Summer Separates…. An impromtu clothing line.

I rolled out some clothing on my ETSY site this last week.  I ‘ve got an “in” with a beautiful line of silk taffeta that has been fun to flirt with and these fabrics definitely tickle my feminine fancy because some dresses are next!  The current collection of separates I just put up mixes this silk taffeta (washed to soften) with hand dye linen and lace tank tops for super comfortable and easy to put on pieces that have a summer boho feel.   All of the skirts have fantastic wide elastic waistbands  are lined in rayon.  All of the pieces are washable.  Not bad pictures for being in my basement.  Also…  I have been asked to do a fashion show here in Georgetown, Seattle, USA.  I will let you know if I participate.  Sometimes these things are not what they seem and that is why I am still on the fence.

FREE- pattern… pleated skirt with exposed zipper and grosgrain.

sailor skirt with pocket

I call this the math skirt.  This skirt is fun and easy with sweet detail like ribbons and lace.  It can be the perfect plaid school girl skirt or if its done in denim or corduroy yer cowgirl skirt. It could be a great summer skirt in an eyelet (lined, of course) or a winter wool staple with tights.  Any way you sew it- this little equation will be sure fire PROOF!

Fabric:

1 1/4 yard of fabric

THE MATH:

Waist Measurement _____ + 40″ = __________ /2 = ___  (width)

(Example: Waist 32″ + 40″= 72″/2 = 36″).

Other Supplies:

18″ separating zip (I coordinate this with my fabric)

2 1/4 yards of 1/2″ ribbon

4 1/2 yards of 1″

waist + 4″ of wide single fold bias tape or 1″- 1 1/4″ wide grosgrain ribbon for waist facing

Zipper foot

Wash fabric, ribbon and lace if the skirt is going to be washed after it is sewn.

CUT:

Cut two rectangles that are width measurement from above x 20″ long.

STITCHING THE DARTS:

At the center point of the top edge of these rectangles, chalk a 4″ line on the back side of the fabric perpendicular to the grain line.  Measure 1″ to each side of this line and clip a notch in your fabric.  Line up your notches and stitch from notch to the end of your chalk line to create a hip dart. Press flat lining up center line with stitched line.

STITCHING THE FRONT:

Mark center front and center back on each rectangle.  Find the mid point between dart and CF and notch. Pin and stitch a 1″ deep and 9″ long pleat at this notch.  Open and press this pleat flat aligning the notch and stitching to create a box pleat.  Find the midpoint between the dart and the pleat and notch.  Repeat the steps to create the box pleat.  Find the mid point between CF and your original pleat, clip, stitch and press another pleat here.  There should be three box pleats between the side dart and the center front on each of the rectangles.

STITCHING THE BACK:

Finish both CB with either a zigzag or a serger.  Stitch center backs together (careful to line up waistlines and hemlines) with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Measure 2″ in along waistband from the CB seam and notch.  From this notch measure another 3″ in and notch.  Continue measuring 3″ in toward the side dart until you have 5 notches.  Create a 1″ deep 9″ long box pleat using the method described above at each of the notches.  When you are finished there should be 10 pleats between the two side darts. Press all darts… again.

Note: Now is a good time to fit this garment to you.  Wrap it around yourself and adjust the fit at the center back and at the side darts if necessary.  Remember there is 1″ seam allowance at the center front.

Baste waist edge of skirt securing all pleats and darts.

ZIPPER

Fold and press 1/4″ of the center front toward the wrong side of the fabric.  Fold another 1/2″  and stitch  first fold into place finishing the raw edge.  Pin zipped zipper on top of the hemmed center front of skirt aligning the top of the zipper tapes with the waist edges and the center front hemmed edges.  Hand baste the zipper to the skirt to ensure it won’t move while machine stitching.   Unzip zipper (make sure it glides smoothly with out catching your basting.)  Here you can experiment with stitches like using a zigzag or a feather stitch while you are machine stitching the zipper into place.   Continue stitching past the end of the zipper to the hemline.  Note- there is a plastic coated section of zipper tape at the end of the zipper teeth that I some times have to hand crank my needle through.  Remove hand basting after zipper is secure.

FINISHING-

Waistline-  Stitch ribbon or bias tape on top of the waist edge at 1/2″ (wrong side of ribbon/tape to right side of skirt) leaving 1″ on each end.  Fold tape toward the back of the skirt and press this facing into place tucking in the ends of the ribbon under the facing trimming of necessary.  Stitch ribbon or bias tape to wrong side of skirt to secure the facing.

