Sunday, June 29, 2008

June 30th doesn't end until midnight, right?

Here is where I stand...

June 30th doesn't end until midnight right? So technically I can come home tomorrow, finish up the jacket, take some pictures and submit it all before 11:59 pm...or am I pushing it too close?

Well...I'm committed now and I can almost see the finish this is what's left on the jacket...

1. Hem the sleeves - then sew the tab and button on.
2. Finish pressing the hem up, add hem tape and stitch it down.
3. Make buttonholes and sew buttons on.
4. Insert shoulder pads
5. Give it another good pressing

I can finish all of that by midnight tomorrow night, right? And if I don't I guess you guys will be the first to! *LOL*

One more pic for the road...and I would be absolutely, positively NO-GOOD on Project Runway...I am not at my best under pressure...

taking my tired behind to bed...

I think I can...

I am stopping for a break 'cause if I don't I won't finish this jacket...which is a major PIA!!! Why oh why did I pick a new pattern for my last piece? Because somewhere in my twisted brain I thought I would have 2 days or the entire weekend to work on it instead of just one day...

I am weary so please forgive me...but I think I can...I think I can...finish up this last piece so the JCC is done...

Okay...I'm going back in now...too bad I have to go to work tomorrow or this would be a no-brainer...

I think I can...I think I can...I think I can...

she mutters as he heads back to her sewing machine...

Three Down and One to go!

As the title says..."three pieces done and one more to go!" Okay that's an expansion on the title but hey I can see the finish line, and I'm a little giddy! The first three pieces of my JCC wardrobe are completed and ready to be worn...

...All three pieces...

...SW Mission Tank and pants...

TNT dress with banded sleeves and pleated bottom.

Tomorrow I will work on the safari jacket and this wardrobe will be done.

I have to make or buy an my official entry will have two accessories...a scarf tie for the tank so I can have a bowtie look on the blouse and a belt for the jacket...made from the pattern.

However my real new accessory is these shoes...purchased just for these new pieces! Gosh I love a new pair of shoes...though they won't arrive in time for the official end of the contest because I waited to long to order them!

Tomorrow is one more piece and pictures...and of course I will share here when its done!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Night Snippets

I know that I haven't posted here this week, but believe it or not I haven't had much to say! *lol*

My vintage pattern fabric obsession is still in full swing.

These arrived this week:

McCalls 3145
"A Pounds Thinner" Pattern
copyright 1972

Advance (Sew Easy) 3289

Simplicity 6276
copyright 1965

And I just won this one on an Ebay auction:

Simplicity 4889

I know that I said that I would stay away from there (Ebay) but I just keep getting sucked back least now though I am only buying one or two patterns at a time instead of 15!!!

I also got this amazing gray linen blend border print from FashionFabricsClub:

My fabric closet holds quite a few pieces of gray and navy fabrics but mostly in wools for fall and winter. I managed to put together this collection of fabrics to make several more pieces for work...I just have to figure out when to sew it!

Solid gray linen (FFC); gray linen/blend border print (FFC); cotton/linen blend (Rag Shop); ltwt. cotton sateen (Metro Textile)

And I took a picture of this tag:

Since so many people seemed "curious" about the fact that I knew exactly where and when I bought the fabric for the Vintage Vogue Dress. This is just something I do...every piece of fabric that comes into the house gets tagged. The little white tag tells me yardage, fiber content, where I bought it, if it was pre-treated, and in the early years I put the year on it or if it was a store tag (i.e. Fabric Mart/Rag Shop) the year appears on it. It helps with knowing how much fabric is available when I'm thinking about a project and if it was pre-treated!

I also want to clear something up from the last post about the Vintage Vogue dress ~ the back yoke DOES NOT have bound buttonholes on it. I made machine stitched buttonholes and added an extra buttonhole and button to cover the yoke fully. When I re-read what I wrote it sounded like I made bound buttonholes and I didn't...making the pleats was bad enough! *LOL*

So this weekend will be dedicated to finishing off my JCC pieces. There are already some amazing entries up for this contest and I need to get mine finished and photographed so that I can move on! I have quite a few ideas running through my mind for more summer dresses and I need to get them made into garments!

