Friday, May 30, 2008

Take a cleansing breath...

Well, after getting this far with Wardrobe Therapy, I realize that I have far more clothes in my closet than I need or wear. I have so many "one day I might wear that" and "if A happens, I will need to wear B" outfits, it is ridiculous. Because, for years, A has not happened and B just sits around and mocks me. Or more correctly, A's have not been filling up my social calendar and those many, many B's are hanging in my closet taking up space.

I have lived on so little money for so many years that I think I am now scared to give away all of my "make-do" clothes (and furniture) for fear that I will ever be able to afford nicer replacements.


Yes, I know that may come off as sad and pathetic. However, if I were really o.k. with living on less (and with less) that would not be a problem, would it?

So, over this summer, I am really going to use the outbox concept of the original Cure and items like these are going to come out of my closest. I had been putting them to the side but it still makes my wardrobe look vast. I will now deal with just looking at the clothes that I deem wearable and that I actually wear. Everything else will go into the outbox (which I hope to hide this time) and await judgment at a later date.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

S.E.W.: The Book Returns



Last December, I wrote a post praising the book S.E.W.: Sew Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp of Make Workshop without having bought the book. I now own the book and I love it even more. This book covers everything I said it did then and does it sooo well.



From setting up the ideal work space, figuring out the anatomy of your machine, working with the fabric grain, identifying different types of fabrics to how to read patterns, this book tackles it all. The last few chapters of the book even cover hand sewing and how to make darning repairs.



Wendy Mullins has been touted as a god-send for Sew U, her beginner sewing book, because it is easy to read and sets you up with the basics. I believe, then that this book is the perfect next step. While Wendy sets you up with a basic shirt, skirt, and pants pattern combination to start from, S.E.W. gives you a variety packet of 10 patterns to use as a jumping-off point for your imagination. Clothing projects in this book move from lingerie to party dress and accessories to go-with, to a warm Mod-inspired cape (see below) to cover it all.



This should be your next reference book to buy, use, and keep.

More book photos at my Flickr page.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Peek Into My Closet

See my new shirt in there?

See this? I'm so happy because that's a big swatch of my wardrobe and though dark, there is barely any black in that picture. There are more reds, blues, greens, and browns. I am getting closer to making the color black an accent in my wardrobe instead of the basis.


After I took this picture, I decided to photograph some of those dresses I wrote about before for Wardrobe Therapy but didn't photograph. I still wasn't feeling up to modeling them but this will no doubt give you a better idea of what they look like.


Here is the linen and lace garden party dress. See how the lace lays in a downward curve on the skirt? Imagine that going to full-length with the skirt getting wider as it gets longer. When the dress fit, it fit wonderfully with no gathers, just a bias sweep to a full swirl-able skirt.







Next, the bronze (faux) velvet dress. This one does have gathers at the empire waist and then tapers down to about twenty inches or so around the ankles. In my choice of fabric, the effect is more pronounced than in the pattern sketch, more like a 1915-18 hobble skirt, in fact.


The green cotton strapless dress. This picture shows how the fabric is woven with two different colors, in this case, blue and yellow in a vintage sharkskin effect to make this almost iridescent green. They now call it shot cotton. I still have two yards of a similar fabric; in a blue and lavender weave, for a sundress I never made.

I probably would not remake this particular dress, but it was constructed very well. Unfortunately, I have no idea what happened to this pattern or which company made it. Update: It was McCall's 9403. Um, by the way, I can no longer keep the bodice up like I was able to in that picture. That was at my heaviest.


Finally, the BCBG satin dress. I think this picture gives you a good idea of the shape. Pretty unusual in the horizontal banded bodice and the vertical gored skirt. It truly does fit like the example I showed in the original dresses post, very tight under the bust and then...whoosh with the tulle underskirt showing from underneath. Oh to have such an occasion to wear this!


Here is something I forgot to include in my Wardrobe Therapy purses round-up. My favorite purse of all...my sparkly beaded Hello Kitty evening purse! A reminder that a wardrobe does not have to be serious all the time, no matter what age the person.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ahhh, the joys of childhood...


I'm feeling nostalgic AND hungry. From Williams-Sonoma, animal cracker cookie cutters! This set of five is $20. I feel tempted to buy these. The theme-related cookie jar is $50 and I have been wanting a cookie jar too.


However, even if I don't buy these (and I really shouldn't as I have cookie cutters that I've never used!) I could still get that distinctive smell and flavor because at the bottom of that cookie cutter order page, W-S posted the
recipe and a cookie making video. So, maybe animal crackers without the animals?

