Monday, August 12, 2019

Yves Saint Laurent Ready to Wear, Design Details, A Very Wearable Simple Blue Dress

Years ago this little YSL beauty came across my path and I had to have it.  So many of the runways show styles that we can not find a place for in our every day lives.  There are so many other styles that they don't show that are in the atelier that are more wearable.  This is one of them.

The silhouette is simple, yet it has a pocket, and good materials and thoughtful details. 

Bust shaping, happens at the center front and bust dart, and the deep armholes.
The neckline is very flattering, and the straps are placed to cover bra straps.

The skirt shaping happens at the center front seam and two topstitched dart shaped tucks.

These are beautiful heavy mother of pearl buttons

The waist is held closed by a hook and eye, as well as the armhole closure

Back shaping down the center back and the waist curve

Back skirt has a center back seam and two darts on each side

There are no buttonholes, the facing gaps, form the buttonholes

And my favorite, the pocket, which is quite deep at 12"

The facings and linings are just as beautiful..

More to come as the summer burns on....

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Life Happens..... you never know what's lurking under those bathroom walls!!

Just when you think you are done.... they pull you back in.  Home maintenance, is a pain.  So, when I moved out of the little house, we still had a few projects to do to finish what we had started 4 years ago.  Prepping the floor in the bedroom closet, I noticed a leak.  Thankfully, not from the roof, but from the bathroom.  We go to the bathroom to find loose tiles, crumbling green board and mold.  We decided to leave the tiles around the bath tub, and tackle the kitchen and the living area floor, we thought the bathroom looked ok.

I mean, this is what we started with... no medicine cabinet, vanity, or light fixtures.  The surround had an avocado green bullnose, the floor tile was peach.
 We tried to keep what we could, so that meant the tub, surround tile, and everything you see here.  The floor was replaced.

The bullnose was replaced.

Here we are today.....
When we took down the walls, we learned that they had insulated the wall behind the green board with styrofoam, and that we had a vine growing sandwiched between the greenboard and the styrofoam.  The vine was removed, and mold was treated. It's nice and clean now, ready for a fresh start.

Then  I decided to remove the popcorn, because patching the popcorn around the ceiling would not be pretty. That was just a few hours work, so not bad for a good result. Primer and paint after the ceiling edges are taped, and we are good to go.

Now I get to design a new bathroom, Yay!!

I'll be posting about sewing again soon....

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Bobbin Lace and Tape lace tank

Mom did a bit of traveling, she left us at home one year with the freezer packed with food. She was gone for a month.  I attribute that to our going to see Shirley Valentine, that movie inspired an adventure. Dad would travel but not everywhere, and darn it she was going to see the world.  She landed in Brussels during that month, and bought tons of Bobbin lace and tape lace.

Once dad realized if he didn’t go with her he would be left behind, they went to Brazil, where she found doilies with their version of bobbin tape lace. This is what was left over from one of the doilies  

She set to designing and made all manner of bridal dresses, dresses and a tank for me. 

This set looks Aztec to me  

This was one of my favorite outfits when I was younger. When she first presented it to me, all I could see were the holes and how I would be naked underneath. One flesh toned bra later and I really loved this top, but it was not without stares. 

I can't believe I was ever this size  
The skirt might have to be repurposed for the nomad dress  I'm pulling out all of the clothing from the "repurpose" pile. Squee!!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Youtube Tunic inspiration.... and the organization is complete

I was scared.... this was the last of the fabric reorganization.  
The day before, I had spoken to my 90 year old aunt and she asked how the move was coming along.  I said I was still moving boxes over. She said, "fabric right?", Yes, your mother said she was going to leave you an inheritance of fabric, and she laughed hysterically.  Which made me laugh because, while I didn't know her plans, she did indeed.leave me fabric and lace.... this is the lace.

He was no help at all, but at least he wasn't attacking the mounds while I worked away.

Here we are, one of the guest room closets...

