Friday, January 29, 2010

No Pink & Red

BurdaStyle is having the Pink & Red challenge.  I thought about entering when it was first announced, but the 20-day notice is too short for me, since I sew only on the weekends.  This is what I was going to make...

... which is inspired by this gorgeous Trina Turk Algonquin dress (looooove the design but not so much the price):

I will still make this dress in different colors (not too crazy about pink-and-red combo anyway), and most likely without the big lace. Any suggestions on color combo, anybody?  What should I put on that curvy style line... Top-stitch?  Bias strip?  Some kind of small lace? 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Oh no, where did it go?

I lost my sewing mojo.  Looked everywhere... under the bed, in my closet, in the car, inside the coat pockets....  It's nowhere to be found, not even at the last place I looked (the refrigerator).  Maybe it flew south to escape the winter.  If you find it, please tell it to come home... I promise I won't yell again.

When I was not looking for mojo in the last few weeks, I was busy sketching on my new Fashionary.  Well, not really sketching as much as awkwardly drawing self in various clothes that I want to sew.  Drawing instead of writing down my to-sew list really helps making the ideas more concrete and it's always fun to see myself in model-like proportion adorned in such stylish outfits. 

About the helmet hair on the first two (and on all of my previous) sketches...  I was really going for the Anna Wintour look, but apparently it looks more like this cat, who may or may not be amused with having some giant orange peel plopped on his head:

So naturally I changed it on subsequent drawings to a more realistic 'do.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Purple knit dress

Good thing I used the cheap polyester knit for this one. 

As predicted, I did some wrong math on the pattern drafting effort.  The armholes ended up very tight.  The book says to up the armsyce by .75 inches, so I did my usual .5, which in retrospect wasn't necessary (might actually need to lower it instead).  Also, the pattern calls for a straight silhouette, but I cut mine on the curvy side.  So the resulting drape looks a bit funny.

Construction-wise, it's a mixed result.  I didn't have any idea how to attach the roll collar, so it was pure improvisation, full of turning inside out and stretching here and there.  At one point I actually heard "rrrip!"  Thankfully I saw no sign of broken stitches, just a very stretched collar.

I used French seams for the sides.  It's my first time using French seam and I love the finished look, so I think I'll be using it a lot from now on.

Some pictures:

Full length (the stripe effect is from the window blinds):

I lightened up the picture a bit so the draping would show better:

I think I will make this dress again in the future, with a straighter silhouette, corrected armsyce, better construction know-how for the roll collar, and of course, nicer fabric, because apparently polyester melts when pressed.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

And he's back!

If you miss the Weekend Designer, Don Morin just published Bag'n-telle, another pattern-drafting blog.  This is what he says about it:
It will basically be a fashion pattern-drafting blog much like that of Weekend Designer yet will offer some insight into the design process of fashion accessories. The blog will be more simplified in content and  show the pattern-making process. It will feature my own creations from some of my design workshops and all the projects are geared to the novice designer and the equipment available to them — meaning a domestic sewing machine and a few easy-to-use tools.
I think I like pattern drafting more than sewing, although not as much as books :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

First project of 2010...

... will be something from the book Pattern Drafting by Dressmaking, volume 1. It's a Japanese pattern drafting book that is written in English and filled late 1960's fashion. If you like late 60's design and/or pattern drafting and/or Japanese craft books, definitely look for this one on ebay or etsy, but be prepared to spend quite a bit.

This particular dress caught my attention because of the halter-ish neckline and the roll collar. The style is a bit on the girly side, which is not my style at all. Or maybe it's just the illustration? Doesn't matter, I like it.

The book gives instructions on how to draft the pattern pieces from the existing sloper.

It took me a good hour to figure out the measurements on the neckline and collar area. Quite stimulating, actually, the process of adding the numbers and mentally visualizing what goes where and is connected to what. My results are probably all wrong, but the fabric is already cut, so there's no turning back.

Speaking of fabric, I'm using a purple knit fabric. It's *gasp* polyester! Feels like it too - yuck. But the price ($1.50/yd) and the purpose (practice on knit-fabric) justify it!

And now, we shall wait and see how it will turn out. Well... you get to sit and wait. I have to sew it.