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!


  1. I love how you "printed' your own sleeve fabric. I am definitely giving your technique a try.
    And I do like the jacket itself as well.

  2. WWWOOOOOOWWWWWW!!!!!! (sound of jaw dropping to the floor)

    of course i am prejudiced - by my love of Marcy, of you and of this pattern - but i gotta say you look tremendously adorable. Truly i do not have much more to say! i really love the contrast fabric you made, it has wonderful depth of detail and complements your face and complexion beautifully. You really shine in this piece!

    Frankly i like the binding at the hem on this piece. If you wanted to tone it down a bit, maybe use something between the black and your contrast fabric in tone and feel. For example if you have more of the contrast fabric you could splatter/sponge/stencil over it with a diluted black fabric paint. Or you could create some more out of a stencil with less bleached area. You might also try making the binding a little wider, maybe even half again as wide as the collar if you go fairly low contrast and see how you like it.

    But those are tiny details. You're a knockout in this one!! Also, after i finished my own jacket (which i wear all the time, i predict you'll get a LOT of use out of yours too) i ran across some pictures of Sammi peoples in traditional clothing with their reindeer - here's a link to the picture:

    I think you'll get a kick out of it too :) Now i have to forward this link to my mom and find me some lace to bleach with! steph

  3. Wow! I really love this. It looks amazing and very fashionable and stylish. Your bleaching results look so unique! I definitely need to remember this and give it a try one day. It really looks great.

  4. Love your jacket! The bleaching is great & I like the contrast of the binding. I do agree with you that there's too much fullness in the lower part. Overall, it's really great.

  5. Wow, that's a great jacket - the neckline and the bleached effect on the sleeves are my favourite things. I do like the tartan on the hem, but not with the sleeves, they don't quite go together. And yes, it's very full at the back on your petite frame. But what a cool piece, casual yet very stylish.
    PS. Thanks for your very interesting comment on my post; I'm fascinated to hear about your experiences, hitting one's teens is always tricky but it sounds as though there was a lot going on for you! xxx

  6. It's a gorgeous jacket. The bleach effect turned out great. If you don't like the binding, something a little closer in color to the sleeves might work out well. A great winter outfit!

  7. What a find! you look truly stunning in this! great sewing patterns

  8. Your rendition of this pattern is nothing short of stunning. I know photos don't show color and contrast necessarily how it appears in real life, but from the photos, I think the plaid hem makes your top. The contrast hem is what got me to stop and look. I thought it was faux fur at first. I love the bleach contrast sleeves. Simply brilliant! The length is 'perfect' on you. I do love the Russian Cossack jacket shape. Again, perhaps it is the photos, but I think your vest is absolutely splendid. Bravo!!!

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