Monday, January 16, 2017

It's ALL Sewing - A Vest, Bathrobe, and Two Dresses


Hmm... I seem to be developing a rhythm of posting once-a-month, but I have been sewing!

Contents:


Brocade Vest - Vogue 1510

I made this vest before and I wanted to make another. I bought 2 yards of this gorgeous, stretch woven brocade from Emma One Sock. It's a fairly lightweight brocade and a lovely fabric.

I was just barely able to squeeze the vest out of the 2 yards—I had just a few square inches of the fabric left over.

I shortened it by 4" and added zippered pockets. As before, I added front facings to cover the zipper. The armhole is high and small and, as before, I removed the cut-on cap sleeve and cut 1" all around the armhole to make it a roomier fit. Also, as before, I cut the back on the fold (it's supposed to have a CB seam), and removed the excess seam allowance using back neck darts. As before, I reinforced the back collar with extra interfacing and rows of quilting.

Zipper pockets

I liked this length so much better, that I also removed 4" from the the green vest I made last fall!

I like it so much better at this shorter length!

Blue Cheetah Print Bathrobe - Vogue 9232

I made a bathrobe! A blue cheetah print fleece bathrobe! I even made it in time for Jungle January!

But let me back up.

I can't wear a wrap bathrobe. In case you don't believe me, I blogged about it before, with substantiating photos.

Imagine my delight when Vogue released a zipper robe pattern! (Only six year later - heh.)

YAY!

Except.... they call it a Caftan and they categorize it as a dress. A DRESS?!?!? Does this look like a dress to you?

They are even barefoot

When they released the pattern, I hadn't noticed they called it a dress, so I had a HECK of a time finding it later! I looked under sleepwear, lingerie, crafts/accessories/other. I first looked at all of these categories in Vogue patterns. Nope. Then I looked at Butterick. Nope. Then I looked at McCalls. Nope.

I was starting to think I had lost my mind and had only imagined it. I asked Margy and, YES, she had the pattern number! PHEW.

I had the PERFECT fabric for this robe. Some years ago I purchased a huge piece of blue cheetah print polar fleece. Fleece is such a stash hog. It was taking valuable space in my sewing room, so it felt great to sew it up into a snuggly robe.

And it's SO snuggly!

Alterations and Modifications

  • I don't want to climb into my robe, so I lengthened the front facing and made it a zipper front opening.
  • Narrowed the shoulder by 1". (Typical)
  • Shortened the length by 2". (Typical - I'm 5'5")
  • I did NOT do an FBA. There was plenty of room in the large and, while I'm wearing a bra for these pics, I won't usually bother. Who wants darts pointing upwards while my bust occupies lower realms...
  • The sleeves were short and WIDE. This surprised me, as I ALWAYS have to shorten sleeves at least by 1". I lengthened the sleeves by 2" and narrowed the sleeve hem by 4" (removing 8" total). Who wants to dunk their sleeves in their breakfast? Or the dishwater?
  • The pattern includes square in-seam pockets. I drew a standard rounder pocket and used that, instead.
  • I did 3 rows of machine quilting around the front/neck opening, and the sleeve hems. It's a bit hard to see in the cheetah print, but I like it!
  • I used a very long separating zipper from my zipper stash, which I recently organized so it's much easier to find zippers!
  • I added small shoulder pads.
Yes, I am wearing a "Thank you, Mood" tee shirt as my sleep shirt

I LOVE my new robe! It's SO snuggly and warm. This morning, I took it off to consume my kale smoothie, for fear of spilling on it, then I put it back on! LOL

Vogue 9232


High-Necked Dress - Butterick 6388

I liked this pattern as soon as it came out and I've finally made it up.

I made view D in size large. I used a wonderful ponte from Marcy Tilton that is black on one side and blue on the other. The fabric has a quilted effect where the blue creates the "quilting" lines in a diamond pattern. (It's knitted, not quilted, but it has that effect.) It's a substantial, thick, stable ponte.

This dress has some unusual seaming:

  • A curved back neck yoke.
  • A gusset at the front hem, which I will call a "wedge inset." It appears that the side seams slant to the front, but that is not the case. There are standard side seams and a wedge is sewn to the side seam and attached to the center front piece.

