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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Vogue 8480 - The Freesia Trench Jacket

Project Details

Pattern: Vogue 8480
Fabric: Silky Wool
Lining: Silk Charmeuse
Notions: Bias tape, chain, five - Dritz Cover Buttons (1 1/8"), five - 1/2" buttons, one - 1" button, Palmer/Pletsch PerfectFuse Medium Interfacing

Description: Unlined Lined jacket has front and back princess seams, pockets in side front seams extending into pleats, back lower section with pleat, cropped flared sleeve, self faced front, back yoke and topstitching detail.

The instructions were very easy to follow and all of the pattern pieces were very well drafted. There was nothing that I disliked about this pattern. I really love the topstitched details, the pleating. The pockets could have been larger and deeper though.

I was browsing in Hancock and discovered this fabric and it just happened to be the perfect color. When I saw this pattern, I knew right then that I would make it in one of the "happy" Spring colors and I knew it had to be bright... a standout color. This fabric was with the wools & wool blends and was on sale when they were. The label said, "100% silky wool". It feels wonderful and it has the texture of a twill.

The Inside

The fabric was a bit lightweight for my jacket standards, so I decided to line it. I had leftover silk charmeuse from the Chanel project and decided to partially line... only the body and not the sleeves. For all of the exposed seams, I used a Hong Kong finish. And I added a hang chain.

Oh, almost forgot... I added 3 inches the body and the sleeves.

The Buttons and Buttonholes

I couldn't for the life of me find buttons that "did it for me". I did my usual and just covered them. All of the high-end RTW jackets I saw had bound buttonholes and of course mine would have them too. I used regular machine buttonholes on the facing. I also decided to use a button to hold the lapel down (just a design feature), since I'll never fastened it up to the neck. I reinforced the shank buttons on the facing side with the 1/2" flat buttons by stitching through both buttons.

The Undercollar and Center Back Seam

The undercollar is traditionally cut on the bias in two pieces with a center back seam. This is essential to make the collar roll softly around your neck. This pattern has a full pattern piece. I folded the pattern piece in half and creased it at the center back. I opened it out and added a cutting line 5/8" from the crease. I cut along the line to create a new undercollar pattern and added a bias grain arrow so I would remember to cut it that way.

The instructions suggested that center back seam of the jacket is pressed to one side and topstitched 3/8" from the seam. I didn't like that at all... it lacked symmetry. I pressed the seam allowance open and created a welt seam which is a regular seam pressed open and topstitched from the right side on both sides of the seam.

All of the hems are 1 1/4" wide and interfaced. An interfaced hem adds weight and improves the way a garment hangs. Also, at the mitered corners, I inserted a penny into each one for additional weight so that the corners would hang correctly.

Even with the minor changes I made, I think it still looks like the pattern envelope.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Safari Jackets for the Urban Jungle this Spring!

Another hot must have this Spring is the Safari Jacket! It's a fun and fresh way to revitalize a classic and kick up khaki, which is a great base color.

How to make it new?
Take out the boxiness and leave the gun belts in the Serengeti!

What to wear them with?
Stella McCartney pairs them with colorful, floral skirts. Versace shows the jacket itself in white. Michael Kors naturally pairs them with white. I would put them with a white jean or trousers made in cotton twill or linen. Belt them! Accesorize with metallic, wooden or leather jewelry. Wear them with espadrilles or fabulous wooden platform sandals!

What pattern to use?

Vogue 8208

Monday, February 25, 2008

My Spring 2008 Palette!

PANTONE® 16-0924
CMYK 15 23 50 5
GOE 145-2-1

PANTONE® 14-0852
CMYK 0 14 100 0
GOE 6 -1-2

PANTONE® 15-1239
CMYK 0 37 48 0
GOE 15 -1- 3

Daiquiri Green
PANTONE® 12-0435
CMYK 23 1 60 0
GOE 135-2-1

Snorkel Blue
PANTONE® 19-4049
CMYK 100 49 7 13
GOE 81-1- 5

Silver Gray
PANTONE® 14-0000
CMYK 38 28 32 2
GOE 157-1-1

Croissant will be my base color (like black was last Summer). I am loving warm, cheerful Freesia! It's an uplifting and inviting color to which people are instinctively drawn. It is also a color that allows for diverse accessorizing opportunities in handbags and shoes. Against neutrals, luscious Cantaloupe is warm and nurturing - a great addition to any wardrobe, especially when paired with chocolate browns. Daiquiri Green is revitalizing and vibrant Snorkel Blue, is as dependable as navy, but with more animation and sophistication. Glitzy Silver Gray has a sheen reminiscent of the popular metallics of this past Fall that add a touch of excitement to any outfit. Also, expect to see black, white and chocolate in my palette. No matter what colors are trés chic, those will always be present!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Vogue Pants!

