Friday, October 31, 2008

happy halloween

tailor's tacks!
Originally uploaded by wck

If you sew, Halloween is easily the best holiday ever. When else can you create and wear exactly what you like, with no consideration for anything practical??

I made up a copper colored regency gown from a lightweight silk. It was too much fun to wear... all that silk quietly rustling around all day. The dress wasn't really too complicated to make, probably helped by the fact that for the first time ever in my whole life I used tailor tacks on every single dot on the pattern. I'm usually way too lazy for that, but I decided to really slow down and enjoy the process of making this dress. I even hand sewed the hem, all 7 feet of it.

I wrote up a pattern review which has more details. Or you can see me wearing it, in a photo taken my friend, Chris. Since I didn't want to be "generic regency era woman" I tolk folks that I was Elizabeth Bennet, the main character in Pride and Prejudice. Chris likes to pretend that he's uneducated (don't believe him), so he decided it was a princess dress.

And here is another view, with my friend Mark. I love the gathered bodice in this style- it works really well for, well, someone with no chest at all.
mark and i

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

illustrated meme

Gwen from after the dress tagged me with an illustrated meme. I'm not sure who to pass it on to- will have to think about that one, since there are so many sewing blogs I love (see my list I read on the right side of the page), but I figured I could at least put up answers. You're supposed to write 7 random facts, so here they are:

  1. Airports are my favorite places. I would blame this on living in Seattle for years, but I loved them even as a child.

  2. I can't tell my left from my right at all without looking at my hands to see that my left hand makes an "L". I still confuse "3" and "E" and "p" and "q" because I can't remember which way they face. This picture has nothing to do with that, but it's cute so I'll share it anyway.

  3. Dahlias are my favorite flower. I still haven't come to terms with the fact that the deer at my house think dahlias are the tastiest plants ever.
    red dahlia 3

  4. I love ice skating. My grandfather taught me on our frozen lake in the winter when I was a teensy kid. The Bryant Park rink just opened for the winter, so I'm looking forward to a bunch of pre-work ice skating in the city this winter. Bonus random fact: I use hockey skates. I did use to play, but really it's because I can't deal with figure skates.
    Ice Skating

  5. I spent most of my time on my college major at MIT's Media Lab studying digital imaging and interactive art.

  6. I met my best friend in 1999. He went to CMU, so we like to tease each other a bit about the MIT vs CMU thing. He has a sheltie as well, Bandon.
    Sunset at Myrtle Edwards Park

  7. I flew to Australia on 48 hours notice to see my boyfriend once when his cutter was docking in Hobart, Tasmania. It remains the most last minute, and fun, trip I've ever taken. Here's a joey at a wildlife refuge in Tasmania, having a look at my lens.
  8. When I lived in Seattle, I used to have Dunkin Donuts coffee mailed to me every month. I'm not a starbucks fan at all.
    walle with my chopstick

Sunday, October 26, 2008

kate's princess dress

kate's princess dress
Originally uploaded by wck

The Patrones dress is all sewn up!

review on Pattern Review - this was lots of fun to sew, but even more fun to watch her race around in it.

You can see the pattern in my earlier post on the Carnivale issue of Patrones that it's from.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


dress for Ana
Originally uploaded by wck

This morning's project was a little halloween dress for Ana to wear to our holiday brunch next week. It's very plain, but I wanted to let the Alexander Henry print really be the focus, since it's so incredibly adorable. The print is called "Trick or Treat" and I bought it on etsy from Janmarie.

sleeve bandThe black fabric is from Paron's- it's left over from a black dress I made to wear to my best friend's wedding rehearsal dinner in Seattle last year. It's got a teensy bit of lycra in it, which I thought would be good for the sleeves. Of course it's raining here, so the only place that I could find with enough light to photograph all this black was in the dining room. Hanging the dress from the chandelier gave just enough light to work with!

