Monday, January 30, 2012

Transparency in Sewing & Art

artwork by Matthew Cox.
Practiced french seams and making my own bias tape (!) with this number - a black nylon shell, I guess you'd call it.  I plan to wear it as a layering device, you know, over or under things, especially since it's transparent.

I used the Happy Homemade Vol. 1 Japanese pattern book as a basis for it, but strayed so far from it, I doubt you could tell it's from blouse S originally.  I thought I graded the pattern to my measurements, but it came out far, far too big.  Thus the cute plackets at the neckline center front and back, not to mention the 4 inches taken in at the armhole sides.  But hey, it's a learning experience and causes me to do things I wouldn't have thought of otherwise...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cut the Shift!

drawing by kt small.


Just finished a linen vest that I converted from an old mini dress/ jumper.  The kind of jumper that you wear a blouse or sweater under - not the English version jumper.  It had a deep V-neck and over-large armholes, straight and short...remember that style?  It practically looked like a vest already.  It's a very light weight linen, light in color too.  I cut in straight down the middle, smothered it with laces and textures, and put gigantic pockets on it.  Just luv it now.  Like a smock I can work and play in.  oooo.  And then in the middle of it all, I made a detachable feather boa collar for it.  Well, for anything really.  Check. it. out.

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Madeline Dress

"Madeline" by Ludwig Bemelmans.
I've reworked an old hand-made little black dress that no longer had what it takes (ahem...it didn't fit).  It was made from black cotton embroidered eyelet.  woo-hoo!  First I looked for some black fabric for the side inserts, but nothing struck my fancy.  Then up jumped this remaining scrap of dove gray cotton embroidered eyelet.  Perfecto.

I basically ended up seam ripping the heck out of this dress.  Turns out I had originally put a fake button placket down the front of the dress to take up extra fabric - and added a center seam down the back for the same reason.  rip, rip, rip, and remove all those 9 white plastic heart buttons (yuck).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

In Need of Pantaloons

artwork by Marilyn Murphy
Dug through my stash of "does not fit clothing" and found 3 pair of yoga capri-length pants that actually do fit - well let's say I can get them on easily enough, but in certain areas they fit more like leggings.  But as ever, I saw potential!  Pantaloons, says I.  And just in time for the dip in winter temperatures - I could use something warming under all those skirts I've been making.

I recently saw instructions for making ruffles that was brilliant (unfortunately I can't remember where).  The kind where you don't gather them, they just gently ruffle as if cut on the bias.  The technique was to just cut a spiral out of a small section of cloth, I mean

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Am Kimono Cut ReDo

artwork by Kyung Oak Lee.
Went back to work on my Kimono Dress from my first Japanese Sewing Book, I Am Cute Dresses.  This is the one that, while translated into English, you still have to create your own pattern based on your measurements and the diagrams.

I've since learned that I had enlarged the scale incorrectly and that's why it never really fit well.  Now that I know more about grading and the slash-and-spread method, I decided it was time to adjust my kimono dress as best I could from where it's at.

While it seemed counter-intuitive (& practically sacrilegious), I went with taking in an inch at both the back and front center (thereby creating a center seam in the middle of the front and back panel!)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Over, Under, Sideways, Down

 Patti Smith & Robert Mapplethorpe c.1969,
Gerard Malanga, photographer.
That's the T-shirt skirt.  And it's reversible - in theory at least.  I think it turned out pretty neat.  Nice weight to it with that lining.  Anyway, I was given a men's dark gray T.  I thought I'd try my hand at making a skirt out of it...and then along the way decided to make it reversible using this light pink T I had.  Liked the combo.  I used the waistband of some old yoga pants that happened to be the same color as the gray shirt.  Lucky me.  Then I thought, why not use the T shirt sleeves for pockets.

Warning:  what follows is a blow-by-blow account of the making.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Once Was Lost...

photo by Maggie Osterberg.
Found some old jeans (high-waisted with a pleated front, baggy but light-weight and very faded).  And they didn't fit.  So, I removed the front of the waistband that covered the pleats and unpleated them allowing the pants to hang lower on my hips.  Added another waistband to fit from scrap fabric in a similar light blue color.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Sewing Rebellion Production

painting by Mary Jane Ansell.
Here's a little ditty I worked on at the launch of the Chicago Chapter of the Sewing Rebellion.  Actually I'm thrilled about it.  Not the camisole so much, but getting the Sewing Rebellion going.  And it was fun too!  I'll stop at that because I could go on & on.  Check out the SR site if you're interested,

Friday, January 6, 2012

Add-To Re-Do

photograph by Rosie Hardy.
Decided to add to a redo the other day.  That long white embroidered tunic top where I removed most everything - collar, cuffs, pockets, etc.  But I had been over zealous in my remodeling, and there were consequences.  The chest pockets with buttoned flaps had been emphatically sewn in and required amputation at some point, leaving small holes in the fabric.  I had mended them with

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hey, check this out!

Mina Asymmetric Check Dress from Asos


I just so happened to be on the Asos clothing site (ahem) when I saw this dress on sale.  No doubt it's a replica of my original (15 years ago) hand made op-art asymmetrical shift that I recently refashioned into a tunic top. 

See my post, Know When To Walk Away to view my dress. Discuss similarities, and how time & fashion repeats itself... Who knew I was cool?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gold Trimmin'

Designer Larisa Katz
Yea!  Finally finished that Indian print gauze tunic top that I was making from scratch.  I had cut out the pieces for it long, long, ago and it had become one of my year-end challenges to complete.  There were at least 15 pieces to patchwork together, and matching up the print design and grain line was no easy task.

In the end, I decided to add this piece of shimmery gold organza to the bottom hem and sleeves, leaving the edges raw.  I was hoping that would take it out of the 70's and perhaps move it into the future.  Whether that did the trick or not, is anybody's guess.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 is The New Year

artwork by Anda Klancic.
But, remember your New Year begins on your birthday!  So says astrologers, and doesn't that make sense...after all?

Therefore my year-end challenge is still valid, which is good, since I'm still working on it.

I've been pinning and re-pinning a patchwork type tunic top made from 70's Indian print gauze fabric.  The material seems to stretch and warp, the bits and pieces of pattern I've cut out have trouble lining themselves up correctly, and then when they do, it just doesn't look right anyway.  So I've been playing with that puzzle for days on end.  At least I'm not sewing and un-sewing it... 

I've also been gluing stretch, fake alligator fabric to a pair of ruined sling back shoes.  Yea, imagine that.  Bit by bit.  A slow process since I don't know what I'm doing.  Stay tuned.

Pix coming when I'm done.

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