Alterations and Modifications

  • I didn't do an FBA but I should have, and it's why you'll see wrinkles pointing to my bust.
  • The pattern includes in-seam pockets in the front seam of the wedge inset, but I think that's an awkward angle for pockets. Also, several reviewers have mentioned how small the pockets are. Finally, I've looked at pics of others who have made this pattern and the pockets often gap. I don't like it when my pockets gap. I omitted the in-seam pockets and made zippered pockets.
  • The front seam on the wedge inset includes hip shaping. This is great if you need hip shaping at that spot, but it would "bubble" on my body, so I removed it.
    Removing the shaping on the wedge inset.

  • I wanted the collar to stand and not droop. Though my quilted ponte was somewhat stiff, I didn't take chances. I interfaced both sides of the collar with lightweight knit interfacing.
  • I shortened the dress by 2".
  • I shortened the sleeves by 1". (Typical)
  • I am not a fan of dropped shoulders and this sleeve is very dropped—the seam is at bust level. I minimized the effect by using the same fabric (color blocking would have been unwelcome here), and I didn't topstitch the seam, as I didn't want to draw attention to it.

My only concern about this dress is that I am so covered up! In black, no less, from my chin to above my knees. I think I would have preferred this fabric sewn into a dress with a more open neckline. As it is, I had trouble accessorizing it. I took these pics on the day I wore it shopping with my daughters. I finally chose this necklace, but that was after rejecting a lot of other necklaces and scarves! We'll see how much wear I get out of it, but it is warm and snuggly.

I wore this dress when shopping with my daughters. You'll have to believe me when I say I'm wearing it here. :)

Acting as Shoe Lackey for DD1. DD2 ended her shopping early so she could pack for returning to university in Canada. As we entered the shoe store, DD1 declared that she would NOT buy any black shoes. She left with 3 pair of black boots (of which I thoroughly approved). LOL

I got compliments when wearing the dress but, looking at the pics, I'm not sure I'd make it again. If I do, I will definitely alter for my bust!

Butterick 6388


TnT Tunic Dress in Green

One of my core wardrobe basics is a simple tunic dress. I've made a black one I wear all the time and, more recently, a teal/black striped version also in regular rotation. I will be making more!

I don't remember where I got this green cotton knit, but I decided to use it for another tunic. To be honest, the fabric isn't the best quality, so we'll see how long it lasts. After washing, it was horribly skewed. You can see the skewing here:

The fabric wrinkles a lot, too. One doesn't expect a sweater knit to be terribly wrinkly...

Worn with a different vest:


I leave you with a couple more pics.

Last week we had a "Dart Writers offsite"—Kathy and I slept over at mem's and spent the evening knitting. We're definitely doing this again, and soon!

Yarn!!

Seen in the Nordstrom window in Union Square. I don't care for the outfit, but find it amusing.

Please join me on Patti's Visible Monday!

48 comments:

  1. I love to see your sewing results, Shams. The bathrobe looks really perfect, and I adore that high-necked dress with zipper pockets. thanks for linking up, xo

    Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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  2. I like them all, but especially the high neck dress! It is nice to have a different neckline for a change. You have inspired me to back to the sewing machine.

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    1. Thanks, Belle! I'm happy that you're inspired to sew!

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  3. I'm guessing the dress/bathrobe pattern is an old one and what my mother called a 'housedress'. She would wear the shorter version while cleaning or ironing around the house - not for wearing away from home. As a snuggy robe, it's perfect.

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    1. This pattern belongs in sleepwear/loungewear. :)

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  4. Love the new tunic and bathrobe. However, the link to the Russian Princess bathrobe is sublime. I don't think I'd ever stop wearing it.

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    1. Yes, it was nice. But it was too big so I gave it away. :)

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  5. I really like your high-neck dress and the pattern alterations you made to it. Do you ever wear your vests hanging open? I envy your slender legs; they are just right for complementing the interesting tops and shoes you wear.

    PS: I can't reach Stitchers' Guild for the last few days. Do you have any insight as to what's going on?

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    1. Yes, I do sometimes wear my vests open, Carol! However, the more fitting I've done for the bust, the less likely I am to wear it open, as it can hang like a deflated balloon when not right over the bust.

