Tessuti Free Sewing Pattern –

I downloaded the free Tessuti knit top, this was my first downloaded pattern. And, a perfect choice too. The knit blouse/tunic pattern was easy to sew and I now know why all the raves for this top. I love it and can image myself making this in several versions. The only thing I added was about 3 inches to the sleeves. It sewed up very fast. I had enough fabric left over to make a knit skirt as well. The fabric came from JoAnn’s.  I want to get the Tessuti dress pattern as well. The download/sewing pattern had 15 pages and came with no directions, so if you are new to sewing or downloads you might need a bit of help but it seems pretty self-explanatory. I may just be a convert to download/patterns yet.  Here are some photos of my rendition. Continue reading

Vogue 7405 (OOP) Completed

Vogue OOP 7405

Vogue OOP 7405

However, this being my first wrap dress I’m not totally convinced these are the universal dress every fashion editor makes them out to be. This one is extremely hugging at every bump and curve.  It tends to droop, so I’m constantly futzing with it.  I tied it rather tight at work and it felt a bit restraining.   The fabric was very soft and it did feel like wearing pajamas which isn’t a bad thing. I don’t know I’ll need to wear it a few times to see if I want to make another one or maybe try a different knit that isn’t so  body conscious.  Do you like wrap dresses? Any suggestions?  See more of the pattern review and alterations.  Continue reading

Updating the wardrobe

Ya, I’ve been away for awhile.  I miss blogging.  I finally got a little free time and decided to update my wardrobe and whip off a little blog post to get back into the swing of things.  Maybe reading Advanced Style got me fired up.  Looking at all those grandma’s rockin’ their style made me look at my own wardrobe and how I can spice it up.  I am in a deep frumpy rut and need a forklift to get me out.   I love the A-line and have made many.   But, it’s all looking a little too dowdy.  Here is a before and after. What do you think?

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Before

After

After

All I did was take up the hem and taper it more at the hip to hem.  Do you have any  ideas for de-frumping the wardrobe?

My Conversations With Edith Head

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Girl can pose!

Last night I had the opportunity to see Conversation With Edith Head a one woman show starring Susan Claassen.  This is a wonderful look into the world and mind of  Edith Head.  And, for a 90 minute play with no intermission time really flew.   Continue reading

Working 9 to 5!

Yes, this will never happen.

Yes, this will never happen.

I am so happy to announce that I am now the Web Editor for Sew News magazine. You can find out more here on the magazine and all its sister publications.  I am working on the web side of things, lots of social media, blogs, websites, maintenance, CMS etc.  I must admit I do feel a bit like the fox in the hen house.  I never imagined being surrounded by sewing, knitting and quilting people, books, machines etc and get paid for it.  Over the moon…

secretary at work

Remember when?! Me neither.

MACKLEMORE and RYAN LEWIS – THRIFT SHOP – (Not the clean version)

Super Thrifter

Super Thrifter

I made a run to the local thrift shop and thought this vid pretty well summed it up.  

Probably should of washed this…..

What I got at the Sew Expo

Of course....

What else would I buy

Our region’s latest sewing expo was in town.  Yes, it was short on garment/fashion booths and yes, everything was over priced.  But, I still managed to find things I had to have including 3 rolls of Swedish tracing paper.  Thanks to Jane for directing me to it at the last minute.  Got to talk to a lot of awesome sewing ladies and met some new people who love garment sewing and fashion.  One group that was new to me was the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals.  They have some amazing classes and meetings for the pros and not so professional as well.    Had a great time, don’t know how I couldn’t.  Here’s a few pics of the day. Continue reading

Amy Butler’s new fashion line of fabrics

Amy Butler

Amy Butler

In Threads magazine March  2013 Threads announces Amy Butler’s new line of fashion fabrics.  And, I gotta say they are lovely.  This new line is really a breath of fresh air.  Some of her other fabrics were great for aprons or tote bags and pillows but for my clothing choices I found them to be too loud or something.   Just color combos I wouldn’t normally wear.  

Can’t wait to get my hands on a couple of yards of these beauties.  The fabric comes in voile, rayon challis, sateen, velveteen, cotton and linen.  What do you think? Click here for more pics Continue reading

Body Mapping for better fit

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Here I am!

I’ve read about body mapping in the fitting book of Palmer and Alto’s Fit for Real People.  I’ve dismissed it as stupid and a waste of time. Sort of like the whole fitting shell thing.  Well.  Well.  I had Marni at our last meeting do me an outline of the old body.  Lo and behold it isn’t a waste of time!   Highly recommend this to not only see what you body might look like in a crime scene but to get a completely different look at your lovely body. You can’t see the  grid lines on this photo but they are quite helpful in getting a great look at your body and type.

Here is what I learned.

