I never intended this top and skirt to be worn as a set, but I think they work together and produce a sort of 60s effect – maybe a bit Courrèges? My first thought when I looked in the mirror was ‘oh dear this is Jackie Kennedy goes into space’. I therefore decided against wearing big sunglasses for the pictures.
They’re both made from mystery silver sweater knit which I bought on Goldhawk Road some time in 2014. The new garment in this post is the skirt. I had 4m of the fabric and I made two fairly fabric hungry tops out of it, but there was just enough left after that to make the very practical skirt from Vogue 1247.
The top in the pictures dates is based on Vogue 1335 and the details are here. The other top I made is Burda 109-10-2015.
This top is quite long, which makes the skirt pockets less useful than they might otherwise be when worn together.
The pockets on this implementation of the skirt can sag a bit when you put things in them. The pattern was not intended for knits. The pockets on my woven version behave much better than this. I probably should have done something to stabilize the top edge when I made the knit one.
Despite being made in a knit this skirt still needed a zip because it’s lined in a woven – a heavy black polyester satin lining fabric which was also left over from another project. The original design isn’t meant to be lined but it’s very easy to do: cut out the skirt fronts and backs again in lining (folding the pocket bag extensions out of the way) and sew them up with tucks instead of darts, leaving a gap in the top of the centre back seam for the zip opening. I then machined the lining opening edges to the zip opening edges on the skirt shell, and then basted the shell and lining together around the top before adding the waistband. This gives a nice neat finish without any hand sewing required around the zip. I did hand sew the shell hem though; the fabric is actually a very fine silver and black stripe and a machined hem would have looked a bit odd as it would have cut across the stripes.
Despite the woven lining the skirt is quite drapey and shapeless in the knit. Very different from the woven version! The top in the pictures has more body than the skirt because every piece on that is interfaced.
The only thing I interfaced on the skirt was the waistband. If I was doing this over again I’d definitely interface the whole skirt but it’s perfectly wearable as it is. I made it a month or two ago and it’s been in fairly regular rotation for work. I normally wear it with the black polo neck jumper in the picture above which is an old make loosely based on Burda 122-04-2011.
Thanks as ever to my husband for taking the pictures!
This pattern is Vogue 1247; a Rachel Comey design that’s been on my mental to-sew list for a while. I’ve seen so many great versions of this made up that I expected Vogue would be selling the pattern forever, so it was a big surprise to see it in the “out of print” section on Sew Direct recently. Here’s the line art.
I hastily bought a copy before it became completely unavailable, only to discover that it calls for finishing all the seams in the skirt with bias binding. At first I thought I’d ignore such fiddly nonsense and overlock the seam allowances instead, but then I noticed the right angle internal corners between the pockets! Attempting to feed those through the overlocker sounded like a recipe for disaster, so I reluctantly dug out a roll of black cotton bias binding and set to binding seams. I couldn’t even use my faithful binding foot as it doesn’t work well on sharp corners. I did manage to save myself one bit of extra work by cutting the waistband edge on the selvedge of the fabric so at least I didn’t have to bind that edge. And it does look really nice inside if you don’t look too closely at the corners.
This skirt is seriously short. I added five inches to the length and made a one inch hem instead of the two inch one in the pattern. I’m tall, admittedly, but I wouldn’t want it any shorter than it is. I also think this one is a bit more true to size than some Vogue patterns; there’s not a lot of ease built in. If like me you’re in the habit of always going down a size in Vogue without really thinking about it then make an exception for this one. Luckily I checked the finished garment measurements before cutting; I ended up making my true size for once.
I really like this pattern. Unusually for me I’d worn the finished object quite a few times before taking photos. The pockets are huge and it’s very comfortable to wear despite having a high waist. I can cycle in it (with thick tights or leggings underneath) too. And for once I’m pretty sure I will make it again because I’ve already cut another one out.
Notes and changes:
- About a metre of heavy weight green/brown cotton twill; the same fabric I used for my Burda 115-12-2009 trousers
- Size 90 denim needle
- Black cotton bias binding for seams
- 8″ invisible zip
- Skirt hook
- Vilene F220 interfacing for waistband
- Added 5″ to length, made 1″ hem
- Added hanging loops in black poly satin ribbon
- Top-stitched hem
Do you wash fabric as soon as you’ve bought it, or only when you’re about to use it? I’m firmly in the latter camp, which meant that my sewing plans were abruptly derailed when my washing machine broke down recently. However I did have the remains of a length of silver polycotton twill which I’d already washed and made three garments from. You’ve previously seen as trousers, a jacket, and a skirt. It’s from Truro Fabrics and at the time of writing is still available.
