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?
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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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