Last update - I am in awe of all of those who have made their coat muslins! I don't even own the muslin fabric yet and realized that I am going to be sewing mine in late August/early September. I just can't sew that far ahead of the season! Issues...I know! *LOL*

Have a great weekend and hopefully finished JCC pieces soon!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Vintage Vogue 5265 - Part 1

Well I've done it again...planned more than I could actually sew...*sigh*

I totally underestimated the amount of time it would take to turn my TNT dress pattern into a version of Vogue 5265. From the drafting of new bodice yoke the pleating of the even assembling the dress...just way more time than I had originally planned.

First some basics:

Vogue 5265 - the inspirational pattern's description:
Dress with wide box pleat either side of center front and center back joins shoulder yoke with oval neckline. Looped sash worn at waistline or hipline or novelty belt. Short sleeves and sleeveless. Copyright date 1961 by The Conde Nast Publications Inc.

TNT Dress Pattern (Butterick 5932) which has a copyright date of 1998 on it and my revised version looks nothing like the original pattern.

A 100% rayon purchased 13 years ago from a local fabric chain called "The Rag Shop" which is out of business in my area. There was 3.5 yards of 53" wide fabric before pre-washing. Since I'm lazy (lol) I did not measure it after pre-washing. However, there was only enough fabric to get a sleeveless version of the dress and the sash constructed. Even part of the yoke linings are cut from cotton batiste because I needed to insure that I had enough fabric for the sash.

3 - 5/8" buttons
1 - 9" zipper

Construction Details:
There were quite a few construction I am only going to highlight the ones that I feel were important.

First - I did use the pattern pieces for the yoke from the original vintage pattern to make new ones for my interpretation of the dress.

Two - I added several more pleats to the front of my dress than the original one, probably because the original calls for a pleated center front piece and two side fronts that are cut and sewn to the center piece and then pleated. I thought I could achieve a similar look by just pleating a front piece to match the width of the front yoke.

Three - since I was using a rayon fabric for the dress and I was concerned that with time the pleats would fall out, I edgestitched each pleat. This was very time consuming but definitely worth it to me since I will never have to guess how to iron the pleats back in.

Fourth - the dress calls for a side zipper. I don't know why but I hate side zippers so I moved the zipper to the back under the button opening. With the buttons and zipper opening, the dress opens very wide so that I can just step into it. In the vintage version, I probably would have had to slide it over my head, then zip up the side and button the back.

Fifth - I did use what I thought was a really kewl detail from the original has you stitch down the pleats at the waistline and then you put the sash over the stitching. It helps hold everything flat and makes it really neat and easy to wear.

Other details:
The instruction sheet on this pattern wasn't as helpful as previous instruction sheets have been...however, it did have the sewist make bound buttonholes for the yoke back. There were only 2 buttons/buttonholes suggested for the yoke back - partially I think because of the bound buttonholes and maybe partially because the yoke back is considerably smaller in the lower sizes. I used 3 buttons for full back coverage.

There is a lot of fabric in this dress...all those its very comfortable to wear but absolutely, positively needs the sash to reign in the fullness...also so it doesn't seem as if I'm wearing a maternity dress.

The armholes are finished with bias binding but I found something that I had in my notions/trim collection and used that instead of cutting bias binding from the fabric like the pattern suggests...well I also didn't have much fabric left!

I embellished the yoke front for two reasons - one, the dress looked plain without it and two, it covers some poor marking on my part when I was making the box pleats.

This was suppose to be a "wearable" muslin and then I was going to make the dress again from a red rayon/linen piece...but I'm DONE! I still have to finish the sash and hem this thing...which is going to be a challenge in this one will be worn as is. I definitely will not be taking this trip again! *LOL*

Finally a headless shot of me wearing the almost finished dress.

It was a challenging project...alot harder than any of the other interpretations I've done. It also looks nothing like any of the other dresses in my summer wardrobe so I'm glad that I went for it and made it. The other surprising thing is that the sash does not cut me in half nor make me look like a stuffed sausage in the dress.

Of course, once I have actually hemmed it, I will post a picture of me in full make-up and heels wearing the completed version!

This was such an all-encompassing sew that I did not add the sleeves to my JCC dress nor cut out or sew the pants for the JCC wardrobe. However, I am off work on Wednesday and will have a few hours to sew, so I will work on those pieces then. It took two days to create my translation but I am glad that I spent the time on this dress and made it work!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

At the week's end...

Well it's Saturday morning and I've made it through another grueling week...

