Well, I guess eyelet and a gorgeous color are a popular combination based on the response to my last post. Now I really want one of those tops for myself. I have some turquoise eyelet fabric although it doesn't have that cute scalloped edge as the royal blue fabric had. Plus do I need any more turquoise items in my wardrobe? That pattern is a winner and has become my starter pattern for a tunic type top.
Although that leads me into my first random threads topic - do you Sew With A Plan? Wardrobe Architect? What else is it called? Whatever it is I don't do it. In theory it is a good idea but I get way too caught up in some particular color or fabric that grabs me, or a pattern I want to try just for the sake of trying it. So a plan, rarely. Once in a while I do make something because I want it to function as a particular wardrobe piece, like a coat that works over a party dress, or a denim skirt with pockets that I know will be such a daily staple. But a plan - I don't know - seems like it would take a bit of the fun out of it. I guess for that same reason I don't sew everything - especially things like gym wear and swimsuits - just so much easier to buy them and then I can focus on stuff I enjoy making.
ModelistA Website - I don't know how I came across this site but I really like it. (mmodelista.blogspot.com) They post often and show a design and then an illustration of how the design is achieved via manipulation of a basic sloper. It could be a jacket, a dress, knits, kids, etc. The notes are very short and also in Portuguese so I usually just look at the drawing and they are really informative. Reading this post for some reason I decided to read the paragraph so put it into Google translate and it was very entertaining - I don't know if the text was written that way or garbled by the translation software, but here is part of their description of what was a simple 60's style shift dress: "Besides being a wild card play, the right dress is for any body type, it does not show any specific curve. A relief for the chicks is not it? After all, no one deserves to go without eating one chocolatinho just to wear a bandage dress. With a few tips you can create stylish looks for different occasions using the straight - cut dress"
Now I am wondering what I have been missing every day by not translating the text. And could not agree more about that style of dress, a relief for the chicks!
Clear Elastic: this is a product that baffles me. I see it used a lot, for stabilizing seams or necklines. I even bought some to have in my elastic stash. But I have never used it and also not come across any reason to. When I have had ready-to-wear clothes sometimes the clear elastic is kind of pokey and always just in a spot on the neckline where it irritates to the point where I actually extracted it from one t-shirt and resewed up the seams - achieving much improved comfort. So let me know if there is some secret use that I don't know about. Also - I don't construct garments with the serger so perhaps it will never get used in my sewing.
Pattern Whisperer: I am working on two different topics, summer skirts and then dresses to wear to summer events. Which I had better get moving on as summer is flying by already!
And since this post is lacking a photo so far, here is a sneak peek of a skirt I just finished for my friend Alice. Using this super cool denim eyelet fabric we found at Stone Mountain. And now I have enough remaining fabric to also make a skirt for myself. For this skirt I made a pattern via copying a older linen skirt she had from Banana Republic. Stay tuned for a post on copying - in this case it was fairly straightforward although the original was on the bias - as this one is.
Fabric not a favorite? Is there a fabric you don't like? Or actually the question I am thinking of: is there a fabric you just don't get? Like why is it so popular? this may be slightly heretical to say as I see it is extremely popular but the one fabric that I don't get is double gauze. To me it doesn't seem like garment fabric. Or maybe that explains the popularity? It seems a bit limp and lifeless. I have seen it recently in my favorite local fabric stores and while it is great that the inventory is so varied it just doesn't appeal to me. And here is another one, Liberty fabrics. They are nice but I don't see the value for the price. Or maybe I'm being silly as I do see the value in an extremely expensive Italian silk or wool. I guess it is just what type of sewing each person does and then what fits into your own expectation of cost vs. value.
