Monday, October 20, 2014

Sewn Paris Wardrobe

The Paris Coat
Sewing for Paris is a semi-annual ritual.
It always starts with the coat.  
The other pieces must work with and layer under the coat.
For Paris, in spring and fall, it must be a raincoat, that folds flat and can be stuffed in the backpack or tote in case the weather changes....which it does all the time.
Vogue 9070 is the coat I took to Paris last spring and brought with me again this fall.
This was the first prototype I made for the pattern, where I start from square one, figure out the order of construction, which sewing techniques to use and tweak the fit.  I used a sample cut from my stash,  a black lightly crinkled nylon/poly blend rainwear.
I love this coat!  It is smooth, so slides on and off easily, roomy enough so a sweater or jacket slides on under it, it is not too long, so it does not catch when going up steps, works well buttoned or unbuttoned, has a collar that can be worn open or buttoned up and has space for a scarf.  
Wearing the coat in Paris last spring.

Buttoned up, the coat forms soft folds
Pocket details.  VERY cool instructions for a perfect patch pocket are included in the pattern and will be featured in an article in the upcoming Vogue Pattern magazine.
The photo is lightened to show the details and fabric texture.
The drawstring at the hem makes  a sculptural bell shape.
The Jacket
I cobbled together this jacket from a self drafted pattern using details from out of print patterns, unrecognizable elements from future patterns and bits from favorite no pattern is available for this one, it was my birthday present to myself, could not repeat it.  A  reminder of why I love to sew! This was go-slo designing and sewing, I put it together making it up as I went along, just for the pleasure seeing what would happen, with no attachment to the outcome.  This time it worked, taking a few wrong turns along the way....had to re-do the collar twice.

Did you know that when you are flying in an airplane, the plane is going in the wrong direction 90% of the time?  The pilot uses a gizmo called a trim tab (also found on sailboats), that make regular small corrections to get back on track.
Sewing is like that.
This jacket was like that!
Thanks to Katherine for her invaluable help in making design corrections during this project.
Thus far, the Paris weather is so warm, wearing the jacket is out of the question, so I am hoping for cool fall weather soon! 
The fabric is our Patently Dotty Wool Blend, back in stock, I ordered the last remaining yardage from the supplier. This is one of those oddball new textiles and I described it this way on the site:
Fabulous black on black double weave matte/satin suiting from an Italian mill. The face/right side is a heather black/dark charcoal with evenly spaced ⅝" woven in dots reversing to pure black silky patent leather light lining weight with matte wool dots so you can use both sides and the reverse can act as a lining. The fabric is a double weave connected together at the dots; the face is a lightweight wool challis, the reverse is a china silk/lining weight....together the result has a lightly airy drape. The weight is perfect for a jacket, coat or vest which you would not have to line as the back side is smooth and silky. In a word...fabulous! 
18% wool, 42% poly, 40% acrylic 

I used the collar from out of print shirt pattern Vogue 8709.
Sewing tip:  the collar should measure the same as the neck, measuring along the seam line, a general rule that is helpful in plugging a collar in from another pattern.
I made the first collar too high, basted it in, tore it out, cut another that was a better scale.
The collar as shown on the original pattern

The Tunic T-Shirts
I made a batch of Tunic-y T-shirty tops to layer under the jacket, using Vogue 9057

Versions 1, 2 & 3 use view D/E
These versions nest under the jacket, work with the pants AND work well with skirt, Vogue 9060
Version #1  In our Black on Black Herringbone Printed Ponte 
This is a light weight ponte, printed in a slightly over-scaled black herringbone, so the effect is subtle, adding a touch of texture. The base fabric has a smooth, cool, dry hand and lovely drape.  
Super easy to work with!

The fabric has a bit of loft, so I went with that and made the neckband a double layer wraparound neckband....4 layers of fabric in the neck.
Version #2 in our Gray Houndstooth Ponte

Mid toned steel gray ponte printed in black houndstooth check. Light/mid weight double knit ponte has a supple drape and cool dry soft hand, crosswise stretch (and a bit of lengthwise stretch too), and no rolling at the cut edge.  Not too heavy, not too light, very easy to sew.
Accented with our Violet and Gray Stripe Knit
because I am craving these oddball off tones and shades of purple this fall, having fun combining prints and patterns....bought purple boots yesterday.

