Vogue Patterns 9690: trousers wowsers

The pattern is Vogue 9690, MISSES PANTS, undated but clearly 1970’s, described as straight-legged with some pocket and pleat options. 

I would usually stay far, far away from both pleated and high-waisted (technically these are not high-waisted though, they sit at the natural waist, but appear high to my I-was-a-teenager-in-the-90’s sensibilities), but I recently saw Annie Hall for the first time (as part of my Continued Pop-Cultural Education. I turned to my husband and said, “I see style references to Annie Hall all the time. I should probably understand them.”) and so we watched it and I loved it and was struck by one clothing moment where we see Annie singing in a club and I really couldn’t tell at first if she was wearing very full-legged pants, or a long skirt with a belted waist, and I was like Ohhhhhhhh, THAT is what pleated high-waisted pants are supposed to do! 

So then I busted out Vogue 9690. 

I love this pattern art. The women look not just stylish —a quality surprising often absent from pattern art— they look sexy. Which, like, is a vibe I pretty much never get from pattern art. And I like it. More sexy pattern art, please. 

I particularly like View A lady, with her open buttons. Reminds me of a line I can’t remember from All The King’s Men, (the book [Robert Penn Warren, 1946] not the movie, although I should probably put that movie on my Continued Education list too) that went something like, “She walked in, wearing a very mannish suit with some very un-mannish business going on underneath.” 

Which, there: that’s probably the most superficial thing anyone’s ever paraphrased from All The King’s Men. But it’s a neat reminder, that using menswear styling to highlight ones female attributes is a trick that’s been around for a long time. 

I made View C, the pompadour lady in the middle there, which is the only version with pockets. 

The tiny flap pocket in View A is fake! It’s just a flap! There’s no pocket under there! It’s a lie!

So drapey. Ooh lala. 

This copy of the pattern is a size smaller than I needed, the picture below shows how I graded up. Which was super easy. I drew a line on the pattern and wrote right on there how much to slide the pattern over or down, and the result was an added two inches total at the waist and two inches total in the crotch length. 

The pattern turned out to have about an inch of ease from the tops of the pants into the waistband in addition to the shaping provided by the pleats and the back darts. This is too much for me: makes the waist nip in uncomfortably tight. I think Vogue patterns might be proportioned (no matter what the size) for a small bust, even smaller waist, and medium hip. But not exactly a pear shape, more of a fashion body. 

I had these pants completely done before I figured this out though, and didn’t feel like recutting the waistband. So, if you care to notice, you can see that the belt loops are not symmetrical: I took the waistband off and used the front tab overlap to let out the waist another inch. 

Why does it have both an underlap tab and an overlap tab anyway? That’s just silly. So now mine only has the underlap. 

I used some grey silk for the pocket. It rolls out a little, but it feels so nice. 

I’ve never really understood the purpose of back welt pockets on trousers —I mean, I’m not going to put my keys back there, that would be all lumpy and terrible looking— but here below I can see it! Welt pockets are there to explain the horizontal pull that naturally happens! Aha! 

See? Those aren’t welts, but it would look a whole lot cooler if they were.

These pants took about 12 hours to complete including taking the waistband off and letting out the ease and putting it back on, but they felt like they took foreverrrrrrr. Like at least twice that. I looked back at my notes and saw that I’d broken this project up into 11 different sewing sessions. So, no wonder it felt like forever: I kept putting it down and picking it up again. Tedious! 


The fabric is from a yard sale, I think the lady selling had a home business. Lots of terrible 80’s men’s vest patterns! 

My only complaint with Vogue 9690 is the pockets. They are shallow. All I’m ever going to put in my pants pockets is my hands, and they don’t fit. Boooooo to that. 

Otherwise it’s a Sew It. These pants are great. Who knew pleated and belted was a thing I could be into. Not me for sure. 