Still sounds good to me!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

WT Week 4 (Am I done yet?): Purses


  1. Torture Devices.
    None.

  2. Velveteen Rabbits.
    A purse/convertible backpack I love that is fast falling apart (top right). Ideally, I would draft a pattern from it and make a replacement. However, with three tiny zippers involved in its construction...yeah, right.
  3. Superstars.
    Liz Claiborne mini-backpack AKA my "concert purse" I can carry a mini-wallet, lipstick, tissues, pen, my keys, and if I push it, my cell phone.

  4. Stalwart Staples.


    Liz Claiborne shoulder bag (right in photo above) The top cinches up and you wear the strap over your shoulder with the bag over your back. Located beneath the strap is a vertical zippered pocket.
    Amanda Smith black textured purse (top left in 1st photo) with dainty handles and detachable shoulder straps.

  5. Same Time, Next Year.


    Target by Mizrahi ruffled evening purse with chain (in middle of 1st photo)

    Handmade:
    Lavender taffeta wrist purse with beaded trim (middle of this photo). This was made to go with my bridesmaid dress.
    Mint green linen tote bag (right) that was made to go with matching strapless dress. This was to be my go-to wedding ensemble. These were worn once, to a Gold Cup steeplechase event, not a wedding.
    A wristlet that I made from a Target tablecloth to go with this dress.

  6. Sentimental Journeys.
    Patent leather "camera purse," the perfect size to tote any one of my cameras in. (Not shown)

  7. Mysteries of the Lost Shopping Trip.
    None.
Misc:


I lot of my purses have come to me as gifts from one of my sisters or my friend Linda. Some were specials from Spiegel (see Velveteen Rabbit, bottom left above, and bottom right in 1st photo) that you receive with a catalog subscription or ones received when the giver bought me the same one that she bought for herself.

My latest tote bag (middle above) came from BooksAMillion.com (BAM) when I signed up for a special discount card. Very good tote bag.

In 2002, I commissioned a felted knit hat and tote bag (top left in 3rd photo) from Another Regan Original in a bright Mediterranean blue yarn.

Sewing Therapy 2008:

  • This Indygo Junction pattern from some barkcloth fabric in my stash that I've been scared to touch for years. I just saw this pattern made up here.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Come to mamma!

I just finished doing an online Target survey for the chance of wining a $5,000 gift certificate.

I'm writing this to say that if I win I would have no qualms telling everyone about the great stuff I got from Target. When it comes to free stuff, I am no snob.

So here's to winning!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

As I lay my head down to sleep...

I have been tempted to make a quilt for years now and just can’t seem to find the time when two-hour shirt projects seem to take me FIVE (!) months to complete. When would I ever find the time and motivation to pieces together a quilt that I would be happy with? Then there is the fact that it could not be just any quilt, I would want it to have the look of one of these new modern country type quilts, you know like a Denyse Schmidt-type.

Well, as of a few days ago (via Decor8) I now know what the next quilt on my bed is going to look like. This one.

Just happens that this is 'cheater quilt'* fabric from none other than Ms. Schmidt herself, made into a quilt, and it will be available next month. Guess who will not be putting off this purchase? I will of course add my own touches to it, perhaps reverse appliqué some other prints onto it using the Alabama Stitch method, and embellish it with yarn tufting and some hand embroidery touches. That I think I can handle, especially since the embroidery could happen after it’s actually done and laying on my lap.

Hurrah!

*Cheater's cloth is fabric printed with a finished quilt block design, made to look like a pieced or appliquéd quilt top. You add batting, sew it together, and you have a quilt or perhaps more correctly, a comforter that looks like a quilt.

WT Week 5: Outerwear and Underwear

Outerwear

Gap fuchsia raincoat - This one is still cute (especially with dresses), however without a hood I tend to grab my hooded L.L. Bean rain slicker instead.

Eddie Bauer quilted jacket - I had wanted the red one I saw in the catalog, but when the jacket went on sale in the store all they had was the black. Back then I wasn't so anti-black clothing so I went ahead and bought it.

L.L. Bean Weather System jacket - Bought at least five years ago, this was such a great deal. I have no idea why they don't still sell this or something similar anymore. It was a quilted black Primaloft-filled jacket with a red zip-on rain slicker with a detachable hood. Both jackets could convert to fit into their own attached carrying pouches.

