Sewcial Mashup Challenge with Vogue 1395

I am a longstanding pattern masher- aka: taking pattern pieces from separate patterns to create my own unique project. So, the sewcial mash up challenge hosted by Lori of Girls in the Garden and Lindsey at Inside the Hem this month is right up my alley. I had Rebecca Taylor Vogue 1395 in my pattern queue for several years- and this challenge was the inspiration I needed to FINALLY make this dress.  I have a few Rebecca Taylor patterns and I find her designs feminine and wearable.  This pattern has a versatile and slightly casual shape that is super appealing. I love the pull on and go style- with waist definition from those ties!   But, I read several reviews that recommended some significant modifications for the shoulders and armholes- including these reviews from the sensational sewists  Katie and Lauren.  I decided this pattern would be a good candidate for pattern mashing- specifically to change out the wide neckline and the back and shoulders.  I also wanted to add longish sleeves.


I was determined to use patterns I had on hand for this mash up- so my mash-up includes the bodice front and back and sleeves from Simplicity 8737.  I actually made the v-neckline a wee bit deeper and wider than the Simplicity pattern piece and omitted any fastening in the back.  With a slightly deeper v-neck and the full bodice, I knew it would slip easily over my head without any fussy back closures. I omitted the neckband in the Simplicity view. I also skipped the big cuff and finished the bottom of the gathered sleeve with a narrow band.  I used the front facings from the Simplicity pattern.  The Vogue pattern uses bias binding for the v-neck, but I am partial to using facings.  I had to draft a back neck facing from the altered back bodice.


There wasn’t a lot of expertise involved in combining bits and pieces of these patterns.  One mash up task was to make certain the top fit the bottom- or skirt.  I aligned both pattern bodice fronts and backs to make sure the fullness was similar and would match up with the Vogue skirt- and the patterns were remarkably similar.  But because the back on the original dress wraps to the front- I had to ever so slightly gather the back skirt to fit the back bodice. 


The other tricky mash-up aspect was to figure out how to add ties.  I had to improvise on both the pattern and the construction/placement of the ties because they are attached to the bodice back in the Rebecca Taylor Vogue pattern.  I drew a pattern slightly scaled from the Vogue pattern shape and attached the ties in the side seams.

The fabric is a just-right rayon crepe from the Fabric Store- perfect weight and not too slippery.


By the Book- Solina dress

This project was by the book.  Literally.  The Solina dress pattern is from the book Breaking the Pattern by sisters Saara and Laura Huhta who are also the founders of the Finnish indie pattern company Named.


I was immediately drawn to this striking book when I saw the elegant, streamlined and modern patterns and beautiful styling.  The deal was sealed once I calculated it was actually cost effective to purchase this book- because there were several patterns I knew I would make.  The book offers 10 patterns, but there are 20 variations included.  For example, the Solina style can be made as a dress or a jumpsuit or top.  The book also provides tips and suggestions for numerous options for customization- so you can easily create a one of a kind garment. A dream for those of us who routinely fiddle with patterns.


The templates for all the patterns are included as pattern sheets in the book.  PLUS- if you purchase the book, you receive a code to download PDF patterns to your home printer if you prefer to do that.  Originally, I thought I would download the patterns, because I download and assemble patterns frequently these days (albeit grudgingly- because while it may be old school of me- I prefer printed pattern pieces) But in the end, I decided to go the pattern tracing route. 

Surprisingly- this pattern tracing option is starting to grow on me. I think of myself as a somewhat intuitive sewist, and I find there is something in the act of tracing the pattern that transcribes it into your brain, and it kind of gives you a head start on construction because you really feel the pattern by drawing it out. It’s similar to studies that demonstrate people learn better when they write the words out longhand on paper. Anyway- the short story is- I am growing fond of tracing the pattern on Swedish tracing paper with my colored pencils


Saara and Laura explain that Solina means “babble of water.” This influenced my fabric choice which is a lovely rayon crepe from The Fabric Store.  The print is a lot like the moody river with its grey and blue palette.  The Solina dress is quick and easy.  I made it even quicker by shortening the sleeves and eliminating the sleeve ties.  The other change I made was to sew the front skirt seam closed.


I goofed on measuring the length and would prefer a longer dress- will have to pay attention next time.  I am pretty ok with the swishy aspect of the dress, but if I make this again, I would use a slightly heavier fabric that has a bit more body. 


A denim worker dress- Butterick 6655

Because May Day 2019 is both international workers’ day and an office work day for me, this past weekend, I made a denim worker dress.  Denim is a workhorse of a fabric and appropriate for the tough jobs.  We all know and love denim for many reasons: it is perfect in all seasons, washes and dries and ages to a beautiful patina, goes with almost everything, and it’s blue.  This particular denim has some stretch which gives it even more super powers in my book.  Denim fabric is easy to track down.  I found this fabric at Treadle Yard Goods


I snatched up this new Butterick pattern in a hurry during a pattern sale because of the appealing asymmetrical buttoning.  I didn’t realize it was actually a faux button-up- until I cut out the pattern!  Completely my fault for not reading the pattern description which clearly discloses this is a mock button front.


Button fake out!

And even though I was initially a bit disappointed by the mock button trick- I am super pleased with this pattern and results.

The fit was perfect.  Because this dress is a simple shape, I could do a quick comparison to my trusted dress (makeshift) sloper and determined this dress would fit well- and it does.


I made absolutely no changes to this pattern- which is unusual for me.

I envisioned sturdy brass worker buttons and after some hunting- tracked them down at JoAnn.