And the rest in my bedroom.  A total of three of these metal bookcases hold most of my fabric.  There are some chiffons, and cut velvets hanging in the closet, and two bins in the sewing area, which are lining fabrics, and scrap.  I also have a drawer full of misc, clothing that I wanted to repurpose, I always feel better about things when they are organized.

In the meantime.... I was thinking about the Nomad Dress, while I was sorting those laces.  I turned to youtube, and there is a channel called "Appearance Design Studio".  I believe he is located in India, and if you want to watch what it looks like to whiz through a garment, he's pretty amazing.  The videos have soundtracks and he doesn't speak.  I've learned some things, but have to admit, I've never stapled a facing..... If you are thinking about tunics this year for summer, you might get some ideas here.  I pop on the channel when I'm sorting fabric.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Zero waste Ethnic Clothing Folkwear Patterns Have They Been Misunderstood?

I have to admit, I had trouble understanding the Folkwear portfolio.  I didn't know if it was cosplay, museum reproduction garments,  theatre, or costumes.  So I purchased the Folkwear Book of Ethnic Clothing, this book is a treasure trove of ethnic clothing  history, I'm understanding a bit better, and really enjoying reading about how the garments evolved from rectangles, triangles and circles to the more fitted garments.  If you're expecting these patterns to be ready to wear you won't be satisfied with them.  Early on the pattern reviews were a mixed bag, but I've seen some beautiful interpretations inspired by the ethnic design as well as simpler modern versions.

I'm considering creating the cover tunic to lounge around the house ☺

If I remember my costume history correctly, the first body adornment was scarification of the skin. The first textile was made of tree bark.  This book fast forwards to more traditional fabrics, woven on looms.. The first patterns were geometric shapes. On its surface a rectangle isn’t very sophisticated, but it’s the “why” that’s interesting.

“Looking deeper for a possible explanation, we find a belief common to many cultures that a fabric, like other objects made painstaking by human hands, has a spiritual as well as a structural integrity. Cutting not only damages the fabric but also diminishes its power to protect against malign forces.”

They didn’t cover this in my costume history class.

“To preserve the fabrics integrity, clothing designs are developed that require few, if any cuts into the fabric. When cuts must be made, the resulting pieces are given the shapes of triangle, square, rectangle, or circle in order to substitute their talismanic potency for the power of uncut cloth. “

Imagine what they might have thought about pieced quilts.  I've never thought of my clothes having "talismanic" properties, but I have held onto some pieces that no longer fit, that I love.  There's something to be said about a garment or anything made by loving hands, with intention.  

The first garment of 2019....

The cape will be later.... no not really.

It comes with differenct embroidered designs for each size that are interchangeable.  In this go around, I won't be embroidering.

Things are still getting organized and moved in to their final places, I have a lot of fabric.  The ethnic clothing designs are suitable for burning through yardage with reckless abandon, and using some special pieces as trim.  My mind is on fire with the possibilities, and frankly, it's time, I become "that neighbor", who runs around the house in an Afghani Nomad dress.


Here's a bit of sobering information from the book. 

"In certain parts of Africa, wealthy families might honor their dead by wrapping the body with a multitude of fabrics  neighbors and friends also contributed cloth, and the size of the pile of cloth indicated the prestige of the deceased."

A most fitting passage for someone organizing stash..... although shipping my stash to Africa for the opportunity to be prestigious in death is not on my bucket list, so the lesson is, use your stash before you're buried with it.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Spanish Embroidered Panels...

In the mid 70s on a trip to Spain, my mother made friends with a woman who was a rep for a textile company.  They spent hours talking about fashion and sewing and the rep, shared her samples with mom.  They sold blouse kits, and embroidered fabrics used for shirts. The woman gifted a few of the samples to her.

The first was the blouse kit, which came in 5 pieces, consisting of back piece, two front pieces, a collar piece, and a piece that can be split to make cap sleeves.  The two embroidered front pieces have finished front edges, basted at the center front, ready for button holes, the collar and sleeve pieces  have tiny embroidered coordinating motifs. The sewer would need a pattern for the neckline, collar and sleeve. 

