Wednesday, September 29, 2010

There is a Duster in My Future

This little pattern, Vogue 7714, arrived Saturday from Lanetz Living and the pattern was only $3!

You will not believe how long I've wanted a few jackets like this in my wardrobe. Some made out of brocades, silks, upholstery fabrics, and maybe stable double knits. Somehow, I never got around to making them, even though the image below has been on my inspiration board for years.

J. Jill crepe knit duster*

I love everything about this look from the necklace to the shoes. How simple, how easy a way to spice up a simple outfit, right? I was convinced to purchase that pattern now because this other one that I used to drool over also showed up in the vintage pattern shops online:

Vogue 1406 (OOP)

If that wasn't enough, I then saw this version in J. Jill's latest catalog, so I felt I had to give in this time. Did I mention, the pattern was only $3?

J. Jill tweed cardi coat

Even though the Donna Karan design has more of a flare, this will be easy to add to the straight jacket pattern that I bought. Oh, and I also love the gently flared pants, of which I already have a suitable pattern.

Last but not least, during a recent trip to Jo-Ann Fabrics, I found the perfect fabric for coat #1:

see thumb for scale

Patterned moleskin in black, white, and shades of gray. I can't wait for it to go on sale! Right now it's $14 per yard. :(

* No longer available.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Makeunder: Louis Vuitton For Less

Louis Vuitton Fall 2010:

Variations on the theme

Yes, we've all seen (and drooled over) the Fall 2010 collection, all bustier tops, tweeds, and full skirts. However, I couldn't find any original reason to write about it on my blog. Well, not until last Saturday. On my monthly visit to Jo-Ann to look at the pattern books my eyes alighted on these two Vogue patterns deep in the Suits/Coordinates section.


Amazingly, these came out three years ago in 2007. So, for once Vogue was actually AHEAD of the trends this time!

They both share the same bra/corset top styling, sleevelessness and full skirts. While the fuller skirt of V2958 falls more like the Vuitton, the straps of V1042 are almost exactly like the inspiration dresses. To better emulate the Vuitton look, you could also create the shoulder straps or skirts in a different fabric than the bodice top. The jacket of V2958 also mimics the neckline of the jacket in the 2nd runway picture above.

For real-life inspiration, see Very Prairie's version of Vogue 2958.

Note: Just found out something else! The prints on the skirts and corsets that look like feather prints (seen above and left) actually are feathers. The fabric seems to be created from two layers; a backing fabric and a sheer outer layer quilted together and in the spaces between are feathers in various colors. That is something you can not see on a video or even in a magazine picture. But if you view the pictures at and click View The Details, you can see it all.

Now THAT is what couture is all about!

Images: and The McCall Pattern Company

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fashion In Film: An Education (2009)

Director: Lone Scherfig
Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard
Costume Design: Odile Dicks-Mireaux

"If you never do anything, you never become anyone.”
- Jenny

I finally saw the movie, An Education. For these gorgeous dresses, thank the movie's costume designer, Odile Dicks-Mireaux. Read about her specific choices for character's clothing in this article, An Education in Fashion. These and more lovely images from the movie can be seen here.

Even Peggy is in on it!

I love the use of watercolor florals, chintz, brocades, and what we now think of sofa couch upholstery prints (Sorry, Peggy).

To copy the feel of these frocks, the new fall fabric, including the Simply Silky prints and the Midnight Jewels collections at Jo-Ann Fabrics would be perfect. They're lovely.

I have to admit I hadn't checked it out until I saw Kerri's fabulous dress. So last weekend, I went to check it. I took a few pictures, unfortunately I could not match them all to the fabrics available on their website. They fabrics types available are cotton sateen, peachskin, charmeuse, crinkle charmeuse, chiffon, and they even have some lovely sweater knits.

Watercolor prints, Midnight Bubbles, and heathered suiting

Cynthia watercolor posies charmeuse, Midnight Jewels sweater knitblue modeled flowers sateen

One last look

Movie images: By Kerry Brown, courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
Fabric images: By me, the author of this blog

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Debut of the Quick Ribbon Belt

The view from above

Okay, yes I made this dress, McCall's 5042, years ago. The pattern suggested making a simple ribbon belt or to just tie a length of ribbon around your waist. Well, of course I chose to do the more time-consuming option and then took a long time to finish. A year ago, I bought three lengths of grosgrain ribbon in coordinating colors of orange, turquoise, and brown. Almost a month ago, I finally finished the belt and now I'm posting about it.

