Jun 20, 2012

Desperately Seeking Pattern

Hey friends. I was just thinking to myself how lonely my sewing life would be without all of you. I have zero real-life friends who sew in NYC (and even among my long list of friends in the various Canadian cities in which I've lived I have few friends who count sewing as a hobby).

That's why our little online sewing community is so precious. And why I feel so guilty when I take more than I give. But here I am again, asking for help.

A friend of mine is asking if I can replicate a dress she saw online, and in the short time I would have (I haven't agreed to it yet) I think it would be prudent to use a commercial pattern rather than draft one of my own (which would demand time for measuring her and fittings, changes, etc). I did some searching this morning and have yet to find anything that would really work, though there are a few that are sort of reminiscent of this, her coveted dream dress:

She doesn't want sequins though, which is a relief, because I hear sewing them is a real pain. But it would be jersey of some sort...a box pleat along the neckline...side slit...and pockets (but those are easy to add even if the pattern doesn't include them).

So any thoughts/recommendations? Two patterns I can splice together?

Jun 18, 2012

Two Canada-bound Bombshell Bodices

Badass Bombshell!

Sometimes I sew something for myself and the results are such that I say (to myself): "Self, THIS is why you sew." And these two dresses, sewn from Burdastyle's Bustier Dress With Draped Detail pattern (using Gertie's "Bombshell Dress" Craftsy.com class, which I highly recommend), validated my most consuming hobby this week, as I stole precious minutes to finish off these detailed bodices. (That's how I felt, sewing these: like I was stealing — that's how busy I've been, and how rewarding it was to take the time to actually sew for myself.) 

Anyway, somehow I managed to pull them together in the final days before I leave for Canada for nearly a month. The gray cotton printed with Russian doll owls and branches is from Snoozer Loser. I won a few yards last year in a Burdastyle contest. The black skirt is cotton-silk voile from Mood in NYC. I didn't have enough of the print to make a skirt too, so I opted for something simple on the bottom. I don't love it. I may go back and change it one day, but not now. Definitely not before I leave on Friday for Vancouver Island, my Home and Native Land — and where I plan to wear these two dresses, to a stagette (that's what we call a bachelorette party in Canada) and a wedding reception.

Here's the other, in navy and pale peach bow print cotton by Marc Jacobs (I got it for $5/yard at Metro Textile Corp. in NYC's Garment District; still mad at myself that I didn't buy more of it), plus a peachy pink skirt (also a cotton-silk voile from Mood):

The skirt is simply a gathered rectangle, with two layers. I tried Cynthia of Dapper Duds' dental floss technique for making the gathers (in mint, so I smell fresh!). It worked really well. So well, I did it twice this week:

I can't say enough good things about this bodice. With only a few adjustments, it fits perfectly. And Gertie's class: amazing. You all know that already, right?

Each bodice has seven pieces of boning in it. (I ordered boning in bulk because I'll be making another of these dresses soon  — not for me; for a friend). But my husband didn't make a single joke about all the boning in our apartment. Off his game, I guess.)

I sure like to put my hands on my hips. 

Just don't tell me the skirt should be shorter. I'm not that young anymore 

I don't know how to pack light for this trip when I have so many dresses I need to bring (plus a kid and all her crap, and a carseat, stroller — don't judge me; she's the lazy one). I really loathe traveling by plane.

But that's for another day. Today is all about two-for-one Bombshell bodice dresses! How would you style these dresses?

Jun 12, 2012

I Hate to Play Favorites, but....

Not quite done, but wanted to share it anyway today: my super sweet Marc Jacobs print Bombshell Bodice Dress. This thing really is a feat of engineering. I love, love, love it!

Jun 5, 2012

Turning Your Scraps Into Pure Sexy

 I love apparel sewing, yet don't get off quilting and other types of sewing that involve using up small pieces of fabric (Home dec sewing? Hate it!). That would be why I donate any pieces smaller than 3/4 yard to a seniors center where they apparently use them in craft projects or whatever. Because even a yard is nothing much when it comes to apparel sewing. And I'm not about to start sewing up a bunch of pot holders. You're going to have to look elsewhere for that, my friends. (My three-year-old is right; leftovers ARE yucky!).

But then there are a few beloved prints that I just can't part with — scraps I hang onto just in case I can make them work in some way (as pocket lining? cuffs? a headband?). Take these two dresses I made in 2011, both made from precious printed cotton:

Sewn from Snoozer Loser printed cotton I won from Burdastyle.com

Yes, that bow print is Marc Jacobs!
Anyway, even after several stash culls, just enough of these two printed fabrics remained for me to sew the bodice for Burdastyle.com and Gertie's Bombshell Dress. I seriously had nearly nothing left of these two fabrics, but just look at what I was able to muster:

Of course this bodice is fairly revealing, so it's on the itty bitty side as it is, but also it has 13 pieces, so if you are working with scraps, none of them has to be very big. Matching stripes (or bows, in my case) calls for a little more fabric if you're picky like that. But even so, you really don't need much for this bodice. The skirt, however, is another matter. But I think pairing a printed bodice with a solid skirt is a cute look. I'm thinking of choosing the lightest possible cotton voile and making a gathered skirt with lots of summery volume. (Black to go with the owl matroska print, and peach for the bows). Here's another look (keep in mind this is just the outer shell of the bodice, which will be lined with cups in it and even boning eventually.

I congratulated myself for tossing the last remnants from these two favourite fabrics. Surely nothing could be done with the six-inch-square odds and ends. What do you like to make with your leftovers?


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