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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Birmingham Fashion Week Kicks Off!

BFW was founded on the ideals of bringing unity to our community through fashion. Local and national designers, alongside local and national boutiques, will gather together to promote and inspire our rising stars. Models, make-up and hair stylists will showcase their talents on the runway, while encouraging locals and visitors to explore the creative talents of Birmingham. 
Heidi Elnora (Project Runway, season 2) and her friend Jeana Lee Fleming started Birmingham Fashion Week in 2011. Both are fashion designers with boutiques in Birmingham who thought, why can't "high fashion" have a southern spotlight?  I agree!

Last night, Mikaela and I attended the first leg of Birmingham Fashion Week.  Our local Saks Fifth Avenue sponsored an "Emerging Designers" reveal.  Here's a peek at a few of the designs that grabbed my attention:

And it was pretty chilly last night and since I didn't want to drag around a coat, I dressed in black layers:

My faux leather leggings have become a major wardrobe staple for this winter.  They keep me warm, they're black and manage to go with everything!

Today, I'm hanging in the sewing room, but I'll be under the tent on tomorrow and hopefully I'll have some great fashionable pictures to share!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Local Event! Bridal Trunk Show at Belk!

Belk to Host Bridal Trunk Show with Southern Designer Showcase Winner Faith Thornburg
WHAT: Savannah, Ga.- based designer and 2012 Southern Designer Showcase winner Faith Thornburg will hold a bridal trunk show at Belk the Summit this Sunday, Feb. 24. The designer of one-of-a-kind bridal gowns will meet with customers, discuss their dream wedding dress and sketch her ideas for each dress in store. From that sketch, Thornburg will create a custom gown that the customer will pick up at their local Belk store upon completion.

Thornburg will showcase sample dresses while light appetizers and refreshments are served.

WHO: Savannah based designer Faith Thornburg is a winner of Belk’s inaugural Southern Designer Showcase Competition in 2012 and was featured in ELLE Magazine in 2011. She works with clients to create custom wedding gowns, eveningwear, and cocktail dresses, giving her the chance to be a part of a special moment in each woman’s life. She has shown collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City and Charleston Fashion Week in Charleston, S.C. Thornburg is a graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design.
WHEN: Feb. 24, 2013
1:00 – 4 p.m.

Where: Belk at the Summit

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review: Simplicity 2446 | Bring on the Brights!

Readying myself for Spring!  Pantone calls this color, this year -- Lemon Zest!
All of last spring and summer, I wanted this yellow blazer.  I even cut it out.  But somehow I became distracted and this project fell by the wayside.  But nevertheless, I rediscovered it bagged away and decided it was the perfect time to revisit it.  Well, this is Simplicity 2446.
This is an Amazing Fit pattern from Simplicity, so it's chocked full of great tips for the novice jacket sewer.  I have my own point of references I use.  The pattern was drafted in a great way. I could truly see this one as becoming my tried-and-true blazer pattern.
Since this pattern offers cup sizes, there was no need for the dreaded FBA.  So I cut the C cup and kept it moving.  This is the so-called longer version of what was offered, so I decided not to lengthen and to see if I liked it.  Since this pattern is drafted with 1" seam allowances in all of the important places, I just nipped/tucked and tweaked as needed.  This was my first time sewing this pattern and I truly detest making a muslin, so this became my "test garment".
Maybe I'm weird, but muslins just don't do it for me.  I have to have a fully completed garment to tell what adjustments need to be made.  With a muslin, I can't tell if the pockets will lay flat or how the jacket will actually wear, especially after the lining has been inserted.  If it's a pattern I really like, I don't mind making it all over again.  Like a plan on doing with this one.
The fabric is a 100% cotton twill from my stash.  I can't remember where it was purchased... I should really label the fabric before I fold it away.  The lining is Bemberg from Joanns and so are the buttons.
I love a jacket pattern with a 2-piece vented sleeve.
Here is the faux pocket flap and the inseam pocket.
As of right now, I have another version of this jacket already cut out and ready to sew.  This time, I'm making a couple of changes:
  • I lengthened the body of the jacket by 1 inch.
  • I lengthened the sleeves by 1 inch.
  • I decided to omit the inseam unusable pockets.
  • I plan on trying to refine the fit of the back of the jacket, by tapering a little more at the waist.
  • And I'm going to decide if I really like this two-button style or if I should modify it to a single-button closure.
  • And also, I'm going to add a fourth button to the sleeve vent.  I have long arms so there's plenty of room.
So there's no question of will I make this again.  The real question is how many will I make.  I have another jacket pattern cut out, that has more advanced details (i.e. welt pockets) that I'll tackle after this next one.  But who knows, maybe I'll end up combining the two and creating my own pattern.

