Hi readers! Welcome to the first SWAP (Sewing With A Plan) and first wearable of 2017; I’m calling it a mini-SWAP. Taking baby steps here so that it does not get out of hand.
- Vogue DKNY 1179 from the pattern stash, a 2010 issue. Not available anymore.
- Go-to pants pattern for the last 3 years, Vogue Today’s Fit by Sandra Betzina 1411.
- Hot Patterns blouse; its The Artful Dodger Prudence Blouse, and is even older than the DKNY, but oh so pretty. Probably discontinued.
- A long stashed, very drapey, embroidered rayon in creamy white will hopefully become the Prudence Blouse.
- Italian rayon with some stretch for the DKNY dress (a long tunic for me). Love that graphic print. Fabric seller: Sew Much Fabric.
- Stretch poplin in a spring color called “Bahamanian’ blue. This will become pants, and will be worn with both tunic and blouse. Fabric Seller: Sew Much Fabric.
What do you think of the plan? Can each item be worn with the other two?
Today, the first piece in the plan makes an appearance. Vogue Patterns DKNY 1179.
Thoughts about the pattern and fabric.
The fabric is a dream to sew! Drapey as it is, it sewed up smoothly, pressed beautifully and feels great on the body.
Pattern shape: in the photograph it looks as if it’s tapered in at the bottom – and it is. The overall effect is like a “sack” dress popularized by the House of Dior in the 50s, but modernized.
After looking at the pattern pieces, I went straight to reviews on PatternReview.com. Some reviewers encountered two issues which I anticipated, although no reviewer seemed miffed. Heh. They just used their own tactics to make a successful dress.
The hem: The deep hem is a generous 4 ¼ inches. Herein lies the first issue. The side seam on the front tapers IN straight through to the bottom cut edge. It should have begun to taper OUT, starting 4 ¼” above the raw hem edge, so when the hem is folded up, there is no shortage at the side seams; and if you force it to match the side seam, there will be puckers. Know what I mean? That is the reason the dress on the envelope shows puckers at the hem depth. Funnily enough, the back side seam is ok. I’m a little miffed because I’ll have to spend time adjusting that. The pattern reviewers just made a narrow hem instead of the deep hem. Good, but I want to stay with the designer’s aesthetic. So this is how it got fixed. I added some paper at the side seam of the front pattern, folded up the hem 4 ¼”, then cut out the side seam. When unfolded, the pattern tapered out and thus assured an unpuckered hem. See my red line in picture below.
The armhole: the front armhole seemed extra small for size 16. I measured the entire armhole and it was 17” inches – a good 2-3 inches smaller than my usual measurement in a sleeveless garment. Ok, so I lowered the front armhole by 1 inch. Grading issue by Vogue Patterns?
Then, my usual adjustment: I’m such a shortie. I reduced 2 inches length of the piece by folding up at the two lengthen/shorten lines on the tissue.
After the adjustments it was quickly sewn. A little time needs to be spent on perfectly aligning the front pleats, but other than that, its a quick sew. I did not use a serger to finish the seams, but made double stitched seams on the machine as the pattern guidesheet suggested. Why? Because it would have taken me more time to change the serger thread, and this fabric is tightly woven without any fraying. So here it is, and I like it a lot!
What do you think? You need to cheer me on so I can keep making SWAPs. What about you? Are you sewing with a plan?
Happy New Year! Wishing you a lot of self made chicness in 2017!!
Blogging disclosures: in the photograph, the hem is pinned at the time of writing. It’s sewn now and you will see it on me (as a long tunic) with the blue pants when they are sewn up. Until next week…..