english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Vogue 1428 for the Cocktail Hour

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

Today it’s my turn to share the outfit I’ve made for the Vogue Patterns Cocktail Hour Sew-along, complete with cocktail! As with last year’s Big Vintage Sew-along, McCalls have selected a range of patterns for the event, with proceeds from the sale of those patterns (between March until November) being donated to The Eve Appeal gynecological cancer charity.

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

The twenty patterns included in the sew-along are evening-wear themed, with lots of dresses, but also separates, outerwear, and accessories. After liberal umming and ahhing, I decided to sew Vogue 1428.

Vogue 1428 is designed as a dress in three parts – a skirt, vest under-bodice, and lace bodice – which are joined together at the waist. I decided that they would get more wear as separates, so constructed the skirt and bodice in that way, skipping the vest altogether in favour of a RTW one.

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

There’s actually very few changes required to this pattern to create separates instead of a dress. Based on the pattern’s recommended sizing, I cut a size 10 in the bodice and 12 in the skirt; the bodice is spot on, although I could have probably sized down slightly in the skirt.

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

For the skirt, I followed the pattern instructions until the end, when I cut and attached a waistband with a single button closure, instead of attaching it to the bodice (I just cut a straight band based on my waist measurement, but you could use a waistband pattern piece from a TNT pattern).

I really love the box pleats on the skirt, and think it looks great in this heavier weight fabric, purchased at Barry’s Fabric in Birmingham. I made absolutely no attempt to pattern match the skirt at the side seams, and am using limited fabric as my excuse.

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

The lace for the bodice was also purchased at Barry’s, who have a great selection of lace and evening wear fabrics. This lace has a textured surface and a touch of glitter, which I managed to dust all around the house in the process of cutting and sewing this.

The pattern instructs you to cut the base of the bodice along the scalloped edge of your lace, so constructing the bodice as a separate is just a matter of not attaching it to the skirt or to an under-bodice. I created a slightly more raised ‘collar’ on mine, by attaching the lace around the neck slightly differently than instructed (I just placed the raw edges together and sewed with a french seam).

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

I’m really pleased with the finished garments and think they will get lots of wear – the skirt in particular. I fancy another version of the skirt in a summery colour, for a more day-time look. I also found this quite a quick sewing project, useful to know if you ever need an evening outfit in a hurry!

I figured this outfit was worth a trip out for photos, so popped to the local park this morning, cocktail & most suitable glass I owned slipped inside my handbag, before it got too busy. Not a bad start to the day!

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

Vogue V1428 for The Cocktail Hour

If you want to take part in the sew-along, you can view all of the patterns here, and the outfits made as part of the blogger tour so far here.

The full list of bloggers taking part until November is below:

1. Winnie Longhurst
Scruffy Badger
3rd March
http://scruffybadgertime.co.uk

2. Kate Underdown
The Fold Line
10th March
http://thefoldline.com

3. Portia Lawrie
Makery
17th March
http://www.makery.uk

4. Rachel Walker
The Fold Line
24th March
http://thefoldline.com

5. Wendy Gardiner
Butterick
31st March
http://mccallpatternuk.sewdirect.com/

6. Abigail Dyson
The Crafty Pin Up
14th April
http://www.thecraftypinup.co.uk

7. Lucy Regan
Sew Essential
28th April
http://www.sewessential.co.uk/blog/

8. Fiona Parker
Diary of a Chainstitcher
12th May
http://chainstitcher.blogspot.co.uk

9. Nina Chang
Thumblenina
26th May
http://thumblenina.wordpress.com

10. Jen Sanders
Gingerella
9th June
https://gingerella.wordpress.com

11. Charlotte Powell
English Girl at Home
23rd June
http://englishgirlathome.com

12. Elisalex de Castro Peake
By Hand London
7th July
http://byhandlondon.com/blogs/by-hand-london

13. Kerry Patterson
Kestrel Makes
21st July
http://www.kestrelmakes.com

14. Gabby Young
Gabberdashery
4th August
http://www.gabberdashery.com

15. Abigail Norton
Sew Abigail
18th August
http://sewabigail.co.uk

16. Karen Ball
Did You Make That?
1st September
http://didyoumakethat.com

17. Rachel Wain
Rach Against The Sewing Machine
15th September
http://rachagainstthesewingmachine.co.uk

18. Elle Harris
Sew Positivity
29th September
http://www.sewpositivity.com

19. Rachel Pinheiro
House of Pinheiro
6th October
http://houseofpinheiro.com

20. Amy Thomas
Almond Rock
13th October
http://almondrock.co.uk

21. Jane Marland
Handmade Jane
20th October
http://www.handmadejane.co.uk

22. Jennifer Walker
Ginger Thread Girl
27th October
http://gingerthreadgirl.co.uk

23. Marie Koupparis
A Stitching Odyssey
3rd November
http://www.astitchingodyssey.com

24. Elena Rosa Brown
Randomly Happy
10th November
http://www.randomlyhappyblog.com

25. Laura Clarke
Sew for Victory
17th November
http://sewforvictory.co.uk

26. Janene Spencer
Ooobop
24th November
http://ooobop.com


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V2401 for the Big Vintage Sew-along

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

I’m very excited to be sharing my contribution to the Big Vintage Sew-along blogger tour today. Are you taking part? McCall’s have selected twenty McCall’s/Vogue/Butterick vintage patterns, and are donating money from the sale of those patterns to The Eve Appeal gynaecological cancer charity. There’s also a series of events taking place, including an afternoon tea at the Knitting & Stitching Show in October.

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

The pattern I chose to sew for the blog tour is Vogue 2401, which (as you can probably tell from the silhouette) is a 1950s’ pattern. I decided on 2401 as I thought it had an unusual (coat dress like) silhouette, and I loved the line drawings (although not the modelled product photo – which is rather naff). I made Version A, the only difference between versions being the sleeve length.

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

Inspired by the coat dress look, I chose to use a medium-weight fabric. I ordered lots of swatches and took ages making up my mind, but finally decided on this Black and White Graffiti Sateen from The Splendid Stitch. The fabric handled beautifully; I unpicked and re-sewed the bodice multiple times and the fabric handled it like a champ and didn’t fray.

A medium-weight fabric was a good match for the full skirt and structured collar. The only section which would have worked better in a lighter weight fabric are the ties at the front – I’ve tied them in a double knot as otherwise the ends stick up and look a bit unruly. I actually think the tie sections (which wrap from the side of the bodice to the front of the dress) would look great in a contrast fabric – so a lighter-weight, contrast fabric would be perfect for those two pattern pieces. I also think this pattern might work really well in a structured knit fabric.

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

Some of the design details of this pattern are obscured by my fabric choice, and I’m not sure they are particularly obvious from the (quite long) description on the pattern envelope. This is a wrap dress; the dress is tight fitting (there are a lot of darts!) on the arms and top of the bodice, but then opens up with a slit along the sides of the bodice (covered by the bodice wrap section) and the skirt. The skirt is constructed separately from the bodice in multiple panels, with the back/side skirt panels overlapping the front skirt panel. The skirt suffers from a common wrap-dress issue; the skirt panels don’t overlap by very much. I wore this dress on it’s first outing to the park (Cannon Hill Park, a local favourite) to take these photos and I was flashing quite a bit of leg. I’m planning to either secure the panels to one another or add some additional width to the skirt to address this, otherwise every time I wear it I’ll be constantly checking and adjusting the skirt.

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

I fall between a 10-12 on the pattern sizing chart; because the paper pattern contains a subset of sizes (e.g. 6-10, or 12-16, etc.), I actually fall between two separate paper patterns. I went with the smaller size (to match my bust measurement), and then roughly graded out at the waist / hips. However, with this dress you actually only need to worry about your bust measurement, as the wrap provides ease at the waist and hips.

One thing to note – because this dress is very fitted at the arms and upper body, I actually found that to get it on/off, I really needed to drop/lift it over my head with arms raised, rather than putting it on one arm at a time. As such, it’s one of those dresses that is much easier to put on with assistance!

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

The bodice has quite an unusual construction method, which reminded me how accustomed I have become to detailed (indie pattern) instructions. I spent ages puzzling over (and repeating) one step, but I think the step which tripped me up is actually very simple. For anyone else sewing the dress, at the final step on Page 2 of the instructions (attaching the front and side front bodice), I believe that the correct construction requires you to cut into the front bodice up to the marker. However, because the instructions don’t explicitly state this, I tried various alternative methods to make the pieces match up.