McCall’s 4501 and M5400, under-riffic

The Backstory:
Right, so I made a bathing suit, here, using a pattern from 1975. One fairly important pattern piece was missing, so I borrowed from a bathing suit pattern published in 2007. Right? Right. 
The ’75 pattern was granted Sew It status, while the ’07 pattern was hanging out in a weird limbo of having been sort of but not exactly tried out. 
So, in an effort to properly assign status to the ’07, and to have fun while making undies, I made four pairs of underwear, two using the bikini bottom pattern from McCall’s 4501 published in 1975, and two using the bikini bottom pattern from McCall’s M5400 published in 2007. 
Two pairs each because, you know, one each is hardly enough to really get into the project. 

First up was this:


This is the one from 1975, obvs. 
P.S., what is going on with the glasses of the girl in the yellow bikini? They’re like pale blue? As if they are that kind of indoor glasses that turn dark when you go outside, caught in a moment of transition between clear and opaque? Why didn’t the artist just make them be actual dark sunglasses and give poor Yellow half a chance at looking cool? Anyway…
This is the pattern I was most excited about. I thought the low waist and low legline would be super cute and fun and seventies, and instead they are the worst looking underwear of all time. 

Observe: 


Ok I know it’s hard to truly understand the badness in a photo where the clothing isn’t on a person, but believe me, they are bad. After trying them on I understood why the illustrator didn’t include a rear view on the pattern envelope. 
More about why and what is bad in a minute, but for now I’ll say that I almost gave up completely and didn’t even try McCall’s M5400, which was the whole point of the exercise, so dispirited was I by these underpants. 
But then I was like NO. MUST COMPLETE MISSION. SEW IT OR THROW IT OR ELSE. 

So here’s McCall’s 5400, published in 2007. I did bikini bottom View F.


So much better! Like real underwear! 
What is responsible for this miraculous difference? The pattern right? No, not exactly! 
I have some theories on why the second two are better than the first two.

Theory 1: Fabric. 
With the first couple pairs I used satin for the back pieces and a medium weight four-way cotton Lycra for the fronts. I figured, based on some of the other seventies patterns I’ve done up, that the fabric probably doesn’t really even need to be stretch. But just in case, I cut the satin on the bias and used stretch for the front. Turns out the cotton Lycra is too thick and bulky, and the satin just look bizarre, feel strange, and puts a literal highlight on all wrong places. 
With the thickness and bizarreness in mind, I decided to stop being all crazy and just do it the right way and use an appropriate (thinner, softer, cotton) knit for the second two pairs.

Theory 2: Troubleshooting. 
The first pair I made, with the blue, looked gigantic before I even tried them on. And looks weren’t deceiving. Second pair (the pink) are cut the same size as the blue but I used a stronger elastic at the waist, plus pulled the elastic tighter, plus used a zigzag instead of the coverstitch. By the time I got to the second pattern and the two bird-print pairs, I’d abandoned the overlock and the coverstitch altogether and had brought out a pair of real, commercially made underwear as a reference for the construction. 
The result being, not only do the bird pairs look better, they also went together much faster: blue and pink took three and a half hours combined, while bird print took two hours combined, from cutting to finishing, for a total of one hour per garment. 

Theory 3: Maybe the pattern. The bikini bottoms for M5400, the 2007 one, which I did in the bird print, are described as having a high-cut leg, which is probably just plain better looking. I liked the low legline as part of a one piece bathing suit, but apparently it doesn’t work for me in a bikini. 

Theory 4: Practice. I am a professional patternmaker, but not a professional stitcher. The costume shop is a highly specialized world in which I’m expected to stay away from the sewing machine and let the stitchers, who are better at stitching than I am, do their thing. I hope that by doing these Sew It Or Throw It projects now, while I’m out being a mom, I’ll return to work a better patternmaker with a deeper grasp of construction. I think the improvement between underwear 1 and underwear 4 is at least a little bit due to practice. 

Other Things:
Here below is the difference in size between the blue and the pink. The other sides are matched, the pieces are cut the same, it’s all a matter of the elastic type and the zigzag versus coverstitch. 

