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Enchanted By Sewing The Podcast

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ench By Sew-025: Restyling

The latest Enchanted by Sewing Podcast has been published!
Listening Option I) You can listen to the show right on the web by clicking on this link
~ OR ~
Listening Option II)  Click on this link to iTunes  to download this and other Enchanted by Sewing shows to your mobile device (iPhone, Android, etc.) free from iTunes

This month’s show  is  Restylin’.
It all came about when I started shaking the dreams from my hair. Restylin' is about my transition in sewing and wardrobe style . It involves looking at patterns in a new-to-me way, and working my brain around ways I want clothes to fit me.

The Enchanted by Sewing Podcast is, an extension of my regular sewing blog - Me Encanta Coser, which,  roughly translated means, Enchanted By Sewing 

My blog is written in English. The name celebrates the historical and modern use of the beautiful Spanish Language in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, where I live. 

This month I’m working on creating two tee shirts M6078 and V8323. The details are in these blog postings from
V8323 - Princess Seamed - Katherine Tilton Tee

M6078 - Retro Style Polka Dot Cowl Neck Knit top - Reminiscent of I Love Lucy

1) Pensamientos Primeros
– (Sewing) For my wardrobe’s sake (How about those red accents!)
2) Technicos  
Reworking my sewing style/methods. Pattern alteration experiences.
3) Pensamientos Finales
Transitions - Restyling  

David Crosby sang, 
“I almost cut my hair
It happened just the other day . . .”

4) Epiologue 
Redefining what I want to create

Vogue - Sofía Vergara

* * *
Restyling has me  shaking the dreams from my hair.   That’s just one more thing that keeps me . . . 
Enchanted by Sewing.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Californian Visits Vancouver B.C.'s Dressew - A Sewing Mecca

How many extra suitcases are you packin', for that trip to Vancouver?

My November Enchanted by Sewing podcast will include an audio spin through these aisles.
 Wellllllll, this Californian didn't have any extra suit case room this trip 'round. But I still managed to spend about $25 on bits and pieces to fill my bags corners, at Dressew, a Vancouver B.C. store that's a lot more than fabrics.

This store certainly has tons of fabrics. On this trip I looked down an aisle of brocades that was maybe 50' long. They had an array of beautiful dotted cottons, the like of which I've never seen. And lace fabric? Don't even get me started on the lace. Into active wear sewing? They also sell power mesh that LuluLemon sells them, when they stop production on a particular color/style.

Luckily for me, I wasn't hungry for fabric. I did want zippers though. They have all those speciality sizes and types I usually have to buy on the web for a lot more money. I bought several in the 3-5 inch range for less than a dollar (lucked out on the exchange rate this time through too). Then there are buttons - over 500 tubes of buttons (with an average of probably 30 buttons per tube). There are buttons on cards as well. Trim - you want trim? Trims I've never seen before, and lots of leather trim. Great prices. I also bought needles and decorative embellishments I plan to use for jeans. They were all 25 cents. These folks are liquidators. You don't count on what they'll have, but you'll want what you see.

And of course, just hanging out with other sewists and wondering what they were going to make added a lot to my fun.

Nothing makes me bond more to a city, then finding great sewing resources.
That's the kind of thing that keeps me . . . 
Enchanted by Sewing!
~ ~ ~
Web Resources

Subscribe to email notifications for the Enchanted by Sewing podcast, so you won't miss the show on Vancouver sewing resources.

Dressew - Gallery - Check out those buttons!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Romance of Vintage Threads - Lace Dress Inspiration

Do you love pinterest like I do? I have numerous boards related to sewing, fashion and history out there. I pinned this vintage lace dress on my Sewing Inspiration pinterest board

When I saw this vintage dress on another pinners board, I was hooked. I immediately posted it to Facebook and started imagining where i might wear it, once I make it:-)

- To a wedding - I'd feel like the mother of the bride in this beautiful frock

- To dine at San Francisco's Cliff House on my next significant wedding anniversary. We've got one divisible by 10 in 2018. I think I could get this gorgeous girl done by then!

- Out dancing with my husband. OK, so we don't actually know how to dance like that. Don't you think such a romantic garment ought to be enough of an inspiration that we'll learn, just to honor it?

- Theater, ballet and opera. Those are obvious right?

When I get a dress done along these lines, I'm going to find places to wear it. I know I"m going to love it.

Sewing Resources 

I'm thinking of trying out Butterick 6095. It's a top pattern, and that's what I'll make first. I'll be playing around with fit on this top. I want it really, really fitted. I'm not wild about the peplum on this top. Since it's not part of the dress I'm working towards, I"m going to eliminate it. Maybe I'll extend the hem and change to fish eye darts. Once I move onto the dress I'll work out where the hem is shortened.

I'd probably make the first test version of the bodice in a simple woven and just wear it for a while, to see what I think of the fit. I'll stick with the sleeveless version and not fuss with sleeves, since I don't want them in the lace dress and I'm not super interested in them.

