Showing posts from July, 2012

Using a Covered Belt Kit (and a Rant)

One of the things I did for my Seersucker Social outfit was to make a matching belt for the first time. I am so hooked! I used a vintage belt kit that I got in a big bag of random sewing crap at the thrift store. The kit contained belting, a two piece coverable belt buckle, a hook for the buckle, and even the eyelets for the belt.

I started by interfacing the fabric for the buckle. I was using a bit of lightweight and fairly sheer swiss dot batiste (purchased in Vietnam and made into McCall 5426). The interfacing gave it a little more heft and opacity. I placed the top part of the buckle on the interfaced side of the fabric and traced the holes. Next, I cut x-es into the corners, so I could fold the fabric up into the belt buckle.

The only thing missing from my vintage kit was the piece of adhesive used to glue the fabric to the buckle.  I used a spray adhesive instead.

Once you've sprayed your belt buckle with adhesive, place it onto the interfacing side of the fabric and th…

Burda 08-2009-116, Knit Cowl Dress

I love me a cowl neck, so when I saw Burda 08-2011-116 I knew I had to try it.  Several months ago I sat with Cidell while she cleaned up her sewing area (sometimes you just need company).  I came home with quite a haul, including this knit.  It's not something I would have picked out for myself because the neutral color is brown and I just.don't.wear.brown.  But I really love the colors in it and was itching to make it up.

I didn't have enough fabric to lay out the front and back as single pieces, so I cut it at the waist and added an elasticated waistband (I was going to need some waist definition no matter how it was cut).  This turned out to be fortuitous.

To make sure I got a good shape at the back collar, I interfaced it before stitching.  The back collar is cut onto the front piece so be sure not to extend into the front cowl.  You don't want a stiff cowl!

The challenge with a cowl is to find the fine line between skimpy and ginormous.  Burda crossed that line, an…

Butterick 5601, Trendy Trifecta Triangle-Back Sheath

Source: via Trena on Pinterest

This dress is the trendy trifecta of the moment:  colorblocking, lace, and back interest, oh my!  I got the floral print at London Textiles during PR Weekend 2010 in Philadelphia.  They were selling remnants for $3/yd.  This was a not one yard piece.

I wanted to use this fabric for the one yard challenge, but I just couldn't eke a skirt out of it.  It was a scant 42 inches wide and one of the selvages had a big hole in it that took it to about 40 inches wide, just too narrow to get a skirt out of.  The fabric is too heavy for a top, so I actually put it into the giveaway bag.  I thought it was just as well because I wouldn't have a top to go with the  skirt anyway.

Then I was suddenly inspired by/jealous of Cidell's Sailabration outfits to use it for a colorblocked dress.  With lace such a big trend right now I had been wanting to work lace into a garment and voila!  The lace is from Jomar in Philly; I've already used it in a dres…

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

I finished Overdressed (link goes to Goodreads; the cover photo above is linked to Amazon) over the weekend.  The author explores various angles of our addiction to cheap clothes:  the poor quality of clothing, the enormous waste generated by throwaway items and the (lack of) secondary market for used clothing, the loss of American (and most first world) textile jobs and production capacity, and the pressure on third-world garment-makers to keep worker wages as low as possible.  It was a good complement to Deluxe:  How Luxury Lost its Luster (and actually cites Deluxe).  

By the end of the book, the author is a convert to "slow clothing" over fast fashion:  fewer good quality pieces produced by well-paid workers in the U.S.  She even learns to sew.  She thinks if we could all just realize how poorly made fast fashion is, we'd all see the light on good-quality, more expensive clothing (which can end up with a *lower* cost per wear than fast fashion).

But I think she misses …