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Cutting Line Designs “A New Dimension” Part 2

29 Jun

It’s beginning to get hot in the sewing room, which means I need to turn on the air conditioning.  I’m pretty stingy with the air, since we live in a fairly moderate climate, but I can’t let that keep me from my sewing, so the air must go on.

I just finished the second version of A New Dimension.  Just to spark your memory, here is the envelope cover:

A New Demension

Here is my version:

I made the longer version this time – the one with the cute collar.  This collar is made by fusing the interfacing in three sections with space between so that you can fold and iron the collar as shown on the envelope cover.  I did it that way, but then I decided I like the collar unfolded A LOT, so I left it that way.  In the future, if I want to change the collar, I can easily do that.

I used the extra small sizing, and there is still plenty of ease in the final jacket.  I made no other alterations except to shorten the length.

I cut a bunch of inches off the length (can’t remember right now, but I’m going to say something like seven).  Because I cut off so much, I made sure I did that at the lengthen/shorten line.  I was still worried about losing the proportions, but I don’t think I did.   I generally don’t look good in a long jacket style, and my intention was to make this a “big shirt” type of jacket.  I think it turned out to have a “swing jacket” vibe.

I used a stretch cotton bottom weight that I got from Marcy Tilton.  It will be a nice layering piece for summer evenings, spring, and fall.  I didn’t put in the pockets, since I’m not much of a pocket girl.

I liked both versions of this pattern, and will probably make it again (especially the last version).  A plus is that THE DONALD (DH) likes it. : )


I’m Not Invisible Anymore!

23 Jun

This is a self-serving and gratuitous post to get my picture on the wonderful Not Dead Yet Style blog.  Thanks so much to Patti for making we women of a certain age visible again!

Now run along and check out my picture. : )

Slow But Steady Progress on Vogue 8804

11 Dec

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated you on my progress.  I’ll start at the beginning.

As I said in the last post, it took a long time just to gather the materials.  Once I did that, I realized some of the items were not quite right.  For example, the chain I purchased from somewhere (can’t remember) was too big.  I discover this when I went snoop shopping in the Chanel Boutique at Nordstrom.  I noticed the chain was much smaller and sturdier than the one I had.  Claire recommends a 1/4″ chain, and that may work, but the Chanel chains that I saw were 1/8″.  So, I went in search of a new chain.  This is the one I bought from Susan Khalje Couture:

Moving along, after everything was cut out, thread traced, and marked, it was time to practice buttonholes. The buttonholes were VERY challenging for me, mainly because I’m a perfectionist in my sewing, and I kept trying to get it “perfect”.  After I made the buttonholes, I had to put the whole project away for a few weeks to get some distance from the imperfection of the buttonholes I had created.  As is usual for me, once I went back to the project, I realized that part of the charm of a couture piece MUST be the little imperfections, so I’m okay with the buttonholes at this point:


Once the buttonholes were placed on the front, it was time to quilt the front a prepare the back of the buttonholes, which are made somewhat like a bound buttonhole:


It’s a good thing, too, since the backs of the hand sewn buttonhole are not very attractive.  Here is a picture of the quilting before it is pressed:


Notice the little dart in the lining.  That dart is in the lining only, the public side is actually eased and shaped with heat and steam.  I am learning so much about how couture garments are made, and loving every minute of it!  This type of dart shaping is continued as long, horizontal darts on the front and back pieces to shape the waist.

I’m currently working on quilting the back and shaping the darts there.  More later on the Chanel jacket.

Here is a little side project I worked on during my hiatus from buttonholes.  The inspiration came from Margy on Stitchers Guild.  I don’t know if she made hers or not, but when I saw hers, I had to figure it out.  It’s a unique scarf for a Christmas present:


Here are the instructions, unfortunately without pictures:

1. Cut lengths of knit fabric, about 1″ wide. The length will depend on how long you want the scarf. I would start by wrapping a measuring tape around my neck and measure from there. I think on the one I made, I just cut it 1 yard long because that’s how long my fabric pieces were. But, I do wish it were longer. When you cut the fabric, it will role automatically, either a little bit or a lot, depending on the fabric.

