pattern review · review · sewing

{ VOGUE 8550 } Red Pea Coat, this girl is on fire…

For those of you that have been following my blogging journey for a bit, you’ve probably seen me talk about the red Vogue 8550 pea coat that has been haunting me since I started way back when in late 2010. Im not proud to say I started so long ago, the truth hurts. I had terrible trouble with the sizing (of which Vogue referred to as ‘ease’) &  lost interest which so happened to (thankfully) co-incide with our relocation out of Holland so the sad pieces were boxed up. This box did not make the “cut” to our move to the UKso it stayed at home & waited patiently while we completed our work on the island. I should have known the pattern would give me nothing but trouble, the moment it arrived I noticed page 3 of the instructions  missing. It took a few weeks for it to be sent on. Was it a sign of things to come ??….

Anyway, fast forward 2 & some years  –  January I mentioned the red coat had been retrieved from its box & lovingly pressed, ready to tackle once & for all. I trimmed, re-measured & marked but then all the other sewing got in the way & I quickly realised this coat was going to have to be nursed, slowly & calmly…inch by inch…

Im proud to say, its { DONE } & Im so proud of myself for buckling up & getting it finished. (Ok ok, its missing its buttons…but more on that later).Vogue8550_front

Buckle up – a kinda long review but here are the details & more info on the process :

{ DESCRIPTION } Vogue Divine Details – fitted, lined coat with front & back tucks, standing collar, princess seams, full length sleeves and shoulder pads. Above mid-knee length, button closure and belt.

Vogue8550_back

{ FABRIC USED } A medium weight red wool found at Schröder Stoffen in Rotterdam, Holland. It was quite expensive but I loved this particular shade of red. I had been looking for a red wool to make another coat (using the V8438 pattern I had sewn before) but after seeing the V8550 in red, I was sold.

At first I was quite tempted to use a “WOW” lining, something wild & unexpected, but once I finished constructing the outer, I realised the red is { WOW } enough & my SIL had gifted me with this black fabric & I thought would be perfect for the lining so I went ahead & used it. I did however use the red thread to stitch the lining up which adds a very subtle accent to the black & ties the two together.Vogue8550_lining_front

{ SIZING } This was my biggest headache & I have left my original Pattern Review WIP as it was so it can still be read. I very rarely do muslins because I find they sap me of the excitement of making the real thing. Ive been sewing for long enough to know which measurements are important for me & I thought I had gotten quite comfortable with the Big 4 sizing that cutting my usual size would be ok. I was kinda wrong. This was grossly { HUGE }. I immediately thought I had farked up with my cutting so I double checked all the pieces had been cut the right size before contacting some other sewers/bloggers who I thought may have sewn this coat to enquire if they had similar problems. Unfortunately, no-one had sewn this so I had no sewcialist assistance . I then contacted Vogue directly. They came back saying the pattern had a “fair amount of ease on a FITTED coat but that they did not think there was anything wrong with the sizing”. So I got on with chopping, trimming & wasting expensive fabric to fit. Its not the ease that annoys me, its the fact that the pattern does not mention the ease at all. Anyway, moving swiftly on…

{ INSTRUCTIONS } Overall the instructions are not bad however some steps were not as clear as I thought they could be. Nearing the end, I battled to make sense of how the lining fits to the wool at the front seams. I gave up & constructed the way that I thought made sense.

{ CHANGES } The only little change I made was to the pockets. Instead of having them lined & sitting on the inside of the coat, I sewed them into the wool layer but did not bring them through the lining….in other words, they sit between the lining & the outer. I did this because I dont like pockets flapping on the inside of my coats. The pattern called for the lining to be made with the same pieces as the outer however instead of tucked like the outer, rather just pleated in. At first I thought all this extra fabric on the inside would be quite bulky however once pressed & stitched down, it gave a good weight to the inner & supports the wool well.

The coat has no loops/guides for the belt/waist tie! WTF am I meant to do with the tie when I take the coat off? I eeeked out every last bit of red wool to make the tie so I really hope I dont lose it in an absent minded outing…I might still go back & make chain loop guides…

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } ***Although it took me so long, it was not because of the level of difficulty per se. The tucks have a fair degree of complexity, even with the markings, however apart from the tucks, this is a standard princess cut coat. It was not an easy sew, but I dont think it was an advanced sew either.

