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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Inspiration: Baroque Style

So, lately I've been inspired by the baroque opulence that seems to be everywhere for this Fall. I'm completely seduced by the rich, gilded fabrics. I've been completely obsessed with the Balmain F/W 2010 collection since I first saw it. I fell in love with the hard-hitting rocker chic meets 17th century European style.

My favorite piece from this collection is this jacket:

I found a black, gold and silver metallic brocade that I feel will give me the "look" of my inspired jacket.

I'll wear my jacket open more than I would closed, so a single-breasted style would work better for me. I'm using Vogue 8333.

This project definitely calls for a "couture" pattern. I'll be working on this for the rest of the week.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Vogue 2899 - Little Black {40th Birthday} Dress

Project Details:

Pattern: Vogue 2899 - Guy Laroche

Pattern Sizing: 4 - 20, I cut the 16.

Description: Close-fitting, tapered, self-lined dress, below mid-knee has front drape and concealed front neck band which extends into back shoulder straps (one gathered and one concealed), princess seams with ruched detail (no pocket), and back zipper.

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Exactly!

Fabric: Black Matte Jersey from my stash.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they were pretty easy. But let's not confuse EASY with QUICK. There is a lot of hand stitching for a jersey dress. It took a little longer than I thought it would, but it wasn't difficult.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I was looking for something really unique, that would be a standout look. I didn't want anything too basic or something every other woman has in her closet. I had forgotten about this pattern and (re)discovered it a couple of months ago while I was sorting my pattern stash.

I love that this is a Guy Laroche runway look for the Spring/Summer 2005 collection.

I love the gathered neckline...

The drape...
The concealed shoulder straps...

The side ruching that looks like pockets, but they aren't...

And how the seams lined up perfectly!

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I only had to add 2" to the length.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? If this is your style, I highly recommend it. I would love to sew this again. This is such a fabulous dress. I would love to make it in ivory, like the runway version.
Conclusion: I made this for my 40th birthday dress and it didn't fail. My husband absolutely LOVES this dress on me! It was the perfect look for what I was going for!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

New Vogues!

I was surprised to find that Vogue has released new patterns. A few of them are cute and I'll probably pick them up on the next sale.

Vogue 1205 - Kay Unger

I love the lines of this dress. I think it would really be flattering.

I hate the fabric on the envelope. But look at the line drawing. This dress has great potential.

Again, I'm not fond at all of the unfortunate fabric choice. But I really love the back and the full skrit. I love a dress that you can eat in!

I really like this for evening/cocktail look. I could wear this with a little sequin tank and black pants or dark wash jeans.

You can see the rest here!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Up next, the LBD!

My next project will be "The Little Black Dress"! A lot of descriptions say that it should be a "simple" dress that goes from day to evening. Hmmmm... last I checked, I can sew! I've already made several LBDs and if need be or I decide I *want* another one, I'll just make one. So I decided to make myself a "Little Black Cocktail Dress"! I was thinking of something with a lot of panache and a lot of sex appeal! I am 40 and FABULOUS you know! And my 19th wedding anniversary is coming up next month, so I'll have a great opportunity to wear it.

If you're looking for inspiration on making a LBD, check out the above book and also

And I hope you didn't miss...

I should have a post of my dress by this weekend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Today, I leave my 30's behind...

And now I'm...
And loving it!

Happy Birthday to me!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

From Wadder to Wardrobe!

Have you ever sewn something and completely hated it? I have... on several occasions. I sewed this pattern back in 2009 (I don't even remember exactly when):
All I can remember is I didn't like it and it was tossed into a bin. Well, a few days ago I was going through that bin. I was sorting out old clothes to drop off at the Salvation Army store and came across that same top. I paused to look at it while trying to jar my memory of when I made it and why it was in there. Then I tried it on...

Needless to say, I liked it and I wore it yesterday with my Vogue 1034 jeans. This top will be in my wardrobe rotation as a great t-shirt alternative. I guess sometimes you really need to put things down and walk away, even if it's for more than a year!

Has this ever happened to you?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Butterick 5526 - White shirt with rolled tab sleeves

Project Details:

Pattern: Butterick 5526

Pattern Sizing: 6-12. I cut the 16.
The skirt is Vogue 8455 (OOP) that I made about 2 years ago!

