Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Vogue 8848

This was a fun dress to make, especially using ponte/double knit.   I love the ponte at Fabric Mart and they seem to always have it in stock.  The ponte makes great dresses or pants, has minimal shrinkage, requires no ironing, and travels nicely.  I wash and dry the fabric when I receive it, but after that, wash and line dry only. 

Vogue 8848 was made for a woven fabric, but was also perfect for the knit as long as it is stable like a double knit.  I still kept the zip because the neck opening was a bit small.  I also changed out the sleeves.  The pattern has those half/high sleeves which don't look really good on me.  I just used another sleeve from another Vogue pattern and layed it out over the V8848 pattern so as to keep the same size sleeve cap and just copied the lines from the different pattern to extend it longer. 

As I said in my previous post, I initially made it using black and white, but wasn't paying attention to the "color block rules" and the darker should have been on the sides.

While I was in Dallas, I went to Neiman Marcus to check out the designer dresses. Can you believe I have never been in a Neiman Marcus!  That store had lots of inspiration!  There was a lot of color blocking going on!  Here is one of the dresses I saw and want to copy.  There's another dress I liked, but I cannot find a photo of it online and I can't transfer it off of my phone.  And I didn't get the designer's name... dang.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sew Easy Knits - Dallas

Just returned from a 3 day conference in Dallas, Texas.... Oh What Fun! 
 Jeanette and I taught classes and had a booth at ETA - Dallas and had so sew much fun!

The first day, Friday, we had a full day class on sewing with knits.  The first 45 mins we had a lecture and power point presentation of the different types of knits and passed around knit samples.  Then we got to work on our knit top  Jalie Scarf Top which is so easy and fun to make.  The class was 6 hours and the ladies went away with a completed top and no fear of sewing with knits.  Saturday there were 2 one hour lectures.  The first lecture was on color blocking.  Here's two dresses I recently made.  The first one, black and white... bad choice.  I was thinking more black in the middle to hide the tummy, but the white on the sides doesn't look right.  So, I made it again, using the black and red, and it came out much better! 

On Sunday, we did a half slips class.  We made 2 half slips: a black and a white.  Tricot is fairly easy to work with and these ladies left happy with 2 new slips and all sorts of waist band and lace options and variations to choose from
The Conference was a lot of fun.  We met a lot of ladies, made new friends, and learned a lot! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Jasmine and Slips

Early last summer I went to a fabric sale in downtown Los Angeles where they had these incredible silks for 75% off the SALE price!   I scooped up lots and lots of silk yardage.  On the way back from the sale I stopped at a trendy fabric shop Sew LA which had recently moved to Atwater Village, a neighborhood that has recently undergone gentrification.  Sew LA has a lot of sewing classes mostly focused towards the hipster crowd, has a few patterns from independent companies,  and mostly cotton fabrics (Echino).  They carry Decades of Style  patterns as well as Collette Patterns and I picked up Jasmine a cute blouse from Collette Patterns. 

One of the pieces of silk fabrics had an interesting border and design and I thought it would make a nice blouse using the Jasmine pattern.
The top is cut on the bias and is very flattering.  I used different parts of the fabric for the collar and sleeves.  I've worn this blouse quite a bit since I made it usually with a lime green cropped sweater. 

Tomorrow I head off to Dallas to teach a couple of classes.  One of the classes is on how to make a half slip. I don't know about you, but I can never find a slip that is the right length and the right size that doesn't ride up.  Slips are so easy to make.  I put together a tutorial, purchased some tricot, lace, and elastic for the class and made about a dozen slips using different techniques and styles. I "tested" my class this past weekend with the local ASG group and the ladies loved it.  It went really smoothly and they made two (a black and a white) slip.  If you are in the Dallas area Sunday, come take my class!
I am also happy to send you a PDF of my tutorial.  Just email me

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Catching up

My sewing goals for 2013:  wedding dress, Chanel style jacket, and corset (just because). In my previous post I talked about the wedding dress.  I'm happy to report that the wedding dress is almost done!  Unfortunately, I cannot post any photos until after the wedding...  I promised the bride-to-be.  But it is be-u-ti-ful!  You'll just have to wait until June (sorry) for the big reveal. But here's some of the construction

The corselette ready to be attached to the dress.

tracing the stitch lines onto the organza underlining

I started and completed most of the dress in a labor intensive 6 day (9+ hour) class with Susan Khalje!   I worked really hard and stayed focus.  My niece/bride-to-be lives in San Francisco where the class was (and the wedding will be) and I wanted to get as much done as possible while in SF and in the class.  I learned so much! My husband asked, how the class helped with the making of the dress... I said, the class helped me make a beautiful couture dress vs a cheese-ball have-I done-this-right dress.  Granted, no one would have known that the techniques and quality weren't' up to par except my sewing friends, but I know and I think the bride-to-be knows when she wears it.  The fit and feel of this dress to the RTW she tried on can't be compared.  It is lovely!  I have since agreed to make the mother of the bride's dress and flower girl's dress.  I have extra wedding dress fabric which I will use for the flower girl's dress and I saw a wonderful, but not too over the top, Marfy one-shoulder dress pattern (think cover) that I think the mother (my sister in law) will look fantastic in.  She is walking the bride down the aisle and she needs to wear something that will compliment without over taking the bride (and make the wedding gown look good).  I can't wait until June to show you photos! 

This is a dress one of the ladies in the class made using the Chanel techniques.  The top is a sheer organza. The entire dress is quilted, with self-made fabric trim.  

In the meantime, I'll catch you up to date on what I've been doing.  Besides the week long Khalje sewing class in January, I did a teen camp at Road to California.  It was an all day class for 18 tweens.  We made kits prior to the "camp" and the teens had their choice of:  pillowcase, tote bags, zippered pouch, 9 patch pillow, and skirt.  It was 6 long exhausting hours! 

but so sew much fun.  Pfaff provided machines, and the girls sewed through almost all our kits.  Next time, we are going to have more difficult projects so it takes them longer to sew and we don't end up feeling like we just ran a marathon!
The girls proudly displaying their completed projects.

This weekend, Sew Easy Knits is going to Dallas to teach 5 classes at ETA Sew Expo.  If you are in the area, stop by and say "hi" and sign up for one of our classes!