V9000 and The Big Vintage Sew-along

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Wow I can’t believe my turn on the Vintage Sew-along blogger tour has come around. I hope you like what I have to share. (Sadly I’m back to taking my own pictures. Sorry about that. And the weather was awful so I had to take the pics inside. Extra sorry about that.)

almond rock v9000 vintage sew-along sew essential

So I became very interested when I saw V9000. It made me think about my version of V1044, probably because of the kimono sleeves. It went on the shortlist (thinking, well surely I’ll be swayed into making one of the other patterns) but I kept coming back to that lovely flat collar and full panelled skirt.

almond rock V9000 Big Vintage Sew-along John Kaldor Sew Essential

In all honesty I don’t think fully buttoned shirts suit me. I have a very short neck and when I’ve tried them before I just feel claustrophobic. So I thought a high buttoned FLAT collar could be the answer.

almond rock V9000 Big Vintage Sew-along John Kaldor Sew Essential

As you can tell I rounded the pattern pieces using a French curve and trimmed some height of the rest of the collar (probably too much) to create something a little reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe’s outfit here. I wanted to go for classic black and white but resisted for a pop of colour.

The panelled skirt is great for narrow fabrics while still achieving that full skirted effect and comes together so easily.

almond rock v9000 vintage sew-along sew essential

In terms of sizing the bodice is a size 8 at the shoulders a 10 around the body and a 14 around the waist. I didn’t adjust the length of the bodice or skirt amazingly. As a shorty I normally reduce the length of skirts as a rule but I really like the length of this dress. It fits fantastically when I wear the right bra – aka not the one from these pics. Isn’t it amazing how much of a difference that makes!

almond rock V9000 Big Vintage Sew-along John Kaldor Sew Essential

This John Kaldor microfibre is medium weight, glossy and a bit stretchy (like cotton sateen) with the drape of polyester. This print is called Ursula in burgundy and the fabric is from Sew Essential, priced £10.56 per metre.

The fabric print is large and abstract enough to avoid print matching. I think it looks like a papercut in a way. Or a hamsa tattoo?

almond rock V9000 Big Vintage Sew-along John Kaldor Sew Essential

Then I used plain black polyester from my stash for the collar and the self covered buttons, with a red invisible zip and red thread (almost all of my habby supplies were from Sew Essential in fact). I used some bias binding from my stash to hem the skirt.

Is it just me that overlooked how many awesome John Kaldor prints they have? OMG – I’m going back for some of those other floral and painterly prints. And it’s nice to pick up everything you need for a project in one place.

almond rock v9000 big vintage sew-along sew essential john kaldor

SO would you make this dress? Or have any of the other patterns from the BVSA Edit caught your fancy? I’d love to know.

Please take a look at the Edit on the Vintage Sewalong site because a proportion of proceeds from the pattern sales are going to a fantastic charity, The Eve Appeal as the work they’re doing into gynaecological cancer detection, education and prevention will surely resonate with the predominantly female sewing community.

Keep looking out for Sew-along posts because there are a lot of talented bloggers still to come and I can’t wait to see their makes. Here’s my moody shot to finish hehehe.

almond rock V9000 Big Vintage Sew-along John Kaldor Sew Essential

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Pass The Wine – Vogue V1044

Phew, what a project. This is Vintage Vogue 1044, an original 1956–1957 pattern.

almond rock vintage vogue 1044 linen

I started off thinking of this as a shirtdress, but that seems flippant.

almond rock vintage vogue 1044 linen

It’s a mid-length dress with a pleated button-front bodice, and has a front and back yoke that extends into kimono sleeves. The skirt is gathered, but also designed with a snap closing in front and inverted pleats.

Everything came together when Kath shared a photo of this pattern on her instagram account. You could have bowled me over when she offered to send me her copy. I had been searching for a very long time for a copy in my size and it was like a dream come true when the post turned up from Australia.

almond rock vintage vogue 1044 linen

I chose this dress for my Vintage Pattern Pledge as a challenge to myself, to prove I could handle a complex pattern that used vintage techniques. And I think I’ve been pretty successful with it!

The pattern suggests Crepe, Shantung, Batiste or Taffeta but I picked this wine coloured Linen as I knew it would be well suited for the pleated bodice while still having enough drape for the skirt. Plus the colour is lush! Covering buttons for the bodice just seemed like the right choice too. Plus there was Gutermann thread in a perfect colour match.

almond rock vintage vogue 1044 linen

Taking time and effort with this pattern was very important to me. I made three muslins of the bodice to correct fit and practice the complicated placket instructions.

During a bout of internet research I found some brilliant tips for this dress: I changed the order of some of the steps (e.g. sewing my darts after my pleats and stay stitching my corners before assembling the yoke). I also reinforced the sharp corners where the yoke joined the bodice with squares of silk instead of the suggested seam binding.

The yoke facing is entirely hand-stitched and so was the epic hem (I added some lace trim to the hem for a sweet touch). The visible seams are pinked which gave me the chance to use my Grandma’s pinking shears she used when we sewed as a younger woman.

almond rock vintage vogue 1044 linen

I was very respectful of the pattern up to a certain point but I just couldn’t get along with the snap front skirt. It gaped and didn’t hang right, and to be honest seemed rather unnecessary. I instead recut a standard skirt and unpicked the right side-seam to hand-sew an invisible zipper.

almond rock vintage vogue 1044 linen

It’s a shame, but I had to up the exposure on the camera to show the details, the colour is a beautiful rich red. I feel so elegant in this dress. And I’m even happier that the dress matches a pair of shoes I already own, yippee!

I think the only thing I wish I’d done was add pockets. Maybe next time?

almond rock vintage vogue 1044 linenRight, pass me the wine. It’s time for a celebratory drink!