{ TIME } HAHAHAHAHAHAA really!?  I normally keep a time card for kicks …I kicked this time card into the bin!!

{ LESSONS LEARNT } Take your time. I was eventually having nightmares about the coat but I knew if I rushed it would end up being a rubbish looking garment.

{ SUM IT UP } This is a lovely coat, the tuck detail is gorgeous & Im so pleased I finished it….all 2,5kgs of it!! Initially I had my doubts about whether it would keep me warm enough in the winter but once I joined the lining & felt the weight, I knew this would be a great winter coat… & I do love the RED. I had purchased big red buttons in Holland before I started but once it came time to use them, they just looked too big & the coat felt kinda clown-ish. Im hesitating with sewing them on until Ive managed to make a trip to Komolka to see if they have something slightly smaller & more suitable. Once the holes are cut, they cut so I need to be 100% sure.

I have hemmed the coat but I have not attached the lining to the wool as yet – the reason you ask? Well, Im not 100% happy with the darn shoulder pads. I feel like they are limp & lacking in the stiff department. I think Im going to change the shoulder pads. Im sure on my next trip to Komolka, I will have luck with finding alternative buttons & shoulder pads.

I might also go ahead & move the pockets from the side seams to the princess seams. I know this sounds crazy but the side seams seem too far back for me to get to the pockets. I may also just remove them completely!!

In hindsight, the problems with the sizing was almost two-fold. I still think the pattern has way too much ease however I also think my choice of wool did not help, especially with the extended periods where the WIP sat on Poppy pleading for attention. Even though this was post-tuck production, I think the wool may have stretched slightly adding to the list of problems.

I would recommend V8550 especially if you love the tuck details however, I would urge you to make a muslin first just to make sure of the sizing. I know I know, me advising making a muslin – I must be drunk! I think this coat would look amazing done in cream, but I dont think Im gonna be the one to make it!

This image clearly explains what got me through some painful & frustrating moments { Nespresso Vanilla Infused coffee }coffee_break

& elation at finally finishing! I had made a deal with myself that I would finish this before starting on something new….Im so excited to start fresh 🙂Vogue8550_elation

{ related posts }

chit-chat · sewing

{ WIP’s } Slowly slowly catch a monkey…

V8550_WIP

Ive been feverishly working to get “a certain project” completed – all my time & effort of the last week has gone into it…almost, almost done.

Home stretch.

Cant wait to share.

 

This morning I woke up with sore throat, the sniffs blah blah….so Ive been feeling sorry for myself most of the day!

I should have smelt the rat on Wednesday when my head was pounding. I put it down to the stress of Tuesday.

You see my lovelies, I had my first German exam on Tuesday & I PASSED. Ecstatic does not begin to describe…

 

I also managed to finally get the tripod & wireless remote for my camera sorted – I know!! Ive only been talking about it for 6 months. So look forward to better pics of my me-mades.

 

See, Im catching monkeys left, right & centre.

chit-chat · sewing

{ VOGUE } New offerings, part II

Vogue have released their part II of new offerings for spring/summer 2013.

Im crushing on 5 of the new patterns ..vogue1348vogue1354vogue8898vogue8904vogue1357

{ All images from Vogue Patterns }

V1348 is a Tom & Linda Platt number – very basic but with the right print could look amazing. Last year I purchased a dress from Zara which was cut exactly like this however the only difference is the back zipper only went up to around the level of the middle back which I personally prefer more – gives the dress some added interest. I see this dress being a stunning LBD, uncomplicated & chic.

V1354 is a grecian style maxi from Anne Klein with stacks of potential. I love the cut of this & I love how inexcusably feminine it is. Prints or plains will work with this dress, short or long but it does look like alot of work all that gathering.  Had this been 4,5 years ago, I would totally have picked this dress for my beach wedding.

V8898 I guess we’ve seen before but for some reason this just looks effortless, both to wear & to make. Casual evening wear or to the office, this pattern is going to sell.

V8904 – funny, when I saw this Marcy Tilton I immediately thought of Mimi G 🙂 This is so her style & I bet it wont be long till we see her in this. Its simple & fun, in a rather sophisticated kinda way…i think. I would love to make it in black too.

