Monday, April 16, 2012

"Sew in Love" - Wedding Dress Competition

I am really sorry for my absence as of late. March has been a crazy month for me. But I am pretty sure I am back now.

Last Wednesday I participated in the inaugural "Sew in Love" wedding dress competition. And while I didn't win, I did take second place out of 18 designers. But what's even better is I met a ton of people, made connections, and got lots of compliments from people I have never met. People asked if they could touch the dress--that surprised me! I realized then that the pictures really don't do it justice, and this dress needs to be seen and touched in person. Many if not all of the other dresses were so typical, within the comfort zone of the masses. And perhaps that's why I didn't take first place, but I am all right with that.

My model Irena looked absolutely lovely! Ethereal, and just like an angel. It was a good, good evening! :)

Some pix :)

P.S. The woman from "More Cowbell" has been kissing up to me like it's going out off style. That should be a lesson to always treat everyone with respect, no matter who they are at the moment. You never know, you just never know...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fabric Manipulation 9 of 9

This is the final version of fabric manipulation with gathering. I hope you Have enjoyed following them as much as I.



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Recycle Your Old Sweaters

I am sure everyone has a sweater they will never wear again, but somehow it's so hard to part with. I for one have a whole drawer of them. They are mostly from my college years, and I think I went broke every time I bought one of them. So there is just no way I am going to just give them away. But the worst part is that they don't even fit me. I'd like to think that I'm still the same size--so I got some extra muscles and don't look like I'm twelve anymore--but some of these sweaters don't go past my belly button. I am not really sure how I even wore them then. But anyhow, take your sweaters out and get to it.

What you will need:

  • Old sweater [I used one of my cashmere raglan sleeved ones, in cream]
  • 1 yard of jersey knit fabric [I used silk/wool blend heather gray 60" wide]
  • An overclock machine [life is much easier with it]
  • 8" of organza [I used white silk organza, but any other thin fabric that can hold its shape will do]
  • Pattern [in small] [there is no pattern for the peplum. all you need is 8" high and 60" wide fabric]

Cut the sleeves off the sweater on the opposite side of where it's stitched. [Trust me it's much easier than trying to find the thread that holds it together, and cutting on the opposite side of the stitching will ensure it won't start running.]

Stitch together the front and the back on the sides and 1/2" where the neck meets.

Pin the sleeves to the shirt. Offset the sleeve a little, so you can cut it away the thick edge as it serges.

Finish the neck with pearl stitch for a nice clean edge.
Baste stitch together organza and knit. So it's one fabric.
Make 6 pleats on the front. 1 at each side seam and 2 on each princes line. Repeat exactly the same on the back. You will have a total of 12 pleats. Baste stitch the pleats. Pin the bodice to the peplum, making sure to align the center of the side pleats with side seam. Serge it together. Perl stitch the edge of the peplum for a clean finish [just like the neck].

ALL DONE! I'll be enjoying my shirt out this weekend :)
I'll let you know what can be done with the remainder of the sweater, once I figure it out.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dress Form - OH How Awesome It Is!

I wanted to show a quick example of how awesome it is to have a copy of yourself in a dress from. I drafted a pattern, but somehow it came out way bigger than I calculated. When I put it on, it was all over the place, and since it's extremely difficult to do a fitting on yourself, my fitting partner came up clutch. I threw it on, pinned it [since it is a tiny bit larger than your actual size [inevitable, as when cast, you still breathe and the cast will expand], when pinned snugly, it actually gives ease on the body], marked it up and the pattern was ready to go.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

More Cowbell!

As I wrote in one of my previous entries, my wedding dress was selected to be in the Sew in Love competition. However, the selectors felt that it needed something more [we love your dress, but we want you to completely change it..HA!]. As they made comments, in my head I kept thinking "No, no, no, next, no." But to appease them I added cap sleeves and a fuller skirt, which I felt would do the trick. At the follow-up meeting, a new selector came in [without any previous knowledge of the original look] and said that "Is that it? It needs more drama." To which I replied, "This dress is an understated luxury, it's light and moves beautifully when worn by a person, not a stiff form." It's not about all the bells, whistles and bows; all that would detract from what this dress is meant to portray. But boy was she relentless: "More drama, more drama, really explore the drama." I feel that I can take criticism well, when it's constructive and helpful, but this...I left annoyed.

I am sure this woman thinks of herself as an expert. And of course there are expert opinions that carry more weight than an average Joe's...think "The Devil Wears Prada," but she is definitely not one of them. How do you determine if she is? If you are in the business of fashion (even if you are a professor at a university), you should dress in such a way as to inspire others to want to stand next to you, even if they don't know you. Being a good seamstress doesn't make you an expert in fashion. And fashion, after all, is subjective--it's really in the eye of the beholder.

So this brings me to the funny part of the frustration. As I sat staring at my dress for two hours, trying to come up with something to add to it, I remembered this SNL skit that just made it all better.

It said it all :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fabric Manipulation 8 of 9

A new version of fabric manipulation. 



How well the circular patterns appear is dependent on how tightly and evenly the thread is pulled.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Silk Tank

I've been working on several sewing projects, so I wanted to share one of many [to be posted] with you. Hopefully it will inspire you to design your own fun stuff to wear. 

Silk Tank: light, fashionable and versatile. The back is much longer than the front, in case you like to wear leggings, or leather pants, it covers the bum and makes it look sophisticated. Can also be layered with short sweaters. 

Very easy to make, especially if you have a serger. I just got one for Festivus [for the rest of us] and I must say it's the best thing ever. 

You will need 1 yard of fabric. I made the red one out of Crepe de Chine, and the blue one out of thicker silk chiffon [you would want something that drapes nicely]. Here are the patterns for the shirt front and back [all you need to do is print it and then tape together at corresponding numbers]. Size small, but it's pretty easy to grade up or down.

Enjoy! :)
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