Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Vogue 9771 (2013 SWAP)

Vogue 9771 in rayon/acetate
bias-cut bodice with 3/4 sleeves
I have one completed piece in my 2013 SWAP -- Vogue 9771.  It's the second time I've sewn this pattern; the first time I whipped up the sleeveless version (below) in green silk crepe de chine for a color-specific fundraiser.  I assumed this was a TNT for me -- and thus a quick sew -- in that I would just add sleeves to a pattern I'd already graded for myself, but the sleeved views actually have different bodices with a lower armscye, probably to account for shoulder pad height. 

With my guys (Aug-12), in Vogue 9771
in green crepe de chine (also Gorgeous Fabrics). 
My plans are to make two versions of this pattern -- one with the rayon/acetate and one with purplish silk crepe de chine -- adjusting the sleeves to 3/4 length for both.  The pattern is simple, although as with the green version, I had trouble properly sewing the back to the front at the shoulder and facing.  I fiddled with it for more than an hour on Saturday morning, before becoming frustrated enough to walk away.  After a brief time out, it made perfect sense to me.  I love the fabric, regardless of its proclivity to fraying (it is rayon), but I found it a bit difficult to sew due to the dark, camouflage-like pattern.  My eyes are getting old!  
[pcd7324] rayon/acetate; Gorgeous Fabrics
The misguided asssumption that the already graded sleeveless version would fit the same as the sleeved versions caused a bit of trouble.  My heart sank during the first fitting with basted side seams when I realized that it was going to be too tight to get over my shoulders with a 5/8" seam allowance (not to mention too tight around the hips).  Maybe it was the differences in the pattern or maybe it was the difference between the rayon and the silk.  But the fabric was already cut, and what could I do? 

I considered putting an invisible zipper in one of the side seams, but settled on using my machine's overlock stitch instead of the French seams I had originally planned.  Unfortunately, that seam allowance appeared too small to keep the rayon from fraying so I sewed a second seam 1/4" inside the overlocking.  In effect, this became a "wearable muslin" for me.  It does fit, I do like it, and I will wear it, but I realized that larger seam allowances are needed, so the next blouse will get a bit more width.  Lucky for me that I can learn from my mistake without ruining this lovely fabric!

To add to the mess, I broke 4 needles in the overlocking process.  I think my workhorse Bernina is overdue for service!  Everything is fine with a straight stitch and zig-zag, but the needle doesn't appear to be aligned properly with the overlock and blind hem.  As soon as I finish the silk version I will take her to the Bernina dealer.  Without a machine, perhaps I will be forced to work on my jacket.  Most of what I have left is all hand work anyway, and I could use some extra practice on my buttonhole stitch before cutting into my sleeves. 

I was so energized by completing the first blouse, I've already cut out the purple silk (with wider seam allowances), and can't wait to get started sewing!

back view, Vogue 9771

This is fuzzy, but a better view of the cowl.


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