V1357 I find this Rachel Comey kinda flirty & fun. The blouse is super cute & I love the centre pleat in the skirt.

So, these are my picks from the new collection. See anything you like ?

Thanks for stopping by & have a good sunday x

 

sewing

{ FABRIC BUYING DIET } Never…

I could never { EVER }  go on a fabric buying diet. I simply love the stuff too much.

And I dont buy fabric every day or even every month – but when I see something that I love & can visualise it as a garment, then I will indulge in a metre or two. Sales do help with persuasion.

A few weeks back, I indulged

With this soft cotton floral from Komolka in Vienna, floral_komolka

and this black & white stretch something something from Stoffwelt in Wiener Neustadt, b&w_fabric

and more recently with this floral silk from the Wenatex Haus der Stoffe in Salzburg, floral_wenatex

oh & this cotton “oil painting” masterpiece panel also from the Wenatex shop in Salzburg..oil_wenatex

The florals are destined to become maxi dresses (see Mapping a Maxi), & the panel directly above I think I might use for the front of V1174 which is a Cynthia Steffe strapless number from Vogue which Ive been coveting for some time. I would leave the back in plain black but carry through the contrast piping to tie it all together. Im thinking a deep magenta or purple piping!! What do you think??V1174

Id better go & get on with the muslin for the maxi…yes, Ive picked one 🙂

Thanks for stopping by x

pattern review · sewing

{ BURDASTYLE } The Jenny…

BS_JennyContinuing with the catch-up of old PR reviews today while I have some time….

This Jenny skirt was made some time ago however it is one of my favourite skirts { EVER }.  I love to pair it with my V8032 black & white polka blouse & Zara peep-toes.

The deets :

{ DESCRIPTION } The Jenny skirt 6058 which is a BurdaStyle downloadable. Pencil skirt with plenty oomph.

{ FABRIC USED } A home decor fabric which was left-over after making a ginormous bed throw. The tomato red spoke volumes…

{ SIZING } Pretty accurate, as BurdaStyle sizing goes. I allowed a wee bit extra on the hips for comfort though.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } Good, but not necessary since this is a straight forward pattern.

{ ALTERATIONS } After fitting the muslin, like others, I preferred the fit of the waist band on the straight rather than the bias. I also preferred this skirt with a back vent rather than the slit which I went ahead & added without much hassle.

{ LEVER OF DIFFICULTY } * easy & highly recommended

{ SUM IT UP } A great versatile little pencil with loads of oomph. I love wearing this in fall & winter for a pop of bright colour but still stay warm & fairly well dressed. An excellent pattern for any sewist.BS_Jenny1

Original PR review here if you interested.

Thanks for stopping by x

pattern review · sewing

{ V1207 } Wildest dreams dress…

V1207_frontv1207_closeupI call this my Wildest dreams dress for 2 reasons.

1. The colours

2. I sewed this during a crazy crazy year of 7am to 7pm work { PLUS } evening studies & exams trying to get my degree finished. Where I found the time to still sew I have no freakin’ idea.

2011 was a {BLUR}

mmmay2013_day15

I found the fabric at Fabricland on our Christmas 2010 Canadian visit. They had this awesome deal of buy 2m get another gratis. I left things in Canada just so I could get my fabric stash home 🙂 I unfortunately have not worn this dress much due to the shitty weather conditions since finishing it however with some luck, I should be making use of it this summer!

You may read the PR review here so I dont need to repeat myself..Im merely continuing with documenting the pieces ive sewn in the past when I have the time/remember!

Thanks for stopping by x

pattern review · sewing

{ VOGUE 8601 } Riding Jacket

{FINISHED} I can hardly believe it! Imagine running a marathon, getting to the end only to realise you missed your target time…elation that you still alive but disappointment with your final result…thats how this jacket feels. Ive been working on it on & off for months (if not a year) and now its finally finished (sans button/s) and I just feel a little ‘flat’ about it. There’s puckering to be fixed on the collar and one armscye. I was so frustrated by it all that making the small adjustments was just not in me…I needed time to breathe – hence throwing myself into the frilly burdastyle blouse & the DKNY Vogue 1027.