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Spot on

You won’t believe how long I’ve been waiting for August 2014.

almond rock new look 6886 viscose

It’s a month of two major events – first, it’s my 30th birthday. (Today in fact) Huzzah! And second, I’m moving to my new home and getting a sewing room.

I am VERY excited. I hope you can sense a bottled up giddiness in my photos; take a look and see if you can catch the twinkle in my eye.

So for my August Minerva make I wanted to make a strappy sundress; I mean can you blame me given the weather we were having?

almond rock new look 6886 viscose

I used an amazing spot viscose from Minerva that I can honestly say is like my absolute ideal fabric –

  • the print is small but noticeable;
  • it has brilliant drape;
  • it’s cool and soft to the touch; and
  • there are so many good colours in their I can wear a wild variety of coordinating clothes and accessories.

I’ve even used this fabric before on a dress, that’s how much I love it. I have TWO dresses in my wardrobe in it now.

almond rock new look 6886 viscose

The dress pattern used is New Look 6886 which is a great staple sundress pattern with several cute variations. I was very tempted to use gathers around the bust but in the end went plain and simple with view D.

The bodice is self-lined, and I inserted a lapped zipper (as I’m done with my invisible zipper obsession now) plus as an interesting touch I used a slider set to make the straps adjustable.

almond rock new look 6886 viscose

This is something I’ve always loved about ready to wear clothes because I have one shoulder lower than the other and even though I try so hard, fitting straps on myself isn’t 100% fool-proof. These nifty sliders are cheap to buy and come in packs of 10, in black/white/transparent.

Doing this will mean a couple of changes from the pattern pieces and a little extra effort – first you’ll extend your strap piece to  cut a much longer strap, then you’ll make a very short strap about 3 – 4 inches long. You should bring out a bra to sit next to you as you sew to compare how the straps feed through the loops.

I absolutely adore this finished dress and feel wonderful in it. It’s been worn every week since I finished it.

almond rock new look 6886 viscose

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Top 5s of 2013! The Hits

It’s nearly a brand new year so that means it’s time for a bit of reflection with the top 5 lists!

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Head on over to Gillian’s blog to grab a button and check out her suggested lists and proposal on why looking back on our projects is a helpful learning exercise.

1. The Anise jacket

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I am so proud of this jacket. I learnt so much and think it looks pretty smart. It was in daily rotation before winter hit. And I don’t think it’s scared me off jacket-making in the future

2. Simplicity 2444

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I won’t ramble on too much about this dress. Safe to say it’s an absolute winner in my eyes. And this lovely aeroplane lawn version is definitely my favourite.

3. Sassy Librarian Blouse

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My first craftsy course was brilliant. Christine Haynes was a lovely teacher and I finished up with a cute practical blouse that I have in regular use.

4. Simplicity 1755

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I’m pretty darn pleased with how polished this dress turned out even if I don’t have much opportunity to wear it. The lace matching turned out amazingly and I’m rather proud of my collar.

5. New Look 6069

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Not so obvious but this little dress has been a star in my wardrobe. Its mostly due to the soft drapey viscose. It skims over me in a flattering way and I love the print.

So there are my top 5 hits of this year. Next up are the dreaded misses!

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To The Point Top: New Look 6148

This post could also be called “The Top That No one Else Seems To Have Made But I Can’t Tell Why: New Look 6148”.

New Look 6148 almond rock

Now we know I’m a big fan of New Look patterns… Ok so sometimes it doesn’t connect, but mostly I’m in love and they’re my go to pattern company.

New Look 6148 almond rock

This top is a case in point. I love the modern yoke on the main view as well as the sleeve variations on offer. There is a slightly curved centre back seam to offer secret shaping which I like. And the pattern envelope isn’t horrendous either!

I made the straight 8 around the top, sleeves and bust and graded out to a 14 at the hips. I’ve done this so many times on NL patterns I could do it by heart. If I didn’t like cake and cider so much maybe I’d be cutting a straight 8 throughout but let’s call it genetics.

New Look 6148 almond rock

My fabrics are bright blue and black microfibre polyesters from my local market stall. I had about 3/4 of a metre of each in the bottom of my scrap bin.

Throw in an overlocked yoke edge, french seams everywhere else and some “gossamer” cotton (aka super light and silky) bias binding and this top was finished in JUST OVER AN HOUR. Boom!

That includes overlocking the sides of my back bodice and then unpicking it as I changed my mind to using the French seams.

New Look 6148 almond rock

As you can see I went for black on the yoke and back with blue just at the front. There’s so much room for playing with colour and print here. Especially if you’re adding the sleeves.

I seriously cannot understand why there are so few finished versions out there on the Internet. My favourite hobby is checking out how others have made and styled a garment that’s in my sewing queue.

In my mind this is the perfect beginner pattern.

  • It has minimal pattern pieces so it quick to cut out and sew.
  • It has enough ease to make it semi-loose meaning no major agonising about fit.
  • It’s a modern fun pattern that looks great without being too difficult.
  • You can totally just pink your seams and go! Or use french seams, overlocking (with your machine or serger) or use a hong kong finish (using seam binding) to add some extra challenge.
  • The only mildly tricksy part to this pattern is sewing the V where the yoke meets the bodice, especially if you’re using a slinky fabric; but a) the V is not that steep which makes it easier, b) if you follow the instructions and go slowly it’s totally fine, I often sew these types of seams in two goes to make it even easier, and finally c) if you’re working in a stable fabric like a nice cotton lawn I don’t even think it’d be considered troublesome!

New Look 6148 almond rock

I hope I’ve shown people this pattern is quite a good and quick little make.

 Now it’s time for me to put a lot more clothes on since the weather is rather grim outside, and then I’ll crack on with some more sewing. Hope you’re all wrapped up warm too!

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