Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Peackock Embellished Blouse

On to the next look of my Fall Look Book!

This is one of my favorite blouses! I made it out of this drapey flowy fabric that was a dream to sew with and I love the way it flows and drapes on by body.

 I loved this fabric so much I went back and bought another shade of purple of it!

Anyway, I don't know if you can tell but this is the same silhouette as the Cat Blouse, I actually love that the fabric is so different from the cat cotton that the silhouette looks quite different!

While thinking of what to make for the store I thought of what elements I could incorporate into my clothing that aren't usually incorporating into RTW clothing. One of them was this peacock feather I found at a craft store. I assume the reason feathers aren't usual used in RTW clothing is because they're not easily laundered - but I think this has a certain hand made (notice I didn't say homemade) appeal to it and attention to detail that just can't exist in mass made items.

This is the point where I come clean and say this is the version of this blouse that I made for myself and not for the store. The store version does not have fabric covered buttons in the back but a zipper. This is another one of those ways where I changed the design a bit to make it simpler and quicker. I know this is a bigger change than the back placket I was talking about in the Cat Blouse but making buttons and fabric covered buttons would have added another hour to the blouse, which is something you have to think about when selling on consignment as you can't charge as much as you would if you were selling independently. (And as well all know, time=$$)

Onto the feather! I had quite a think trying to figure out how to connect in tot the shirt. In retrospect, maybe incorporating it into a pleat might a been a good idea but I didn't want to have to do too much drafting. I decided to create a little triangle, which in my opinion gives it a kind of tribal arrow look that I like.
It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I cut a triangle out the fabric, and starched the HECK out of it.( I really think that starch is a sewer's best friend, especially for sewing difficult slippery fabrics.) I then pressed all the raw edges in, creating a smaller triangle and glued the feather to the triangle with fabric glue,  I let it dry and sewed it to the shirt slowly with very a very small stitch length.
What do you guys think?

A little but about my shoes - the friend who I have been selflessly sewing for (re - Cinderella Dress) bought me this pair of shoes as I have been eying leopard loafers for quite some time (when I say eying I mean emailing her weekly pictures of these leopard babies) as a reward for my friendly sewing she bought me these shoes, I proceeded immediately change out of a pair of black flats (black? who wears black?) I was wearing and shuffled up to the kitchen (the shoes were still tied to each other with string elastic) to pour us some celebration wine. Anyway, if you crave these as well, she got them at Target for 14.99$! I just had to spread the word to my modest following - because to who else will I share my shoe secrets?

Have you ever sewed with feathers or any other unique embellishments? What do you think of using them in your sewing? What do you think of the fall looks so far?
Have you ever used starch while sewing?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Blouse in Progress

Almost done!

I made a few silly mistakes which I will tell you about when I show you the finished blouse.

Anyway, I managed to almost match the stripes (other than one stupid mistake I made) which I'm kind of proud of.


What do you think? Pearl buttons or black buttons? I can't decide! I think I'm leaning towards the pearl buttons but the blouse is kind of high cut so I feel like a nun wearing it and the pearl buttons don't really help matters.  I thought of maybe using burgundy buttons (which I don't have) to add a pop of color. I can't decide what to do!
What do you guys think??

(also I promise the stripes in the front match I just didn't lay the flaps correctly on top of each other)


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Thoughts on Plaid

I really really do.

Especially, the bad kind of Plaid.
what do I mean by that?

Plaid that's printed irregularly. YES! that exists!
It's proof you want?

White stripes indicate stripes that are matched, red stipe indicates stripe that is not matched even though everything around it IS.


I then resigned to matching only the horizontal stripes, which does not make me happy but I really don't have a choice.
I spent two hours yesterday matching the stripes while cutting the pattern and I then spent another two hours mathcing the stripes in order to sew the pieces together? worth it? I don't know.

I'm attempting to recreate this blouse with this fabric:

Isn't it absolutely amazing?? let us see if I will be successful!

What do you guys think about plaid? Have you ever had issues with uneven printing of stripes? what didyou do to fix this?
I wonder, what is the general opinion on this - I haven't managed to match my tripes completely as I stupidly decided to make this blouse with princess seams (I really deserve a whack on the head), would you completely scrutinize a sewer who didn't match their plaids/stripes completely or is this an acceptable err?

Thought about the blouse??

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cat Blouse

The first look! and more importantly - the look that started it all...

The Cat Blouse!

