Monday, February 4, 2013

Victory and Defeat

I'm guessing you all think this is about yesterdays Super Boring Bowl. I gave equal time to the Puppy Bowl to be honest and wondered if little Marta needed a home, because we would welcome her cute little self here NP! This is actually about two new patterns. One I wasn't at all sure about and one I was positive was going to be fabulous. How wrong we can be when we judge a pattern by its envelope!

Let's get to the wadder first. Vogue's Sandra Betzina line is small and not too much of it excites me, but one of her newish vest patterns grabbed me.

 I bought fabric and thread and did a pretty good tissue fitting. So what went wrong. Why do I look like a tube of toothpaste in it and what's up with that gaping neck? The pictures make this look far better than it does in person BTW.

 Well, in a word proportion, something can fit and it does, but proportion counts for a lot. The neck is far too big and an adjustment would need to be made to make the distance between shoulder seam and bust point shorter. This in turn would throw off the armhole, which is surprisingly small at the chosen size. The waist is spot on but the hip just doesn't have a pretty curve at all. Part of it may be the fabric. This fabric has a nylon blend right side, thin quilting and then a gauze cotton backing, all channel stitched.

 There is no drape and it likes a very small stitch length. It is not easy to take apart and isn't holding up well. I have to say, even without princess seams the fit and proportion of Connie Crawford's Butterick pattern (5473), is much more flattering. So, this Vogue vest has hit the salvage fabric pile, unfinished. If I look back at all my sewing, vests give me the hardest time in the fit and flatter category

Now onto the winners side.

 Decades of Style 1930's Salon Pant. It uses a seemingly endless amount of fabric and I wasn't convinced this wide leg yoked pant would be good on me. I picked a fabric from stash. A dark Old Gold colored medium weight ponte knit.

 A little give but not much, pretty darn stable. While I love this color it is not one that is particularly flattering up by the face. But for pants, perfect! I did a muslin and knew I would have to make adjustments (and future pairs will get still more tweaking), but I was so surprised and happy when I slipped these on. Again proportion. The yoke is heavily shaped right at the waist and flares out to hug the upper hip before it drops to the floor in the wide leg, the crotch, spot on. It's pretty and comfortable and fits nicely. The pictures do not do it justice.

These are a little weighty in the knit, but for a drapey summer rayon, tencel blend or linen, this may be a go to summer pant pattern. It will be cool and flowing. And who doesn't like snaps at the side?

 I didn't need both side seams open to get on and off, so the left side was sewn up and top stitched, the right got the snaps. The only thing this pattern lacks is pockets, but I have a plan for those too for future pairs. So far each of the Decades of Style patterns I've tried are well drafted, nicely sized with great instructions. A pet peeve with me and independent pattern makers is often the skimpy sizing and lack of consistent proportion up through the sizes. Just because someone gets fluffier around the body it doesn't mean their neck and shoulders grow in the same proportion. There is an art to good drafting and this pattern line seems to have it.

In farm news, it's pretty quiet. The weather has been good. No major storms on the horizon and our snow is melting down. All the beasts outside spend their days as equine solar collectors. I spied the two horses sacked out side by side in a sunny spot on clean snow yesterday. Snoozing away in the warmth, enjoying our little thaw.

Parting shot: Look behind you Stella, the dreaded bone thief Robin is honing his skills!


  1. If I had seen the Vogue pattern for the vest, I too would have loved it.
    Bugger that it isn't right. The pants I do love as well. I am scoping for a pair online for the summer. They seem to be in style. Creating clothing by hand is such a feat. We knitters frog a lot. Well, I should say this knitter does. Knit, knit, rip out, knit, rip. I recognize that bone thief. One lives in this home, too. Faster than lightening!

  2. I have some lovely green linen those pants would look good in. What a shame Stella can't even pause to be photogenic!

  3. Yeah, those puppies playing in the puppy bowl were pretty darn cute!

    On fitting when you get 'fluffier' as you say, what's with clothing designers thinking if you need a bigger size that your arms are the length of an orangutan!

  4. I was muttering to myself about why there was no photo of the horses sacked out in clean snow when you hit me with the "bone thief" photo, which made up for it entirely! :-)

  5. Those pants look super comfortable! I'm glad they are working for you! LOVE the photo!

  6. oooh love the pants! vests... they were so very popular back when i was sewing clothing, but i did not look good in them at all and so i just don't bother any more. though i have never tried one of the very long ones so popular now. but layering in florida? how necessary is that? she asks when it is currently 48 degrees and blessedly welcomed!

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  8. Poor you making up what you thought would be a great fitting vest and Bam...something fails. I made a vest once like that in a home dec tapestry...loved the fabric until it was on a curvy body and it resisted everything I tried to do to tame it.What about shortening the front where you need it, just the front top edge and deepening the armhole? At least being a vest you don't have to fit a sleeve in there. Sometimes long vests need high side vents to hang the best...go Asian and slit the side seams up until the fabric lies like you want.Love the pants pattern! Stella has lessons to learn...but she is too cute!

  9. Nancy,Yep, those little sneaky thieves! Nothing is safe. :)

    Maggie, Green linen is always a winner no matter what you make with it. Oh yes, pity poor Stella.....

    Cindie, OMG yes, the ape arms, but seriously, if you try any Connie Crawford patterns do check the arm length, I find hers run on the shorter side.

    Michelle, If I had tootled out there with the camera, thy would have gotten up thinking I was bearing treats.

    LA, Funny what you catch happening in photos.Stella knew but was too thrilled with being in the spotlight to bother with her pesky brother. She crooked the bone back a little later.

    Denise, the pants are so different. I love them. I think even in our cold, a vest layer is much nicer than a sweater layer. And a linen vest for down south might be a wonderful addition!

    mrsmole, I may revisit the vest, but I've deep 6'ed the pattern. I'll modify the CC pattern as needed plus it has a sleeve option! FOV is carrying the whole line of Decades of Style pattern. It's fun to try new things.

  10. Stella is just as cute as ever. And I love the patterns. We watched the Puppy Bowl too! Cuter than what was on the other channel. :)

  11. I love those pants and the picture of the bone thief in action of course! Alas, being petite, it doesn't take much for anything to make me look like either a tube of toothpaste or a hobbit. One of these days I will have either time or money to use on my poor wardrobe. Right now, just concerned about staying warm and dry, which never looks glamorous! Love the pattern reports you do and have to agree with your pet peeve about independent pattern makers.