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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fabric for the pea coat

These are the Pantone Fall 2008 Colors and I'm loving them all. Especially the Caribbean Sea.

This is the fabric for the coat and lining for the first coat I'll be doing for "The Great Coat Sew-along".

The fabric is 100% wool turquoise coating (54" wide). The lining fabric is Black, Turquoise, Blue, Gray, White and Blue Pattern on Charmeuse Fabric - 100% polyester (59" wide). Even though it's synthetic, it feels wonderful!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hot Patterns 1016 - Riviera Hello, Sailor! Pants

Marc by Marc Jacobs Lace up sailor pants, $124; McQ Sailor pants, $510. Net-A-Porter.com

Project Details:

Pattern: Hot Patterns 1016
Fabric: Denim (100% cotton)
Lining: Lightweight broadcloth (poly/cotton blend)
Notions: Twelve 1/2" button, two 3/4" buttons, fourteen 1/4" eyelets and 1 yd of cord

Description: "Every girl needs a pair of sexy-casual Sailor Pants! Try this funky style, designed for fabrics like denim, faille, twill, or heavy linen, but just as fabulous in any solid colored, smooth textured, medium weight Pants fabric. Slim-fit Sailor Pants have a super-flattering flared-bootcut leg, with a deep stitched hem and optional front & back creases. Pants feature back darts, a front buttoned panel and buttoned waistband, with lacing at the back. Contoured waistband finishes at the natural waist; contrast or self colored topstitching adds a clean, crisp finish. Try these yummy Sailor Pants as a perfect resort or dressy alternative to Jeans, and team them with our Riviera Pennant Blouse or our Riviera Once, Twice, Three Times a T-Shirt for a breezy, warm-weather look."

As you know, I had a rocky start with this pattern until Trudy got me on the right path. Once I figured out the flap, the instructions were a breeze and the drafting was impeccable. There was nothing about this pattern that I disliked! As with any pants pattern, I altered the length. I added 4 1/8" to the length. I made my alteration 1" below the knee. I also took in the side seams right below the waistband to right above the hip, around 1/2" on each side. Here is a peek at the inside. Here is the back. I really love the corseted back. This is my favorite part.

On the notions list, it stated around 1/2 yd of cord or lacing. Well, when I was buying it, I looked at the length and it didn't look long enough. I bought a yard and I'm glad I did. Actually, I could have bought 2 yds if I really wanted some length. Trudy advised that I could use beads on the ends and I went with that. I found some really pretty filigree type spacers that I thought would look great and capture the essence of the buttons. Also, the instructions suggested around 8 eyelets. That didn't seem like enough to hold the back closed. Since there is no facing in the back, I decided to use 14 (like the Marc Jacobs pants). The pants are finished with a 2" topstitched hem.

All in all, I was very impressed with this pattern. It lacked all of the excessive design ease that the Big 4 is notorious for. The waistband fit perfectly and that's a part that I always seem to have to tweak for a decent fit. If this is a style that you would be interested, I highly recommend this pattern. I will probably sew this one over in a black wool crepe for Fall.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hot Patterns: Carrie-d Away Suit

Carrie's vintage suit
"The bride wore a dress by no one." - Anthony

Carrie on her wedding day!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Vogue 1040 - Classic White Trouser

What is Summer without a pair of crisp, classic white trousers?
Image from the NYPost

Project Details:

Pattern: Vogue 1040 - Badgley Mischka
Fabric: Cotton twill
Notions: One 7" Zipper, One 5/8" Button, Hook and Eye Closures

Unlined pants have fly front, side seam pockets with topstitching detail, back darts, buttonhole welt pockets, contoured self-faced waistband with hook and eye closure. Pants sit 1" below waist.

Even though the pattern envelope seemed to focus more on the jacket (which is fabulous and I will probably make this Fall), I was still drawn to the line of the pants. I decided to use a cotton twill, because I wanted a fabric that could stand on it's own without a lining. I used cotton batiste for the pieces that required lining fabric.

The instructions were great and the pattern was well drafted. I made my usual lengthening alteration to produce a 36" inseam... on these it was around 5". These pants have a "real" front fly and inseam pockets. The also have back darts, single welt pockets and no carriers... so the waistband fit had to be *perfect*. When I made my muslin on these, the gappage at the CB was awful... even with a contoured waistband! The waistband is constructed in two pieces: The left side and the right side. I sewed the pants together without closing the back. I sewed the waistbands onto each side and basted the CB seam so that I could try them on and determine how large of a seam I needed to sew. I added the facing. I would normally use a seam binding, but since the waistband is so narrow, I just finished it by handstitching it down. I then made a 1 3/4" hem.

I love this style of trouser... this is the style that I would normally purchase in RTW. The only thing that I didn't like is the front pocket construction. I wish they had been constructed where the pockets extend to the CF. That is only a minor problem. If/when I make these again, I will just redraft the pockets to do that.

My top!

Project Details:

Pattern: Simplicity 2971, view F
Fabric: lightweight double knit
Notions: 1/4" elastic and jewels

A girl just can't have too many embellished tanks in her life! LOL This is truly one of those "afternoon, turn a movie on and sew" type of projects. The side seams were done on the serger, and the yoke facing was sewn down while topstitching the yoke. Elastic is added across the back. I think that is a nice feature. I also added elastic to the bottom edge. Instead of sewing, I decided to glue on the embellishments. I can't get enough of these fun, easy tops. They are becoming a Summer staple in my closet!