The pattern is the Oliver + S Puppet Show dress, although I changed the pattern to add long sleeves to it. The sleeve cuffs that I added are a satin scrap from some of my mom's old PJs. The bottom of the skirt is hemmed with a bit of black bias tape turned to the outside.

Here are last year's Halloween dresses, they were orange with black lace. Quite a different feel from this one!

Ana's dress:
Halloween dress

Kate's dress, which I believe still fits her:
Halloween Dress

Friday, October 24, 2008

cinderella dress!

cinderella dress
Originally uploaded by wck

Isn't this a fantastic little girl dress up costume?? I found a 2003 copy of Patrones Carnival issue for $4 last night, and flipping through it I came across this dress. I had to buy it, as I have the perfect material to make this dress for Kate. I love the contrast insert in the front of the bodice and the gathered overskirt- it's such a classic "princess" dress style. Here is the cover of this issue:

patrones carnival

At Parons I also found two new patterns- another nightgown pattern for Christmas presents, and an American Girl doll clothes pattern with a great little cape pattern:

OOP patterns

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Patrones Ninos Hoodie

Just finished up the little jacket for Kate! I've written up a review on Pattern Review: Patrones Ninos Magazine, Issue 271, Zip Front Hoodie #7

Look at this kid mug!

Kate needed another fleecey jacket to wear since it's getting a little chilly out these days and she's outgrown last years fleece jackets. She picked out this green color... I think it's a bit "ewww toothpaste!" or at best Kermit, but she really likes it. Anyway, the pattern had a neat little twist with the way the pockets are constructed. (Details in the review above.) I'm such a pattern nerd that I fell in love with this pattern as soon as I'd figured out what was going on with the shapes and I HAD to make it up. Originally I was going to make up the raglan sleeved hoodie in this issue... and I still might make that one, but this is just the neatest little pattern I've seen in a while.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

FIT Museum, and Refashioning

Just adding the latest additions to my meetup group's schedule:

Refashioning roundtable - Sunday November 23
This event will be in the cafe upstairs at the Whole Foods Bowery- the cafe overlooks Houston St. We'll get together to eat, chat, and talk about refashioning- grocery bags from tshirts, dresses from dress shirts, whatever else people are interested in.

And there was quite a bit of interest in the FIT Museum's Arbiters of Style Exhibit, so we're off to see that on the last day it's open, which is coming up!
FIT Museum: Arbiters of Style Exhibit Trip

Sunday, October 12, 2008

red velveteen, lace and plaid

Christmas dress

And, here is the little sister dress. This one has lace on the hem, not a hand sewn hem, so it's actually finished. This isn't a great photo, but it's dark here now, so this will do. The pattern is #51 from the latest Patrones Ninos, 271. Here's the dress as it appears in the magazine- the sleeves were my own addition.

Patrones Ninos

There are 4 pattern pieces in the magazine... a front yoke, that you cut on the fold. Then a back yoke, a middle layer, and a bottom skirt piece. The middle and bottom pieces are the same front and back, but the front is cut on the fold. I added a sleeve pattern from a Burda dress that had a similiar armsyce. The neckline is red single fold bias tape, folded and sewn to the inside. The sleeve and skirt hems were zigzagged and then the lace was stitched over it. I really like the tulle poking out from the version in the magazine, but I don't have any tulle here. Someday I'll make this again with that hem.

And here is the instruction page for this pattern. As you can see, all spanish. I don't speak Spanish, but I do enjoy a simple pattern puzzle, and this one was easy to sort out.

Patrones Ninos

Here's the cover of this edition:

Patrones Ninos

pattern review

more holiday sewing

Still in progress...

plaid holiday dress

From a very old Simplicity pattern, 7664 from sometime in the mid 1980s. The body, sleeves and collar are a cotton plaid. Yoke is a white muslin weight cotton, with some old lace from my grandma's stash sewn on... same lace as I used on the inside of the vest. The buttons are a JoAnns find from yesterday and inspired the whole dress.

