Monday, April 30, 2007
1. Glam Bam Thank you Mam
Shannon M. from LaSalle, ONT
2. LeRouge et le Noir
Laura P. from Bucharest, Romania
3. Chasing Butterflies
Summerset Banks from Northfield, NH
4. Its Not Easy Being Green
Terese R. from Burlington, ONT
5. Apple Pie ala Mode
Audrey Y., from Richmond, VA
Congratulations to all of these wonderful women! They designed and sewed some amazing wardrobes! If you haven't already checked out their collections, you can see them here!
Congrats again on a job well done!
Saturday, April 28, 2007
~April was about SWAP! *smile* My SWAP collection dominated this month - from the rush at the beginning of the month to meet the deadline, to the week afterwards sharing my garments with you and explaining why I did, what I did. That "Corporate Chic" collection took all of my available sewing time and most of my sewing thought processes. I think the most encouraging part of SWAP, besides finishing it, was the praise that everyone bestowed upon my pieces. It made the unveiling of them special...the time and labor spent designing and sewing them even more pleasurable...and the end result simply thrilling. So right now I need to say thank you to everyone who visited this blog last week and read about the pieces whether you left a comment or not...and finally to anyone who cast a vote for me in the SWAP competition thank you. Thank you for thinking my collection of garments worthy of your vote. Even though I won't ever know who you are and at this moment have no idea who will win, your vote for me means so much and even more to me if I don't win! *LOL*
~Fabric - I held to my fabric vow and purchased no additional yardage for at least two fortnights! But I did manage to use 20 yards of fabric from my collection! Yes!
~I have worked on two unrelated SWAP pieces - first a dress made from a brown stretchy lace from Lucy's Fabrics with a green swirly print silk from Fabric Mart that I used as a lining. The dress was made from my TNT dress pattern. I am also working on those American Girl doll clothes that I wrote about earlier. Pictures of both will be forthcoming since one of my daughters managed to drop my digital camera and now I need another one. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
Monday, April 23, 2007
If you have enjoyed viewing my "Days of SWAP" please surf over and look at the eye candy that is on display there. And if you are a member of Artisan's Square, please take the time to vote. Now, I want to be clear...I am not asking you to vote for me, I am asking you to vote in general. I opened that page this morning and was just proud that my garments were displayed on the same page as these awesome women!
So if you want to see some amazing sewing and some evenmore beautiful garments, take the time to look at all the photos and read everyone's thoughts...I was awestruck!
Finally, I want to thank Julie for hosting this competition for the 4th year in a row. She so generously allows us to make a purchase to enter the competition and then she takes so much of her own personal time to receive and then post all the pictures and commentaries. She is a wonderful ambassador of sewing and if you haven't purchased anything from Timmel Fabrics, take the time to look through her offerings. She has wonderful fabrics and even greater customer service!
So look, enjoy and vote! The more votes the merrier!
Sunday, April 22, 2007
- Sewing Workshop Mission Tank - this is my TNT tank pattern. I have made quite a few of these because they work so well with a suit.
- Dana Silhouettes Top - this was a replacement piece. My original piece was the Jalie sleeveless turtleneck but as winter turned to spring and then turned back again, I was just tired of sewing winter clothing. So I substituted the Dana top.
- You were allowed a purchased article for the contest - so I decided that white shirts were everywhere in RTW and why reinvent the wheel. Also by taking advantage of purchasing one shirt, I could put more of my efforts into creating beautiful dresses.
I really wanted to do an embellished piece....not something that screamed "embellishment" but something soft and subtle that would add flavor to whatever I wore it under. As you know, I have made this tank several times and I always reach for this pattern when I want a piece of fabric to shine or I need a well-fitted garment as part of a suit...it just gives every outfit a little more character.
The Dana Top:
This was the first time that I used this pattern. I chose it because I really like the cross-over detail on the front of the top. My original choice was the pattern that I received from Julie for participating in last year's SWAP. The pattern I replaced it with was also a free pattern from Julie for making these pieces.
Fabric Used: A sandwashed silk from Fabric Mart and a cotton blend knit from Fabric.com
Notions: An embroidered lace insert from Daytona Trimmings and a crochet flower from Home Sew.
Dana Top - this is a very easy pattern to make right out of the envelope. First you pick your cup size along with your pattern size and those are the pieces you cut out. There were two things that I did notice when working with the pattern that I would like to point out. One ~ this is a pattern for knits and no where in the directions did I notice instructions for stabilizing the shoulder seam. I sewed it together and noticed that the shoulder seam was wavy and realized that it needed some twill tape or seam tape to stabilize it. Went back and sewed some down and the wavyness went away. Second ~ you have to determine how much ease you want in the pattern. This version is okay but for the next one I will add just a smidge more ease through the body. Three ~ due to the nature of my knit fabric I did not finish the hems. The fabric does not ravel so I cuffed the sleeves and left the bottom hem as is. It looks fine. I will just have to see if it passes "The Wearability Factor."