Project Details

Pattern: Vogue 8156, View A
Body: wool crepe (with a small amount of stretch)
Lining: china silk
Notions: 7" zipper, four 3/4" buttons, two 5/8" buttons, hook and eyes, bias binding, hem tape

Description: Straight-legged pants (semi-fitted through the hip) have contour yoke with front button closure, mock fly zipper, carriers, back welt pocket with button flap.

Other than the fact that I decided to use to back pockets instead of one and I omitted the cuffs, I think these pants look like the ones on the envelope when I was done sewing. The instructions were wonderful... there were no parts that I didn't understand or couldn't refer to one of my sewing books.

There was nothing that I didn't dislike about this pattern. What I liked most was that it was designed for a cuff, which provided extra inches for the inseam length. In my case, as I did not want a cuffed hem, this was perfect for me! I used a 1 1/2" hem.

I can't say I liked or disliked the waist ease. Claire Shaeffer's dartless construction method, as an alternative to darts is to use ease-basting before sewing on the waistband. Also, I would have preferred if the pants had an authentic fly instead of a mock one. What I loved best about these pants is the contour, wide waistband. This particular type of waistband is much more flattering on me than a narrower one. One funny thing is that I worked on these for what seemed like so long, that by the time I was done, I had actually lost a couple of inches and now they are a little big in the waist.

I recommend this pattern to anyone that is wanting to sew "outside of the box"... and to expand their knowledge.

Will I use this one again? Not his view, but I am planning a couple of more from view B with the darts.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

New Handbag!

Just wanted to share with you my Valentine's Day gift! I had been eyeballing this bag for a while.

P.S. I'll be posting a few a couple of reviews on Monday! Have a great weekend

Thursday, February 14, 2008

New HotPatterns!

Plain & Simple Boy-Short Body
....yes, the 80's are back!...

...skirt styles that work as hard as you do...

...comfy, stylish knitwear goodness!...

...so hot you might hurt yourself!...

Anything special planned for today?

I was told that he will take care of everything today, so I plan to just sit back and enjoy! Are you doing anything special?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Any Sewers in the D.C. Metro Area?

I was approached via email by a producer from National Public Radio (NPR), who is seeking:
"local groups who have changed the way they shop or have started sewing because of the increase of high fashion in popular culture (shows like Project Runway, What Not to Wear, etc.)"
If any of you in the D.C. area are interested, leave your email address or email me at ericabunker@ericabunker.com.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Biker Jackets for Spring!

Lucky, March 2008

Even before I picked up the March issue of Lucky, this jacket was on my list. Just so happens I have the perfect piece of fabric - white denim in my stash.

You don’t need to be a Harley-rider to rock a biker jacket. The notched collar and two-way zip front gives this modernized biker jacket some vintage flair. Pair it with your favorite pair of boot-cut jeans or even a skinny black pencil skirt, and you’ll be trendily styled for spring.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

YES. WE. CAN... Vote!

or forfeit your right to bitch complain!

Monday, February 04, 2008

What I dislike about Vogue 8477!

I've been looking for more knit top patterns. You know the kind... easy to make... even easier to put on! I thought about his new one that VP has. BUT, the one thing that bugs me about this top is -- the contrast trim. If you look at the view in the upper right corner, your eye is immediately drawn to the left breast! That is just not a good place to put contrasting. If contrasting is to go there, shouldn't it be on both sides? You know... to add symmetry! Something about this creates a lopsided effect. I know that most women have somewhat uneven breast, but do we really want to draw attention to that? I don't! ROFL I think I still may consider this pattern, but it will definitely be in a solid color.

TiVO Alert: Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton

Acclaimed director Loïc Prigent (he also directed SIGNE CHANEL), is bringing more insight behind the scenes of the fashion world. This time it's with Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton. It comes on tonight at 7pm CST/8pm EST on the Sundance channel. In case you miss tonight, it repeats on February 18th & 28th.

PS. You can pre-order the DVD on Amazon.

Updates coming soon...

Just checking in to let you guys know that I'm currently sewing and there will be updates soon! I guess you can say I'm in a "manic" sewing stage right now. My sewing mojo has come back something fierce. I finished Vogue 8156 and I liked them so much, I started on another pair! I also finished Vogue 7881, the other Claire Shaeffer couture pants. I didn't go through the entire couture sewing process for these. I did however thread trace the fly area, hand sew the zipper and used hair canvas as the interfacing. I'll tell you more about everything later this week.