Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Up-All-Night Madras Shirt

My last Pattern Drafting class project was a shirt.  We drafted a casual shirt sloper and sleeve then designed a shirt with:

  1. collar and stand
  2. detached front button placket (not a facing)
  3. sleeve placket
  4. french cuffs
  5. shirt tail hem
Not much room for design, but that was okay with me. :)  I originally came up with a cute scallop placket and short puff sleeves, but I didn't have time to execute it.  My design was simplified drastically  and I played with fabrics instead.  

I started my draft in class two Thursdays ago.  I ended up not using any of it really except the shirt tail hem shape.  The following Tuesday, I redrafted the front and back, made a collar and stand pattern, drafted the front placket and the yoke.  That day I also finished up the patterns for the bustier and finished up my Creative Design Applications Activewear 12 piece group (I finished at 3am).  

So Wednesday night comes along (I got home at 4:30pm) and I haven't even gotten my pattern on manila (oak tag)!!!  I finished up my patterns, cut them out of manila, then cut my fabric.  I didn't start sewing until midnight!  

Sewed, sewed, sewed all night and by 6am I had the hem left.  My machine broke and I was panicking.  I left for school (The Boyfriend has been AMAZING and driving me to school when I don't get enough or any sleep the night before).  In the car I drew my flat sketch and worked on my Pattern Card (a list of pattern pieces).  At school I sewed the sh*ttiest hem ever and put the shirt on the dressform.  The shirt did not need to have buttons and buttonholes (thank God!)  

Compared to others, it was really well sewn, and I got a 98% on the sewing.  Don't know what I got on the pattern, but I'm sure I did fine.  

Here's my madras shirt with contrast placket, cuffs, and collar stand!

Again, I apologize for the crappy photos.  I need a better phone.  

Even matched plaids...

The placket is pretty crappy, but it was sewn at 5am!

I heart my collar.
The fabric is vintage madras. I paid (well my mom did :) ) $5 for 3 yards.  The contrast is a cotton/poly blend I got a the swapmeet for $1/yd.  

Thanks to Jaime, my newest follower! Enjoy the blog!

Monday, August 29, 2011

About 30 hrs of pleating and sewing and pleating and sewing and...

My bustier is done and I'm pretty happy with it.  So much hand sewing went into it!  So you saw what I started with:

I decided it would be easier to pre-pleat the fabric, then cut out the pattern pieces using the same foundation pattern pieces.  So I made a muslin of pleated fabric and was like,
           "What the hell am I doing? I need to get started on the shantung!"  So I went to pleating the shantung, only after one muslin panel.  And I pleated and pleated and pleated the rest of the day.   I went home and hand sewed and hand sewed and hand sewed those pleats down.  (just tacked them down using the blind slip stitch).  Then I realized, 
          "What the hell am I doing?  I need to cut out the pieces and then tack down the pleats.  I'm wasting my time!"  So I  traced the pattern onto the pleats, took the fabric to my sewing machine and basted down the pleats around the sew line perimeter to hold them in place.  I then cut out the pieces and hand sewed and hand sewed and hand sewed some more.  Once again I started to hyperventilate and thought,
         "What the hell and I doing?  I need to get this thing put together.  It's only the first drape I need to turn in, not the final!"  I sewed the panels together, basted it to foundation and was done!  I turned it in, got a good review and used the rest of the week to finish tacking down the pleats, adding a pleated trim along the neckline, and inserting the lining.  I didn't want to add anything else, because I was tired, didn't want to make a separate pattern piece, and I like things simple.  I added a Judith Lieber pin I was trying to sell on Ebay.  Perfect!  If Valentino can add a pin and call it "done," then so can I.  

Here it is in all its glory, ie. pleating and hand sewing:

The front

The back and the lining..

Close-up of the pleats!
Another close-up.  a little blurry.

Don't worry about the fit in the back.  It is supposed to fit like this.  The dressform has no "squish" like a real body...On a size 8 person, this would fit properly.   

I'm applying for  FIDM special project class and turned this in as an example of my work.  I hope I get in!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Gingham dress Lining

Just a couple requested pictures of the lining. Sorry Branka that it took so long!  I also apologize for the wrinkles.  Just pretend they aren't there.  The dress has been crammed in a ball for a while now.  Still want to insert a zipper, but I haven't gotten around to it.  It's completely lined and enclosed.  I used a burrito method at the waistband.  I squished the entire bodice and the entire skirt into the waistband and sewed the waistband together, then pulled the bodice and skirt out through one of sides.   Here are the pictures:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Don't Sew at 2am...unless you have to...

My second project in my pattern drafting class was to create a torso block (a combined bodice and skirt block that goes down to the hip level with fisheye darts for shaping and no waist seam) and then use the torso block for a design of my own.  I decided to create a fitted multi-seamed little black dress.  Here's my technical sketch:

Imagine this dress with contrasting piping, cute huh?  Or contrasting topstitching.... My original idea, which I backed off on because of time constraints was ruched side panels.  I decided that since I didn't have time to make a muslin, it wasn't worth trying...and possibly failing.  

