Monday, January 28, 2013

Lanvin Project: Part 1

I used an app called "UPAD Lite" to create the sketch above. It's a free app, or you can pay $4.99 for the full version. It allowed me to import the pic I took of the line drawing of Vogue 8107, and draw my stripes all over it (top left). It also allowed me to create this entire "sketchbook" page of pics and captions. It's a great way to keep my plans and thoughts organized, and it's really easy to use, especially if you have a stylus to draw with. You can see that I adjusted the midline stripes to eliminate that "illusion" of wider hips. Guess what? The actual original version has "lightly padded hips". No kidding.  Also, I'm simplifying things and following the princess seam lines.

Here are my plans for my Lanvin Resort 2013 Knock-off for February. I already had the pattern in stash (now OOP), but eliminated the skirt part, and added 3" of length (that's that add-on strip at the bottom). I apologize for the "muslin" fabric, but this particular cotton had the perfect weight (and print) for this style). It's a sturdy cotton woven pique, although it raveled like crazy. Got it a few years ago from Ressy's co-op, with it's polka dots and floral print combined.  Fitting adjustments were minor, just took in 3/8" in on the sides from the bottom of the armscye down to the hip. Please excuse the pasty white skin and lack of make-up, it was a "No School, Ice Storm" (aka "Hit the Sewing Room!") day today!
Why am I calling it "The B Dress"? Well, DH called it that first, but because he's referring to the stripes... like a "Bee".  Ha. Ha. Ha. Hilarious, that man is.  But, I think the dress has "attitude", just look at those models. My colleague and I joke that my students may (on very rare occasions, ha!) think that I, too, have an "attitude", and we joke, "Don't Mess with the B in C316" (my classroom). So, there you have it... The B Dress. (My students actually call me "Ms. B", so that's a little more realistic than the "tough gal" story!) Here's a link to some dress details and pics at the Bergdorf website.

Next step: To cut the fabric into 3.5" strips and start creating my fabric. But, not yet... technically I can't "cut the fashion fabric" until Feb. 1 (I'm a rule-follower, PatternReview!). Meanwhile, I need to locate a very long (approx. 33") separating "exposed zipper". I may need some direction and help in the ways of the NYC Garment District, friends...  What do you think, am I on the right track?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Old Dog Meets New Trick


I had a birthday 2 weeks ago... Birthday #39. That's like 156 dog years, but I really only feel about 120, so I've got that going for me! 
Not my cake, but pretty cool, isn't it???
I was given my choice of pattern design software (I have the world's best husband!), so I did some research, and decided on Garment Designer by Cochenille. From the numerous reviews I found, I think it's a good match for my sewing needs and skill level. I have to tell you that I'm totally impressed with the customer service, and that was before I even placed my order! I got quick email replies to all my questions (Yes, Windows 8 compatible!) and they very generously offered to extend the special Bundle pricing from December (since it was my birthday and all). I'm excited for it to arrive, and start playing with it. 
While I'm planning on using the software strictly for sewing, it has applications for knitters as well, and will allow me to design/alter patterns using various necklines, sleeves, hemlines, skirt shapes, collars... I'm pretty geeked!

In other news... My "python" jacket reaped lots of compliments on Tuesday! "Is it ok... Can I... feel it?" Apparently, it looks more real that I realized! Thanks to all of you for the compliments, it's so nice to have such a great support network in all of you.

I have a few different projects on the table...
My Lanvin Resort 2013 knock off.  A slight adjustment to the striping is in store...
3 dresses for a family wedding in June. I'm in the muslin-making stages, so no pics yet...

I'll check back in soon!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Properly Python

Vogue 8865

I like the illustration so much better than this model photo they use on the website. I'm so turned off by the look as a whole, that I ignore the jacket and move on... but, wait! This jacket is a great wardrobe staple! It has those clean "Chanel" lines, with a nipped in waist. No pockets and no closures, so this is a great pattern for a fabric that needs to speak for itself, but it okay with getting split into smaller pieces. Look at the line drawing in the pattern and see for yourself...
 I used about a yard and 2/3 of this fabulous cotton blend that I bought a few years ago at Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, Michigan. I think I bought 3 yards (if I remember correctly, it was only about $10 or $12/yd), so there is enough on my table for a skirt... but that, as Tim Gunn would say, "That is a whole lot of look"! Not to be worn together, friends!
I lined it with a poly lining from Joann's, in ivory. It worked together beautifully, and is the type of jacket that can be worn with jeans or dressed up for work. See? I did both looks for fun. Can't remember the last "photo shoot" I did?!

Pattern adjustments/alterations? Just a little in the sleeves. I tapered the "girth" along the back seam (it's a 2-piece sleeve), taking it in about 1" at the wrist. I probably could've shortened it a little more, too, I guess.  The pattern has excellent directions, and was not complicated or fussy at all. I made the size 14 according to the finishing garment measurements, and it's perfect. There was one other place (flipping the lining out) that I did my own thing, but nothing major. I did topstitch all around the opening and hem to lock that sharp folded edge in.  Here are the back and side views...

