Sunday, September 30, 2007
Also after some thought I realized that I would need to fuse some interfacing to the fabric and to add a double layer of interfacing to the areas where I will make the buttonholes for the ribbon to pass through. I want to make sure that the area is stabilized so that the buttonholes don't gap with wear.
The other change I made to the jacket was the sleeves...since the inspiration photo has three quarter sleeves with bows that will not make it onto my version! I used the sleeve from Vogue 8209 as a guide for making the slit sleeve and added a facing so that I can fold it back. I am also adding a lining to the jacket. I don't want facings from the fabric because I think it will be too bulky with the ribbon trim. So add that to the fold back facings from the sleeves and I have my work cut out for me!
I have no pictures yet but wanted to give a progress report since this is not rolling out of the sewing nook this weekend. However, I have started it and will show pics as soon as I get it completed. I love fall clothes but they take so much more time and effort to get them ready for prime time viewing and wearing out into the public!
Saturday, September 29, 2007
2008 Twist –
Three garments must be made from one "wardrobe" pattern. You must make three uniquely different garments from that pattern; making one type of garment three times will not qualify. These patterns are available from all the major pattern companies and they usually include a jacket, dress and/or skirt, pants, blouse or top. For our purposes, any pattern with at least three different garments that work together will be counted as a "wardrobe" pattern. The patterns labelled "wardrobe patterns" often have 4 or 5 garments in them; but as long as the pattern has three different garments, it will qualify. The purpose of this year's rule is to encourage making the best use of a pattern; in other words, work it for what it is worth. The other 8 garments can come from any other pattern or patterns or be self-drafted.
And dresses are allowed:
This year is back to one type of SWAP. This consists of 11 garments, 4 bottoms (skirts and/or pants), 6 tops (2 should be more like blouses than just tees), and 1 jacket that will work with all the tops and bottoms. This gives you a total of 48 possible combinations. However, you can substitute a dress or dresses for two of the tops if you wish. Therefore, your SWAP can be 1 jacket, 4 bottoms, 4 tops, 2 dresses or it can be 1 jacket, 4 bottoms, 5 tops and 1 dress. The jacket must work with all combinations. In the case of a jumper, this would count as a "bottom" item, in that it must work with all the tops and it must also be able to be worn with the jacket. A vest is counted as a jacket since it is usually worn over a top. If it can be worn solo, count it as a top.
I'm all aflutter! I thought I wasn't going to participate in SWAP this year but now I don't know...If you have never participated in a SWAP, you should think about it. Julie's SWAP contest gives you plenty of time to plan and with a $25 qualifying purchase, you too can make an amazing wardrobe. Think about it because it is so much fun!
Back to sewing!
Friday, September 28, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Nancy tagged me so here are my 8 things...really I gotta come up with 8!!! *smile*
1. I like the movie Pretty Woman so much that I actually wore out a VHS tape and had to buy another one!
2. I was engaged twice before I finally got married.
3. I have always wanted to be married and have children from a very young age. I originally wanted 4 girls! But reality intruded and I only had 3.
4. When I was younger and until I had my third child, I weighed less than 135 lbs. And I absolutely hated being skinny!
5. I am a Dancing with the Stars and American Idol fanatic. I LOVE both these shows!
6. I can put in an invisible zipper but don't do it well. I should really practice that more! *smile*
7. I learned to sew from my maternal grandmother and we share the same birthday!
8. I want to live to be 100 years old!
Alright Dancing with the Stars the Results show is on gotta go!!! And no, I am not going to make 8 other people go through this...*LOL* Hopefully I will get the skirt hemmed and have something to show you later this week...or another book review???
Enjoy your sewing journeys!
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Will I make this again? I don't know. I am thinking about taking these pieces and laying them on top of my TNT dress pattern and seeing if I can recreate them with my TNT dress pattern. Then again, I have done all of this work so maybe I should try another dress. I don't know...because it was a lot of work to get an okay fitting dress. Anyway, there are plenty of photos in my Flickr album.
I am back to work tomorrow and my four gore TNT skirt still isn't hemmed. Ummm, maybe its because this dress has consumed me for the last three days! *smile* Anyway, I am going to wear "The Ladybug Dress" to work tomorrow and hem the skirt later in the week. The weather is suppose to be summer-like for the rest of the week so I have time to wear the skirt.
I have started fall sewing...both the Jackie O Retro Suit and this last dress are fall garments. I just may have to rethink my plans for Simplicity 3631!
Friday, September 21, 2007
There were quite a few comments and questions on the braid application! I didn't realize that it would draw so much attention or I would have written about it in the skirt post.
