Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

Yesterday, I got to see one of my favorite holiday movies, Home For the Holidays, directed by Jodie Foster and starring Holly Hunter and Dylan McDermott. I think I love this film because the family dynamics are so real. It's not a pretty picture of family life but it seems more real than typical Hollywood fare. You can watch the whole movie here on YouTube in ten parts. If you've never seen it, definitely give it a try.

Now I just have to see my other favorite Hollywood film, 1945's Christmas in Connecticut starring Barbara Stanwyck. This film is pure Hollywood, vintage-style and just lovely.

I did a bit more sewing, but man am I slow! I miss the days where I didn't stop until I was exhausted, sometimes sewing until early the next morning. Last night, though I was still up late I was watching TV instead of sewing.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sewing Weekend Update

  • I finished one of the projects I wanted to work on this weekend. I finally resized New Look 6807 down one size and even wore it to a party on Saturday night. I ended up sewing the back seam up so that the bow no longer works as fastening and is now
    decoration only. Therefore, I didn't have any problem with it slipping off my shoulders.

  • I sold both pieces of the navy wool crepe that I had in my Etsy shop. Thank you! Once I decided to list them separately, they both sold within days. Hmmm, what else can I find to sell?

  • I completed the dress lining of my big project. I decided to do the lining first, and then the dress in the fashion fabric, because the lining usually seems like the part you can't wait to get over and done with. This also made it easy to see where potential fitting problems may show up. However, it's looking pretty good for a bias dress, so I can't wait to stitch up the dress tonight and finish it. In a winter red twill, it will be my go-to holiday dress this season.

    Oh, by the way, it's a test pattern for this dress. YES!! and you will definitely want one too after you see it!

  • I came up with a cool design for a frothy holiday necklace while working with the ice blue lining fabric. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to actually work one up yet. Maybe this weekend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


That's right, Outsapop is a cool website I found a few weeks ago, that covers all the trashion (DIY-inspired fashion) that's out and about.

Outi Pyy, the author, is Finnish but her blog is written in English. She includes notes from the designer fashion shows, DIY tutorials like this one for totebags made from old tank tops, pics from the recycled sweater challenge on Project Runway Finland*, felt circle pallietes decorating a sweater, etc.
Outi knows about DIY fashion because she is also a designer. In fact, she makes great accessories out of garment zippers and sells them here. Check out some examples of her own work:

Bonus: A belt tutorial she created for zipper manufacturer YKK.

*Did you even know there was a PR Finland?! The US show is really too conservative. Just look at this season's finalists, anything that seems edgy in their recent collections (ex: zipper collars) has already been done better somewhere else. Like Comme des Garcons in 2005. All you have to do is do your research...which Outsapop does.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wool Crepe In The Etsy Shop!

Remember that navy wool crepe I mentioned I had for sale? I wrote about it here a month ago.

Well, I just put it up for sale in my Etsy shop, Dragonfly. I'm selling it for approximately $8 a yard even though when I bought it I originally paid $12. (yeah, I was a big spender back then.) Please check it out here.

Again, the fabric is in perfect condition. It is 58" wide and is already cut in two lengths. One piece is 2 and 3/4 yards or 98 inches. The other piece is exactly 75 inches or a little over two yards of fabric.

NOTE: I'm selling them together in order to offer you more fabric for larger projects. However, if anyone is interested in them as separate lengths, just let me know. I am open to selling them separately. UPDATE: I decided to sell the two fabric lengths separately after all! ALL GONE!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Goal This Weekend...

is to sew, sew, sew!
  • I have a project; a task really, to do in the next week and I can't wait to start on it.
  • I also have two garments (I won't remind you which ones) that I still have to finish and hopefully this weekend will be it.
Also, here are pictures of that outfit I was so proud of. I love this look and will definitely make more of this dress, the Anda. In fact, the outfit received compliments from four separate people when I wore it to work and words like classy and sophisticated were banded about! I, myself, think it looks fun but I'll take those too.

Anda dress

Worn with a cardigan, I have no idea why I'm clenching my hands like that.

Starting Up Again
Dress as Finished Project! - Burdastyle Anda

Images: Sorry they are so bad, they were really dark to begin with.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Next Time, Butterick, I'm Coming For You...

Because I am trying both to conserve money and not to add any more sewing projects to my to-do list, I passed up on the Butterick $1 pattern sale at Hancock's this past week. And it's not like I would have gone in their blind. I knew exactly which ones I wanted, in fact, this first pattern has been on and off my wish list for over a year now.

Butterick 5032

Mostly, for the little capelet but the dress isn't bad either.

I saw this 3.1 Philip Lim dress in Lucky and couldn't get it out of my mind and then I saw this...

