Saturday, November 15, 2014

I Been Busy! V8876, Cake Pavlova, J. Peterman ReFashion

It's a Dashing Eccentric post jam-packed with fresh weirdness!

Or, rather, all new clothes.

I'll start with the star, my newest version of the Beatrice, Marcy Tilton's nationwide best seller Vogue Pattern 8876. For my third version of this gorgeous and useful design, i added sleeves and left off the hem bands to make a species of frock coat in stretch denim. It came together easily (after all that practice it should) and I love wearing it. I purchased the stretch cotton denim from Stone Mountain and Daughter, it's terrifically comfortable and is wearing well. Marcy Tilton has some very similar denims in beautiful prints for sale right now; i've been mulling over the Havilland for a while now. This frock coat is so easy to wear and so fun i may have to pull the trigger - a duster in the vein of Ivey Abitz would be devastatingly chic.

 As it happens, i'd been eyeing the light colorway of this fabric on Marcy Tilton's website for a couple of weeks when i saw the darker colorway for sale at Stone Mountain almost a year ago. I liked the darker version better for winter/fall so i snapped it up. As much as the internet has cut into brick and mortar sales, this is the third or fourth length of fabric i've purchased at Stone Mountain after seeing a similar style online and having time to gauge it's usefulness in my wardrobe. I do my best to apportion my fabric budget between the various stores which i want to stay in business.

I chose a separating zipper in an antique bronze hard plastic for the closure. I added a large hook and eye just under the bust for another closure option. Not much to say that hasn't been said already about this great design (much of it by me), though here you can see a mind-bogglingly sweet endorsement of this piece if you click through. I'm still seeing sparkles!

I made the polka dot top using Cake's Pavlova Wrap Top pattern. This is my first version of this pattern. What an easy, rewarding, useful make! And this draft works wonderfully for a bigger bust. I cut the rayon/lycra ITY fabric out in size 35 with no alterations, stitched it up (by hand, still sans machine), and bob's your uncle. All the pluses of a wrap top - sleek fit, adapts to changing sizes - with no downside of gaping at the bust. You can wrap this top over or under the bust; here i'm wearing it under and still no gaping. There's plenty of  room to wrap over the bust as well, with even less likelihood of gaping.  I cut the  longer sleeve option at just past the elbow, my fave length. Pavlova offers a shorter sleeve length as well.

I was delighted to see a lengthen/shorten line clearly marked on the pattern. This is a major plus, as figuring out where/how to lengthen this design would be tricky. I have two more lengths of fabric who've been looking for their best pattern and now find themselves in the pipeline to become Pavlovas (one is the rest of the digital print i used for these leggings) .  You can wear the Pavlova alone, over a tank or long sleeved tee. Sweet! I am very happy to have a new TNT for winter wear. Thank you Cake!!

Original MaxiDress
Underneath it all i'm wearing a black silk slipdress - oohlala! It started out as a maxi dress from J. Peterman, via my fairy godmother (next door neighbor who volunteers at a charity consignment shop and sends goodies my way). The bottom 3-4" at the back hem were kind of chewed up, so i knew i wanted to hem that away. I also wanted to change the fit through the torso. The original looks okay from the front, but from the side view all that shockingly abrupt ballooning around the bazooms did not create the elegant line i covet. I removed the band, took a couple of small darts under the bust, and gathered in the skirts to the bodice. This created a bit of shaping without too much trouble and allowed me to keep the pockets (yay).

The following picture shows the hand stitching better than this one does
The original dress bodice had wide facings with an acetate lining. I prefer the feel and drape of silk, so i removed the lining and hand stitched the facings through to the right side of the dress using contrasting topstitching thread. Luxurious to wear and a great look.

Hand stitching nicely captured
I originally changed the hem to get the effect of an Ivey Abitz frock, but the overall silhouette wasn't working. I would need more fitting through the torso to balance out all that weight and commotion, and it would be a huge amount of work to change the silhouette if it were even possible. I knew i would like to be able to wear this piece as a slip, so i just hemmed the dress to echo the shape of the V8876/Beatrice dress i made in black and white linen, just an inch or so longer, and loved the result.

Whew! the needles have been flying! I've not got much done the last couple of weeks, as DH and i got down to brass tacks and bought a new car. We've had our Scion XA for ten years now so it was time. Our new car is an automatic transmission and driving it is so much easier on my leg!

The weather has turned cool as well, so i am busy re-making a distressed cashmere cardigan into elbow length fingerless gloves. Over at Acorn Cottage Indigo Tiger is tackling an entire 6PAC designed to keep a girl warm - scrumptious!  Is your wardrobe ready for winter?