Here below is a detail of both of the elastics, which I bought downtown at some kind of a studio closing sale. I think they’re pretty 


And this photo above showing how much the coverstitch flattens out the elastic. The elastic is just not strong enough to “return” against the pressure of all that stitching. 
Which brings me to a thought and a question:

While reading sewing blogs I’ve been impressed with the consistency of terminology. Here’s this international community, whose members posses every possible level of training in sewing, from various sources, and yet everyone has these terms for fitting. And these terms are universally understood. 
Contrast that to my life in costume shops, where we don’t have terminology for fitting adjustments. If the shop manager needed me to do a Full Bust Adjustment, she wouldn’t say FBA, because I wouldn’t know what she was talking about. She would describe it. Something like, “lower and deepen the dart and swing the side seam out a little.” Or more likely no one would use any words at all, I would just mark the dart lower, pin it deeper, and rip open the side seams in the fitting and then transfer the marks to the pattern later without even knowing I was doing A Thing. 
I was talking about this difference with my husband, and he was like, “where does the terminology come from, if it’s not coming from, like, theater training or fashion?” And I was like, “Sewing books??? YouTube???? The patterns themselves???? I don’t know!”
So anyway, I respect the international consistency of terminology. 
And I’m wondering if anyone can help me with this terminology:
Is there a word or phrase for what is happening in that last photo, where the overlock and the coverstitch are defeating the weak elastic and leaving it all flattened out? Anybody know? Otherwise I’ll just keep describing it. In long sentences. Maybe rhyming. 

Sew It or Throw It:
Oh right, there’s a pattern to be judged! McCall’s M5400 from 2007 is a sew. I’d like to make an actual bathing suit not underwear version of View E and H, the one illustrated in white with the tie-front. 

As for the underwear, I’m sending the blue pair directly to the thrift, maybe to be followed by the pink pair. I might make a dozen more of the bird version, if they wear well, with the goal of using a high order (to the factory of me) to cut construction time in half. Next time I might even cut them so the birds go the right direction on the front. 

McCall’s 4501: Caution, Hazard, Bathing Suit. 


The pattern:
McCall’s 4501, copyright 1975 by The McCall Pattern Company. 
This pattern includes a one piece halter suit, a halter bikini, a halter top (which could recombine nicely as the top half of a tankini), and some elastic waist bell-bottoms which I guess would be great for…the roller rink immediately post beach? I mean, I’d rather go home and change first, but these ladies look pretty secure with their outfit decisions. 

The Fabric:
I used a two-way stretch satin Lycra, in yellow and black hazard stripe. The pattern calls for knit, which would’ve also been a two-way stretch, (as in stretches side to side) but most knits have at least a tiny bit of give in the up/down direction, where as this satin Lycra has none-zo, so I made a center front seam and put it on the bias and added one inch seam allowance wherever possible and did A Lot of fitting to make sure the length was ok before trimming away the seam allowance and finishing it off. 
The pattern is made to be reversible, which I find kind of bizarre, because 1) that means you have to insert all the elastic into casings instead of turning to the inside and 2) why would I reverse my suit. I would immediately choose a favorite side and never reverse it, forever, the end. 
So instead of making it reversible, it’s flat-lined with a white four-way-stretch Lycra, all seams visible on the inside, all elastics stay-stitched, overlocked, turned to the inside, and coverstitched. 
One big surprise and challenge with this pattern: the bust piece is Gone. Lost. Not Here.
Nooooooooo.
But fine whatever, I borrowed from McCall’s M5400, published in 2007. 


