Friday, May 6, 2016

Vogue 1247 - Rachel Comey Top

I sewed something!  Yay!  

I've been lurking this Rachel Comey Vogue designer pattern for a while.  I looked it up on Pinterest and found several very nice versions of this top.
 So I decided to try my first one out of quilting cotton.  I know, I know, probably not the best choice, but I'm considering this more like a wearable muslin.  This cotton was in my quilting stash, and I had probably 4 metres of it.  So I still have a fair bit left.  I had to cut it in one layer, as the 45" width isn't wide enough for the kimono sleeves.  It helped me save fabric, but it did take quite a while to cut.
 I added 2" of length to the lengthen/shorten line, and I'm very happy with it.  I noticed that this top is quite short, and I'm 5'10", so I knew I wanted it longer.  
 I also added 1/2" to the neckline, all the way around, as it is quite a large, gaping neckline.  I initially added an inch, but after I got it partially sewn up and tried it on, I determined that 1/2" would be sufficient.  I'm happy with it.

When I first started sewing this top, I wasn't sure quite what to do with myself, because my serger is away for service, and I'm just now realizing that my Babylock Evolve is literally my right hand in my sewing room.  It has been my everything since I bought it in 2001, and it is my only serger.  As for sewing machines, I always have a few spares lying around.  So, I had to decide how to finish my seams.  The instructions have you finish everything in french seams, but I've read a couple of reviews, and french seams make for a very bulky join at the centre front where all the seams meet.  So, I dug out my pinking shears, which I have probably only used once, and pinked all my seams at about 1/4"-3/8" and pressed them open.  I'm very happy with the result.  Look at that join!
 I really liked the designer details in this pattern.  I loved the bias bound neckline.  And it was really easy because they have you bind the whole neckline and then join the centre front seam last, so it's really simple.
 I love all the design details like the cuffs, the bias bound v-neck, the kimono sleeves, the pleats, the centre front darts, the angled seams below the waist, and the shirttail hem.  But in reality, in this quilting cotton there is literally no drape, which I knew this pattern needed, and there's a lot of weird wrinkling and bagging happening all up in the chest area.
 Based on the finished garment measurements, I cut a size 16, which is probably a good two sizes smaller than my measurements suggest.  There are 4" of ease at the hips, which I think is just about perfect, and there's even more at the bust.  
 This top is meant to be ridiculously oversized and sewn in something very light and drapey.  I was considering making this in linen; I have some in coral, and some in white, but I think linen isn't going to be drapey enough.
 If I do make this again, which I'm not entirely sure I will, I will probably make it in a size 18, so that it's even more roomy, and make it in a very, very drapey fabric, like a lightweight rayon.  It would be fascinating to see how big of a difference fabric choice would make in a design like this.  I should do it just for the sake of science.
 I love all the details of this design, but in this application, it didn't quite pan out.
 That being said, my wardrobe has almost no nice clothes, so I will wear this.  But hopefully I will make some more new tops to wear very soon.  I still love the idea of boxy tops, especially kimono sleeves.  I wear unisex t-shirts all the time, so I know I can pull off the rectangle shape.  And bonus! Garments with no fitting are really quick and easy to sew!
This last shot shows off the colours a bit more accurately.  This colour choice is outside my comfort zone.  It's a beautiful print, but it's on a beigey background, and it's not my best colour.  Still, it's not that bad.  The funny thing is, when I tried out the selfie timer option on my camera, it took 10 frames of each photo.  I imagine that's so when you're taking a shot of a big group, you avoid the blinks.  So, when I downloaded the pictures to my computer, I didn't bother keeping all 10 frames of each shot and picking out the best one.  I just picked the first one of each pose and said to heck with it.  Ha ha, now I can see why you should keep the 10 shots and weed out the blinks.  Hee hee.
I'm glad to finally get something sewn, and I'm excited to dig into my stash and whip up some more.  Also, it's encouraging to see that sewing all those church quilts does sharpen my sewing skills.  :)

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