Sunday, September 26, 2010

Vogue 1197 Re-Do & 1st Serger Garment!

Hello Readers,
I've completed the Vogue 1197 tunic, pictured below (taking advantage of the evening light). . .

I made this garment twice (as I cut off the hem of this tunic 8" short on my first try last weekend!).   And let's not talk about the stripes lining up on the previous garment!  This was made with my vintage serger.

I wanted a garment that I could wear "jeggings" with - and this one was perfect.  I bought the fabric at Mood, a knit jersey - with much more stretch than the pattern called for.   For my second try, I made the tunic version in the smallest size - it had so much ease it was ridiculous! On the final garment I made the bust size 32, for example (and I am a RTW 38B-C).  

I love the garment - the first one was a disaster in many ways - I even got lost serging the raglan sleeves. 

 Wow - serging is EASY and FAST!  As you can see from the view below my serging is not quite right (no getting that fall bob haircut now!).  I lazily used the cowl from my first version (and because I didn't buy enough fabric at Mood for the second version - I know don't ask).  Normally I buy 2.5 yards not knowing what pattern I am going to do - but for some reason I thought I did this pattern with 2 years (60") - No, that was not enough.
I did a rolled hem on the sleeves and hem below.  I didn't use "wooley nylon" as the pattern called for it -  I don't know that I could find a wooley nylon in brown, to tell you the truth. . . 
The hem is measured around 25.5 inches from the floor - all the way around.
 I wore ballet flats for the picture, but these are my shoes of choice for this outfit.

This elastic below was my first try - some fold over lingerie elastic - it didn't work - you need an elastic with ALOT of stretch - so I ended up going with the 1/4" elastic the pattern suggested.

I'm fighting off a summer cold - but had to get the garment finished - it should have been finished last weekend!

Two other events:
(1) Took a learn to serge class - which was very helpful, and had some, let us say, interesting interactions (a later post which I have in draft); and,

(2)  I'm taking the Couture Hand Stitch class on Pattern Review!  I've bought the supplies but haven't done the assignments (yet!).

Pattern review is HERE.

Next sewing project, something "vintage-y."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fantastic Series: Signe Chanel

Dear Readers,

Thanks to Erica B!,  I realized there was a series of fashion shows on the Sundance Channel.

I feel in love with a series called Signe Chanel. . .it's a french documentary that is a reality show featuring the wonderful seamstresses and teams of french seamstresses that turn eclectic Karl Lagerfeld's sketches into clothes.  It feature the making of the collection in 2004/2005 30 days prior to the runway show (from sketches to runway).  Episode One below.  

Episode One above - in slightly diminished format. 

It's fantastic.  The series features Madame Martine, Madame Cecile and Madame Laurence - who amazingly from their own talent turn these sketches from Karl into Chanel one of a kind pieces in record time!   Their skill is astounding.  Nearly everything in the line is handstitched.  And they are so quick.

You will meet 75 year old Madame Pouzieux who is the sole person that makes 100% of the braid for Chanel (but really enjoys her horses and foles). . .she made her own loom and does her own weaving.  Coco met her after the war and commissioned her to make her unique braid, and she has been doing so every since.  Interns have been out to learn her technique but so far no one can do it. 

The show also highlights some of the superstitions involved in sewing.  For instance, each wedding dress has a piece of hair of a single girl making it (she must braid a single strand of hair to ensure she marries). . . .or dropping scissor can mean death!  If a garment falls to the floor - it will be loved. . . . there are many others. . . 

Chanel is run like a business - but it apparently employs the best seamstresses in France.  It was very easy to watch - even though subtitled. 

 It's actual on youtube in a very good definition at this THIS LINK (apparently copyright clearances are not an issue).

Have fun!

I was amazed.  Now I want to increase my hand stitching skills.  I see pattern review has an online class.  Anyone ever take one?


Friday, September 17, 2010

Vintage Serger - Did I do the right thing?

Hello Readers,

A few months ago I asked you whether I should buy a serger - the answer was a general Yes!!

So, I've been looking for used Babylock Imagine Wave Sergers (the Enlighten, now) - which is normally on "sale" for my dealer for 1699 (Imagine 1399) but I "imagine" I could talk them down:)   So, I've been scouring craigs list in the LA area with no luck.

Today I walk into my Bernina dealer who says, hey Pam (he knows me) we got an awesome machine in trade - the Bernina Bernette 334D  (made by Juki) known as a real workhorse.  Some of the sewers I know loved theirs.  After checking reviews, I ended up buying it for 300.00 (which is a fair price) from the Bernina dealer - it's barely used.  I had them thread it for me.  It has a complicated threading system.

It's quiet, heavy with a great stitch - looks like a bear to thread and perhaps some fiddling with the tension may be necessary in the future.

