I completely forgot to say anything – bad Sunni! – but I’m teaching at Sewing Summit again this year. Actually, I’ve been pretty low key about everything this fall (more like everything this year). I found that last fall/winter I kind of OD-ed on conferences and well just sewing stuff in general. Wow. I kind of actually didn’t want to see a sewing machine for a little while. Just needed a break after so much. It was overwhelming and a little exhausting. I remember wanting to write about it so much but forced myself not to because I had a lot of negative things to say about a lot of things. I’m glad I didn’t because I really hate being negative. Yuck. Anyway, let’s forget about that, shall we? I thought I would capture a few photos before I toted my Sewing Summit class goods to the conference.
I’m teaching a class on fitting and I have a pretty good feeling about it this year. I totally get vibes with teaching and I’m getting a good vibe this time around. Having taught this class in several different forms at Yellow Bird Fabrics, I feel pretty good about my stance on what I have prepared and the information I’ll be doling out. The thing with fitting – as many of you, no doubt, know – is that its such a big process. The other thing that I find with sewing people – like me and you – is that many don’t know or don’t realize how many resources are available to them as regards fitting and really, that’s what this class is going to be about. I feel that I have a wealth of knowledge about this subject and its one that I love to talk about and share with others. I went a little overboard with my materials this year. I put together fancy folders with little dresses that I glued onto the covers – cute non? There’s several handouts and a few basic supplies for some adjustments and alterations we’ll be doing in class too. I felt like a regular school teacher putting this stuff together! Only thing missing is crayons!
I also thought I would give a few thoughts on teaching since I’ve been making a pretty big dent in that field over the past couple of years. I never actually thought I would be a sewing teacher, but find that I love – absolutely love – to talk sewing with people. I don’t know that I feel so much like a teacher, but rather a connoisseur of all things apparel sewing related and when I get with other people who are excited about sewing, its really really cool. I just feel like we’re having a discussion more or less and I find that I have a lot to contribute to that discussion and that just gets me all sorts of jazzed. All in all, I enjoy teaching quite a bit, though I still have desires in other sewing related directions which I’m planning to expand on and share with you all in good time. So, here’s to the joy of sewing!
Do you teach sewing? Do you enjoy it?
It’s very very rare that I buy clothing from the mall or store anymore. If I do get a shopping bug then I’m prone to thrift rather than anything else and lately the thrift store has been really picked over. Meh…. I was on my way home from the thrift store after finding nothing but a couple of belts (sigh) and spotted a consignment shop that I had long wanted to go into and never had. I thought the next best thing to the thrift was consignment and boy I was surprised at how much nicer it was than I had even thought. Consignment, of course, is carefully curated and so it was that I entered this pretty fabulous consignment shop not too far from where I live. I was amazed at what they had. Never had I seen such beautiful second hand offerings.
Then I spotted this jacket. Then I tried it on and it was then that I knew that someone would literally have to cut me out of the jacket in order to get me to give it up. This is a Rebecca Taylor jacket and seriously, the only thing I know about designer names is that I’ve seen Rebecca’s name on a couple of Vogue patterns before. Ha. I’ve not been on the up and up with designer clothing for a long time. It’s out of my financial reach, quite frankly. But sometimes, when chance comes along, its best to grab it up and
roll yourself up in it and shout hip hip hooray…..
This jacket is, quite literally, perfect. It’s loverly. And I wanted to show it all to you because I thought you might find it interesting from a sewing standpoint. The really unique thing about this jacket is that its 100% silk, through and through. To boot, its quilted. I don’t know about you, but whenever I think of a quilted jacket, I think “quilty” and that involves something crazy like patchwork. And you know, for a jacket, I don’t know that quilty is so great, or at least I never thought it could be so great or so incredibly sophisticated. So anyway, yeah, this jacket is quilted. Quilted silk. Crazy right?
The sleeves are lined in silk and at the sleeve vent (if you will) there is a zipper. Additionally, at the sleeve cap there is a curious addition which gives this jacket the half look of a moto jacket style. But then there’s the peplum which gives it a crossover into riding jacket territory. Personally, I find it gorgeous and it doesn’t help at all that its amazingly comfortable. The inside has some hong kong finished seams which only add to the overall beauty. Its seriously exquisite and quite candidly I find this amazing because what I had previous thought before was high end RTW (ready-to-wear) was really not what is high end RTW. I mean I’ve felt that I had some nice RTW items that did cost me quite a bit back in the day, but I’ve never come across a silk jacket. Especially one that was lined in silk too. Usually linings are polyester or acetate which is so awfully sad, but true.
I read an article in one of the more recent Threads mags that talked about picking the right fabric for the right pattern. The article was really well done and right at the beginning, the author stated something to the effect of “there really is not bad fabric, only inappropriate fabric choices for specific patterns.” Though I do have to state that I think polyester double knit is a really bad fabric and I have yet to hear of or think of a good application for this fabric, I do think that statement holds true. But what about when you are completely surprised by the fabric choice of a particular garment? This jacket is one of those instances, and yet thoroughly well executed.