      I am grateful -- I carry all of my weight in my torso and there are many designs I can't wear that other women can rock, but at least I have the legs. ;)

      Stitcher's Guild has been down for days. You can find updates on the Pattern Review forum - people are posting news there as they learn anything. It must be horrible for DragonLady.

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  6. Wow, you have been PROLIFIC! Love all the items, funny that we were working on the robe at the same time. I like the high neck dress...I can see that it would be a challenge to accessorize, but it looks great.What I REALLY want to know is how many zippered pockets you've made in the last 365 days...you
    must be able to knock them out in minutes!

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    1. Thanks, Margy! I KNOW! I've made lots of zippered pockets and lots of welt pockets. I think I'm getting boring, but I like those styles of pockets! (If I had to vote between the two, the welt pocket would win.)

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  7. I really like your pieces but wanted to talk about the Butterick dress. I have the pattern and can't decide whether I want to make it primarily because if those dropped shoulders. Also can the pockets be made deeper if you lengthen it? Cause I'm definitely lengthening my version? Last question would you like this better if it didn't have the drop shoulder and would you take the time to make it a straight shoulder dress? Thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Carolyn! I don't know if you could increase the pockets if you lengthened the dress. I suspect the smaller size of the pocket bag has more to do with the weird angle of the pocket, though I'm not where the pattern is right now to double check. You could eliminate the drop shoulder seam (because the sleeve is really a cut-on sleeve) but it then would require more fabric width to cut out the pattern. It wouldn't be as efficient, but that may not be a problem. That back has a CB seam, so that would be fine. The front has no vertical seam, so you'd need to be able to cut the front out wrist-to-wrist with no seams. I would prefer this dress with set-in sleeves, to be honest. If I make it again, I might change the sleeves entirely.

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  8. Glorioski, you sure can punch them out! I am just drooling over that vest's luscious fabric, and that robe/caftan/caftrobe/robetan garment in the fuzzy stuff is a hoot. Loving it! And you're wearing my favorite necklace of yours in the pic of that nifty high-neck dress. One of these days I'm going to crawl right through the screen and swipe it from you when you're not looking. :) Cindy (Creative Hormone Rush)

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    1. Thanks, Cindy! LOL, if you like, maybe I can find the name of the artist that made that. She's based in NYC but comes to the ACC Craft Fair in San Francisco. (And maybe other locations, too.)

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    2. Oh I would love that! I actually live just north of NYC, too.

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    3. Cindy, I just spent some time searching and I believe I've found her! Meghan Patrice Riley. You can look through her jewelry (under Collections) and contact her through her web page: http://www.meghanpatriceriley.com/ You could send her a pic of my necklace and ask if it's hers from the ACC Craft Fair in SF two years ago, just to make sure. http://www.meghanpatriceriley.com/

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    4. Also, if you can get to Baltimore in late February, she'll be at the ACC Craft Fair there. That's the biggest one in the nation and it's my dream to go there one day! https://craftcouncil.org/post/2017-american-craft-shows

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  9. I like the high neck dress too. Perhaps it doesn't need to be accessorised? Fun robe too.

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    1. Thanks, Vicki! Yes, not everything needs to be accessorized, but this just seems so gloomy otherwise. ;)

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  10. That Butterick dress is on the table to start at the moment but I'm now undecided about making some changes as yours looks so good.
    Your robe is going to be worn to death - and yes, its in the wrong pattern category in dresses!
    Great vests. Why are they not more popular? They look so cosy and ultra useful with those pockets.
    Well done on some great inspiration again Shams. Thank you 😃

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    1. Thanks, Material Lady! Vests should be more popular! They hide what you want to hide, and they add warmth. Luckily, those of us who sew can make as many as we want. ;)

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  11. So happy to hear from you! Love the vest and need to get that pattern myself. All of your zips elevate your finished makes. I too modified a pattern with the same shawl high collar....love it on a rainy cold day....but I wear a great PIN and CUFF for my accessories....if I had your legs I'd have some kind of printed leggings on too! But love all of your makes, and appreciate the detailed sewing changes you made....now that vest makes sense for me.....and now I want one out of a brocade too! THANKS

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    1. Thanks, Laura! Yes, that's an interesting idea. I don't wear many pins, but it could be just the thing!

