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Showing posts from May, 2012

Sinamay Hat Making Class with Artikal Millinery

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The Seersucker Social is coming up on June 9!  You get dressed up and ride your bike around town, and it could not be more fun (Fall's event is the Tweed Ride).  Having a fabulous hat is de riguer and once I had my dress underway it was time to think about head wear.

I have wanted to learn more about sinamay, a flexible, moldable straw fabric, since watching this Martha Stewart video.  Somehow I stumbled upon the class list at Bits of Thread studio in the Adams Morgan area of DC, and saw that there would be a sinamay hat class by Holly Slayton of Artikal!  Perfect timing!

This was my first visit to Bits of Thread.  The outer door is a bit unobtrusive though if you have the address it's not difficult to find.  There are instructions for how to ring Bits of Thread on the call box.





Holly is from the DC area but lives in New York now where she specializes in making bridal headpieces.  But she has a full line of hats and enjoys sharing her millinery skillz in classes.  Here she is mod…

Simplicity 2938, Silk Princess Seam Tank

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Source: zappos.com via Trena on Pinterest

Is there anything more luxurious than a silk tank?  It's easy to wear and comfortable for hot weather, but instantly dressy enough for most any occasion.  You generally have to go pretty high end to find silk in RTW, like this Cynthia Rowley Printed Silk Tank ($275).


Mine was a little easier on the wallet.  I got this silk print from Fabric Mart for $9.99/yd several years ago.  I made it into Vogue 2858, but I never got much wear out of the dress.  It had a dropped waist which just does.not.work for me, and I made it when I was still learning fitting (well, I'm still learning--I guess I mean earlier in the journey) and it was slightly too tight at the ribcage; I was afraid a deep breath would split the fabric.

So after years of not wearing it, I finally took it apart and salvaged the fabric from the skirt.  I had just enough to make this top (the hem is a serger rolled hem because I didn't have enough length for a real hem).




 In my pr…

Patterns and Shoes

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I went on a fabric fast for Lent.  I managed to break it the first week when Fabric Mart got some Dry Flex in stock, but I have been steadfast since then.  I even skipped Fashion Sewing Club at G Street Fabrics in April so as not to be tempted.  I don't have an end date in mind, though I really need to come up with one--without a specific date or event to look forward to, I am more likely to slip up.  However, my big victory for the month was going to the May Fashion Sewing Club and buying only ribbon and zippers--no fabric!

However, my fast does not extend to patterns.  I picked up a bunch during the BMV online sale, and then got a few more at Joann.  I need Joann to have a Simplicity sale on one of the random dates I am there.



Woven dresses.  I've resisted Vogue 8631 in the upper left for a while now.  It's a great shape, but the oversize fit is a bit of a non-sequitor with the style and I don't like the super wide armscye.  However, no other patterns have come out tha…

One Yard Project: Dirndl Skirt

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I have a love/hate relationship with Pattern Review contests.  It's fun to sew along and have encouragement, and it's also nice to have outside forces determine your next project rather than making the agonizing decision myself.  On the other hand, I have a big list of projects that I really do want to make and only about half my contest entries actually come from that list.  So I deviate from things that are high on my sewing list to make things that don't appear at all, simply to fit within the contest parameters.  Despite all this, the contest often wins out.  I guess I like the company.

The One Yard Project contest is a new one (it ended yesterday; I finished the skirt and pattern review on time but had to finish up the photos*), and it's a clever idea:  You have to find a use for those short lengths in stash.  They did allow you to cut off one yard from a longer length and use it, but I think the better challenge is in using an orphan piece.

*Although the contest cl…

Simplicity 2365, Wing Collar Shirtdress

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I bought this pattern, Simplicity 2365, sometime last year, I think.  Shirtdresses have been popular the past few years, but I find dresses tricky to fit without a waist seam (see, e.g., Burda 10-2011-123).  However, this one works as one piece because it is not fully fitted, while the empire drawstring gives it some shaping so it's not a sack.

I also really like the collar.   Incidentally, what do you call this kind of collar?  Google-searching indicated wing collar or revers, but for all Google's knowledge I haven't found it to be overly smart about fashion technicalities.

The pattern includes another variation, a more traditional tunic with pintucking, which has been very popular.

To get a dress I added two inches to the tunic length (view C), but it was way too short.  I didn't have much choice on this project because of limited fabric, but next time I would add 5-6 inches for ample length and hem allowance.






I started with broad back and small bust adjustments.  LOV…

Gathered-Hem Sleeve Variation

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A couple of months ago I was walking down the street and saw a woman in a nice professional dress, a well-fitted sheath with a flattering sleeve gathered into a hem band.  Or so I thought.  When I got closer I saw that while the center of the sleeve was gathered as though into a hem band, the sides of the sleeve were not gathered and, indeed, did not have a seam.  I was so intrigued that I nearly circled her trying to get a good look.

For some reason I have a thing about basic, standard sleeves.  I make them, but they bug me.  I guess I feel like I should be more creative than that?  Anyway, I had to figure out these sleeves.  It took me some cogitating, but I finally envisioned how it had been done.



I started with the basic short sleeve.  I added two sections of length, one for the integrated hem band one one for the hem facing (I cut off the hem facing piece and used it separately).

Next, I marked a line down the center of the sleeve, coming from the shoulder marking, and slashed from …