Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Um. Hmmmmm... No

After making the tunic and pants for this, I decided to throw caution to the wind and make the vest as well. And sometimes? Throwing caution to the wind means that you're going to end up with a snootful of caution. Read on...

Pattern Description: Wardrobe includes flat front pants or shorts with faced waistband and side zip; long-sleeved blouse with mandarin collar, tucks at neckline and sleeve detail; vest in two lengths. I made the vest.

Sizing: 4-20

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yeee-esss.... (note the hesitation in my voice)

How were the instructions? They were okay. To be honest, they were not as good as the other pieces. I'll hark back to my caution in my review of the tunic. This is not a beginner pattern. If you have some experience under your belt, you'll be able to make this vest just fine. But it's one of those where you have to pull the front and back through the shoulders and out, then stitch a couple of big circular seams for the sides. If you've done it before it's easy to understand what they are telling you to do. If you haven't, I don't think you'd get it very easily from the instructions.

Fabric Used: The same fabric I used in the pants. I finished off the silk/wool pinstripe blend.

Any alterations or changes? I did an FBA .

Likes/Dislikes? Okay, here's where I had trouble. I wasn't sure this whole look would work for me in the first place. And I'm still not sure on general principle that I won't look like I'm trying to look 15 years younger than I am and failing miserably:

There's the whole matter of looking like you're trying too hard. And I'm afraid that this vest has that effect. The pants are fine, the tunic is fine. The vest puts it over the top. But that's a style thing, and style is different for everyone. Cidell? Honey, you could wear this look and pull it off with aplomb. I'm not sure I can.

But the style issue aside, there are some technical beefs that I have with the fit. I didn't bother to make a muslin, but I did my flat pattern measurements and made my appropriate adjustments. Even with those, the fit is wonky at best. I dropped the bust point by an inch, and it still is too high. If you have anything other than very perky, smallish B's, I would strongly recommend making a muslin. The other thing that I found very strange is that, even though the bust point on this vest is coloratura-high, The neckline has odd gapping at the mid-chest, above where I did any adjustments for bust size or point. If I want to make this fit properly, I'd have to pinch out a generous inch at the neckline between the collarbone and the bust point, and taper that to nothing at the armhole. That's the first time I have ever run into that fit issue. This is built for a very different torso shape than mine. My best advice if you want to make this vest is, make a muslin first.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it? No. This isn't quite wadder status yet. But to make it work, I have to wear my pushiest non-padded-push-up French bra. I'll make the final decision after I try that.

I would only recommend this if you make a muslin to check the fit first. I think if you have a long torso, high bustline and hourglass figure, you can make this straight out of the package. If not...

Conclusion Well, like the song says, two out of three ain't bad.

Happy sewing!


Nancy (nanflan) said...

I agree. I like the pants, I like the tunic. But all 3 together is a lotta look (as Tim Gunn would say). I think it's a bit too matchy matchy, in a 1970's Mary Tyler Moore way.

Maybe a vest in a different fabric would look better, or perhaps something in a chunky knit.

Oh well, it happens to all of us.

Summerset said...

Exactly. Two out of three isn't bad. Wearing your fanciest French bra once in a while isn't bad, either, is it?

cidell said...

First, you said my name in your blog and I feel like the Queen has granted me an audience. Second, I LOVE that vest. I'm getting that pattern on the next sale *only* because you started showcasing items from it. But, I do not have perky B(ish) breasts. But, sister. I will make it work.

kasizzle said...

I've had the same problem with the extra fabric in the chest area with some of my patterns lately. Very frustrating! How would the vest and top look with another pair of pants?

tcusic said...

I love, love, love this ensemble. I think it would look very trendy and polished.

toya said...

aww, sorry you don't like,, i guess in the end knowing your style is what's most important

Linda said...

I like the look of the vest with the tunic in the photo. Now perhaps putting all three together?I have to admit I am a little "matchy,matchy" with my styles and have to say that I don't think that you are. You have that artist flair that I wish I could pull off but don't/can/t; you "make it work". Perhaps tunic and vest with different pant?

It all gets down to you and your like or dislike. Your review and your perceptions of pattern flaws is always helpful

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with wearing it a 'regular' vest without the tunic underneath...perhaps a turtle neck or regular blouse.

FragHag said...

I totally get what you mean. If the fit isn't perfect then it just doesn't look as good. I'll tell you though, it's still gorgeous. That "My Blue Heaven" fabric is perfect for a vest.

Anonymous said...

i think this would look great with a solid gray skirt.