2. You don’t finish the edges. Leave them raw.

3. Let the lengthwise fabric role as it will. Pinch the rolled ends together and sew, overlapping the seams slightly. You now have a long, sort of rolled circle.

4. Make as many of these circles as you want, depending on how thick you want the scarf.

5. Put all of the overlapped seams together, and wrap a piece of rectangular fabric (the band) over them to hide the seams. Hand stitch, making sure you take up some of the circles to hold the little band in place.

Here are some more pictures that might help:




Travel Wardrobe – Finished

17 Apr

The title is a bit tongue-in-cheek, because the travel wardrobe isn’t finished until the suitcase is zipped shut for the final time, but at least I can say the Spring Six-Pac is finished.  This is probably the best collection I’ve ever put together, simply because each piece goes with other pieces in my closet.  I learned a lot about combining colors, and especially about Nanette Lapore’s “column of color”.

Simply stated, the column of color is the anchor of a collection.  Besides being slimming, it offer the opportunity for throwing just about anything in your closet (especially if you are working within your personal color zone) over the top to create an entirely new look.

I extended the column of color to include a draped cardigan in the same fabric.  I figured it would offer lots of mix-and-match opportunities.  I will say that I have finally come to the conclusion that a draped cardi is not for me.  This one is the StyleArc Abby cardi, and it is good as far as draped cardis go, but I’m just not crazy about the look.  I will wear this one, though.

Here is the collection:

From left to right, the Abby Cardigan from StyleArc, the Creative Cate top (under the cardi) from StyleArc, Vogue 8435 raglan sleeve top, The Sewing Workshop Quincy top without pleats at the bust, another Vogue 8435 top, Cutting Line Design Discover Something Novel pants, and finally, Annie’s Cami from StyleArc.

The missing piece here is the Vogue 8435 skirt made from the same fabric as the Quincy top (a wonderful rayon tencel from Marcy Tilton).  I didn’t have enough fabric and had to order some more (actually, I think I accidentally threw a piece away, but that’s another story).

The scarf was a bit of serendipity – a piece of silk from my stash that I had purchased long ago to make a scarf, but never did.

By the way, I love, love, love the Quincy!  I intend to figure out how to make it without the zipper, either with one large button at the top or no buttons at all.  I like it without the pleats, and got the idea for that from TerriK on Stitcher’s Guild.  Thanks Terri!

I’m off to a spa in Utah next week for 3 days with a dear friend of mine.  I am so looking forward to it.  I’m sewing a couple of tops and some pajamas that I will post about later.

Here are two more pictures of the collection:

Another Piece for the Six Pac/Travel Wardrobe

23 Mar

It’s been pretty slow-going, and I’m not sure why.  I have plenty of time to sew, just haven’t had the mojo.  Another hobby of mine is genealogy, and I’ve been preoccupied with it lately. When you start finding folks in your family lineage that were famous at the time of the American Revolution, it’s hard to let it go.

I did finish the fifth piece of my travel wardrobe/six pac.  I’m not sure this one will actually make it into the suitcase for a couple of reasons, but it was a good learning experience. A year ago at Sew Expo, Puyallup, I took Marcy Tilton’s “Arty Cardi” class.  As is typical of me, it took a year to actually apply that knowledge to my sewing.

I started out with a Katherine Tilton pattern that I’ve made before, as a regular t-shirt, and transformed the pattern into a cardigan.  This is the original pattern from Vogue:

This is the process I used to make this t-shirt into a cardigan:

1.  I made copies of the fronts (it has a princess seam coming out from the sleeve, so there were two front pieces) and back pieces.

2.  I drew in the center front line, added 2 3/4″ to the center front, and drew the fold line 5/8″ from the center front (see below left).

3.  I added 1/2″ at the side seams (see above right)

4.  I deepened the armhole 1/2″ (see below)

5.  After cutting out the fabric, I interfaced the center fronts from the fold line to the edge to stabilized for the buttons and buttonholes.

6.  I made the buttonholes before adding the neckband.

Here is the final cardigan again:

The reason why I’m not in love with it?  The fabric is too thin for a cardi.  It just doesn’t feel right.  Also, the top buttonhole is too far down, which makes the front center neckline gape.  Live and learn.  Again.

