Sewing Classes and Lessons

Friday, March 22, 2013

High Low Hem Dress

High low hems are taking over the stores this season.  I wasn't sure if I could pull this look off, but was very tempted to try it.  When Vogue 8870 came out, I was first at the store to buy it.  This pattern has two options- one with a very slight high low hem, and another more dramatic one.  You can see the difference in these line drawings:
You can see a gorgeous version of View B on Adrienne's Blog.  I decided to dip my toes in the water and try the more moderate view- View A.  Even though there is probably about a foot between the highest point in the front and the lowest point in the back, it doesn't seem that much when you are wearing it.  I added 2 inches to the length all over.  Here is the back view:
The fabric is a rayon challis that I got in a mystery bundle birthday gift from my friend Priscilla.  It's wonderful to have a friend who knows what you really want for your birthday!  My family would never indulge me with fabric, and believe me, I've asked!  Anyway, it was perfect for this pattern.

Did I mention the pattern has pockets?  This is a huge bonus to me.  It only takes an extra 15 minutes or so to put in pockets, but I feel it makes all the difference in whether or not I will get a lot of wear out of  dress.  So, thank you, Vogue for including them. 

This is an easy dress for beginners. I made the large, but from past experience, I knew that a large would gape at the front in a wrapped bodice style like this, so I shortened the bodice at the shoulders about 1/2", on both the front and back pieces.  I also overlapped the front a little more than the markings indicated.  Just enough so that the wrapped bodice feels secure.  There is an elastic casing at the waist, so you can wear it without a belt, but I think it looks better with one.

I like the dress, but kind of wish I had made the more dramatic hemline.  I might make it again in a linen, or even a jersey knit.  What do you think of this silhouette?

Happy Sewing!
Ann

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Oversized Pullover in an Unusual Fabric

Once in a while, I like to take a chance by making a pattern in a fabric that is unexpected for that style. 

McCalls 6603 pattern line drawing
Take for example, this silk chiffon border print that I got in a mystery bundle last year.  It has a striped border along one selvage, and the rest is this beautiful floral watercolor print.  I had enough to make a dress, but I wanted to make something that I would wear more often.  I looked through my pattern stash, and saw this oversized pullover pattern from McCalls 6603.  I thought- this is a pattern that I could wear everyday.  What if I made it out of the silk chiffon?
I lined up the pieces so that the striped border would be at the bottom of the top and the sleeves.  You can see how the angle of the border changes if your arms are up or down.  You can see how much ease there is, and this is after I reduced each side by about 6 inches!  Yes, I think that you can safely say this pattern is HUGE!  I really can't imagine anyone wanting it as wide as it is originally drafted. 

I can also wear it tucked in, and since it is chiffon, even though it is voluminous, it still tucks in easily.  The cowl neckline is just a rectangle that is cut on the bias.  Super quick and easy!

I'm wearing it with a denim skirt made from Burda 1-1011, design 137.  I think the combination is pretty and springy, yet super comfy.  I'm glad that I took the chance on this pattern/fabric combo.

What do you think?  Do you think it works or not?

Happy Sewing!
Ann

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pearlized Lambskin Skirt

3/15/13- Update:
Here are some photos of my denim version of this skirt that I made to make sure this pattern was going to work, before cutting into the expensive lambskin.  This was a stretch denim, so I cut the side seams about 1/2" smaller for a closer fit.  I also didn't line it.  I really love this pattern- Burda 01- 2011-137A.

 I did the topstitching in the classic gold and it shows up nicely.  Here's a back view of the vent and topstitching.


I bought 4 skins of this pearlized blue lambskin leather a few months ago from an online vendor, not knowing what to expect. It was absolutely stunning.  So soft and supple, you cannot imagine!  Each skin was $15 (half off!), so my leather cost alone was $60 for this, not including lining, zipper, thread, etc.  This is a lot for me- so I had to be picky about what I was going to make with it.
Burda Line Drawing -1-2011-137A
 . I knew that I wanted to make a skirt, but picking the perfect pattern for it was hard.  I wanted it fitted, but not too tight, pockets and lining were a must.  This skirt pattern is from Burda Magazine's January 2011 issue, design number 137A.  It's in the plus size section, so sorry, skinny-mini's, this jewel of a pattern is for us big gals!
Close up of pocket area.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Vogue 8871 Knit Dress

Vogue 8871 is a new Vogue Very Easy dress pattern.  I gravitate towards these patterns, as they usually live up to their name, and sew up quickly and easily.  Spring is right around the corner, and I decided that I need some new Spring dresses to liven up my dreary winter wardrobe right now!  This looked like an all season dress- throw on some tights and a cardigan, and you can make it work for a cool March day, or wear it with sandals and you'll be set for a sunny May day.  


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