Sunday, July 05, 2009

Unsuitable for plaids or stripes

Because there is no way you are gonna match the stripes in Vogue 7607 at the side seams.
But no one will notice when you are wearing this swirly, bias-cut handkerchief linen skirt.
Look how well the stripes match Manon.
The matching top was made with Vogue 1695, a vintage pattern printed in 1986. I made the dress in 1986 and again in 1997, both times out of cotton oxford cloth.
I shortened the top, omitted the side vents, lined the front with black silk habotai, and added 2" of width to the front pattern piece.
I also learned how to make buttonholes with my Bernina 440 QE. Look, the purple disappearing ink markings haven't faded yet!
I can also wear the top untucked with the skirt if I wear a cardigan slightly longer than Manon.
This is half of a twin set made with a funky stainless steel yarn. I bought it at the Harari factory store in Redondo Beach. Sadly, Renko said that Harari had succumbed to the recession.

Although both patterns were rated easy, it took me many hours to make them. In recent years, I have sewn fewer garments and I am rusty. A decade ago, I would have pegged myself as a borderline intermediate/advanced seamstress. Today, I had to look up how to insert a lapped zipper. I also suffered a topological lapse while sewing the shoulder seam with the three layers (front, back and lining). As a result, the top buttons along the right shoulder and neck instead of on the left. ;^)

I am more picky about quality construction nowadays; partly due to psoriasis, and partly because I have a large enough wardrobe that I don't feel the need to rush to produce another outfit. I lined both pieces in black silk habotai, drafting lining pieces myself. (The skirt lining is based upon Vogue 9012.) I clean-finished all the seams because I didn't want to change the serger thread to black just for the lining. That turned out to suck up more time than changing the serger thread would have. But the inside of the skirt looks great. (I know the lining shows, but I deliberately made it longer than the short side of the asymmetrical skirt for coverage.)

I learned how to use my Bernina's zipper foot(35), buttonhole foot (3A)and narrow hemmer (63).) The Bernina owner's manual and Feetures books were useless when I needed to learn how to make a buttonhole. They didn't tell me how to set the length of a buttonhole. The on-line tutorial at the official Bernina website was equally worthless. Watch the offical Bernina video. It doesn't tell you that you need to hit the reverse button when the buttonhole is long enough! Luckily, Robyn posted the much more informative Bernina 440 QE buttonhole tutorial. It tells you everything you need to know with no filler. Bernina should hire her.

I don't have the same body I had when the pattern was new. I remember the size 12 dress/top as loosefitting in 1986. By 1997, it was straining at the front bust. (Perhaps it was the number of hours I spent weightlifting while taking a break from writing the PhD thesis?) Measuring the pattern and grading it up took extra time. Then I took a break to peruse Pattern Magic 1 and 2 again... What are holiday weekends for?

I can't believe my pattern collection now qualifies as vintage. Is my body also vintage?


  1. This is very pretty and very flattering on you. Most of my patterns are now Vintage too. This does not stop me from buying the new ones, but IMHO the old ones are better

  2. That is a cool skirt!

  3. That turned out to be a nice outfit. I like it with the cardigans.

  4. Nice outfit! I think I have a few vintage 80s patterns tucked away too. I had my Bernina dealer, Renate, show me how to make buttonholes. She's teh bes, but unfortunately, she's in germany so she's kinda far away now. ;-)

  5. Nice skirt and nice outfit. I have quite a few vintage patterns also, and I loved that Perry Ellis Pattern. I made the dress in 1986 and several tops from the pattern over the next 10 years or so. I was thinking of using it again as well.


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