Open Skirt Project: an update + PR Sewing Bee

Dear readers,

 

First of all, I’m super happy to report that I have passed round #1 of the PR Sewing Bee contest, along with 55 amazing other seamstresses. The bad news that the second challenge is a man shirt refashion. And I hate refashions, they don’t suit my style. So it’s going to be a real real challenge this time: make a refashion looking polished… I also needto buy a thrifted shirt in a Pèpè (second hand stuff sold on the sidewalks) because The Old Man will not commit one of his!

To keep pretending that I follow-up on my announcements, I wanted to update you on the free skirt pattern that I have been talking about here. I created the first draft from the Muller&Sohn book and ran a first toile.

photo

I decided on a number of changes such as bringing some ease at the waist and shortening the back darts. I also offset the vent by 3/8″ to make it appear more closed.

For the second toile, I ran out of muslin and used the cheap gingham reserved for school uniforms in Haiti. By accident, I created the vent on the wrong side (and realized only after taking pictures).

Openskirt V2

I decided to bring the front darts a bit closer and to change some of the construction details of the vent. Also, the back is a bit big on me but I am a slightly smaller than my sample size.

I have been exchanging emails with Miranda, a super nice reader, and a New York patternmaker friend about this project. Their input have been invaluable. Thus, I would like to extend the discussion to whoever is interested. I have a lot of questions about what would people prefer (serged edges, favorite zipper type, number of pages for the PDF, etc.) If you feel like telling me what you believe is the best way to sew a vent, to layout a pdf or you just want to sew the pattern for yourself, let me know. The pattern is currently available in my sample size (that I’m arbitrary named size 2).
I already able to send V3 of the pattern in the sample size. Measurements are the following:

Sewing Tidbits – Skirt 1101 – Size 2
Cm Inches
Body Measurements
Waist 63 24 6/8
Hip 90 35 3/8
Hip Length 20.5 8 1/8
Finished Measurements
Waist 65.4 25 6/8
Hip 94 37
Skirt Length 55 21 5/8

Ultimately, i want to release 3 sizes, 1 up and 1 down from the sample size. If you want to participate in this discussion, please email me. I promise to send a weekly update on the project.

Wow, promises… Dangerous.

#PRSewingBee – A-line Skirt – Vogue 1247

Dear readers,

You may have realized that I am awful at sewing on a deadline. I announced my participation in the Pattern Review Surprise Sewing Bee contest and then COMPLETELY forgot to check PR on 1st of November. On the 3rd I had almost a panic attack reading that submissions were due on Friday. It meant that I had no weekend to sew, when 99% of my sewing time usually happens… But I managed!
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I stole 15 minutes here and there to make a lined version of the infamous skirt from Vogue 1247. Two years ago, I made the top and I cannot say that I liked it. It was huge and uncomfortable, even after alterations. I probably wore it twice. However, I heard only great things about the skirt. So I figured it could be a quick project not requiring a muslin.

wpid948-Vogue1247stripes-5.jpg wpid954-Vogue1247stripes-19.jpg wpid956-Vogue1247stripes-21.jpgSo many people reviewed this pattern since 2011 that I believe that everything has been said, but here are my remarks:

  • The construction of the pockets is a bit fiddly. I’m sure there is an easier way, but I had no time to figure it out.
  • I did little bartacks to reinforce the pocket openings.
  • The design/fit/finishing are great. If all the Vogue patterns were like that, we the overall standards of sewing patterns (indie and non indie) would be higher.
  • Creating a lining pattern is very easy: just overlap the yoke and skirt parts for the front and the back. For the back lining, I recommend removing the SA were the lining is attached to the zipper for a clean finish. Attaching the lining to the tape is similar to sewing the pocket bag on a welt (do I make any sense? Is further explanation required?).
  • I used french seams for the lining.
  • Although it is lined I still used seam binding (snug hug tape) because it’s my favorite finishing method and it looks a lot cleaner than over locked edged to me.