I do return home and am generally pricing sergers just to ensure I paid a good price - and what do I find - a Babylock Imagine Wave Serger on Craigslist for 700.00.  Ridiculouso I tell you.  So, I have some mild remorse.  In reality, I can afford to keep this one and try it and if I don't like it - eventually trade it back in to the dealer. . . I'm happy to get a serger but this was a slight impulse purchase.    Any thoughts are appreciated.

Here above is a photo on the serger with my sewing "table" - I have no sewing "room."  And below here are my materials stowed for some later sewing in the week. . . .

Thanks! Beautiful Blogger Award

Thanks to Katie for this recommendation.  I'm really bad at posting about myself (perhaps I'm not self-aware enough or alternatively, perhaps I'm too private) - however, I'm thrilled to have the time to post!  Here are 10 things you don't know about me:

(1) I'm a former and current skateboarder.  I love my Vans.  Living in Ventura allows me to occasionally indulge this passion!

(2)  I'm retired military (hurray!  a retiree) - even though I am a practicing attorney - I'm retired from the Reserves as an Navy Oceanographer. 

(3) I want to learn to play guitar and keep delaying buying one and/or getting lessons!

(4)  I only have a few really close friends! (And none that sew garments:)). I'd rather have a few people I'm really close to than a group of friends who are not that close.  

(5)  I'm intensely loyal to my family and those close to me.

(6)  I love living with my dogs (oh, wait, something you DON'T know!). . .okay then, I read voraciously - and my taste varies from Hemingway to slutty summer novels.  The first novel I remember reading was Jaws.

(7)  I'm love the energy of Los Angeles.  And the fact, you can find any thing you want in terms of shopping or really, most entertainment!

(8)  In my work life, I'm a perfectionist - but not so much at home - I tend to be a little bit more laid back and sloppy, if you will.

(9)  I'm distantly related to both Kurt Vonnegut and William Bratton, one of the scouts on the Lewis and Clark expedition.

(10)  I hate getting up early, and for that matter, must have my coffee in the morning - I really enjoy a good first cup.

Whew!  I actually had difficulty coming up with ten things.

I send this award out to anyone who follows me - I would love to hear 10 things about you!  

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Colette Macaron Second Version Finished at Last!

Hello Readers!

I've finally finished the Colette Macaron - despite a blunder with my blind stitch hem this morning.

I'm fairly pleased with it.  I made it out of Echino Fabric (from the fabulous Sew-LA). . . which is a very thin cotton linen blend.  I took my time to make the dress - and I think the two mistakes I made were:  (1)  the upper band isn't totally straight (I'm thinking of re-attaching), and (2) the side with the invisible zipper doesn't match!

(Update:  Late morning day of post - the pictures on this blog convinced me to re-sew/re-attach the upper midriff band - it looks a lot better now!!). I've posted the pix below:

I did some new techniques on this dress - I stabilized the neck with silk ribbon and did the armholes the same way.  I lined the dress with a very thin high quality cotton - although I've had a hard time getting the lining perfect.

I topstitched both the neckline and sleeves because of the light weight quality of the fabric and lining - I couldn't get these areas to lay perfect despite a large amount of steaming and pressing. I even understitched, to no avail.  I believe the topstitching corrected this tendency of the fabric to roll.

Here is the side of the fabric where I actually matched the sides correctly.

I also bought a rolled hem foot and I LOVE IT!  I blindstitched the hem and then used the rolled foot on the lining - wow!  I need to perfect this technique but I really do like it.

I also used a cotton thread (rather than polyester) in sewing the rolled hem and I believe that helped!  Ah, the wonders of feet.

Finally, I include a picture of the garment on my dressform!

For the pattern review, click Here.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Progress on Macaron

Dear readers,
Yes! I've finally 90% done with the Macaron.
All I need to do is press and hem tomorrow!  
Here I am below lining up the skirt to the bodice. . .
Here, I actually took the time to line up 
and mark the straight lines so that the
waistline is seemingly straight. . . 

I am doing a quick lining.  Which means lining to the
neck and sleeve line.  So to reinforce the neckline and sleeves
I have not only used my lightweight interfacing but also
sewing in some silk ribbon I had bought "just in case" for this
project!  It has worked out wonderfully.  I also used the silk
ribbon to line invisible zipper to reinforce it.  

Of course, every project has its mistakes it seems.  Two of mine:  I couldn't figure out the lining!  For example, my last dress I lined easily - but now I remember that it has a back zipper - this dress has a side zipper.  I must have forgot how I did the lining on my other macaron!  

And, I made my usual error of cutting a hole in the lining by mistake, so I patched it on the inside with a good luck shamrock - it didn't alter the pattern, thankfully, and it does not show!  I have more to report when this is finished . . . . almost done!

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.