Friday, May 18, 2012

My Diane's Wrap Dress (Silhouette Patterns)

Peggy Sagers of Silhouette Patterns drafts a lot of her patterns by copying designer pieces. For example her Trench Coat pattern is a copy of the Burberry trench. Giorgio's Top is a copy of an Armani top. The Diane Wrap Dress is a copy of a Diane Von Ferstenberg original.

I've always wanted a wrap dress. The one I made a couple of years ago made me look too chesty so I gave it away. This one doesn't have a waistline seam so I decided to give it a try.

I chose Size 2 for this one. Remember that sizes represent  the measurement of the finished garment in Silhouette Patterns and the measurements for size 2 gave me 4" at the bust  so that seemed safe.

I made a muslin and used the front side piece for a D cup. The only changes I had to make were as follows:

I curved in the waist 1/4 " on each side seam
I sloped the shoulders 1/4 "
I narrowed the shoulders about 1/4" as well
I narrowed the upper chest 1/2" by curving in the armscye to just above the notches both for front and back.

This is my dress.

The fabric is a weighty poly lycra. 
I only interfaced the collar and not the front facing which was the same pattern piece as the front of the dress.

The dressed is closed with ties at the left side 

and on the underside  there are suppose to be ties closing the right side as well.I chose to sew in the ditch on the right hand side rather than use ties and that worked well

One of the best things about this dress is that it does not gape, not at all. You don't have to fidget with the neckline or worry that you'll show too muck. Love that!

My garments don't get a lot of wear and tear so I chose to use Steam-a-Seam to finish the hem. If you give this product lots of steam and plenty of heat, it lasts very well.

I'm very happy with the fit of my wrap dress. I'm really appreciating Silhouette patterns and the way they are drafted. 

I've also just made the Yoga pant and they fit with only one  change. I raised the waist by one inch. ( They are white and the first thing I did when I put them on was to spill coffee on the front.)  

I'm looking forward to wearing my new dress to church this Sunday.

Well I hope you'll find time to sew this weekend.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

How Silhouette Patterns "the Swing Dress" Turned into Three different Things

My husband has been away for over a week and I spent much of that  time in my sewing room. 

My  goal for May was to make at least one item of clothing using a Silhouette pattern because I've purchased quite a few lately. I decided to start with the very simple Swing Dress

Sizes at Silhouette Patterns are based on finished garment measurements.They also include pieces for B,C, and D cup sizes. So after reading the back of the envelope, I decided I wanted my finished garment to measure 37" at the bust because I was using a very stretchy knit.

When using one of her patterns, Peggy Sagers wants you to trace your chosen size so you can go back and change it up until you can achieve a perfect fit, so I copied Size 2  ( for D cup) knowing I wasn't going to be happy with a 39" waist or a 47" hip. I also knew  those numbers had more to do with style than fit so they didn't bother me.

I made a muslin  but only down  to the hip area, using a knit very similar to the good stuff I'd be using.

 I then decided I needed a lot of shaping at the waist,so I would need to curve the sides, the front and back at the waist line. I decided I'd have to use a center front seam for this , so I draped my muslin on my body taking in the required amounts at those waist points and transferred these changes to my muslin. It took a couple of tries before I was satisfied.

 I then transferred the alterations to my pattern.

I  lowered the neckline using my French curve and copying a favorite neckline on another garment.

I added 4" to the length realizing the pattern looked awfully short.

I cut out my dress and basted all the seams and tried it on.And it was too short !Urrgh! 

It was cute but not particularly flattering. The trouble was with the swing at the side seams . I once again draped the seams to the way I thought looked better  (I turned it into an A-line) , transferred the change to my pattern , cut away the required amount from the side seams . This was much better. 

I added the sleeves which I changed to 3/4 length and finished the neck with a self fabric binding.I even added a band at the bottom (so not great) to add an inch and a half. Here I'll show you .

The Swing Dress Turned A-Line

A close-up of the hem.

I know it ain't pretty !

And me in this very simple but time consuming little dress .I'm going to a dinner tonight and I'm wearing my new dress in spite of the hem.

Next I decided to make a top using the pattern. When I bought this slubbed rayon lycra , it told me it wanted to be 3/4 sleeved,long, close-fitting and shirred at the sides. I literally could not change it's mind.

 I used the above pattern and this time straightened the sides so it hugged my hips.

I shirred the sides using clear elastic. Then I just happened to see this top on Coldwater Creek.
I decided to add two lines of shirring to front and back.

This time I used two rows of stitching and gathered them because I felt I'd be able to control the gathers better this way.Here's a close-up of the inside seam and front area. I covered the front shirring with a strip of fabric.

I also shirred the sleeves using three rows on each arm.

Here is the finished top.

Next up ,I wanted to use up some cotton knit in my stash so I made a nightie using the Swing Dress pattern with the A-line sides and I changed the bust dart into sunburst darts at the neck. I also added an inch to the side seams to make it roomier and used sleeves from another pattern and added darts at the hem of those too..

I'm happy with my three pieces from the same pattern. It makes it seem more worthwhile to have used it more than once given the time I spent with the alterations.

I'm really greatful to Peggy Sagers and her generosity in providing sewists with so much free information on her bi-monthly,Monday night webcasts. I've learned a lot about draping from her and my clothes are fitting me better than ever before.

I hope you found time to sew this weekend!

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Vogue 8793, I Love IT

I'm a Vogue woman! There I've said it!

 It often occurs to me that although I own many Simplicity, McCalls ,Butterick, Burda, New Look and Silhouette  patterns , I use Vogue by far the most often.

Today's Blog Post features once again a Vogue pattern.This one is another pattern that I immediately fell in love with as soon as the spring patterns came out a few months ago.....V8793 by Katherine Tilton

I was very inspired by Shams'  versions. but then, I'm often inspired by Shams's creations!!

Here is my interpretation.

The fabric is a cotton knit I bought on Rue St.-Hubert in Montreal last fall. I used the reverse side for one sleeve , one part of the collar and one cuff. For the other collar and cuff, I used a navy and white stripe also a cotton knit. The collar trim is a navy nylon separating zipper.

The fit on this top is a little loose fitting. Next time I would male it to fit more snugly , but I do love this first version. I got  a compliment from my daughter on this one. I thought she would think the collar treatment too bazaar for her taste.

I would really encourage anyone who has this pattern to give it a try. It's a great one.


I  also want to try this new pattern of Katherine Tilton's. I find it very intriguing. Its V8817

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