Top C is very similar to the shape I needed, just the center front point changed a little. 
I like the cover art on M5400 a lot. I think of this as The McCall’s Face: the jawline, eyes,  and mouth are always the same, despite a really great variety in skin tone and facial expression and attitude. 
Baby Bohemian in the orange bikini is my favorite of this crew. 
And here’s my suit:


Note on crazy color scheme: when I found this bathing suit pattern (in a box of rando I bought off eBay) I immediately pictured it in this exact yellow and black fabric with a chevron. But then I started reading yet another book of the French Women Are Better At Everything variety, and looked at my obnoxious fabric, and thought, “Oh no, a French woman would never,” and abandoned the project. 
I love reading this type of book, in a perverse way. I fall under a sad sort of spell each time I finish one, and spend at least a week thinking, “It’s time to teach my child to make pastry. Do I even *own* a white shirt? Am I having enough arguments? Never eat again! Except beautiful homemade dinners. That are also educational moments for my child. And involve passionate arguments with friends about politics. Oh god, what is my signature perfume???” 
And then the week passes and the spell is lifted and I go back to loud bathing suits. 

Time and Construction: 
This suit took 12 hours, which is fun to think about because if I paid myself $30 an hour this would be a $360 bathing suit. Without including the fabric (which was a remnant so actually free). That is the price of custom. Even at minimum wage, it would be like $120. I think the most expensive store-bought suit I’ve ever owned was $90, from JCrew. It was a black maillot. I loved that thing. I lost it. I miss it.  
I changed a couple little construction things from the original 1975 pattern: a swimsuit hook instead of ties at the back neck, flatlined instead of clean-finish lining. The biggest change was stitching elastic along the underbust seam to keep it snug against the body. I was surprised that the instructions didn’t call for it in the first place. Even the modern, 2007 bikini top didn’t call for that, although come to think of it the modern one had a strap across the back to create the tension to hold that seam in place. So, ok. 
I’m sad that the gathers under the bust don’t read as well as they do in the illustration. Those gathers are fun, I would add more next time so they are more glamorous and vavoom. 

Sew It or Throw It:
Sew it. I love the low leg line. So retro-silly. I’m not sure if halter is my best look, so the fact that that piece is missing is fine, makes me make more likely to do something different next time. The high back creates some fun oportunities: could make it scoop but add a cross strap as per the bikini back with a closure, might look neat and provide a more secure fit.  

Next up I’m going to try the bikini bottoms on both these patterns as underwear, so I can official Sew or Throw M5400 too. Things getting sewn and thrown! Progress! 

Simplicity 7216: a nice normal skirt, white fishnets not included. 

The Pattern:
Simplicity 7216, JUNIOR PETITES’ AND MISSES’ SKIRTS IN TWO LENGTHS, copyright 1967 Simplicity Pattern Co. Inc. 
This is a good old basic skirt pattern with three possible looks: Views 1 and 2 are pleated, View 3 is plain, and View 4 uses exactly the same pattern pieces as View 3 but with a different grain line to follow for the bias. 
Here below is my favorite detail of the cover art:


White fishnets! Git it, Girl!
What an outfit this is. Let’s admire it. Blue shirt, bias plaid mini in red and green, white fishnet tights, and blue shoes with big ol’ buckles. Such a contrast from View 1’s white and grey uniform.
I like to imagine that both girls are dressed for school. Just, not the same school. I’m guessing View 4 is skirting the edge of her public school’s dress code with those tights.  
Thing I find culturally interesting: in the US, for the most part, private school students wear uniforms, but public school students do not, whereas in other places (I’ve been told/seen on tv/seen IRL in Melbourne and London but am not an expert on please correct me if I’m wrong) public school students wear uniforms while private school students are the ones that don’t.
Target stores here in Los Angeles sell school uniforms, in tan or navy polyester. I was surprised the first time I saw them, like, “Oh! So you don’t have to go to, like, Diagon Alley to get these, huh.”
I made the most technically boring skirt option —View 3 in the mini length— so as to feature my fabric. 


The Fabric:
I found this green and cream floral printed poly/cotton canvas at a thrift shop a couple months ago, for two dollars. 
My guess is that this is not actually vintage but more of a vintage-inspired fabric, and that somebody bought this yard-and-a-half and spread it over their couch thinking, “Should I re-upholster? Does this look good?” And then they decided no. 
But I decided yes!
I really like this stuff. It reminds me of those solar photos we made as kids, with that special paper you would put leaves and flowers onto and then set out in the sunshine and come back later and sweep the flowers off and you’ve got a blue-on-blue floral silhouette image that looks a lot like this fabric. Anybody remember those?