Anyway, spiffy right? What do you think? Have you ever thought that a jacket could be made of out quilted silk? It kind gives room to the imagination as regards sewing and creating your own silk jacket. I mean I never would have thunk, which is the whole reason why I wanted y’all to see it. You know, from sewer to sewer, just giving you ideas. Thoughts, anyone?
I decided just the other day that I wanted to join in the Fall for Cotton Sewing Challenge, hosted by Rochelle and Tasha. This is an interesting challenge for me because for about a year now, I’ve been creating a wardrobe that doesn’t really involve a lot of vintage style. I love vintage, don’t get me wrong, but at the same time its hard for me to not feel like I’m in costume when I wear vintage get-up. For me, the 70s and 80s are where its at. Keeping that in mind and the idea of my Everyday Wardrobe, I searched my pattern stash for a suitable “Sunni” pattern. Amidst a few of my grandma’s old patterns I found one. Vogue 2902.
Pierre Balmain anyone? The pattern isn’t dated, but I’m pretty sure this is a pattern from the 70s. We’ve got the illustrated model in that popular mustard color and she’s wearing platforms (a throw back to the 40s, you know) to boot. Its a pretty lovely pattern and from what I can tell, it was made by my grandma though maybe for a daughter because someone chopped off a lot of length from the skirt. Someone likes em short!!
Anyway, pattern’s traced and I’m about to mock up a muslin. The other challenge and possibly even more challenging part about Fall for Cotton is actually using 100% cotton fabric. I searched through the stash and though I have several great possible fabric options for this pattern, none were 100% cotton. So I went in search of some suitable cottons and found this army green cotton flannel. I’ve wanted a flannel dress for some time now. I’m excited to say that this will not only be everyday wearable, but also warm! Yesss! I freeze to death when it starts getting cold and so looking in the closet and actually seeing something warm to put on will be a win.
Any of you doing Fall for Cotton? What are your thoughts on vintage? Do a we need a little 70s resurgence here or what? Happy Weekend Everyone!
This is another Tyler shirt. Compared to jackets (and I’ve been on a jacket kick for sometime) shirts whip up in no time, so you get a double whammy this week! As I was going along I made some spontaneous changes to the pattern. This is a silk print crepe de chine from Yellow Bird Fabrics. Its so gorgeous I think and its one of those types of colorways that goes with just about everything. Its unbelievably comfortable too. It’s been sometime since I owned a silk shirt and this one is just amazingly wonderful to wear. Chic – check, simple to wear and care – check, goes with everything – check! By the way, I have no qualms when it comes to cleaning my own garments the only exception being coats and tailored jackets.
Again, the print camouflages the raglan sleeve, but its there. I opted not to add the collar, just the collar stand resulting in a mandarin collar shirt. I like this option quite a bit for a silk shirt because otherwise the collar ends up flopping about like a fish out of water. I hate that. Additionally, I chopped off the sleeve length, widened the cuffs and just raised the cuff treatment to my elbow instead of my wrist. Kind of a poet style sleeve. Ended up looking rather marvelous with the fabric choice if I do say so myself. All in all, no major changes really. I did do pink buttons though. As I’ve stated several times, my stash is overflowing and since this fabric was in the stash and so were the buttons, I went for it.
I also made the skirt here and excuse me if I say that red is really hard to photograph. I know this thing looks photoshopped, but it ain’t. Its quite electric red. Not quite that electric in real life, but I’ll admit it is a bright orangey red. I made the skirt at the beginning of summer and just haven’t put it up here on the blog yet. Its Kwik Sew 3278 – a simple a-line skirt with welt pockets. The whole reason I bought the pattern was for the welt pockets because being a connoisseur of such details, I find it interesting to see how pockets measure up against each other, you know for science and all that. This pattern was worth it for the welts. They were breezy to construct. Additionally, you’ll notice that I left out the button down center front. I did this because first I didn’t want to mess with the buttons and second because button up skirts can tend to show more skin than feels comfortable. I mean you can wear a slip but well, you know. I just didn’t want to bother with it. Actually were I to do it with the buttons, I would make it a faux button front that is stitched closed and include a side or back zip. The skirt is made from some cotton/linen blend from Yellow Bird as well (can I say, I’m apart of the Yellow Bird Sewing Network???) and its fully lined in rayon lining. Pretty straight forward really, but its an easy piece to wear. So easy.
Actually I made two of these skirts with a 3rd cut out and ready to sew too. They are kind of a below the natural waist style and since the pattern didn’t include a contoured waistband, I ended up having to alter that a bit to get it to be contoured. End result is really comfortable and easy to wear. I also like the fact that this skirt isn’t really really a-line or not enough a-line. Its just right. Really, such a great pattern with that tweaking of the waistband.
Last thing, but I wanted to point out that my entire outfit is completely Everyday Wardrobe friendly. Again, this is very important to me as you know because I’ve been down that road of making too many dresses that go with high heeled shoes. Dresses aren’t bad at all, but I’m very careful about making dresses that are more casual or can be worn with flats now because I’ve gotten rid of nearly all of my heels. I still have a couple of pairs but they are for special occasions. I know I need to do more posts on the Everyday Wardrobe, but this idea has completely revolutionized my life and my closet. I actually have items to grab now for everyday wear that look great. So refreshing!
