I’ve had the idea of these “Gold Medal Leggings” in my head for months now.
I’d originally envisioned myself swooping through the Paris half wearing them, making Chanel-ed sunglasses tilt down as I sped past in a blur! “Oh my! Who eez zat magnificent femme with ze gold leggings??”
Or something like that. But then I got ridiculously sick with the shingles in January and still couldn’t run it come March, so these got their debut in the East London half on Sunday instead. Not quite as glamorous, but they did cause quite a stir.
I used my leggings draft from the Kristina Shin book again, teamed with Suzie Spandex “Spirographix” lycra in yellow. This makes these sister leggings to my Liberace pair (which were in the comparatively sedate “charcoal” colourway!), which I wear ALL the time. I had Arielle buy this fabric, plus some Suziplex for me when she was in Montreal and they were hand-carried in a series of suitcases across multiple borders, so I’m very glad to make good use of it!
It also appeared that Suzie Spandex cut a very generous length because it was more like 1.4m than the 1m I ordered, woop (so there’s plenty left for accents on Jalie running skirts or tops). Believe it or not, I sewed these up on my jet lag day after our red-eye flight back from the States when I was trying to stay awake until local bedtime!
The leggings certainly got the reception I was after – I’m not exaggerating when I say that my leggings got more cheers on the route than I did, I swear!
I really needed the crowd support, too, because it was a tough, two-lap industrial course with a lot of switchbacks and narrow paths. My friend Chris and I run together most Saturdays and decided we’d try for sub-1:45, sticking together for the entire route (or at least within sight of each other, because we know each other well enough to not have to be on top of each other!).
Did you notice in this last photo the matching running arm band pocket I made to hold my gels? A few of you have made these but had some questions on my tutorial, and I agree, so I think I need to clean it up a bit! I might just re-draft it as a pdf pattern to simplify matters…
We didn’t quite get the time we were after, but we both learned a lot in the run-up to our marathons next month (he’s running his first full in Edinburgh the week after I run Copenhagen full marathon). My official time was 1:50:40 – not a PB, but I was the 80th woman out of 700+, so I don’t think that’s too shabby!
Here’s a group shot of everyone from Run dem Crew who ran it, not counting everyone who cheered or those off running other races on the same day! The course looped back on itself quite a few times, which meant we could high-five and cheer each other on as we ran, which really helped.
I was really pleased with how the leggings performed – this is definitely the longest distance I’d attempt in non-wicking fabric. I was a little concerned when the sun came out on the second lap, but the fabric didn’t bother me at all, and they didn’t shift around for the whole run, so they’ll certainly be fine for shorter distances.
I’ve had a few people ask if I’m running the London marathon on Sunday – I’m not, but I’m cheering on about 40 of my crew running. I’m actually planning to run it next year, since I ran a qualifying “Good for Age” time in Amsterdam, which means I get a guaranteed spot without having to raise thousands of pounds for charity. BUT, even though I’m not running it on Sunday, a pair of leggings I made are! It’s my first custom-drafted, custom-designed running leggings, which I’ll try to get photos of afterwards!tags: drafting, exercise, knit
Last week I had the extreme pleasure of attending The Salon Project at the Barbican, an event we booked tickets for months in advance and one I’d been so excited for that I was jumping up and down all day in anticipation!
Why, you ask? Because it was essentially playing dressup in amazing costumes and attending a modern equivalent of the salons that the Enlightenment made famous.
Or in in the official blurb, it’s explained as:
The Salon Project Revisited recreates the exclusive meetings at the heart of what was French society’s golden age – an era of change, excess and inquiry. Your evening begins with a transformation into full period costume by a coterie of dressers and make-up artists, before you emerge into a mirrored impression of a 19th-century Parisian salon. As you mingle with guests, pioneers in their fields will provoke discussion, speaking on subjects at the vanguard of 21st-century thought on science, politics, technology and the arts. Revel in the Salon’s splendour, contrast it with the present and imagine what the future will hold in this beautifully crafted night of fashion and conversation.
You can also view a a great, short video of the performance experience here to get a better idea of how it happened.
To start with, each of us sent our measurements to the team about a month ago – and it was rather more than just Bust, Waist, and Hips! But it was all worthwhile, because when we arrived, a costume selected just for us was waiting on a hanger with our name on it, along with shoes, gloves, jewellery, hairpiece – the works!