Description: Fitted shirt have collar band, shaped hemline, long rolled sleeves (wrong side shows) and button tabs., front-button closing, topstitch trim and narrow hem, button trim on pleated pockets, front bands and princess seams.
Justify FullDid it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Well, kind of... with modifications.

Fabric: White oxford shirting from Jo-Anns (70% cotton/30% polyester).
Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't really use them because I've made a couple of shirts before.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love a pattern with several variations that can be mixed and matched.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:

  • I used the princess seam front and the plain back.
  • I altered the back to create a yoke.
  • I also added 2" to the length. I don't know why these types of shirts are drafted so short. They don't even give you enough length to tuck the shirt in.
  • I used flat fell seams.
  • I also used snaps instead of buttons.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would possibly sew this pattern again. I've been wanting to make a chambray shirt, so I may use this one again.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What I Did Yesterday!

I had been dying to see "The Golden Age of Couture" exhibit every since I'd read that it was coming to the Frist Center in Nashville. I had been extremely busy for most of the summer getting Amber ready for college. And for almost every weekend since she's been at Alabama State University in Montgomery, she's been wanting to come home. It's been A LOT of driving back and forth for Michael and I. I was in awe that something so fabulous was within driving distance from my home. I made it a priority to see this exhibit before it left, because today is the last day.

The required shot in front of the sign!
What is "The Golden Age of Couture", I'm sure some of you may be asking? It was the period in fashion history that begin in 1947, that celebrated the end of World War II and the birth of a new [fashion] era. This new decade began with the launch of Christian Dior's New Look that set a standard for dressmaking and high fashion. "The Golden Age" was brought to an end in 1957 with Dior's death.
From this point, cameras and cellphones were prohibited inside of the galleries. I had to take quick notes and dog ear pages in the exhibition guide to remember what I liked. I'm using pictures from HERE , HERE and HERE to help with the visuals so you guys will see just how FABULOUS this exhibition was!

There were so many breathtaking garments that I felt completely overwhelmed. But I'd like to show you first my favorite dress there:

Hubert de Givenchy - "Les Muguets" (Lily of the Valley) Evening Dress (1955 - Paris)
Silk organdie embroidered with sequins

The pictures do not do this dress justice. It was simply incredible to look at. All of the rich detailing was amazing! This was one that I really wish I could have seen the inside. I would have loved to see the foundation. And from the outside, there appeared to be about a 3 inch hem.

Jean Dessès - "Afternoon Dress" for Princess Margaret (1951 - Paris)
Silk, silk and nylon net, and a metal zipper

image source

The bias cut pleated bodice along with the full skirt is simply impeccable! As Rachel Zoe would say, "I die!" And even though this dress is from 1951, it could EASILY be worn in 2010!

Christian Dior - "Pérou" Evening Dress (Autumn/Winter 1954-55 Paris)
Silk satin, the dress was embroidered with gilt and silver metal thread

The description said that the embroidery is "heavy and dense" and why the dress was made as a short evening dress. And it took 600 hours to complete! Credit must be given to Brossin de Méré, who did all of the work! This is another one that looked absolutely amazing in person.

Christian Dior "Bosphore" Short Evening Dress (Autumn/Winter 1956 Paris)
Silk velvet, embroidered by Rébé with pearls, gold thread and cabolochons

As you can tell, I was drawn to a lot of the beaded and embroidered dresses. I was completely captivated by all of the detailed work.

And then there was tailoring...

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel "Three-piece Suit" (Mid-1950s Paris)
Tweed and jersey

This suit was part of Chanel's comeback collection in 1954. She challenged the "excesses of couture".
"Femininity had gone too far -- you needed stagecoach luggage to pack your frocks in and ladies' maids to fix the trimmings and petticoats. Chanel simplified clothes to meet modern needs."
- Pat Cunningham, editor of Vogue
Tailored Suits by Cristóbal Balenciaga
(from left to right) Tweed lined with taffeta and silk (Autumn/Winter, 1951); Tweed lined with silk (Autumn/Winter, 1954) and Tweed with coiled metal buttons (Autumn/Winter, 1954).

And for kicks...

Miss Virginia Lachasse
This doll was used by the Lachasse couture house to show the type of wardrobe a couture client would usually have. It included lingerie, accessories, jewelry and the tiniest pair of nylon stockings I've ever seen!

This exhibition was wonderful and I feel as if I've had a course in fashion history! And for a keepsake, I'm ordering the coffee table book from Amazon.com!