I still think I need one more Tyler shirt. Maybe two. I still have several cuts of Liberty I could potentially choose from and I think I do need a solid colored one too, just to show off the raglan. Are you a Tyler convert yet?
So have y’all heard about Named Patterns? There are so many indie pattern companies now (its so awesome, dontcha think?) and this company is one of the most recent. They sell PDF patterns – something that you all know that I actually kind of loathe, but by the same token, their pattern offerings are rather amazing. Anyway, Named first caught my eye from Rachel over at House of Pinheiro. Immediately, I snatched up 3 of their patterns (this coat, this tee and of course, the Tyler shirt).
This is the Tyler shirt from Named’s current offerings. I love it. The raglan sleeve thing is what drew me to the pattern in the first place (though its hard to tell from my printed version). Then there’s the little cuffs and collar too. I love little things like this instead of the always oversized details from the big 4. I love a good raglan sleeve on really, just about anything and so I decided to take the plunge and make it up first. I made up a muslin. I made my usual broad back adjustment – I can’t wait for the day when I don’t make this dumb alteration. I had to add a good 4 inches back there. Seriously this is actually pretty normal for me. I also shortened the sleeves an inch. Next time around I’m also going to raise the armhole as its a little too low for ultimate comfort. This is definitely not going to be the only version I make (already have a silk print cut out!!). These alterations all resulted in the most comfortable button up shirt I have yet made or ever owned. It’s simply delightful to wear!
The pattern itself is quite well drafted. Especially the sleeve. Usually on a raglan sleeve I experience some wrinkles that point upward toward the tip of the shoulder. This is normal (I’ve read that in several places) and I usually don’t do anything to adjust it, but on this pattern, there is no fitting wrinkles (for me) in the sleeve at all. Beautiful sleeve draft. All the pieces went together without a hitch and it wasn’t too difficult to trace the pattern off after putting the PDF sheets together. They only sell two sizes at a time which is actually kind of a godsend considering how crazy some patterns can be to trace. The only thing that I would say would make it even easier is to leave out the seamlines – all patterns include a 3/8″ seam allowance.
I ended up extending those 3/8″ seam allowances to 5/8″ seam allowances in the body of the shirt because I wanted to do flat felled seams. Made all the more awesome by this rather amazing Liberty print that I picked up some time ago at lowpricefabrics.com (my go to for Liberty’s as they have the best price around for them). It’s got an asian theme and I love the color combo. Liberty’s get me every time. I love these fabrics. However, I confess that I didn’t take the time to print match. I can be bothered with plaid matching, but print matching is something else entirely. I hail those who have the patience for such things. Seriously, all hail. To be honest, print matching can be kind of hit or miss with me. Sometimes I can definitely tell when someone went to the trouble of print matching and other times, I just think, why? Why torture yourself? Especially when I would never have been able to tell unless you told me. Still, I can see its value, I guess. While we’re on it, you can probably see there is a big difference in a print for this particular pattern than a solid, like the original has. I love both for their difference, but this pattern totally works both ways. Great pattern for both prints and solids.
Additionally I paired my Liberty with a scrap I had for the inner collar stand, sleeve placket and inner cuff. Speaking of, I used my own sleeve placket. I don’t bother with trying to do it a different way because this one works like a dream every time. Its the one from this Thread’s article.
I decided on snaps here in lieu of buttons. I love me some snaps people. I can like rip out of my shirt now! Yessss! Plus, I used the Snap Setter, and if you’re still in the dark ages and putting on snaps with that rotten Dritz plier, let me enlighten you. These things really work, they ain’t too hard to use and I have yet to break any of the pearl snaps. Win. Worth it. Plus they have every color of snap and snap type under the sun. What’s not to love here?
This pattern is not for beginners. And actually, now that we’re talking about that, just so you are aware, while the pattern comes with instructions, it does not come with illustrations. I’m totally cool with that. I would rather have an excellently drafted pattern than sewing instructions any day. I have a much different way of a constructing a button up shirt – more in line with David Coffin’s excellent book on the subject – than any pattern instructions I’ve ever seen really offer. Speaking of, I also really really like this book on sewing shirts too.
Now for the PDF thing. This pattern was actually brilliantly put together for PDF printout. The pattern pieces are all overlapped on top of each other (like a Burda Mag) and since you really have to trace off these types of patterns anyway, this is really really awesome. Yet, since there are only two sizes, the pattern lines were easy to see and everything worked out pretty much like a piece of cake. I’m totally sold. Pattern makers take a cue!!!! I only had to print out 12 pages. This compared with something like 75 for a jacket from Burda Style that I did once. So dumb!
I’m seriously, seriously loving the semi androgynous look of this new pattern company. While I love many of the cuter, more ladylike patterns that many of the other indie’s offer, I admit that I have to be pretty careful with stuff like that. I just look really weird in some of those styles. So, I did have some misgivings about this small size of the collar and cuffs here. But since the style is a bit more masculine-ish, it totally rocked my world. Named – you’ve got my attention. Love. at. first. stitch.