Vogue 2204

I finally did it!  I have been sooo needing a black winter coat.  I have a brown one, but sometimes, it just isn’t the look I want.  I’ve been shopping informally for some time for some reasonably priced black wool coating.  I DID find some beautiful wool/cashmere at Mood fabrics in NY last November, but at $80.00/yd, I couldn’t justify buying 6 yds of it, plus another suitcase to lug it back home.  Thanks to all you bloggers out there, I have a new love called www.gorgeousfabrics.com !  There, I bought a beautiful piece of black wool coating and began the process.  The pattern I used was another story, and it started with the 2001 issue of Vogue Patterns and #2204, a Claude Montana coat.  Georgous, but would this be too much of a look for me?  Would the enormous collar make me look like a clown? hmmm…. Well, I finally got brave this year, ’07, and went to buy it.  Naturally, the pattern was OOP by then and I couldn’t find it anywhere.  Finally, one appeared on ebay, my size and I bought it.
Pattern Description:
From envelope: loose-fitting, slightly flared, lined coat, above ankel, has collar, collar band, princess seams, side front pockets, long two-piece sleeves and purchased cord for raised topstitching.
Pattern Sizing:
6-8-10, I used size 10
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, the pattern has a surface cording detail on the collar, sleeves and at the bottom, which I chose to leave off.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Well…I bought my pattern on ebay (first time to buy a pattern from ebay) and it was missing the first page of the instructions.  Luckly, the coat part was straightforward.  I did refer to Power Sewing Step by Step by Sandra Betzina to insert the inseam pockets, no trouble. 
What did you particularly like  or dislike about the pattern?
I wasn’t too crazy about the way the sleeves were setting in the garment.  These were 2 pieced sleeves and I wasn’t sure if the seams in the back were supposed to meet up with the princess seams of the body.  I took a wild guess and had them offset slightly.  It doesn’t show under the collar.  The collar is the dramatic "thing" on this coat.  It’s made by attaching a collar stand to the coat and then the collar to this piece.  The pattern has a separate undercollar pattern and top collar pattern, as well as separate lining patterns.
Fabric Used:
I used the beautiful wool coating from Georgous Fabrics.  I managed to squeak this coat out of 4 yards of fabric, even though the pattern calls for 5-6 yards.  Black lining was whatever they had at Joanne’s.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
Not much, the usual shortening of sleeve length, and for petites below the waist.  However, this coat is pretty long, so even after all the shortening, I still made a 2 1/2" hem (pattern calls for 2").  The instructions also call for a sleeve facing, much like a cuff, but I left those off, and simply turned up the hem.  I made my own shoulder pads by following the directions in Threads issue #133 pages 64-66, article by Sharon Blair.  Tape the front and back pattern pieces together at the shoulders and trace a shoulder pad pattern.  I then cut out three layers of Warm and Natural Batting and topped that off with cotton organdy.  Then I pad stitched all of that by machine.IMG_2035
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
VOGUE2204
One of these in your closet is enough, but i love how this turned out!  I think the collar is a very dramatic look.
Conclusion
I think this coat weighs about 20 pounds.  Seriously, this is a nice heavy coat.  I’ll definately wear it the 3 days a year that one needs a heavy coat in Atlanta.  I’m also going to add 2 buttons at the front to close the coat.  The pattern didn’t call for any sort of closure, what’s up with that?
 
VOGUE22042IMG_2043IMG_2044
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Indygo Junction Trench Topper

Pattern Description:
"Three coats. From classic to whimsical, take you anywhere with their versitile longer length. All are encircled with a lower band to blend or punctuate. Seaming softly shapes them for a flattering fit…"

Pattern Sizing:
S-XL

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow?
well, easy enough until I got to the applied belt. There are several reviews about this pattern in magazines and on this site that mention the poor drafting of this pattern. Grainlines are not marked on all pattern pieces, and forget about notches anywhere. That being said, this coat does go together very well. I got stumped at the belt. The coat itself is princess seamed and nicely curved at the waist. How was I to apply a straight rectangle over an area that was shaped at the waist without producing puckers? Somehow, it worked. I carefully basted the belt on and then topstitched. You lose some of the pretty waist shaping when done this way. I think if I made this again, I would make the tie separate and add belt loops.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I made view 1, which called for elastic loops to attach to the top and bottom buttons. The middle button had the buttonhole in belt tab. This just isn’t very sturdy, IMO. I couldn’t figure another way to close this coat and keep the attractive lines from the picture.
Fabric Used:
I used a funky Alexander Henry cotton from my stash. I’ve actually seen this fabric done up as luggage! This piece I bought at Nancy’s Sewing Basket in Seattle. The coordinating piece was a linen from my stash that happened to coordinate.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
I chose to line this coat to cut down on wrinkling. I just cut out the same pieces from lining fabric and made a separate coat. This also happened to be my working muslin. The fitting chart is not found anywhere in the pattern, I had to go on the website to figure out what size to cut out. According to my measurements, I wore large. The muslin was way too big, so I went back and cut out a medium, which fit fine. The linen panels and collar are interfaced with a lightweight fusible. Collar and edges are topstitched.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Definately! Now that I have it fitting correctly, I would like to try out some different views and maybe a "calmer" fabric.