History Podcasts. So what does that have to do with sewing? I listen to a LOT of podcasts (the other day I forgot my phone when I went to the gym and actually thought about going home to get it - but opted to do a workout without any aural entertainment - oh the suffering, ha ha). I heard a really great episode the other day on the history of fashion in France during WWII. It is the Stuff you Missed in History Podcast, they have done a number of their podcasts with a fashion related topic. That link goes to that subcategory. It was fascinating. They also have old episodes on the history of knitting, on Schiaparelli, the House of Worth, and Paul Poiret. Check it out if you like the intersection of history and fashion. I also listen to the History Extra podcast from the BBC, and they have had some that include fashion info. Although a really interesting episode from a few months ago was about the history of red hair.
Angle of Darts. What does that mean? I didn't know how else to start this paragraph other than to straight out say it - there are some patterns where the angle of the bust darts looks so wrong to me. Mostly the angle is lacking - in that the bust dart is almost horizontal - going straight from the apex to the side seam. Am I the only one that thinks this looks weird? Like a children's drawing? Also I see on some patterns that it is too long, so the end is way too close to the center. My feeling is that the bust dart should kind of disappear from view if it is doing its job correctly. I have definitely changed the angle of the dart if I think it looks too straight on. I think it creates a more flattering shape and line if it angles down toward the side seam. And don't think you have to leave the dart as is in a pattern - check where it lands on you and move it up or down, or make it shorter, or change the angle. This is another reason why I cut out 1 inch or even more on the side seam allowance, so you can play with the darts if needed and fit as you sew.
Swimsuit styles: I keep saying I will never make a swimsuit but this just might be the year. Mostly because two years ago I left my favorite swimsuit outside to dry after a swim over at my parent's house. Our lifetime habit was to drape them over a railing to dry, but for some reason we all stepped outside after changing and put our wet suits on a wooden bench which encircles a tree in the middle of the deck instead of on the railing over by the pool. And then the next morning my mom phoned and asked "did you really like that blue swimsuit you were wearing yesterday? Well that didn't sound good. As it happens some raccoons were making themselves at home below the wooden deck and they pulled a bunch of stuff under with them during the night, including some suits and beach towels. Most everything was recovered with a lot of effort but the top to my favorite swimsuit disappeared never to be seen again. I was so mad as it was a specific style I searched for and finally found in a shop in Hawaii. Today I was at Macy's and saw something similar but not quite, so the battle may be lost and I will get going with sewing one, or at least just a top. I am a mix and match swimsuit person, and forever a bikini wearer and have plenty of bottoms. Although they are not quite as bikini as they used to be :) One-piece swimsuits just feel strange to me, I think I have only worn a 1-piece for scuba diving or water skiing. In any case I had better get going on this project.
Vogue DKNY patterns: suppose it was inevitable but Vogue patterns is discontinuing and no longer selling the Donna Karan and DKNY patterns. They have had a good run and I would not be surprised if her patterns were consistently at the top of the sales chart in their designer line. I have made some great ones recently and going back many years - if I think of my first work wardrobe I remember sewing a DKNY blouse pattern many times. My all time favorite dress that I have sewed is this one, which is a DKNY pattern. I wonder if these patterns will go up in price on eBay etc. like some of the other designer patterns have. The styles were often so cleverly designed, both inside and out, and also the shapes while simple could be ultra-flattering, sophisticated and yet comfortable at the same time. That is quite an achievement.
In other sewing news I am still working on this jacket and dress for my friend Heather. She is in no rush and we have had several runs of 100 - 105˚F temps in the last few weeks so sewing (or wearing a wool and boucle outfit is not on the top of anyone's priority list. And then there are the detours - such as the eyelet top, the Burda dress, a top for myself, a lot of writing for Craftsy posts and other distractions. But I plan to get it done this upcoming week - just because I am tired of looking at it :)
Happy weekend sewing, and a great 4th of July holiday to everyone celebrating in the US.
Long summer weekend! fireworks! barbecues! Pie making! Ok that last one might only be me.
today's garden photo - Shooting Star Hydrangea - this one was a tiny baby plant just a couple of years ago and now it is finally thriving. I love how the blooms look like fireworks and they move in the breeze.