|I had more than 7 yards each of this fabric and the lining stashed, and decided I might as well try making a mini wardrobe out of it, and in the process try the other views on this pattern (I'd only tried the skirt before). Everything in this mini wardrobe is made using this one pattern.|
Link to all the photos
I have very limited internet access at the moment, but I'll be able to add more specific details about the alterations (especially the ones on the pants) if and when that's resolved.
Pattern description: A wardrobe pattern from the 90s or very early 2000s. It's OOP and the number has since been reused for a top pattern. (I get the impression that all New Looks have to start with 6, which if true would lead to the numbers being reused quite often.)
There is no description on the envelope, but the pattern includes: (A and B) two button-front blouses (or jackets?) with band collars, bust darts, front and back fisheye waist darts, side slits, faced front edges, and short or long set-in sleeves; a "top" which is a sleeveless shell with bust darts, combined neck and armhole facings, and side slits; slightly-tapered trousers; and a nearly-straight skirt with one side slit. Trousers and skirt both have front single and back double waist darts, petersham waist finish, side zipper, and no pockets. Some might call them "high-waisted," but I think the waist is meant to finish at about the same level as you'd expect for the top of a waistband placed at the natural waist (which may seem very high if you're used to where RTW has been for most of the past decade or two).
Pattern sizing: Standard US misses' pattern sizes 8-18.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, to the extent I didn't change things.
Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't really follow them, since I changed the construction to use a lining on everything. They seem to use pretty standard, straightforward techniques that you'd find on most patterns for wovens. I would add that, especially if you have a firmly-woven fabric, you will probably want to clip your fisheye darts. Otherwise the folded edge will stay shorter than the stitching line, and the darts will not want to lie flat.
If you have something against facings, be warned that all of the tops use them.
What did you particularly like... Most of the views have enough darts to give a nice, molded fit that you don't always find on current patterns.
or dislike about the pattern? The top is the exception — it has no darts or shaping seams on the back, and it's a bit boxy overall. But that's the price of it not needing any closures.
Fabric Used: Ivory silk/linen blend. Usually I don't wear so much of such a light color, but I bought this while auditioning fabrics for my wedding dress. It behaves more like linen than silk, but is very firmly woven, which makes the wrinkles even harder to get out. I used silk habotai for the lining, and silk thread for all the construction.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: For this section I'm going to go through the individual garments one by one. I started with the pattern size corresponding to my measurements (14 for everything).
Top: This is the sleeveless shell. I shortened the upper chest by 3/4"; added 3/4" of length back below the waist; lengthened the bust dart; reshaped the shoulder slope a bit; and drew the armholes 1" higher. Some of these are just usual alterations for my specific fit issues, but others may want to check the armhole depth in particular. The fit on this is pretty loose; don't try to tighten it much unless you want to add a closure. The fact that there are no back darts or princess seams means it will just not be possible to really fit it into the waist at the back; if you take it in much at the side seams, it will just ride up as if you needed a swayback alteration, whether you do or not. As for finishing changes, I didn't use the facings and instead lined edge-to-edge at the neckline and armholes, with a jump hem at the bottom. I added machine bar tacks at the tops of the slits.
Skirt: I didn't do any fitting alterations. The ease turned out just right for the skirt not to move around too much, but not to be too tight either. I did add a CB seam and move both the zipper and the slit there; that will make it easier if I ever want to alter this at the side seams. Last time I made the skirt, years ago, I added boning to the seams and darts (the directions don't call for this), but in hindsight that may not have been absolutely crucial for this particular design. This time I left it out and used a grosgrain inside belt closed with a skirt hook. The instructions call for petersham, but the shapeable edge doesn't really seem necessary here. I lined the skirt edge-to-edge except for the jump hem (the habotai frays so badly that I was worried about fuzz coming out). I felled the grosgrain on afterward, just about 3/16" below the top edge. The pattern calls for a 9"/23cm zipper. I made do with a slightly shorter one, maybe 20cm, but it isn't ideal in this case.
Pants: I did a few alterations in the flat pattern: I made the back crotch depth longer and the front shorter; I repositioned the back leg inward by 1"; and I did a wedge alteration on the back. Once sewn, they seemed rather tight from the hips up — definitely tighter than the skirt, although I didn't compare the two patterns to see if the circumference actually was different. It would have been better to have done more flat pattern alterations in the first place, but I ended up letting out a little at the CF and CB seams (weird, I know). I probably could've repositioned the leg a little further too, but at least it isn't way off. Notably, I didn't need to shorten these, and they are a non-breaking instep length on me. Expect to have to lengthen them if you usually don't shorten pants patterns. They are moderately but noticeably tapered (as the flats suggest) and pretty loose in the legs. As on the skirt, I lined the whole thing, used a jump hem, and finished the waist with a grosgrain inside belt.
Longer blouse/jacket (view A): Again, I changed the shoulder slope a little, to make it squarer and more forward, and I took up the shoulder-to-underarm depth on front, back, and sleeve cap. Comparing to my block, I felt like the darts would be better placed closer to CF and CB, so I used the ones marked for 8-10-12 instead of 14-16-18. Likewise, I lengthened the bust dart so it would end closer to CF. For once, I didn't absolutely need to widen the biceps on the sleeves, although in hindsight maybe I should have done a small alteration there. I changed the front so it would have a cut-on/fold-back facing instead of a separate one, which I felt might have looked weird in this slightly-transparent fabric. I drew a separate cutting line for the lining so it could be seamed onto the fold-back part. And — duh — I wasn't paying enough attention by the time I got to this last piece, so I didn't notice that the fronts should extend past the collar, so that the collar meets edge-to-edge at CF. The good news is that the collar fits closer to the neck this way (still not quite as close as I'd like), but obviously, the bad news is that the front neckline doesn't really want to all fit into the collar. I'm debating whether I like it better this way or not. It might be possible to change, by hand, very carefully.... Moving right along, the finished jacket fits OK, though I'd make some changes if I sewed another: narrow the shoulders and the upper back, add more ease to the sleeves, and maybe add more ease to the hips and make the shoulders even squarer, because the lower fronts pitch open a little (it should also be noted that unlike on view B, there are no side slits on view A). As with all the other pieces, this is fully lined with jump hems. The collar is self-faced and the lining is caught into the collar/neck seam.
Would you sew it again? I still have more of this fabric left, and I plan to make View B eventually. That should at least completely use up the lining, if not the shell fabric....
Would you recommend it to others? Yes, if you find one and like the style.
Conclusion: I'm glad I tried the other views in this pattern! It seems to work pretty well as a wardrobe.