Happy Father's Day!

They say...

hangs the stars, moon and the sun. I agree!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Simplicity Fall Preview

New Simplicity Patterns HERE!

And I like this for my son:

Trudy at Hotpatterns is the BOMB!!!

I had a FABULOUS phone conversation with Trudy Hanson of Hotpatterns and received my "lightbulb moment". Can we just say I feel real dumb! ROFL It was so simple... but sometimes the simplest things JUST.DON'T.CLICK. LOL

Okay... here's how it works:

#8 on the instructions:

Step 1:

"Join the fabric layer of the front panel lining to the pants front"

First, you need to reinforce the stitching lines (the one that looks like a dart). Then mark a 5/8" seam allowance on the front panel lining piece. If the right side of the piece is facing up, your seam allowance should be on the left side.

Step 2:

"sew along the outer stitch line on the pants"

You sew this part right sides together. THIS is where I went wrong.

Step 3:

"Carefully slash the pants fronts open, about 1/8" inside the stitchline"

Step 4:

"Press the seam allowances towards the center front"
Step 5: Voila!!!

"This is what it should look like"

I should have these made up by this weekend!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hotpatterns is kicking my...

I have never, EVER been so frustrated with a pattern before in my life! I spent yesterday working on a muslin for
The problem I've been having is the front flap. Here are the instructions (click image to enlarge):
You see where the I placed the red arrow? The pattern marking looks like a dart. The instructions says to sew the edge of the "L" shaped piece to the outer stitch line. Okay... THIS is where confusion sets in. The instructions said that all pieces should be sewn right side to right side unless specified differently. This would cause the unfinished edge to show!

Has anyone else tried this pattern yet?

Sidenote: Just so you know I'm not losing it, Mimi is having the same problem. I think we need to certify this pattern a dud.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Moving along...

So... have you all seen "Sex and the City"? I thought it was wonderful. As with everyone else, I cried and I laughed. As much as I loved the fashion, this movie was more about friendship... true friendship that you rarely see. And, it focused on how fabulous women over 40 can be!

Since I loved the movie so much, my wonderful husband picked me up the movie book and the soundtrack! The book is full of behind the scenes tidbits and fabulous glossy movie stills!

Sex and the City (Hardcover) and Music from the Original Motion Picture (Soundtrack)

My favorite part was in the back, they listed all of the designers for every outfit worn!




and my personal favorite,

I absolutely loved Miranda's wardrobe... especially the outfit from the bridge!

Did you guys like? What did you think?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Better late than never!

As you see, I didn't make it in time for the Mini-Wardrobe Contest. I figured I wouldn't. This suit was just not an afternoon project.

Project Details:

Pattern: Vogue 1053- Montana
Fabric: Dupioni Silk
Lining: Rayon Challis & China Silk
One pair of 1/2" shoulder pads, twelve 5/8" buttons, two hook & eye closures, 7" zipper.

Description: Fitted, partially interfaced lined jacket with welt pockets and flaps, princess seams, front inset button closing, two-piece sleeves with button vents. Semi-fitted pants with front fly closing, side front pockets and below waistline fit with button carriers.

This jacket is cut just like any basic princess seam jacket. I needed to make a 1" FBA on the jacket and facing pieces. That was the only alteration to the pattern I needed to make. Suprisingly, I didn't have to lengthen the sleeves.

All of the jacket pieces (except the sleeves) are interfaced. The jacket has welt pockets. I decided that mine would be "faux" pockets. I omitted the pocket bags because I can not recall a time I have ever used pockets on a suit jacket.

I decided I would use a print for my lining. Unfortunately on short notice, I couldn't find a silk type of fabric that I liked. I did however discover a rayon challis print that would really coordinate with my wardrobe colors. I used black china silk for the sleeves... for the slide factor. I used keyhole buttonholes on the faux vest inset and I think they turned out very nicely... a lot better than I see on some RTW. The jacket also has 2-piece sleeves with a three-button vent. The entire edge of jacket is topstitched 1/8" from the edge. The hem of the jacket and sleeves were both interfaced for stability.

The pants are a basic trouser. The only alteration I made to them was lengthening by six inches. If not, the original 30" inseam would have been a capri pant on me. These pants have side pockets with a tab closure. They have a real fly front! I love a real fly... just like on men's trousers. They have a plain darted back, and my favorite part are the tab carriers. I really love this suit. I have planned on doing a few suits between now and the end of the year, just to add to my wardrobe. This isn't just a plain suit... it has pizazz and it's a fantastic addition. It's too unique to have more than one, so this will be it for this pattern.

Claude Montana
is known for his figure-hugging designs, and this is certainly one!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Yves Saint Laurent has died

Yves Saint Laurent, the most influential designer in French couture in the last 50 years, died today in Paris at the age of 71. He rose to prominence in 1957, when he replace Christian Dior after his death. He soon began the YSL label after a brief stint in the French Military and dominated fashion in the 60's and 70's with "Le Smoking," an elegantly tailored feminine version of traditional men's tuxedo wear. He showed his last collection in January 2002, before being replaced by Tom Ford.