  1. okay you knocked this one out of the park too. Without a sewing machine.... hmmmm I could not be in that status. Do you need a sewing machine email me?? I love the denim material. I love how you have transformed a dress pattern to a coat pattern. I should be able to think outside of the box tooo but somehow I would not have done this.
    The wrap blouse in that polka dot color is really subtle and I love it on you. Thanks for posting about their patterns I have never heard of them will check them out.I have to say that top-stitching is wonderful and I agree with your decision to hem the maxi was too much volume for your frame. I think you need to write a book...Sewing from out of the box. The box could be A. stuff that you reclaim from you various sources,B. Stuff your order and arrives in a box. and C. Stuff that comes from your various friends you have met on the "box"-(computer).. Okay Ill stop with the advice..

  2. Love that jacket to bits! I'd be wearin' that so often! Terrific post, this one. Lots to think about and consider.

  3. Adrienne you sweetheart thank you :) My machine needs some work is all, Mr. E wants me to shop around to see if money would be better spent upgrading which is a good point but i dont' want to shop i just want my old machine. At this point i should do something about it as it is starting to make me cranky - ha!

    oh, i would not worry about your creative abilities Ms. A - i see boxless ideas galore on your blog! And your idea on my book is very intriguing and also kind of practical - i will print it out.

    You know i've been fascinated by the paranormal and ufo's since i was a small child. My mom holds academic/intellectual achievement in very high regard; re: getting a book published i always have this scenario play through in my head: "Mom, the good news is your daughter is going to be a published author! The other news - it's a book on flying saucers!" Poor mom ;)

    Thank you Gayle! oh, and a denim jacket is tremendously practical here in nocal, too. I'm glad you find the post interesting!

    Happy Day you two!!! steph

  4. now that I have a somewhat functioning computer, am catching up on everything online... Oh my word, not only have you been busy, but what delectable results! Your coat is just perfect, I love the combination of the fabric and the design, and truly it seems like Marcy designed it just for you. I particularly like the way the lower back flares in such a graceful way, and how it seems to channel that feminine old-west look that some of your style really shows... (I have this pattern somewhere in stash, since I have a weakness for those sorts of little sleeve flanges, though I shall put off even experimenting with mine until I solve the bodice dilemma.)
    I am glad to hear that you were successful with the Cake Pavlova top, I've been tempted by a few of her patterns, the Tiramisu dress and the Espresso leggings in particular. I don't know how well a wrap top would work with my figure, but it truly makes a great wardrobe piece in your pictures. Those polkadots will be a fun thing to wear all year long, so playful and springlike.
    My favorite though of the three is the way you refashioned the J.Peterman frock - I adore the visible topstitching and the way it accents the structure of the dress. What a splendid re-fashion into something much more wearable. I might have to copy your contrasting stitchery, as I have some varied bits of black linen that will become "something" at some point in the next year...

  5. Your total look is MARVELOUS!!! The jacket turned out so well. I haven't even made the dress yet but here I am already thinking jacketjacjettjacketjacket. . . And I totally hear you about your sewing machine. I am pretty sure that a new machine would be fun and impressive to sew on. But my black metal Singer dressmaker machine makes me so happy, I am not ready to even think about retiring her. She just gets along with the Featherweight, serger, and Hello Kitty cheery plastic machine that makes buttonholes in one step.

  6. Thank you Alison! first i am really glad you have mo bettah computer! and really, as soon as this marcy design was published i knew it would become a staple for me. That doesn't happen often, lucky me! The sleeve buds are really fun and simple to make...on this jacket i end up rolling them up a lot, reminds me of that German bodice in Janet Arnold's book - i'll post a picture.

    re: Pavlova. in my research online i noticed it looked especially good on ladies with - a lotta tits, not to put too fine a point on it. I can't quite see your figure well enough (because you like a loose fit and you're not moving in the computer :) but i think it would be well worth a go. THere's even a dart to make the shoulder seam so it would be easy enough to alter there if you felt like it, though if you use a drapey, lycra-ridden knit all should be well. It's a great length for wearing over dresses, too.

    And using this contrasting topstiching overtop black linen would be scrumptious! i'm copying you back ;) seriously that should look fantastic on you!

    hi Claire!!! Thank you :) ah, well i say go for it! The Destashification Project made up a jacket too, it's phenomenal - she used a logo sweatshirt, i think. Awesome!

    Let's hear it for our old friends :) i'll be getting my Bernina fixed towards the end of the year, told Mr. E i'd just rather get her fired up again than new - and seeing as we just got a new car, he came around quickly to that way of neighbor is quite kindly lending me her machine in the interim, but i mostly like to use hers just for non-stretch wovens, so.

    No worries about the secret project!! heehee!!! Take care you two, steph

  7. What are you up to my sewing blogging friend? I know you have made something. Looking forward to seeing your next post