Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Vogue 1385 Sandra Betzina Top with cool neckline detail!

LAnother successful make! Last week was a good one in the sewing room :) 

As part of my fall sewing plan I wanted a true transition piece to get me from  summer into fall and this fit the bill perfectly. The fabric is a cotton/silk voile blend from Fabricmart. I bought this after I bought the red denim hoping that it would be a great match and it is dead on! I LOOOVE it when that happens!!! I wasn't to worried if it didn't because I also like wearing teal blue. The label in the fabric said to dry clean which I will do now that it is a finished product. However, I totally bucked those directions and pre-washed and dried this fabric not once, but twice before I cut it out. I'm so glad I did :) it totally softened up a bit and, like with ten red denim, I used a color catcher in the wash to gage the amount of bleeding. There was some general color discharge but nowhere on the fabric did the colors bleed together, whew!!! I took a chance! 

The pattern is vogue 1385, a Sandra Betzina design. I made the shorter view. I think with my hips and tush the longer view could end up looking tent like unless I employed a belt with it. In fact I think the illustration of the longer view looks a bit blah and dowdy. Am I wrong? I do also think it is interesting that the neckline or rather the height of the neckline on the photograph on the pattern does not look as high as my finished shirt. I'm going with the fact that this model has an enviously long and graceful neck whereas mine is not so! On me the height comes closer to my lower jaw which I really like! Maybe the model is just lehgthenig! Hah!!

I will really have to dry clean this shirt because I used silk organza as an interfacing for the front edges and the neckline. I needed something nice and crisp yet not stiff to 1. Hold up that beautiful detail and 2. Not show through on this voile. If I was it now all the goodness of that silk organza will wash away and I will have a limp mess. I don't want that!

Above: the silk organza hand basted to the neckline facing.
Below: the power of silk organza! holding this voile up without being  'stiff'!

This is a fairly easy pattern to construct you just have to PAY ATTENTION, take your time and use lots of tailor tacks!! This top did take a lot of time, why may you ask?
1. Cut out fronts as a single layer to be able to match the print down the front.
2. I hand basted the silk organza interfacings to the facings. 
3. I thread traced all the tucks/darts in the both front pieces, top of the sleeve/shoulder pieces, both sleeve hems, and then all the corresponding lines into the facings. (This was after trying to mark them with a tracing wheel with no luck!)
4. Tailor tacked every circle and square and  triangle marking. 
5. Every seam, except for the facing seams at Front edge and neckline, were done with french seams. Looks beautiful and a nice strong seam for a lighter weight fabric BUT... Double the work!
So as you can see time consuming but I really just slowed down  and enjoyed the process, it was very fulfilling. 

I even contemplated binding the facing edges but the serger just one out on this one! I just did a three thread overlock edge making sure it was a nice balanced stitch. Came out nice!

The sizing of this shirt is not such an issue because it is a looser fitting design but next time I do think that I will cut one size smaller for everywhere but the hips to just give it a slightly sleeker silhouette. Due to my large booty, hehehe, I had to move the back fisheye darts up 5 inches! I probably also could have shortened those darts a half inch or so just to have room for a nice drape down my back and over my tush. If I had not made that change the back just gets stuck on my butt, bunches up and then the upper back looks too big because it can't hang nice. This is one reason why I LOATHE ready to where shirts. Those darn darts are never in the right place for my body :)

Back to my fabric decision, you may think a voile for fall? Well, I did actually say transition piece ;) cool enough for a warm fall day but coverage for cooler evenings or indoor air condition. It remains to be seen if this piece will make into the true Chicago winter wardrobe. Although with the looser fit I could layer a wool knit camisole under it for warmth.... Hmmmm, good idea!

I had NO problem with the buttonholes on this baby! That silk organza provided the nicest hand to the voile and just enough umph to sew out 6 perfect buttonholes with embroidery thread... AND can you believe those PERFECT covered buttons!!! Those were in my stash of a gazillion thrifted and antique buttons. I never dreamed they would get used on a garment! They were made for this shirt!