I must admit, Poppy does not do justice to the fit. It does look much nicer when I have it on but for the sake of photographing it…well, you know. My intentions were to buy the remote for my camera so I can self-shoot but would you believe Nikon dont make a compatible remote for my model. { IRRITATED FACE }. Im looking into an alternative but until then…you got Poppy 🙂V8601_riding_jacket_front1

{ DESCRIPTION }  Vogue 8061 is a close-fitting, lined to edge with princess seams in upper section. Darts to lower section, back tails with slit and an option on buttons and collar. I sewed View D/E with one button closure & no contrast collar.

{ FABRIC USED } black gabardine which I purchased in the UK about 2 years back & I used a fushia pink somethin’-somethin’ for the body lining, with the arms lined in a black poly.  The poly was more slippery than the pink & I prefer my arms to slide easily through jacket arms!V8601_riding_jacket_lining

{ SIZING } I cut my usual size and it fits well, bar the issues I will speak about below.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } I followed the instructions as they are & did not add any extra tailoring foundations as you might have seen some other sewers had done on PR.V8601_riding_jacket_silhouette

{ CONSTRUCTION / ALTERATIONS }  I didnt want my jacket to be a tailored coat but something a little more grungy & casual…hence not going into too much tailoring. In hindsight, I would have constructed the lining differently as Vogue requests you sew the sleeves by hand AFTER. It would have saved me alot of time & trouble by sewing the arms onto the rest of the lining before feeding them through the arms and just hand stitching the wrists in AKA the V8438 coat I made here. Far easier solution with much less fuss. I added some black top-stitching to my fuschia lining for a little interest on the inside. I did not do all the seams, just the princess seams running right around.

This pattern requires a fair amount of hand stitching (if you construct the way they tell you too), otherwise its not a difficult pattern but neither is it beginner level.  I had to take in the sleeves quite substantially too so bear this in mind. I would also have preferred the sleeves to have been made of 2 pieces making fitting a little easier IMO. I would also prefer to have the option of adding a sleeve with buttons so I would definitely do this next time..if there is ever a next time!! I also disliked the way they ask for the shoulder pads to be fitted AFTER the lining is in…why??? The jacket would look so much better with the shoulder pads under the lining & hidden!!!!!!!

I was waiting a little to post this review because I had not found the right button for the front. On Saturday I was at the store in Vienna & I purchased a button I thought would work but once I was home & looked at it, it just doesnt work & my stash of buttons has come up with nothing suitable….the quest to find the right button therefore continues. In the meantime, I might just sew a plain black button until I find the right match.V8601_riding_jacket_tails

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } ***

{ SUM IT UP } Im not sure I would make this coat again since it is quite unique with the “tails” however I enjoyed the process & would recommend provided you are looking for something quite unique.  V8601_riding_jackt_front2

Thanks for stopping by x

pattern review · sewing

{ VOGUE 1027 } DKNY Finally…

V1027_front1Can you believe I finally got to sew V1027? Ive had this pattern since 2011…not sure why it took so long…oh yeah I do remember now, full time work plus evening studies & add a dash of relocating. { THATS WHY } Now that I have the time, Im munching my way through all the projects Ive been longing to make in the past few years so the PR Pattern Stash Contest seemed like a good excuse!

This dress has had great reviews on PR so I cant say Im too surprised with the results. It was super easy to sew up & its a { DREAM } to wear. Honestly…I think this first time experience with V1027 has left me so enamoured, that I may just start an affair with it….

V1027_frontOk, so now for the deets :

{ DESCRIPTION }  Calf length DKNY dress with semi-fitted, pleated and lapped bodice & in-seam pockets

{ FABRIC USED } a black & white  rayon lycra found at Fabricland in Canada during our Christmas 2010 visit. I knew instantly the fabric would become this dress even though at the time, I didn’t even have the pattern yet. During the course of 2011, I must have taken this pattern & fabric out a million times to start, but never got there & I could just kick myself now.

{ SIZING } taking the advice from many PR members, I cut one size smaller than my size however mine is still a tad bit big & I could quite easily take another inch off each side. I know now that I could quite easily have gone down 2 whole sizes & the fit would have been perfect. Since we know there will be many more of these dresses produced in my house, I can make the tweak with the next one.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } were easy to follow although I did not follow them 100%.