Since it was such a trying week, I haven't thought much about sewing...geeze that statement is scary!!! However, I did work out the sleeve for my JCC Dress, so I will finish the dress up this weekend...and I've also decided to make the pants from the JCC Wardrobe as my third piece too...keeping me on track to finish up with my final piece - the jacket next weekend.

On another front, I really have become fanatical about vintage patterns. I found some new sites (thanks Marji!) that have really inspired me and of course some more patterns have followed me home...

Of the new ones, this one is really "talking" loudly:

It arrived this week from Lanetz Living, it's envelope is a little tattered, the pieces very yellowed with age...but the most priceless part of this pattern to me is the instruction sheet:

I now have fabric in the wash waiting to make a "wearable" muslin of this dress, using the "idea" from the vintage pattern and my TNT dress pattern, hopefully I will end up with a new dress to add to my Summer of Sophisticated Dressing garments.

This also showed up this week:

Just the white/black paisley silk charmeuse portion of the is matched with the black linen purchased several months ago because I want to make a summer/early fall version of my Easter Suit. I have been diligently searching for a black/white silk print that would work for the inserts, the lining and another SW Mission Tank. I think this one fits the bill and says me at the same time! This is just a peek at a future sewing project.

So my weekend sewing plans are:

*complete the JCC dress

*make the JCC pants

*work on the vintage Vogue pleated dress

Updates tomorrow!!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Boston Celtics - 2008 NBA Champions!

Yeah baby!

They did it!!!

Boston 132, Lakers 92

And Paul Pierce, MVP!!!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's All About the Fabric...

First, I would like to thank everyone who posted a comment in the, "Pretty and Professional" post. I appreciate all of your comments and your perspectives on the situation. It helped me greatly to be able to post about thanks again!

Second, I will post "how I did-its" this I stated in my dress post, I just sewed the dress...I didn't take any construction I will have to make some samples to show you how I made the box pleats on the bottom of the dress.

Tonight I was on because I read an article about Carolina Herrara in this month's More Magazine and admittedly I was looking for a little inspiration...not that I don't have a list of dresses that I want to make now...but I was looking anyway! What I found in Carolina's section was interesting but it wasn't floating my boat...

So I changed directions and tried Chado Ralph Rucci...I mean if you can't find any inspiration from this man...*throwing my hands up in the air* there is just nothing there to help you! *sigh*

Then I got to this picture:

photo credits:

And I realized what my sewing has been about for the last few weeks..."it's all about the fabric, baby!" Even some of the garments that I have lined up in my mind...that are banging at each other trying to make it from flat fold fabric into a wearable piece in my about the fabric first and the design second.

If you've been reading my ramblings for any length of time, you know that I LOVE fabric. Nothing makes me happier than a great piece of fabric...especially one that has some detail to it...a piece of fabric that once cut up can be transformed into something magical and unique!

So even as I've attempted to try sewing patterns other than my TNT, time and time again it's the fabric that makes the garment sing...

And I have some even more amazing pieces of fabric waiting on deck for their chance to become a garment, because it's all about the fabric, baby!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sliding into Second

This month's sewing is all about the June Capsule Contest...and as previously stated I planned on sewing one piece a weekend until the four pieces are finished.

This week's piece is ~ "The Dress"...and although it's not completed, I wanted to show you some of it's progress. However, I have no pictures of construction. I started working on this dress today and all I wanted to do was sew and enjoy the journey. There were a lot of details that needed to be worked out from my basic idea so I took my time and just sewed.

Here is where I am soooo far...

I know I broke my rule and showed it on my body but the flat pictures just don't do the components of this dress justice as you can see here:

My favorite parts of the dress is the changed neckline...the regular neckline on my TNT dress sits closer to the neck. For this version, I scooped out the neckline and added the brown linen facing to break up some of the pattern.

The other part that I am just loving is the pleated bottom...I can't believe I got this to work the first time with just a little thought and determination...I will share how to make the pleated bottom on another post...

Originally I was going to make this a sleeveless dress but now to me it's crying out for some that will be the last component to add to the dress and it should be finished.

Now that the dress is almost done, I know which jacket pattern I'm going to use to finish the mini-wardrobe. It is Butterick 5194 . I have also made a change to my garments, I am going to make a pair of my TNT pants instead of the TNT straight skirt.