We each had our our dresser to help us get the dresses on, as many of them involved corsets which tied or hooked at the back, and elaborate draped pieces. I squealed with delight to see a sleeveless, corseted, dark grey velvet, floor length gown had been chosen for me! How did they know!? My dresser also found me better fitting shoes when my first pair were too small, and I tried on no less than four pairs of gloves before they found ones they deemed acceptable! The dressing team really did have an amazing array to choose from (way more than what was needed each night) so they really hunted to find the best pieces for each person. Then it was time for hair and makeup – the hair lady curled my entire head with tongs before pinning it back and affixing the jewelled feather piece. We ladies got a few minutes to marvel at each other before the gong sounded and we joined the men in the specially-built salon room!
The men were mostly in 3-piece tuxedos, which was more than James wore for our wedding! Doesn’t he look dashing?? He brought his own pocket watch, which was the envy of the other gents!
Here’s a better look at my jewellery (clip on earrings!) and feather headdress from the back. I love that my gown has a square neckline back and front, but yet isn’t nearly as, umm, saloon-girl low cut as others’.
All the guests mingled and sipped on prosecco, and we were explicitly told to not put on an act, and just be ourselves, in the 21st century. We were treated to two guest speakers and a variety of performances evocative of the 19th century salon experience, but with a full view of the 21st century. Our first performance was from two “gramophone DJs”, there was a nude tableau where the subjects had various laptops, tablets, and phones in still-life poses, and some video art, too. I found the speakers to be the most enjoyable – the first woman was an actress, speaking on the act of measuring oneself, vanity sizing, and RTW (very me!). The second speaker was a neuroscientist, speaking about memory and the brain’s adaptive pathways. We went up to both women afterwards to speak at greater length!
We had two hosts for the evening who were wonderfully welcoming and entertaining, plus a pianist who read his sheet music off an iPad, which I’d never seen before!
But of course I spent most of the time checking out all the details of fellow guests’ dresses, including this lady with amazing bustle gown and hat with full face net and bird on top! Happily they gave her a bendy straw so she could drink her bubbles without having to keep lifting the veil each time.
Here are some views of the other fellow guests, so you can get a feel for the variety of the costumes, which ranged in styles from 1895-1915, and were actually on loan from a variety of different Scottish theatre companies (I was told mine was from an opera company so I tried my best not to burst into spontaneous arias). Take special note of the lady with a full feather collar! I got some strange reactions when I complimented others’ dresses – usually a person can take credit for choosing what they’re wearing, and it reflects something of their personal style, but here, they were all chosen for us without our input (other than measurements).
James and I both had an absolutely unforgettable time, and we both marvelled at how wonderful it was to have a full evening of conversation stimulated by a) the unusual dress code, b) the wonderful speakers and performers, and c) the lack of any interruptions by smartphones. I’m as guilty of the last as anyone, but it was refreshing to only have people taking photos throughout the evening, and not preoccupied.
All in all, our salon experience lasted about three hours, and I was thankful when my dresser released my corset hooks and I could exhale and relax again! The corset was a wee bit short for my waist so I couldn’t sit down without it separating from the skirt, and I found I was tensing my shoulders and holding my arms in front all night. It makes me appreciate those who wore (and still wear!) corsets regularly!
Obviously, this event is something I’d do again in a heartbeat, so I really hope the concept takes off!tags: vintage
Last week we flew over to the States for a week – not in Pennsylvania where I grew up (no offence, but I’m kinda sick of visiting there!), but to Baltimore, with a day in DC at the end. We got a lot of strange looks from British friends when we said where we were going – “Baltimore? Really? Why??”, and we’ve been mounting our own Baltimore Tourism crusade since we got back, because it was fantastic!
The reason we were over was because James was speaking at a prestigious tech conference, but I took the opportunity to meet up with loads of friends and family, including the chance to finally meet some fellow sewing bloggers!
I’ve been speaking to Cidell & Trena for at least five years now I reckon, and even weirder is that I already knew their voices from their earlier sewing podcasts (please bring them back!), and there was zero awkwardness when we met up for dinner! It really was like we’d known each other for years, which I suppose we have!
Cidell puts me to shame – she posted about our meeting like the same day!! I was also very excited to get more of the Under Armour Cold Gear fabric she’d previously sent, because during the last few months I’d been doing laundry twice a week in order to wear my Cold Gear leggings on both my Tuesday night runs and my Saturday long runs because they’re seriously the warmest leggings I own. Next winter I’ll be much better prepared now!
