Sunday, December 30, 2012

A walk in the woods

Yesterday after the boys that came for a sleepover left, we decided that it would be nice to walk in the woods while it was snowing. Of course by the time we got everyone ready and we got to the park it had stopped. No matter, we still had an enjoyable walk. These days we are always amazed at our 12 year old beagle who comes alive in these walks. My boys talked non stop as always when they are together and my husband and I had a chance to look around us and find beauty in a grayish winter day.

The water beads on the trees were gorgeous, my phone's camera couldn't do it justice.

I have been doing some sewing so I will have something new to share soon. I don't know if I'll make an end of the year post, still deciding =)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Burda Style 9/2011 109

So this project was planned last winter and when the weather got warmer I set it aside.

This year when I picked it up I realized that the bodice could be washed but because I was using wool crepe for the skirt it would need dry cleaning ( I did preshrink it in the dryer but I prefer the dry cleaner for certain wool garments). I decided anyways that I could still get the look of the dress but have two pieces that I could also use with other garments and so I made a top and a skirt.

Top 108 I had turned into a dress that I love so now I shortened the pattern into a top. Like I did before the neckline is just turned and stitched. The skirt was very easy, just a rectangle with gathers and a waistband. I like the ribbon and button embellishment which I kept but I shortened my skirt to the knee since I will get more use of the skirt at that length. I did not line it since I wanted to reduce any extra bulk at the gathers and I was planning to wear a full slip. I also did not add pockets.

The waistband I made using the instructions in "Easy Guide to Sewing Skirts", it is a book I love and I refer to it time and again.

Both fabrics were in my stash, the knit is a rayon and the skirt is wool crepe from London Fabrics from my PR Philadelphia trip. The ribbon and buttons came from JoAnns.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pencil skirt draft and sew along

Yesterday I finally was able to enlist the help of my husband to help me take measurements, the first step in the draft along.

While trying to catch up on my fashion reading (oy!) I found this in either the Oct or Nov issue of Lucky Mag.

If you are interested in drafting along you can still join! Just follow the link on my sidebar.

I'm excited!

Almost done with my present project I will share soon!

Monday, December 03, 2012

A sewists get together

On Saturday we had the first ever (to my knowledge) MD, DC, VA meetup organized by Lisa and hosted by Robin. By meeting at Robin's first for conversation and a swap, it gave us the opportunity to relax and chat and get to know each other.

I took with me quite a few patterns and brought back a lovely cut of silk! Thanks to the donor!
Silk on the left, mystery fabric on right from bargain table at G Street

As the party broke some of us headed to G Street Fabrics. I hadn't been to the new location and was curious. I regret to say I was disappointed. The other location had two levels and a fantastic selection of fabrics. The new is one level and the feeling of awe I used to get every time I walked in is gone. I looked through the bargain table that was a huge pile of fabric dripping on to the floor, out of there came the green fabric which I have plans to use for a Paco Peralta skirt.

More pictures of the day and links to all the bloggers are over in Robin's post of the event.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Burda 10/2008 Blouse 118

 We are back to having to take pictures indoors since I won't brave 40 deg weather to photograph a silk blouse. I need to do some research in how to take better indoor shots.

Anyways, this is my first silk blouse. I have been terrified of tackling slippery fabrics and while it will take me a while to recover, I'm so glad I made it!

 I think this blouse looks much better in person, between the indoor lighting and the fact that black is so hard to photograph, I struggled to get some good pictures.

I used covered buttons, it seems like the right thing to do with this kind of garment. As well as doing French seams, quoting Trena "it's the right thing to do with silk". I serged the first pass and then enclosed the serged edge. Thanks Trena!
 The fabric came from Metro Textiles, NYC a few years ago.
I don't know what I'm making next. There are so many things I would like to make that I can't decide what to work on first.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

An old dress gets a new life

My 32 year old prom dress made its debut on stage, Thursday this week, as Olivia's wedding dress in the very modern interpretation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night presented by my son's high school.

My mom made this Vogue pattern in 1980 and I wore it to the prom. As you can see from the picture I accessorized it with royal blue (peep toe pumps, clutch, belt, bracelet, even the orchid!), remember it was the 80s! I don't have the pattern any more but I know it came with a short and long version.

The dress came with me when I moved to MD after college and I used it at least once for a Halloween party, I thought I made a pretty good Greek goddess ;-)

I thought the dress would be perfect for the production so I altered it to fit the actress. She is shorter than me and bustier so I shortened the bodice and added a panel on the left side where the dress fastens to give her more coverage. The skirt length worked since she wore her stage shoes that have a heel.

Doesn't she look stunning?

I took my mom to see the performance today and she was thrilled to see the dress on stage. She happily posed with the actress for a photo after the performance.

Some things are worth preserving, don't you think?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Road trip to Fabric Mart

Layla, Mary, Claudine, Cidell, me, Trena and Diane at Fabric Mart

I waited to the last minute to decide to join in at the fun at Fabric Mart. Cidell and Trena had invited their readers to join them there (near Reading, PA) Monday.

The trip there was not bad about 2 hours for me; Cidell, Trena and I kept asking ourselves why it had taken us so long to make this trip.

You can read all about what we did over at The Slapdash Sewist. I had no camera and Trena did a great job documenting our excursion. I did borrow the group picture ;-)

Everyone working at the shop was so nice and helpful; I was surprised to read Trena say we had spent 3 hours browsing, it really did not feel that long!