I pieced together the neckband using a wraparound neck binding, wanted just a shot of color at the neck, but to keep the neckline plain to nest under the jacket, vests and sweaters.
The hem edge is faced with the stripe so it can be rolled up. 
When the sleeve is full length it looks like this, just a bit of the stripe shows.
 Version #3:  
Plain basic black in our Prime Time Black Rayon/Lycra Jersey
The website describes it this way:  Basic black jersey in a superb quality from an upscale southern Ca designer. The mid weight has a liquid drape and buttery soft hand with a 4 way stretch and hardly any rolling at the cut edge. Just the weight, hand and quality I seek for my own basic black T's and tunics. 

The binding is twisted, with the twists placed asymmetrically.
Instructions are in the pattern
Version #4 
uses View C in a black on black from my stash. 
This was my very first prototype of the pattern.

The neckband is a single layer of contrast knit using the selvedge edge.

The Pants:  Vogue 8859
My favorite go-to pants pattern.  Once the fitting tweaks are done, the sewing is fast.
  I must have 10 pair, could wear these every day.
For this trip I made 2 pair.  The photo is so-so, but the pants are very good!
The fabrics:
On the left, Boss Velvety Houndstooth, from Hugo Boss, a fabulous beefy black ponte printed with black velvet houndstooth. Soft to the touch, yet stable, with crosswise stretch, just a bit of lengthwise stretch, perfect for this pant.  On the right, a blend called Black 3007, part of a small collection of black stretch wovens from a renowned SF designer just posted in New Fabrics.  All are great quality from Japanese and Italian mills. 

More reports coming from Paris soon, stay tuned......
Celebrating the cool weather that just arrived here this morning, I've added a fabulous grouping of French and Italian wools to our FALL SALE, which, like all good things, will come to an end soon.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

3 New Marcy Patterns in the Vogue Holiday Catalog

Coat: Vogue 9070
Skirt: Vogue 9060
Tunics & T-Shirts: Vogue 9057
The new Vogue Holiday patterns hit the internet on Monday when I was in Las Vegas.  I've been waiting for the release of these 3 new Marcy patterns and want to give an overview and brief description of each of these new designs which stand on their own and can layer together too.

Good news!
 Vogue Patterns are on sale now through October 12!

#1:  The Coat:  Vogue 9070
Three quarter length, has set in sleeves with turn back cuff, soft funnel collar that can be worn open or buttoned up with room to tuck a scarf inside.  Has tabs at the waist to nip in or let out the fit, good for adjusting if wearing something bulky underneath.  Has 4 pockets: welt pockets and larger patch pockets.  The directions include a very slick and easy way to make perfect clean patch pockets.  These lower patch pockets were perfect for carrying my camera when traveling in Paris.  The coat has a drawstring at the hem to create a soft bell shape.  I made my personal-prototype version in our Black Rain Rainwear and wore it on my trip to Paris last spring.  It folds flat to almost nothing, layers over a light jacket, vest or sweater and slips on and off easily.
The line drawing shows all the details.
For the pattern envelope, I used our Red Raincoat rainwear.
Bear in mind that the models are very VERY tall.  I'm 5'6" and my coat hits me below the knee. 
On the model it looks more like a jacket, but trust me, it is a coat.
DO check to see that you make the coat to the length you want it.
Coat is buttoned up so the collar lies open.
Here the collar is buttoned.
The single breasted coat also works very well left open.
Detail showing the cuff and 2 pockets.
The red fabric above also comes in Chocolate Drops Brown and Honey Drops.
I made my version in basic black for Paris from a sample cut, but we have some great blacks:
and our new Black Grid Rainwear which VERY water resistant and is stitched to a self lining.
I've been gathering rainwear fabrics to show when this pattern came out.
See all of our collection:  Rainwear  

For Version #2, I used our Black Velvet Blue Denim one of the new flocked denims, proving that this style does not have to be strictly a 'raincoat'.  
It would work in a variety of fabrics crisp like this denim, linen or canvas to softer fabrics like ponte, where it could be more like a sweater-y coat to a cozy wool flannel weight...even a flannel weight cashmere.
Just posted in NEW FABRICS, a grouping of these new flocked stretch denims in other colors and patterns.  