We both wore running gear we made ourselves – she’s wearing McCalls 6435 adapted for running as her top and the Jalie sports skirt lengthened into leggings, and I’m wearing my disco top and my new self-drafted leggings with that fishnet insertion from Tissu in the front thighs and back calves, which you can see a bit better here:
But apart from the wonderful people, Baltimore has fantastic food (nevermind I was in CRAB HEAVEN), a big craft beer movement, great architecture with the original wharves and old brick row houses, lots of walkable areas with tons of character, a beautiful harbour (and not just Inner Harbour), and a great quality of life. I was amazed to find such a running culture there, but I suppose Baltimore has Under Armour in its blood!
I ended up going on three runs in Baltimore (and one in DC), the first of which was along the harbour, but it was still cold then so my refashioned Paris race vest is underneath my jacket, worn with my Liberace leggings.
Then I bought a pair of amazing/crazy trail shoes at the Under Armour flagship store at Harbour East and I just HAD to try them out since they’ve got these ankle supports that you can wear up or down plus soles made from recycled tires!
So my second Baltimore run was in Patterson Park run (which I then revisited the next day with Kathy), wearing my Team GB replica vest & disco leggings.
Strangely, I actually didn’t visit any fabric stores during my trip (my stash is bursting at the seams already AND most of the stores were way out of town AND my PA driver’s license expired!) but I did hit up three different running stores in Baltimore, and we ended up at an outlet mall so James could pick up a few things on his list at once.
So for a girl who’s been sewing lots of running gear, underwear, and asymmetric sheath dresses, what did I buy??
Umm, running gear (a vest & shorts at the Nike Factory store for stupid cheap), underwear (Victoria’s Secret lets me relive my teenage years! And is surprisingly bang on trend with French lingerie trends), and this amazing asymmetric sheath dress at the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet store, originally $200 marked down to $55, and it fits like a freaking glove!
But seriously, Baltimore has such an image problem! My brother and his wife brought the kids up for a few days and they found SO much to do (nevermind the fact that my niece’s favourite thing was apparently our dinner at an El Salvadorian restaurant!), so it wasn’t just us, either. Is Baltimore is keeping itself a secret on purpose??
We’d both been to DC before, but one of the must-do things on our list for this trip was to eat again at Oyamel, because the guacamole we ate there 5 years ago was still haunting us with taste memories. And we were not disappointed, either! I’m still not sure how we managed it, but the day we had in DC also coincided perfectly with peak cherry blossoms, omg omg omg (not to mention 85F/32C heat and sunshine!). I went out for a run in the morning under the blossoms, and then we went back later with the DSLR so James could play around, too.
The cherry blossoms were absolutely spectacular, just sheer magic to be under their canopy and seeing the water and amazing monuments (I swear there are a ton more there than when I was a kid!). We really saw DC at its very best.
You saw the Baltimore skyline in my last photoshoot for my Marie jacket, but there are two more photoshoots we took in Baltimore yet to come, too! (If you’re interested in seeing more of my holiday photos, I’ve plopped them into Dropbox here – James got some spectacular cherry blossom photos with his DSLR!)tags: exercise, reflections, shopping
Right – where were we? I mean, I know I’ve been away so my brain is fuzzy and perhaps a little jet-lagged… Right! Easter weekend sewing! I had a four day weekend and most of it was spent in my sewing cave, so I’ve got an awful lot to show you, starting with my Stye Arc Marie jacket, which I made in that gorgeous black and silver heavy jersey from Minerva. It’s hard to tell from the description, but this is a little heavier than a ponte, with good stretch and recovery, and a slight rib to it. The exterior have little silver lurex threads running through it, and the reverse is a simple grey and black stripe (and, as you recall, Minerva kindly sent this to me as a gift).
I was really surprised with the shape of the pattern pieces when I opened it up – it’s not obvious from the tech drawings but this has a shawl collar and the centre fronts also double as the facing pieces, meaning you get a lovely turn on that cowl neckline, too, but the shoulder is kept nice and fitted. Genius drafting from Style Arc again!
I took the opportunity to use some different locations for photoshoots while we were away, so these were taken at my cousin’s house in Baltimore. Down there, it’s really popular to build a deck over the roof of your house, but it does mean you get the wind as well as the views!
I wasn’t really in a wind tunnel, but it certainly felt like it that evening!
I really like that this is a perfect spring-weight, unlined knit jacket which can be worn open or closed. With this fabric, I wore it over jeans during the day, and then again over dresses at night, too. The only downside to this pattern is that there are no pockets (nor really anywhere to add your own), which I really kinda need in a jacket.
