Friday, May 24, 2013

French Cottage Blouse - Grainline Scout #31002

Pattern: Grainline Studio Scout Woven Tee #31002, c. 2011

Pattern Description: Woven t-shirt with capped sleeves, scoop neck, and a loose shape below the bust.

Pattern Sizing: (0-18) I cut the neck and shoulders to underarm area in size 8, rest in size 10.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? Yes, with modifications.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, very much.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the adaptability of this pattern. I can see creating different versions easily by changing fit, altering pattern details, and using different fabric weights and types.

Fabric Used: Denyse Schmidt Posie print in turquoise from the original "Flea Market Fancy" collection for Free Spirit, purchased in 2006. This is a smooth and soft quilting cotton.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I made the top a size smaller this time and extended the sleeve pattern to bracelet length, without any tapering, because I wanted enough at the bottom to either band or gather.


Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I will make this again. It's a very versatile and flattering pattern. Again the delicate 1/4" binding and hems bring a lot to the looks of this finished garment.

Conclusion: I wanted to make this top/blouse after seeing this free blouse pattern in the French magazine Advantages. Unfortunately, the sleeves of that pattern were extremely narrow and constricting. When I saw Shivani's Scout variations and then this yellow top above from Ruche, I knew I had to make my own using this pattern and this beloved cotton print that was just gathering dust in my stash.

Images: Advantages magazine, Pins & Needles blog, and Ruche. All other images are my own.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Professional Skirt - Built By Wendy (Sew U)

Pattern Description: A-line skirt with contoured waist from the Sew U book (2006) by Wendy Mullins (of Built By Wendy). Pattern was included in book.

Pattern Sizing: XS-L, I made the Large (fits sizes 10 & 12).

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it did look like the drawing in the book.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, and extremely easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like that the pattern fit me without any adjustments.
Fabric Used: Brown 60" wide 100% wool plaid and blue-grey lining material acquired at the VA/DC/MD swap (originally from G Street Fabrics), and a 7" Robin zipper in Charcoal from my mother's stash. Result = this entire skirt was FREE.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: This is my third make from this pattern. Since I made the first one in 2009, I had gone up a size and needed to increase the width so I used the large. At the same time I decided to transfer the pattern to butcher paper and flip the piece over so that in the future I could eliminate cutting on the fold and use it to cut the skirt in stripes and directional prints as a single layer.

When I sewed the skirt together it was too big at the waist so instead of the instructed 1/2" seams I sewed them at 5/8". I don't know what it is with this pattern (or my body?) but it always throws me a curve ball.

An earlier version of the skirt was underlined but I decided to fully line this one, stitching the lining and skirt separately, attaching it at the waistband, and pinking all the seams. You can see in the pictures that the darts are sticking out, I think the wool stretched out a bit. I will steam them and stitch them deeper if needed. However, there is no rush since this is a winter skirt and it is May.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes! It has proven itself as my TNT A-line skirt pattern.The location and size of the darts fit my shape perfectly.

Conclusion: This is a purely work version. Because I machine washed it (on purpose!*)  the weave of the wool is even more delicate; therefore, it will have to be treated more gently than I do my other clothes.

* It's just more practical with my lifestyle. Otherwise, it would never get dry cleaned. Seriously.

Images: my own photos

Friday, May 17, 2013

In The Details: Doll Clothes, Can You Believe It?

Okay, I have never purchased a pattern for a fashion doll but if I had been aware of these when I was growing up I might have been tempted. So stylish and so on-the-money. If they had been made for human women they would have been best sellers, for sure.


Vogue 7554 and Vogue 729

Which pattern looks more interesting, stylish, and classy?

Guess what? They are the same pattern. Now I know it's for doll clothes and V729 does show you what the outfits will really look like. However, V7554 is more cool and aspirational by using illustration. My choice would have been easy! What's really impressive is that the finished outfits actually look pretty good for miniature sewing. The black and white jumpsuit just needed a more flowing fabric, right?


Did anyone out there have these? Please let me know how they worked, especially that lingerie one. Can you even imagine making something that detailed and that small? I can see some real pulling-out-your-hair- frustration while constructing that itsy-bitsy garter belt!

If you notice, even Vogue has never produced a lingerie pattern for humans that elaborate since I've been checking them out, let alone one for dolls.