For Spring of 2012, Put A Bird On It

12 Mar

Portland, Oregon has never been known as a fashion capital, but the folks at “Portlandia” must have been on to something.  Who would have thought that “put a bird on it” would have such couturian appeal.  This is what I’ve seen on the fashion runways for spring, 2012:

Carolina Herrera

Marc Jacobs


Then I noticed that Emma One Sock has a new flock of birds to choose from:

I love watching birds.  I love early March in Portland when the snowbirds return from their well-deserved hiatus in Mexico.  I love waking up to the cooing and chirping sounds of birds, like a natural alarm clock, gently pushing me out of bed.  But honestly, I don’t want to wear them.  I know it’s a matter of taste and style, but birds on my body just aren’t going to fly ;).

So enjoy the new spring trends everyone, and if you really want to, put a bird on it!

Unfinished Koos Jacket, Vogue 1277

6 Dec

I am finished with the Koos class, but not finished with the jacket.  It’s not because of the pattern, though, it’s because of some fabric I used that wouldn’t cooperate.  The class was very fun, and the coat is coming along.

I haven’t been blogging as I go because sewing for eight hours a day wipes me out.  When I get home from class, I am totally exhausted. It made me think of the statue of the garment worker in New York City and what it must have been like, working in a sweat shop bent over a sewing machine 12 hours a day, seven days a week.  Hard work, indeed!

This Koos pattern is pretty amazing in so many ways.  The most interesting part is the sleeves, though, and the way Koos made the sleeve seam curve around the sleeve on the diagonal.  The other appealing part of the jacket is the fact that the coat is really one major piece that becomes the jacket lining, and then you place smaller pieces on top of it to make the design.  The way Koos designed it, you could easily put any shape you want on the main piece to create your own unique design.

Here is the sleeve.  You can see how the seam curves around diagonally:

**My sewing instructor, Marla Kazell, took a class from Koos, himself, to learn how to construct the jacket, and the way he constructs it is very different from the Vogue pattern instructions.  Koos adds 1/2″ seam allowances to his patterns, then lays out the main pattern piece and glues the individual design pieces on top of the main piece, and then sews on the bias tape.  Vogue added full seam allowances so that you can sew the individual pieces together before adding the bias tape.

**Another change that Vogue made to the pattern was to put some of the pieces on the straight of grain and some on the bias.  The Koos pattern has each center back on the bias.  I’m not sure why Vogue would make that change, since you would want the back on the bias for the drape effect.

In my sewing class, we put all pieces on the bias and we glued the pieces on, which meant that we had to trim some of the seam allowances off.  There are options to glueing.  One option is to use a permanent glue (which is what Koos uses), which will give your jacket more body.  I didn’t want that look (I wanted my jacket to drape more) so I used the Sulky Temporary Spray adhesive, which was the good news and the bad news.  The good news is that the jacket will be drapier, the bad news is that the pieces don’t stick very well, especially if they are silk.  Most of my pieces were wool, but I did have a nasty little piece of silk that caused me CONSIDERABLE trouble.

If you use the temporary spray, you will need to add stitching (like quilting) to hold the pieces together.  Then you will need to pin, pin, pin, as well.  Here is a picture of my jacket at the stage where I had finished glueing and was beginning to pin bias strips on the jacket.

I forgot to take a picture of the lining, but it is the same shape as all the top pieces put together and is laying underneath these pieces.  As you can see, the piece at the hemline is actually two pieces that are sewn together at the center back, then the piece is sewn along the hemline to form the hem.  That piece is then turned and glued to the lining, as are the rest of the pieces, overlapping by about 1/2 inch.  As I said before, I had to trim some of the seam allowances away, since Vogue added them to their pattern.

Here is how the back turned out:

By the way, I used an extra small size.

So now, I have the basic jacket put together, one sleeve sewn on, and tons of things (like Hong Kong binding) left to do.  I’m not sure how much of this I’m going to get to until after Christmas, but I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

**These paragraphs were edited after the orignal post.

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