~How did you sew the foldover braid to the hem?
~Any tricks to it?
~What type of foldover braid are you using?
Well, I buy foldover bias braid from Daytona Trimmings. They have several kinds...the bias braid that I used in "Jackie O Retro Suit" and the last jacket, a knit foldover binding and a cotton foldover binding. All come cut on the bias and in a multitude of colors. As for application, this is simple. I just fold the longer half over the front of the garment with the shorter half of the braid on the back of the garment. Then I pin it down. I sew a single line of stitching (stitch length about 2.5) through the center of the braid. Finally press it down.
What makes the application so easy is that the braid is cut on the bias and wraps easily around the fabric. This is one of those construction techniques that is really simple but gives a lot of ooomph for the money...or is it just that I have a really good source for the trim?! *smile*
Cidell asked - "The Quilting technique does it add some stability structure to the fashion fabric?"
I copied my technique from one that Susan Khalije detailed in a Threads article. The information below is from an article by Claire Schaeffer called, "The Comfortable Side of Couture - Practical Techniques of Coco Chanel." This article is from the Threads magazine but I have it in the book, Great Sewn Clothes. Since copyright issues are I'm sure involved, I will only quote a pertinent piece of the article.
"Chanel suits are lightweight, which adds to their comfort, because they're assembled without traditional interfacings, underlinings, facings and heavy linings. The jacket has only two fabric layers: the shell or fashion fabric, and a blouse-weight lining. Shell fabrics are often soft, loose and textured
handwovens...linings are of silk gauze, china silk, silk foulard, silk satin...."
So judging from the article I think comfort was Chanel's primarily goal. Mine was to try a new technique. Now did it stabilize the fabric - sure it did. IMHO, there is no way you could stitch one piece of fabric to another and not add some stability. Was that my primary goal? No.
There was a comment made about Jackie Kennedy's jacket back being cut on the bias...
Now I have studied this picture nine ways into Sunday and in her Bugnand suit the back is cut into 4 pieces. There are two center back pieces joined together with a center back seam and there are two side back pieces that are joined to the main center back piece. All of this seaming gives the illusion of the back being cut on the bias but it is not actually. And the way that I determined this was by looking at the angle of the plaid. Now that is how I viewed the photo and I have been living with this book on my bed, sleeping with me every night for the last several months. But mainly, this is my interpretation of the jacket! This is what I wanted to make for me. So this is what I shared with you.
Which leads to my next comment...
I have not turned off the anonymous commenters ability to post...mainly because I don't get too many of them. However, I would truly appreciate it if you do comment under anonymous if you would kindly sign your name. Several people do. If you don't want to sign your name, I am going to come right out and say, don't comment. If you have an opinion but aren't man or woman enough to own up to your words ~ let me repeat ~ don't comment! I am not looking for people to agree with me in all instances but it is a little high schoolish to leave a snippy comment and no name...moving on.
Stacy & Cherie mentioned pearls. Can I just tell you that I loves me some pearls! It is my favorite piece of jewelry in the entire world. I didn't have an engagement ring for years because I don't particularly like diamonds (can you believe?) and I couldn't find an interesting emerald ring that I liked. I think it was on my 5th wedding anniversary that my ex-husband presented me with the most amazing antique style emerald ring that I wore above my wedding band. It took the man 5+ years to find an acceptable ring! *LOL* But I digress, back to pearls. I have pearls in all strand lengths, all colors and I am trying hard to get my hands on the new Honora pearl necklace that has multi-colored pearls in it. I want that bad! Bad enough not to buy fabric! *LOL*
As for the Jackie Kennedy 3 strand pearl necklace on QVC - I have tried to purchase it a couple of times. A few times I tuned in too late and it was already sold out ~ maybe I should go on their website and see if its available!!!! *LOL* But Cherie, I know about the Jackie Kennedy reproduction jewelry on QVC!
Finally my "whining" post of yesterday...
Please forgive. I was just a little overwhelmed with a situation in my life and I whined on my blog...which believe it or not made me feel better and last night I did cut out my first version of the dress in Simplicity 3631. I am working on it now and I did something I don't usually do, I read the instructions...which caused some head shaking but I will tell you more about that when I show you my finished dress.
I'm off to sew and I hope I answered all of your questions...and if I didn't just leave me another comment and I promise I will get back to you!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I mean my sewing mojo was going, revved up high and running on all *eight* cyclinders. I was moving into uncharted territory - moving away from my list, getting ready to sew for the creativeness of it when....BAM!!!!...life got in the way!
