Wednesday, October 22, 2008

La Mode button ad

Thanks to Lolo for finding this, an ad for La Mode buttons from 1943. First off, I had no idea they had been around so long! Second, the message could easily be applicable today.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Vogue skirt and sewing labels

I was finally able to meet up with my friend to finish the Vogue skirt, as it turns out a few of us were able to get together Friday night to take her out for her birthday! This is what I was doing until about 15 minutes before our dinner reservation:

Hand-hemming the skirt to the underlining
But it turned out fabulously, she wore it that night and raved about the fit and the comfort. She liked it so much she kindly agreed to pics for the blog, so thanks R!!!!

With a red Elizabeth halter from J. Crew, and her adorable dog Marlo.

And in Summerset's style, here's a parting shot. I received my 'loohoo originals' labels from, and proudly sewed the very first one into my friend's skirt. I am ridiculously happy about these. Maybe it's because I'm such a label slave.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My first attempt at pants

I had a fairly productive sewing weekend! The seam ripper actually spent a good bit of time in my notions box instead of glued to my hand. Sewing is so much more enjoyable when you don't screw up. I'll just do that from now on. :-)

I finished up my friend's Vogue skirt except for the hem, which I need to pin on her. I'll see if I can talk her into modeling it for us. I also sewed up a copy of a workhorse tank top in my wardrobe, from some rayon/lycra jersey. The RTW ones I have are getting holes in them from the weekly wear.

So my main hurdle this weekend was a muslin of Vogue 2981 Alice and Olivia pants, that Adriana nailed recently. This was my first shot at pants, and frankly I'm confused. I don't know where to start with the fitting. Adjusting the crotchal (is that a word?) area is all sorts of counter-intuitiveness. The actual sewing was fairly straightforward, I followed the Vogue directions exactly for the construction and fly zipper, leaving off the pockets and belt loops. I'm hoping you fitting mavens out there can help me with this. Pardon the crappy Joann dollar table cotton and the occasional panty line.

Front, which is too loose at the top and was falling down. I'm holding onto the zipper to kind of keep it up. I feel like there's too much fabric in the inside leg seams in the crotch area? It's also poking out at the hip where the side pockets would be,I think my hip curve is straighter there.

Here it is pulled up and cinched in a bit at the waist, I feel like this pulls some of the fabric out of my crotch, but I'm holding it too tight at the very top and I'm getting the dreaded 'muffin top'.

Side, again it is falling down and tilting to the back, but there is a breeze blowing from the left side of the photo so the fabric really doesn't fall that far.
Front pulled up, I think the side seams are pretty straight here.
Back, hanging too low and the crotch is too far down. Again feels like too much fabric at the inner leg.
Cinched in at the side seams, this also seems to pull some of that fabric from out of the inner leg/crotch area, but I'm not sure if this makes other things worse?

I'd appreciate any advice you have for me! I cut a straight size 12 on these, no adjustments, and by the chart I should have been a 14, so they seem to run standard big-4 sizing big. On dresses I typically make a swayback adjustment but not much else below the belt. Thank you!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

DVF Julian knockoff

This turned out to be easily one of my favorite dresses. I can see myself making this up in a bunch of different fabrics. I borrowed a DVF Julian wrap dress from a friend of mine (thanks again Lauren!!), and made a copy using the techniques I've written about before, see here. This one is so simple it's almost unfair. Most of the dress is only 3 pieces, a back and 2 fronts. Add a couple sleeves, a belt, some cuffs, and voila! Super cute dress that could go to work with a cami or out and about without. I already knew what the fit was like on the original, and I felt good about my pattern copy, so I completely skipped my usual muslin. I almost always make one with a new copied pattern, you never know how close you got to the original. I made this up in an afternoon, from some rayon/lycra I purchased at Stonemountain in Berkeley. I also found some green wool jersey while I was there, which will be my next reincarnation of this pattern.



I'm starting to think copying RTW requires less time than sewing from patterns! There's a whole lot less fit-tweaking to do, and you can make small adjustments after copying the pattern in places where you want to improve. I have one more dress style I copied as well, with a fuller skirt and long sleeves. Just need to find some more fabric...