Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall Inspiration

I'm sure to the true fashionista this post is very late. These Dolce & Gabbana images are in the fashion magazines - and I'm sure, all over the web.
I have a hard time wrapping my head around fall fashion until it is actually Fall. So...
I am finding several looks from this collection inspiring. First, the little suit. I plan to wear mine with a top.
Last fall I wanted to make a Chanel- inspired jacket and didn't get to it. So I'm moving it up near the top of my sewing queue.

::Chanel inspired jacket- check

And then... in several colors? I don't really see that happening, but aren't they pretty?

Ahhh... great print and pattern. Love the dress.

this photo was blurred for a more realistic dream like appearance

I had to include these images. When I saw them I was reminded of a dream I had in high school on more than one occasion, with slight variations in detail.
I am in the hallway going to class. My mood can be described as happy, buoyant even. I speak to all my friends as I pass, and things are just peachy, until I feel a slight breeze on my nearly bare derriere. That's right -I forgot to put on my pants. I look down and sure enough -I'm in my underwear. Predictably this is the point where my peers notice that I came to school in my panties. No one ever notices until I do, weird. The rest of the dream usually involves some elaborate plot to clothe myself before everyone notices.
Maybe the Dolce & Gabbana models won't look down, and will never have to know that they did the whole second half of the session in their skivvies.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day two Self-Stitched

I am including this vintage dress in my Self-Stitched wardrobe. This was a pretty hefty re-do.
I cut off the weird almost 3/4 length sleeves, and with the fabric - lengthened the way short torso (bodice). At some point the dress had been altered and I had to fix the pleats. I almost gave up on this one. I hate mending/altering with a passion. I am not really sure why I loathe it so. It makes so much sense, as I love vintage, but rarely find anything I can wear - as is. So I've tackled a couple of items that were sitting in my mending pile, and plan to do a few more this month.

Note to my siblings: I did a little mending-it is not your green light to ask me to hem your pants. Remember, I am an artist. (I use this when I don't want to do something) ;)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Look 6723

In search of an Audrey silhouette, I chose this New Look pattern.

View B.

Align Center

Worn today for the first day of Self-Stitched-September, forgive the wrinkles.

Rick-rack detail.

I am happy with the fit and my fabric choice (100% cotton seersucker).
I made this one as is, with the exception of the addition of pockets in the side seams.
If you've been considering making this one up - check this out. The same view made up in a print fabric (sis boom). I like her version a lot.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Slow Stitched

Somewhere along the way I may have mentioned slow stitching. I read about "slow design", in the Alabama Stitch Book. Natalie Chanin refers to this approach as embracing the long-term view over the short-term gain by using age-old techniques to create products that celebrate strong design principles for modern living. The designs in this book are fashioned by hand. In other words hand stitched. I love the thought of this. Taking time to thoughtfully stitch something up- enjoying the slow measured pace.

Never again will I use the words slow and stitched in the same sentence. This dress took me about three weeks to complete. I could never find time to work on it. So I stitched it- a few minutes here and there.

Finding myself at the end of the day dress project, frustrated and in need of a sewing fix, I couldn't be bothered to hand stitch the Alabama project and I stitched it entirely on the machine, so there.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Farm Life mailorder 8405

I found a pair of Keds classic white canvas tennis shoes at an estate sale this weekend - which I was looking for by the way. You know where this is going don't you. They needed a day dress to go with. Just sayin...
You think I have crafty attention deficient disorder? really?

I've had the fabric for a couple of years. It came from a box of fabric D found at an auction. It is similar in hand to feed-sack cloth.

My thought for the rick-rack trim was to add something a little more subtle this time. Maybe just add a little texture. Look closer, a little closer (you may have to click on the photo and make it larger) a little closer, there. What do you think? Maybe it's a little to subtle?
So do I go red or black and contrast?

Friday, June 11, 2010

2010 Edition

Working on:
New Edition Stone Free Farm bags
a home improvement project.

The bags are the same as the ones found here, and here, except for the addition of the 2010 pocket.

The bags are a collaboration with this artist. She designed and hand pulled the screen print. The print was made on recycled canvas fabric, that at one time covered sofas. The handles are up-cycled from discarded handbags.

On the back of the bags we use vintage home dec fabric. They are all a little different, depending on the fabric I've found.