So 1.5 down...2.5 more to complete...I'm sliding into second...and I'm almost at home base with it!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pretty and Professional...

That's the way someone at work described me...since when did the word "pretty" added to the word "professional" start to seem like an insult? Then she said that I look "professional" but not "executive professional" because I wore a lot of color?!!! WTF?!!!!

So it got me thinking, "Are you only professionally dressed if you are wearing black, gray, navy or brown?" And are you a true "professional" if you just wear black?

Those statements have really made me ponder and caused me to ask myself, "Am I a leader, a follower or someone willing to walk my own path?" It's also caused me to wonder how did I end up in this particular sandbox - where style is a dirty word...uniformity is everything...and getting dressed in the mornings is one more stress added to an already stressful day.

After much thought and consideration, I have decided to follow my own course and to be true to me. If I'm not really professional in a floral print 2 pc outfit...then d*mn I'm not! To me I seem to do my job better when I like what I'm wearing and feel comfortable in it...and if I had wanted to be a funeral director...I would be doing that right now!! So I guess I just won't be dressed "executive professional" but will be "pretty and professional" doing the best D*MN job I can!!!

So ladies, my question of the day is style oriented..."Do you think pretty and professional is a compliment or an insult?" Talk to me...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Coat Sew Along and other things...

Not only have I committed to sewing four pieces or a mini-wardrobe for the June Capsule Contest but I'm also participating in the Great Coat Sew Along...

Now you wouldn't know that I was participating if you are reading the blog, 'cause I've barely posted there...but I do have plans to follow along and make a coat.

I ordered a chocolate wool flannel from Gorgeous seems like quite a few of us have gotten our coat fabric from there and I'm using Vogue 7978 as my coat.

However, I don't have a lining fabric or the innerworkings yet...and somewhere I am going to have to scrounge up some heavier weight muslin to make a coat muslin...

I also promised you a picture of the Sewing Workshop Mission Tank that I made this weekend to wear with an existing skirt - so here is the outfit I wore to work today.

It was so hot and humid outside today, that it was hard to breathe and this was the perfect outfit for the awful weather...of course I stood out in the sea of blackness that is my office...but it was just too danged hot to care!

I have now used up the last piece of that fabric and will be moving on to the 2nd and 3rd pieces of my JCC...and btw, I just found out that there is a prize for the first 30 finishers...ummmm, why was I spreading my sewing out over 4 weekends?!! *LOL*

Thank you everyone who commented on my optical illusion dress. I know its a little different especially for a "big girl" like me...but it was a perfect dress for work in the heatwave we're having....

More later...

Monday, June 09, 2008

Vintage Inspiration

Vintage Inspiration:

plus a great piece of fabric from Fashionista Fabrics:

plus TNT dress pattern = New finished dress:

It was a hot, hot, hot day here on the East Coast...and I don't do hot so I stayed inside today in the air conditioning and sewed.

This dress has been running around in my head for awhile now and today was the perfect time to turn it from flat fold fabric into something that can be worn to work.

TNT dress pattern without sleeves

Paisley silk twill from Fashionista Fabrics

22" zipper, lining fabric & a couple of yards of lace

There is nothing new and/or exciting about this dress. The fabric is the main component and boy is it speaking loudly. I originally purchased this fabric to do a Tory Burch knock-off tunic but after seeing the vintage pattern's design I used it for a dress.

The silk is lightweight and I added a few touches to make it mine. A little flat binding/piping at the neckline:

Lace added to the lining so that it seems more like a slip than a lining:

The jacket is my Butterick 4980 wearable muslin - made last year from a linen jacquard tablecloth and working perfectly with the optical illusion that is my dress this year:

Even though the dress has a very big and vivid print, I like it! I only used two of the four yards that I bought from Melodye so I probably can get the tunic out of the remaining fabric.

BTW, I did finish one more SW Mission Tank to go with an existing skirt but I will show that to you tomorrow. Hope you had a productive sewing weekend too!

And go Celtics!!!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The first piece is done!

Last week I looked at the calendar and realized that I had four full weekends in June...which meant that if I made just one piece per weekend, I would fulfill the requirements of the June Capsule Contest. It would also allow me the opportunity to work on other things, if I dedicated one day of the weekend to the JCC piece.

