Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Another Impressive jacket Snoop Shopping

The giveaway is extended to June 1st, I think a lot of people were away for the holidays, and I want to give everyone a chance.  So just leave your comments here on the giveaway post.

I went snoop shopping again, it's as much fun as I can have without spending money, and it's educational to boot.  This was an outing to explore what other designers do for jacket trim.  This would have totally worked for the pink jacket but I wanted to try the fringe, so this will go in my fashion folder.  There was a lot to like about this jacket, the cut is really interesting and the details were executed really well.

Zac Posen

The braid on this jacket is readily available, I think they may even have it at Joann's.  The tulle or netting is probably cotton, so that is a bit of a specialty item, but you could probably substitute a sheer fabric or something else in it's place.

Zac posen cuffZac Posen insideZac Posen close up trimZac Posen Jacket back

The jacket is fitted but not crushing, the darker peplum is good for those of us who want to camouflage a wider bottom.  The braid and buttons can be easily obtained.  I love the silk charmeuse lining, bias binding on the facing. the inside pocket, and the grosgrain button closure detail (although functional it is cumbersome to operate).  The fabric was very stiff, so I am assuming that it is fused to interlining, not a big fan of that.  In contrast to the other jacket I snoop shopped last week, I like that this one is impeccably finished on the inside. Here is the matching skirt, with the same details.  While this is not my style, I really enjoyed seeing fine workmanship.


Close up of seam and trim.
Trim close up

Monday, May 28, 2012

Chanel jacket Shaping rounded corners

Progress has been slow, but finally the pockets have been formed, now they need some interfacing, lining and they'll be ready to be attached.  So I thought I'd show you how to shape rounded patch pockets.  This pocket is not the original included with the pattern, these I draped on the jacket.

Up to this point, the pockets have been cut, they have been thread traced.
The next step is to run two parallel lines of stitching at the rounded corners.

Here is a close up, where you can see the thread tracing and the double rows of stitching. One row of stitching on the stitching line, and another 1/4" into the seam allowance.
Step 2 double row of stitching

The next step is to pull up the threads, and distribute the gathers to the corners.  You don't want the gathering to continue to the straight parts of the pockets, we are just trying to tame the curve.
It's also important to note, that you will pull the thread on the stitching line a little, just to start the curve.  Distribute the gathers just at the corner.
The row of stitching that is in the seam allowance will be the one that pulls the seam allowance around to the back, this will be pulled a little more.
Step 3 Gathered corners

Here you see it from the right side (doesn't look like much), but this is where the work is done.
Step 3 Gathered corners right side

You'll know when you've got it, when the corners start to pull back, below the seam allowance has been trimmed from the curve to reduce bulk.
Step 4 adjusting gathers

Here the seam allowance is basted back, with the fold on the stitching line.
Step 5 Basted edges

The pockets still need interfacing along the top edge to reinforce it, but I'm still experimenting with the size and placement, so the pockets are held in place with a few pins.
Pocket placement

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lanvin DIY the Tweed pearl necklace

It's only $775, it looks pretty cute with the red shorts and white silk shirt.  I think it's a lovely use of tweed scrap and with the good stuff going for $50 a yard and upwards, why not make yourself a coordinating necklace.  I will have to make one to match my some day boucle.

Lanvin tweed necklace close up

Friday, May 25, 2012

Chanel jacket progress Trim


We are getting closer to the end, the sleeve trim has to be stitched. The buttonholes are something to consider since this is just the test garment, so I want hand stitched buttonholes or do we want to try the "hand stitched" setting on my vintage buttonholer and see what that looks like.

Vogue pattern 8259 Shaeffer Chanel jacket 3 piece sleeve
The next major operation will be the pockets. If you remember, the original jacket had rectangular pockets oriented in landscape, so that the longer edge was at the top and bottom. I've experimented with another shape and placement ideas. Then there will the matter of trim to consider whether the fringe and braid will be carried on to the pocket, and whether to include buttons.


The pocket placement above is towards the side seams and below, they are brought in towards the center a bit more.  They look a bit small compared to the pattern envelope, but I like the shape, it repeats the soft curve at the center front.

The next major operation will be the pockets. If you remember, the original jacket had rectangular pockets oriented in landscape, so that the longer edge was at the top and bottom. I've experimented with another shape and placement ideas. Then there will the matter of trim to consider whether the fringe and braid will be carried on to the pocket, and whether to include buttons. If you're a Prada fan, you have to watch this video (aprox 3 minutes) "A Therapy"

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What do you get for $1,041 ? Snoop Shopping

I went snoop shopping at an outlet, and found a jacket for $1,041 (marked down from $2,900, a steal, a bargain) from a famous designer label.  I can't find a photo of it on the web to date it, so let's say it's from a few seasons ago.  Yes entirely too small for me, but I thought cute.