As for the home improvement project, I'm going to wait to share (wip).
It was necessary as my place was starting to look like the Shipman's. You know, the Shipman's.
Actually... I don't know them either. The family lived next door to my Nanny (grandmother) when she was growing up. The report is that their place was pretty trashy. In the years that followed, as a tool to enlist our help, she would refer to the now infamous Shipman's. As in, "This place is starting to look like the Shipman's"; which was a gross exaggeration on her part because; we did not dump trash in a pit dug in an unused room of our home, nor carelessly dump our no longer functioning bathroom fixtures into the yard and plant flowers in the bowl.
And so it goes... my sisters and I understand that to let yard maintenance go, is to surely end up like the Shipman's.

Disclaimer: If your last name is Shipman I am positive that the Shipman's I am referring to, are in no way related.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Simplicity 2410

A couple of fun things to do with vintage tablecloths. Serve cherry pie made in a cast iron skillet on top of them. Or...

cut up the stained ones and make a skirt.

This skirt is made using a modified version of Simplicity 2410. I lengthened and changed the shape of the gores. This is a fairly quick and straightforward sew.
I've seen several friends blog posts recently referring to piping. Here is my own little version.
Piping to match your project is so easy to make. When you make your own instead of relying on the ready made versions, you choose the fabric and you also get to choose the size of the cording.

Notice how I just used the word friend so casually? I am always amazed and inspired by this sharing community. There are so many talented people (and many I'm sure that I've never visited) doing the most amazing things. It means a lot that you've taken the time to come over and see what I'm up to. I enjoy your comments so much. In fact a couple of times I cracked up the whole day (you know who you are).

So my friends... a big virtual hug and I wish I could have you over for pie.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Still talkin' about pockets

I could stuff a lot of eggs in this pocket. In fact I might be able to fit in the entire hen.

Natalie Chanin corset tank with self-drafted western yoke

I have made several things inspired by the Alabama Stitch Book. When I looked back through my photos I only managed to come up with the circle wrap skirt and the western corset. I did not use the slow stitch method. On both of these occasions I stitched the applique by machine. I am a huge fan of stitching by hand. In fact I find myself gravitating toward a project that I can complete from the porch.
I feel a need to slow everything down just a bit, and breathe.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

About pockets...

I put pockets in everything I make. In the past (for some insane reason) I sometimes skipped this step. Then you try to put your money/keys in your pocket and - oops no pocket. Then the only logical next step is to put it/them in your bra. Then you have to hand your 10 year old son the keys to open the car door. Apparently your lightning quick reflexes aren't what they used to be and he realizes where the keys just came from.
"I am so not touching those keys."
"You do realize that you were breastfed , right?"
Now he's claiming that he's scarred for life. I'm not sure if it's from the breastfeeding or handling the keys that had briefly hung out in my bra.

The skirt that this pocket belongs to is also here, and here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Simplicity 2593

Lets see... day thirteen Me-Made-May. I'm going to try and catch up with all the other participants (it seems they are on day 17 - ooops). So this is the ensemble (I can never say that with a straight face) I wore on day 13.
I'm not sure it's necessary to show off this top, because if you have the pattern- it's on the envelope exactly like this. I was looking for a pattern to make a stripy top and when I saw this one already made up, perfection. I did not change a thing. The pattern is Simplicity 2593. A Cynthia Rowley pattern. I am going out on a limb here to highly recommend this pattern.

The skirt is Burda 8155. I made this skirt when I was searching for the perfect pencil skirt. Although I like this skirt, I actually found a pencil skirt pattern that I like even better.
This one.

is it just me or is this month flying by?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 14

This is the dress I did not wear today. Unless you count the million times I tried it on. Then I waded it up and jumped up and down on it. I didn't really jump on it, but I did hurl a couple of expletives in its general direction.
As I am breezing right through my Me-Made-May wardrobe , I thought that I would try to add to it. This dress has been hanging out in the back of my closet waiting for a refashion. I made sooo... many mistakes today. It should have been fairly simple.
I am walking away. Maybe tomorrow when I'm not so frustrated I'll work it out.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Blue Moon Farm

this is Miss Halle guarding her udder from the vicious Nubian attack goats

Miss Halle's classroom went on a field trip to Blue Moon Farm today. The farm had several stations set up that showed the process (soil, seed, water, light, etc.) that different plants go through, before they produce the vegetables that you recognize on your dinner table.

At one point during the day her teacher was telling me about Nature Deficit Disorder. Which if I understand it correctly - is a theory that children are experiencing behavioral problems associated with the lack of time outdoors. There is no connection with the earth: therefore no responsibility for environmental stewardship.