I chose to go with the easiest piece first...probably because there were several other pieces that I really wanted to sew this weekend. Sewing the easiest piece ~ the Sewing Workshop Mission Tank in the silk charmeuse print ~ at the beginning releases me of the "obligated" sew item and leaves me free to complete the "whatever I want" items!

So, here is the SW Mission Tank. I am showing all of these in flat garments during the construction phase and will submit final pictures of me wearing them for the contest requirement.

There is nothing new or revolutionary about this tank...same old construction techniques...easy peasy, one, two three, sewing. But these pieces are absolutely necessary to my work wardrobe and will not only work well with the JCC pieces but also with two other brown suits currently in my closet. Like I said, "Brown is the new Black!"

Piece one is done and next weekend I will begin working on the next one...have no idea which one that will be...but as soon as it's done I will share it with you!!!!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Vogue 2090

ETA: Just checked the site and all three patterns are now sold! So if I find it again while trolling Ebay, I will let you know! Ladies you are quick! *smile*

I know that several of you have tried to locate this pattern after seeing a couple of dresses that I made from the pattern. Well, since I have become an Ebay hound, I located 3 at Pins-Needles Sewing Emporium Store on Ebay. The sizes are 8-10-12; 14-16-18; 20-22-24! They are all present and accounted for and are selling for $10 a pattern.

Just to remind you what the dress looks like - this is the last version I made for last year's Timmel SWAP:

Happy hunting!

I Get My Best Ideas...

Peoplewatching...Yes I do!

Now that coats are off and the sun is shining there are more women in the street, so there is great people watching. I also work near Central Park West and lately I have been making the effort at lunchtime to walk by the park, the fountain at Columbus Circle and the Time Warner Centre. There is really good people watching there!

However, I found an idea, that of course caused me to buy another piece of fabric, while riding the elevator to work one morning. She was wearing a simple button front shirtdress with short sleeves and a tie belt. There were two things that made this dress stand out in my, it was made in a navy blue eyelet and two, the back yoke was curved but the dress back wasn't gathered into it. A simple tie belt completed the look.

I can see the dress in my mind's eye and took a twirl around the internet to see if I could find a picture of it ~ but no luck...though I did find this amazing navy blue embroidered cotton from Fabric Mart:

So of course I bought three yards of it! It is a 100% Cotton light weight poplin with an embroidered pattern. It arrived last night and I LOVE it! I even have the perfect buttons to go with this fabric...but alas, I have to sew JCC items!

I'm telling you, I'm not sure about this planning thing for this summer! The "want to sew what I'm inspired to sew" urge is pulling me strongly! *LOL* And now that it has finally warmed up and feels like early summer, I want to wear nuthin' but dresses...NUTHIN' BUT!!!!

In my pattern collection, I have several shirtdress patterns...c'mon admit it, you probably do too! It is such a classic dress and looks good on everyone when made correctly!

Vogue 2939 is a very classic shirtdress with a hidden button placket and I think the fabric would look very "Corporate Chic" in this pattern!

Then I have two out of print (OOP) patterns that will also work...

Tamotsu 1916 (circa 1997) has a shirtdress with a cute little collar and short sleeves. Mine is a size 14-16-18 but I can alter the pattern to fit me since it has very simple lines.
McCalls 3254 (circa 2001) is a Palmer Pletsch Classit Fit shirtdress pattern. This one has a notched collar and three sleeve versions, it is a little longer but can always be shortened.

And I found these patterns for my plus size sisters:

D7107 is from Connie Crawford. The size range is to a 6x and it can be lengthened from the tunic look that is shown. The sweetheart neck also offers a different take on the look:

Fashion Patterns by Connie is Connie Crawford's webline and while it has some of the Butterick patterns on it...there are a lot more styles available. You should definitely surf around this wonderful resource.

And this from the Dana Marie Pattern Co. (formerly known as Purrfection Patterns):

Dana does a lot of art-to-wear garments and that's why I included the line drawings instead of the picture for this one. I have made a couple of her garments into very professional looking work gear. I can see a lot of potential for a great classic shirtdress in this pattern - 1013 Northern Lights.

Since I am "working" on JCC pieces ~ this new idea will go on my list! But I have fabric and notions in hand and the idea is gnawing on the edges of my brain so I don't think it will stay in fabric lengths long...especially since it works so well for my corporate work environment and my idea of "Sophisticated Summer Dressing."


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