#2:  The Skirt: Vogue 9060
I call this 'The Morning Skirt' because it goes together so easily and is so simple to fit that it really can be made in a morning.  The bell shape is flattering to many figures, has a flexible yoke/waistband that can be a self or contrast fabric depending on the stretch.  The fold over waistband/yoke needs to stretch to pull on over the hips, so needs to be a knit with good stretch and recovery.  For the body of the skirt, choose a stable knit like a ponte, or a softer knit like a microfiber/lycra or rayon/lycra or even a stretch woven.  
You can wear this style front to back or back to front.
The pattern pieces are unusual...follow the directions and I promise you'll have an 'aha' moment when the pieces of this simple pattern puzzle come together!

 Version #1 uses a red double sided wool double knit and is designed to be worn with the red raincoat...the shapes work well together.  The reverse side of the fabric is used for the fold over waistband/yoke.  I found a small bolt of this red, will post it soon, keep checking NEW FABRICS.

Version #2 uses a black/gray houndstooth ponte, similar to our Sutton Place Houndstooth.
I can see this skirt using a combination of 2-3 different patterns, prints or stripes,  keeping the weights about the same.

Version #3 uses a striped ponte bonded to stretch lace (from my stash), so it has more body and crispness than the other two versions.  
This style takes well to both a soft and a crisp fabric.

The fold over waistband uses a contrast stretchy knit.
On my own version, I narrowed the width of the fold over waist band in half and inserted a casing with elastic at the waist.

#3 The Layering Tunics and T-Shirt:
This collection is a long time design dream.  Each garment uses the same basic block/draft from the armhole/bust to the neck and sleeve, so the sleeves are interchangeable and the silhouettes are designed to layer over and under each other.  The pattern gives instructions for 4 different neck finishes:  a basic wraparound, a stand up neck band, a classic T-shirt neckband and a single layer raw edge neckband sewn with double needles.
I sent off 7 different garments to Vogue which ended up being too many for them to photograph and show on the pattern envelope.  I'll show these and some of the versions our ArtBarn team, Katherine and I have been making  We chose the blue and green color way for all the garments shown on the pattern envelope to layer together.

Version A is the basic T-shirt with a softly rounded shirttail hem.  Make this in almost any knit, lace or mesh net. For the pattern envelope, I used a single layer of mesh net (sold out).  
This basic T layers well under the sleeveless angle tunic.

Version D/E has a soft symmetrical angles at the front hem edge, is a bit shorter in the back.  I've made this many times with sleeves and without, sometimes adjusting the length.  I like the look of this version worn with the skirt...I shortened the length a bit for me.  
I just finished sewing this in our Black Prime Time rayon/lycra to take to Paris. 
Sewn in a combination of 3 different rayon/lycra jersey knits, #1 for the front, #2 for the back and one sleeve, #3 for the other sleeve and neckband.

Version B is the 'angle' tunic with long sleeves.  
Sewn here in a rayon/lycra jersey. 

Version C is the angle tunic sleeveless.  Note that the angle on this version goes opposite in the green version above so there is a peek of color when the two are layered together.
You have to flip the front and back pattern pieces to reverse the angle!
Sewn here in a rayon/lycra jersey

Version B and C layered together.

There is a wide selection on the site of Knits, Stripes & Dots and Mesh Knits that will work well for this new pattern.  
Just posted these three new Cool Combos
With more to come!

I leave for Paris next Tuesday, am still sewing for the travel wardrobe, (will post photos in a future blog), and am photographing and preparing new fabrics to be posted while I am away.
I'll be blogging from Paris, so do pass the word and stay tuned!