I fell in love with this fabric and could not leave without it. I originally thought of making a simple shift dress but I now I'm also considering using it for the ruffled pencil skirt of Marina's sew along. I will decide later... My other purchases included some basics to make skirts for work and ITY print that Cidell flaunted so I caved in ;-) At PA fabrics, in Lancaster, where some of us stopped at on our way home, I bought zippers and closures.

And look there is actually a collar fresh out of my sewing machine, and it is for me!

And as a refresher here is the line drawing of the pattern
Hopefully more to come soon!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Narciso Rodriguez at Kohl's

I love Narciso Rodriguez graphic designs so when  I heard that Kohls would carry a line by the designer I wanted to check it out. I had some time early this morning so I went to my local Kohls.

I have narrow shoulders in comparison with the rest of my body, as reference, I use a size 8 at the shoulders, a 12 at the chest and 14-16 at the waist/hip area when I make my garments. I also need to add 1 to 1.5 inches to length of the bodice to get the correct fit.

All the dresses were snug below the waist (size M) but the shoulders were too wide. I think part of the problem on me with the dresses that since they are shaped to follow ones curves they need to fall exactly in place; with my longish torso the waist was higher and therefore the hip placement was off giving me undesirable wrinkles in the waist/tummy area and then not having enough ease at the hips. Also the sleeves are very snug in all the long sleeve garments.

 The skirt (size 10) fitted fine at the waist but was too snug at the hips. Which is funny because the tuxedo pants, which I purchased, in the same size gave me a great fit.

 I tried on this dress but shortened as a top. I went down to see if the shoulders would fit better in a S, but they didn't and then the hips were tight.
 This cardigan I considered but the fit was not perfect and the fabric not very good quality, so it stayed at the store.
 This jacket/coat was available in a purple at the store, the quality of the fabric was poor, very scratchy wool.
 This top I also tried, again I had the issues of the ill fitting shoulders in sizes S and M
Looking through their website I can now see that the selection at the store was limited. I included the pieces that I took to the fitting room with me for some snoop shopping.

Because we sew we know that we can get better fitting clothes in general than RTW, but it is always fun to snoop shop and once again reassure ourselves that we can do better!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

A quick update

We are winding down in theater, I've done myriads of hems, attached do-das to costumes, helped in picking out costumes, recovered a few chairs, made cushions, recovered cushions, gone shopping with two teenage girls, made bow ties, etc. The best of all: teaching students to use needle and thread. I loved watching their faces as they concentrated to follow my instructions and how proudly they showed the others what they had done.

Here are a couple of pictures of apparently the last of the work. Dress rehearsals will start soon and some repairs might be necessary =)
Added a veil to a 1950s pill box hat
I made a yellow one earlier and now these 3 black ones

I got to look at my silk blouse the other day but couldn't move forward.

I have been knitting since I can do it while watching tv at night when I'm too exhausted to do anything else.

Hopefully I'll have something more exciting to show soon!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Here are my cuties, when they were 6 (Charmeleon from Pokemon) and 2 1/2 (the dinosaur) in 2000.

The pattern is from Simplicity, I believe is discontinued because Pokemon characters are probably not as popular as they once were, but there are other dinosaurs patterns, they never go out of style.

They loved their costumes and my youngest was thrilled that he got to be part of his brother's first grade Halloween parade.

They still like to get dressed up for Halloween and having a mom that is willing to make up costumes to their design helps a lot ;-)

Liking Halloween seems to run in the family...

My husband, on the left and me, with a friend sometime in the 90s

Hoping everyone is safe after the storm. We were very, very lucky, for the first time ever we came through a storm with power, no flooding and no major tree branches down.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Filati Cardigan

 Knitting from an European magazine is like sewing from Burda, the instructions can be sketchy but with simple designs you will probably be fine. One huge advantage is the designs are always timeless or fashion forward and the shaping is always good.
 This very simple cardigan has only the pretty lace detail on the sleeves
 The fit is pretty wonderful, in my opinion.
 Here is the link to Ravelry
 I added one inch to the length of the bodice, which I usually do.
 The cardigan is the only thing made by me.
One of my students told me she liked my outfit today, "it is very hip!" She made my day!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My wizard at work

Second time around it's a winner!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Checking in

Wow! I did not mean to go missing for so long! I have been very busy but I have not produced much to share.

I finished this scarf that had been my travel project for a couple of years. I blogged about this before

I also attached the sleeves to the Filati cardigan I have been knitting. I now need really long circular needles (47" long!) to pick up stitches along the front for the band.  I don't have the needles so until I find them  I went ahead and made a swatch for my new knitting project. It is from the book Amber by Kim Hargreaves

I'm making the cardigan called Ginny. I love the shape of the sleeves and the fitted bodice.

 I am using the yarn called for in the pattern, Rowan Felted tweed but in a different colorway

I have also been helping at my son's high school with costumes for the play. Nothing to make from scratch but finding the right pieces and altering those that are available but not quite fit. My 32 year old high school prom dress (made by my mom) will appear on stage as a wedding dress so I modified it to fit the actress/student.

Most of my time however has gone to prepare for the one class (Spanish 2) I am now teaching at the community college. All the teachers I talk to say the first one is the hardest because later you recycle the material. I also spend time helping my son with Geometry (can you say Proof?) and Spanish. And let's not forget I'm in the middle of painting my bedroom...