{ ALTERATIONS  / CHANGES } apart from the sizing, I also omitted the pockets which Im very glad I did as well as the elastic bit. My fabric is quite heavy & drapes really well so I feel like the pockets may have weighed the side seams down a little. I constructed my waist tie by simply turning right sides together, stitching to the notches & turning out rather than constructing the advised way. I also tapered my tie ends slightly.  I did not use the arm facings & simply turned over edges & sewed without any problems.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } * easy & quick

{ SUM IT UP } I loved sewing this dress. Its effortless & quick, but looks RTW in a matter of hours. Highly recommended & definitely a new favourite.V1027_backmmmay2013_day21

sewing

{new vogue offerings…}

as you may already know, the vogue company have released their new patterns for spring 2013. there is quite a bit of discussion going on in the world wide web regarding the new offerings & ive gotta say, im with the lot of you that are ambivalent.

i quite like these & will wait for the sale to purchase :

V1341V1342V8872V8888

source : vogue pattern company

and then there are some that i just cannot understand.at.all! at first I hated everything & then a few started to stand out but overall, im getting quite bored with vogue to be honest. i dont find their collections inspiring enough & “split” down the middle in terms of how fashion forward they are. this excludes {MOSTLY} the designers patterns of course. the other thing that niggles me is the quality of fit we see on the envelope images and more so the fabric selections, IMO, is sometimes just wrong.

your thoughts ?

 

sewing

{NY Resos and other things on my list of things to do in 2013…}

I have a long list of things I want to achieve in 2013, not just in my sewing world but in my world. {FULL STOP}. Karen over at Did you make that ?  asked sewers what their NY resos were regarding sewing and there were some interesting results. Visit Karens blog to see exactly what the stats revealed.

My sewing world :

  • I really wanted to get stuck into that dreaded alterations box (which alot of you know) and Ive already achieved this by completing the 1-hr cardi & getting back on the V8550 coat which will hopefully be completed soon-ish. Im having fun with it…i promise.
  • I also need to sort out the sewing space to make it a little more organised so I have already {ORDERED} one of those timber thread holders from the hubster to go on the wall – the bigger the better. Cant wait for a little colour injection.
  • For further organisation, I need a regular peg board to store all the general paraphernalia ie. scissors, tapes etc. Perhaps a shelf or two with mason jars to store the smaller notions and supplies like thimbles, snaps, buttons etc. Im probably going to go with this but take it one step further & make it more {MOI} :

petermarigold(dot)com

source : petermarigold.com

  • There are a few sewing projects I would like to get done this year too ie. V1314 (because it looks so good on everyone thats already reviewed it), V1174 (because it just screams SUMMER), V1027 (because it seems like Im the only person that hasnt made it & I have the perfect fabric waiting), Simplicity 2406 and a few Burdas. I wanted to join the many that seem to be taking the “oath” to make 12 in 12 months but I couldnt commit so I will just make what I can & if it turns out to be 12 in 12 months then I’ll be a happy betty.
  • Purchase these Simplicity/New Look patterns & make them. 6100, 6051 (as a cozzie coverup), 1802, 2305, 2512.
  • Try something new ie. bra or knicker making or sew a costume/bikini for the summer.
  • Make a pressing ham & pressing stick. Im mad about pressing & I will be doing a post on pressing sometime in the future.
  • Focus more on discovering new colours that work for me. I wear alot of black and grey because I really dig those colours but sometimes I need something a little more fresh so this year I am going to try to incorporate more navy instead of black, reds instead of pink as well as greens and yellows into my wardrobe. Seeing them together looks like a primary colour wheel 🙂 Since emerald green is the colour of 2013, it seems rude not to give it a shot ‘eh?.

2013 colour combos

Who knows how many of these I will actually achieve especially since I now have this {AWFUL} ankle thing going on! I hope to make a serious dent in the list as a minimum but wouldnt it be cool if I could tick {ALL} of these off the list by 31st December 2013. Challenge on…

What is your 2013 list of things to achieve looking like and how many of them do you think are realistic? Are you also borderline commitment phobic when it comes to sewing? Id love to hear if you have anything specific on your lists this year.

Thanks for stopping by x