Again, I had no photographer and nasty weather so all my photos are on the dress form. I'll post some of the shirt and the red jeans together soon! Although, when I tried this on for my hubby to get his reaction he really liked it and complimented the neckline immediately. I must I was a little surprised, in a good way of course! He is a little bit more conservative in thinking what looks good on me. Whereas I am, let's say, a bit more adventurous!! :)

I really, really LOVE the details of this shirt with the beautiful and unique neckline and the sleeve detail. I feel like I could have played with the depth of the sleeve darts a little more to make the sleeve hem detail even more pronounced. 
The red denim jeans really go nicely with this shirt! they even go great with regular jeans or a pair of slacks. 

I have a 9 day work trip out to San Francisco coming up in a couple of weeks and am hoping to get a couple more pieces made. This outfit will be a great addition to the travel wardrobe.

Next up on my work table, a self drafted textured black knit skirt. This photo has been lightened so you can see the texture detail.

And if I'm lucky a Jacket as well out of this printed linen. The black on the linen and the black of the knit above match perfectly! 

Happy Sewing!

Hehe, had to share! My Grandaughter has found her tongue!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Seeing red.... Red jeans that is!

Early this year I was at my local shop and saw this beautiful bolt of Red Denim. A nice high quality thicker weight denim that just jumped out at me and screamed make me into jeans!!! How could I resist?? 

All the trends of colored jeans and even print jeans are so much fun! I put this project off for a bit when I got this fabric because this was not a summer weight denim. Definitely a pair of jeans for cooler weather! This fabric has no give, none at all but with a great fit you really don't need stretch added.

Due tot he red color, I washed and dried this length of denim 3 times before even cutting out along with a color catcher just so I could get a feeling for the bleed of the red dye. This is a pair of jeans that will surely need to be washed on cold and with like colors or just by themselves. I'm okay with this and I figured it would be the case when I purchased the denim. Red is such a finicky bitchy color. 

I used my TNT pattern Silhouettes Lana Jeans and just used a smaller seam allowance since no stretch in the fabric. 

The most exciting thing about these jeans???? Other than that hot red color.... I was FINALLY able to insert that zipper fly without looking at any instructions!!! Whew! I thought that would never happen. It only took me doing 6 zip fly fronts to be able to do it properly and with no extra guidance.WOOHOOO!!!!! Go me!!! I was seriously happy about this!

Another neat thing on these jeans is the back pockets, I used an Anita Goodesign embroidered quilt design on the back pockets and it worked out even better than I expected :) it adds a great designer touch to my jeans. The front pockets were made from a paisley print poly silky from JoAnn's leftover from a project a couple years ago. 

Of course I have NO pictures of me in them. My house has been like  the plague house for the past week and a half. My hubby has the nastiest virus that just won't quit and August dog days are in full swing! It is so humid and gross outside. The windows in the house have actually been fogged up in the morning due to this disgustingly hot and humid weather. 

So, as soon as the hubby is better or I can get another photographer and the weather cools. Down just a little I will get some pics. Hmmmm, maybe I should ask for a camera remote for X-Mas...

I LOOOOVE my new red jeans :)

I suppose this means fall sewing has moved into my workroom! AND I actually have a fall sewing plan in place!! Maybe I'll share this plan or maybe I'll keep you in suspense and not put any undue pressure in my self ;) 

Now for an UGLY... BAD....

The other day I was fiddling on my work table and this lovely spider decided to scare the hell out of me!  My heart literally took off running. I reached for the closest weapon which just happened to be the hammer I was using to pound all my jeans seams flat before topstitching... And WHACK! One big rdead, squashed spider. Thank god it didn't jump at me. My hubby would have found me dead on the he floor. I have a little... Correction BIG, fear of spiders.

Now... After sharing the bad and ugly..

Here is some BEAUTFUL and SWEET!!