So now for the dress.   The pictures were taken with my horrible phone camera.. Very blurry, but you get the idea.  I'm so NOT Happy with my sewing.  Sewing all those curved seams in a very very very stretch cotton sateen was a pain in the ass.  I thought it would be easier.  Next time, I'll use a wool crepe. My corner seams (I used my tutorial!) were beauteous!  My first invisible zipper in a year and a half (inserted at 2am) was pretty damn good.  My facing was great....the hem awesome! BUT THOSE CURVED SEAMS RUINED THE DRESS!  And it wouldn't press well...And I think in my haste I cut a panel off grain.  Ugg, so much to hate....When I finally make my own sloper, I'm making myself this dress.  

So yea, not too happy, but elements of it were good.  And I got an A on both the pattern and the dress. I thought I deserved a B, but I'll take an A.  

Next up, the plaid dress lining pictures, and the Valentino Bustier....

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fun with Denim

I participated in the Cotton Inc. Competitions at FIDM, but the submissions for the contests are due on Monday and I doubt there is anything I can make in time.  Oh well.... I learned how to embellish fabrics, dye them in cool ways, discharge fabrics, macrame techniques, and some felting techniques.  I particularly liked the dying techniques.  Last week, for the denim competition workshops I did some distressing on denim and some color discharging.  Here are some of my samples:

This was done by crunching up a piece of denim tightly in a tiny cup of bleach.

I used a diagonal folding technique.  I folded accordion-style on the bias and clamped the fabric between 2
pieces of wood and dunked in bleach.  After I discharged one side, I folded diagonally again, clamped and dunked in bleach.  

Arashi technique.  One of my favorites...Wrap fabric around PVC piping, wrap with rope, string etc,
Squish fabric to bottom of pole and dunk in bleach.  

Still have to show the inside of the Portrait Dress, I forgot, but I'll take pictures tomorrow.  Also have to show off my icky little black dress I designed.  I love the design, not the execution.  So sad, but I might redo it, definitely for myself when I get a working personal sloper.  Finally, my bustier is almost done, and its looking pretty damn good.  Have to insert hook and eye tape and sew up the rest of the lining.

And design a 12 piece golf line.....So much to do this weekend!!!!!!

Thanks to my two newest followers, Lori and Sarah!

Pearl on a poodle! I won this pillow at the fair last week!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Valentino-Inspired Bustier

For the next draping project, I have to create a Valentino-inspired bustier.  I learned that the difference between a bustier and a corset is the amt. of shaping that occurs. A bustier shapes slightly and goes with the curves of the body.  A corset completely transforms the shape of the body and molds it into another shape completely.

I have to be inspired by Valentino, so I chose his simple, pleated details:

interesting pleated?  textile on bodice

love the pleats, hate everything else :)

two above from 2001.

This is what I've got pictures of so far.  Just draping in muslin.   I actually didn't end up using this drape.   I have pleated the heck out of my fabric and have attached it to the foundation, but I forgot to take pictures today.  I spent all day Monday pleating, and all day Tuesday hand sewing the pleats and making the outer layer of the bustier.

Sorry for the poor quality of photos again.  My phone is not smart, nor does it take good photos.  I need an upgrade.  

Here are the fabrics I am using for the design:

A gorgeous purple dupioni silk shantung. A generous gift from another student who acquired it from a friend.  He said a relative? of his friend willed the fabric to a fashion design student and he got a whole lot of beautiful fabrics.  

And, gasp! a polyester charmeuse lining.  This is a $1.50/yd purchase.  The colors go so well together and it will be perfect lining fabric.  Floral, feminine, and sort of Valentino.  Mixing silk and poly is just wrong, but I refuse to spend a lot of money on a school project that I can't even wear!  
And while I'm at it, here are other recent fabric acquisitions:

Grey Silk Gabardine from the FIDM scholarship store of all places.  $2.00/yd.

Brown/purple-y Wool/spandex blend suiting from FIDM scholarship store.  $2.00/yd.

shiny black Cotton/Spandex sateen from FIDM scholarship store.  $2.00/yd.  It looks grey in the pictures because its so shiny.  I'm using this for a dress (that I have to sew tonight!) for my pattern drafting class. 

Unknown cotton like plain-weave prints from swapmeet  $1.50/yd. 

Livebird, winner of the "name the dress" giveaway, please email me your info so I can send you the pattern! You have until Friday!

More to come this weekend when I have more time to blog.  I have to get back to drafting a shirt sloper and then sew that dress!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Name that Dress Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the "Name that Dress" Giveaway contest.  It was very entertaining for me.  By the way, surprisingly I got an A on the dress.  I know, totally didn't deserve it.  I don't think she graded on whether it was a good design or not.  I got some points taken off for side seam balance and the fact that I didn't add elastic to stabilize the bodice around the neckline.  Frankly, I got annoyed and decided not to do it even though I know I was supposed to.  

