It actually helps to show off the design lines of the skirt. And the whole skirt will catch light differently at different times when you've actually got it on and are moving around in it. Maybe that helps you embrace the "problem"? :-)

    And OMG ... 30-35 (or more) inches of snow? I just don't have it in me to do snow anymore. I did grow up with it in CT/NY but I've been a Floridian for 27 years now so nope!

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    1. If I give the skirt a quarter only turn the bottom becomes dark and the top becomes shiny and light, the opposite. So that tells me its the layout and bias cut of the the bottom tier.

      I am on my third day off from work. Everything around here has ground to stop, highly unusual but also exacerbated by a mile long ice jam on one of our local rivers that has put a large populated area under two feet of water. The snow was so heavy that roads were down to one lane and you just have to cross your fingers. Today it got better and I am planning on work tomorrow. Where I work is very close to the flooded area but so far we're OK.

      Love that word "embrace". And I will!

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  12. Too quiet from Sewista-land. Hope you are OK.

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  13. you haven't posted in awhile so I wanted to tell you that I frequently refer to your Kenneth King hem instructions. Works everytime. Thank you

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  14. Just wanted to let you know I miss your posts, and hope all's well with you.

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