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Friday, March 30, 2007

When I do it, I don't sell them!

Left, Diane vonFurstenberg, Cerisier Shift Dress - $325; right, Forever 21, Sabrina Dress - $32.80.
I'm sure you've heard by now via the fashion grapevine that Diane vonFurstenberg is suing mass market retailer Forever 21 for copyright infringement. Okay... look at the two dresses there, side-by-side... with the exception of the neckline, they are practically identical... same fabric and everything. I don't blame Diane, I'd be pissed too! It's one thing to recreate an "inspired by" version, but this is a blatant knockoff... same fabric and everything. As a sewer, I would love to turn them both inside out and compare construction. I can guarantee that after a couple of wears, the Forever 21 dress would be falling apart at the seams.

This is a store that I would NEVER purchase anything for myself from because of shoddy workmanship. I don't do DISPOSABLE CLOTHES! However, I do shop there for my 15 year old daughter who is still growing and likes trendy clothes. I promise you that while in there, we have to comb over every garment with a fine toothed comb. There are overlock threads hanging everywhere, seams are uneven and practically falling apart in the fitting rooms.

Where do you draw the line between a knockoff or a cheap alternative?

What's your shape?

I've discovered the coolest site and wanted to share in case you guys weren't already familiar with it. It's called myShape.com. It assists you in finding clothes that flatter your body type. For most of you that sew, you should already have your basic measurements handy and you just fill in the blanks. It uses this information to identify which one of The 7 Body Shapes is yours. It takes a few minutes but I think it's neat to have... to give you ideas on what ideally flatters your particular figure.
I am Shape M - Women with softened, straight figures and fairly straight shoulderlines. They have rounded bottoms and the difference between their waist and hip measurements is 7 inches or more.


Because of my strong shoulder line and curves, non-bulky double knits, jerseys and crepes capture my shape beautifully.

Keep fabrics, designs and cuts well-fitted and defined; double knits in simple cuts without too much volume can be divine.


Lots of open necklines: deep V's, U's and scoops flatter my shape.

Surplice (mock wrap) and complete wrap styles enhance my curves.

Jackets & Tops:

Look for jackets in fitted cuts, nipped or defined at the waist with narrow lapels.

A simple one-button jacket with slender lapels and princess seaming elegantly skims my curves.

Shawl collar jackets lengthen the line and soften my curves.

Skirts & Dresses:

Sarong styles look wonderful, as do pencil skirts with a back kick pleat.

Indulge in princess seaming on a dress to outline my curves.

Soft A-lines and gored, flared skirts flatter by balancing my shoulder line.

Wrap A-line dresses perfectly wrap my shape.

Fitted sheaths that just skim the body are lovely.


Plain front pants with a flare or boot cut leg. Width at pant hem should be as wide as the hip.

Simple, boot cut slacks elongate the leg while flattering the curves.

Pant hems that skim the top of the heel keep the leg looking long.

Pockets & other details:

Keep pockets subtle and soft.

Cuffs on trousers are always a good idea SINCE my legs are long

RTW Inspirations

JS Boutique Embellished Matte Jersey Halter Dress - $158, Nordstrom

Anna Sui Leaves in Shadow Top - $148, Anthropologie

"L" ements of Style

I was watching the "L" Word tonight and it occurred to me that this is one of the best styled shows on t.v. Out of all of the characters, my favorite style is "Alice". Alice's style is very feminine and girlie and I love dresses. More inspiration found!

From top to bottom: Nanette Lepore - Mambo Dress - $270, Eluxury.com; Shoshanna - Embroidered Dress - $370, Neiman Marcus; Diane vonFurstenberg - Bellette Wrap Dress - $325, Nordstrom.

Monday, March 26, 2007

FYI - New Address

You can still still access this blog via http://boundbymyhook.blogspot.com

The new address is http://www.ericabunker.com - Erica B.'s - D.I.Y. Style!

Please update your bookmarks and blogrolls!

Saturday, March 24, 2007


is family time. No sewing on yesterday.... we celebrated my oldest daughter - Amber's 15th birthday. We went to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. We've been to the Tennessee Aquarium a couple of times and we decided to check out this one. Fun, fun, fun! Here are some pics from our day.

the entrance

Amber, me & Mikaela. Notice Amber's new Coach bag she got for her birthday.

Michael buying the tickets; Brian & Amber.

When we left there, it was so beautiful out - a balmy 80°, we headed to Centennial Park.

You know I had to get my pose on!

Seems somebody was getting a little tired on her day out.

