Thursday, March 31, 2011


Do you remember this from June of last year?  Geez, still a UFO, but night before I went to visit The Boyfriend in Northern Ca (still here btw),  I worked on the muslin.  I think I actually got it to fit! I had to take in the skirt (and straighten out the curve in the hip area), lengthen the skirt back darts and narrow them, narrow the skirt front darts, take in the bodice side seams, and take in the CB seam gradually from the waistline to the neck.  I hope this doesn't throw off the grainline, but it seemed to work in the muslin. I should probably slash it in the middle of the pattern piece at the back, overlap the amount I need and then add back to the CB line to keep the grainline straight.  Yeah, that's what I might do.  Does that make sense? I'm not sure it does.  I also decided to raise the waistline up 1/2".  Oh, and I made a hefty sloping should adjustment and I shortened the skirt by 2".

I have 3 whole days at the Craft Center and I'm going to sew! I have the fabric and lining picked out for this dress, and I plan on making muslins for a Cynthia Rowley dress, and a vintage shirt dress.

 Who knows how far I'll get, but I'll take pictures along the way. Unfortunately,  my cord to my camera is still at home so I won't be able to upload any time soon.  :(  I'm so excited to have time and a place to sew again.  Its like a mini sew-cation!

I also get to go to the Alameda Flea Market on Sunday! HOoray!  I hope the weather stays nice!

And since I have nothing new to show you, here's Pearl:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spaghetti Strap Tutorial!

Last quarter I learned how to make spaghetti straps.  Spaghetti can be used as straps for a dress or blouse (duh!) or as a tie for a casing and I'm sure for hundreds of other applications.  Making sturdy and thick (as in fully stuffed!) 1/4" spaghetti isn't all that hard, but it can be a little tricky to start.  It's difficult to fit 1 1/2" of fabric into a 1/4" tube!  Making the spaghetti for my bias slip dress was a pain in the butt and required a whole lot of muscle because the tube was seemingly never ending!  I used a standard loop turner you can buy pretty much anywhere (Joann's, Hancock, Amazon, etc).  It isn't my favorite tool to use for turning all tubes, just spaghetti.  
So in my sewing class, my teacher taught us a trick that not all instructors apparently teach, which I found really useful.  The trick is essentially making a funnel at the top of the bias tube so the I ended up teaching it to a couple of students in my draping class because we had to make spaghetti again for our sewing sample binder.

So here it goes:

1)  Make 2" wide bias tape.  There are many tutorials out there.  Just make sure your bias tape is 2" wide because you need the extra fabric to "stuff" into the 1/4" tube.  Fold and press the bias tape in half.

2)  With the cut edges on your left, place the tape on your machine bed with the needle on cut edge about 1/2" down from the top edge.    

3)  Start stitching (don't forget to backstitch a few stitches) with a regular stitch length diagonally to the folded edge.  Stop when you get 1/4" away from the folded edge.  You want to make sure the diagonal stitch is gradual and pretty long.  You want a substantial funnel shape.  This funnel is what allows for an easier turn.  Less fabric has to be forced into the tube at first making it easier.  

4)  Continue to stitch at a 1/4" from the folded edge the rest of the length of the bias tape.

5)  Cut off the top of the funnel to the first stitch.

6)  So for the next part I don't have pictures.  Insert your loop turner into the skinny end of the tube (not the funnel side).  Hook the latch end of the loop turner to the top of the funnel.  I actually poke a hole in the fabric with the moveable latch because you will be cutting off the funnel part once it is is completely turned. The funnel makes it easier to turn. 

7) When you are pulling the fabric, hook the circle end of the loop turner to your sewing machine or some other place and it will be your third hand! A big help!   

8) You end up with stuffed spaghetti! You can really do this thinner, but your original bias strip will have to be less wide as well.  

If you want to buy a loop turner, here's one on Amazon!