Butterick 5259

on Lindsay T's blog and with the pattern's addition of belt loops, I like this one even better! I also adore the little red jacket.

Butterick 5415

What does this remind me of? This vintage pattern, that I have tried SO HARD to love with no success. Perhaps, I could take this new one and alter it to recreate the looks on the vintage one? I'm so lovin' the banded V-neck too!

Butterick 5211

Can you guess why I like this one? Yes, it's practically the Anda dress!

Of course I won't be buying this one because I already have the pattern and can easily add pockets or the gathered sleeve cap to the Burdastyle pattern myself. I will definitely be making more of this dress again.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Inspiration in a Buttonhole?

I love when I see something new done with something that I have never given a second thought. Well, someone else did and what they did with that idea is genius. Look at this:


Yes, a buttonhole made with variegated thread. I've seen variegated yarn before and definitely could see the benefit in making projects with it. But variegated sewing thread? How perfect is that for stitching and detailing a dress in a print made up of many colors?

I'm hip to and have used contrasting zippers in garments before (I've yet to install an invisible zipper) because I thought the quick glimpse of the zipper would be more interesting if it really didn't match the fabric. Because how rarely do you find a zipper that matches perfectly? I have also used a more dramatic color thread to stitch up a garment, like red on blue... but this is an even better idea. You no longer have to worry about the stitching being too obvious on certain sections of a dress when you make that possibility random.

Please check out the great clothing created on Karyn's Make Something blog and if you are lucky enough to be in Toronto, also check out The Workroom's sew-by-the-hour sewing lounge. I so wish we had a place like that here in my city.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

What Did I Do Today?

  • I am watching 1959's "The Best of Everything" with the DVD commentary. Already saw it earlier this week with close captioning and after this viewing, will be watching it again for the clothes. Great screen captures here at Sweet Sunday Mornings' lovely, lovely site. Also check out the lovely mid-century office design in this link from the B.E.L.T site.

  • Searching online for job possibilities, in event planning, public relations, or non-profit work related to affordable housing, children and women health issues, and shelter animals.

  • Reading more Agatha Christie. I used to read them a lot when I was a pre-teen (yes, that young!) Now I'm addicted to reading all the ones I never read or can't remember who the murderer is. This one is the eleventh (plus a book of Miss Marple short stories) in the last two months.

  • I opened an Etsy shop, Dragonfly. I still have a lot of work to do on it though.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

"I Already Made This One" Dress - Style 2318 (OOP)

Practically. Sorta.

Over 10 years ago I made a brown wool crepe dress from a Style pattern that I truly wish I hadn't thrown out. UPDATE: Found it! It was Style 2318, c. 1994. It was lovely and I did a great job with it. Unfortunately, it just looked ridiculous on. When I made the dress I really miscalculated on the size and I was swimming in the dress. One thing about the design that didn't help at all was that it required huge shoulder pads. Imagine this; huge linebacker shoulders and then a sack (a heavy wool sack!) of a dress swimming on a tiny girl. However, because I loved the design, that dress has been with me ever since, though it was only worn once or twice. Today, I decided to try it and a few of my old vintage pieces on. While none of the ones I actually used to wear could even be zipped up (or get past my hips), this one FITS!!! Yes, and it fits like it was always supposed to. Amazing.

Fifteen pounds heavier and with bust, waist, and hip measurements all three inches fits. See for yourself:

Forgive me, the dress had not been pressed in 10 years either!

I had no idea when I put that Simplicity pattern above in my wish list that it was really because I was remembering details from this dress. Notice the interest at the neckline (with a pull-through tie) and the dolman sleeves (actually called magyar sleeves) that became tighter towards the wrists.

 Style 2318 (OOP)
Also, can you believe I made this in high school? To wear to high school? Yeah, I was a strange duck.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Craig and McQueen Part II


Here is a great analysis of the movie Casino Royale, in five parts, from The Man From Porlock site:


Check out this piece at Cinebeats about the role of fashion in The Thomas Crown Affair. I loved Faye Dunaway's clothes in this film, but she sure didn't look like an insurance inspector to me.

And even though through most of the film Mr. McQueen is the most debonair and well dressed bank thief I have seen, there is one glaring costume mistake. If you've seen the movie, either you know what I'm talking about or you have blocked it from your memory. Lucky you.

I am talking about the bright yellow shortie robe that Mr. Crown wears in one scene. Ugggh, so scary it took me right out of the movie at that point. What were they thinking? That Mr. McQueen was so macho that he could get away with it? Um, NO. Not in that robe.

Oh, and that theme song...The Windmills of My Mind. WOW. Still one of my favorites, SO trippy yet truly beautiful. If I could only memorize that baby!

The music:

Bonus! An Alison Moyet version
The lyrics: If you want to try memorizing them, here they are, here and here.