Thursday, February 28, 2013

My RTW Challenge!

Well Darlings I too entered the RTW challenge and I must say it was an interesting journey! 

I finished the garment and I'm waiting now on the chance to have somewhere to wear it! LOL Anywho I (as usual) was inspired by Pinterest and found this beautiful Alexander McQueen gown and was affectionately priced at $5, 118.58 and YES I added the $0.58!!


Also, as I normally do.... I was inspired by the most unlikely pattern... McCall's 6612... 

Yep the long dress option had just the panels I need to complete this gown. 

Now I'm not SUPER excited about my photos (Gotta get the Hubby photo classes!!) But here's my final result!! 

Nothing Like a Knockoff!

So, I entered the Pattern Review RTW contest.  I originally saw this Givenchy dress that was fantabulous! I went right out and looked into my stash, found what I thought would be great fabric, a cotton sateen and told my DD, that the creative juices were stirring.  Then, I got distracted.  As things tend to go.  I made a jacket (that dog has been beaten already) and a fun vintage dress before I got back to finishing and submitting my work for review.  WELL, in the interim, I changed my mind about what I wanted to submit for the challenge.  I knew I wanted a LBD because you can never have too many of those. 
When I saw this Emilo Pucci, it took my breath away and I knew it was the one! This retails for $1995.00 so that was definitely a motivator for me to try to recreate it.

I started with McCalls 6460.  In terms of changes I made, of course I wanted that deep "V" in the front. This pattern isn't lined (and I cannot imagine why not?) I thought it would be beneficial to line it, so I used the fabric, a matte jersey I had in my stash as the fashion fabric and the lining. 
The Pucci dress has a V back and I initially planned to do that as well.  Unfortunately, the lace I had was leftover from a dress I made for my DD's friend last year and I cut the top portion out using the pattern back. Only after it was cut did I realize I wanted the Pucci back.  By then, I didn't have enough fabric to recut and part of the goal here (for me) was to use what was in my stash, so I didn't want to go out and purchase any fabric.

 So, I stayed with the MccCalls back.  Besides, I figured I was "deep" enough in the front to not need the back out as well. LOL


I didn't make any other design changes really. The inspiration had a side split, but I didn't really want that style element so I didn't add it to my version.  I had planned to finish the neckbinding and sleeve binding with a sheet chiffon or polyester that I was certain was in my stash, but alas, I had none.  Oh well, I used a cotton bias and while it isn't as "ethereal" as I think the chiffon would have been, I can very easily live with it.
It came together really easily and quickly.  I started on it around 7:00 last night and I was done about 11:30.  I did stop to snack before I hemmed it, so it might have been midnight before I was really done.

I SOOOOOO want to win the gift certificate to Moods (that's the first and second prize on Pattern Review).  There are some fantastic submissions when last I looked, so the competition is probably pretty stiff.  But, this was fun to create.  I love the final look.  I'm glad I did it.  Almost always, when I am creating something, it's for a specific purpose, or event.  I am ALWAYS working on one thing or the other at a deadline.  It was kinda strange to not be stepping into this dress 10 minutes before I was supposed to be someplace!  But hopefully something will come up where this will be just the right thing to wear. 
Now if my DD would just buy me a great pair of shoes to go with this!  Oh, how I love a great shoe!


Sew Sewlful!

Monday, February 25, 2013

An Affair To Remember!

I love the look of "vintage" clothing. There is just something so regal and classy and "appropriate" about the dresses worn in the 50's & 60's. I have never given a lot of thought about owning any however.  But, you know there is always that one that catches your eye. And so it was with this pattern - Vogue 8874!
 I really don't think my waistline, absent that "Gone With The Wind" era corset is quite right for many of the styles. But I simply adored this dress! Perhaps I will order one of these one day. Isn't it frightening that the name was "Armorside"?  What does that tell you about how this probably felt?
Isn't it frightening that the name was "Armorside"? What does that tell you about how this probably felt?
Nonetheless, I had to have this dress, sans a corset.  Although, I might add this to my "make it just because list!" I think I want to see what happens when I'm all trussed up with one of these contraptions!   Anyway, when I found the PERFECT trim at Joann's, I knew it was kismet.  I cut this out on Thursday, made it Friday and wore it to a birthday party on Saturday.  I plan to make white gloves to wear with it for another event coming up.  The photos don't do it justice, but it really is a lovely dress.  And after the battle I had with my last project, this was an absolute delight to complete.  I think I might even create an underskirt to really give it some "umph" the next time I wear it.