Conclusion
this is a cute pattern, and comfortable. Try it!

Vogue 2827

vogue2827
The recent post on www.besewstylish.com (http://besewstylish.taunton.com/n/blogs/blog.aspx?webtag=besewstylish&redirCnt=1) reminded me of a project I completed last year using a leather jacket that I rescued from VERY 80’s styling.  I had bought the original jacket at a crazy store called Unclaimed Baggage.  If you’re ever in North Alabama, it’s worth swinging over to Scotsboro.  Seriously, it’s a store where all lost luggage and contents end up.  It’s yard sale heaven, if you like that sort of thing.  Anything and everything is for sale (including fabric).  Clothing, jewelry, all manner of electronics, ANYTHING.  I bought a Samsonite suitcase and a black leather jacket.  This jacket was cursed by the 80s: humoungous dolman shoulder pads, verrry roomy dropped sleeves, a lover-ly double breasted closure that was very roomy and closed way down at the thighs (perfect to wear with your stirrip pants!);  this thing hung in my closet for at least 8 years and needed to be thrown out or reworked.  Since I’m a baby blogger, I regret that I don’t have any "before" pictures or construction pictures of this jacket.  I chose Vogue 2827.  I went to ripping the jacket apart at the seams and unglue-ing the hems-: messy business.  I’d never sewn a leather garment before, and this was good practice.  I had just received my new teflon foot from my Bernina dealer, and I was armed with all my leather sewing articles; I was ready to go.  First, the pattern:
Pattern Sizing:
Size 12,14,16.  I used a size 12
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
yep, except I shortened the jacket a good 1 1/2 inches
Were the instructions easy to follow?
yes, but since I was using leather, I didn’t follow them much
What did you particularly like  or dislike about the pattern?
I like it when patterns have separate patterns for linings (this one does); they usually include the nice pleat in the back.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
a bunch.  I had made a test muslin and found the under arm seams way too low, prohibiting movement.  I raised them on front and back pieces 1/2 inch.  I also let out the waist 1/2 inch, tapering to original pattern at hip and under arm.  I also raised the corresponding underarm seams on the sleeve pattern as well, tapering to nothing at the notches.  As usual, I shorten the sleeves, fronts and backs for petites.  I shortened the hem also.  I didnt want the zipper extending onto the collar, so I shortened the zipper and stopped it at the top before the collar.  I was worried about easing the leather sleeve cap into the armscye, but I had no troubles.  All the hems were glued and I catch-stitched the lining (china silk from my stash) to the hem.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I think that if I sewed it again, I would add another 1/2 inch to the collar width.  The finished width was only about 2 1/2 inches, a bit insubstantial for a jacket, IMO. 
Conclusion
This jacket pattern is very close fitting, but with some tweaking, it can be comfortable.  I had lots of fun with it, "re-tooling" an old out-of-
date leather jacket.   Like the sew stylish article said, think small when recycling a garment.  It seemed like the new jacket was half the size of my old one, but I was still peicing together leather to make pattern pieces big enough.  By the time I got to the collar, I was out of usable leather.  Luckily, I had some black ultra-leather in my stash I could use.  Talk about recycling!
 
                                                         vogue28272   
 
 

Loes Hinse European Pant 5001

Pattern Description: 
 From Pattern envelope, "Loes Hinse patterns are based on the designs for her boutique in Carmel, California…"  View a pants have a zipper front for use with non-stretch fabrics.  View B has an elastic waist band, darts, and is for use with knits.
Pattern Sizing:
xxs-xxl – I used size medium. 
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
yes
Were the instructions easy to follow?
very
What did you particularly like  or dislike about the pattern?
I love the fact that these pants, while stylish, are as comfortable as wearing sweatpants!
Fabric Used:
So far, I’ve made 2 pairs: the cream colored pants were made from a cotton knit purchased from nancys notions and the blue pants were a wool jersey found in the bargain bin at Denver Fabrics.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
Not much.  I took maybe 1/4" off at the top of the waist to shorten the crotch.  There are only 2 pattern pieces to this garment and , for view b, you make the waistband by folding over the tops for an elastic casing.  How easy is that?
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I very quickly whipped out 2 pairs at once, and they make great wardrobe builders.  I’m still seeing knit pants in the stores as coordinate pieces.  Using them as part of an ensemble really dresses these up.  The wool jersey pants have a nicer drape than the cotton.  I took the leftover jersey and felted it and made a small cardigan to match 
Conclusion
I’ll definately try these pants in a fluid woven at some point.  Simple zip fly instructions are included for wovens.
 

