Archive for August, 2011

Vogue 8499 – Mom Jeans Version

August 17th, 2011 8 comments

A couple of years ago I cut out these pants and sewed them mostly together at the home of my in-laws.  (This version is the one on the right in the image below.)  Then I came home and, well, put the unfinished project in a safe place.

Thanks to a bunch of re-organization that’s going on right now at Chez Noile, I re-discovered them, and have attached the waist band facing and finished them off.

Since first cutting these out, I’ve vowed to wear clothing that fits my body, rather than shapeless things that just overwhelm me, so this isn’t something I’d  necessarily either be sewing or wearing now.  For one thing, they’ve got something of a granny tush, thanks to the elastic back waist:

These are the smallest size in the envelope (8).   I’m theoretically supposed to wear a Vogue 12.  Riiiiight.  They billow all over, and definitely have a granny tush, along with an over-all “mom jeans” look when made in denim!   So beware:  This pattern runs large, very large.  It’s designed to be roomy.

Also, note the length — they’re just to the ankle on short old me (5 feet, 2 inches), but they don’t look cropped at all on the pattern photo, do they?  That’s because Vogue put them on tippy-toe dummies to make them look elongated, and to change your perception of the proportions.  Thought they’re long on me, they’d be quite cropped on a tall woman, and noticably short on a woman of medium height.

However, I recently  made a one-day round-trip drive to Brooklyn (on a weekday!  baaad idea!)  and spent more than two full hours travelling ten blocks in lower Manhattan on my way home.  Sitting interminably, and virtually immobile, in my little car, I was delighted that I was wearing clown pants with a granny tush.  I couldn’t have been more comfortable.  So there’s a time and a place for pants like these, and that was it.

The front pockets are fun, and this garment’s best feature:

The elastic back waist does make for the fastest rest stops ever.  No muss, no fuss, no bother.  That is, of course, if you’re not gridlocked in lower Manhattan.  These are super-comfortable pants, and nice and airy when the weather is over 90 degrees, and even when the fabric is a light, but firm, denim.

If I ever make them again, I’ll take in the legs as well as the tush; there’s just a lot more fabric there than is really needed, certainly for style, but even for comfort.  This is the third time I’ve made these pants, but I’m so over this kind of fit .  .  .  it’s time to celebrate my shape, not hide it.  In size 8, these fit me, but this is not a flattering look!


Vibram “Barefoot” Mary Janes!

How to Carry a Baguette (Or Two) In Your Skirt

Vogue 8499 – The Skirt, In Black

PR Mini-Wardrobe Contest: Vogue 8499

Vogue 8499 – Marcy Tilton Pants

Categories: Pants Tags:

MPB Day!

August 15th, 2011 No comments

I’m back home after several days in New York, including a Saturday spent celebrating (the first annual?) Male Pattern Boldness Day.

(Photo cribbed from MPB; that’s our fearless leader, front and center, looking, as he himself points out, quite tall.  How did he do that?  I think he’s discreetly en pointe, myself!  But you can hardly tell .  .  . )

Peter was a most amiable host and shepherded a good two dozen of us through a perfectly planned day full of New York City treats.  (We even met Michael, though he was a bit difficult to spot in the sea of humanity that we were at Brown Cup for lunch.)

Those of you unfortunate enough to have missed the day are encouraged to enjoy Peter’s excellent re-cap; I suggest that you do this immediately; those of us who are regular readers of MPB realize that a day that starts without an MPB post is hardly worth getting up for.

Since I’m leaving recounting the actual day to Peter, I’ll  just sneak in a few random notes here, to immortalize the unexpected joys of any day in New York.

For example, as I was walking from one floor to another of the Chelsea Flea Market, I discovered this marvelous vehicle parked in front:

It’s a Thunderbird, of course, and according to its owner, a 1957.  Of course, it’s owner is obviously a madman, since he actually drives this treasure in Manhattan.

Next to the Brown Cup, where we all ate lunch  (just down the street and around the corner from FIT), was a little Korean place, apparently run by the same people. It smelled heavenly, and they sell Kimchi pancakes.  Next time!  (Peter vouched for them, too, so they’ve got the MPB endorsement, though, sadly, not nearly enough seats for 25 ravenous fabric tourists.)  No picture, I’m afraid; too busy eating a tasty avocado and mozzarella sandwich from the Brown Cup at the time.

Kinokunyia is always full of surprises; we got there too late for me to buy onigiri for my trip home the next day, but many of us were treated to the sight of these otaku:

(Along with lots of Japanese sewing books, Kinokunyia sells a ton of manga.)

On the north side of Bryant Park, as I was heading off to do one last errand before packing in the day, I saw these portable racks of books (a “Reading Room”) for visitors to read while sitting in the square:

(For the electronically-inclined, or those of us, like me, who often have a rooted Nook in hand, Bryant Park, like many parks in the city, also has free wi-fi.)