Be sewlful with your next project!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

J Hud/Super Bowl Inspiration

Hello Loves! I've had another "rainman" moment! 

As I was watching the Super Bowl this year I was sent a divine inspiration in the wardrobe choice of Ms. Jennifer Hudson. 

Now I must admit she's yells a bit much for my taste but I SUFFERED through the performance just to make sure that a CLEAR image of the dress she wore was etched in to my mind. I then, of course, got to work! I remembered that I had this wonderful LARGE remnant of a white poly cotton blend and a random piece of lightweight black stretch cotton. So I got to thinking.... hummm buttons.... I remembered I bought a set of buttons for Sewful and SINCE I happened to not have had a chance to give them to her yet,  then maybe I should use them and just buy her some more before I see her..... (I promise to bring a new set BL!!) LOL As far as design I knew I didn't want the weird faux leather top that J.Hud wore with her skirt and I'm FAR shorter than her so my skirt would be shorter. 

So I opted for V8633. I loved the sleeve option that was in the pattern and I figured I could bypass one of the darts on each front of the skirt and place my seams and buttons there. 

 I recently completed reading and trying out samples from my Couture Techniques book, so I was REALLY excited to give this piece that couture look.

PLUS Valentine's Day was quickly approaching and I wanted to wear something nice since the hubster to be and I were going to dinner and a concert. (LALAH HATHAWAY here in ATL AND OMG!! She sang her FACE OFF!! I was second row not only singing along and LOVING it, but wondering where she got that FIERCE skirt she was wearing... I digress) Anywho here's the finish! 

Happy Sewing!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Blasted Blazer!

SO, people blog about all kinds of things that matter to them. Of course this blog and so many wonderful others, share the ups and downs of sewing and creative endeavors. Well, this blazer nearly sent me over the edge! The funny thing is I cannot tell you why. So hopefully someone will read this and share some insight.
First, here is the pattern.  Pretty straightforward.  In fact, this is from a line of patterns where they give you additional fit tips and ways to create an "Amazing Fit".  Next, let me say that I am not a novice.  While I would not be so bold to call myself an expert or even advanced, I believe I have completed enough garments to move out of the beginner category.  AND, I have not purchased a ready to wear garment in THREE years, save for a sorority t-shirt. Hell, I've made two coats, three gowns, more dresses than I can count and four suits (yes, jackets and skirts!) in the past year alone. Having said all of the above, in the words of Tim Gunn, I am simply "flummoxed" at the strife this blazer caused me. :-)
I love to sew and I am always seeing things that I want to create. So, I like to complete garments as quickly as possible because there is always something else in the queue to be done. This blazer languished for two weeks! This is something, under normal circumstances, that would have been done in two nights - max. I put in and removed the sleeves FOUR times. Then, there was the magic extra fabric. No matter what I did, this thing was always too big. I put in the darts under the lapels, I took it in three or four times AND still, there seemed extra fabric, just showing up for no reason, each time I tried it on for a fitting OR thought I was ready to move on to the next step. And then the lining. I put it in like a dream. Then it became the nightmare fabric shift. Before that, I realized, when I was ready to cut out the lining, that the fabric I had - well, see for yourself.                      

Besides the pooling in the sleeves(WT?), did you notice the lovely color variations?  That's because the lining fabrics were two different colors of red!  Did I notice this when I cut out the lining?  Noooo!  But, I wasn't about to drive to the fabric store (as this was all stash fabrics) so I decided it would be intentionally unintentional.  Besides, unless I revealed it, by putting photos on my blog and talking about it, who would ever know? (And I would never do that!). But, finally, the last button was sewn and I was as done as I could or wanted to be. I like the final project. But, I just have not had this much trouble with a "simple" jacket in forever. I even had stress over the buttons. Perhaps because red is one of those colors where there are thousands of variations, I could never find the button that I liked. I wanted something funky and different. After going to both Hancocks and Joanns, I decided on covered buttons. At first I used the fabric for a perfect match, but it felt too, "where is the skirt that goes with that jacket" and my intent was always to create a blazer that I could mix with jeans and slacks. So, I settle on this cute fabric I found at Hancock's to cover the buttons.

