Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Finished Object: V8790 aka The Bouquet

It took me hours, but I've killed it with this top:

Vogue 8790, highly modified in every way
 I'm not too scrupulous to brag - that's some damn good ruching!

It didn't come fast. I now remember that the deal with this top is to ruche the flat pieces (where instructed). But, instead of pulling up on basted thread, as the instructions advise, I turn up the differential feed on my serger and hold the gather by simultaneously inserting clear elastic 1/8" in from the raw side edges . And that's not all (though the instructions would leave it at that). To get a really nice drape, then I ruche the whole thing as I sew up the side seams (again, using the differential feed in the waist zone). Second time round, however, I don't use clear elastic cuz it's not necessary and it would add bulk. This whole process, while involved, is easier than pulling up a bunch of basted thread and trying to get it to hold on a stretchy, thin fabric.

This is my third time making V8790 and I really came to understand it via this go round. The technique to attach the neck to the shoulders and the back piece is batshit crazy, but if you just go along for the entirely non-intuitive ride, it does work out with some fiddling.

Last time I made this, I opted to modify the pattern by bringing the shoulder slope forward slightly. I also took some more width out of the shoulders to suit my narrowness. I might actually remove another half inch of width from each shoulder next time.

And though I don't love many aspects of making this top, I cannot deny that the fit is spectacular. It sits perfectly at the low hip (it's almost a tunic). It skims everything gorgeously. Now that I've figured out where to attach the surplice at the side seams (a good 3 inches below the underarm), in a stretchy fabric, the surplice drapes below my bust in a really flattering way.

The back is cut on the fold so there's no seam to interrupt the line (which is useful if you're working with crazy patterning on your fabric).

Just remember to make this with a reasonably thin knit or the double layer on the front body will be thick and hot. Note: by thin I don't mean cheap. You're going to want something with good recovery.

A long while ago, I did a lot of work to make this pattern fit me. I more or less changed every element, from surplice length to shoulder width to back collar height to waist length and more. And now I'm reaping the benefit. (This is why I'm not ready to give up on V8323 quite yet. Though V8323 is proving to be much less pleasant to perfect.)

If I saw this in a store, I'd pay a lot of money for it because it fits well, it's versatile, light-weight, great for layering AND it's so freakin' cheerful!

I do love a floral pattern and the colour scheme, loud as it is, works really well with my skin tone. Gillian can attest that this fabric, despite being from FabricLand (where some really bad jersey knits are sold), is lovely and structured.

One other thing - I finally decided it was time to give my coverstitch machine another kick at the can. When first I bought it, we just didn't click. This was before most of the current surge of coverstitchers started blogging about their machines. Today I followed most of the very helpful instructions suggested by Cashmerette. I bolstered these with info from a couple of videos showing how to cut the threads, upon completion, to ensure that they don't get stuck in the machine or unravel after the fact (both were previous issues for me because I refused to engage with simple directions on how to finish the seam).

Is my finished hem gorgeous? Decidedly, no. But it'll do the trick. I find the Janome 1000 stitches insanely quickly, even when I try to work the foot pedal methodically. The net result was some waviness, but it won't be visible unless I point it out to you. I mean, that's the joy of working with a crazy floral, right?

So that's what I've done today so far. Next up, back to work on my second version of the Balboa Waistcoat. I'm LOVING knitting with the Tosh and the Biscotte et cie. I find it somewhat hilarious that I've managed to take yet another striping project (because, even though this vest is knit in a solid colour, I'm interspersing 2 different - but almost identical - yarns every other row to ensure that if they drape differently, or if the colour is slightly askew, my finished garment will look intentional). So much yarn carrying-up! On the plus side, this pattern is worked flat so it's pretty easy to keep things straight.

I'm totally amazed that more people haven't picked up on that circular vest pattern. It's so elegant, so (relatively) easy to fit and so fun to knit.

So whatcha think? Not a bad day of crafting, even if I was quite inefficient...


  1. That is beautiful! I'm glad to hear the pattern went together nicely for you this time - I can attest it looks great on you in person! I'm happy to see this fabric about to get some use, and I'm now motivated to rework the maxi dress I made with my fabric... the bust doesn't cover enough these days! I'm not sure if I can do anything about that, or if I should just make a tee out of the skirt or something...

    1. Why thank you! I think this version is better because the fabric is playing more nicely and I fixed the shoulder width issue from the last version. You could make a great T from the skirt - how about that Cashmerette one (do you have enough fabric for that?) I'm actually considering taking apart my other V1179 made in this fabric (sack dress from next post) and turning it into something else. I feel the fabric is too heavy for a cowl dress in the middle of the summer. But I will not sacrifice this gorgeous fabric to the lawn!

  2. Beautiful top. I'd buy one too if I saw it in a shop!

    I have had trouble making gathers using the DF on my serger so I have a question about how you ruched the sides. When you turn up the DF on your serger and add the clear elastic, do you put the fabric right side down toward the feed dogs with the elastic on the top? How much did you adjust the DF?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Thanks so much Meigan. I actually serged on the wrong side (to see where my markings were) but I don't think it matters if you intend to serge the whole thing again at the end (because you'll serge over the elastic at the end. It's more of a place holder than anything else. I turned up the DF to 2 (the highest) and it doesn't produce crazy gathers, on my Babylock. It's pretty gentle, actually.

  3. Gorgeous! This was worth the wait and struggle. :-) And that fabric is awesome!

    1. Why thank you! Isn't it a pretty, pretty fabric? It's one of my faves ever.

  4. Such pretty fabric! It's a really great colour.