After I'm happy with fit, I'll move onto a bodice/top in double edged lace. That will give me a chance to get comfortable with my lace sewing and styling techniques. I want to make sure that the scallop edge embellishes the armhole just so.... Black lace maybe? It will be fun to pick out a fabric that goes with jeans as well as a simple skirt.

I'll also need to make some decisions about what sort of lining is going to backup the lace. Do I want to just wear a camisole and slip underneath  or do I line or underline the garment? It's a possibility but I'm more likely to build the lining in - silk or Bemberg rayon? I'll probably use the rayon for the first pass on the bodice/top.

Once I get the lace bodice perfected I can move onto the skirt. I think I'll drape a skirt that's mostly straight, or even somewhat pegged, on the bottom and cut the original fabric wider on the top (like a reverse triangle - with one point cut off) so I have the fabric for the big pleats. I'll be playing around on my dress form to get that skirt shaped right. I might even start by draping a dolls dress to get the shape right.

The belt will be fun. I keep my eyes peeled for just the right glitzy slider piece. I might try covering elastic with lining-backed lace.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Princess Seamed Tee Shirt (Pattern Work)

Last week I wrote about the pattern work I'm doing with the cowl neck knit/tee shirt pattern for the remainder of my black and white polka dot knit. At the same time, I'm working on altering this pattern for a princess-seamed tee shirt. I have two pieces of fabric I'll be using for this tee. One is a heathery gray, somewhat heavy cotton knit. The other is a print of roses in a kind of heavy velourish sort of fabric. The rose print was a freebie, so I'm less clear on it's history.

I'm hoping both tees will work well in our temperate fall and winter climate, in the San Francisco Bay Area - if we ever get any cooler weather that is! Right now the weather gods seem to think it's still summer - actually a warmer summer than we usually get. 

So far I've traced and dated the master pattern (view C) on drafting paper, leaving in more than enough seam allowances for altering. I'll probably use some commercial tee shirts for muslin/patter testing. I hope that, even though this is a knit, I can still get some idea with the help of my dress form Conchita, as to where shoulder and side seams need to go.

I believe that Marcy Tilton Thomas' sister Katherine Tilton, designed this pattern. Here's a newsletter where Marcy talks a little about the pattern

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Reworking a Retro-Style Polka Dot Tee

 Way back when (OK it was a little over two years ago) . . .  I made the fitted, cowl neck tee shirt above. I journaled about my attitudes toward polka dots, as well as my attitudes about retro style inspired by I Love Lucy.

I'm a firm believer in not picking fault with my own sewing projects. So, at the time, I focused on what went right with my polka dot tee. I'll fess up now, however, that I wasn't perfectly happy with the project. Though I took it out of the drawer several times, finding both fabric and cowl neck appealing, I actually wore it only occasionally. And I'm glad to say that, because I had plenty of leftover fabric, I've got a chance to rework the tee. I started doing that this last week.

With my new tee, I'm working to improve the following:
a) The original tee shirt is just too short. It's OK tucked into my black trousers but it doesn't look quite right over a pair of jeans.
FIX- I added two inches to the length. The pattern showed lengthen or shorten at the hem.
b) There's something not quite right about the shaping on the side seams. It had a very slight drag. OK, I always noticed it because I sewed it. It wasn't that noticeable.
FIX- I'm so pleased I had written notes on the first version of the pattern I traced and used. Apparently I had reshaped the front using a Burda pattern, but I didn't reshape the back in a similar way. I don't know why I did that, but at least I know what happened! The adjustment was more sharply inset than the actual side seam I expect to use. This time I added extra at the side seam, even though I think I don't need it. I'd rather mark in the size I think I want, possibly reshape it a little more - both front and back!- and cut off the extra.
c) I didn't really like the look of the white fold over elastic I used. This time around I've bought black fold over elastic :-)
d) The cowl neck is self-lined. It didn't extend high enough, so that the spot where the lining hit showed when wearing it. 
FIX- I fixed this on the original garment by adding a strip of selvage. That worked fine, but since I'm remaking it I'm  extending the pattern for future versions.

So far . . .  I've traced a new master pattern, made the alterations and cut out most of the front out of an inexpensive commercial tee (as a muslin). I say 'cut out most' because the commercial tee isn't as long as I need it to be for the actual garment , but it will work for testing the pattern.
McCalls 6078
My version is style 'A'

1. Retro Inspiration: Sewing with Polka Dots

2. Retro Polka Dots, Why I Don't Love Lucy

Whoops! Reworking a Retro-Style Polka Dot Tee

I made a mistake when posting my regular weekly/weekend sewing blog and posted here.  I have readers who subscribe to this blog, and get emails about new postings, so in case you visited thinking I did a podcast about retro polka dots, I didn't :-)

I did write about my experiences reworking this pattern in my regular Sewing Journal - Me Encanta Coser. You can click on this link if you want to read that posting.