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!


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.)


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!


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!