I'm pretty sure I have the goofiest husband ever!

Michael, me & Mikaela

Community Service - Diva Style!

Naomi Campbell does community service like she works the catwalk. Only a "true diva" could pull this off!

Day 1 - Chanel newsboy cap, Ralph Lauren coat, Louboutin heels and toting a pair of work-ready combat boots.

Day 2 - Since it was a little chilly, she decided to wear a $1,995 Giuliana Teso fur jacket with a Borsalino fedora. Lets not fail to mention the diamond studs and Alexander McQueen sunglasses.

Day 3 - She arrived for the third day in a Burberry leather coat, Bottega Veneta boots and a Proenza Schouler bucket hat.

Day 4 - She steps in style in a pair of maroon Marc by Marc Jacobs boots, a purple satin Etro blouse with wide-leg J Brand jeans, and a very luxurious Pologeorgis fur.

Day 5 - She plays it "Oliver Twist" style... rocking a Hermes newsboy cap, rolled up Gap khakis and oversized Burberry cardigan paired with her now-familiar vintage work boots (see day 1). But wait...

For the Grand Finale - she donned a silver sequined couture Dolce & Gabbana gown. I'm pretty sure this was her way of giving the finger, and sped off in a matching silver Rolls-Royce.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Hancock Fabrics Files Chapter 11

Now where am I suppose to buy fabric locally?! They will be closing 134 stores. I sure hope the one conveniently located in my area will not be one.


Thanks Stacy for the link.

Update - here are the Birmingham locations that will be closing:

#1004 -7001 Crestwood Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35210
#1377 - 9078 Parkway East, Birmingham, AL 35206

Great... my two favorite locations aren't on the list! Not to be heartless, but these locations are wayyyyyyyyy on the other side of town and I've never even been in these, so I'm unaffected.

Vogue 2951 - DKNY Skirt

DKNY - Spring 2006

Project Details

Pattern: Vogue 2951
Fabric: Black & White Linen (55% linen/45% rayon)
Notions: 7" invisible zipper; hook and eye

Description: Skirt has pleated front with invisible zipper back closure, 1" below waist and above knee length.

I'm really getting into this voluminous, bulbous look of this season. I thought this skirt was really cute. It has "the look" without being too much. This little tulip shaped skirt is rated "Vogue Average", but IMHO, it should have been rated "easy". There were only SIX (6) pattern pieces and I sewed this in an afternoon with two DVDs!

This skirt is SO basic that it's not a lot to say. The pattern was easy to read, all of the pieces matched up perfectly. The pockets have french seams (which was different to me). The pattern suggested to finish the seams by turning them in ¼" on raw edge and stitch. I thought that this would be too bulky for my fabric. Instead, I serged the edges and pressed the seams open.

RTW Knockoff - Another DVF!

This is another version of this dress with this fabric. This time, I used a stand collar and added cuffs so that it would look a LOT more like the DVF dress here:

Vogue 2942 - Donna Karan Dress

Donna Karan - Spring 2006

Project Details

Pattern: Vogue 2942
Fabric: Organic Bamboo Knit (97% organic bamboo/3% spandex)
Lining: Tricot (100% polyester)
Notions: 1 3/8 yds. of 5/8" Ribbon; 1 1/8 yrds of ¼ elastic

Description: Tapered, lined, pullover dress, below mid-knee has close-fitting bodice, purchased ribbon shoulder straps, raised waistline, in-seam pockets, pleats and hem band with side slits.

This dress is Vogue Pattern's interpretation of one of the pieces from Donna Karan's Spring 2006 collection. I decided to only do the dress. This pattern is rated "Vogue Average" and has 13 pieces. The instructions were very easy to follow and the pieces were laid out well. I did however make small modifications. If you decide to make this dress, be sure to notice the length. I'm 5'9" barefoot and this dress would have stopped mid-calf on me. I adjusted all of the skirt pieces by shortening them by 3", so that when I added the hem bands it would fall just below the knee. No FBA was necessary since the darts lined up perfectly according to my bust measurements. Elastic is placed at the top of the bodice's back and front. I sewed this in using a stretch stitch (or I'm sure you also use a zig-zag).

One unique design feature is that the darts are sewn on the outside -- that's something you may want to pay close attention to. The skirt is attached to the bodice by leaving the pleated edges raw and sewn on top of the bodice. The overall construction of this dress is quite simple but the making of the pleats was really time consuming. I really like this dress and loved the way it is constructed. It's very comfy and flowy. I also decided to add a 2½" ribbon sash to provide a little more definition.