Monday, March 29, 2010

There I am mingling with my fellow mad men at Sterling Cooper! AMC has this fun little Mad Men Yourself interactive character builder on their website. Its a good boredom killer.

P.S. I'll have a completed dress to show you by the end of the week!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring projects

I'm getting antsy and excited to start all sorts of springy things! I just started working on a muslin of a chef coat for my boyfriend. He loves to cook and requested I make him one, but since we live 10 hours away from each other I knew fitting was going to be a challenge, and I really want it to be impeccable, so that's why I'm doing a muslin of this. This project is a pretty different experience than what I've sewn so far. With the dresses and tops I've done most of the construction is at the waist and necklines, all about shaping around a woman's curves. With this coat, there are no darts or zippers or linings! The emphasis is put on the sleeves and the collar. Its almost a breath of fresh air to sew a straight piece and focus on something other than how its going to curve around the bust and waist and bum! The only adjustments I foresee are widening the shoulders and lengthening the sleeves, which will be relatively easy-peasy (am I speaking too soon?!). I got a good start on this chef coat, and will be working on it off and on when I'm in the mood, but for the rest of this weekend sewing, I'm going to work on a spring purse!

The pattern that I'm going to use is Vogue 7889, view D (in the top right corner of this picture). I want something simple. fun, and retro, so here are the materials I've chosen so far:

The vintage trailer Michael Miller fabric will be the outside shell, while the hop dot Heather Bailey fabric will be used for the lining. I really wanted some fun handles, but for the size and shape I needed, Bamboo or plain plastic handles were my only options. However, I think the bamboo kind of goes with the retro feel of the purse, so i'm not that disappointed. I can not wait to get started!

I also have many spring dresses in mind. I have the fabric and patterns all ready to go, I just need the time!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tiki Tiki Tiki

The Tiki dress is done, and I love it! This dress was initially intended to be worn to Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge in Minneapolis, MN, during a spring break vaca with my lovely boyfriend (a trip that I think I will add a little post on). I planned on finishing during the week of break back home and brought my machine and all of my sewing goodies home, but when I went to set up my things to finish it the night before we were supposed to leave for Suzi's, I noticed that I seem to have left the pedal and power cord still plugged into the wall at my apartment 8 hours away... and it was midnight... so there was no way I was going to be able to finish this dress :( I sulked a little, and Kris and I came to the conclusion that we would just have to have a summer tiki party, and I don't really need a special occasion to wear this dress anyway.

Now onto the dress itself: I am really pleased with how it turned out. The pattern I used was Vogue 8280, and I was a little worried because I usually make a size 12 for myself, and the only pattern I could snatch up in such short notice had it's largest size at 8... I have slimmed down a bit lately so I convinced myself that it would work. And what do you know? It fits wonderfully, with a little breathing room to spare! It is so comfortable and the cotton is so soft and wonderful. Its print is little hula huts, tiki men, and vintage red cars! The bodice is lined with the same contrasting cotton as the waistband and shoulders, which was a subject of debate. I really loved this contrasting retro fabric, but I was pretty much alone in that. Those that I asked the opinions of said they didn't like it and that a solid would be a better choice. I took their advice and  headed to my local fabric store to find something more suitable, but all I could envision was this brown retro fabric. So I just went with my gut and what I truly loved, and stuck with the brown fabric. I am still pleased with this choice. I did a blind hem on the bottom, two little wooden buttons at the sweetheart neckline, and darts in the waist and bust of the bodice and the waist of the skirt (which all lined up perfectly without a fuss!). The contrasting waistband is also detachable. Now, there is supposed to be a 22" zipper up the back, that I am still debating with myself on. I basted the back seam when I was preparing to put the zipper in, and was able to slip it on over my head! So I took out the basting and put in a true stabilized seam. No zipper. I am able to slip it on, with a little fussing over the bust, and a little wiggling and dancing. I really don't mind the process of putting a zipper in, I've got it down by now, but the back just looks so clean and flawless without that pesky zipper. So for now, I'm going zipper-less. I can always put one in later if I feel its too much of a workout to get in and out of.

Now I just need sunshine and fruity drinks to come my way! Unfortunately, there is still more snow in the forecast. Oh, Michigan, we need to have a little chat.

P.S... please excuse my hair in the picture... it was St. Patrick's day yesterday and this picture was taken after we got back from the bar, haha.