Category Archives: V8952

Vogue 8952 – View B in a linen knit

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I don’t like sewing staples very much. However, I had a bit of linen jersey in my stash and thought it might make a nice top for Fall.

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I used Vogue 8952, and made View B in a size 12.

I made a few very small changes to the pattern:

  • I narrowed the waist/hip flare.
  • I *think* I shortened it a little too. I wanted a simple, long sleeved top rather than a flared (borderline) tunic.
  • I lengthened the sleeves by an inch.
  • I also attached the funnel neck a little differently. I doubled it over, rather than leaving it as a single hemmed piece. I didn’t want quite so much drape around my neck.

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I don’t mind the way this top turned out. It’s not perfect, but it is perfectly wearable. The neckline is more stretched out in my top than what you’d normally see (even though I did stabilise it). I should have adjusted for my broad shoulders/back (as I would normally do if I were sewing a woven fabric). The neck seam should probably sit a little further in towards my neck on each side. However, I knew that the type of knit I was using, and the wide nature of the neckline would be very forgiving to broad shoulders. And it is comfortable to wear so I can deal with it.

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A simple white staple and a super leather skirt

It might seem like I’ve been churning out a tonne of clothes in the last few months. I sew a little each night and it’s been good to restock my wardrobe. I arrived in Kansas nearly six months ago with one small suitcase of clothes, culled down to the bare minimum. It was seriously all the clothes I owned. But before you feel sorry for me, there were at least another 2-3 suitcases filled to the brim with fabric and patterns that I chose to bring with me in the place of clothes. It’s been great to have the need to sew anything and everything, rather than just wait to replenish staples.

 

But amidst my wardrobe restocking, I’ve somehow missed out on some staples, meaning long sleeved cotton tops and T’s, the boring stuff. So I decided to sew one. That’s right, one will do me. I’ll stick to frosting any day. It took me a good two weeks to choose the pattern and decide how to modify it. And then it took me another week to actually sew it. It was like somebody pressed my slow-motion button. I can frenzy up a full outfit in 3-4 days if I’m excited enough. Yes, it cuts into my sleep a little, but to me it’s worth it.

I used Vogue 8952 for this top. I’ve used the pattern before, here and here. I made the raglan style this time, but modified it a little:

  • the sizing is roomy so I sewed down a size but widened the back by 5/8″ (my normal broad back adjustment)
  • I widened the sleeves
  • narrowed the waist
  • Increased the hem allowance but kept it straight and simple. I’m most likely to wear this top tucked in.

I’m pretty happy with the fit and the shape of this top. It is exactly what I was after and I know I will get a lot of wear out of it. So was it worthwhile sewing this ‘staple’? It was actually. I was able to refine the shape of a simple top to exactly what I wanted. The fabric also makes a difference for me. As boring as it may seem, this basic cotton knit from Tessuti Fabrics is actually a really beautiful fabric. It’s quite stable, but still stretchy, with a lovely firm weight and feel. It is pure cotton, not poly, so I also know it will last well without pilling.

 

And now that we’ve gotten the boring old staple out of the way, what do you think of my new skirt?! It’s a pretty simple, self-drafted circle skirt, fully lined in silk habutai from Mood. The leather is a Minelli cowhide from Tandy. It is a fair bit heavier than what I’ve used before and probably more suited to a jacket. I much prefer lambskin, but I compromised on weight to get this colour. I love the colour. It is exactly what I was dreaming of.  

The weight of the cowhide made sewing a bit difficult at times, and I know I could have finished the back waistband better where it fastens. I ended up putting a button on the inside, attached with a leather loop. I couldn’t stitch through the leather neatly enough so I sewed some interfaced fabric on the inside and attached the button to this. It’s worked out ok in the end. I’m going to call that outside stitching a design feature, and cross my fingers that the button holds up to the weight of the skirt.  

Neoprene and wool whiteout

 

Before I start waxing lyrical about neoprene, I should point out that the top you see in the photos is the from the same pattern that I used here. Even the long hem is the same. I just tucked it in, but I’m sure you will see it untucked in some future blog post. The only modification is the addition of those cuffs on the sleeves. The difference in drape is due to the fabric, a beautiful lightweight wool jersey remnant from Tessuti Fabrics.  