On a much lighter note, I am still hanging in there for Me-Made-May. I made this apron skirt with a pocket large enough for egg collecting. The fact that I do not own one chicken,
just a technicality.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happy Mothers Day

Mom was a refashonista before the label was even coined. Way back, before it was even trendy. She tells me that she made my dresses fit my sisters after I had outgrown them.
The gingham dress that I'm wearing was made from a vintage pattern. The pattern had several different collar options. You could change the collar and sleeve combo and come up with several different looks. Or you could add rick-rack monograms and completely shake things up. hmm... gingham/rick-rack I'm sensing a trend here.

You might even use drapery fabric and a white collar to totally change the look.

Everything I know I learned from you, apparently I'm just a chip off the old block.
Happy Mothers Day mom, you're still a trendsetter in my book.

Every good photo shoot (anthropologie) needs a little token male eye candy.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day 10 or Hot Patterns Deco Vibe Flippy Skirt

Once I lost the derriere defining trim, I decided that I really like this skirt.
Funny, some ideas in theory fall short in implementation.
Still hanging in there; day ten, Me-Made-May.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Simplicity 3790

Completed cotton jersey tee. The complete review is here.

Day seven here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day Cinco

Armed with my high tech top secret basting tool-I attempted to finish the top I started to go with day five skirt. In spite of access to such advanced technology, I am sorry to report I'm not quite done.

I did wear the above mentioned skirt today, and am happy to report it got two thumbs up from the Mr. I hope to have a pattern review of the top tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day Four

Day four of the Me-Made-May challenge.
Just a quickie post.
Skirt - vintage fabric
Singer sewing machine in case
vintage hat box (possibly repro)

Crochet Adorned review

What a great book. It is full of cute project ideas.
I took some time today to work on the cluster trim shown.
The crochet thread is from the thrift store, and it just happened to exactly match some knit jersey in the stash. I'm in the process of beefing up my top shortage.

more Linda Permann

My MMMay photo for day three is here. My fourteen year old photographer has serious focus issues. I fired him last night. Although he hid it well - I could tell that he is just crushed.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

McCall's 4783

"Son, real quick before we go, will you take a picture of my skirt?"
"Okay, but I told C we'd be there in a half hour. "
"Don't worry about what my hands are doing, or if I'm smiling, just take the skirt."
"Oh, but don't cut the skirt off, take it from my waist, get the whole thing."
"Don't cut off my feet, I don't want to look stumpy."
"If you cut the photo off at my hips I'll look wide."
"Turn the camera, you want to take this kind of photo vertically."
"Take a bunch, then I'll have several to choose from."
"mumble, mumble, umble, umble, ummm..." -this part really not worth repeating
"Don't use the flash."

The photo session was a real endurance test for my teen aged son, who was only going the distance because he needed a ride. After I got back from taking him to C's house, I loaded the photos. After all the outtakes- this is as good as it got.

I forgot to tell him to focus.

skirt made with vintage 50's fabric

line drawing McCall's 4783

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Advance 4453

For day 1 of the MMM challenge I pulled out this western day dress that I made up a couple of years ago.
This pattern is an early one, before pattern companies printed on the pattern tissue. I didn't check the date (online) and it is not printed on the pattern, but I'm sure that it is from the forties. I think the shoes from that era are divine.

Here's a close-up of the western yoke. The fabric is a reproduction. It is quilters weight cotton. Originally I thought to make this dress from actual feed cloth fabric. Then when I looked into it, I realized that if I was lucky enough to find enough feed sacks to match - I wouldn't have been able to afford the price. Feed sacks have become quite collectible. Quilters cotton has a similar hand and a little coarseness that I thought came as close as I was going to get. I have a little collection of feed sacks that I'll show you sometime.


I pulled out all the made-by-me options, and it's not quite as dismal as I feared. The top section is a little lean. I will participate at the lite level (gotta sneak in a few re-fashions) and include one made-by-me garment in my wardrobe choice everyday. Fun.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Simplicity 2698

Since I did such a great job with the mini-wardrobe challenge (read: one skirt yet to be hemmed, lacking buttons/one dress, half done/one shirt, cut out/skirt number four only a vague idea)
I've decided to challenge myself yet again. I know, the worst part is - that it totally makes perfect sense to me. Which may mean that I'm losing it; or, I'm playing into the sentiment that, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Thomas H. Palmer

singleton buttons

Me Made May!!!
I plan to participate at the light level, making one handmade item part of my ensemble each day. I will be including re-fashions as I've a pile of stuff that needs tending to.
The Me Made Challenge is the brilliant idea of this lovely blogger.

I'm totally cracking up over here- it's the word ensemble. It suggests that I have a wardrobe plan. As if I don't just get up and put on the same boring but comfy stuff everyday.