And thanks to my new Followers!  Woohoo!  I'm totally giving away some fun vintage patterns once I hit 75 followers!  It's getting trickier and trickier to figure out who is following me on blogger I think my new followers are: 

Andrea, Marta, and Faye of Fayes Sewing Adventure!  Love her blog! She makes some really nice garments! My favorite was her Colette Patterns coat!  She also just had her blogoversary so go to her site and give her some love.  

If I missed anyone, tell me! I'd be happy to give you and your blog a shout-out!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vintage Fashion Illustration Eye-Candy

I love checking out books from the FIDM library.  According to one of the librarians, not many students do.  It's sad, but that just means more books for me!

I recently found this book entitled Fashion Illustration: 1930 to 1970.  It is definitely inspirational eye-candy. Most of the illustrations are beautiful and I love the obvious drawing style changes over the years.  By far, my favorite illustrations come from the 1930's.  I've posted a couple of pictures, but if you got moolah and love fashion books, this one is gorgeous.  A great coffee table book.

Here are some images from the book (I hope it's okay because I didn't scan all images).  I just want you all to see how beautiful this book is:

1930's I just love the back of this dress!

1930's  I love the fabric rendering, very simple to do, but bold.

1940's I love the pose in the center, and the fabric rendering on all 3.

1950's Awesome Styling

1950's I love the shoes!

1950's Another Beautiful image

There are a lot of images from adds and Harper's Bazaar.  I highly recommend this book if you enjoy vintage clothing and fashion illustration!

Monday, March 21, 2011

UFO: Finally Revealed!

So in my first quarter, I started this top (instead of doing homework):

Burda Young Fashion 7678.

I'd been wanting to try this pattern for a long time and had a different fabric in mind.  I made view A.  I basically finished the top and hated it.  First, the shoulder seam support tape? (I'm tired and can't think of the correct name) was itching the heck out of my left arm.  Also, the top was ridiculously long and UGLY! And, the neck binding was all wonky.  I decided to be cool and do it my way instead of following the instructions (bad idea this time).

This top was a wadder, but I kept it thinking I could fix it.  It sat for months in the corner of my room haunting me.  "Fix me, Fix me!"  it called.  I turned in the neckline one more time and topstitched. Pressed the itchy seam toward the garment, not my body (I also had to redo the sleeve hem because the seam was stitched into the hem the wrong way), and I lopped off 6 5/8" (6" + s.a.) and 5/8" from the bottom band.  It turned out so much better. I think it might be wearable now.  Might be....

What do you think?  I feel like a lacy Charlie Brown.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

First Burda Magazine Creation! 09-2010-121

I decided to go simple.  Very simple.  I had never traced a pattern from the BurdaStyle Magazines (even though I have collected a few) and thought 3 pieces should be my limit.  I swear, I went cross-eyed for a bit.

I made the BurdaStyle Magazine: 09-2010-121 (Turtleneck Top).

I know it's Spring in some places, and it was Spring here last week, but this week is cold and windy.  Plus I'm going up north for a few days and may go skiing (there should be snow!) so this top will actually get worn.  

I traced the pattern out one night weeks and weeks ago when I should have been doing sketching homework or working on my stupid folio.  (P.S. I survived another quarter and it's SPRING BREAK!)  After I traced it, it sat and waited.  It's a stormy day here in SoCal. so I decided it was time to cut it out and stitch it up.  I just picked a thin jersey knit with some stretch from my stash that I got for $1/yd at one of the swapmeets I frequent.  I really didn't have a plan for this fabric, so I'm calling this top a wearable muslin.  I think I could have gone with a little bit more stretch, but it fits comfortably.  I'm not really loving how it turned out.  I need to take it in a little at the sides and the turtle neck is droopy (probably from me pulling it on and off a bazillion times trying to figure out if it was on backwards).     Because it was so thin, I serged all the seams and used a double needle for the hems.  I took some ease out of the sleeve cap and cut 3 inches off the sleeve length and didn't add a hem allowance because I didn't think I wanted a bunched-up-sleeve look.  I sewed the sleeves in flat.  

My biggest pet peeve with the shirt has nothing to do with the drafting or instructions.  