In Winter:

Two bargain wool coats, one gray double-breasted and one classic black with a covered button placket that looks great (and expensive) with dresses.

Various scarves, gloves, mittens, Polartec 180s ear warmers (the best!), and some barely-worn purchased and handmade hats.

Underwear

I am not piling my underwear so do not ask.

However, I will talk about something related. Don’t you wish that you knew immediately when you found something that you will want to have it in your life forever? Like the perfect bra, pair of shoes, or jeans? Then you would have been able to stock up on it without feeling guilty about the money. I wish I had known that when I bought some simple tank tops from Urban Outfitters, a stretchy camisole from Banana Republic, and a few bras from Victoria's Secret. I have never been able to find suitable replacements for these.

The Banana Republic underwear line was basic, practical, and cut beautifully. It was not lingerie in my opinion because it did not have a lot of lace or frills. I do know the winning formula for the fit was 94% cotton and 6% Lycra spandex.

The tanks from Urban Outfitters were just simple cotton but had a very flattering neckline. I am keeping one so one day I can copy the squarish scoop neck; however, I can no longer wear it because it lost all of its stretch and gapes now.

Victoria's Secret Bodyflex bras were PERFECT. Why? Their underwire was flexible (duh) and not painful in the least. So flexible in fact that you could wring them dry, they dried fast, and could be rolled up in your luggage, making them perfect for travel. A similarly flattering style is this VS Cotton one, available in 20 colors.

I also have a VS full slip from that same period that I love. No scratchy polyester or stiff lace thing for me. This one was stretchy and slinky, exactly what is needed. It even had a shelf bra. I have not seen this style in their catalog, not even their clearance catalogs, for years. (Have you ever noticed how some things in their clearance catalogs are from four or more years ago? Where do they keep all of this stuff?)

Satin ballet length slip $27

They do however have these with just a little lace and they've consistently been available for the last two years. I'm tempted, but first I have to make two slips from this pattern and I have had the fabric for almost a year.

I will continue to keep buying my bras from the Victoria's Secret clearance sales each year. I still don't see a desire for expensive lingerie; attractive and comfortable are my main criteria right now.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Frankenshirt Done! - Simplicity 3835/Vogue 8392



It's done!

Unfortunately, it feels underwhelming because I actually finished it a month ago in muslin and it doesn't feel new anymore. But it is lovely, isn't it? I will have to get used to this muslin/draft idea, I guess.

I'm going to try to take some better pictures later but I just wanted to get it documented that it's basically done. What?

Yeah, it is not done yet. I used the 3/4" elastic in the sleeves that the Vogue 8392 pattern suggests versus the 1/4" elastic I used in the muslin and that was suggested for the Simplicity 3835 top's short sleeves. I think I'm going to change back to 1/4" because this seems so bulky where the muslin's sleeves seemed almost like balloons; they kept their shape but barely touched my arms.

What the colors really looks like.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Did I ever...

show you the fall-to-spring wardrobe that I was going to sew?

Probably not, because I had a strong feeling that it wasn't going to happen in 2007/08. However, I'll show you it now. As part of "TSOL" most of these items will be made soon and luckily will be worn even before the fall.



Here's the sketch I drew up last year. In the top row are the items that I already have. Note the wide-legged pants that I mentioned here and here. And here is where I described the sewing plans for the rest of these pieces including their pattern information. So, really, all you were missing was the sketch.

Very soon I will have something to show you...

Patience is a power

Six months ago:

An excerpt from a never-posted entry entitled "I want a new life":

This one, well, I can't seem to get it to go anywhere. I moved here full of vim and vigor four years ago. Now, no vim, no vigor. I'm in debt, out of work, and because I can't pay for more classes, my school loans are now due.

Four years ago, I had everything going for me. I was eager and motivated. In February, I quit my soul-sucking job (my 3rd!) to attend school full-time and get a part-time job. I had enough money in loans to finish my degree, buy a laptop, and perhaps help out on paying for my graduation trip to Italy. That is, if I had gotten that part-time job. Well, I didn't and therefore went through the money much faster. Now I'm hoping that the last interview I went on worked.


Depressing, right?

