Month: July 2015

Vogue 1298 // Rachel Comey

I’m back with another pattern that didn’t initially catch my eye, but that I’m now smitten with! This is my version of Vogue 1298, a design by Rachel Comey.

Vogue 1298

I am a huge fan of¬†Rachel Comey’s designs in general, so I’m surprised it took me so long to buy this pattern. Inspiration struck via Pinterest (as it so often does), where I stumbled upon some images of the original designer dress made up in a paint spattered white denim. Here are some pics of said dress, arranged into a collage using my extremely rudimentary photo editing skills:

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If you search for ‘Rachel Comey Tippet dress’ on Pinterest you’ll be able to find these images. The dress pictured on the top left is another original Rachel Comey version. Sometimes pattern envelopes don’t show all of a garment’s true potential (this dress is shown on the pattern envelope in a purple snakeskin-ish print, neither of which are my thing) so it’s good to know the style name of a designer dress in order to seek out alternative versions. For example if you search for ‘Rachel Comey Navigator top’ you’ll see some really great versions of the original designer top that is featured in the Rachel Comey V1247 pattern. Maybe this isn’t news to you but it opened up a whole new world of inspiration for me!

Vogue 1298

Garment deets: the pattern envelope suggests lightweight linen, silk dupioni and sateen, but having been inspired by the denim version I went with a medium weight silk cotton from my stash. It has a denim-y, twill weave to it but has a smooth feel on the wrong side, which makes it good for wearing over tights. The medium weight meant that I didn’t need to line the skirt. I lined the bodice with a scrap of left over Liberty:

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Construction was fun, and the instructions were clear, however I had a few issues with the back waistband (the two pieces adjoining the top of the zip in the photo above). The pattern piece was odd looking but I went along with it, only to find that it was too long and deep for the CB seam. I had to cut off about an inch on either side to make it meet correctly in the middle and line up with the bottom of the bodice. I spent quite a while trying to figure out my mistake and I’m still not sure what went wrong, but it all worked out in the end.

Vogue 1298

The back is definitely where all the action is with this dress! I originally wasn’t sold on the open back since I’m not usually an open back kind of person, but I think it looks pretty cool over this striped top. You’d run into bra issues if you wore it on its own, plus it makes a great winter dress layered over a top and tights.

Vogue 1298

It’s hard to tell in these photos, but another very cool detail is the curved hem, which is finished with a deep facing. If I make this again I’ll ensure that the skirt is a couple of inches shorter all the way around. As it stands I think it’s giving off a bit of an apron vibe. I think for a summer version a shorter length would be a must. Excuse the wrinkles below, I had been test driving this dress all day!

Vogue 1298

All in in all I enjoyed sewing this dress and I really really like it. The fabric was nice to work with and the pattern has all sorts of great details, so I’d definitely recommend it. Unfortunately the Vogue website lists this pattern as being out of print, but perhaps there are some leftover copies to be found online. I really hope that Vogue releases some more designs by Rachel Comey!

Top No. 64

Lately I’ve had a bit of a thing for raglan tops. And kangaroo pockets. Top No. 64 by Merchant and Mills has both!

Top 64

You know how sometimes you see a pattern and it registers vaguely but you have no intention of making it? And then, a few months later, something clicks and suddenly you just MUST have said pattern? Yep.

Top 64

This happened to me when I saw Lisa’s version on the Tessuti blog. I think she made it a while ago but I only recently saw it, and all of a sudden I saw untold potential.

Anyway enough about what convinced me to buy the pattern, let’s talk about the top I made. The pattern suggests canvas and the like for a kind of work top look, but I went for a squishy boiled wool from my stash. For once I did a toile first, using some wool flannel, but the resulting garment was a bit restrictive for my liking, and the neckline a bit high. For the version you see here I widened the neck by about 1cm all around, and sewed the underarm seams at 1cm instead of 1.5. It helps that the boiled wool has some give to it, so this came out like a very cozy jumper. Bonus: boiled wool doesn’t fray, so I didn’t need to finish any of the seams! I just turned and hand stitched the hems. I used an interfaced Liberty scrap for the neck facing.

Top 64

Top 64

This is the first Merchant and Mills pattern I’ve tried, and I really enjoyed the experience. I didn’t splash out and get the super duper cardboard pattern, I just got the tissue version, but it was lovely to use and I liked the way that the instructions were illustrated. I’ll definitely use this pattern again.

I’ve been wearing it to work over Scout tees and with jeans, and it has proved to be a very practical and warm addition to my wardrobe!

Top 64

Have you tried a Merchant and Mills pattern? Which one and what did you think? I’d be keen to try others!

 

 

Wintergardens

Last weekend, my Mum came up for a visit, and we explored the Wintergardens in the Auckland Domain. Perfect opportunity to photograph some new makes!

Vogue 1247 and Papercut turtleneck

I’m wearing my third and most successful version of the skirt from the ever popular Rachel Comey pattern, Vogue 1247, along with a merino Papercut Rise Turtleneck. I’ll talk about the skirt first, since it’s my favourite of the two.

The fabric I used for the skirt is a luscious stretch cotton sateen. I love this stuff! I purchased it at Britex a couple of years ago when we were on holiday in San Francisco. I originally intended to make pants with it, but just recently I had the idea of using it for V1247. I feel like I’ll get much more wear out of this fun print in skirt form. Also, hooray for holiday fabric!

Vogue 1247 skirt

The best bit about this pattern is definitely the kangaroo pockets! I’ll admit that in every day wear I don’t have much impetus to put my hands in them, but for whatever reason, this little photo shoot is full of hands-in-pockets shots.

Vogue 1247 and Papercut turtleneck

The pattern doesn’t call for stretch fabrics, but I find that a little bit of stretch can make a garment so much more forgiving, i.e. after a big lunch! I’ve never been a big fan of restrictive wasitbands, so I used a ¬†lightweight interfacing with a bit of stretch so that I could retain the give in the waistband.

Vogue 1247 and Papercut turtleneck

I didn’t fuss too much over pattern matching but I did try to have things going in the same direction where possible. The print was a bit off grain, very irritating, but I don’t think that it’s too noticeable on the finished garment.

Vogue 1247 and Papercut turtleneck

On to the top! This is the Rise turtleneck from Papercut. I’ve now made two of these, one of each style (the Fall turtleneck has dropped shoulder seams). I think I made a size small in these photos, but I probably should have gone down one or two sizes since it’s pretty large, and the shoulder seams aren’t quite where they should be. I think that any issues I have with this version are through maker’s error, so I’m quite keen to give it another go in a smaller size and perhaps in a heavier weight merino. I think that the combination of this slightly drapery merino + too large size result in not quite the look I was after, but for the purposes of keeping warm, it’s great! It’s definitely a cozy garment and I really love the big turtleneck. I should mention that this isn’t fully the Rise version since I took the baggy turtleneck piece from the Fall version and just stuck it on the Rise neckline. The Rise is supposed to have a lower neck piece but I went for maximum neck coziness.

Vogue 1247 and Papercut turtleneck

Prior to this I wasn’t much of a turtleneck wearer, but I can definitely attest to the comfort factor!

Are you a turtleneck fan? Do you think you’ll try the new Papercut pattern?