Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Vogue 8709 - Take 2

Conclusion, with more pics

In the fall of 2010, Vogue came out with this Marcy Tilton swing top. I liked the top very much, especially the peplum with the cool pockets and the draped back, but was pretty sure it wouldn't look that great on me. Swing tops are not flattering on my figure.

So I resisted, though I did buy the pattern when during a BMV sale. I pretty much buy all Tilton and Betzina patterns as a matter of course. :)

Then Peggy made one, and I loved it on her. I was well aware that Peggy's tall statuesque figure was quite different than mine, but I could no longer resist, so last May, I made one. It is a fairly intricate pattern, and I wasn't sure how to alter it, so I made a size 22, almost out of the envelope. (I usually start with a size 18 and FBA up.)

Version #1. Click the picture to read the blog post.

I loved it, at first, because I was blinded by the pattern's coolness. But I had to finally admit that the style, as it was, really didn't work on me. I have said, many times, that a swing shape just doesn't suit me and the photos don't lie. I'm embarrassed to admit that, not only does it look like a maternity top on me, enhancing my butterball shape, but it appears that my boobs are about to jump into the pockets, perhaps to feed diminutive babies hiding in there. I wore it exactly once, then the top went into the closet and languished.

Fast forward.

I was talking to Margy last week during the holiday break. She had also made this top (with much better success) and wanted to make another, incorporating some changes sparked by something she had seen on Marcy's site.

Margy's first version. So much cuter on her!

Margy suggested a mini sew-along - we would both work on the same pattern over the 3-day New Year's weekend.

Materials:

  • A wonderfully drapey fabric from Fabrix. It is woven with black and cream threads, giving an overall appearance of grey. I am not sure if it's rayon, poly, or a blend. The threads are minimally twisted and fluff out when they unravel from the fabric.
  • For the buttons, I had some "button stacks" I bought from a vendor at PIQF two years ago. Each button stack consists of 3 buttons in graduated sizes. The buttons are purely decorative.
  • 5/8" clear snaps from Britex, positioned under the buttons.
  • Fusible interfacing, from Fabrix, for the front plackets.

Auditioning buttons. I ended up using the stacked buttons on the left. The color in this picture is a bit off - the metal is silver in real life.

Final button and snap configuration

When I made the original version, I used a size 22 and made only one change to the pattern: I lowered the darts by 2". For this revised version, I made significant additional changes:

  • Removed the swing shaping from the left and right fronts.
  • Removed the swing shaping from the left front placket.
  • Lengthened the bodice by 2" - this affected the back, left front, right front, left front placket, and right front placket.
  • Widened the back bodice by 2".
  • Straightened out the side seam of the back bodice, at least somewhat.

During construction, I made even more changes:

  • Additional fitting of the side seams and the center back seam. Removed 2" or 3" from the bottom of the CB seam, tapered to nothing at the bra line.
  • Fitted the peplum to the modified bodice, removing about 4" to 5" from the width, prior to cutting it out.
  • Inspired by the version Marcy shows on her website, I cut the collar with a lowered neckline and finished it with a pleated strip of the fabric selvedge.
  • Marcy Tilton's gorgeous version in apricot taffeta. The neckline on my top was inspired by hers. (Is it my imagination, or do I spy fish-eye darts in this version to make it more fitted?) Click the top picture to see this version discussed on her website.

Collar

I wasn't sure how to make the collar. When I tried pleating the fabric directly to the neckline, it did not work for me. My fingers were too clumsy and the fabric too "sproingy." So I then pleated the fabric on it's own. I cut the strip roughly twice as long as the finished neckline (plus a little extra) and much wider than needed. I then pinned in the pleats, not attempting to make them even in depth or distance - I liked the random effect.

I held it up to the top to adjust as desired. I then did three rows of basting. The first row was at the desired seamline. Then, I did a row of basting on each side, to help tame the "sproinginess." I finally basted it to the neckline, along the seamline. I did a second row of basting on the inside of the seam allowance. There is a lot of handwork in this collar. :)

The pleated strip. I removed the pins after all three rows of basting were completed.

The pleated strip has been basted to the neckline. On top of that is the bias strip which finishes the inside neckline edge.

Conclusion

I love this top! I think I will wear this one a lot. Make sure you check out Margy's second version, my partner in crime. Her modifications show how versatile this pattern can be. Buy it before it goes away!

And, just to drive the point home, here are both tops, side by side.

Did I lose weight? Noooo. Did I get taller? Noooo. Did my hair turn red? Well, yeah. :)

Also, did you know that Marcy started a blog? I hope she adds a proper feed for the blog, so we can subscribe to it, and be notified of updates. There is lots of good information on her site, especially in the Marcy's closet, t-shirt gallery, pairing pattern and fabrics, and tutorial areas. It's interesting to see what people are pinning from her site.

