Friday, January 30, 2009

Easy Breezy Wrap Skirt, Revisited

My first sewing project for myself (and 4th project ever after one crappy apron and two somewhat decent pairs of PJ pants for my daughters) was the Easy Breezy Wrap Skirt pattern from the S.E.W. Sew Everything Workshop book by Diana Rupp. I used some black cotton broadcloth given to me by a generous donor--love ya', girl! My first go around with the skirt resulted in sewing in a lining and omitting the wasitband and ties. I just wasn't feeling them at the time. Here's what it looked like:

Although I was thrilled to have sewn something that resembled a skirt, I was not happy with it at all. I cut a size medium based upon the sizing chart in the book, and it seemed a little big. After a couple weeks of just hangin on my mannequin, I decided to go ahead and try and work that skirt into something I could at least wear once. And I did!

First, I cut that lining out. It was adding lines to the main fabric that were not very flattering. Second, I took the side seams in by half an inch on both sides. Here's the result:

While the skirt is far from flawless, it's way better than it was, IMO. I actually wore it out today! This pic was taken after I arrived home from Hancock Fabrics....which leads to a side story.

In my previous post I mentioned the Butterick Pattern B5315 as a possible option with which to sew a Dior-inspired dress. I found out yesterday that all Butterick patterns were on sale for $1.99, so I went over there this morning only to learn that a) B5315 was not in stock and b) almost all the really nice Buttericks were GONE. Just my luck, huh? Well, all was not lost. I did manage to pick up a few things I needed, like some snaps for my big Russian hat that lost one, some pattern tracing paper, regular pattern paper and some black buttons for a blouse I'm going to be working on, as soon as I am done tweaking my bodice muslin. Aaargh, that muslin! Saving that for another blog post.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ideas for Spring 2009

One of my favorite types of dresses is the basic shirt dress. One of my favorite types of collars is the Peter Pan collar. One of my favorite fashion designers is Christian Dior. One of my favorite non-black/white/grey colors is garnet red. Put those things together and voila! You get the above.

I love the simplicity of that dress. There's an elegance to it that is soft and understated, yet powerfully feminine. Tres Francais, n'est-ce pas?

While visiting a forum I frequent, someone posted that the new Butterick patterns were available online. I clicked the link and what was the first thing my eyes did see? This pattern:

I'm really feeling like I could pull of a Dior inspiration with this pattern, which happens to be in the category of 'Easy'. And so I wonder: which will be the more challenging aspect of sewing this wonderful inspiration? Affording the type of fabric I would like this dress made from, or being able to put this dress together in time for Spring? Because I'm no Speed Queen when it comes to thread banging, y'all. Well, sometimes it does snow in April :)


Last weekend I went in to the main Vogue Fabrics store in Evanston, IL, and can I just say WOW!??!?? It was too much. The place was huge, and the fabrics---Lordy, the fabrics, from $1/yard cheapy stuff to $30+ high end fabrics like gorgeous silks and sweater knits....and that $4/pound designer sample scrap bin that has 2-4 yards each of high-end, high quality fabric...mercy, me! They have a separate section for home decor that was amazing. I just stood there and redecorated my house in my mind.

All the workers I encountered there were super friendly and helpful and are eager to demonstrate things for you. I saw a young woman come in with a half sewn garment and her pattern and asked for help. The worker took her over to a table and they went over her problem. That was impressive.

There was a room where classes were being held. I peeped in on them. There were about 10 students and maybe 2 teachers. Everyone looked happy yet serious, like they were really into their work. If Evanston weren't so far away from me, I would definitely sign up for the classes there.

It took a will ten times bigger than my countenance to be able to walk out of there without any fabric. I did buy a few notions. When I have some serious extra cash I will go back and stash up. It was very inspiring to look at and touch a piece of fabric and imagine a garment for myself. Even the buttons were inspiring! I wished I had taken a sketchpad and gotten swatches. I will definitely do this when I go back.

My next fabric store trip is to a place called the "Fabric "Dump" by a few friends. It's a huge warehouse type place in Chicago on 21st and Damen--if anybody knows that place, do share. I have heard the place is a serious dust bomb, the staff are unfriendly and the fabrics are very disorganized. We shall see soon.