Now my head is all twisted up and turned around...I can feel my sewing mojo slowly slipping away...and I don't know what to sew next. It isn't like I am going to lose a lot of sewing time behind this blip in the road...but it has unsettled me enough to make me doubt myself for just a minute...and to make me wonder what to do next?
So here I sit on Thursday evening...the easy 4 gore skirt just needs a hem...I can do that! I...can...do...that! And I have to be away from home tomorrow for most of the day so I don't know if I will sew at all tomorrow! I can pick my sewing back up on Saturday morning, but what to make? What direction to take? And can I get it completed over the weekend ~ 'cause somewhere in there I have to mentally prepare to go back to...work...
Ahhhhhh, I hate when life gets in the way! Now where did I put those numbers for the Mega Millions lottery tickets I need to purchase tomorrow!
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
So here is a pic of me wearing just the skirt and a tank top.
Here I am wearing the entire suit - I still have some work to do on the jacket - these buttons are on with tape - the correct buttons haven't arrived yet!
And one with the jacket closed...
You can see more pictures of the process and the pieces in my Flickr album.
Next up ~ an easy 4 gore skirt so that I will have something I can wear to work right away. After that I will start working on the Sew Stylish pattern!
Quilting the fashion fabric to the lining as stated previously is time consuming but the process was interesting. First I measured out large pieces of both the fashion fabric and the lining making sure that the grainlines were correct for both pieces. Then I pinned the lining to the fabric using a lot of pins.
I stitched the two pieces together using the plaid as the guideline ~ stitching from the lining side. I would sew down one row, skip a row, and then sew the next. It made my quilted rows about 1.5 inches apart. I used one color thread on the top and another on the bottom so that the thread would coordinate with both pieces. Directional sewing was very important here. I sewed top to bottom only ~ never flipping the piece and sewing bottom to top. This kept the tension in the rows right.
After each piece was quilted, I then steam pressed the front and back of the piece.
The pattern pieces were laid on top of the quilted fabric and cut out. Now, if I was using a true Chanel technique, I would sew the seam first and then hand stitch the lining closed over it. However, my fabric was very ravelly and I really only wanted the quilted look to the fabric and lining so I took my fabric to the serger and serged the edges of the pieces. I used flat felled seams to sew the garment together. To finish the seams off, I cut a strip of lining fabric and sewed it flat over the seam.
I added black grosgrain ribbon to the center fronts to give stability to the front of the jacket without taking away some of the softness of the cardigan type jacket. It will also give stability to the buttonholes and the buttons that will be placed on the front of the jacket.
Finally after the jacket was constructed, I added the black foldover braid to the entire jacket. The last part was to add shoulder pads. After pinning in a 1/2" shoulder pad and a 3/4" shoulder pad to check how they looked in the jacket, I settled on the 1/2" shoulder pads.
So here is the jacket so far ~ on Lulu (who is much more broad shouldered than I am). I am waiting for the black glass buttons to arrive from Fabric Mart to finish the jacket.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
I know this is like the most overasked and overanswered question to and from sewists! But I am asking it in a different manner. We all know the "safe" normal answers...great fit, colors you want to wear, to get the latest styles inexpensively, etc.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
One last thing ~ I love the internet! I really wanted to find a picture of the Pure DKNY dress that I saw in Macy's last weekend and sure enough it was on the DKNY site. So here is a picture of the dress:
So after I read a few more sewing blogs and catch up on the happenings at my favorite internet sewing board ~ Stitchers Guild ~ I will head to my sewing area. I have plenty of Mountain Dew (the drink of Champions), lots of inspiration and time to sew!
Enjoy your sewing journeys today and every day!
Friday, September 14, 2007
I haven't seen Colleen for a couple of years because life just gets in the way! She lives in a big rambling farmhouse in New Hampshire and I live in the suburbs of New Jersey and since I took this last job I don't seem to do much but work! So it was so much fun to finally hook up with her again and lunch went way to fast!
Now why is Colleen my sewing hero? Ohmygosh...I would say first and foremost because she is a great teacher. I have learned so much from her but it is her style of teaching that just works for me.
- It is gentle but pushy - she always encouraged me to learn more and to push myself.
- It is funny - there is always a great story or joke associated with the technique she is teaching.
- It is innovative - she was teaching the Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) using a pie chart before anyone else that I'd heard of...
However there are two words that I always think of when I think of Colleen - generous and kind. She is that way with knowledge, books, fabric, just everything. I started to collect older sewing books because of Colleen - who gifted me with my first Adele Margolis book. I would never have heard of Mary Brooks Pickens, The Womens Sewing Library or Edythe Bishop, if not for Colleen. I own Lulu (my dressform) thanks to Colleen. Who not only gifted her to me but she also helped me fit the cover for her!
