Sunday, January 6, 2013

Vogue 8499 Skirt and StyleArc Debra Zebra Top

Well, I seem to be getting a slow start to the New Year.  I just can't decide what I want to work on and where I want to focus.  Also, I have several projects I completed during the last couple of months of 2012 which I still want to blog about, but haven't gotten to.  Here's one.

I've owned a copy of Vogue 8499 since it was issued (the copyright year on the envelope is 2008).  This is a skirt and pant pattern designed by Marcy Tilton.

I originally purchased the pattern because I loved the lines of the skirt.  I was not so thrilled with the pants at the time.  True to my nature, I tossed the pattern on the pile of other purchased-but-never-made-up patterns and allowed it to languish for several years.  Then I kept seeing other sewists making up fabulous versions of the pants and I wanted to jump on the bandwagon of making these "cute with an edge" pants.  After two failed attempts, I had to admit that the style of these pants just do not mesh with my personal body structure, no matter how many alterations/adaptations I made.  But I kept thinking that I still wanted to try the skirt.  So I put the pattern back onto the pile of oblivion.

Then earlier this fall I purchased a fabric from Marcy Tilton that I thought wanted to be a skirt. Rummaging through various patterns options, I came across Vogue 8499 and thought "aha!" finally the perfect opportunity to try this pattern.  Of course, I didn't want to cut my lovely MT fabric without testing the pattern first, so I pulled out a piece I had acquired last summer at JoAnn's.  The fabric is a linen/rayon blend in grey with black circle/swirls printed on it.  My response to the pattern test was "Oh my gosh, what took me so long!!??"  I love this skirt!  It is very comfortable and is so fun to wear!

Even though I tend to wear my skirts long in length, I did shorten this pattern about 1.25 inches (but I have short legs).  If you haven't made this pattern before, be aware that, as a result of the skirt design and technique for  stitching the skirt panels together, the hems of each piece (center front, 2 side fronts and the back) are finished prior to stitching the lengthwise seams together.  Thus, you must determine your preferred finished skirt length at the outset of the process--you cannot leave that decision to the last step of your sewing.  I shortened the pattern pieces at a point between the top of the pockets and the waist to avoid messing with the pocket pieces.  I also omitted the recommended zipper closure at the back waist and used just an elastic waistband.  I added a slight amount to each side of the main body pieces from about the top of the pockets up to the waist to make sure there was enough width to pull the skirt up over my hips.  It worked well.

I didn't have any appropriate zippers in stash to finish the tops of the pockets in the manner recommended by the pattern (and I was not leaving the house that weekend just to buy notions for a test garment!), so I added a fold over facing (with interfacing for support) to the top of the pocket pieces and made a buttonhole.  I actually really like this closure option.  I also added a shorter "sub pocket" inside one of the outer pockets that is only about 4 inches deep so that I can carry things like my keys at work without digging all the way to the floor each time I want to use them.  I forgot to take a photo of that.

In the photos, I have this skirt paired with a StyleArc Debra Zebra Top in a dark grey rayon/lycra knit.  This funnel-neck top is wonderful both standing on its own as a top and as a layering piece under other items.  I have made several of these now in different basic colors and I'm pretty sure I will be making more.  Another winner by StyleArc!  If I recall correctly, the only alteration I made to this top pattern was my standard adding width to the sleeve for my big upper arms.

I have another V8499 skirt in progress as I am writing this post.  In the end, I decided to hold off on using my MT fabric that I originally had in mind for this project because I thought it might be a little too lightweight.  I need to ponder it more.  So I pulled a different piece from the fabric shelves.  I'm about halfway through the sewing process and am at that point where I'm wondering just exactly where my brain was when I thought this fabric would be fabulous in this skirt.  But I'm pushing through to get to the "oh yes, I was right about this pairing" stage.  Hopefully I find it.