And that is Day Six...
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Yeap that's how I think of this dress - Simplicity 4014. The pattern is the key to the sucess of this dress and then the fabric adds the "wow" factor. The dress has princess seams with a great flare hem which gives the dress a twirly factor. I was looking for a reversible piece and I didn't want to make a top or a coat, and this fit the bill. As I have previously blogged about I am really pleased with the final results.
This one of the most versatile pieces in the collection. Not only can it be worn with a jacket to the office but it can be worn separately with some stunning jewelry as a great date dress. Whatever looks I can make with this dress, they are automatically doubled because it is reversible.
Simplicity 4014 - a lined princess seam dress with a wing collared jacket. I will definitely make this dress again. And to me that is a true mark of a great pattern. The copyright date on this pattern is 2006 and I know that it is still on the website.
Two 100% polyester prints
3 yards of a black satin binding
Slide down to the Sunday, April 8th post and read all about them there.
How I plan to wear it:
1. Purple dress alone
2. Gray dress alone
3. Purple with black jacket
4. Gray with black jacket
5. Purple dress with sweaterknit jacket
6. Gray dress with sweaterknit jacket
7. Gray dress with Tamoutsu dress
8. Lilac dress with Tamoutsu dress
And that's day four...
*sorry I have no pics but Blogger is not being cooperative tonight! You can see more at my yahoo site in the folder called "Corporate Chic!"
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
The jacket is made from a felted wool crepe. The felting was done by washing and drying the fabric twice. It gave the fabric a soft sweatery hand. The jacket is unlined however, all of the seams are finished with black Seams Great which was a journey in and of itself! I added silk organza ties to the side seams because the fabric tends to grow as my body temperature heats it up. I didn't think it was so noticeable that I needed to take the jacket apart and lose some fabric. The ties manage to pull in the fullness giving the back an unexpected surprise.
How I plan to wear it:
Monday, April 16, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
This piece is the keystone of my collection. It was the first piece that I put on my list when I was deciding what to make. This dress did go through a few variations before I settled on this one.
100% worsted wool crepe in black purchased from Fabric Mart's Sample Cut Club.
Vogue 2090 - View B. This pattern is OOP and a TNT favorite of mine. I know that someone recently purchased one from Ebay so the pattern is out there, if you are willing to look for it! This is a great shirt dress that has "the curve" already drawn into the pattern. It is easy to sew and the collar and stand apply quickly and neatly to the dress. The pattern cover describes the dress as semi-fitted, A-line dress, above ankle, has collar, collar band, shoulder pads, mock front bands and above elbow sleeves.
A dozen buttons from M&J Trims
- changed the sleeves from short elbow length to full length - I used the sleeves from the jacket pattern to do this because I figured the armhole dimensions would be drafted similarly for the jacket and the dress. This was a second use of the long sleeves - I used them in a jacket I drafted from the dress pattern last summer.
- shortened dress from ankle length to just below knee length
- added a lining to the dress
- dyed some lace and added to the hem of the lining
- embellishments: piping added to the collar, a satin foldover bias trim added to the sleeve hems.
How I plan on wearing it: I see this piece as not only a dress but also as a jacket. Here is a list of how I will wear this piece.
- Dress alone
- Dress with Sewing Workshop embellished tank
- Dress and felted wool crepe jacket
- Dress with Sewing Workshop tank and pants
- Dress with gray reversible dress
- Dress with lilac reversible dress
- Dress with Dana Top and pants
Conclusion: This is a TNT (tried 'n true) pattern that I will make again. In my closet I presently have two out of linen (the tea dyed dress is one of these) and one out of a coppery silk duppioni. This latest is probably the most versatile version that I have made. It will be a hard working piece in my SWAP and will be "a great out of the closet and onto my body dress" for important days at work!And that's Day One!
Friday, April 13, 2007
I have been so anxious all week about the pictures for the SWAP contest (Sewing With A Plan), that now that I have finally selected and Photoshopped and Adobized five there is the letdown...My pictures have winged their way to Julie and of course, I think I should have sent some different shots or I am wondering if my write-up was succint enough but yet contained enough depth to get across my purpose in sewing the SWAP! Doubts, I have quite a few!
My next project is a suit - big surprise there right! And even though it doesn't feel like spring here in the Northeast and it doesn't look like it's coming anytime soon...I am going ahead with this outfit so I will be ready when spring finally does show up. I am using a TNT jacket pattern - Vogue 7944 and my TNT straight skirt pattern. Which I am going to admit that I now have in three different sizes! The version I was using last year is too big - how did that happen? So I am going back to the second version of this pattern (thank goodness I don't like throwing out patterns!) and will use it for the skirt. Both pieces will be lined and I am thinking of making a quickie little tank from some blue sandwashed silk crepe that I scored at JoMars years and years ago. I will work on that this weekend.
