Saturday, February 28

Mardi Gras Celebrations: My new top Vogue 8747 and StyleArc pants

Well, hello all, today I come to you with two new pattern playmates.  We have the Katherine Pants, from StyleArc Patterns, sharing the spotlight with a true success!!!. a shirt from the Vogue 8747 patterns, which may very well become one of my favorite button downs.
 
I don't know about you, but I like to eat my dessert before my dinner...just in case I get too full, at least I had the good stuff first.  Thus, it is with this post...I will give you the gist on the top first.
mardi gras colors
Vogue 8747 top view D:
I call this my Mardi Gras blouse, because a friend told me, after I showed here this fabric; "Oh, those are Mardi Gras colors!  How exciting."  I had no clue.  I bought that fabric last year, and was just drawn to the beautiful watery movement of buildings nearly hidden in the print. I'm embarrassed to say just how much per yard I paid, so if you don't know, then you are like I was, "Clueless".  For those of you who do know about "Liberty of London", can I join your club?  OOOOwee!! this stuff feels fine!!

It's made from some of the best cotton I have ever sewn, REALLY!!  I will shout that one from the roof top.  I did not know that "Liberty of London" was so special.  I do say that stuff is expensive!!  Yes, I did use all caps, and several exclamation points...that is how I feel.    Shoutout to Josephine's Dry Goods in Portland, OR(non-sponsored)  Because, they had a boatload of the stuff and the finery was to die for and go to sewing heaven.  
It takes time to "build" a wardrobe of lovelies, those pieces you will pick up and wear over and over again.  That is why it took so long.  This fabric was destined to become a button down the moment I lay eyes on it, but I still had to find the buttons.  Not just any button would have worked.  There again, they just floated into my life whilst shopping for a client I came upon these gems of the ocean to be added to this sea of buildings.  Feast your eyes, oooh my goodness is that not delicious or what?  That was my dessert.   YumYum, that smile is from the internal satisfaction I get wearing this shirt.
Shortening the front band from apex to neck ensures modesty at the decollate' for the over 40" crowd.
Construction notes for the top:  
The pattern has multiple views to choose from, a regular with the Vogue basics line of patterns, a true bargain when you are spending big bucks for the material.   The pattern represents the hem as having a shirt-tail shape, but I don't see it.  It isn't as pronounced as I would have liked to have in the back.  I will take care of that in the next top.  There will be another, and another, and another.  (I'll keep going and going and .....as with "Peewee Herman")
  • NO FBA!!!  Yeepee!  I cut a size 14 as usual, but this pattern had the A-D cup bust sizing.  I used the D cup. (Actually, I think its a little too roomy in the bust, but it may be the design of the gathers along the front placket) 
  • I Shortened the center front between apex and the neck.  You see the little wedge along the front under the neckline.  That wedge is magic for the over 40" crowd. (Meaning over a B'cup)


  • A swayback adjustment was taken as usual. (See piece 10 above...)  
  • Also added a 1/2" broad back adjustment. 
  • Totally straightened the center back.  Vogue seems to always add a bit of a curve to all their princess backs, which isn't something I need.
  • I did not lengthen the top this time, but I intend to do so on the next go around.
  • Lowered the back neck by 3/8" 
  • You won't see in the alterations, is that I added 1.5" to the hips graded from the waist to the hem.  (I will add those changes to the pattern before I mount it to tagboard.)
StyleArc Katherine Pants:
First off, these are indeed tailored pants.  Another wardrobe staple for me aside from the button down.

stretch woven wool.

To be honest with you, this review has been in the making for quite some time, while I tried to decide how to present all the information to you.  I don't want to burden your blog reader with too much information at one time.  So, I need you to tell me the format in which you want me to dissect these pants.   I only found ONE (1), yes, one pattern review on these pants.  I also contacted the designer for construction assistance with the pockets.

The fabric is a fine light stretch tropical wool...which in and of itself gave me headaches when I tried to topstitch the center front crease seam.  It is a great fabric, but I think I might have a slight sensitivity to wool, because it really makes me itch when and sneeze to wear it or sew with it.  I equate this fabric to a high-end bengaline, because it has a cross grain stretch which resulted in my laying the patterns on the cross not the along the selvage.  I wanted the stretch to go "around" my body, I was thinking if I left it go up and down, then I would get saggy bottom.
topstitching on the bernina 780 using tropical wool stretch
Fitting notes:  "Balance in worklife and personal life is everything."  But what about "Pattern Balance" in your sewing?

In order to keep them straight and balanced at the center front where the seam is on the actual crease, I had to remember to make any width adjustments on both sides of the leg, inseam and out-seam, at the center leg seam...but I forgot just near the end, when I decided to add just a smidgen more right before I cut.  (((((WRONG MOVE....))))


The legs are 20 inches at the hem, not to be confused with the "slim" 15" leg of the barb pant I made here.  They should hang straight down from the side hip, and the crease "should" be in the center of the leg.   Because of this it's important to keep the balance of the pattern when making adjustments. Most fitting guides tell you to increase at the sides. That's doesn't work.
An unbalanced worklife.
Come on my fellow pattern nerds, what have we resorted to with this fitting craze?  I have decided to wear these damn pants, no matter what the fit police say.  Posting my butt all over the internets, for the advancement of the sewing sciences, proves I love my rear end in all its round glory.

I know, I know...."Andrea, of all people, you teach fit!! "You have blah, blah, blah..training, blah, blah, duh."  So, what are you talking about, you should have ALL the answers."   But wait.... I say, Fitting is a moving target, YO!! and at each junction you decide what part of it you are willing to forgo for the current fashion item you choose to construct.

This is especially true if you insist on making different garments from a different pattern and different fabric with every project.  At some point, I just want to say, "enough is enough!"

Thus, for me I have decided, in my own infinite wisdom, to forgo new pant patterns and just design around my sloper ONLY.  At least for a while, ha!  Right, we will see how long that last.  To get me focused, I signed up for Kathy Ruddy's Craftsy class " One Pattern Many Looks" when they had their last sale.
The side front of StyleArc Katherine woven pant....notice the grain line, it would only prove why the pants tend to twist on the leg.  It seams this should be changed to line up with the body, and not be left the same after the alterations.  
Please stay tuned for the next installment of this post giving you the full blown internal guts and gores of the pattern workings, the pocket making and the fitting of Miss Katherine.   Its deep yawl.

....until then, keep studying your patterns.
Andrea

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