Saturday, June 24, 2017

Vogue 1554 underdress pictures

Here's the pictures of my underdress with the zipper put in (hand picked!) and the right hand shoulder pinned.  I let out each side seam below the waist by about 2 mm to accommodate my hippies, but now that kind of makes it even more obvious that the upper torso is a bit big.  The armhole is very low, so I think that my next step is to shorten at the shoulders a bit.  The armhole also gaps a bit, although that might get fixed a little bit after I do the bias facing as instructed.   I'm taking notes, since I love all the darts and think I'll make another dress with just this underdress pattern if I can get it to fit well.

I've put on some lines showing the crazy number of darts (plus the hemline, to show that it won't be quite so dowdy).

See?  Too much room in the back.  But just BARELY enough in the bottom.  :)

Funny pose here to show the armhole (it's pretty low, since there is still a 5/8" seam allowance there), but look how much shape this dress gives!  I have a bit of a belly and somehow it kind of disappears here.  I'm loving the darts.

I should mention - this is a kind of funny fabric, and I'm glad to be using it up.  It's a smooth cotton, kind of like a batik fabric in terms of how silky and dense it is, with a bit of a crackle texture to it.  And the crackle seems to be getting worse - anywhere it has been folded or folded in the dryer is showing a new lighter line.  So - I don't think this was going to be good for a "real" garment. 

Vintage Vogue 1554 begun!

My fabric has arrived, and I'm really glad that I went to the expense of actually ordering the full pattern rather than just winging it to capture the overall look.  I've never used a vintage Vogue Paris Originals pattern, and it has a bunch of details that I'm enjoying.  The dress comes in two parts - an underdress and the overdress, both attached at the neckline and an opening at the shoulder.  Each dress has a zipper.  I thought about keeping the underdress free so that I could wear it on its own, but gave up on that and am just following the instructions.

The sheath underdress is a new one for me - it has SO many darts!  Fisheye darts at the waist on the back and front, shoulder darts, bust darts, and a central bust dart in front, AND a lower back dart.  I sewed them all just as is, straight off the pattern, and it fits surprisingly well!  I bought the size 16 pattern since that is what was available and expected to need to size down a bit - I'm normally a size 12 in the chest and 14 in the hips in Vogue.  But this is pretty snug around the hips!  I'm not going to try and size down the bodice either.  The upper layer is so drapey, I don't think I need to be in a sausage casing.  I still need to follow through on my promise to myself that I'll make a real fitting sheath at some point. 

I even went more vintage and have been trimming my seam allowances with my pinking shears instead of zigzaging. 

The upper layer, at least in this version, is a lightweight denim shirting fabric from Kaufman.  I like it since it resists wrinkles pretty well for a cotton, and has a nice dark navy with a bit of texture.   I actually had a hard time deciding between that and a textured blue/white houndstooth from the same line, even though I knew that the extra pattern would not be ideal, so I ended up buying both.  I'll be using the second fabric to make a copy of the full McCalls pocketed skirt with a yoke that I wear almost nonstop in the summer.

Union Chambray for upper layer:

Houndstooth chambray, for future skirt.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Rayon knits

My kids are having a good late spring/summer.

The tight skirt and swing tank I made out of the rayon french terry that I bought online are a sort-of-success.  It meets my goal of wearing things that feel like I'm in my pajamas, they are taupe-ish, and I learned something while making them.

1: One yard is not enough to make a double-layer knit skirt.  For this one, the fabric was about 60" wide.  I folded it in half (30"x36" rectangle) and wrapped it around my hips the long way.  I then pinned closely along the other folded edge (Needed two seams for symmetry/stability) and pinned out about 2" of excess above my hips in towards my waist.  Serged both side seams.  It's SNUG!  Hubby likes it, but it is a bit tight for work.

2: The swing top covers that, so yay!  1 yard is barely enough to make a single layer big top.  Perhaps I could have gotten a more closely-fitted top as a double layer out of this yardage.

3: I ended up with a bulky waistband, which shows under the very lightweight top.  There were probably 50 other ways to put this together and I'll try another one next time.

4: Duh - if you are going to want a raw edge, you need to cut to the right length before serging.  Since the serged seam edge can't be easily cut without unraveling.  So- the bottom edge still includes the selvedge, which on a knit is not super.  You can see the little holes from the machine that rolls the fabric, as well as some pulls.

I still want to wear this outfit ALL THE TIME!.  

Boring pose:

Even less natural pose, but moving a bit so that you can see how stretchy the fabric is and how it transmits the lumps below.  Oh well.  

I have 1.5 yards left in a burgundy - some sort of cardigan would really make this a nice set.  I'm going to wash these pieces a bit first and see how well they handle it.  The skirt started to get pretty wrinkly, which surprised me a bit for a knit!

Mimi found a hammock.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


My little girls look like they are in a horror movie of some sort.  They are COVERED with bites.  Huge welts.  I alternate between looking at them and wanting to hug and pet them and hide them away from the big mean mosquitoes forever, and yelling at them to stop scratching.  We've been outside.  A lot.  I tackled a garden that hadn't been worked on for almost two years, trimmed rhododendrons, divided hostas and hellebores and geranium, planted new hellebores and geranium varieties I bought through Breck's, and cried a little when I realized I'd missed the big local charity plant sales.  Next year!  I dug a trench and moved a cubic yard of dirt away from the house, then covered the remaining surface with gravel.  I organized the garage shelves and cleaned the basement.  I remembered to unscrew the caps of my dandelion wine occasionally so that the bottles don't explode.  I weeded and weeded our front roadside so that it's ALMOST all just perennial periwinkle/vinka again.  I hate creeping jenny and Virginia Creeper.  I tried and failed to fix the sagging gutter on the back of our house.

I made 1 more silk shell, one silk slip, and have one of each to still work on.  I made a very tight, double layer french terry skirt and french terry swing tank a la Alabama Chanin (except that the knit is rayon, not cotton).  I went to Lamont for a work thing today, driving 3.5 hours each way and stopping at IKEA on the way back to get a bunch of plastic bins for the girls and a bunch of dimmable LED chandelier bulbs for our dining room (those are AWESOME by the way).  I drove over our bike, which my husband had paid 90$ to fix and tune up the day before.  Bike is okay.

I didn't cook or take pictures of anything except for Mimi, who has been in a "take pictures of me" mood.  Unfortunately, she is usually partially undressed, so none of those are going on the internet! Jeanne showed her how to make simple loom band bracelets by hand (i.e., no loom), so I came home to two girls who were decked out in bracelets, anklets and chokers.

I should take some pictures.