In other news, I’d actually seen Peter at Metro Textiles on Thursday, where I’d gone to find some wool for a jacket. I hadn’t recognized him, go figure.   (Some fan, huh? — hey, it’s all about the fabric; focus, focus, focus!)  Kashi, Metro’s proprietor, isn’t usually open on Saturdays, so I’d figured (correctly) that Metro wouldn’t be on the agenda for MPB Day.  I even spoke to Peter’s shopping companion, Lynnelle, because the wool she was holding was such a great color.    On Friday morning, I realized my error when I saw Peter’s post, and the photos of both Peter and Lynnelle.

Metro Textiles is on West 37th Street, and it’s a great place to find fabrics at much better prices than you’d think, but it’s very hard to spot these days.  Kashi is on the third floor of a rather elegant-looking building which has had this rather inelegant looking façade for far too long:

No need to remember the floor; the men who operate the elevators are expert at spotting Metro shoppers!

All in all, it was a splendid day.  What else has Peter got in store for his legions of fans?  I wonder .  .  .

Categories: Misc Tags:

Vogue 8737 – One Pattern Piece Top

August 6th, 2011 9 comments

OK, it isn’t literally one pattern piece, since there’s a single facing piece, too, but close enough .  .  .

The front and back are identical, and the only “trick” to the construction is that the front and  back pattern pieces must both be cut right-side up, which is a little counter-intuitive.  (Ditto for the facings!)

I couldn’t help myself; I had to see how it looked in a stripe:

The upper half is pretty standard, except for the interesting neckline, but the lower half is gathered at the side, giving the top a twisted look.

The hem can look asymmetrical in back (I didn’t straighten it for these too-spontaneous photos), and I kind of like the look:

I cut a size 12, and did a fake FBA by bumping out the pattern at the bust a bit; this works pretty well with knits.  The fit is quite comfortable, but the neckline is a little too big; I’ll change that next time.  This is a quick and easy top to make up; the neck facing  gives a fast, clean finish that I like very  much.

Categories: Tops Tags:

Twister Dress

August 2nd, 2011 8 comments

OK, it’s completely wacky, but how could I resist?  It’s the BurdaStyle Twister Dress.  There is only one pattern piece; it’s placed on the fold of your fabric.  Here’s what the pattern looks like:

The angle at the extreme left is one armhole, and the curve at the top is the neckline.  If you orient to the neckline and the long sleeve, you can see that the top of the dress is, indeed, “twisted” and perpendicular to the skirt, instead of being attached in a linear fashion.

My version is hemmed all around, but if you chose not to finish this dress, you’d finish it in ten minutes, easy, on your serger.

I’m not so sure that stripes are the answer here, but this dress is so much fun!  ( I mean, did I need that swath across my backside???)  It’s also indecently short, and inclined to ride up, so I expect to be wearing it with leggings.  It may be more “top” than “dress”.  But hey, it’s just so easy!  Easy to make and easy to wear:  It pulls on just like a tee shirt.  A twisty tee shirt, but a tee shirt.  Here’s the back view (it’s maybe a little “toga”, but why not?):

Yeah, it really does look a bit carbuncular, but in person it flows much better than it seems to here.

The English version downloads with two sizes:  I think it goes up to Burda size 42 (in spite of what it says on the Burda site), but it’s altered by adding width along the fold line.  That’s easy, on the one hand, but potentially limited, you’ll be restricted by your fabric’s folded width.

Since there was no possibility of an FBA, I added a couple of inches to the width before cutting; some people might want to widen the long sleeve a bit, which is theoretically possible.

I added the strap.  I’m not a member of the “it’s OK to have the bra strap showing” school, so I tacked this on afterward.

Not only is this dress a whiz to make, but it takes just over a yard of fabric.  This print is a light, four-way stretch from JoMar; total cost for the dress was about five dollars.  Or is it a top?  Either way, the pattern is a lot of fun, and worth fooling around with a bit.

The pattern is a free download from the link below, and will use up about about 22 sheets of paper and about an hour of your time to tape them together and cut the thing out.   I’m not wild about this pattern-delivery model; if this one hadn’t been free, and if it hadn’t had only one pattern piece (22 8.5 by 11 inch pages!), I wouldn’t have bothered.

I can see, maybe, a print-on-demand pattern delivery model, where, for instance, you ordered one day, and it was printed to order and posted to you the next day.  But assembling 22 or more sheets of stiff standard paper is a pain; sewing from it is clumsy, ands is storing the bulky pattern afterward is awkward.

Of course, I may be a bit put out because I had some unexpected help:

When these guys saw me spreading all that paper out on the floor, they came running, yelling “Par-tay!  Par-tay!”

Download:  Twister Dress pattern from BurdaStyle

Categories: DIY, Dresses, Tops Tags: