Sunday, October 21, 2012

Vogue 1261 (sort of)

When Vogue Patterns issued pattern 1261 (was it last winter?), I just had to have it.  It seemed right up my alley, stylewise.  I especially loved the views showing the seams stitched to the outside as a design element.  And I knew I had the perfect textured wool knit from FabricMart in my stash.

While dreaming of the fabulous tops I could make with this pattern, in the back of my mind was that little voice which said "Marcy, you only love the concept of this pattern, and its 'look,' and you know full well it isn't going to work for you."  The little voice said this because one pattern view was raglan sleeve, which never works for me, another view had dolman sleeves, which just adds extra pounds to my look that I don't need, and the third view (which seemed most likely to maybe work for me) appeared from the pattern photo to have too-wide shoulders and droopy armpits which translated to a lot of alterations to get a good result.  Of course, I ordered the pattern anyway.  Quick muslins of both views A and B proved my little voice correct and I just didn't have the wherewithal at the time to do the needed alterations.  I tossed the pattern over in the corner of the cutting table, where it has mocked me for the last year.

Fast forward to about a week and a half ago when I was doing a semi-marathon tracing session of some StyleArc patterns I recently received.  I was using my tracings of the Adele Top to analyze the potential fit of a couple of new SA top patterns because I just love the way the Adele fits through the shoulders, upper torso and armscye.  Suddenly, my little voice chirped up again (in a more helpful, less irritating way than usual) and said "you can use this pattern with that Vogue pattern to achieve what you want."  I pulled out my earlier tracings for view B of the Vogue top, laid them down over the Adele pattern pieces and re-traced the Adele shoulder/armscye portion gradually morphing into the original side seams of the Vogue.  Then I pulled out a gray and black tie-dye print rayon/lycra knit from to test my new Frankenstein ("it's pronounced Franken-STEEN").  I loved the result and the fit was much better:

My Guy was a real help during the photo shoot of this garment, as you can see by the uncropped version of the picture:  (any guesses as to his favorite part of the female figure?)

I then proceeded to go a little crazy, making up three more versions over that weekend.  Next was a version with a collar in a black with white spotted rayon/lycra from Marcy Tilton:

Then another version with a plain neck in a fabulous swirly print rayon/lycra from EmmaOneSock:

Finally, I pulled out that textured wool knit from FabricMart which I had always envisioned in this pattern.  I added center front and back seams and stitched those, as well as the shoulder/armscye seams, to the outside.  I also turned the sleeve hems to the outside and stitched the neck binding on in the reverse.  I think this treatment will look even more effective once I wet the garment and run it through the dryer.

I stitched 3/8 inch away from the lower edge, instead of a regular hem.  Hopefully, this will help keep the edge from stretching out of shape.

I really had to be careful with the cutting process to make sure all the exposed edges were smooth and even.

The above photo shows the sleeve hem and a better visual of the fabric's texture.  The sleeve hem was turned to the outside, stitched at about 1/2 inch, and then the extra hem allowance was pressed down.  I am hoping that, over time, the exposed edges will curl more than just sit flat.  The knit fabric had a smooth knit surface on one side, with a texture on the reverse--I used the textured side as the "right" side.  This photo also shows the closest to accurate color of the fabric--kind of a dark taupe, but with green overtones.

I am now really happy with this pattern and expect that it will become a regular in the TNT rotation.

(**worthless bonus points to anyone who knows the movie from which I quoted above--although I'm not sure I have the quote exactly correct)



  1. Fantastic tops, love the last one with the extra seaming.

  2. You really went to town on this one! I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite (except I DO love those polka dots...) - they're all fabulous!

  3. I love the way you have taken the wonderful Adele top and morphed it into a new look. I love the final wool top and might just copy the idea!!

  4. It is of course Young Frankenstein with Gene Wilder. And fantastic tops. Why exactly are you not showing them ALL on SG? Happy to have found new talent on your blog anyway. Wonderful stuff.

  5. You should go into the pattern morphing business, Marcy, because the patterns you chose made for a wonderful result. The four different looks you achieved with the same pattern are each wonderful in their own right. Kudos to you.

  6. Marcy, your blog posts are so well done and so helpful. Thank you for sharing your creative journey!


  7. Those are all terrific tops. You found a winner!

  8. Yay! A fabulous set of tops. Franken-patterning is definitely the way to go. For me too - otherwise I spend way too much time adjusting shoulders and armholes to fit me. Since it's the most critical area, might as well start with what you know works and then add the rest of the details.

    Awww...ejvc beat me to Young Frankenstein. I especially loved the late great Marty Feldman as Igor. Hilarious!