This is a directional fabric, meaning the flowers and leaves don’t interchange, but have a definite up and down. I chose to cut the wrong direction on purpose, going downward, like they are falling from a garland. Or like I have an entourage who throw flowers along my path. Ya know. I think it’s prettier that way and shows off the sinuous lines better than growing upward would. 

Construction and Time:
This took four hours, from ironing the fabric to hand stitching the hem. 
One thing that kept this project fast and straightforward is that I didn’t have to change the size. Didn’t have to make the waist and hips bigger. This one fits as is, straight out of the package. That, like, never happens. This is possibly the only 30″ waist vintage pattern I’ve ever seen, let alone owned. 
I didn’t even change the length, I figured the rest of it was going so well I would just trust in their version of mini. 
The only change I made was to lift the back of the skirt into the waistband 5/8″ at the center back to 0″ at the side seams, to get the side seams (which were tilting forward) to hang straight. 
I’d go shorter for a winter version to be worn with tights, but for summer and no tights, this works. It looks like a whole lot of skirt to me, proportionally. But that may be because I grew up in the 90’s when mini meant practically rectangular, between the low waist and high hem. 
Oh, and this is fun: this is a “How-To-Sew” Pattern, right? 
I investigated. 
What this means is that the instructions carefully describe how to apply the waistband (in a way I disagreed with: sew to inside, turn to outside, fold and topstitch. I do the opposite, I think it’s easier to achieve a clean line if you sew right sides together first and turn in, and you can always add topstitching later if you want) but then for the zipper they give no instruction other than “see instructions with zipper.” Hahahaha! Love. 

Sew It or Throw It:
Sew it. I mean, it’s vintage that fits without my help, how rare. 
And it’s a nice blank slate, for giant bucket pockets maybe. 
Also, I’m excited that the pleated versions have a separate pattern piece for the inner face of the pleats, which means the inner pleats could be a different color. Fun! 

Style 1723: a sundress for a windy day

{I don’t believe in fabric regrets. I think it’s always better —when I’m sewing at home for my own entertainment— to use a fabric rather than hold it for some unknown future perfect use. But with this project, as soon as I’d finished and was editing photos I realized what the perfect use would’ve been. Now I have fabric regrets. 
So let’s play a fun game: as you read, think about what you would’ve made instead of what I made, and then let’s get together at the end of the post and see if our ideas match up.}


The Pattern:
Style 1723, Misses’ Dress and Jacket (or, Robes et Veste Jeune Femme) copyright 1990 Style Patterns. Ltd. 
I found this one at a thrift. What sold me was the View 1 illustration, the one where she’s facing front and the skirt is billowing billowing billowing. 
Also the photo reminds me of Daryl Hannah in Splash!, although when I went and did a search to confirm that Daryl Hannah was actually in Splash!, I saw that she didn’t look like this at all, instead of long soft hair, she had bangs and that amazing white-blonde crimped mermaid hair that inspired a world of unfortunate crimped copy-cattery.
Also, Splash! came out in 1984. What?! That is much much earlier than I would’ve guessed, and six years earlier than this pattern. 
Also let’s take a moment to laugh at that jacket. Hahahhahahahaha.Ok done. 


The Fabric:
It’s taffeta, in pink and tan plaid on a white background. It was an end-of-bolt sale remnant, and there was just enough (about 5 yards) of it to cut out this dress while avoiding the big fade stripes along the fold lines, which totally happened on my watch during the dozen or so years I’ve had this stuff. 
I washed it before cutting, to get that crinkly texture, and so that I could wash the eventual dress. 
Here below is the best part of the dress: the skirt is so full and the washed taffeta is so light, that it catches every breeze.


