Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Vogue 8876 Mixed Media/Mixed Emotions
Marcy Tilton's Vogue 8876, nominally a dress pattern, has been on my list to make for a good while. This jacket version was very much inspired by The Dashing Eccentric's version and by Marcy Tilton's discussion of using the dress pattern to make a vest.
My reaction to the style and construction is positive, to the specific outcome I've achieved here is ambivalent. Among other quibbles, these photos reinforce my conviction that the plaid hem binding has got to go!
What I love, number one: the organic cotton sweatshirt fleece fabric, purchased here in Asheville at a warehouse sale from Spiritex, but I believe this is the same fabric available by the yard from Organic Cotton Plus. I linked to the navy blue color, as they don't seem to have black in stock. I would love to get some navy.
I made a long sweatshirt out of this fabric in the early winter and I bet I have worn it at least 50% of all the days since then. It is just heavenly: soft, breathable, warm without making me sweat, beefy and non-clinging. The fabric also washes very well. It has almost no stretch, so I thought of making a casual jacket with a little extra "something" to make it special.
Finding organic, comfortable, durable fabrics is not easy. Finding them in exactly the color or print you want can be flat-out impossible. If I want to use these fabrics, I need to find a way to embellish or manipulate them. Plain black isn't my best color, so I tried to think of how I could incorporate another color, preferably brown or rust, into the piece. Color blocking is a "no" for me--too harsh.
So I tried bleach dyeing. Following instructions from various pins on Pinterest, I laid a lace curtain over a cut yard of the fabric and sprayed it with a 50/50 mixture of bleach and water. Unfortunately my spray bottle was very dribbly, so my results weren't as precise as they might have been, but I was satisfied with an abstract outcome. I love the color bleach on black produces.
The bleach dyeing process is fast, too: I pretty much finished spraying, let the piece sit for just one or two minutes, and then put it straight into the washing machine. It's important to rinse the bleach out immediately, unless you actually want it to make holes in your fabric.
What I love, number two: the shape of the neckline and collar. Could this be more perfect for ladies of, cough, a certain age? The long, narrow oval is so flattering, especially once the stand-up collar has been added. Unlike so many higher collars, this one stands away from the neck enough to not irritate the skin on my jaw. I used a contrasting cotton for the inner collar, since it seemed that two layers of thick sweatshirting would be too bulky. Despite my concerns about bulk, I did use lightweight interfacing on the lower collar, and I am glad I did.
Virginia's rule of thumb on interfacing: if you are asking yourself, "Should I use interfacing here?", the answer should almost certainly be yes.
What I like: the topstitching and zipper details. Good job, self.
What I am unsure about: the length and proportions.
What I don't like, number one: the amount of fullness in the lower part of the jacket. It is just too much in this bulky fabric. I may go back and stitch the back pleat all the way down to the hem to pull it in. I'll baste it in first to test.
What I don't like, number two: my oversight in not realizing that these sleeves are intended to be bracelet length. I added a bit of length in cutting, but not enough to turn up a hem and still have a full length sleeve. Now I'm not sure how I want to finish that edge: not at all? serged hem? add a cuff? Also, I added some volume to the sleeve cap to make a gathered sleeve, but I didn't add enough. The gathers lack oomph. So I need to remove the upper parts of the sleeves and reduce the sleeve cap height, and then reinsert the sleeves.
What I hate: that hem binding, which I thought would look so sharp and cool, but which is too much of a contrast and just generally wrong.
I still have some work to do here, but I wanted to show you the jacket in its unperfected state. Experience has shown that, if an item is not blogged soon after its making, it is unlikely ever to be blogged at all. My clothes live a hard life, full of Great Pyrenees hair, sweaty dancing and perfunctory laundry practices. Once they are in the regular rotation, they don't look pristine for long!