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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pleated skirt

When I showed some progress on a draped dress last week, Diana asked if I was taking a draping class.  Um, no, but that would have been a good idea.  :-)  I have a very general idea of how draping works (tape your shape, pin the grain straight and go from there.)  It's just a lot of work though (and maybe I'm not really doing it right) and takes a few muslins, and you know that just doesn't excite me. 
Here was  my dress when I abandoned it for a skirt.  I liked the topstitching I started, though, so I incorporated that into the skirt I salvaged, and I added some patch pockets cut from the bodice material.

 I added a side zipper and used the top stitching on the waistband, pockets, and hem.  The fabric is a linen/rayon blend from Sawyer Brook.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Kate Spade inspiration

I have a little bit of time to kill this morning, so I decided to look around the interwebs for some sewing inspiration for fall (which is basically a prolonged summer here in FL).  Inspiration struck at Kate Spade, perveyor of chic, classic clothes with a feminine, kind of girly, twist. 

I love all things yellow, and I love a casual dress with short sleeves since my shoulders are always taking a beating from the sun.  This dress makes me think I could even get on board with the little collar, but mine probably wouldn't be contrasting. I think this would be nice in some type of cotton/linen blend.

Oooh, this dress is so simple but so pretty.  It would even be cute shortened to a top.  It says it's a sweater dress, but I think it would be great in a light ponte.  I can't tell if the stripes are knit-in, but I think it would with some applied trim.

One more dress, and can you see a theme with the little sleeves?  I'm getting on board with some color blocking now that it's been mainstream for years.  :-)  I like this subtle blocking and I LOVE the box pleat skirt.  This isn't very casual, though, and casual is what I need.

Finally, a coat/jacket.  I'd like a collarless version like this, but I really don't need one.  It's fun to look, though.  The fabric looks beautifully textured close up.  It says it's 85% cotton/15% faux patent leather.  Ok, I'm intrigued.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Project Runway S13 E01

So who still watches Project Runway? 

I haven't loved the last few seasons, but I keep watching anyway.  I have to say, I enjoyed the premiere last night a lot.  There was a heavy focus on the sewing and the designs and less on the manufactured drama.  Thank you for that, Lifetime!  I liked it so much that I thought I'd run down the final looks (minimal drama discussion, I promise).

Bradon - The winner!  I thought this was the clear winner, and the judges agreed.  The use of the parachute cords was really interesting and effective, and he really knew how to use that crazy fabric.  I don't love the baby pink with the baby blue, but that's a small quibble here.

Sue - Second place.  Another good use of the fabric, and the gathering is interesting.  If Bradon's hadn't been so awesome, this would have been a solid win in my book.

Miranda - Oh my.  She started out in the top three, but they moved her to the bottom when everyone realized she hardly used any of the parachute fabric.  Loved that!  I'm a rules stickler.  :-)  Don't want to set a precident rewarding naughty ones.  The judges seemed to really like this look.  I thought it was ok, but nothing super special.  There were others I'd put in the top over this.
Angela went home, which I thought was a little nuts, and not just because she seemed very sweet.  This wasn't the most thrilling creation, but it looked to be pretty well made and it had some interest with the use of the different colors and the hood.  I think it speaks to the sewing skills in this bunch that a pretty well-made garment went home first.  Usually the first few to go are no-brainers.
Timothy - oh goodness, bless his heart.  What is there to say?  His shtick is that he's eco-friendly, and I can get behind that, but he made this poor girl walk down the runway barefoot and with no makeup or hair product.  Don't get me wrong - she's beautiful - but she just looked so sad, and who could blame her?  Timothy also wanted her to do a "performance piece" on the runway, and I guess she put her foot down on that one because she walked a regular walk.  To his credit, Timothy seemed open to the judges' critiques (um, you're not cool with electricity but are fine with burning synthetic fibers and releasing those gases).  They just highlighted the difficulty with being toooo preachy while a profession that requires some technology.  I'm pretty sure they kept him in to see what wackiness he does next week.
Sandro - well isn't he delightful?  NOT ONE JUDGE mentioned the elephant in the room - the fact that her girl bits were literally hanging out the bottom of her shorts!  Gotta love that model, though. She worked it anyway, delicately camoflauging her wardrobe malfunction with the cords.  The judges called this a swimsuit, which I can see, but earlier on, it was supposed to be shorts with a jacket.  The way too tight fit (and no jacket) takes it to swimsuit territory.  They actually seemed to like the outfit and were just upset with the styling.  Huh?
Moving on the the middle of the road:
Alexander - not bad, not fantastic.  Definitely middle of the road.  I would like the shape if the color blocking wasn't so distracting.
 Alexandria - Interesting.  I like the straps, if that's what they are) over the chest area.  Nice graphic touch.