Images from Patterns of History

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Met 2013 Punk: Chaos to Couture Gala - Part II

Here are more great examples from the 2013 Metropolitan Museum PUNK gala worn by people you may not already know but who one word, FABULOUS!

I am beginning with my nominee for Queen of the 2013 Punk: Chaos to Couture gala, fashion executive Linda Fargo of Bergdorf Goodman's. She's wearing a custom latex Baroness gown and the silver hair is natural but not the barbed wire that's twisted into it. Pretty hard core, right? Check out the back of the dress below!

You see what I mean? Bow down NOW.

With Ken Downing from Neiman Marcus, who could easilly win the title of Goth King*, right?
Cara Delevingne in Burberry

Model Lily Cole in Vivienne Westwood

Constance Jablonski in Wes Gordon
Alexa Chung in Erdem

Giovanna Battaglia in Dolce & Gabbana
Yup. Giant gold safety pins. luv it

*Here, he looks like a cross between David Bowie, Peter Murphy, and Martin Fry from ABC. He doesn't normally look like that!

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Met 2013 Punk: Chaos to Couture Gala - Part I

Of course I just wrote about not being able to finish a post and here I am with one started on the same day!

I normally don't cover things like this, but after checking out the coverage on all my bookmarked entertainment/ fashion sites (Tom & Lorenzo, Go Fug Yourself, The Daily Mail UK*) I wanted to blog this. I was bothered that all the sites wrote how most attendees of the Metropolitan Museum's Punk: Chaos to Couture gala "got punk wrong." I have to admit it did seem many got confused and actually thought the theme was Goth to Couture because following that criteria there would have been loads of hands-down winners, but still:
  1. The exhibit (May 9 to August 14, 2013) is titled Punk: Chaos to Couture and it's goal is to "examine punk’s impact on high fashion from the movement’s birth in the 1970s through its continuing influence today." Which basically involves borrowing certain visual elements, hardware, and shapes while also juxtaposing the punk DIY aesthetic versus couture's made-to-measure practice; anti-establishment versus elite establishment.
  2. Dressing according to the theme of the Met's events is and has always been optional. It's a chance to dress up, period.
  3. I believe the essence of Punk was/is unconventionality and irreverence not just safety pins, leather, Doc Martens, and ripped fishnets. Those elements are punk "shorthand". 
  4. Having not been a punk (I was into New Wave, thankyouverymuch) I wouldn't dare to make a statement on what exactly "a punk" looks like. For starters, English punk and American punk had cultural differences and big city punk was also different from small city suburban punk.
Some fashion websites participated in either awarding participants for including those shorthand elements while also deriding others for incorporating some of those same elements. My favorites among the one's you may have seen were January Jones, Sarah Jessica Parker, Anne Hathaway, Miley Cyrus, Ginnifer Goodwin, Carey Mulligan, Hailee Steinfeld, Debbie Harry, and believe it or not, Taylor Swift. Personally, what I noticed was  people who either got it near-perfect by showing what punk has become or instead incorporated some irreverence while still following the basic rules for gala wear. Here are some examples you may not have seen that I found through other sites. Definitely check out the image links at the bottom of the post. I hope you enjoy/appreciate these as much as I did.

Designer Donatella Versace in Versace
Emma Roberts in a subtle Diane Von Furstenberg

Designer Zandra Rhodes in her own design

Carey Mulligan in Balenciaga
Lele Sobieski in Christian Dior

Kerry Washington and Vera Wang in Vera Wang

Aubrey Plaza in Marios Schwab

Totally not on theme, but this next one is just plain gorgeous! What else would you expect from Isabella Rossellini's daughter and Ingrid Bergman's granddaughter?

Elettra Weideman in Prabal Gurung


Thursday, May 09, 2013

Oh Come On, Now...

I'm just as tired of seeing that Bloglovin' post as you are. Since I wrote it I have five draft posts in the works to replace it, but I can't seem to finish any of them. I don't know what it is but I feel I need to put more information into all of them or something. I also have two homemade garments (one for April and one for May) that are done and the reviews are complete but I need decent pictures before I can post those.

So I'm going back into my archives to finish up and post some old drafts. Can you believe I have 68 drafts (1/3 are practically complete)! I think maybe I'm thinking too hard.

So how many of you have a 'multitude-of-unfinished-posts' problem like mine?

What is your most common reason that they don't get finished?

For the ones you don't finish, why don't you delete them and instead let them hang around?

Image: Good Housekeeping, October 1917.