  1. My  right side is higher than the left.
  2. My left shoulder is sloping but not the right.
  3. I am  short waisted
  4. I have almost no visible waist.  
  5. I have a long crotch length
  6. My knees are average (Who knew!)
  7. I have a small frame and small bust. (I knew that!)
  8. I am either an hourglass or a rectangle.  My waist has little indentation but then my hips and shoulders are about the same width and my waist is 10″ less than my hips.  Unclear but I don’t think it really matters much.  Hourglass certainly has a better ring to it.  

My measurements are as follows

  1. Height 5’7
  2. My high bust is 31 (I’ve been measuring wrong, I thought it was 32 1/2)
  3. Bust 34
  4. Rib cage area 28 1/2
  5. Waist is 27
  6. Hips 37
  7. I’ve been sewing with a 12/14.  I refused to think my bodice size to be an 8. 

There are a lot more measurements to do if you decide to do a body map.  I chose the ones that I thought would be most helpful. I really care a less what my ankle or wrist measurements are.    

Fit for Real People goes into detail on how to do a body map and for a seamstress who is constantly looking for ways not to do something I thought this was really worth the time.  Goes without being said that you need a partner.  

Advanced Style

Advanced-Style

Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style

Getting back to writing has been like getting back to working out after a bit of time off. Slowly and with much procrastination.  I’ve really enjoyed my time offline, A LOT.  Got a lot of reading, sewing done and just not being online was refreshing.   One lovely book that got the creative flow going was Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style. (Thanks, Santa)  I’m sure you are all familiar with his style blog Advanced Style, highly rated and well worth a peek if you haven’t visited it.  This blog showcases the women and men of a certain age who really know how to dress with style, fun and joy.  This book would make a great gift for any fashionista young or old, but great for that woman who might be celebrating a certain birthday with a little melancholy.  Sure to give them a lift and a good lift at that.  Below are a few of my favorite ladies and their inspiring quotes on aging, fashion and having fun with it all.   

Here is Alice Carey

Advanced Style

‘You don’t want to look crazy. The object is to look chic.’

Beatrix Ost

Advanced Style

‘In your body is a good place to be’

Linda

Linda

Linda – from Advanced Style

A great quote from Valerie and Jean sums it all up.  

‘Young woman you’re gonna be an old woman someday.  Don’t worry about it don’t sweat it. Don’t worry about getting older. Every era, it builds character.’ Amen!

For the new year whether we make it ourselves or buy off the hanger may we all do it with style and flair.

What’s your favorite era for inspiration?

Judge Magazine 1926

Judge Magazine 1926

Probably my favorite era for fashion is 1920’s.  Check out this colorized video of 1920’s fashion and the music is really the bee’s knees.  There is an orange coat that is stunning and could quite easily be copied. The coats have amazing linings.  Love the hats, the music the fashion.  How about you?  Do you have a favorite era for inspiration?

The Secret Life of Sewing Machines and Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is a little dose of history.  It’s over 9 minutes long but it’s quite interesting.  At around 5:30 watch the human sewing machine!

Continue reading

Eternity Scarves Project

At the Denver Sewing Collective’s last meetup we made Eternity Scarves.  This project was very easy and would make for great gifts.  I had problems with the written directions as usual but once Kim made a successful one it was all downhill from there.  

Here are some photos that might help those who are more visual learners.  I have been craving an easy project and this is it.  There are infinite possibilities here!   Have you made any?  I may just make everyone on my list one.

On the directions from Simplicity’s Eternity scarves here is a photo starting at step 6.

Sewing the short ends together

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Born on this day – Edith Head

Edith Head – Costumer Designer Extraordinaire

The blogosphere will be popping with plenty of tributes to the Divine Miss H. She worked on almost 500 films and dressed the biggest stars in Hollywood.  For me it would be impossible to pick a favorite dress or movie.   Here is my small tribute with a few favorite sketches, quotes and a bibliography where you can slowly drink up all the talent, controversy and inspiration that is Edith Head.

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Ieva Uzkurataite – Lithuanian Fashion Designer

For inspiration check out these amazing designs by Lithuanian Ieva Uzkurataite.  These designs are beyond convention and ordinary.  The designer says of her latest work –

Collection was inspired by excessive mannerism of XVIII century culture. The story object is a woman-bird selected not by coincidence – she resembles features of that period- posh gardens, ornate architecture and, of course, a precious woman of those times. Long graceful limbs and oversized ornate body reminds of ladies in those huge luxurious XVIII century dresses with a modern twist. 

I love her use of felt.  What do you think?

ieva uzkurataite

Ieva

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Items you won’t find in my closet.

Get a ‘Like” and get a big ass

Melissa Kit Chow has designed a coat that actually inflates or “hugs” you when you get a “Like” on Facebook.   If this ever moves beyond concept I may just unplug my laptop,  build a self composting toilet and go underground for a very long time. You? 

Fashion and Sport

Following sport fashion trends is nothing new.  Ladies and Gentlemen of the twenties loved to watch the ladies of the court not just for the athletic prowess but, and sometimes solely for what and who they were wearing.  Long before Serene Williams assaulted our eyeballs with this

Gladiator meets Can Can Dancer

There was Suzanne Lenglen’s  tittilating view of ankles and  thighs.  Lenglen was known for her dominating athletic style and no holds barred athleticism.  Her tennis outfit was designed by Jean Patou who was instrumental in elevating sportswear to new heights in the world of fashion.