 Yes! it's made out of quilting fabric with little cats! I admit the pattern isn't very ooh-la-la but I thought I should keep it simple because the fabric is SO CUTE!

I used my bodice to create this pattern, I was inspired by the Colette Sencha Blouse and Gertie's (or Vogue's) Bow Tie Blouse and created a vintage silhouette (which admittedly you can't see in this picture, I basically look like a balloon. I blame it on the Doctor Peppers I've been drinking non stop for two months).

It might be more obvious in this one:

 You can see the definition of the waist better in this picture. (Though sadly I'm wearing a deer-in-the-headlights look. I still can't decide if I like this picture much). I made it a little longer than the blouses I mentioned above and seemed to have over compensated out of pure hysteria because the last few blouses I've made have come out quite short.

Yesterday, I talked about how I had to put a lot of thought into the making of these blouses. When making clothing with the intention of selling them, you really have to think about how long each process will take you, otherwise you will have to charge a FORTUNE for the garment you're making. The issue with this is thinking about time and also thinking about the finishing of the garment at the same time. You don't want to send out a garment that looks like a piece of crap or damages the integrity of the original design because you're trying to save time.

The focal point of this blouse is the buttons in the back. now I know you can't really see them well and I blame that on the busy print, but I assure you they're quite prominent in real life!

One of the examples for thinking about the way I do things is the back button placket, let's take a closer look:

In the original blouse I had an actual separate placket for the buttons that I cut on the bias. I decided to shorten my sewing time by elongating the back pieces to overlap and creating a facing to make the button strip sturdier. In retrospect, I can't really decide which design I like better. This definitely saved me at least half an hour of construction (it might seem silly but these things add up!) but maybe the placket made the button more noticeable? Anyway I felt that this gave the blouse a cleaner finish and made it simpler to construct. What do you guys think? would it have been better to leave a separate placket?

I'd love to hear your thoughts! I love this shirt, I love the fabric, I really think that you can't find this kind of shirt at a store - at least not out of cotton! It's definitely work appropriate and is quite easy to accessories because it has such a simple cut!

What do you think about my hat? A friend made it for me (YES it's the same friend I made a Cinderella Dress for and have mentioned too many times) It turned out a tiny bit small but I have the option of stretching it a bit because it's felted. Thoughts? should I leave it like this?

I'll share more simplifying techniques I used as we go along. What do you guys think of the basic idea? do you think of the easiest way of doing things when you sew or would you rather spend more time on a garment and use a more complicated technique?

Tell me!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall Look Book

Hey guys!
I had SUCH a busy summer! I did so much sewing, seriously I was like a one man sweat shop! It all started with my friend wearing a Circle Shirt to work (this is the same friend I made the Cinderella Dress for. I'm not as nice as you think though, she bought me two Collete Patterns in return - more on that later!) One of my friend's cow - workers liked the shirt that I made and offered to buy one from me! How exciting is that? I've never gotten money for something I've made!
It kind of made me realize how much I improved my sewing skills in the last year. I know that non sewers don't really notice the stuff we do, like seam finishing and so on but I felt comfortable making something for someone else and I couldn't say that about myself a year. like I said in the cinderella dress post I think one of the big changes were in making that dress. I usually don't pay much attention to detail, I'm far from a perfectionist, but when I sew for other people I really do feel that I have to make the extra effort for everything to look nice on the inside! (I'm not saying that my garments look like I put them through a shredder it's just not perfect).

Anyway, the next awesome thing that happened was that I wore one of the shirts I made for myself (and have yet to post about it)  to the Princeton Jazz Feast and wandered into a boutique. One thing led to another and the boutique owner asked me where I got my shirt (isn't that the most perfect compliment??) I told her (after doing a little dance) that I made it. She then offered that I make a few shirts and sell them on consigment in her shop.

Holy Sh@#$t!

Can you believe it? I'm like a celebrity!
To be honest, it's not the best deal in the world money wise but who cares?? 

I decided not to think about what people will think, and if they buy it and if the shop owner will
like it and just have fun with it! I came up with a few looks for fall (this was after a lot of thought  and consideration. I had to think of the hours it'll take to make each garment as well) that represent my style. I thought of it as kind of a Project Runway Challenge and tried to have fun with it (it was most stressful at times. believe that) .
This is what I came up with:

What do you guys think? Can you guess which one is the Shirt that started everything??

I'll write separate posts for each shirt and explain more about each one.

what do you think?? huh? huh? huh?
I'm really excited about the looks!
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