I’d bought Vogue 9112 in a recent pattern sale, intending to make it out of black cotton poplin at some point in the future. It’s a very asymmetric, trapeze-line design that looks as if it needs a crisp fabric. Here’s one of the envelope pictures.
Cutting this out was a big job. The design means that everything has to be cut single layer, and I was slightly short of fabric as I’d lengthened the pattern and I wanted to cut two of the collar and make it double layered. It took me a few goes to fit all the pieces in without messing up the grain. My fabric had a small discoloured patch which was impossible to cut around, but I managed to get it on the back and fairly close to a seamline. I can’t see it in any of the photos.
This pattern is very short out of the envelope and has no adjustment lines. It’s probably easiest to add length at the hem but I needed to add a lot and didn’t want to mess with the proportions so I slashed and spread in two places: just above the bust point and between the bust and waist. All the curved and slanted seams made that more difficult than it normally is and I messed up repositioning few of the notches. That made the dress a little harder to sew but I’m glad I added the length as the hem is mid-thigh at the shortest points even with the extra. (Actual measurements for anyone who’s making this: I added two inches and I’m 5’10”.)
One thing I love about this dress is that it has roomy pockets. You can just about see them in the picture below. This is also a good shot of the gathered panels. As usual my gathers are a mess if you look at them closely – I just can’t get fabric to gather evenly no matter what I do. I don’t think it matters here though.
I made the collar double-layer (cut two copies, make the collar pleats in both, sew them right sides together around the top edge and ends, turn out) and added sew-in interfacing to one collar piece to make absolutely sure it would stand up. Otherwise I sewed the dress up exactly as the pattern suggested: bias binding finish on the armholes and at the collar-neckline junction; top-stitching around the neckline; and narrow hem. The lack of closures mean it’s quite a quick sew despite all the curved seams.
This is a very comfortable dress to wear – unsurprising given how easy-fitting it is. It’s an interesting style and I think the pockets will mean it gets a lot of use. I’m definitely tempted to go back and make it again in the black cotton poplin I’d originally intended. Or maybe black taffeta? I think it would be good in any fabric with a little sheen to show off the seamlines and gathers.
Thanks for all your suggestions about what to wear with my silver Guy Laroche jacket! I think a little black dress might be the way to go. By contrast the skirt half of the suit is ridiculously easy to wear. It goes really well with a black t-shirt and ankle boots. For once the pictures are of an outfit I wore all day. I’ll admit I usually get out the impractical shoes and put on some extra makeup for blog photos, but not these. Also, nothing has been pressed.
Here’s the envelope art. I don’t know how useful any notes on sizing will be as it’s long out of print, but this one comes up unusually small. I normally have to go down a size from the correct one for my measurements in Vogue to get a garment that looks and feels right. After measuring the (lack of) ease on 2607 I cut my true size and even then both the jacket and skirt came up very close fitting.
I added in-seam pockets as you can see below. The hem is also very visible in this picture. The original pattern has something like a 1.75″ hem allowance but as the skirt is very flared this makes it very difficult to get a smooth even hem. I reduced the hem allowance to an inch and overlocked the raw edge to draw it in as much as I could before top-stitching it. No way was I hand-sewing that much hem on such an unforgiving fabric. (The fabric is a silver metallic twill from Truro Fabrics; it’s very shiny and stitches do not exactly sink into it.)
The back view on this is unusual. The technical drawing doesn’t show it but the skirt hangs in a slightly strange way; the centre back seam sticks out at the hem. I presume it’s to do with the way the grain is arranged. I’m not sure if I like the effect or not, but I can’t see it when I’m wearing the skirt so I tend to forget about it. The only other thing to say about the back view is that I swapped the centred zip for a lapped one. I always use Kathleen Fasanella‘s lapped zip method. There’s a certain amount of faffing with the pattern required to alter the seam allowances for this process, but it’s worth it because the zip goes in neatly first time.
Unlike the jacket I have worn this a lot. By the time I got around to getting pictures it had already been washed at least once. Funny how these things work out.
I originally had great plans for posts about this jacket. I made a toile and did pattern adjustments. I used non-standard seam allowances and two different sorts of interfacing. There are sleeve heads and a very unusual fastening. But it’s how it came out that counts, so this is going to be about the end result and not the process.
