Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall/winter must-haves

Here's my list of trendy garments I'd like to sew this fall and winter:

1. Pussybow blouse

Zara blouse
I've actually completed a sleeveless version of this blouse and am just waiting for some good lighting to take pictures.

2. Cape

Burda October 2011 issue
I love this cape! The fabric has already been ordered - a lovely olive wool and angora blend - and will be here on the UPS truck next week. I hope it's as nice a fabric as I'm envisioning!

3. Military inspired jacket

Duchess Kate's Alexander McQueen coat dress
I actually have two jackets planned in the military look, but am not sure I'll get to both.
4. Something in mustard yellow

Victoria Beckham dress
I do love yellow, so this trend was a no-brainer. I'm planning a fitted skirt in mustard wool crepe, and already have the fabric in my stash from last spring.

5. Mixed fabrics garment - like leather & wool doubleknit

Stella McCartney dress
I don't love this dress but it's a good example of this multi-fabric mixing trend. I have two garments planned - a skirt and a really awesome dress. The dress is up next after I complete a Halloween costume and another something for Rachel.
6. Statement skirt

Vionnet skirt
This will be a simple straight skirt in an incredible green and yellow silk dupioni print.
7. Metallic garment

Marc Jacobs skirt
Burda October 2011 issue

Metallics are hot right now, as I'm sure most of you know. I'd like to have both of these exact pieces in my wardrobe. The metallic leather was purchased last spring and the metallic jersey I recently bought from (I just checked, they seem to have sold out of it.)
8. Lace dress

Milly lace dress
If I could figure out how to knock off this exact dress, I'd be one happy camper. I bought some pretty cotton lace from some time ago - a Milly fabric from their Spring 2011 show - and am planning to die it navy. 

9. Tuxedo jacket

Jason Wu tuxedo jacket
Okay, I love this exact jacket with the double lapels. However, I'd already planned a velvet & satin version last fall which I never got around to and have the fabric purchased. This will be part of a fancy outfit I'm making for Les Miserables, which we'll be attending in January.

10. Menswear-inspired suit

I do not have an example picture for this one, but it will be in a grey checked wool suiting and will include pants.
11. Leather shorts

from the blog Atlantic-Pacific
These might be more of a cold-to-warmer-weather transitional piece for me. I'm not against the whole shorts with tights look, but leather shorts with tights and tall boots seems a bit tart-ish in my mind. Maybe it will be fine, I'll have to wait and see. Or perhaps a different shoe would be a better choice.
12. Wool shorts

Karl Lagerfeld's Macy's collection wool shorts
Now these I could wear with boots and not feel like a painted woman.

Isn't is fun to be able to sew and try out some of these trends without having to spend the mega bucks on the designer originals? What trends are your must haves this season?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Simplicity 4243 revisited - Brown & green corduroy baby dress

This is the cutest thing I've ever made for Rachel. Not that I've made her that many things yet, mostly because she's been so tiny and I've not wanted the headache of redrafting patterns. You can see the first dress made from this pattern here. It was pretty wide on her and didn't get worn much. The good thing about being so slim is that most of her dresses can be worn again the following year as tunics with stretch pants underneath. I made this dress in the same x-small size, but added 4" for length, and you can see it hits right below the knee. I also carved out 1/2" from the underarm to make it wearable as a jumper over other shirts.

I just love non-traditional colors for girls. When I can find something that's not pink, I get excited, and I thought this brown and green combo was really fun. The main fabric is a small wale corduroy purchased recently at JoAnn's; the brown band also is a thin wale corduroy but was purchased at Hancock's. The ric-rack is the prepackaged kind in x-large.

I paid special attention to lining up the trees on the sides and back. It wasn't difficult, just took a little extra effort during cut out.

I chose to put in a lapped zipper at the back. The first dress had an invisible zipper and I thought it was a bit stiff for a baby dress. Also, as I hand basted it in first, the trees were easier to align.