Princess Victoria is now 2 months old! 
And last week she had her first trip to the beach and Atlantic Ocean. 

And one last fun one to share!
One of my dogs, Blue, is IN LOVE with little V!!
She gets so excited and when you ask her "where's the baby?" She looks for her, gives her a kiss and then actually smiles at you! She does this every single time!!! So amazing and adorable. Of course Little V is just as enchanted with Blue. :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Charles James: Beyond Fasion at the MET

This past Thursday I had an entire afternoon in NYC to myself. What a treat :) 

The dilemma on what to do..... Head over to the fashion district and hit the fabric shops, spending oodles of fabric to add to an already overly large stash?... OR head in the other direction and go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Charles James exhibit, wander around in awe gazing lovingly on his beautiful creations and hopefully become inspired to use some of my overly large stash in some creations? 

Ohhhhh... The decision was difficult. I mean really, Mood, Parons, Spandex house, M&J trims and more OR some of the most beautiful creations ever made in the US by one of the best designers.

I ultimately decided to head to the MET. The fabric stores aren't going anywhere and there was nothing I was dying to purchase but the Charles James MET exhibition is only showing for a couple more weeks! I just HAD to go.

I made the RIGHT decision! Oh the joys of having all afternoon in the MET by myself was just a delectable experience. The Charles James exhibit was split into 2 parts within the museum. The first part was in a special exhibit area near the main entrance and the second half was across the museum on the lower level in the newly renovated Costume Institute area. This made for an interesting experience for me.... As I was heading from one area to the other I became hopelessly lost, mostly impart to my paying no attention whatsoever to where I was going and just checking out areas and pieces of art that grabbed my attention. :) so fun to lose myself in that massive museum! 

Anyway, I thrououghly enjoyed the Charles James exhibit, a special exhibit on modern jewelry and the roof top garden installation where I enjoyed a nice cold beer and an amazing view of the city. 

I then decided to visit the Charles James exhibit one more time! I mean why not!!! 

At the end of my day I, of course, visited the museum shop and picked up the Charles James Exhibit catalogue. I love these catalogues and have several from other exhibits as well. 

I have heard of Charles James before and seen photos of his work but never anything to in-depth. The most outstanding thing to me about his work is the use of interesting seams. The seaming details in almost every garment are truly exquisite. Also his use of draping and folds to create interest and details is pretty ingenious. I can only imagine the amount of time each of these garments took to complete! 

The catalogue is a beautiful documentation of his work with just hundreds of pictures of the garments along with detailed close ups of the beautiful seaming details that he used.

Here are some pictures of the exhibit! It was truly beautiful. 

Some of his muslin work

Butterfly Ball Gown 1955

Clover Leaf Ballgown 1953. The back is so beautiful with the back lapels and the placement of the black silk lace. Leaving the erogenous zone open.

Tree Ball Gown 1955 named after Marietta Tree, the client whom this was designed for.

La Sirene Evening Dress 1951-52  made from a luscious ivory silk crepe. 

Ribbon dressing gown 1938- 40 made all from silk satin ribbons!

Ribbon ball gown1946 the skirt is made of a variety of different ribbons. So beautiful!

An Evening dress from 1945, peach silk Charmeuse
Interesting pleating detail across the front pelvis..... Hmmm. Interesting detail...

A selection of coats and wool garments
Cossack coat 1952, Dark brown wool Melton
Suit 1948, gray wool flannel
Coat ensemble early 1950's purple-brown brushed wool

Throughout the exhibits there were Charles James quotes on both the mirrored walls and the glass enclosures. I was very happy to see many of these also printed in the catalogue!

Some other areas of the museum. The view from the rooftop garden, the horses and knights in the hall of armor. A necklace from the modern jewelry exhibit and the temple of Dendur. 

And of course... A selfie out front with the Charles James exhibit banner and my bag of goodies. :)

I'm still daydreaming of all those delicious details from the exhibit!
Happy Sewing!