Powered By Blog Gadgets

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vogue 8679 - Back Bustle Riding Jacket



Alexander McQueen Back Bustle Riding Jacket - $3,000 Saks.com

Project Details:


Pattern Sizing: 6 - 20, I cut the 16.
Description: Fitted, lined, above hip jacket with notched collar, front darts, back princess seams, godet and long sleeves.
Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It does.

Fabric: Tan Silk Tweed (100% silk) from Hancock Fabrics

Lining: Brown crepe back satin (100% poly)

Were the instructions easy to follow? I barely used the instructions. I only referred to them for the bustle/godet construction.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I didn't care for the styling on the pattern envelope, but I knew from the moment I saw it that it was a good knock-off for the McQueen jacket. I discussed in a prior post not understanding why they use a one-piece sleeve on great jacket patterns. So I changed that.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I made a 1" FBA.
I also added an inch to length and I changed the one-piece sleeve to a two-piece with a vent. I fully tailored the jacket also.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will not sew THIS jacket again, but if I find something similar that draws me in, I would do that one! And yes, I do recommend this pattern.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One-piece sleeves vs. two-piece sleeves

Since it's coat season and a lot of sewers are participating in the jacket sew-a-long, I thought I'd discuss sleeves: one-piece vs. two-piece sleeves to be exact.

This is a "symmetrical" one-piece sleeve which you probably see a lot. This is my LEAST FAVORITE draft for a jacket -- especially one that is "supposed" to be tailored. I find this draft to be disappointing. Let's face it, our arms just don't hang straight and stiff.

Now this one-piece sleeve is slightly different. I've actually made a tailored jacket with a sleeve like this one. You'll notice that there is an elbow dart which "shapes the fitted sleeve to follow the curve of the arm and provides fullness to allow for bending the elbow." (Shaeffer, Claire. Couture Sewing Techniques.)

The two-piece sleeve has seams which appear at both the front and the back of the arm. The under section of the sleeve will actually be a tad bit smaller than the upper part of the sleeve. This will make the seam appear less noticeable on the finished garment. The seams of the two-piece sleeve also fall slightly off center from the front and back of the arm. With the seams falling in the offset places, they are then less apparent when the apparel is worn. This strategic placement of the seams allows for greater range of motion.

In my opinion, the two-piece sleeve is the BEST option (for ME) for jackets and coats because it gives a more tailored appearance.

I'm currently working on a jacket now. The pattern only offered a one-piece. And the look that I am going for is nice tailored sleeves with a vent. I thought for a split second to try and convert the one-piece. That seemed really, really daunting to me. So I ended up jacking a sleeve from another pattern that I liked.


Do YOU have a preference on jacket and coat sleeves?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy MLK, Jr. Day!

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. "

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Spring Vogues!

Alright, let's get to it...

V1221 - DKNY
Really cute. It looks like it could also be dumbed down to a Summer dress that can be worn with casual sandals.

I always love this silhouette, so this one is a winner with me.

Can you say gorge! I would love to have this same fabric. But if that's not possible, maybe I'll luck up on a printed silk crepe de chine.

Really great casual dress. I would definitely make this one with the intention of wearing with flat or wedge sandals.

Don't know where I'd wear this one to, but it can live in my pattern cabinet until I decide. It's beautiful and I must own it!

I kinda frowned at this one at first. But I thought it would make a cuter tunic on me than dress.

I think this is absolutely lovely! The flounce really makes this dress. I don't know if I'll make the flower, but we'll see...

That's such a great dress. I would really love to have that same fabric with the gold buttons.

This is quite the hot little number. It's great encouragement to work a little harder at the gym!

Very cute skirts!
Another hot little number. I hope I can get a hold of this one by Valentine's Day!

Men's Patterns!
I'll definitely be making my husband a pair of linen pants from this pattern. I may even try the jacket out. It has to be MUCH easier than a woman's blazer. No FBAs!

I make no promises on this coat, because I need to make a trench for myself... but I'll add it to my collection. Who knows!

Are you buying any of these new ones?

Monday, January 10, 2011

McCall's 6207 - Puffed-Sleeve Herringbone Blazer


I'm loving tweed jackets, especially ones in equestrian type styles. So don't be surprised if you see another one SOON!

My inspiration:
Smythe Herringbone Blazer - $595, Bergdorf Goodman

Project Details:

Pattern: McCall's 6207 - View B

Pattern Sizing: 6 - 20, I cut the 16.

Description: Semi-fitted, lined jackets A, B, C have princess seams, darts, front inverted pleats, flaps, notched collar, pleated sleeve caps and front button closure; jacket A has three-quarter length cuff sleeves; jacket B has long sleeves; jacket C has three-quarter length sleeves gathered at seams.

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Well, kind of. Mine looks a little shorter than the one on the envelope

Fabric: Red & Camel Herringbone Tweed (100% Poly) from Hancock Fabrics

Lining: Light Camel (48% Acetate, 52% Rayon) - Zeus lining from Jo-Anns

Were the instructions easy to follow? I barely used the instructions. I only glanced over them for the pleats on the shoulder and the pleats on the jacket front.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love that this is a trendy jacket and not just a "classic". I wish that it had real pockets instead of faux ones with just flaps. I love that it at least has a 2-piece sleeve, I just wish that a vent had been included. After I'd given it some thought, I'd already cut the sleeves out. But next time I encounter a jacket or coat, I'll just modify the pattern pieces first.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I made a small FBA and added 1 inch to the length. I probably could have gone a little larger on my FBA. I think I could have also done a swayback adjustment. Even though I normally don't make that alteration, it seems as if I'm starting to need one. I blame the stair climber at the gym.

I also tailored the jacket. I block fused the entire piece of fabric prior to cutting. Added in uncovered 1/4" shoulder pads and sleeve heads.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? This a great jacket. I would highly recommend it, especially for those participating in the jacket-a-month sew-a-long.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Instant Gratification: McCall's 6164

I hope everyone is having a FABULOUS start to the new year! Here's my first project!
Pants are Vogue 1059

Project Details:


Pattern: McCall's 6164 - View A

Pattern Sizing: XSM - XLG (I cut the LG, but could have cut the MED)



Description: Pullover tops A, B, C, D, E, F have neckline and sleeve variations, stitched hems; top A has two-piece sleeves with bands and elastic forming ruched effect; tops A, B have above elbow sleeves; tops A, B, C have gathered sleeve caps; tops C, D have pleated and gathered sleeve caps; top D has crushed, longer than full-length sleeves; tops A, B, C, D have optional sleeve heads; tops C, E have below elbow sleeves; top E has flanges and purchased sew-on jewels; top F has ruffles and long sleeves.


Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? For the most part, it does.

Fabric: A sweater knit I've been stashing for a couple of years.  Not sure of the fabric content, but I think it would do fairly well in a washing machine.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were exceptionally easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I think this is a really cute and "of-the-moment" style that I've been seeing everywhere... from the high-end designers to the junior retailers and everything in between.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I added 1" to the length.

Conclusion: This is a great "trendy" pattern. All of the versions seem as if they could be sewn up in a couple of hours. I'm not going to sew this one again -- it's really trendy. But I do recommend it.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Want to know how I learned to sew?

I get quite a few emails with readers wanting to know details about my sewing past. Well, so did The Blue Gardenia! Here is a great interview posted to her site! Check it out!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!


Happy Sewing in 2011!