DG jacket
DSC02206 Now when I say cute, I did not warm up to the print (which reminded me of my grandmother's curtains), but the fabric itself was soft and very snuggle worthy. I also liked the chunky lace, especially since I have so much lace in my stash, I'm always looking for ways to use it. Here's where the fun begins. Construction details.

There are exactly two darts at the back neck.

There may be some shaping hidden at the lace insert seams, but it's very slight.

The sleeves are two piece with an overarm seam.  I really liked the sleeves.

The collar piece is finished with the overcast and lapped over the neckline. (Very interesting)

Seam allowances are finished with an overcast stitch as well as other raw edges around the insert area, but they didn't stop there, the center front edge as well as the sleeve edge, pocket edge & flap and collar have the same treatment.

There are self facings turned up at the hem.

Separate facings at the neck, center front, and sleeve.

Center front and collar are interfaced with what might be organza or a lightweight satin.

The front closing consists of 4 large snaps.

So I say dust off those sergers and get working on jacket.

DSC02207 DSC02208 DSC02209 DSC02211 DSC02215 DSC02216 DSC02217 DSC02210

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Textile envy....

Do you ever look at some of runway garments and think, well yeah that's a simple little frock but look at the fabric there is no way I can ever make that.  That's what I was thinking when I saw this.  Now I would pick other colors but, these designers have textile firms print up their colors and designs for them.

Chloe top 1

Look at how cute it is under a jacket. 

chloe top 2 Here's the back. chloe top 3 

 I mean how hard can it be? I could never make it though.... because I'd spend all my efforts online shopping for it and never find a suitable stripe, or decent fiber content, but why stop now, why not take an even closer look to torture myself some more
chloe top 4

chloe top 5
Hey wait a minute, do you see what I see? This puppy is pieced, you can make it out of anything you'd like.

This top is by Chloe on
I figured since I can't sew again for a while, I'd do some snoop shopping.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bill Blass 2463 muslin progress - sleeves

The sleeves are pin basted, and the shoulder pads are in place.  I'm not sure how I feel about the fit.


The sleeves are much narrower than I thought but looking at the envelope, it's in a fabric with drape, so it's deceiving.

From "Adonising" Dressing for Dinner
The issue I'm having is the area from the sleeve cap to midway between the shoulder and bust point. It is collapsing, so I'll have to pull the shoulders up to eliminate the excess.  I may eliminate the shoulder pads altogether, since it looks a bit square on me.

   The back looks good even on the body.  The two piece sleeve has a nice curve to it.  I will have to shorten it a little, about 2".  The FBA adjustment shortened the front piece about 2" and I will shorten it in addition to that.

Slowly but surely we're making progress here, and I'm sure to find the collar once the furniture is back in it's place.  Plumbing issues are never any fun.

Continued here... Fitting upper bust

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Padding out dress forms

My Wolf dress form is a size 8, what does that mean?  It's measurements are 35" - 26.5" - 37", there used to be a time when it was too large for me, not any more.  When I took my moulage class with Kenneth King I created a cover that was used to stuff the dress form.


Held in place by sticky clear film used for wrapping boxes.  This was done for two reasons, one was to keep the batting fibers from getting stuck in the zipper and the other was to help mold the and reinforce the shape of the dress form.  In some areas there is a 6" difference.


Layers of batting

It worked at the beginning but after a time the batting shifted and crushed and no longer resembled my shape, (even though it was close in dimension).  So I found another dress form closer to my size, and restuffed her.  This time, I would need less batting and tried to follow the natural curves of the underlying dress form.  I draped the batting over the dress form, complete with hand basted darts,

The darts are trimmed and opened

The batting turned inside out.


                                The cover slipped on again and voila something closer to my shape.  On the first version the shoulders sloped too much and would require further adjustment on me.  What I really need is pads for the arms which will come further down the road.

Jacket progress has been slow but hopefully I'll be able to get back to them soon, here's a teaser of what's been done so far.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Trend Spring 2012 color blocking

Plumbing issues are keeping any progress on the jackets at bay, but here are some really interesting color blocking ideas from Net-a-Porter.  These are a terrific use of fabrics that you loved but don't have enough left over to make anything from.

Preen has a stretch satin body and jersey sleeves, the Giambattista top is actually a knit but can be made up in practically any fabric.
Elizabeth and James - Silk Chiffon
DVF - Silk Crepe
Victoria Beckham - Jersey
Chloe - Silk Crepe

Color Blocking spring 2012

So get back to that stash and see what leftovers you have, they're not just for stuffing small sewing projects.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Did you ever want to have tea with Royalty?

I love Whittards tea and while perusing their US website, I found these and had to share.
It appears that they have snubbed Kate who is not part of the pack :(


Here at Whittards.