For the sleeves, I folded under the ends and then stitched on some white velvet elastic using two lines of zig zag stitching, stretching it slightly as I went. I think it made a nice little ruffle effect and the white balances out the yoke.

This dress is supposed to be one of the options for wearing under the green velvet vest that I made yesterday. Next up will be Ana's velvet vest and matching dress, and then a little shorts outfit for tom from the same plaid.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

finished one green velvet vest

On Kate:

Inside trim:
(that's a hanging loop at the neckline)


holiday clothes already!

Kate obliged me this morning by trying on a holiday vest I'm making for her- Ana will end up with a matching one as well. I'm using the vest from Burda 9677, which is the pattern with the pleated butterfly dress that I made Kate.

The material is a green velvet, quilted with a floral pattern to batting. I found barely a yard of it at Mood last month, and bought the whole remnant. Definitely more than enough for warm little vests to wear over their holiday dresses.

Kate's vest is lined in an ivory cotton with some embroidered braid inside (I'll show the inside once it's done). Here it is on her, unhemmed:

I borrowed a trick that Summerset shared a long time ago.. I kept a small scrap of the velvet and used it underneath the vest when I had to press the seams. It helped preserve the pile of the velvet and keep it from crushing under the iron.

And here is that butterfly dress from the dress pattern in 9677:


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

black and white in closeup

Two pictures of my fabric


blurred view

The rose looks white in one view because I used the flash- the roses are really gold colored like in the other view.

black and white

After work today I took the D train up to Herald Square and hiked up to Parons. Sadly, I got there just before 5 PM, forgetting that today wasn't Thursday. So I walked next door to NY Elegant Fabrics. Since I'd had such a looooooong day, I decided I might as well duck in and poke around. In the same rack where I found the last piece of fabric that I bought from them, I found a fantastic black cotton print- printed zebra stripes and a goldish design over that. That sounds really trashy, right? I promise, it's not. I'll take a photo when I get home, at the moment it's tucked safely away in my backpack. I bought 1.5 yards.... just enough to make a nice fall skirt from one of my all time favorite skirt patterns, BWOF 01-2008-127.

Just a few minutes ago I read a bunch of sewing blogs, and saw that Carolyn had just bought 1.5 yards of a black and white print. Aaah, coincidences in the sewing world!

more waves I'm anxious for the weekend to come- I did no sewing at all last weekend. Instead I was lounging around at the beach with my Coastie and listening to our favorite band, The Town Pants play at an Irish festival. Our first date, 6 years ago, was to go see this band play at the Owl and Thistle in Seattle. Along with about 30 of his shipmates, fresh off a 6 month long cruise. If that wasn't a warning about what I was about to get myself in, I don't know what would have been! The band played their song "Come with Me", which I've long thought summed up dating a sailor pretty darn well, at the concert this weekend:
The two of us just sitting here together in this room
Everything the way that it should be
You see the way I look at you it makes you turn away
But then I catch you looking back at me
It could all come crashing down when we step outside that door
It makes me wonder what I'm waiting for

I'm going far away
I want you to come with me, come with me
Don't want to stay here for another day
I want you to come with me far away

Anyway, the beach was fantastic, and the concert was truly amazing, but I missed my sewing loft. Can't wait to make up this skirt!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Paron Fabrics

I really need to post a few finished pictures of that last dress that I did for Kate, but in the meantime, my meetup group is going fabric shopping!

Thursday Evening Shopping with the NYC sewing and fabric shopping group
October 16, 5 PM
Join and RSVP at our meetup event page here

Parons closes at 5 PM on weekdays, except for Thursdays- so we're taking a special trip over to do a bit of afterwork fabric shopping. It's my favorite store for a few reasons- I love the people who work there, the bolts are incredibly well labeled, and the store is consistently stuffed with tons of fabric that I'd love wearing. Many other stores have beautiful fabric that just isn't as "wearable" - Parons never disappoints on that front.