Friday, December 30, 2011

Formal Muppetry

 For the past several years I've been coming up to see a particular set of friends for new years.  The first, I thought it was going to be a casual party, and it was formal....  the second, I made a dress, brought it, and it was a jeans type evening.  (I wore the dress anyway.)  So this year, I called to check and asked if it was formal? casual? muppet costumes?   And we eventually decided attire should be formal muppet and promptly forgot about it until wandering around in Ann Taylor Loft and Em came forth brandishing this jacket.  Formal. Muppet.   FORMAL MUPPET!!   FORMAL MUPPET!!!!!!!!

Anyway, it was a day of window shopping, and the weird didn't end there.   Decapitated Bear Mannequins.  There was a fair bit of debate as to whether they bought bear heads or if the clerks had a interesting evening and the bodies were stashed in a closet somewhere....

However, there was actually useful window shopping, I got pictures in the shops, but they were no where near as nicely lit as the ones off the anthropologie website - they are essentially the same dress - except the curry colored one was made of corduroy - an interesting fact they don't mention on the site, but fascinating in person.   I have three yards of green microwale with matching lining that has been intended for a jacket for years now, but I keep not getting around to it... I'm thinking it may end up being a lovely warm dress.  The purple one is cotton with embroidery.  (stunning in person) I think I'm going to have to duplicate this one as well.   Considering the number of UFOs I've currently got going, this is getting completely ridiculous, but most entertaining.

Anyhow, here's hoping everyone has a safe, happy and all together entertaining new year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Green Fringe

From the V&A 
Suddenly Scarlett's curtain dress seems less absurd.

According to an except from '19th Centurey Fashion in Detail'   Fringe was never so greatly in demand as at the present time..Fringe may be said to be the most becoming of all trimmings for a lady's dress...  etc...

Incredible as this dress is, I can't say its particularly to my taste - but I must say I impressed.

(If you haven't seen the Fashion in Detail series from the V&A, they are phenomenal.   I have two and lust after the others.  Someday... someday.  The link goes to the images, but there is a series of books with line drawings and explanations.)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

altering a pencil skirt

The Festive Miniature Alpaca of Winter Joy
Merry Kwanzmucka, other winter holiday or your choice, or Festivus, the holiday for the rest of us.

I don't think this really counts as a refashion -- just a regular old alteration.    The story of how I ended up with this particular skirt is a bit ridiculous, but revolves around no one telling me we were going out to a fancy dinner until *after* I got off the plane....

Anyhow, RTW skirt!  with purple!  (I do like purple)  Which I didn't move around enough in while trying it on, because, holy crap, it didn't fit.   When I would do crazy things like walk across the room or sit down, it would ride up, and then stay that way.    I loathe tugging on my clothes, so this had to be fixed.      I detached the waistband from the front of the skirt, put it on, and then walked around and let the skirt ride up the inch or two to where it really wanted to spend its time.  I then pinned the waistband back down and ta da!   Fits properly!   (I had to make some minor modifications to the side seams to keep them from puckering, but it was just a case of following the fabric.)

^--In both cases this is post wandering around  -  soooo much better  ---^
yaaaaay I can move!!!!! (!!!!!!!)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pretty Things

 I don't know about you, but  am bored to death of fitting pictures.   Instead, look at these.   Lovely dresses that have been haunting the back of my mind.   (all are from modcloth)

...and because I'm thinking about it, and if you are American, look over  SOPA and write your representatives if you are so inclined, as a post like this could have me blocked and possibly sent to jail for years/fined should it be enacted.  (Heck, if they wanted to throw the full power of the law into it, this post could take down blogger.... all because I wanted to share pictures that inspire me of goods that are no longer for sale.)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Look 6000 - Muslin 4

Although Muslin 2 - second set of edits might be more accurate -- I'm just tweaking the one from the other day.   Flattering shots, hunh?  Lets think happy thoughts of summer when pictures can be taken outside.  Although, perhaps not fitting shots.