If you look closely, you can see where the ric-rack joins at the side. It's kind of like bias tape in the sense that it can be stretched or condensed without causing ripples, so joining at a continuing spot is possible. The bottom band was machine stitched to the ric-rack, and then folded up and invisibly stitched on the inside.

The armholes and neckline are finished with green bias tape, per the pattern instructions. Doing it around the armholes isn't too easy, especially since I sewed the side seams before finishing the armholes. I wanted french seams on the shoulders and sides, though, so did it that way despite the fiddly nature of such a small opening.

Here is the pattern picture. I can't take credit for the ric-rack idea, but I think it's pretty brilliant. I still want to make the red & white gingham dress, perhaps next summer.

Now that she's finally fitting into patterns, expect to see a bunch more sewing for her. (Especially pants and overalls this fall/winter as they are impossible to find for such a skinny-minnie.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Simplicity 2512 - Cynthia Rowley plaid skirt w/ front drape

Hello! It has been a few weeks since I've posted anything because I've had several wadders in a row. However, this skirt turned out really well, probably because I made a muslin. Also because I really thought about the fabric and what it would look best as.
This Cynthia Rowley pattern has been languishing in my stash for some time. I bought it for view C, which is the view I made, but view B has really grown on me and I want to make it too. (Probably in the spring - the fabric I want to use is a pink and gray silk charmeuse.)
 This fabric is a cotton suiting purchases from I loved the kelly green color running through the grey plaid and first thought to do some sort of bias skirt. However, the plaid is rectangular and not square, and I was afraid on the bias it wouldn't be very pretty. Plus a recent wadder was a bias garment, and they intimidate me. This pattern seamed a better fit for the fabric, especially since it had no right or wrong side, a necessity for the cascading drape in the front. I plan to wear it with some other layers for fall and not just this green t-shirt.
I used my TNT contoured waistband from this pattern, and had no other fit issues. I also added a full lining since the fabric was a bit see-through and I want to wear it with tights. Matching the seams at the sides and back was fairly easy to do, and I cut the waistband on the bias to eliminate any need of matching seams there.
Here's a close-up of the back waistband and invisible sipper area. I used Eugenia's invisible zipper technique to get a smooth edge at the top, and am happy to report that it worked like a charm. Thanks for posting that, Eugenia!

For the lining, I used black Ambiance and had to make it several inches shorter then the skirt so it wouldn't show in the front where the hem is curving. All the seams were finished so it could be thrown in the wash and not ravel out.

I'm nearly finished with THE CUTEST dress for Rachel, then I'll try to get some good pictures of her wearing it. We got our first cold front of the season today, which really makes me want to make fall clothing even more!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vogue picks

The new winter Vogues have been released, much to my surprise. I thought they would send out the magazine first, like with the fall ones. I wasn't even stalking the website. Anyway, I am trying to be discerning and buy only the ones I absolutely love.

First up is 1265, a Pamella Roland design. I love the jacket looking front and the full swishy skirt in back.

It looks like this Kay Unger dress is going to be a favorite among seamstresses. Those sleeves! The tiny half belt with decorative buckle! The neckline reminds me of another Kay Unger pattern, Vogue 1241, which I have yet to make. I think this dress is really pretty, but this fabric is too shiny for my taste.

I own the famed Jalie jeans pattern - not that I've made it up yet - but really want some narrow legged red jeans. Skinny jeans found in stores are just too tight for me. I've tried on a bunch, but never seam to like them. They make my lower torso look huge in comparison to my legs, and I can't get use to the proportions.

So those are my picks! I like 8780, but every time I try on a vest or cardigan with waterfall front at a store, I'm swimming in all the fabric of the front. Those seem to be designed for women with larger "girls". I also like the colorblocked draped dress 8763, but am unsure how the back of it will turn out. If these patterns get made up and I like the looks of them, I will probably purchase them too.

I'm currently trying to get a silk top completed but am running into some fit issues. (Too big in the bust.) Hopefully that will be finished today. Have a great weekend, y'all!