 Dom - I actually really liked this jacket, but the rest wasn't show stopping.  I showed a back view so you can see the blue pleated detail on the sleeves.  Love that!

 Helen - I think this could have been in the bottom.  Are those splotches supposed to be symmetrical? 
 Jeremy - is it strange that I love these pants?  How did he make such great pants with parachute fabric?  It looks like he made the top from the additional fabric.  If he had used some more of the parachute to make the top, I would pick this for the top 3.
 Justin - the only interesting thing I can see here is that the skirt has some flappy bits on top.  I didn't think this was great from a design standpoint.  It looks well made, though.
 Kahindo - Interesting idea for the skirt, but it seems like she should have been able to do more with the great time allowance they had. 
 Karen - what is this?  It looks like she worked so hard on it and constructed it well, but it has no shape and the likes are not flattering at all.  It looks like a big, decoratively-painted sack.
 Kate - I am glad that Kate is back.  I think she got a bad rap last year, from what we saw of her in the confessionals.  She was dealing with a lot of whackos.  I also like her "girly girl" asthetic.  Even if it's not super cutting edge, no doubt it would be commercially successful, and I think she adds a lot of interest on this dress with the pleated pieces.
 Ken - Nice!

 One other thing I liked in this premiere - they had a day and a half to make these looks!  See how much better the results are when you give them a little time to sew??  Keep that up, producers!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

New Projects

Thank you for all of the nice comments on my last two projects. 

I started one more dress (I can't help myself), which I am trying to drape on my dressform.  I'm keeping it super simple.  I completed the box pleat skirt and waistband.  Now I am playing around with the bodice.  The fabric is a linen/rayon blend from Sawyer Brook.

As for knitting, I've been working on a simple top featured on the cover of Interweave Knits summer 2013.
I found just enough suitable cotton yarn in my stash, and it happens to be in trendy emerald green.  Who'd have guessed I'd be working on a fairly new knitting pattern in the "it" color?  I'm just so cutting edge.  :-)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Look 6849 - beaded tunic

I used New Look 6849 to make this tunic.  The pattern appears to be out of print since I can't find it on the Simplicity website.  I've used it several times already and find it to be a great starting point for a woven, not-button-front blouse.  The only changes I made were to shorten the sleeves to a cap-sleeve and I omitted the back darts for a looser fit that doesn't need a zipper.
 I was a little concerned about the beading.  I originally wanted to use small wooden beads, but I ended up liking these stone ones.  I worried about the weight and sharpness of the beads, though, and after wearing this top for a few hours yesterday, the large ones on front were drooping.  When I snagged one on a book, I gave up and snipped off all 4.  Now I'm not sure if I'll replace them with something else, or leave it as it is, or maybe take off all of the beads and go with some embroidery instead.  The troubles we have...
The fabric is from Sawyer Brook.  It is out of print now, but it is a very interesting rustic silk.  It looks a lot like linen.

Colette Patterns Macaron

Here it is!  My finished Colette Patterns Macaron.
 I feel like I've said so much about this already; there isn't a whole lot left to say.  :-)  The fabric is from Sawyer Brook - Tennis White and Spaqua.  The only change I made was to make the waistband the main color instead of the contrasting white.
 I cut a size 4 at the bust and tapered out to a 6 for the waist and hips.  The fit is perfect!  If you want to make this, definitely go with the suggested size for your mesurements.
 I got a ton of compliments at church on Sunday, and I really like it, so it's a win!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

TWO finished projects

I finished up TWO projects today!  Just have to wait for good light tomorrow to model them.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Macaron progress

I need to line the bodice of my Macaron dress.  The white would let the facing show through.  Rather than do the seams above the bust, I overlapped the pieces to cut one front and one back.  So far, it seams like this worked fine.  I put together the lining and put it in the dress last night.  Now, I just have quite a bit of hand finishing to do.