Diane Von Frustenberg Vogue 1548

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I last visited my Mum and found this in her pattern stash, how had I not found this before, and she can’t tell me when she acquired it.

This pattern comes in one size only and this is a size 8, with measurements of:
Bust:  80
Waist: 61
Hip: 85

and the only finished length was the finished back length from the base of the neck to the hem.

Seeing my measurements are larger than those above for the bust and waist, I wasn’t quite sure how to tackle this.

I first went to Pattern Review to see if there were any reviews and there are two but only 1 with working photos from Twinset back in 2007 which unfortunately if you are not a member of Pattern Review you can’t see that far back.  What I did notice with the photo was how wide and low the neckline was.

So I dug out Butterick 3344 which I have made previously and compared the bodice pattern pieces.

I also did a FBA of 1cm and realised quite a bit later that I had put the horizontal line in the wrong place together with my adjustment to the make the neckline less revealing made the tie square very large.  This meant I had to do some creative adjustments when sewing the facing on.

The other changes I made to the pattern were to:

  • add 1cm to the back waist seam as I did to the front with the FBA
  • straightened the side seams at the waist on the bodice by 2cm.
  • cut off 17cm at the short dress length as it was extremely long on me and this also let the front pattern piece fit across the width of the folded 150cm fabric.
  • I didn’t add the pockets
  • I only made the tie opening on the left hand side as I don’t intend to try and wear this dress back-to-front

Now this fabric has been maturing in the stash since 2012 and I have already used some to make a version of Kwik.Sew 3740.

I used a knit interfacing for the facings.

I also didn’t finish the raw edge of the facing, as the bulk of that seam would have annoyed me.

The instructions are very detailed and easy to use and it is made completely on my sewing machine as it has travelled with me to various sewing groups.

The ties for the dress are very long, so I was very thankful to have my Fasturn tubes with me which made turning the ties out so much easier.

I really like how you use twill tape to stabilise the waist when attaching the bodice.

The back neck facing kept rolling out even with clipping and under stitching and it wasn’t until I read Vi”s blog Finished Seams where she showed quite a few details of a real DFV dress reminded me that that I could also used my label to keep the facing in place. 

I did use my Coverstitch for the hems.

Dress hem with facing slip stitched in place.
Sleeve hem.

and this is how the dress looks on.

and the twirl factor

For future versions, I need to do the following adjustments:

  1. Neckline gaposis
  2. Round shoulder adjustment
  3. The 1cm I added to the waist seam needs to be removed

It is a very comfortable dress to wear and the cross-over is very generous, so no exposure was apparent during the twirling session.

2015 Stash Out: 10.55 m
2015 Stash In: 16.5 m

Activewear – Sports Top

Now for the 4th piece in my Activewear Mini Wardrobe.

Back in December, Sandra (Dilliander) one of my sewing buddies introduced a few of us to the Lekala Patterns as she had their Sports Vest with her at our sewing day and was very kind in letting quite a few of us try it on.

The interesting thing about these patterns is that you input your own measurements into the order form and for $2.50 + 50c for the addition of seam allowances you have a pattern that uses your measurements, even some of your basic adjustments i.e. high waist can be specified.

Needless to say that I soon visited the site and downloaded my own Sports Vest to see how it compared to the BWOF or even the Big 4 patterns.

Again, it is another downloadable pattern.  Once I had taped it together and traced off the pattern I did do my standard sway back adjustment.

The fabric for this top is again a combination of the brown Stella Cotton Elastomeric from Standard Knits that I have used for the other pieces for the main front and back panels and the navy Supplex that Sandra and I purchased from Metro Fabrics earlier this year for the side panels and the two yoke pieces.  I have again used the leftover fabric from this top for the neck and armhole bindings.

I had fun again with my Coverstitch Machine:

*  Used the knitbinder to attach the neckline and armhole bindings.

* Put the variegated thread in the looper for the two princess seams.
* Back to brown thread in the looper for the reminder of the hem.

and now some more yoga

I am very happy with how this pattern has turned out, it is hard to tell in most of the above photos, but the top one does show the fit and maybe a small FBA will get rid of those wrinkles, but pretty good straight off the PC.

Today’s photo shoot had hubby cut my legs of for most of the photos, so back to the drawing board and the digital remote tomorrow for the final garment.

2014 Stash Out: 22.2 m
2014 Stash In: 45.75 m

Activewear – Gym shorts

Here is my 3rd piece for the Activewear Mini Wardrobe, and it is my second pattern from Fehr Trade the  Duathlon shorts

The pattern includes the booty short, biker or capri length and the capri is the type of short that I prefer to work out in, although this winter weather is making me wonder if I should also get the PB Jam Leggings but I will see how I survive for a while first.

These are also made out of the same brown Stella Cotton Elastomeric as my Yoga Pants and I have used some leftovers of this top for the side pockets.

I cut out a size XXS as per my measurements, again scooped the crotch curve lower and after reading a number of reviews I also straightened the hip curve.

Because of the patterned side panel, I only used the brown thread for the cover stitching on all the seams.

The pockets look so tiny, however my iPhone 5 fits very snuggly in there.

How did that speck of grass get there!

Now for some action shots:

For once hubby didn’t cut my head off 🙂

I am very happy to report that I have finished the sewing of the 5 pieces, so I will be back again tomorrow with the 4th garment.

2014 Stash Out: 21.5 m
2014 Stash In: 45.75 m

Activewear – Jalie 3022

I am in the process of trying to make 5 pieces of active wear this month using some of the fabric that I purchased back in January.