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  12. Wow...you have been sewing! Personally I like that you've been posting once a month. You pack these posts full so I find them something to look forward to - like, has Shams put up a post today? Such anticipation! All garments are great. Being a fellow large busted gal I stay away from dropped shoulders preferring a set in shoulder so there is less fabric in that area. Karen

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    1. Thanks for your words, Karen! I enjoy thinking of my posts as mini newsletters. :) Yes, the dropped shoulder is definitely something I usually avoid, but I thought I'd give this pattern a chance. If I make it again (and that's a big IF), I would change it to use set in sleeves and add an FBA. Alternatively, I might just copy the collar to my TnT pattern.

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  13. I bought that same bathrobe pattern, and thought the same as you: finally! A zip up robe! I can (and do) wear a robe with ties, but I don't like the tie and the fronts flopping around, and a robe that's completely closed in the front is warmer.

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    1. Exactly! Give me a cute zippered robe over a wrap robe any day!

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  14. I made a zip up robe for my mom a couple of years ago (in minky, never again :) and I copied an old robe to make a pattern. I especially love that teal vest - the color is great on you.

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    1. LOL, Did you see Margy's new minky robe, using the same pattern? She called me recently and told me that she'd pay for my airfare to go and shoot her if she EVER sewed with minky again! LOLOL But I bet it makes a LUSCIOUS robe!!! And thanks, Beth!

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  15. I'm loving that high neck dress - I'm going to make it! And that robe, super fun - I'm reading about the minky, I feel the same exact way, come over here and knock me out if I ever thought of sewing with that again, it's hideous! Also, you are definitely a teal girl - looks great on you.

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    1. Thanks, Kathleen! It sounds like we'll need a firing squad for "minky offenders". lol You know, it was Margy who first suggested I wear teal and she was totally right!

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  16. Looking at your posts, and clicking on the previous pictures from the older posts, I am struck by the fact that you keep looking younger, and cuter. How do you do that? Thanks for taking time to share!

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    1. That's so sweet, Kathy! I have no idea why it seems like that. I am determined to never do Botox or have surgery. I do get my hair dyed, though. I love my red hair and it's wise for my work life, as well. I look at women like Margy who also doesn't do those things and I love how she looks - so beautiful! I see my aging when I look in the mirror, so I don't know why it may not be coming across. But thanks. :)

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  17. I love the new robe, the fabric is so soft looking and it makes you look tall and slim.

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    1. Thanks, Connie! When I wear it, I feel tall and slim! :)

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  18. Loving the new vest, the snugly robe and the high neck dress. I was also happy finding the zip up robe pattern. I purchased a similar one many years ago and it so needs replacing. You are definitely inspiring me to try some vests.

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  19. As I write, I have on the Butterick dress, no pockets. The one with pockets that I made is in the donation pile, hated it. I love your pockets, can you explain a little how you made them. I also find wearing necklaces with this collar difficult.

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    1. Hi keflev05! Good to know I'm not the only one who had trouble putting a necklace on this dress. :) Zipper pockets are pretty easy, though I'm not sure I've ever blogged the technique. I just googled and found these instructions: http://www.vanillajoy.com/easy-zippered-pocket-tutorial.html I do LOTS of zipper pockets in my clothing and don't find them to be too hard. You could even put a patch pocket on this dress. Good luck!

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  20. I promised I would think about what to wear in Florence in June. It will be hot, sticky, muggy, so you want to think about loose silhouettes in cotton and linen. European women of a certain age don't show much skin, so lightweight, unlined jackets are your best bet. Cotton shirts over a tank top. Dresses that hang from the shoulder, not the waist. Drawstring pants. I like Simplicity 1621 in linen, and if it were me, I would make it in several versions.

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    1. That's a great pattern, Lynn! I actually own that one! I will give it serious consideration. :)

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  21. Great pieces here Shams. I'm particularly interested in the dress as it's on my very short list of patterns to buy (I'm on a pattern diet ). I too have no hips and will definitely have to draw out the hip curve.I once made a fleece animal print robe so I know just how cozy it can be . Very cute ! And I love all your boots !!!

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  22. What pattern did you use for green tunic dress? I'm learning how to do FBA. I purchased DVD and other classes you recommended, studied your post, but sill made a tent like tunic. I sent you an email a couple week ago, but looks like you did not get it. Looking forward to your advice.

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