Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sheath Dress in Pink/White/Coral Stretch Pique

I'm sure warm weather is just around the corner, although here in the San Francisco area we have been having lots of rain (including thunder and lightening which is very unusual for these parts).  So, with the faith that someday I will no longer need to have the heater blasting, I have made another version of McCall's 2401.  This iteration is in stretch pique, and I love the delicious colors!  I haven't sewn many stretch wovens, and I have no idea if what I did was a good idea or not, but because of the stretch, I stabilized the shoulders and the zipper area with fusible interfacing.  The fabric is opaque, so the dress doesn't need a lining, and I used a double layer of batiste for the facings. 
I anticipate making other stretch woven dresses--some that will need linings.  But what kind of fabric should I use for the lining?  I want to keep the stretch (that's kind of the whole point!).  A tricot?  A stretch broadcloth?  What do you think?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I added 3" to the length and scooped out the armscyes a little bit for a more comfortable fit.  All vertical edges were serged (hot pink!) prior to sewing the seams.  The invisible zipper gave me fits!  In fact, I was reading Goodbye Valentino's entry about non-stop sewing issues as I was ripping out the invisible zipper (again)!   Actually, I think my issue is with my invisible zipper foot.  Grrrr.  I hand stitched the hem.

This stretch pique was great to sew--lots of body, no skittering around, and it pressed well.  I am a little worried about how well this fabric will retain its shape when it's worn. 
A bra and real, live hips will fill this out better than the mannequin!
The fabric was purchased recently (on sale, of course!) from Joann's.  

I'm pretty pleased with the fit of this pattern, and I think I can now classify it as a TNT!  I'd like to try chopping the pieces up, like Carolyn, and do some color blocking.

Well, I'm off to do some chores before heading to the airport to pick up DD.  She spent spring break at a beach in North Carolina with some grad school buddies, but it's back to work tomorrow!

Happy sewing! ~ Peggy


Friday, April 13, 2012

1982 Revisited

I'm not sure if something from 1982 would be considered vintage yet, but, well, tell me what you think.

This week, I sorted through several packing boxes in the garage and came upon a super-sized stash of my old patterns, plus some fabric.  The patterns hail from the mid/late 1970s through the 80s, and include an awful lot of Lady Di-inspired looks, maternity patterns, and little girl outfits, but not a particular 1975 or '76 John Kloss pattern that I can't find anywhere online.  Many of the patterns made me giggle--lots of Dynasty-like shoulder-padded styles that would probably make me look like a linebacker.  But some, like the one below, I thought could easily pass for a current look--so I decided to whip up this number from 1982, using some authentic 1982 cotton from the now-defunct New York Fabrics (San Francisco Bay Area store bought out by Joann's).

This is McCall's 8006 in a size 12.  I made view A--the blue version on the envelope.  There's plenty of ease in the pattern, so I was able to wrangle this around my no-longer-size-12 body.  I added 7/8" length at the waist, used covered buttons, and finished the seams on the serger.  I like the pleating detail at the sleeve heads and at the cuffs.  This went together easily, and I am pleased with the result.  (Please excuse the wrinkles; this is after several hours of wear, plus I wore a belt around the waist.)
Accurate color, but difficult to see details

Fooling with exposure to try to show the seaming, pleats, and buttons

Black and white--why not?

So what do you think?  When is something "vintage" and when is it just out of fashion?

Coming up, I'm still working on the hot pink/coral/white pique sheath, but now I'm also toying with sewing another "found" pattern:  Vogue 1857 from the late 1970s--yes, that is Christie Brinkley in the photo.  I've always loved this pattern; I wish I still had the version I made in '83 (I think), but I'm sure it would be too small in the hips.  Sniff.

One pattern I won't be making?  Vogue 9145: a maternity jumper/blouse with necktie!  Yikes!  The drawing shows the model wearing white stockings--anybody else remember that trend?  I do remember wearing white hose and feeling quite fashionable. 

Happy sewing! ~ Peggy

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dresses and Shoes! Shoes and Dresses!

Just for fun, and because I'm nosey, I wanted to look at the construction details on the dresses of some of my favorite designers.  I found myself (somehow!) in a dressing room at Neiman Marcus with a slew of dresses.  Some of the dresses had great details, like the beautiful bodice seaming on this David Meister number:

I've been wanting to try on the Issa dress worn by Kate Middleton for her engagement announcement, and I finally found it at Neiman Marcus ($390), but in viscose instead of silk jersey.  They only had a 2 and an 8, and, as you can see, the 8 was too small.  Hello cleavage!  The neckline on this dress is awkward.  Also, the arms were too tight.

I think  McCall's 5974 is perfect for replicating this style.  About the only difference is that on the Issa dress, there is a slit on one side of the wrap belt where it meets the bodice.  The slit is to thread the opposite end of the belt, and I don't think it really adds anything.  Here's my version (about $20) of 5974 (and I do plan to make more):

Here are some of the other goodies I tried on.  The navy/stripe color-block dress (not flattering!) and the green dress with the gold belt buckle are Milly ($355 and $425), the jersey print is another (too small) Issa dress ($450), and a couple from David Meister ($415 and $325).

 No, I didn't buy any of these, nor did I ever intend to--but trying them on was a lot of fun and it was interesting to see how well (or not) they were made.

I did do my bit for the economy, though.  I purchased these lovelies at Nordstrom:
Navy suede pumps from Ivanka Trump

Coral patent slingbacks from Ivanka Trump

And now, it is off to the sewing studio, where I have a coral/bright pink/white stretch pique ready to be sewn into a summery sheath.

Happy sewing! ~ Peggy