I HATE SERGER THREAD.  It always makes me itchy.  I have to wash the garment a couple times to soften the thread otherwise all the seams itch.  Is that weird?  Maybe I should use wooly nylon in my upper and lower loopers from now on......

Here I am in the my turtleneck.  I think It would look better with less ease in a stretchier knit with better recovery.  

I feel like I made a Land's End shirt.  Not to bash Land's End, its just not quite my style.  I really don't like the fit.  I bought a turtleneck for xmas, and the xs was huge.  I could definitely take this top in on the sides some.  

Monday, March 7, 2011

What do you want to see more of?

Hi Readers!  As you can tell, I don't sew much anymore.  I just don't have the time.  I do sketch a whole lot. Here, here, and here.  Lots more not even blogged about.  And I've draped a couple uglies for school.  And I've posted a tutorial or two.

I have a few more tutorials up my sleeve.  Some vintage finds to show you eventually. And a giveaway or two planned.

What else do you want to see?  More fashion figures?  Tech. Sketches?  The remaining tutorials?  Sewing once I finally get around to it?  I want this blog to remain sewing/crafting/school related so I tend not to post too much about my other "adventures" (even though they are few and far between nowadays).  Should I post my swapmeet/flea market finds?  Rants on Jeggings?

Let me know what you want to read know, if you feel like commenting :)

Oh, and Thanks to A Sewn Wardrobe for becoming my newest follower!  Love the blog and all those sheath dresses!  I have yet to get back to work on my sheath dress muslin from this past summer.  One of these days....

And since I have nothing else to post:

A picture of Pearlie.

My little Shag-a-muffin...
Not to be confused with my sister's dog:

Rag-a-muffin (aka Rags)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pattern Score

Just got back from one of the local swapmeet/flea markets and look what I scored:

It's in perfect condition and close to my size too!  I really want to make of these days....when I have time....maybe after I graduate....hehe.  Fabric suggestions anyone?

I found it online in two places for $20.00 and $23.00.   I'm very proud of my cheap find.

Also, we got a box of maybe 20 1960s-1970's patterns for $5.  I was shocked. Some are very cute!  I think I might smell a giveaway on the horizon.  Probably when I reach 75 followers.  

And finally, THANK YOU to my newest followers!  Steph Davis, my wonderful Boyfriend (hehe), and  Debbie Cook of Stitches and Seams.  One of the first sewing blogs I discovered.  :)  Have you seen the Ren. Faire costume she made for her son's friend?  Its freakin' amazing!  Thank you ladies and gentleman.  

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I could be a McCall's designer..

This post as been sitting as a "draft" for about a week now.  I've been too lazy to take pictures of my sketches, but I decided to take a break from the MOST STUPID ASSIGNMENT EVER to take pictures and finally get this post up.  I think Carolyn just posted about a dress she designed and made that looks like a new Butterick pattern.

Three weeks ago I had to design a dress and draw a technical flat and fashion figure to go with it.  Here's what a I came up with:

Sorry for the poor picture quality.

Last week, I was reading on Threads that McCall's already has a Early Summer pattern line out.  Check this one out:

Look similar??????? I like mine better. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My "Bjork swan fluffy-butt" skirt

    It's done (well except for the closures).  The hems suck and a pinked all the circle flounce thingies. I really don't know what to call them.  I spent HOURS on this crazy "avante-garde" skirt.  I'd much rather be sewing for me.  The skirt does fit me, but I would never wear it in public except on Halloween and you can't sit in it! Hehe!
    I had to draw inspiration from a bunch of pictures selected by myself and 2 other classmates.  I pretty much did what I wanted and then related it back to the pictures. That's not entirely true. I had an idea going into it of what I wanted to do, and then adapted my idea to include the "curveball" picture inspirations.  I felt like I was on Project Runway.


My Teacher:  "By the way, you have to draw inspiration from these pictures.  Do a couple sketches....Ready...Set...Create!"


So here it is...its better than before, but I'm not proud.

PS.  Avoid Polyester Organza at all costs.  The fabric sucks and it leaves strands and shreds of shiny fibers everywhere.  I should have worn a respirator.