Friday, March 1, 2013

Black and Plum = Yum

Finally, a photo opportunity - when husband was available and light was bright. I modeled this top and vest, made in December and January:

Let's begin with the top. Both fabrics are from Marcy Tilton, and have been  marinating in my collection for a while. They were separate purchases, but when I saw them together I knew they would be perfect in one garment.

I love the idea of combining mesh and opaque fabrics, but as a plus size gal, there's little of my body I want to expose through mesh. I pondered the challenge for a while and came up with the idea of a cowl and scrunchy cuffs.

I love the sheerness and gathers of the mesh against the tiny polka dotted rayon. The mesh is very light and easily collapses into a frothy ring around my neck. Fun!

I used a TNT pattern for this, and simply cut the cowl to fit the neck opening. It is quite high; if I pull it up it entirely covers my head. The mesh and jersey were a really easy sew, and the top is a delight to wear. (Of course it is. It's purple!)

The vest was made using an out of print pattern from Diane Ericson:

The teatowel vest is certainly outdated now (was it ever exactly fashionable?) but I think I can get a lot of mileage out of the other two designs. I used view A.

I started with a gorgeous wool crepe from Sawyer Brook. Wanting to take advantage of several textural black fabrics in my remnant collection, I decided to design pieced lapels. The pattern includes only a long, straight lapel piece. Here is the pattern mock up as I designed it:

And here are the lapels I spent hours designing, cutting out and sewing together, only to decide I didn't like the look:

If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you'll be able to see the textures a bit better. The reason I nixed these lapels is they were just too much. I didn't like the choppiness of the edges, even though I had staggered them. In a nutshell, it just seemed too crafty. So, I backed off and went for the streamlined look of the original pattern piece, and chose one of the textured fabrics. 

The vest has a fun construction detail. Except for the shoulder seams, all seams are overlapped and topstitched. To do this, the entire vest is lined to the edge and turned inside out. Then the back pieces are overlapped and stitched, and the sides follow suit. This means lots of pin fitting, and making sure of where the seam lines will be before attaching the lining. The overlapping leaves little vents at the lower back and side seams.

I like the asymmetrical back and the button detail. The seam gives a nice vertical element to the back, too. Always a benefit for a plus size!

The hemline is angled from high in the front to low in the back. My full midriff tends to pull hems up in front, so I added about an inch in length to the center front. I love how this vest falls over my curves. Both the ambiance rayon lining (which feels scrumptious!) and lines of the pattern allow for this.

The vest is a valuable addition to my winter wardrobe, as it layers easily over almost any top I've made. It's the perfect layer for keeping a touch warmer when the temperatures are cold. It can also be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. I'm loving it!