More Pictures



52 comments:

  1. Yay! It's gorgeous! It's amazing how much work you did, and what a difference there is between #1 and #2...this was so much fun, let's do it again!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the changes you made to the pattern (especially the neckline) to make it work for you! And yes, I knew Marcy had a blog...I secretly stalk because she looks at sewing and designing so innovatively. Can you tell I try to steal a little something from everyone! *LOL*

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your top is just lovely. It looks like good quality RTW. It's amazing the difference a few changes made.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are incredible. Such creativity pouring out of you. I love the changes, especially the v neck and collar effect.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, what a difference! The work you put in has really paid off it is a great result. I like this pattern but was put off by the fullness of the shape, but now I can see how it can be changed. Thanks so much for this post.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice job! I, too, have made this jacket and want to make another iteration.

    As for MT's blog, friend her company on Facebook and you will receive blog updates.

    Love your blog, by the way, and your style!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just brilliant - your eye-to-detail as to what suits you is uncanny!!! Love the collar work. Ditch the 1st version, and make more of the 2nd...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks, folks!

    @NG, I am a friend of hers on Facebook, but I don't log in everyday. It's easy to miss things if you rely on that mechanism.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow! That second top is amazing. I love that pleated collar. Very inspiring. That pattern never ever called to me b/c the photos of the garments are kind of underwhelming and I'd never wear such a thing. But your top is exactly the kind of thing I'd wear. . . you really nailed this pattern! Brava!!! What a fine start to 2012.

    Luz Clara

    ReplyDelete
  10. The second version, what a world of difference. Your hard work really paid off!

    ReplyDelete
  11. "Sproingy"--love it!--I know exactly what you mean!

    This is fabulous and is very flattering on you. The fabric seems to have a heavier drape than what you used in the previous version and maybe this helps the look? Well, combined with your alterations I mean. I like the varied buttons and the collar application--I saw that taffeta version on MTilton's website too and loved the look. Your adaptation of the idea is beautiful. As I commented on Margy's blog, I've been wanting to make this one up for a while now, but can't decide on a proper guinea pig fabric.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have this pattern waiting to be made up, and now I'm glad I waited so I can use your great suggestions on the 'sproingy' pleated collar! Thanks! This looks great on you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow! That increased length looks wonderful on you, seeming to be a really nice proportion. I love the color also with the red hair. Great, great top! You whipped this design into shape!

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a fabulous remake! I love, love, love the pleated collar. What a wonderful success!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love the second top on you. The first on wasn't so bad, but the second one looks really great on you. Nice job. I also tend to buy all of Marcy Tilton patterns, haven't sewn a one.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am always drawn to garments with shapes that look like cr@p on me - it takes everything I have to talk myself out of the purchase. You, however, look simply stunning in your new creation. I am so glad you made a potential loser look like such a winner!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Very, very nice :) I especially like the collar...it looks so flattering on you!

    m.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Elegant top on you, Shams. Your thoughtful and careful efforts really paid off! Love the fit in the back; sure wish I looked half as good from that angle.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love this version on you! Like the new hair colour too.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Your second version does look a lot more elegant somehow; it's always amazing to me how the choice of fabric can drastically alter the whole look! And I love that cool pleated collar. I think the V-neck is a better look too. Your perseverance with this pattern really paid off!

    ReplyDelete
  21. omygosh this is UBER elegant on you! I love seeing how 2 creatives (you & Margy) can make the same pattern completely different and end up knocking it out of both ballparks!

    I'll definitely be utilizing that collar technique - fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Love this latest version, it really looks great on you. Makes me want to give it a try.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Congratulations on finding a way to wear this innovative jacket in a way you feel comfortable with. I have a similar figure to yours and laughed at your description of 'the girls' nestling into your pockets! What a big difference a change in proportions makes.

    ReplyDelete
  24. You really understand how to fit your figure. The 2nd top looks absolutely wonderful on you!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. What a difference! Only goes to show that it is well worth the time spent to actually make a design work for your own body. Wonderful, wonderful jacket!