But now it’s time to talk neoprene. I had a little piece of it left over after making my Tokyo jacket (yet to be blogged!) and there was no way I was going to let it go to waste. Neoprene is such a fun fabric to sew with. I purchased mine from Tessuti Fabrics in Sydney and it is the most beautiful shade of creamy white. It has a firm, slightly foamy hand (like wetsuit fabric!) but is not crisp. It’s also quite lightweight. I love the way neoprene has such a perfectly smooth and full bodied feel to it.

Neoprene lends itself to sewing garments that are structured or more static on the body. It doesn’t drape well, but is great for making fitted clothes or items that have a bit of body to them. It’s also a pretty good winter fabric because it blocks the wind and insulates well. The problems I faced when sewing with neoprene were mainly to do with the added bulk in the seams and facings. There is also the fact that it is difficult to press and doesn’t seem to hold a decent crease.

I decided to make a pencil skirt with the last of my neoprene. As it was, I barely had enough to do this. In fact, I had to split the waistband in two, which meant I ended up with a seam centre front…eek! I should have thought of this earlier and split the waistband into three pieces instead. To salvage it, I sewed some crystal beads along the CF seam and I’m calling it a design feature!


I drafted the skirt pattern myself. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while now. Seriously, every lady should have a basic pencil skirt block in their pattern haul, but I did not. As simple as it was, it still took me a couple of muslins to deal with the fit issues. I was quite careful about not making it too tight below the hips. Even though I love the drama of a very narrow and streamlined pencil skirt, I just find them so impractical. I always end up tearing them or not wearing them at all.  

 
 

I love the back zip feature of this skirt. I actually wanted to insert a zip just like Christy from Little Betty Sews, in the recent denim skirt she made. But for some reason, I just couldn’t come up with the correct technical name for it and in my (three!) online purchases, ended up with reversible, double sided and some other completely unsuitable zipper. In frustration, I took to one I had with pliers, only to create what you see here, which is exactly the same as another unsuitable option that I already had in my stash! I’m such a caboose. I should have just re-read Christy’s post because she even provided the link to her most perfect zipper! And there you have it, the term I needed to be googling was ‘two way separating jacket zipper’!

The other issue I had with this skirt was the bottom hem. Neoprene doesn’t seem to fray much, if at all, but I wanted to finish the hem properly. The unfinished hem was also rolling up towards the good side so I was hoping that by hemming it, I could flatten out this roll. The first time I hemmed it, I didn’t interface it, so the roll became even more pronounced. The next time, I applied a fusible interfacing strip along the inside of the hem to prevent it stretching out as I stitched. Neoprene doesn’t have much stretch (just mechanical) but it is an unusual fabric to sew with and it wasn’t behaving over the curve of that hem.

 

The back hem worked out ok the first time without the interfacing because the length of hem was short (split by the zipper). I realise now, it would look better had I interfaced it as well. The front hem was a disaster the first time, and passable, but not perfect with the interfacing. It didn’t look any good with a serged edge either (I tried that out before the twin needle). You can best see that naughty little hem flipping me the bird out in the photos where I am side facing. I think it would have worked better if I had finished the front curved hem with facing instead of folding it up as a narrow hem. Next time!

And will there be a next time with neoprene? Absolutely! I’m a little bit smitten with this textile. Has anyone else out there sewn with neoprene, and what do you think of it?




V8952 in pixelated glory

 

And what you see paired with my favourite fancy pants (seen also here and here) is the world’s easiest top and the same bad hair as from here. The pattern I used was Vogue 8952. I made up a Medium in View C, but with a few changes:

  • added a neckband
  • shortened the sleeves by several inches
  • widened the sleeves by a couple of inches. I did this by raising the shoulder seam until it was almost straight (instead of curving downwards)
  • dropped the armscye by a few inches
  • lengthened the hem and created a deep dip at the back

 

Pictures do not do this cotton jersey justice. It is the softest, most deliciously drapey jersey I have felt in the longest while. The print is a really unique pixelated design. I purchased it from Tessuti a few months ago. It was one of those fabrics I walked past and fell in love with instantly, but had no idea what I would do with it. They only had one roll of it so I’m not sure if it is still available. In any case, it’s about time I broke up some of that white in my wardrobe. Don’t you agree?