Suzanne Lenglen

Suzanne Lenglen

Prior to Patou’s truly revolutionary designs for women athletes women had to lumber around in this

Victorian tennis costume

Now if Serena ever dons on something modest well that might be revolutionary.  We’ve certainly come a long way.  Maybe too far in some cases.

Scary Beautiful

Scary Beautiful Shoes

Artist Leanie van der Vyer has created a pair of shoes like no other.  Yes, these shoes are without a doubt ugly and quite scary. However her message is poignant and compelling.  The video below is haunting and just a little uncomfortable to watch.  Leanie says of the shoes they are an  ‘… illustration of what lies beyond this aspirational perfection”.  Which in my mind would be pain and discomfort.  

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“Humans are Playing God by physically and metaphorically perfecting themselves. Beauty is currently at an all time climax, allowing this project to explore what lies beyond perfection. Scary Beautiful challenges current beauty ideals by inflicting an unexpected new beauty standard.” 

What do you think of the video, of the shoes, of fashions quest for perfection.

For more on her thesis and photos click here. 

It’s only a paper dress sailing over a cardboard sea

The obvious comment would be – Don’t get caught in the rain wearing one of these.  Check out these lovely dresses made out of paper.

Dress by Scott Paper Company

The Scott Paper Company created a paper dress that was sold by mail for a 1.00  in 1966.  Done has a promotional stunt women all over the country sent in for the dress.  And really, think of how easy it would be to hem.

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Make Do and Mend campaign of World War 2

Here is a clip from  World War 2 showing English women how to refashion clothing and in turn support the war the effort.    In England this campaign was called Make Do and Mend.  In this clip the audience is treated to a fashion show of refashioned clothing.   This Make Do and Mend idea is popular once again as consumers want to save money, reduce their footprint and/or want to release creative energy by way of up-cycling and refashioning.  So, what do you Make Do and Mend?  

Wild about peplums

I missed the peplum for spring, probably because I was too busy picking out patterns with peplums to make.  But, the peplum is here to stay at least until a New York minute passes, but for once I’ll be somewhat relevant this fall.  I love the flounce on jackets and blouses, it gives a nod to the vintage styles that I love, yet is modern and fresh.   Plus, there are many ways to wear it whatever your body shape.  Here is a look at a few of the ways designers are showing this cool trend, plus vintage styles too.  Which one do you like?  Are you wearing the peplum?  You can check out the one I made here.

Bottega Veneta Fall 2012

Lanvin Fall 2012

Zac Posen

L.K. Bennet – Designer

Vintage peplum style

Dressy peplum

Working with difficult fabrics

photo by elizabeth holcombe

Vintage fabric and supplies

Here is a list of fabrics placed in order of easiest to handle to most difficult.   What do you think?  Some seamstresses find silk and other slippery fabrics easy to work with.  I would love to hear your ideas on how to handle difficult fabrics. 

Any disagreements here?

1. Polyester
2. Cotton
3. Muslin
4. Linen
5. Knits 
6. Wool
7. Felt
8. Stretch
9. Taffeta
10. Chiffon
11. Bridal Satin
12. Silk
13. Lingerie satin
14. Pre-treated fabrics (water or fire-proof)
15. Velvet
16. Tulle
17. Organza
18. Velour

Prabal Gurung and the concept of aging gracefully

Prabal Gurung

Originally from Nepal Gurung now resides in the United States and has made a big entrance into the fashion scene (He’s dressed the First Lady several times).  His designs are edgy yet feminine with amazing tailoring. The prints and graphics are breathtaking.  I not only love his styles but his outlook. He is heavily involved in charities that aid women and children forced into slavery and prostitution.   When asked about trends he would never like to see come back this is his response. Continue reading

Fashion trends that should end – Baggy Pants

I see London.  I see France!

Behold the baggy pants

For the video pick let’s take a look at the popularity and in my not so humble opinion the utter ridiculousness of the saggy, baggy pants worn usually by men.  Guys who wear this look like they have a load in their drawers.  Their gait is severely compromised and running is all but rendered impossible.  Why this trend has continued for this long boggles my mind.   Let’s all say it:  “Brother pull up your pants!”

What I wore to the interview

Perfect fall skirt

I recently had  a job interview and I was going to wear my boring old black pants, heels and a cropped jacket.  Instead I finished up a skirt I was making.  The outer skirt fabric was going to be used to line a wool skirt but  I thought the print was perfect for the fall and should be seen rather than hiding as a lining.  This skirt is lined with a grey creped back satin.  The pattern is one I drafted myself, simple basic pencil skirt with walking ease, (no need for a slit), two darts in back, flat front.   BAM.  

AND, no lipstick on my teeth this time!!  

Any personal interview stories out there that still make you cringe? Embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions that left you red faced?