Vogue 7881

Vogue 7881, from Claire Shaeffer’s Custom Couture Collection.  Ah, yes, continuing my love/hate relationship with this wool gabardine!!  First of all, the pattern.  The description reads: straight-legged pants (semi-fitted through hip) have contour, front button yoke and mock-fly zipper.  I made my muslin in size 10, which was too tight in the hips but didn’t need to be any bigger below the knee.  I simply let out the side seams 1/4" all around from the knee up, let out the center back seam 1/4" tapering to the original seamline at the back crotch.  I also increased the waistband a size.  I used the couture construction directions, which had you easing in the shaping at the waistline rather than making darts…not gonna happen with wool gabardine!  (purchased at Denver Fabrics).  After I sewed in the ease lines along the waist lines, I moistened, eased, steamed, moistened again only to get nice little puckers.  You can see them in one of the photos.  This is unfortunate, because I love the way these pants fit and I love the drape of the gabardine.  I rarely make pants because I don’t want to take the time to get the fit right.  These work for me, and the seat isn’t baggy.  The directions don’t call for lining, but I lined these because the wool was kind of scratchy.  There’s no pleats or pockets, which is slimming.  I’ll definitely make these pants again, maybe something with stretch in it? a crepe?

Vogue 7906

I had to have this shirt after the beautiful layout in the December/Jan ’04/05 edition of Vogue Patterns (page 50).  I also had just the fabric from my stash, a piece of chartreuse silk charmeuse (say that 10 times fast!) from Tai Silks.  The Vogue Pattern tops are usually pretty good fitting for me, sometimes needing the petite adjustment.  For this pattern, I did not need to shorten the torso, just the sleeve length.  I used size 10.  I used view B, with no cuff treatment.  This really is a very simple pattern, albeit very close fitting.  I wanted that styling for this charmeuse shirt because I wanted it to be more dressy.  With this pattern, I learned a great deal about the ins and outs of sewing silk charmeuse.  Those that tell you to take great care to keep your fabric on grain while cutting out your pieces aren’t kidding!!  I managed to do that successfully, but ran into trouble easing in the sleeves!  The puckers you see in the photo were left there after my 4th retry at sewing in the darn things.  I couldn’t get those sleeve caps to ease!  I finally put in some very small sleeve heads made from silk organza to at least relieve some of the puckers.  The collar was another issue.  I wanted it to retain its funnel shape seen on the envelope picture.  The charmeuse was way too flimsy by itself so the collar fell over.  So, I fused bias tape all along the collar and neck seamline on the facing side and that did the trick.  I also interfaced the facing with silk organza.  Overall, this was a very nice pattern.  It is very close fitting, so test, test, test first.

Vogue 7467-Claire Shaeffer’s Custom Collection

Yea! I finally finished this jacket!
 
Pattern Description: "Semi-fitted, partially interfaced, lined, below-hip jacket has collar, shoulder pads, upper welt pocket, lower pockets, side panels and long two-piece sleeves."
Pattern Sizing: I used size 12.   
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow?  yes! there were tons and tons of instructions written by Claire Shaeffer employing couture techniques. They were very explicit and understandable.  Although the process is very time-consuming, one can learn alot by making one of these jackets.
What did you particularly like  or dislike about the pattern?  The pattern was well-drafted.  Believe it or not, the best thing about this pattern, if you follow the couture construcion techniques, is the hand-sewing.  All of the pad stitching in the collar and lapels used gave the collar softness, without looking limp.  With the turn of the lapel clearly marked one is able to make the collar and stand lie flat but soft (not an easy thing to do with wool gabardine!).
I used a beautiful piece of wool gab bought from Denver Fabrics, www.denverfabrics.com several years ago, thus beginning my love-hate relationship with this fabric.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I always have to "petite" the sleeves and waist length for most Vogue Patterns.  The pattern called for sew-in hair canvass for the chest piece and batiste for interfacing, but I used a stiff cotton organdy for all interfacing.  I also used fusible stay tape instead of sew-in twill tape, still with great results.
I don’t know if I would ever sew one of these jackets again, because I’m not a big fan of the BIG shoulder padded styling.  But I love the way this jacket hangs and its softness.  It’s a classic, definite keeper.  If you ever wanted to attend a couture class, but haven’t, get any one of Claire Shaeffer’s patterns and class is in session! You are in for a very technical treat!  The instructions also contain a separate section for quick, reqular assembly, using fusibles, etc. 
Conclusion:  yes, this is time-intensive, but not difficult!  You will be thrilled with the results and you will have a classic wardrobe piece that will last forever, IMO.
 
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

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