To fix the pulls under the arms I let out the under bust darts just slightly on the side side (rather than towards my middle)  and also too a dart out at the shoulder.  You can't see it in these pictures, but its a wedge shape with the fat end an inch below the shoulder seam and the pointy bit right under my neck.   (Apparently, I am a hunch back.)  There are still a few pulls near the lower back  but I think I may fix them in the final -- There is also something odd going on with the skirt in the back view -- not really sure what.  I may have pinned it unevenly -- I got rid of the kick pleat by eye....

Anyhow, I think I shall declare this acceptable and move on to actual fabric (I'll show the changes I make to the patterns as well.)   However, there is no possible way this is going to be done by Christmas, as other obligations keep intruding and are going to deprive me of my sewing machine for the next several days.   So perhaps by New Years,  but even that is a long shot.   But soon... soon.

I just realized I should probably test out the collar... so that may make it on here as well.  As I'm using a summer weight fabric, odds are it will be sleeveless... but if I end up adding them, the adventure will continue.  Not for the first time I wish I could just zap things into being -- what a glorious wardrobe I would have.   However, I know perfectly well that if I don't love it, I won't wear it, and then why bother making it?  All of which means, it has to fit.  ::grumbles to herself::

oh, and for Chris -- the shoes from yesterday are Jan, by Tic Tac Toe -- via Zappos.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

completely off topic

Who has brand new dancing shoes?   This girl.   (What makes them special?  They have suede on the soles.  Plus, unlike the majority of dance shoes, they don't have mile high heels.)

totally unrelated?  yes.   but awesometastic.   I was going to try to somehow tie this in to something, but lets face it, I just want to show off my pretty new shoes :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Look 6000 - Muslin 3

There was a question the other day about transferring edits on a muslin back to the paper pattern, so I'm going to go through the whole gory process.    

For the front, as I was switching from the gathered to the ungathered version, I angled the pattern piece to match the appropriate section, and traced the alterations on.  For the back, It was more or less as it was, so I traced them on, added the slash and spread and the length, and then took in little tucks here and there along the skirt to make it lay flat.   As you can see on the front piece (the one on the left with the black tissue paper) the line which was supposed to be on the fold became distorted, so I added in more tissue to even it out, and ended up taking that extra space out in the under bust dart.

As for the muslin itself - I ended up leaving the side bust as it was, significantly deepening the under bust dart -- to the point that it now reaches the hem.   Perhaps not an ideal full bust adjustment, but I think it looks nice and still fits the 60s-ish theme of the dress, so I'm going to go with it.  The odd pull in the skirt on the back view is the pinned down kick pleat.  There is still a bit of weirdness around the shoulders, and I haven't yet decided what to do about it.  On the side view, you can see I ended up deepening the back dart a bit more (I have crazy sway back and an ample bottom, which always makes fitting interesting)  There are still some diagonal pulls that seem to show up on everything I do......  will have to look into those.

 Now, normally, I would call this good and make minor adjustments on the final, but a certain scruffy person has been going on and on about how I fit things, so I'm going to try to actually fix those evil side pulls and maybe even do something with the shoulders.  ( troublemaker.  yes, you.  )

Stealth Cranes

 I tried to come up with a version of 'captain planet' suitable for 'stealth cranes' but the syllables  are wrong and the 15 seconds of effort I put into it just didn't pay off.

Anyway - can you spot the other two cranes?   the ribbon I was using is a pain and a half to work with, and after various misfires for additional cranes, I decided to go with much smaller applique versions with the scraps from the main project.   Both are on the right side of the photo, one top, one bottom.

They are starting to remind me of stained glass.

At least in the pictures...

Anyhow, on to the dreaded quilting, which I think will be mostly stitching in the ditch, before all will power leaves me.   I am emphatically *not* one of nature's quilters.