Yes, she has been a huge influence on my sewing and is a wonderful teacher. I truly miss the daily (yes, it was at one point via a sewing email list) that I had with her. If you've ever taken a class from her, experienced her wonderful personality at a PR weekend, or just gained some insightful information from her, please share!
She's a little too busy now to spend quality time on all the sewing boards but she is still my sewing hero!
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Dictionary.com defines it as:
1. a particular kind, sort, or type, as with reference to form, appearance, or character: the baroque style; The style of the house was too austere for their liking.
2. a particular, distinctive, or characteristic mode of action or manner of acting: They do these things in a grand style.
3. a mode of living, as with respect to expense or display.
4. an elegant, fashionable, or luxurious mode of living: to live in style.
5. a mode of fashion, as in dress, esp. good or approved fashion; elegance; smartness.
6. the mode of expressing thought in writing or speaking by selecting and arranging words, considered with respect to clearness, effectiveness, euphony, or the like, that is characteristic of a group, period, person, personality, etc.: to write in the style of Faulkner; a familiar style; a pompous, pedantic style.
7. those components or features of a literary composition that have to do with the form of expression rather than the content of the thought expressed: His writing is all style and no substance.
8. manner or tone adopted in discourse or conversation: a patronizing style of addressing others.
9. a particular, distinctive, or characteristic mode or form of construction or execution in any art or work: Her painting is beginning to show a personal style.
10. go out of style, to become unfashionable: The jacket he's wearing went out of style ten years ago.
11. in style, fashionable.
Okay - they define the heck out of this word but I have highlighted the definitions that pertain to where I'm going. Where I'm going is this, I have a style, a particular form of dress that makes me happy, looks good on me and most times works for whatever situation I find myself in. Every once in awhile I have to remember that my "style" is right for me, that I shouldn't relinquish it because of the crowd's idea of what is right, or that I don't necessarily need to change it because of what is presently being worn in my environment.
I say all of this because, for the last week there have been a series of important meetings in our office which will continue through Wednesday of this upcoming week. When these types of meetings occur in my office, the prevailing dress is black pantsuits. While I understand the convenience, ease of wearing and uniformity of this look - everything in me rebels. So I am left with the challenge of expressing my style without standing out in the sea of uniformity. Also being me, I can't stand wearing the same old pieces of clothing to each and every type of meeting that we have like this (and trust me we do this ALOT!)
So I have been trying to come up with new ideas to sew...last weekend's sewing was a bust! And this morning it finally hit me as to why. I was trying to "imitate" a look instead of being true to who I am. And then I started to wonder, how many of us do that? Even with our ability to sew and make what works for our body types, our lifestyles, our favorite fabrics, etc. How many of us sew for who we would like to be? Or who we think we should be? Or even who someone else wants us to be? And if so, why do we do this?
I think I am going to have a better sewing weekend - this weekend - because I am going to make something that's me, that is my style but that will work in the pool of uniformity that I go to everyday.
So talk back to me people...tell me about your style. Why does it work? And if it doesn't, why doesn't it? But also are you sewing for you and your lifestyle? Or are you sewing for who you want to be or who you hope to be?
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
Saturday, September 01, 2007
It evolved from the now defunct Sewing World which I also adored. Maybe because I found a group of women who sewed with the same intensity and curiosity that I had or maybe it was because I felt so welcomed when I nervously made my first post there but whatever, I felt welcomed into that community. In Sewing World's last days a group of women wanted to perserve that sewing community and formed Stitchers Guild/Artisan's Square. They are Kathryn (known as Fzxdoc), Liana author of the Sew Intriguing Blog, Liana's sister Lisa and computer genius extraordinare, Dragonlady.
I believe it is a well moderated board with a gentle, welcoming community that encourages everyone to sew or knit. I never worry that it will self-destruct or that animosity will be allowed to run amok there. I am secure that positivity will reign! And I am always welcome there, sorta like Norm when he bellied up to the bar at Cheers! *smile*
But what I love even more than that is the sharing that happens there. This site contains so much sewing knowledge that is willingly shared even if you happen to sew it in a different manner or use a different technique. Courtesy, encouragement, sharing, knowledge those are words that come to mind when when I think of that site. Now in the manner of full disclosure, I am friends with Kathryn and Liana but this friendship developed from posting to Sewing World. I have made several other friends from this site and fabric shopped with a few them! *LOL* But if you are looking for an encouraging community where you can learn to take your sewing to the next level, stop on by! Visit awhile, introduce yourself and find yourself welcomed into a community of amazing women and men who LOVE to sew!