It is from Vogue 2607, a Guy Laroche suit pattern that’s long out of print. I was attracted by the collar and the relatively simple style. I wasn’t convinced I’d be able to execute the double welt pockets flawlessly so I switched them to single welts, but otherwise didn’t change any design details.
The fabric is a silver metallic twill from Truro Fabrics. It has a slight stretch. At the time of writing it’s still available. I found it in the denim and chambray section but it’s lighter weight than what I think of as denim; it wouldn’t be good for jeans for example. The jacket is interfaced throughout the body as per the pattern instructions but you can see on the sleeves that the fabric has a bit of drape. The jacket is lined in a black poly stretch satin from The Lining Company.
The collar on this is enormous. I haven’t really worked out how to wear it. It can get in the way when worn up (see picture below!) but folding it down seems a bit of a shame. In fact it’s not just the collar: the whole jacket is very difficult to style. It’s come out rather more formal-looking than I intended. The black jeans and boots I’m wearing in these pictures are the best I’ve come up with so far but I wonder if this one isn’t best kept for weddings!
The pockets have come out a bit more clearly on the picture below. They are very shallow; about deep enough for a credit card or your keys but nothing more. I wish now that I’d made zipped pockets instead of the welt pockets as they’d make the style more casual.
So, honest options? Should it be reserved for weddings and christenings and if so what on earth do I wear with it, jeans probably not being appropriate? Or can this be made to work for every day?
I recently made Vogue 8512, a style which definitely needs a belt. I’m one of those people who never really figured out accessories so I don’t own a whole lot of belts, and none of my existing collection went with it particularly well. Clearly a new belt was required.
I asked for advice on the blog and the consensus seemed to be that something metallic would fit the bill. Janene suggested making a belt out of metallic pleather, and it just happened that I had a scrap left over from a very scifi Burda dress I made a few years ago. There was enough to make an obi belt with piecing, even after I accidentally melted a bit with the iron. There are a lot of tutorials out there on the Internet for how to do this. I read through quite a few of them but didn’t end up following any particular one religiously.
Here it is. The straps ended up long enough that I can tie them in front and take them back around to the back which I like because when I tie them in a bow at the front it always looks messy.
I have tucked the ends in at the back here. It still looks a little messy but so does leaving them untucked, and I certainly don’t want a bow at the back.
As well as making the obi belt I also bought a silver metal belt. This particular one came from ASOS but you can find similar ones all over eBay and Amazon. I figure this is plain enough to go with quite a few of my other dresses too.
I like them both although it has to be said now I’ve tried them both at work I’ve found the pleather one is more comfortable to wear.
Thanks so much for all the nice comments on my silver version of Vogue 1335. I said I’d post some detail pictures next so here they are.
Welt pockets first. The silver colour is actually a very fine silver and black stripe – probably about a millimetre wide. The stripes made lining up the welt pockets nice and easy, although you can see it’s not perfect. The welt is an even width though; it’s the picture that’s on a slant here.
Cutting out with those very fine stripes was a pain in the neck. There are a lot of strong horizontal and vertical lines in the design so if the grain was slightly off it really showed. I cut a lot of pieces single layer because of this. It’s still a stripe or two off in places.
I interfaced all the pieces of the top with Vilene G405 to give it plenty of body. Unfortunately it wasn’t until this point that I noticed that my fabric shrinks when pressed. Luckily I’d cut the pieces out with the usual generous 1.5cm home sewing seam allowances so I could afford to lose some of those. However in a few places this design has extra wide seam allowances which are pressed to one side and top-stitched down to give the appearance of bands. I had to reduce the width of the top-stitching slightly because otherwise the fabric shrinkage would have meant I wouldn’t have caught the seam allowances at all.
Here’s the neckband. The upper diagonal line coming out from the neckband looks like a seam but is actually one of the lines of top-stitching. I used Gutermann top-stitching thread so it would really stand out against the fabric. I marked the line with chalk before top-stitching as the seam it has to run parallel to is too far away to be able to simply line up with something on the machine presser foot. You can just see the lining here; it’s acetate/viscose satin from The Lining Company.
Details of the sleeve bands below. The top and bottom seamlines are more top-stitching. The top-stitching interacts with the stripes in an annoying way where the stitching line is almost but not quite parallel to the stripe: it gives a stepped effect which you can see here on the lowest line of top-stitching. I found that using a smaller stitch length reduced the effect but didn’t eliminate it completely.
I think I’ve done this pattern to death now; between this version and the last it’s been about seven blog posts. I’m aiming to sew a completely new-to-me pattern next.