    ReplyDelete
  26. looks fantastic, the length is much better. I am amazed at the stuff you find at Fabrix. and that pleated collar, I will have to steal that, you know I love a pleat.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Very nice work, and it looks great on you. Love the pleated collar. I made this up earlier this year, made some shoulder adjustments and it came out "wonky". Could not get it right. Might have to try again after seeing yours.....Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  28. I think the increased length made the biggest difference. It's not so much fabric waving in midair under the bust! Now it skims your body nicely. Great top, Shams! Totally worth all the hand-sewing. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  29. The difference between the two tops is amazing. I admire your persistence in making this work.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Great job! It is amazing how different it makes your body look and great explanation too. Thanks for calling me "statuesque" rather than my term of "giraffe-ish"! Can't wait to see what the rest of your sewing week holds in store-p

    ReplyDelete
  31. What a fun saga. Thanks for sharing it. I liked the first one, but the second one is really so much better. And I love Margy's version too.

    Pictures can be such a great sewing resource. I too fall in love with a design and ignore how it looks on me, but then never wear it.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wow, your jackets/tops are lovely. I think the changes you made are so creative. Thanks for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Wow Shams I love the rework it looks stunning. Thank you for the photos to show how you made that collar. I liked the look of the pattern but did not buy as I have a few of Marcy's patterns languishing in the draw but now will try this.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I love this, the pleated collar is a nice touch. Maybe I need to get another pattern........

    ReplyDelete
  35. I am SO stoked to see yours and Margy's versions of this pattern. These kinds of creative design experiments are why I love sewing. I've been wanting to do this design as a sweater and to lengthen it into a dress/coat-y garment. Can't wait to get in and follow suit, you two are a great team, and your blogs rock!
    Marcy
    ps....my 'blog' is a page on my website, not linked to a RSS feed, and starting a new blog from scratch is not practical ... there is no way to migrate the e-mail lists back and forth, so folks will just have to bookmark it and come back as the urge hits. I also give the blog frequent links on my Facebook page.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi Sharon, the red hair looks fab.. and it does look like you lost weight.. this pattern is lovely on you ! xx

    ReplyDelete
  37. I'm loving your work , I adore the ruffled neckline.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks everyone!

    Thanks for the comments, Marcy! Please keep bringing us these uber cool patterns, especially those that can be made to work on the busty, and the wonderful funky pants! :D

    ReplyDelete
  39. The two tops are so different I wouldn't have realized they were the same pattern. Your second version is lovely, flattering and stylish. What an enormous improvement you made. I love the ruffled neckline, too.

    ReplyDelete
  40. The second version is so much better - fantastic improvement. I love the neckline you've done. I'm also 'top-heavy' and I enjoy being inspired by all the wonderful clothes you make.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I never tire of seeing what you create!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I love your sense of style. You always add a detail that makes the outfit stand out from the crowd. And, you know how to flatter your figure. You are mentoring a lot of sewers with your blog. Keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Everything you make is fabulous so I'm not going to compliment you your fantastic sewing ability once again. What I love is the words you invent to describe fabric i.e. "Sproingy" From just saying this word, hearing how it sounds, I know exactly the texture and tactile feel of the fabric you are working with. Being a 'word person' there is nothing I appreciate more than finding the perfect descriptive word - and you did. Oh, top is really nice too!

    ReplyDelete
  44. So glad you made it again with the changes - Incredibly wonderful on you - and that neckline is inspiring - love the selvage on many a fabric and this is perfect on this top. And isn't it nice to have the Marcy herself give you props! I got the pattern when it first came out and haven't tried it - now I'm more inspired - Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Yes, Kathleen, it was lovely to hear from Marcy!! I am so grateful that she is busy producing wonderful patterns for us to use! :D

    ReplyDelete
  46. Your remake is incredible! Makes me want to get out my pattern and try again. I love the collar. And your red hair is stunning. I, having red hair (via bottle) am smitten with all red hair, natural or otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Fabulous remake! The difference between the two versions is so striking. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Shams, your top is just gorgeous and so inspirational. There is no comparison between the first and second version and you are amazing for perservering. Your new hair color really suits you and looks ab fab with the teal!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Version 2 is a real winner. You've got a great eye for balancing your figure: adding length between the bust dart and the pockets was brilliant. Love the new hair colour!

    ReplyDelete
  50. There's something to be said about backing up, looking with a critical eye, and giving something a second try. You proved that to be true, Shams. Your second version is a real winner. I really enjoyed reading your analysis of the problems and pitfalls of fitting this top. It's always fun to follow something through, albeit vicariously, to a perfect solution.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I love it! Thank you for taking the time to note all your mods and take pictures. The visuals really help me think about the alterations and adornments I'll add to my version. It's also really nice to know that others have to make something a couple times before it falls into place. I've let that stop me from creating too many times. Back to the cutting board!

    ReplyDelete
  52. "...but it appears that my boobs are about to jump into the pockets, perhaps to feed diminutive babies hiding in there."

    You are hilarious. I died laughing!

    Love your sewing and your blog.

    ReplyDelete