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V8813 Marcy Tilton Silk Dress

Any time someone special in your life gets married, it’s an excuse to sew an outfit, right? Well, this summer my brother got married so I had grand plans for a rehearsal dinner outfit and a wedding outfit for myself. “Plans” are the operative word this time around.The first thing that got in the way of my “grand plans” is that Trevor asked my daughter Evelyn to be his flower girl. So I got to sew her a dress (more on that in a future blog post). My mom has some health complications and this summer she needed her legs to be covered. She didn’t have anything nice in her closet that fit this bill so I offered to make her a dress for the rehearsal dinner and some silk trousers she could wear with a nice tunic she already had for the wedding. I was happy to sew for …

3

Full-On Monet Vintage Vogue 8551 Caftan

This caftan is a full-on Monet. (For those of you that don’t immediately know the Clueless reference, it’s something that’s beautiful from far away but up close, well…). Rather than pick apart what’s wrong with it (and why it went wrong and what I’d do different next time around) as is my tendency, I’m going to just take a step (or two) back. We went to Hawaii a couple of weeks ago and a side effect of trying to get a toddler to make a 3 hour time zone change is some pretty dang early mornings. But taking a step back from early-morning crankiness, it sure made for a pretty photoshoot! I felt to exotic and luxurious in my beautiful caftan watching a beautiful sunrise. I used vintage Vogue 8551 from 1973. I found it at the thrift store on the same day as the pink fabric and it seemed …

7

Aubergine Hoodie Tunic V8951

The highlight of the last couple weeks of my life? Not getting a subwoofer for my car. Not my brother’s 30th birthday. Not even buying a wedding band for my fiancé. It’s the fact that I can finally wear my leggings in public!! Okay, maybe that’s a bit of hyperbole, but I’ve pretty much worn only this tunic since finishing it! I used Vogue 8951. The cover art didn’t do much for me (frankly it looked a little boring and, well, middle-aged). But I love hoodies as comfy clothes and it is tunic length (a must since leggings are not pants) and I figured I’d give it a shot. And I’m so glad I did! (It wasn’t until after I sewed it up that I remembered my friend Shams of Communing with Fabric had made a great version although, since she has the opposite body shape as I do, the final …

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The Wedding Jacket Chronicle Part 3: Fitting Revelation (or Muslin Fitting 2)

I recently spent another afternoon getting Sunnygal Studio‘s help on fitting my jacket muslin and our final product was a revelation. It changed my entire relationship with sleeve caps and my shoulders. The earth moved, the stars aligned, and *BAM* I finally understood how to get a fitted garment well-fitted through my shoulders. I have always struggled to get garments nicely fitted through my shoulders (my fitting challenge is that I have a narrow ribcage but prominent shoulders) – either they dig into my underarm or I can’t lift my arms or I’m drowning in fabric to compensate. I’ve made all sorts of non-standard changes in all sorts of places in the sleeve, sleeve cap, and armscye and all to no avail. And now, I know EXACTLY what to do to EVERY SINGLE fitted garment that I sew with sleeves for the rest of my life. AMEN! The changes that I had …

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The Wedding Jacket Chronicle Part 2: Muslin Fitting 1

Making muslins is always a good idea, but the more complex your pattern is, the more precise the fit required, and the more expensive your material is, the more important it is to make a muslin. Since my wedding jacket will be an enormous investment of time (as I hand tailor it) and money (luscious Britex fabric), and since it’s hard to fit on your own body, I wanted to get some help perfecting the fit of my jacket. I turned to the talented and knowledgeable Beth of Sunnygal Studios for a day in her studio, fitting my jacket muslin. We started by pinning on the main front and back tissue pattern pieces. Interestingly, we found that both the bust apex and waistline were 1″ too low for me (even though I’m 5’10”, although most of my height is below my navel). We pinched out the 1″ at the bust …