Well over at Pattern Review they are holding their annual Mini Wardrobe competition and the rules state that it must contain 5 pieces to achieve 6 looks.   Now I don’t wear too many dresses and my wardrobe at present has far too many skirts and jeans in it to make any more.

The one area of my life that is very neglected is active wear.  Now I am not a gym junkie, however 3 times a week, I work out at home and my current work out gear is looking a bit sad and sorry for itself.

The patterns I have chosen are:

Jalie 3022 Yoga pants
Fehr Trade Duathlon Shorts
Lekala Sports Vest
Fehr Trade VNA top
Seamster Patterns Advocado Hoodie

I took me a while to work out what colour combination I would like to use and have ended up using brown, navy, grass green and leftover pieces from this top

To start it all rolling, I decided to make up the Yoga Pants from Jalie

I traced the Size R and then scooped the crotch curve lower like I did for my Jeans and thought I would try a horizontal tuck of 1cm at the back upper thigh to see if this would remove the excess fabric in that area.

The yoga pants have a seam at the back of the leg, so I purchased some variegated embroidery thread that blended well with the top fabric to add some interest on the back leg and side seams as well as around the waistband.

To get this look, I threaded the embroidery thread in the looper of my Coverstitch machine and then set up the needles on the widest width and sewed the seam allowances down on the wrong side which gave me this very RTW look on the right side.

I didn’t do the contrast waistband as I tend to wear my tops longer.

I used plain brown thread for the other seams using the same technique.

Here they are!

All the other pieces are in various stages of construction so I will be back soon.

2014 Stash Out: 18.8 m
2014 Stash In: 45.75 m

How to spend a Saturday

One of the reasons I purchased the Janome CP 1000 was to help me get a more professional hem on my purchased t-shirts when I shortened them as they are always too long.

As the Sydney weather has suddenly taken a quick trip south in temperature, I need tops desparately so the other Saturday instead of going to one of the two ASG Groups I go to I bit the bullet and got stuck into this job.

It took me most of the day because I probably do it a lot more labour intensive than it needs to be, however this system worked for me.

  • First of all I tried on all the tops and pinned the hem where I wanted it to be.
  • Measured the turned up amount, deducted 2cm from this and cut the remaining hem off.
  • Pressed up the 2cm hem.
  • Glued the hem in place.
  • Wound the 3 bobbins to use in the Bob N’ Serge and threaded the machine.
  • Stitched the hems.
  • Finished.
  • I now have 7 t-shirts that are the correct length.

    The amount I shortened these t-shirts varied by brand ranging from 5cm to 8cm and that is not including the hem amount.

    I have also made a note in my notebook of how much to wind on the bobbins for each hem as I’m sure this will be a job I have to do again.

    Not quite finished

    With all the good intentions, my plans didn’t work out for WiaW.

    DH came home with a cold last week and by Friday I was thanking my lucky stars that I had’t managed to get it, unfortunately I came down with the sore throat and stuffy head that night.

    I had managed to sew the Black and Burgundy Wool pants during the week after some major frog stitching and letting the seams out, and these are up to the hemming stage for both the pants and their linings.

    The Mauve cross over top was next on the list. This is the first time I have sewn mesh and I have learnt a few things maybe about this mesh in particular e.g. when I sewed the Seams Great around the neckline I usually pull this reasonably tight to prevent gaposis, however after I had coverstitched the tape under, the side seams didn’t line up, so frog stitching again, the coverstitch is quick to unpick once you find the looper thread but the zig zag I used for the Seams Great took forever. Second attempt was much more successful until this afternoon.

    I have learnt a very large lesson – do not to touch the overlocker when I’m not feeling 100%.

    When I first did the coverstitch hem on the neckline of the cross over top it just wasn’t working so I logged onto Pattern Review – Sergers, Coverstitch and Blindhemmers Message Boards and I found under Vonnevo’s Tips to use the Bostik BluStik to glue down the hems and once dry this gives the mesh enough body for the coverstitch and it washes out in the wash. It worked brilliantly.

    The plan is to finish the pants and make up the mauve cowl neck top and take my mesh top to the next ASG day to see if any of the ladies there can show me a creative way to fix this.

    BWOF 5-2008-103

    This is the first BWOF garment I have made and besides a few fitting issues that I have found now I am wearing it for the first time, I am really happy with the outcome.

    First of all I really appreciate the Reviews at PatternReview so before I even traced the pattern I was aware of a few issues.

    1. The neck line was a bit lower than most of the reviewers liked, so I added 1cm.

    2. The bottom hem on the front of the top is actually curved at the bottom (you can see the curve line that I drew when tracing the pattern) it ends up following the edge of the bottom of the band. This is not how I want to wear my tops, so I added to the bottom of the front pattern so that it was the same length as the back pattern.

    3. Others commented about the fullness in the front gathers, so I took out 1cm in the width above the horizontal dart to reduce this fullness.

    4. The band is rather wide so I took out two lots of 1cm from the width to make this smaller as well.

    These adjustments are in addition to my standard adjustments e.g. rounded shoulder, high round back, sway back and gaposis on the front neck edge.

    So without further ado, here is the finished top

    As you can see it is pulling in the front around the armholes and I need to deepen these as they are “cutting” into me and I’m not sure if this will fix the pulls in the picture, I will have to see. This will be a bit of a challenge as I have sewn the seams with my overlocker and can’t afford to make this top any tighter LOL.

    My Janome CP1000 was christened for this project, and after doing the first lot of hems on the band, the sigh of relief that resulted with no tunnelling that I continually suffered with twin needles on my sewing machine was immense and even though I did have to “frog stitch” the hem, after reading Debbie Cook’s Coverstitch Tutorials I found the secret to doing these.