The next samples were shirt fronts and embroidered panels. The shirt front pieces are trimmed and turned under down the center front. I’m thinking some of these might find their way into yokes on tunics or nightgowns.  These might be incorporated  into my next garment project, I already have my favorites.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

But Why Are Dye Lots Important, White is White, Right? No....

This was an interesting observation.  I purchased two IKEA lamps years ago.  After living with them for a while, I started noticing when lit, they are not the same color.  I automatically thought, ah, the lightbulbs aren't the same color temperature.  I'll just leave them and when they burn out, I'll replace them with matching bulbs.  That didn't fix the issue either.   

The fabric is the same color but the white cardboard beneath is not. Even cardboard has color lots, who knew?

 How is this sewing related?  Here we have flannel again, two cuts of the same SKU from Joann's.  Since I'm putting up white curtains, this color difference will shine through a white fabric.  You'll see that they are different colors.  One is a blue white, the other a warm yellow.  There's nothing wrong with either but if they are hanging next to each other, you will see the difference.  So when embarking on your sewing projects, try to buy all of the fabric you need from one bolt.

Now, I was thinking about what I can do with these IKEA lamp shades, they no longer carry this lamp or the shades.  I was thinking of painting them black inside, but I like that they aren't opaque.  There may be a lampshade making post in my future.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Do Not Use Elastic For Long Term Fabric Storage - The Elastic Wrapped Bolt

About three years ago, there was a massive garage sale, a Bernina teacher, had decided to declutter.  I purchased all sorts of attachments and thread, and could not leave without some white flannel that I thought could be useful.  The sales area was set up with metal garage shelving, each bolt of fabric, neatly stacked and wrapped in plastic, two pieces of elastic holding the fabric in place.

Fast forward, today, the bolt was unwrapped, the elastic, which still had memory was taken off the bolt.   On it's surface, the elastic looked like a good idea, no pin holes or rust, but for long term storage, I wouldn't recommend it.

The marks went straight through to the backside of the fabric, and through layers.

Across the first 2 yards of the bolt.

The tape left less of a mark, but I wouldn't recommend it either.

There are more stains throughout the bolt, not happy.

Actually not sure how to tackle this, googling how to remove set in stains, the first Google result  recommends the following:

Soak set-in stains. If the stain has been there for a while, soak it overnight in a bowl filled with 2 cups warm water, 1 tablespoon liquid dish detergent, and 2 tablespoons Oxiclean. Wring the cloth out and rinse it well under warm water, then inspect it for any remaining stain before laundering.

Here goes.
I didn't follow the exact ratio here, this is more like 5 gallons, 2 tablespoons liquid dish detergent, and 3/4 cup of Oxiclean.  

Oxiclean was worked into the stains with a toothbrush.

Ugh, what are you stairng at?

This was left in the bin, with the lid overnight.

The following day, the stains had lessened but were still visibile.  I decided to stop working on it here, and just throw it into the washing machine.

I did not throw it in the dryer, and just let it air dry, the stains have lessened to a degree, there were some stains on the edges that I didn't see until now.  I had hoped to leave it in direct sunlight to lighten it some more, but it is overcast.  My mother, who could get any stain out, would leave white fabrics in the sun to dry, and mostly it took out those last little shadows..  She also used diluted bleach and would tackle the stain over days some times.

I'm not sure if it would have been better to just by pass the garage sale find and purchase a nice clean piece of flannel from Joann's.  During their February sale,  it was $2.00 a yard.  I'm saying I'm not sure which is better, because, I don't know how the two qualities compare to one another.  I've just recently found out, some flannel shrinks more than others, and if you are using it as batting or in a garment, I would like to find the one that shrinks the least, that looks best longest.  Once the flannel is washed, it loses that brushed quality, and forms pills.  If you look at an old flannel sheet, you'll see what I mean.

I may have to do a test on the different qualities of flannel available at Joann's.