Hemline-  Finish bottom edge with a zigzag or serge.  Fold up 1″, press and stitch hem.  Stitch decorative ribbon over this hem stitching.  Using a long stitch on your sewing machine, gather the lace up enough to fit the bottom edge of the skirt. Edge stitch skirt hem on top of the gathering stitch on the lace to attach.

POCKET-

I did not use a pattern for the pocket.  I just started cutting into some scraps until I had the shape that I wanted (Yes, you can too!!)

More from the embroidery front.

I have been quite busy this last month- costumes for boylesque, pillows for wThe Wedding Pantry , a bridal shop in LA ….  the pillows are on my ETSY site as well, 60th birthday present for my mom (don’t worry there is no spoilers here).  Fosse Jack (boylesque) is performing tonight at Neighbors– featuring costumes by me.  Doors open at 8:30 and there is a $10.00 cover.

And it continues…. I am starting a wedding dress for my friend Michelle.  It is just a cute 1950’s inspired white silk dupioni with deep teal Mums embroidered on it (not by me).  I think it will be fun… and not to bridaly (ick).  Speaking of Bridal, there are new pillows up on my Etsy site now .  Take a look and enjoy!

PS- I am SOOOO excited about my Moms present…. its gonna be REAL good!  It is hard not to share but seeing as my Mom is like my only loyal fan, it would not be worth spoiling.

Strike a pose.

In the beginning of March I was in a fashion show for (one of) my alma maters, The Art Institute of Seattle.  It was fun, I was the oldest model but most were all just as insecure as I am so it was fine.  I really like stepping out of my comfort zone (Tom Boy) some times as this is a a real good dose of that.  Here, here, here and here are some pics.  The pics are from two different show on the same day (my hair is different).  And on that dress with the heart I wore it backward the first time.  Not my fault- they took fitting pictures of me in it backwards and I wore it the exact same as in the picture. Hee- Hee!!

This morning I was on the King 5 morning show New Day Northwest modeling one outfit.

WELL- apparently I cannot embed the flash clip of this appearance because WORDPRESS won’t let you!!!! Hmmmm…. so just click on the link.

Hat making and other obsessions.

repro velvet flowers

My mom has informed me that she does not like looking at my anthro rant any longer (I swear… and she does not like it).  So I am changing it… happy??

I have been taking hat making classes from a really excellent milliner, Izzie Lewis.  We started with covering buckram forms with fabric and then graduated to blocking fur felts.  Dave now has a running joke because all I can think about now is hats- when we watch movies, walking down the street, while we’re eating, when he is talking it’s coming out as hats,hats,hats- hats hats hats, hats?  I reply hats, hats,hats hats hats.

I know there are people out there (besides my mother) who have waited for this post as well.  Sorry I’ve taken my sweet time.  I have been learning a lot about taking pictures and also Photoshop.  I have been doing this online couse on Photoshop over at Lynda.  I have learned quite a lot in a very short amount of time.

Here are the hats I have worked on:

buckham cover with wool.

This was blocked in 2 parts- crown and brim.

This is grosgrain gathered into a crazy 8 with two 1940's buttons.

I also made hats for my father and my brother for christmas:

This fur felt was blocked all in one.

All of these hats have a wire in the brim and head size ribbons on the inside.

Model wannabe- cool vs. cruel fashion show

Last Thursday night I had the pleasure of modeling an AWESOME outfit in the Art Institute of Seattle “Cool vs. Cruel” annual fashion show.  The idea is to not use any animal based products of textiles and to be inspired by some current and cruel looks on the 2009 runways.  The show is sponsored by the Humane Society… hmm… or it is to promote the Humane Society.  It is a regional competition for all of the Art Institutes and then there is a National Competition in New York.  I was a little surprised at how small the show was.  My designer, Cindy, won the competition here!!!!  Her outfit will be shipped to NYC for the big show there.   Not only that…. she totally slipped me a Nordstrom Gift Card in all the craziness that I forgot about and surprisingly opened the next day.  Totally unnecessary… but WOOT WOOT!

Things I love…. the franc-o-philes.

This post is inspired by some new (old) sewing things that we got in at the store.   OMG-  I f**king love haberdashery… especially if it is beautiful!  I don’t even wind thread and I want one of each.sajouCollection

 

 

 

sajou-cards-winders-royan-combo250

Sajou– A nineteenth century French company that was recently resurrected.  I cannot really find pictures of some of the most awesome old graphics they use on their thread winders- twenties hats and such but here is the story of Sajou I found over at Silver Needle:

 From 1830 to 1880, Jacques-Simon devoted his time and inventiveness to fancy needlework, starting la Maison Sajou in 1830. His goal: to sell supplies for all types of the Needlearts. With the creation of his pattern albums, he reached intense fame in France and all of Europe… his original albums are very valuable and intensely sought-after collectibles today!