Now:

  • Thursday I finished my last class and last exam for the spring semester. School is officially out for summer! I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and even the load that was weighing on that weight was lifted. That one was full of guilt about not doing the other stuff I wanted to accomplish while working 40 hours, taking two classes, publishing my two blogs, and writing a column for another blog. You know, keeping in touch with your existing friends, making new friends, and perhaps having a date before 2010.
  • I got on the scale Friday morning (and double-checked just now) somehow, since the last time I got on the scale, I have gained FIVE pounds! Woo hoo! This accomplishment means so much more than numbers. For the past year, I have been in survivor mode with no appetite, my clothes falling off me, and no energy because of anemia and insomnia. This weight gain means I am finally rallying from that depressive year of unemployment, 2007. Finally.
  • I checked my account balance and there is cushion money in both checking and in savings thanks to my tax refunds! In addition, I finally made the goal of $100 through blog advertising revenue and will be receiving my first check before the end of the month! This doesn't mean I'm swimming in money just yet but I can now start saving for the fall semester without starving.
So what I'm trying to say...is prepare to start seeing dispatches from "the summer of Lisa" this next few months...I'm feeling energized!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Perfect example of "droopy-crotch" pants



At least I didn't have to pay $400 for mine.

Junya Watanabe for CdG Reverse pant, Impulse Seattle.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I vow

Lately, my little blog has shown up on the blog rolls of some great sewing blogs and what have I shown in return?

Nothing. Nada. No sewing at all.



Fear not, I am not a pretender, just a college student finishing the spring semester. After this Thursday I will be on summer vacation and the sewing will return. The horrid picture shown above is proof of that last long enduring project, that one with the muslin. It will be finished this weekend.

I swear.

Monday, May 05, 2008

WT Week 4: Shoes!




Yes, it's getting strappy in here!
  1. Torture Devices.

    Nine West high-heeled boots from ex-boyfriend. I only wear them when more sitting than walking will be involved.
    Mossimo oxblood Mary Jane pumps from Target with cut-out detailing. I bought these when I had a dress that matched in color and feel. I still like these and will try to wear them more.
    Croc Mary Janes in red (I want the aquamarine ones too) even though the current ones have stretched beyond belief and safety outside of the house (the only reason they are in this category.) But because of how they feel I am willing to take another chance and get them a size smaller.

  2. Velveteen Rabbits.

    Suede Merrell slips-ons from L.L. Bean. I bought them for my trip to Ireland. I need another pair because these are perfect for walking, light hiking, etc. (also looking at Keens, L.L.Bean, and Ecco for replacements)


    Jones New York black fabric work pumps – always classy, always look good, on the outside at least. The lining is falling apart, crumbling away, in fact. Ewww. I usually only wear these for the interviews even though they are incredibly comfortable. The outside is a very nice crepe fabric. I would love to find more like these, anyone seen anything similar out there?

  3. Superstars.


    Nine West brown suede ankle-strap shoes. These remind me of shoes worn by Betty Grable, Rosalind Russell, and Esther Williams in those 1940s musicals. I can see shoes like these being worn playing shuffleboard on one of those cruises their characters always took to Europe. I always wear these with my bronze velvet dress. I now need something new so I can wear these in the fall and winter to come.


    Miz Mooz brown leather Mary Janes with cut work details. They are such a rich brown; however, these pictures do not do them justice. Extremely comfortable, they will get more use as I replace the black with more brown in my wardrobe. I last wore them out with my new outfit and felt so sassy!


    Montego Bay Club by Payless orange embroidered espadrilles - eye-catching, they become more of a focal spot than a coordinating element.

  4. Stalwart Staples.


    Payless "go-go" boots. Sleek, stretchy, comfy, one of my best purchases ever! I just wish I had found more than one pair.
    My L.L. Bean lace-up boots. I also bought these for my Ireland trip, and again, they were perfect. If you want comfortable, durable shoes, checking out L.L. Bean or REI is the way to go.
    Parade of Shoes (now Payless) Mary Janes with rubber soles and Velcro closing. Soooo comfortable.
    Mossimo Mary Janes shown in Torture Devices.
    Another pair of Mary-Janes, unfortunately the name has worn off the insole. These may have been Enzo Angiolini, Aerosole, or Kenneth Cole Reaction, just not sure which.

  5. Same Time, Next Year.


    Caparros lavender bridesmaid sandals. Unfortunately, I lost one of the shoe ornaments dancing that night and couldn’t get another from the manufacturer. Since I never wore them again I guess it doesn’t matter.


    Jennifer Moore black ‘witchy’ shoes – the way these looked use to bother me when I thought my feet were big, but not anymore. I got over it. I still would use them for a witch costume in a pinch though.