So, there.

What finally made me decide to finish was seeing Tilly's similar bow belt made with fabric. You can actually use her tutorial for this one, just skip steps 1-6! The instructions for the belt were included in the McCall's pattern, but I changed the way that it fastened. The last thing I wanted was a belt that would pop open every time I sat down. Therefore, I decided to incorporate a row of two snaps and a hook and eye closure for security.

All of the hardware goes under the middle of the bow, seen best in these next two photos.

In action:

Up close

I still have the turquoise and brown ribbons so I can make two more. Luckily, all of these colors coordinate with quite a few different dresses in my closet. In fact, the orange belt's first successful outing was with my McCall 6712 muu muu dress.
Try it. You'll like it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Go See My Sewing Space at Blue Gardenia!

My sewing space is featured today as part of The Blue Gardenia's Sewing Spaces series.

It's funny how she talks about how organized my project drawers in my armoire are. Yes, they are always that organized but what you didn't see was the top half of that armoire. Inside there is real scary! Thread, zippers, buttons, fabric scraps, all the materials needed for my stuffed animal projects, and more, overflowing. One day I'll organize it enough that I can open the doors in front of company. Ha!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Do Not Forget...

There's some great stuff in there and expect more in the next few weeks.

Yes, more!

Friday, September 17, 2010

And Away I Went...

My road trip two weekends ago into Pennsylvania was highly successful!

I saw:
  • Sister's 1 and 2
  • my freshman college roommate, SK-B
  • her 3-year old son, for the first time
  • an episode of Mad Men when it actually aired (I don't have cable)
  • a new-to-me IKEA in Conshohocken, PA
  • movie costumes actually worn by Bette Davis, James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, etc.*
  • an Amish buggy and horse
  • lots of cows and horses
  • a half-size race horse masquerading as Sister 2's year-old "puppy"!
I drove:
  • through 5 states (VA, MD, DE, PA, NJ)
  • and put over 500 miles on my car
  • during a holiday weekend and had no traffic problems at all!
I also received from my sisters a Coach bag (used) for interviews, a wooden egg sock darner, multiple yards of white eyelet fabric, and about 10 issues of More magazine.

Oh, and while I was away I was mentioned on awesome Australian blog I Wanna Frock and Roll All Night. Moggy took my suggestion and made the Sew Stylish One-Hour Dress. I would love it if anyone who has made that dress would post about it, for it really is a quick and satisfying sew. A great first sewing project.

Viva la roadtrip!

Note: Michener Museum costume exhibit post coming up as soon as I get my pictures uploaded!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Issey Miyake Coat Vogue 1476 - Get It While You Can!

One of many pre-blog makes:

Vogue 1476 (OOP)

I just noticed that the Issey Miyake Vogue 1476 pattern is now in the clearance section for $5. This pattern has been in the Vogue Pattern book for over twenty years! I made it in either my junior or senior year of college, so even though the pattern is undated that makes it at least late 1980's when it came out. The news of its imminent OOP* status finally got me off of my butt and I've finally taken some pictures of the coat I made over twenty years ago. The truth is this thing will last me forever because it's only been worn out of the house about 5 times total in those 20+ years. I still adore it and when I have more events to go to then it will go with me. Something like this is so unusual that I don't think of it as something that can go out of style.


I cut this lustrous, bronzy, milk chocolaty brown wool out on the family living room rug. It took up so much room and the pattern pieces were huge. I was so excited about it that I even bought expensive Gutermann thread for it. In fact, I still have the spool. Despite its looks, the coat was actually a fairly simple sew, the difficulty was in working with such a large amount of heavy fabric on your lap!

Note the large square patch pockets

So if you've ever been intrigued by this pattern, get it now for only $5 because once it is officially out of print and gets on the vintage pattern market it won't be going for that cheap!


*OOP - out of print pattern

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Giveaway at Blue Gardenia!!

Do you need a great sewing book for reference or to use while learning to sew?

Well, Denise at the Blue Gardenia is having a giveaway for a copy of Singer's The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing*. Check the Blue Gardenia's blog here for more details.

Keep checking out the Denise's new Sewing Spaces series and you might see my humble space there in a few weeks.

* as recommended by Erica B

Friday, September 10, 2010

Let's Get Lost...

Chet Baker and wife Halema Alli by William Claxton.

Don't you love her dress? It reminds me of McCall's 5042 (OOP), which luckily I own and have made before.
*For this post, I changed the photo from the original black and white to sepia.