Wearing with my jacket:  Similar jacket HERE and HERE; blouse: Prabal Gurung for Target; skirt:  Vogue 8711; tights: Spanx; shoes: Prabal Gurung for Target; clutch: old, similar HERE and HERE.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

What I'm Wearing | Mixed Prints and a Movie!

So... how was that Super Bowl?  Go RAVENS!
And speaking of the World Champion Baltimore Ravens... Remember that movie, "The Coalition" that I worked on?  Well... it's being released on DVD and Blu-Ray today!  

I couldn't be more excited and proud of my friend Monica Mingo, who wrote her dream down and made it happen!  And you have to know that Terrell Suggs is on cloud 9, after winning the Vince Lombardi trophy on Sunday night and today his first feature film is being released.  Sounds like a great week to me!
Here is the movie site -- The Coalition.  So if you're interested in seeing it, it's available at Wal-Mart and Target, in-store and online.  And also Amazon.com.  If you see, let me know what you think about the wardrobe!  Oh... and the movie! ;-)
Wearing:  Pea coat:  Vogue 2873; striped top:  McCall's 6355; brocade moto jeans:  Vogue 2973;  sunnies:  Karen Walker; pumps:  Sam Edelman.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Review: Vogue 1762 (OOP) | Weekend Wear!

This is OOP Vogue 1762 - Yves Saint Laurent (that's a designer label that makes me sit up and pay attention) from 1996.  It's from the YSL 1995 Fall RTW Collection.  Why did Vogue Patterns stop providing offerings from YSL?!  Those collections are always amazing!
YSL Fall 1995 Collection
I don't know if this pattern is quite old enough to be considered "vintage", even if it is almost 20 years old.  But just as I said when I made my Byron Lars pattern, it's about as much vintage as I can take without feeling all "costumey" or like I'm attending a theme party.  Peter wrote a great blog post on this very subject.  
The description of this pattern is:  Very loose-fitting, A-line, lined, below hip jacket has dropped shoulders, flap, pockets, back pleat, side slits, carriers, belt and long sleeves with pleat and shaped cuffs.
In my last post, I mentioned that I'd misplaced a sheet of instructions.  Well, it was for this pattern.  So I completely winged it.  Right or wrong, this is how it turned out.  Pretty darn good if I do say so myself.  It looks pretty close to the runway version.
Being that this is an A-line/dropped shoulder fitting jacket, I sewed it straight out of the envelope.  No alterations/modifications needed. I did however omit the carriers.  I wanted the option of using different belts or no belt at all. 
And even though the from the picture, I don't believe the pattern suggested... but I decided to edge stitch and top stitch.  It gave the jacket a more casual feel and the surplus style that I wanted.  And I really, really adore the French cuffs.
My fabric is a cotton twill and buttons are both from Mood Fabrics.

Wearing: faux leather leggings, Enzo Angiolini boots, Nine West clutch, BCBG necklace.
My tip for not looking dated in these types of patterns (even though I think this jacket is pretty chic and timeless) is by mixing it with current styles and trends.  This way it will look modern and fresh.