An aborted attempt at a second ribbon crane.   I like the three dimentionality they bring to the project, but it did start to look kind of funny.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The current dilemma...

More cranes?  or stop here?   Some context - a friend of mine has a rather nasty form of cancer and has been making and collecting paper cranes for good luck.   While I was visiting her a few weeks ago, she was showing me some of the other things people had made, a metal crane, a glass crane, etc...  and I decided I would do something in fabric.   I asked if she'd like a quilt and for her favorite colors, and then starting plotting.    At first I'd worked out a patchwork block that looked like a paper crane, but it was going to take forever and looked...cutsy.   Kirby is many things, but cutsy really isn't one of them.   Anyway, I came up with a more or less random square based patchwork with cranes traced out in ribbon on top.     I can't decide if one looks interesting on its own, or odd, as though it was just popped on as an afterthought.

The original design calls for several, poking in from various angles. But I'm not sure how well it translates to the real world.    I'll probably pin on a few more and see - but thoughts from brains other than my own would be most welcome.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New Look 6000 - Muslin 2

 There has been some other nonsense afoot which has slowed me down a bit (some sewing, which I shall reveal at a later date, and some having to do with finally have a charged camera battery so I could get pictures and some totally unrelated) here we finally have muslin #2.

I've more is less decided that the side gathers really don't work on the busty set.   I did an image search for New Look 6000, and frankly, it tends to look a lot better on women with smaller bustlines, which allow the gathers to skim their curves and still hug their waists.   While I'm used to doing full bust adjustments, and took in a dart on my right side (which I would have then moved to the left in another version) it just isn't enough.  There is enough ease around the waist to make me feel dumpy, and that is not a feeling I like.   While I know this pattern could be redrafted to better suit me, I'm just not interested enough to bother.   The non-gathered front looks lovely in all the versions I've seen, regardless of body type, and the majority of the adjustments I've made, such as fixing the back, taking in the center front, and width that needs to be added to the skirt, will all transfer easily, so, that is what I shall do.

What I did this time:
1) took a dart out of the right side, which I intended to move to the left via this method
2) raised the shoulders even more
3) added more ease to the skirt via slash and spread
1)took in the center back even more
2)added ease to the skirt via slash and spread

What it accomplished:

front 2 & back 1:   After spending time looking at both the muslin and the pictures, I decided it wasn't actually too tight around the middle, it was just too long and too loose, causing the fabric to pool.   You can't quite tell as I am turned a bit and my arm is raised, but it does lay quite flat now.

front 3 and back 2:  I can sit down without it riding up.  an important feature in tighter dresses.

front 1 : I was hoping to get a better fit, but its not enough to fix everything....

The reason the waist seems to fit better in the previous version was the extended gather darts that went all the way across my body.   They worked, but stylistically, I did not like them.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Look 6000 - Muslin 1

 Started muslining New Look 6000 this evening -- it comes together surprisingly fast.
Thus far I've:
1) raised the shoulders
2) taken in the top center back and top center front
3) added width to the the front skirt via slash and spread
4) deepened the back darts
5) extended the front gather darts

My plan for the next version (which will probably be this one with sections sewn in place) is to take in the top center back a bit more -- there is still too much ease around the shoulder blades.   Let the waist area out just a bit around the lower back, and increase the ease around the hips a bit, as sitting down would be a nice feature.  I also plan to lengthen the skirt, as I would like it to hit right below the knee after I hem.

I'm not really sure whats up with the waist gathers, but they look a lot nicer on the pattern envelope.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Emergency Jeans!

Come with me if you want to live!!!

Last night I tore my jeans right before going out.   I duly duct taped the hole, but this clearly wasn't a long term solution.  So rather than patching it, I decided to make a new pair.  (Obviously the most efficient solution.)    I'd cut them out a while ago and had never gotten around to sewing them up... So I can't claim a start to finish in one day, but eh.  I'm still pretty entertained.