There were a few really funny name suggestions.  My favorite was Lady Be Good's suggestion of "Macrape, "but she didn't want the pattern.  I also enjoyed "Revenge of the Turds" by Thorup. But, in the end, I chose:

livebird!!! with the suggestion of Muck-rame.   The name is cute, and I think captures the essence of my icky, icky dress.

Livebird, please email me at:   rofishman gmail *dot* com with your address and I will get the pattern out to you sometime next week :)  You have until next Thursday, Aug. 18th at 6pm PST to claim your pattern.  

Thanks again everyone who participated and for your words of encouragement.  

Also, a big shout-out to my newest followers:

Two Wild Roses, bloggers and antique shop owners in Orange, CA
Karen de Vries
Kitty Meow
Texan, she monograms goat sweaters!!!!!
Making Changes of Seams so Simple

Here's a funny picture of Pearl taken a long time ago that I forgot I had.  I hope I haven't posted it before:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Awesome! but no pretty pictures.... :(

All of a sudden, I got a huge jump in followers and I couldn't figure out why?  Were people commiserating with me on my failed drape?  Do you really like the pooey references to my work?  I didn't think so.

Well, Burdastyle featured my French Bias Binding tutorial on their weekly email newsletter!  Hooray!

I hope all the new followers enjoy the blog and I hope I have time(!) to post some new sewing tutorials!

I really want to do one on:

Dart manipulation

A cool and different way to do a FBA


Hopefully one day....

I'm currently procrastinating a HUGE Creative Design Applications project.  I'll be up until 3 am I'm guessing.

Next time....A follower shout-out and thank you!

 You can still enter to win this pattern.  Everyone is welcome to name that dress!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Macrame-d in HELL! Giveaway...

Did you ever watch In Living Color?

This was just one of those projects... When you sew for yourself, you can just decide the project you are working on is a wadder and give up.  Or start over.  I couldn't do that no matter how much I wanted to (well I could have and taken an F, but I'm not that kind of person).  I did my best with the time that I had and made it work.  I really hate my dress.  I didn't like designing it (I'm not proud).  I didn't like redesigning it (still not proud).  Making the pattern was torture (only because I didn't like what I was making the pattern for).  I hated the macrame and I really hated sewing the damn thing.  I really despise sewing something I'm not proud of.  The fabric was surprisingly easy to work with.  My sewing machine didn't even have a problem with the knit.

My in-class critique went better than expected, but I don't think I'm going to get a good grade (which means I'll probably get a "B."  A "B" is a bad grade in my book....don't hate me).  I got decent comments from the teacher and the students which was really weird to me because other than being a different color, the dress is basically the same as the first one I turned in, but with ugly hemp macrame attached to it.

I'm really excited for the next draping project though, a bustier inspired by Valentino.

So here are pictures of "Macrame-d in Hell" Oh, they are on my mom's dress form, so the fit is a little off.   I was too upset in class to take a picture of the dress on the Alva form.  The dress hung (sp?) a little better on the school form so it wasn't a complete mess:

Imagine the macrame being tacked down across the back at a diagonal to the back neckline.
I had to do that by hand in class. 

My mom came up with the name "Macrame-made in Heaven (or Hell)"  I changed it to what you see on the title of this post.

I also came up with:

  • Poop Brown Hippy Couture (Hippies, do not be offended. I love hippies.)
  • Poopalicious

Don't judge, I'm tired....

My challenge for you readers is to come up with a better or equally good name (I kind of like "Macrame-d in Hell").  Any name.  Clever/Funny is good.  It doesn't haaave to be negative....

The best name will get this pattern that was never claimed in the follower giveaway I hosted a while back:

Here are the rules:

  1. Anyone can enter, International too.  Just leave a comment with a name for my dress (don't worry, I won't be offended).
  2. Contest ends Friday August 12th at 6pm PST. 
  3. I will choose (with the help of the Boyfriend and my family) my favorite name make them good.  
  4. The winner will have 4 days from the announcement to claim their prize.  I will pick another winner, if they do not claim the pattern.  
  5. If it's waaay offensive (yes, I know I said I won't be offended) I will delete the comment.  
  6. Also, only comment if you really, really want the pattern for yourself (please don't resell). :(  If you don't want the pattern, but want to name the dress, just say so. I will not pick you as the pattern winner.  

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fabric Closet!!!

When the Boyfriend moved in, I had to make space in the sewing room for his large shelving unit.  In order to do so, my parents kindly moved a lot of "stuff" out of the small walk in closet in that room.  I moved 1/2 of my bedroom closet (craft stuff, coats, accessories) to the sewing room closet to make room for the Boyfriend's stuff in the bedroom closet.  Some of his belongings that he does not use as frequently are also in the sewing room closet.  I fortunately had enough space in there to put all of my patterns and my fabric!

The fabric was on a metal shelving unit along a wall in the sewing room, but that had to be moved for this:

We combined our "stuff" and I think it looks cool together.  I wanted color-coded books, and the Boyfriend did that nicely.  We have a rainbow of books in the bedroom.  My mom made the dress on the right of the picture.

Here's my fabric in the closet!

My mom has twice as much fabric in bins stored in the "bonus room."