  6. Sentimental Journeys.

    I have two pairs of pink satin toe shoes from when I was fourteen. Of course, I will never wear them again but having them around reminds me of all my hard work. One is the last pair I owned so they are not as beat up as the other pair, therefore you can see exactly how worn out the shoes get with use. Hard and boxlike when new, they turn into floppy slippers after just a few months.

  7. Mysteries of the Lost Shopping Trip.


    Nine West embroidered kitten heels that I bought a day or two before Gold Cup. I wore them walking through muddy fields for the steeplechase and were never worn again.
    Black chunky suede embroidered “stripper” shoes from (?) I have no idea what I was thinking. I actually debated about buying these; however, neither taste nor practicality was in that debate. (Rats! It seems I already got rid of these before I took a picture! Sorry.)

Oxblood and Chocolate.

Next: I've added brown but I still need more shoes in colors like:

  • the new blue Crocs
  • maybe these in yellow from Miz Mooz

Sunday, May 04, 2008

WT: Meming the meme

Something easy? Yay!

What
accessories do you wear everyday?
A silver moonstone ring I bought in New Orleans years ago.

What is your beauty routine?
I use proactiv cleanser and repairing lotion. Yes, it works! However, I mistakenly take a break every once in a while and my skin rebels horribly. I have just started using it before I go to sleep and hopefully will be able to keep this up regularly. The only negative is that washcloths get splotchy and ruined because of the benzoyl peroxide and must be hidden when guests are over.

What was the last item of clothing (for yourself) that you purchased?
This cute outfit which I winningly wore last Friday!

Do you use a dresser, closet, or both?
Both.

What type of earrings are in your ears right now?
None. I used to wear earrings all the time. However, I have a bad habit of losing only one of a pair all the time. Not into the mismatched earring thing, I stopped replacing them. I am currently trying to start up again and bought a cheap set of varying size silver hoops on a whim. With my short hairdo, they go a long way in projecting a feminine look long after the lipstick has faded for the day.

Do you wear glasses?
Yes, unfortunately. I think my eyes are my best feature therefore I resent having to wear them. No, don't suggest contacts, I suffer from dry-eye syndrome and the thought of peeling them off of my eyeballs everyday is just not appealing. Laser surgery...even less so.

Do you wear makeup?
Yes, but not as much as I think I should. I wore more makeup in high school than in the last eight years. The routine has diminished so much that it's lipstick only now, that is if I have time as I run out the door in the morning. Touch-ups during the day are another matter. However, as the years go by it seems my eyelashes* are bailing on me, so eyeliner or mascara might return and also maybe some translucent powder. I am still single and need to make an effort. I guess.

What is your favorite perfume?
I'm allergic to certain components in some perfumes so I don't wear any personally and because I don't know exactly which ones I won't have a problem with, unfortunately, I also hope my co-workers don't wear them either (so far, so good this time). However, years ago I fell in love with Benneton's defunct scent Tribu. I actually bought a small bottle ten or so years ago because it smelled so good, like strong Ethiopian mint tea. I still have the bottle, all washed out now, and displayed in my bathroom.

Note: Just found out what was in it: BENETTON created TRIBU perfume in 1993. It is the result of the following top fragrance notes: violet, black currant and rose. The middle notes are: geranium, ylang-ylang and sandalwood and the base of the fragrance is: vetiver, oakmoss and cedarwood. Sounds yummy, right?

Is your motto "quality over quantity" when it comes to clothing and accessories?
Despite making my own clothes, my idea of quality is highly subjective since I could always reinforce a seam, change the buttons, remove elastic, add elastic, etc. Lack of money takes care of that quantity bit too.

Do you wear rain boots?
No, only because changing shoes is not that efficient, though I just got tempted by these!

Do you wear socks or slippers when your feet get cold?
My feet are covered 95% of the time and like Wendy are covered with a blanket when I'm curled up on the sofa. I rarely "sit" on my sofa; curl up, lounge, or lay are better descriptions.

Do you have a set of travel luggage?
Yes, I own a basic set of three in black; small rolling cart, a rolling garment bag, and an overnight bag. However, my goal is to only travel with one of the set at a time. When I traveled for my job, I considered myself a failure if I had to check any luggage. Therefore, when I went to Ireland after 9/11, I read the new guidelines for each of the airlines I would be using and bought my luggage in the smallest size recommended. (I'll probably write a post about that experience later as it worked out so well.) Six days in Ireland: no baggage checked.

