Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Rest of the Wardrobe

Here are the other pieces of my summer sewn wardrobe.  They are all made using patterns that were very popular, with lots of positive reviews, and coverage on other blogs.

The skirt shown with most of the tops  is view C of Simplicity 2451. I use a size 14 for the back and a 16 for the front as that is how I am distributed below the waist. I lined it to reduce wrinkles.

This sleeveless top with contrast band is made from Simplicity 2892. I wanted to incorporate the tribal trend into the wardrobe so I used a rayon cotton print (Hancock Fabrics) with silk ruching and neck ruffle.

This sleeveless top in a teal crinkle poly/cotton voile ( Jo-Ann Fabrics) is sewn from Burda  07-2007 -119.  To keep the crinkles from stretching in the armhole and neck line area during construction, I use bias fusible stabilizing tape to hold them in place. Burda magazine instructions quite often recommend this type of tape and I find it very helpful. My original supply came from Judy Barlup but I found a cheaper source fusible tape

I collect 1980’s Vogue blouse patterns because they were designed for woven fabrics,  unlike most of the top patterns nowadays, and they have interesting details. Patterns from that time were designed for shoulder pads and generally need to be modified if pads will not be worn. I made changes to the shoulder seam and sleeve hole opening to remove the space for the shoulder pads.

View A of Vogue 2504 was made in a variegated purple print silk (EOS). I love the print.  But this fabric is overprinted with tiny plastic squares, which made it a challenge to iron and give the fabric a shiny snakeskin look. I washed the fabric several time in really hot water hoping to eliminate or dull the coating. It didn’t work.

 Butterick 5185, a twist top with angled hem lines was made  in a non stretchy shadow print cotton knit . Thi stop was fast to make and easy to wear.

And lastly Simplicity 2554 view F - A sleeveless blouse with flounces sewn into front and back shoulder princess seams in a purple, clay pink and black silk print ( G Street Fabrics). I love the colors.  This is one of those multiple style top patterns where some are designed for knit and some for woven fabrics. Wovens are recommended for this top, but it has been made successfully in knits.

I have still not started my fall sewing. I have purchased a few fall fabrics, and am studying the Sept. fashion magazines from France, Britain, and Australia, which I buy at my local Barnes and Noble book store. Earlier this week I attended an Accessorizing Workshop given by a local image consultant. A small group of us met at Nordstrom’s for the initial lecture on “using fabulous accessories (shoes, belts, jewelry, sunglasses) to make an outfit spectacular” while considering body shape and hair and skin coloring. Then we trouped on down to  the Chico’s, Black Market/ White House and Ann Taylor stores where she showed us the on trend accessories at each store and used us as models to illustrate flattering style and proportion. Then it was back to Nordstrom’s where we had a homework exercise - “Pull together a flattering outfit, clothing and accessories, for yourself from any department in the store.” It was fun roaming about the store, selecting shoes from the shoe dept.  choosing jewelry, picking cool sunglasses from the teen dept. and why not …high end garments for my outfit. Yes, I did have to explain to the clerks what I was doing, but they were very helpful. It was not easy task for me. I think it was harder because of my sewing background. I kept thinking “If only they had a jacket in this fabric, but in a more flattering style,  or if I could just find a  pair of cropped pants in this particular color..." rather than accepting and working with what the store had to offer.  But I got an A on my homework assignment, and seeing the latest clothes and accessories gave me a lot of ideas.  And to my husband’s relief, I did not buy a thing.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Not Falling Yet

I am still sewing summer clothes because it is quite warm where I live, though the humidity has dropped, the light is softer and it is now dark when my 5:45 AM alarm goes off. Sigh, yes fall is on its way. Since June I have been sewing items for a summer wardrobe, part of a sew along our ASG sewing group is doing as a follow up for a presentation I gave on SWAPing. My wardrobe was  inspired from  these photos in my  idea files.

All of them feature dark gray bottom pieces. I wanted to take the easy approach for this wardrobe and make the bottoms out of the same fabric, charcoal gray cotton linen look( Hancock Fabrics). Then go to town with tops that coordinated. Just about every color can go with gray, which meant I could find coordinating fabrics in my stash. It was so hot when I was sewing many of the tops that they are either sleeveless or overblouses intended to be worn without a jackets.
Using  LIFO,  the latest top is made from OOP Simplicity 5555.

The fabric is a white linen with black pinstripes (JoAnn Fabrics). I ombre dyed the fabric ocean blue and then added black to the dye mix for the darkest color band, inspired by this Anthropologie dress.

Unfortunately this band cannot be seen because it is in the turned up hem. A lessoned learned for the next time I do this type of dying.

The pants are straight leg falling from the hip, faced waist with side invisible zipper made from my pants sloper.