And finally Sunday I will begin sharing my "Seven Days of SWAP!" My 11 pieces really were created so that I could wear them for an entire week of work without repeating anything and for any occasion that might come up...several of what seems like the hundreds of shots that I took and rejected for the contest will be revealed at the time. I hope you will hang around and enjoy the show!
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Sunday, April 08, 2007
So imagine my surprise when the reversible garment I made turns out to be pretty fantastic...well fantastic to me! *smile* In my original plan (which has changed quite a bit since it was originally created) the reversible piece was a wrap skirt that was going to be a black/white/red silk tweed on one side and a red silk broadcloth with a lace hem on the other.
However, as I started to sew the collection, I realized that I don't wear skirts in the middle of winter. It is just too darn cold and I am not really a boot wearer. Since this wardrobe is specifically designed for my new work environment, two pantsuits were a more practical choice than a suit with a skirt.
Now the challenge became what to make that would not only work with the other pieces I had already constructed but be something that I would actually wear. Being the procrastinator that I am, I waited until almost all of the collection was completed to figure this out. But boy am I glad that I waited.
I finally settled on a reversible dress - inspiration for this was described in a post a few days ago. My first idea was to use a TNT tank dress pattern and alter the hemline to have quite a bit of flare in it. Simplicity 4014 was laying in the pile of patterns that I had pulled for spring/summer sewing and it started "talking loudly" specifically because it contains a princess seam dress with the flare at the hem that I desired. The second requirement for this reversible piece was that it bring some color to the collection since the majority of pieces are black and white...color & print were definitely needed to ensure that the collection stayed true to my personality.
Now I read the pattern instructions throughly before cutting out the garment but frankly I found the wording and illustrations a little confusing ~ especially the sewing sequence. And since I was going to change some of the construction details anyway, I ditched the instructions and went my own way.
First a few of the changed construction details and then pics of the finished dress. Here is what I changed:
1. All seams are sewn 3/8" instead of the 5/8" the pattern recommends.
2. I omitted the back zipper in the dress choosing instead to lower the neckline so that I could pull the dress over my head.
3. I lowered the front & back neckline 5/8" and omitted the facings that were included in the pattern. Why did you need facings when the dress has a lining anyway?
4. I used a large full dart in the center front panel of the dress - I have a full high bust and find I need to use the biggest dart on a pattern not necessarily the one recommended for my dress size.
5. I cut the pattern pieces so that the shoulders were slim like tank top shoulders, that the dress would fit closely through the bustline and then fit loosely through the waist and hips. The first dress was constructed and then all changes were made to the second dress which was actually cut 1/4" larger all around than the first one.
6. The two dresses were basted together at the neckline and armholes. Then serged together. The satin binding was added last.
7. Both dresses are hemmed individually. I didn't want to lose the flow of the hem of the dresses by stitching the hems together.
Here is the both versions of the dress:
The first in the shades of purple print and the second one in shades of black & grey worn with the black wool crepe jacket.
Friday, April 06, 2007
The first one is called A Legacy where "Karent" talks about her aunt's death and the sewing stash she left behind and how much it means to her to have inherited it. And the second one is called, Sewingroom video from YouTube. Both conversations end up discussing how sewers need to stash fabrics & notions and what happens to them once you have passed on. I am borrowing the last line of Karen's post from the YouTube folder, "My biggest regret is not that my aunt left so much stash behind, my regret is that I have not taken the time to enjoy mine as much as she did hers. That, however, is changing from this point forward!"
That sentiment really hit me this morning as I stood in my fabric closet...see it is filled with absolutely amazing fabrics. I have wonderful rayon knits in black & white prints, and colorful prints, like many that you would see on Gorgeous Things Fabrics site or Emmaonesock's site. I purchased these last season or before because they appealed to me and not because they were in fashion. I have linens in an array of colors because I like linen and color looks good on me. There are shelves and shelves of beautiful fabrics of all kinds, for every season arranged by color so it is like a kid walking into a candy store and wondering where to start eating.
And I sighed...a sigh of relief...a sigh of appreciation...a sigh of creative freedom because my fabric collection is within reach. Because at any moment I can open that door and realize my creative hopes and dreams and because it makes me happy. So today I am taking a page out of Karen's book and enjoying the wonderful fabric collection that I have assembled, just because it is there and just because it makes me happy.
You can see pictures of my joy here and here....
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Monday, April 02, 2007
Sunday, April 01, 2007
- 2 Dresses completed
- 2 Pairs of lined pants completed
- 2 Jackets completed
- 1 Top completed and 1 top purchased
- the reversible dress
- one more top
- the buttons & buttonholes and hem on the Tamotsou dress