Here below is the worst bummer of the dress: it does not look good on me. 
It’s the waistline. I think if the waistline hit about three inches lower, and had a more dramatic curve up at the sides and down at the front and back, it would look about a million times better. As is, it’s chopping me at a bad place and makes everything look broad and childish yet frumpy. And the girly plaid isn’t helping. 


I tell ya what though: if you want to learn what lines look good on your figure, just take pictures. I’ve been wearing clothes most of my life, but have learned more in the past couple weeks about what I look good in, just from looking at the difference between how that red and purple Donna Karan looks and how this pink thing looks, than, like, ever. I mean, it’s the difference between hot damn and regular damn. 
So that’s good. 
Here’s the back. 

Ok no really, here’s the back. 

Hard to get a good photo of this dress, because of how fun the skirt is.  


Time and Changes:
6 hours. I skipped the center back zipper, and I cut the bodice on bias instead of straight, in (unfulfilled) hopes of a more slinky bias fit. 
Speaking of photos being helpful, I’m realizing that I should be giving myself more length in the upper bodice, front and back, like on all patterns across the board from now on. Like draw a horizontal line at mid-armsceye level and make a note to cut out the garment above the line, then drop the pattern piece maybe an inch, then cut from the line down. This would lower bust darts and give me more room in the armsceye, which are two things it seems like I’m always doing, especially the older the pattern. 
This is the kind of thing I can see on another person in a fitting room, but it’s taken over a year of blog photos to see it on myself. If only I’d heeded the advice of Cher Horowitz all those years ago: dress yourself with photos, not the mirror. 

The Regrets:
My fabric regret is this: I was looking at these photos and thinking how this is the weirdest fabric. It’s taffeta, so it’s all shiny rustle-y party-time, it’s pink, and pink and shiny equal princess overload, but it’s a small scale plaid, like you’d see in a hardworking daytime cotton, like…shirting. 
This fabric would’ve made a great shirtdress. Polished, lightweight, unassuming. Understated but fancy. Aaaaaaaaaaargh. After having this stupid fabric for years, the perfect idea came like two weeks too late. 
What would you have made out of this stuff? Shirtdress? It’s shirtdress right? Everyone saw it but me? 

Sew It or Throw it: 
Throw it. The pattern, because it’s not right for me, and the dress because it can’t be saved. Even the easy save of put-a-T-shirt-on-overtop isn’t working. It’s ok though, I am pretty happy at having finally made something with this fabric, it feels good to have produced something, even if I’m just producing it right outta my life. 

Simplicity 4760: summer shorts times five


The Pattern: 
Simplicity 4760 BOYS’ AND MEN’S PANTS AND SHIRT, copyright 2004 by Simplicity Pattern Co. Inc
This is my most used pattern: first the shirt, then shorts, then as pants with crocodile patches. 
This time I didn’t mess around though. Five pairs of shorts, made factory style, simple, fast, bam. 


The Fabric:
I pulled out all the random 1-yard-ish pieces of printed cotton from my shelf and used them up. I found five pieces, so he got five shorts. I am very satisfied with this. 
Starting with the top left we’ve got chickens, stars, Australian Aboriginal art, bottom left we have harvest vegetables (that one was bought to make a hilarious tablecloth, obviously, but never happened, because the reality of a loud tablecloth is not as fun as the idea) and fried eggs, which are from the same collection as the chickens: Ellen Krans for Robert Kaufman. 
I stack-cut them with no attempt at matching, here below is my favorite accidental match up: 

See it? That one two-toned chicken? Totally just happened that way Hahhahahahaa. 

The kid was really into the big spool of string I used to hang up all the shorts, that’s what he’s holding in the photo above. Really really wanted that big spool of string. Such a good helper. 

The blue star shorts, though, I am annoyed with. I’ve had this fabric on the shelf for years, why did I never make myself a pair of star shorts! Now that I see how they look, I am jealous! They should’ve been mine! Arg!!!!


He’s also wearing his State of California shirt. My husband made the graphic and printed it out on iron-on paper.


The harvest shorts crack me up the most. Although it’s a close race.  