The trade name ‘Sajou’ fell into oblivion some years later, presumably after Jacques passed. It had not been used since 1954, and therefore, under French law, became available in 2004 for a new owner!

Frederique Crestin-Billet is the new owner of Sajou, and promises to present the vintage designs and articles as they were — without edits. Relying on the excellent name of Sajou, she is producing product using modern production methods, while maintaining a world that reminds us of the haberdasheries of yesteryear.

Another one of my french favorites is Lesage (here is an article about lesage) which does not have a web page.   They don’t need one!  They are the beading and embellishing house for all of Paris’ Haute Couture.  The Sewing Divas are on my blogroll and I found this great video on their site.  Only the second half is Lesage but the whole video is yummy.

 

Free Apron pattern… because I LUV SUMMER.

Ice Tea Anyone?

Ice Tea Anyone?

Materials:

½ —–yard of a base fabric (I used an Indian cotton voile).

¾  —–yard of a coordinating fabric (I used a Jay McCarroll printed cotton).

2 ¼ —–yards of ribbon (I used two grosgrain ribbons layered and stitch with a machine   embroidery stitch).

-Wash all fabric to clean and shrink.  All seams are ½”

-Cut from coordinating print:

1 Pocket- pattern PDF

1 Waistband- 6”x 22”

1 Bottom Band- 6”x 45”

2 Ties- 31” x 2 ½”

-Finish sides (selvedges) of base fabric and stitch two rows of basting (long machine stitches) at 3/8” and ½” from top.

-Stitch right side of bottom band to wrong side of base fabric (If using a directional print-it should be sew here upside-down). Press seam toward bottom band.  Fold bottom in half, right sides together, fold seam allowance back towards wrong side and stitch sides of bottom band.  Flip right sides out, press and top stitch long seam catching all raw edges in bottom band “sandwich”.  Center ribbon on bottom band and stitch both edges.

aprond

-Stitch darts in pocket and press.  Finish top edge.  Fold top of pocket at notch with right sides together. Stitch sides. Flip flap (he-he) right sides out.  Sew basting stitches centered at 1 ½” and gather pocket to 6 ½”.  Pin ribbon into place over gathers and stitch both edges.  Press raw edges of pocket to wrong side ½”.

– Position outside pocket corner 4” down from the top and six inches from the side of base (On the right side of the base if you are right handed and left side if you are left handed).  Pin and edge stitch pocket on to base.

big enough for several wood spoons- the cadillac of pockets!

big enough for several wood spoons- the cadillac of pockets!

-Fold ties in half right sides together and stitch down long raw edge and one short end.  Use a chop stick to push the right side out.  Make sure corners are carefully picked out.  Press flat.

-Gather top of base to 21”

-Sew right side of waistband to wrong side of the top of the base adjusting gathers evenly to fit within the seam allowance of the waistband.

-Baste ties to right side of waistband 2” up from the base with raw edges of ties lined up with raw side edges of waistband.  Fold waistband in half right sides together, fold seam allowance to wrong side and stitch the side catching the ties.  Flip right sides out, press seam allowance towards the waistband.  Top stitch long seam catching all raw edges in the “sandwich” of the waistband.

-You are now ready to cook!!

AND… this is just the beginning- you could add pockets, change pockets (there are a bazillion pocket shapes if you google images of vintage aprons), quilt the bands, use ribbon for the ties, add lace to the bottom, attach glitter and Christmas bells, add piping to the waistband and pocket, cross-stitch or embroidery, give it a theme for a friend, use ric- rac, appliqué fruits on there, you could bedazzle the crap out of it if you want.

And so, my spring has sprung into action!

I have just taken a  costume design job that I am excited about, I will be designing a period (11th century) MacBeth for a June production.  Also, I am commissioned to a “Jolly Green Giant” costume for a private client as well.   Just like that I am BOOKED until June or July!   I really don’t know much more about the production until Saturday, when I meet the director. 

Michael Kors can eat me!!

Michael Kors can eat me!!

In other news I have taken pictures of new stuff for my Etsy site, so that will be trickling up on to the site over the next couple of days.  I will also be taking more photos on Monday, so check it out.