The fabric comes from my 2013 Paris fabric shopping. It’s a striped cotton silk blend that I found at De Gilles. Friends attending Chardon-Savard fashion school recommended the shop many years ago but only last year I managed to pay a visit. It also appears to not be on the radar of fabric tourists but trust me, it’s a gem! The prices are not cheap but what you will find there, you will not encounter anywhere else in the city.

wpid958-Vogue1247stripes-22.jpg wpid962-Vogue1247stripes-25.jpg wpid964-Vogue1247stripes-26.jpgThe main fabric being a bit thin, I decided to line the skirt with something more substantial and I used cotton baptiste from my stash. I  got it in New York but where, when and why? I have no idea… I appear to be the victim of stash amnesia syndrome!

I’m very pleased with my skirt, and with myself since i managed to make it happen in 2 (work/week) days. The Old Man likes it too, according to him “it looks like an apron… in a good way”. Whatever that means. But he suggested a linen version, so I guess he does like it.

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Last point, pictures are from my new camera! I have been practicing every weekend to learn the manual mode and I feel like it’s starting to make sense. But of course taking pictures in 5 minutes between the door and the car before going to work is not the easiest way to practice new skills…

In addition, the fabric has a subtle sheen to it (think very very thin taffeta) which makes it a pain to look ironed. I did my best but I realize that it may not be the best fabric choice for a sewing contest. Especially on PR, where people are picky (with reason). So I leave you with my far-from-perfect focus and slightly wrinkled look…

Did you enter the contest? Which is your favorite submission so far? I love Dawn’s crazy zebra lining!

Seamwork

Dear readers, Apart from pyjamas made from the Madeleine free pattern, I never ever made a Colette pattern. They don’t fit my size, my style or my sewing preferences (too much hand sewing and beginner techniques). However, I do own the book, I’ve been reading the blog since the beginning and got on every email […]

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Named pattern : the Shadi skirt

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Dear readers, It appears that I have been making a lot of announcements on this blog lately and my follow-up capacity is limited. But, for once, I have good news: you may remember my purchase of the Shadi Knit Skirt pattern from the F/W 14-15 collection of Named Patterns. Well, I did sew 2 versions of the skirt in […]

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PR surprise contest!

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Hi! I just stumbled on this Surprise Sewing Bee Contest on PR and I think it looks like a lot of fun! I will probably fail at committing the appropriate number of hours as early as week1 but I want to try! Who else is joining??

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Anachronistic sewing – still stuck on Archer shirt

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Dear readers, I rarely manage to make-up the “trendy” sewing pattern at its trendy time. While you all finished your Alder shirt dresses, I still sew Archers. In addition, when Alder first came out, I could not wait to make it up, but now I am having second thoughts. A-line may not be that flattering on me after all. Also, unrelated to […]

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Slouchy white linen pants and thoughts on the online sewing world.

The pattern is a very modified version of this Japanese book.

Dear readers, Forgive me in advance for the ramblings. To ameliorate it, paragraphs will be separated by pictures from the white linen pants I made 3 months ago. Since then I change the waistband to the same rectangular waistband as my linen shorts. I feel funny. I have pictures of finished garments to show and […]

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Photography for sewing bloggers – My plan to improve

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Dear readers,   First, hello from Panamá! In the middle of my holidays in Guatemala, i’m attending a work training and I will be back in Haiti next week. I used the opportunity of being in Guatemala and Panama to buy some sewing notions (nothing exciting), and I found a beautifully cheap washed cotton but […]

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A simple black Nettie dress

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Dear readers, Do you realize that as seamstresses, we tend to overanalyze our wardrobe? I mean who else spends these hours reading about the Wardrobe Architect, or every current and vintage wardrobe/style advice ever printed? I, for example, am having a massive style crush on Un-fancy. Even though her style is much much more casual […]

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New Named patterns!!!

I have no idea why my blogroll is not full of them already but FYI the new Named patterns are out!! I never tried them before, mostly because I believe that they are designed with tall (Finnish) people in mind. And obviously 5’3 dark hair me does not qualify (not because of the hair). But […]

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