Time and Construction: 
I made these factory style, which means I separated the work by process not by garment. So I cut them all, then made all the pockets, then set all the pockets on all the fronts, then closed all the inseams, then closed all the outseams, etc etc. All together this took 8 hours, divided by five pairs equals 1.6 hours per, so let’s call that just over an hour and a half per shorts. 
Good and fast. 
If I’d made a single pair, it probably would’ve taken like three hours, just because stuff always does. 
My dad happened to be napping on the couch the day I cut out all these shorts, and was woken up by what he thought was me chopping an insane amount of vegetables. Oh Scissor Noise, you give us the lols. 

Sew It or Throw It: 
Sew it. 

Vogue Patterns 1331: that’s a wrap, Donna 


The Pattern: 
Vogue 1331, MISSES’ DRESS, TUNIC, TOP, SHORTS & PANTS, copyright 1994 Butterick Company Inc. 
This is a Vogue American Designer pattern, by Donna Karan New York. 
There’ a fun post over here on Pattern Vault, exploring goth and its influences on fashion and commercial patterns. This pattern here is not specifically cited in the Pattern Vault post, but there’s another Donna Karan for Vogue from 1993, with similar dark colors, long necklaces, and witchy vibe. Looks like the same collection and influences. Anyway, it’s a neat read. 

Interesting to me that this is a Vogue Pattern, published by Butterick. Both Vogue and Butterick are now owned by McCall’s, so I wonder if Vogue was first bought by Butterick, and then both were bought by McCall’s? Like a fish being swallowed by a bigger fish being swallowed by a bigger fish? 

How I got it:
My husband picked this one up when he worked at a fabric store in the 90’s. 
It’s been in my pattern box now for sixteen years, and it’s been interesting to see how time has made kinder my view toward all of the early 90’s patterns of his. What was Hideous to my circa 2000 eyes has become ok to my 2016 eyes. The patterns haven’t changed at all, only thing that’s changed has been my urge to shout AS IF at them. 

The Fabric: 
This pattern calls for Moderate Stretch Knits Only. I didn’t do that. I used some stretch silk charmeuse in red, and some non-stretch silk charmeuse in purple. Not so 90’s goth anymore, sorry Donna. 


I made View B, the wrap dress, but short and with short sleeves. 
This is a great wrap dress. It’s pretty simple really, unlike the delightfully bizarre split-front riding-costume weirdness of the View C top. 
However, the pattern is listed as Easy/Facile, despite being both 1)cut on bias and 2)requiring stretch knit. In my opinion you can pick one or the other and be easy. Just bias? Fine. Just knit? Fine. Bias plus stretch? No. 
Which makes me wonder what the actual criteria for Easy/Facile is. This dress has no zipper or button holes, so by that rubric sure, easy. But knit on bias, come on guys, that’s not easy. 
One thing that is I love about this pattern is that the grain follows the neckline. This is my favorite method for wrap dresses, because it makes it look like I just picked up a piece of fabric and wrapped it around my body. Maybe immediately after sailing ashore on a half shell, or in some sort of wood-nymph situation. When wrap dresses are done the other way, where the grain runs perpendicular to the floor, the dress looks clunky to me and looses that magically wrapped feeling, and if there’s a print involved it fights the neckline. 
So I like this pattern. 
Although it really does not need to be moderate stretch knit . The bias does the stretching for us here. 

Time: 12 hours

I used a folded strip of the purple to finish the inside neck edge, instead of top stitch over Stay Tape ™ the pattern recommended. 
You can see in this view above, not a lot of underlap on the skirt there. Something for me to change next time. 


Sew It or Throw It:

Totally a Sew It. 
While I was working on this dress, Vogue Patterns announced that it will no longer be producing Donna Karan patterns, so this turned out to be kind of a timely project. 
Maybe someday I’ll try out the other patterns in this envelope, those high waisted shorts are looking particularly hilarious to me. They need a little more time still, before they look ok to my eyes.