It wears like a light denim jacket, and I'm really very happy with it! I would definitely encourage others to make it up, and I'll be doing more in the future with this pattern, it's a winner.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Stash Sale

Here are some vintage patterns that I'm sure I won't be stitching up! 3 doll patterns and 7 maternity patterns. I figure that what doesn't sell here, I'll try on ebay or PatternReview. All the patterns are PRINTED PATTERNS.

Here are the rules:
1. I will only ship within the U.S.
2. $5 per pattern, which includes shipping.
3. Payment by PayPal.
4. Purchasing multiples? 2 patterns = $8, 3 patterns = $10.
5. Comment below with your pattern selections, and leave your email address so that we can arrange payment and shipping address.

Forgive me if I forgot anything, I'll edit as needed! Thanks for your patience, and I hope you find something here you love!

Simplicity 4723, for Doll Size 20"
Complete with Instructions, and only partially cut (I think the dress pattern is the only one cut).
Butterick 7155, for Doll Size 14"
Complete with instructions, and mostly cut (except for the trousers)
Simplicity 4652, for Doll Size 20 1/2"
No envelope, but NEVER CUT!
McCall's 3132, Size 16, Bust 34. Maternity 2 Piece Dress
Complete with Instructions, Partially Cut
McCall's 3877, Size 14, Bust 34. Maternity 2 Piece Dress
Complete with Instructions, Partially Cut
McCall's 3946, Size 14, Bust 34. Maternity 2 Piece Dress
Complete with Instructions, Partially Cut
 McCall's 9344, Size 16, Tunic with Shorts or Trousers
No Envelope, Complete Instructions, Partially Cut
 Advance 7883, Size 14, Bust 32" Maternity Blouse, Skirt and Jerkin
(What the heck is a "jerkin"???)
Complete, with instructions and UNCUT
 Simplicity 4004, Waist 28, Hip 37 Set of 3 Maternity skirts
Complete with Instructions, and partially cut.
Butterick 8720, Size 14, Bust 34  Misses Maternity Chemise (1 or 2 pieces)
Complete with Instructions, and partially cut.

I'm planning on doing another "Sunday Stash Sale" next week, with fabric. Keeping my fingers crossed that these items will be "treasures" for you, and I free up some space in my sewing studio!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Under Consideration

Lanvin Resort 2012
Cotton/Poly Sheath Dress, $3730

I spied this dress on Amanda Seyfried in this month's InTouch magazine, and was really struck by it.  After some research, I found these additional images online.
PatternReview is having a "RTW Knock-off" contest next month, which gives me an additional reason to [attempt to] make it a reality.  It wouldn't be expensive to do, but creating all the stripes would take a little bit of time.
My hesitation? The double black stripes at center front along the waistline. Is it just me, or does it make her hips appear wider? Please weigh in...
In other news, I am photographing the vintage patterns I'd like to sell, and will post them up here in the next few days. Perhaps proceeds will go towards purchased some black and ecru "poly/cotton". $3730??? Seems really ridiculous for a black and white sheath dress...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Tulip Sleeve Top

Butterick 5815

Pattern Description: MISSES' TOP, TUNIC AND DRESS: Loose-fitting, pullover top, tunic or dress has very narrow hem finish on neckline/sleeves, and shaped, back overlapped sleeves.
Pattern Sizing:
8-24. I made my usual 14 (rtw 8) and it's good. Not too tight, not too loose. Easy to slip on over my head without any closures.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very much! It's a basic construction type of pattern, so wasn't difficult to begin with. The sleeves involve a narrow hem, but it wasn't difficult to handle.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
LIKES: 4 pattern pieces, no facings, no closures! This is a great "quickie" project...
DISLIKES: Lots of narrow rolled hems! Neckline and curvy sleeve hems. Not too bad if you have the patience, don't attempt if you're in a hurry. Practice on muslin if this is a first for you! I followed the patterns instructions to edgestitch as a guide, then fold and stitch, trim and stitch again. Looks perfect!
Fabric Used:
Designed for lightweight woven fabrics.
FABRICS: Crepe De Chine, Faille, Challis, Jerseys, Linens.
I used a stretch satin from Haberman's in Royal Oak, Michigan. The fabric guide is right, about 1.5 yards of 60" wide...
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I added 1.5" in length to the hem. Patterns always run short on me. It came out perfect... long enough to tuck in, but still great if I want to wear it loose.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?Yes, definitely! It was an easy and stress-free project with great results. A versatily blouse with enough design interest to keep it from being boring, and yet not too "trendy" to fall out of style soon.
I'm tagging this pattern for easy future reference! If you have pretty silky wovens and want a fuss-free blouse, give this pattern a shot!