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Showing posts from April, 2012

DVF Grandie: The Big Reveal

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I should have made clear in my last post that I had actually already drafted and sewn the final pattern when I posted about my muslin, before there was a consensus (and confirmation, as seen below) that there *are* seams in the front.  But, alas, I was still in the dark and drafted the front as one piece.

Both Nancy K and Loti asked about draping.  I don't know how to drape and though it would be an awesome skill to have, I just don't have enough free time to learn.  :(  I have only a few hours a week to sew and I would miss general workaday sewing too much to devote that time for months (or longer) to learning how to drape just to do a few projects a year.  Also, flat pattern works better with my non-3D mind.  I would never be able to unpin a draped project from a dress form and figure out what the heck I did!

After my first couple of muslins, I decided to try to be a little scientific.  Plus, making full sized patterns was getting really old!  So I played some paper dolls.  …

DVF Grandie Blouse: Pattern Experimentation

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There are a lot of PR contests that I enjoy, and the Ready To Wear contest is one I look forward to every year.  I am quite content to sew with patterns and very quick to correct real-life non-sewing friends who think I am a "designer," but drafting the occasional pattern challenges me intellectually and increases my knowledge of how to adjust and sew already-drafted patterns.

This year I went through my Pinterest boards and settled on Diane von Furstenberg's Grandie Top (originally $245).  It's a (deceptively) simple shape, and would be lovely with sleeves for Fall/Winter.  It's a great way to show off a beautiful piece of silk, and is office-appropriate without being boring.  Kind of the holy grail of patterns!  How hard can it possibly be to draft?

Oh boy.




The thing about this top, is that it has all that volume in the front, but after carefully looking at all available detail shots (it's available on multiple websites, all of which did their own photos,…

Variations on a Tee #3: Sweetheart

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Source: net-a-porter.com via Trena on Pinterest

Lace is big right now.  Using a lace inset rather than allover lace is a nice way to dip a toe into the trend, as in this Valentino point d'esprit and jersey top ($790).


Source: saksfifthavenue.com via Trena on Pinterest

If you do go whole hog, there is the issue of lace being transparent.  You can fully underline or go for a sweetheart look, as in this Milly Chantilly Lace Caterina Top ($275).



Source: my-wardrobe.com via Trena on Pinterest




Or you can combine the lace and sweetheart trends, as I did with these projects.  An upper lace yoke is a more common look, but it can also be reversed as in this Love Moschino Lace Sweetheart Jersey Dress ($324.51.












I drafted this from my t-shirt block, but McCall 6435 has since been released if you don't want to draft (I made the black top in mid-December).  As you can see, on my first try I made the sweetheart too flat and it was not covering my bra, so err on the side of curvy.



The back is just …

Simplicity 6110, 1973 Notched Collar Blouse

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The pattern came from a friend's grandmother and was passed along to me in February 2009.  When I posted about it, both Little Hunting Creek and Audrey of Sew Tawdry commented that they had made the pattern in high school!  What fun!  It's been on my list for quite a while, and Pattern Review's Vintage Contest finally got me to push it to the top of the list.

The fabric, a printed dotted Swiss, came from Fabric Mart in June 2010 for $4.99/yd.  I had just enough for the top and no more.  I love it when that happens--no jigsaw layout with questionable grain, no large scraps to contend with.


It's a one size pattern, size 10 for a 32 1/2" bust.  Did these one size patterns come pre-cut?  I feel like all the vintage patterns I've made are already cut out, even if they don't show signs of having been used (this one had no pin marks).

The instructions are always interesting for vintage patterns.  One side of the instruction sheet covers the blouse, the skirt, and th…

What Is a Wedding Dress Worth?

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Before anyone gets all excited:  I am not in the market for a wedding dress.

However, this girl was (link goes to the video, in case it didn't embed properly). 


She ended up with "Eva" from the Enzoani 2010 Collection

The website's description of the dress is:  Venice lace, modified mermaid silhouette with strapless sweetheart neckline. Organza layered ruched bust with Swarovski crystal applique. Scalloped hemline with detachable train.

The lining/under-fabric was diagnosed as polyester, but the lace would sell at retail for about $150-165/yard, and was fully backed with and sewn to a netting.  It's worth a click on the link (annoying flash website so you have to scroll through to Eva) to see the ruching detail on the bust and the applique.  All in all, a very nice dress and the bride looks beautiful in her photos and videos.

She paid about $2700.  She goes to B&J Fabrics in New York and gets an estimate of about $1200 retail/$600 wholesale for the mat…

Butterick 5562, Puff Sleeve Tee

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Source: net-a-porter.com via Trena on Pinterest

Puffed sleeves have been a thing for a while, but they are still going strong, as you can see in this Bird by Juicy Couture Striped wool-jersey top ($230).


Source: style.com via Trena on Pinterest

Butterick 5562 is a good entry in the genre.  It lacks the drama of this Pre-Fall 2012 Thakoon (which is completely awesome), but is more wearable on a day-to-day basis.





In addition to a shawl-style top, the pattern comes with two variations on the puff sleeve, a short sleeve version and a long sleeve version.

The two sleeves are not drafted the same, which is odd.  The short sleeve has a large dart at the shoulder, which gives more volume and a higher lift to the puff.  The elastic for gathering does not come up to the sleeve cap but starts lower down, which also allows for higher lift.  The long sleeve just has the rounded "microphone" shape at the top.  The short sleeve is definitely superior to the long sleeve in design.

However, I th…