The only changes I made were to skip the inside belt, which I didn’t think would add much, and interfacing, which the weight of my fabric made unnecessary.

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

I’m hoping to try a few more patterns from the Big Vintage Sew-along selection before the end of the year. I already have 1940s pattern B5209 cut-out ready to sew, and I’m planning to make 1930s pattern McCalls 7154 to wear to my brother’s wedding in February next year.

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

V2401 Vogue Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

Next up on the blogger tour is the lovely Gabby in one week’s time! The previous projects on the blog tour are all pictured here, and the following bloggers are still to come:

26/08/16   Gabby at Gabberdashery
02/09/16   Rachel at House of Pinheiro
09/09/16   Elena at Randomly Happy
16/09/16   Wendy at Butterick
23/09/16   Winnie at Scruffy Badger Time
30/09/16   Rachel at The Fold Line


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The Big Vintage Sew-along

Fabric Swatches

I was delighted to be asked to participate as a blogger in the Big Vintage Sew-along, hosted by the McCall Pattern Company.

As part of a year-long event, 20 patterns have been selected from the Vintage Vogue, Retro Butterick and McCalls Archive pattern lines. Proceeds from the sales of those 20 patterns will go to the Eve Appeal, a charity which funds research into gynaecological cancers. The official website for the sew-along is here, and the Fold Line have posted a round up of the event and bloggers taking part.

I’m not revealing which pattern I’ve selected until I blog my project on 19th August, but I thought I’d show you the fabric I’ve picked.

I don’t normally have much trouble choosing fabric! But for this project, I ordered lots of swatches and took ages making up my mind. I finally decided on this Black and White Graffiti Sateen from The Splendid Stitch. It’s washed and ready to cut, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the pattern looks in it – fingers crossed that I do right by pattern and fabric!

Fabric Swatches

From the Splendid Stitch, I also considered this Black Damask, and Matchsticks Poly Stretch Crepe which I love but thought would be a bit lightweight for the pattern. (P.S. you can get 20% off your first order at the Splendid Stitch with code 1W1N-JL5H-J963 until 17th July).

Fabric Swatches

I had originally planned to order this lovely textured Tottorri Cross fabric from Merchant & Mills for my Big Vintage Sew-along project, but it sold out before I ordered! If anyone sees it back in stock let me know as I’d love to try sewing with it.

Fabric Swatches

From Merchant & Mills, I also considered (and love) the Scarlet and Blackwatch linens. The Blackwatch is 100% Irish linen.

Fabric Swatches

Fabric Swatches

From the Draper’s Daughter, I love the Robert Kaufman Chambray Union Woven Spot. I decided it wasn’t quite right for my Big Vintage Sew-along project, but I definitely fancy ordering some for a different pattern (I’m thinking, perhaps, a dungaree dress).

Fabric Swatches

And finally, from Offset Warehouse I considered the Navy Blue Handwoven Ikat and Tyulipa Organic Hand Block Print. For this project, I was wary about the directional pattern in the ikat, and the weight of the tulip print – but again I love both fabrics for other projects.

Fabric Swatches

The full list of bloggers taking part is below (with thanks to Jane, who had already pulled this together). I’ve loved seeing the projects posted so far and hope you have too.

Blog Tour
11/03/16   Katie at What Katie Sews
25/03/16   Portia at Makery
08/04/16   Kate at The Fold Line
15/04/16   Amy at Almond Rock
29/04/16   Elisalex at By Hand London
13/05/16   Jane at Handmade Jane
27/05/16   Jennifer at The Gingerthread Girl
10/06/16   Lisa at Sew Over It 
24/06/16   Janene at ooobop
08/07/16   Marie at A Stitching Odyssey
15/07/16   Kerry at Kestrel Makes
22/07/16   Fiona at Diary of a Chainstitcher
29/07/16   Karen at Did You Make That?
05/08/16   Laura at Sew for Victory
12/08/16   Nina at ThumbleNina
19/08/16   Charlotte at English Girl at Home
26/08/16   Gabby at Living on a Shoestring
02/09/16   Rachel at House of Pinheiro
09/09/16   Elena at Randomly Happy
16/09/16   Wendy at Butterick
23/09/16   Winnie at Scruffy Badger Time
30/09/16   Rachel at The Fold Line