I followed Peter's jeans sew-along which I found quite clear, although in a few places my pattern (traced off a RTW) didn't match his, such as having a separate fly.  However, I think it really sped the whole thing up quite a bit.   
This was also the first time I flat-felled anything,  and although it was a little wonky the first time around, I decided to just go with it ... until I noticed I'd sewed the yoke on backwards.  So.... yay for practice! 'Cause I got lots!   

Allison-eye-view  (AEV)
notice any issues?

snazzy double belt loops, also from AEV
 I did the pockets with extra eggplant cotton, and masochist that I am, I went for double belt loops.  Why, I cannot say.  I loathe making belt loops and sewing them on is a henius experience, more so then usual as this is kind of thick denim and my machine couldn't handle it.   I had to attach them by hand!  Teach me to try to make it look nifty.

 The gods of photography were not smiling upon me this evening, so proper photos when I see sunlight.   Even odds on managing that one within the week.  Stupid winter.
stealthy eggplants.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Guess who needs more storage space?

Lots of stuff today, so lets take it in chronological order....

Story The First:   Something Black!
After my endless fussing about what to wear for choir I ended up pulling out what we're going to call a refashion -- I took the lining out of a horrible 80s dress someone had given me to tear to shreds.   The thing already had an elasticized waist, so I just went with that, a cardigan I had and the belt I made forever ago.  It doesn't actually pull up to side -- it seems to have gotten caught on my hand, and this is the only picture I have.  Slowly but surely, I am becoming very fond of belts over sweaters.  What you can't see, because of the cropping, is the snazzy old organ I'm standing next to.   

Story The Second: Jomar!

I know I've mentioned this place before, but I don't think I shared pictures -- its a discount warehouse with remnants - but industrial scale, so you can find 10 yards if you want.   

Its the whole top story of this warehouse, and is an absolute blast.    The outside used to be there-is-no-way-in-hell-I-am-getting-out-of-the-car sketchy, but they painted and fixed a bit and now it seems friendlier.

They also have all manner of weird things, but unpredictably, as it depends what shipments they got in lately   By far the oddest thing I have ever found was dinosaur / paw print brocade.  Yes, BROCADE!!!!!!! not calico, not polar fleece, BROCADE.    I seriously considered getting some, but I just hated the pawprints.  They are not accurate dino tracks, which bugged me, and they.... well, made it cutsy/ugly.  So I passed by with great regret.


Story The Third:  What We Got
Mom's picks
Mom was in town for the concert, and demanded the trip to Jomar.  (I really am trying to be good about not getting things until I used up some of what I have, but its impossible when I step inside this place.)  In addition to the usual inexpensive fabrics, they were also unloading industrial size rolls of piping and twill tape for a dollar apiece....there are nearly 300 yards per roll.   We each ended up with a couple thousand in a variety of colors.   Mom ended up with boucle wool, a sheer and fancy piping for pillows.    I got a purple mystery bottom weight for pants, a stripped cotton for a dress, and a bright blue cotton for the NL6000 Fest.   I'd always intended to make it up in green, but they didn't have any I liked, and for $2 a yard I feel comfortable calling this the summer weight version and making another later on if I really like it.   (What am I talking about - if I like it I would make another in winter weight no matter what I spent on this one.  Silly me.)

Next up, after I finish the turquoise jacket, is fitting NL6000, which I have to say it making me more than a little nervous.  the front is all one piece, and the back is fit by a pair of darts!  I KNOW!  It freaks me out too.

Enough twill tape and piping to ENCIRCLE THE EARTH!!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

pattern matching

day by day

On closer inspection of the day-by-day dress (this is all from peering at the picture) it appears to have raglan sleeves, making it closer to v8685.    Changing out the skirt and drafting a collar band shouldn't be too tough..... hmmmm.....   I'd also need to add the gathers in the back, but that's a matter of slash and spread...

There's nothing like winter really deciding to hit all at once to make me long for summer dresses.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...