WHEW! I gave serious thought to burning it all in a quick fire, but as any fabricologist would tell you, that's tantamount to heresy! So I fixed all that I could and put the scissors down.  If anyone can offer suggestions, ideas on fool-proof set in sleeve insertion and sure-fire pooling lining suggestions, I am soooo receptive. All of this was user error I know.  But, time to move on.  Tonight's episode in maniacal obsessiveness: my LBD from start to finish to wear to a party tomorrow night.
Stay Tuned!

A Basket Case

This post is completely unrelated to the thing I love to do and am doing with 90% of my free time.  but I once owned a gift basket business.  So, I thought it worth posting. I miss doing it full-time, so when I get the chance, I will toss my creative efforts here and there.  In this instance, a co-worker/friend is giving her mother a surprise birthday party this Saturday.  She asked me to create this gift basket for her.

And, as was my signature, back in the day, I made the bow as well! (I hate pre-made bows!)

And this was the "Memphis" basket. We love our music and bbq!
And I LOVE a baby basket.  This was done for a collegue's pending arrival. A Boy!

I now return you to your regularly scheduled obsession - Sewlful!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

LBD Challenge!

Well sewing loves!! I finally finished my LBD creation! I was 95% finished and only needed to hem the dress and it sat on my dress form for about 2 weeks. I have no idea why I do that.. 

Anywho... I am one of those sewing divas that while in my "sweatshop" I need some sort of noise to keep me rolling. Well this can be my neo-soul, my old school or my tv shows that I can't seem to keep up with. No matter what there is something blasting in the basement! My latest addiction is Mad Men! 

 I have to be honest I was never able to watch it consistently during the seasons, but watching them all at once is wonderful!! So NOW that I've caught up with the first three seasons I have a new life goal.... COSTUME DESIGNER!! LOL When I say this wardrobe GAVE ME LIFE!!!!!! SOOOOO First inspired outfit happened by accident. As usual ANY pattern sale I'm there and during Joann's recent sale I picked up this little number....

I found the fabric at my fav fabric store here and it's a beautiful silk dupioni that I got for an AMAZING PRICE! 

So this little number also is double duty because I joined a wonderful sewing group of divas on Facebook, SEWN UP-A Group for Sewists and Would-be Sewists and I have enjoyed EVERY moment of sharing with these talented sisters! We have a GREAT LBD challenge and I thought this would be PERFECT for this challenge. So whatcha think?? :-) 


Monday, February 4, 2013

A little searching...

Well today as I was working I was looking for a document that I SWORE I saved...somewhere... AnyWHO in my searching I came across some pictures from my old phone that were saved in my GoogleDrive. (Gotta thank that Rob again for his techie self!) I realized while looking back that maybe I have lost all of two pounds and secondly, I really have had a great crafty two years. Looking back I'm glad that I have taken time to foster my creativity more in these last two years. I've always been the crafty/artsy person *see B.L. for verification!! LOL Well I thought it would be fun (and free therapy) to share some of the projects from Crafty Christmas Past....... 

First up, my darling husband to be is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi and a little while ago he proudly celebrated his fraternity's centennial. Well we both went to a wonderful formal gala hosted by his alumni chapter. So I was inspired by this gown I found online and as we all know it was significantly overpriced as usual. So I took to creating the gown on my own and due to my wonderful talent of looking at a picture and being able to recreate it and here's the finished product.....

This is close to the inspiration picture. I couldn't find the original picture but this is VERY close....
And the final product.....

 PLEASE FORGIVE the goofy look and no makeup!! I took the picture like 3 days after the event!! LOL But this was so much fun even hand stitching the stone details on the sleeve!

Oh and to be festive I made my darling the vest and bow tie that he is wearing also!! :-) 

For all my wonderful sisters in the craft, the lovely Daughters of Isis we all know that DRAMA of finding the the perfect attire and gowns for all of our regaled events!! Well I have loved helping my girlfriends to create the gowns of their dreams!! LOL or just the random internet search for white gowns!! Well my Darling Daughter Kirstein wanted to create this dress..... 
Or something kinda close to it..... :-)

Here's what I started with.....
And here's the finished product!!

MIND YOU I'm STILL waiting on her to take a picture in the dress by herself!!!!! AHEM!! Kirstein!!!!

I'm still looking at the pictures and finding more products.... stay tuned for the next edition!