If you are married, did you wear a veil with your wedding dress?
Not married. Yet. Probably will not wear a wedding veil. Loving this look with the hair, so this will probably be the way for me.
actress Thandie Newton (w/ Ol Parker)

Do you wear a
watch?
I used to, then I kept putting off getting the battery replaced. Do need to fix that at some point, it might fix my tardiness problem.

Do you prefer zippers or buttons?
I prefer zippers in ready-to-wear and in homemade garments. If I ever buy a new sewing machine, making buttonholes will be a major factor.

*The eyelashes that I have left now grow every which way but out and up. I had to buy an eyelash curler just to keep them from poking me in the eye. Does anyone else have this problem?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Sewers*, I have a question for you....

Does anyone know anything about this book, Make Your Own Clothes: 20 Custom Fit Patterns to Sew by Marie Clayton? I just saw it on Amazon and noticed that the book comes with some sort of customizable pattern software on a CD. Is it worth it?

*Just what is the term to use, seamstress, sewer, sewist, or sewing-enthusiast? Someone, please help?

Friday, May 02, 2008

WT Week 4: The Status Symbol issue

  1. What's my Status Symbol? That is, what do you expect people to value and respect about you as a human being?
    I still have a little problem with this phrase as it relates to traits about ones nature and not their wardrobe. I don't expect anyone to value or respect what I wear on my body, but instead to value what I'm about and respect my beliefs.

    Example: I might dress in all 1950s-related gear of full skirts with petticoats, pumps, and delicate jewelry, however, that has no relation to how I view the role of women in the 21st century.

    I want people to know that I believe in preserving this planet and its resources for future generations, taking care of the things we can in the present in order to succeed in that goal, and instilling these same beliefs in youth so that they start out with the respectful attitude needed to continue the campaign. I also believe in taking responsibility in ones actions and reacting to life's situations and relationships morally and ethically

    I'd rather see status symbol as what you want someone to observe about you from your general impression on them. Not everyone needs to have as much information as is needed to actually value and respect you. The majority of the people you deal with day-to-day will not get that involved yet most will probably make some sort of snap mental observation about you in general.

  2. How does my wardrobe relate to my status symbol?
    With my status symbol aspects, I don't see how they could be reflected in clothes unless I was willing to condense my wardrobe to a minimal and purely utilitarian group of basics reflecting thrift, a lack of excess, and the sole use of natural fibers. I'm just not there yet.

    However, if I just wanted people's general impression of me to be as a fun, creative, and quirky person, then I think I'm there about 40% of the time. The rest of the time? Sometimes I'm either running late or have lost all imagination and what I wear isn't a good representation of who I think I am. However, since I did buy or make everything in my closet there really shouldn't be that kind of disconnect, should there? I guess I'll have to work on that some more.

  3. Do I want some aspect of my attire to be a conversation starter? If so, what?
    I wouldn't mind someone commenting on the fact that I make my own clothes every once and a while but of course I first have to start wearing more or just plain make more of them for that to happen.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Shout-Out to LJ Designs

Over the years, I've come across this small pattern company, LJ Designs, by Lyla Messinger. She has some very simple designs, but lately I've been surprised with a few sophisticated and intriguing draped designs. They seem more body based than typical pattern-pieced design. Each pattern is multi-sized from XX - Small to XX - Large or 4 XL, allowing for alteration. The patterns are simple in concept; however, Lyla freely shares personalization techniques. She also designs and manufactures multi-color zippers that are meant to be seen.

Yes, the illustrations and especially the completed garments for some of these are deceptively unattractive (sorry Lyla!) and need updating, however, try to look at the possibilities and the shapes. Picture them in different fabrics and most definitely erase the shoulder pads from some of them!

Two that I want from her
Eclectic Treasures line; the Seaside T and the Milano gloves.

Makes me think of Elisa, how about you?


Sewn of wovens and not knitted, this is very welcome.

I like the patterns for these next listed designs, but not the pictures. Therefore, go to the site and look for yourself, with discerning eyes, at: the Chardonnay skirt, Margarita tank top, Venetian cape, the Vesper (sketched at top of post,) and the Triple T's.

Lyla really seems to know how to drape on the body. Since I don't see myself taking a true draping class anytime soon, one of these days I will attempt using her patterns, hopefully the Seaside T. If anyone out there has made a LJ Design pattern, will you please let me know?

p.s.
The Seaside T also makes me think of this top worn by Kate Walsh in an issue of marie claire.