Most knits I’d construct on my serger/overlocker and coverstitch, but my sewing machine got a lot of use here, considering all the topstitching, the zipper, and the inset corner. I’d say in total this was constructed about 50/50 with serger and sewing machine (and I guess the last few hems on the coverstitch take a small percentage from that!). It wasn’t quite as fast as your average teeshirt or knit dress, but certainly faster than your average woven jacket!
I really liked the topstitching on the seams – often I leave topstitching out but these make the seams nice and flat, which is ideal for thicker jerseys like mine. It also helps to pull out the fantastic seaming on this pattern, too, and the diagonal seams on the side front panel. I also love the afore-mentioned shawl collar, which means the shoulder fits me really nicely and gives you a lot of collar to wrap round your neck. There’s also a curved shoulder yoke in the back, too.
But there were some fit surprises – this is boxier throughout the waist than I was expecting, and also longer, too, ending right down around my hips. But the fit throughout the chest and arms and everywhere is spot-on, with enough ease to get a teeshirt on underneath, easily, and maybe something heavier besides. I made a size 14 again after my Marita dress fit me so nicely (if you recall, I’m a Burda size 42 usually). So I think the boxiness and length are really just a style decision rather than a fitting oversight, and it’s not really a bad thing – just an observation!
I bought a 45cm/18” separating zipper (one inch longer than called for) and it fit between the marks perfectly, without having to shorten it. The inside flap is held in place with a ring snap so it stays in place without bunching up.
A few improvements on the instructions, though:
Step 4 – I found it much easier to baste the zipper to the front first, then overlock the entire seam in one go, rather than trying to serge half the seam, then fit the zipper in, then do the other half
Step 5 – It’s not said, but you want the zipper facing down, with the teeth away from the seam. I had to think about this.
Step 11 – I’d suggest waiting to stitch the facing closed until after you’ve inserted the snaps so that you can use ring snaps with a pliers or snap setter (instead of hand sewing!) and have the back concealed inside
I love the way the stripes change direction with the folds of the fabric at the centre back, due to the changing grainline and the shawl collar!
I wore this pretty much every day we were in the States, and my Aunt loved it so much she commissioned me to make one for her, in the exact same fabric and size, with only a bit of alteration to broaden the back and increase the bicep girth (she’s a Habitat for Humanity builder – hefting lumber works those guns!). So umm, please don’t buy up all this fabric before I have a chance to restock!
PS: The doggie’s name is Leuven and he’s a total sweetheart!
PPS: Details on my trip next week – I’m still sorting through photos!
How often do you feel a little guilty when buying yet another pattern or more fabric? Nearly all of us have big stashes and feel a little guilty about buying more, but we’re hardly going to stop, right?? I’ve just been alerted by Tracy (whom I met on the Morley College Pattern Magic course, remember?) that there’s an ageing sewist who desperately needs help, which you can provide by simply buying more patterns!
Sounds win-win, right? I’ll let Tracy explain:
My friend’s aunt had to go into residential care last year as she has dementia. She was a dressmaker all her life and my friend has inherited her fantastic collection of sewing patterns (about 200), along with some fabrics and her handmade dresses. The patterns are mostly from the 1950s and 1960s and include Vogue Couture, Vogue Paris, “ordinary” Vogue, Simplicity, Style, Maudella – mostly unused. It’s mostly women’s but also some children’s and a few men’s patterns. I did post on my blog about them a while back with some photos – which show the quality of the stuff she had.
Every penny, after we pay for the stall, will go towards her residential care – so if anyone fancies some guilt-free adding to their pattern and fabric stash we’d appreciate it. I’d also like to think she would be happy knowing that her collection would go on to be used by a new generation of sewers.
The stall will be at the Vintage Fashion Fair, at Cecil Sharp House, NW1 on the 14 April from 11-5. Afterwards Tracy will post any unsold patterns onto Etsy or eBay so I’ll try and mention the link to that once it’s up.
Apart from being a great way to help a fellow sewist in need, I’m personally touched because my own grandmother has recently been moved into residential care and is suffering from dementia, and I know how hard it can be, as well as financially draining. That we might be able to buy her patterns and continue to use and cherish them may bring a smile to her face, and that’s certainly a wonderful cause to get behind.
So if you’re in London this Sunday, get yourself up to Primrose Hill!
I’m back from my holiday in the States now with t-o-n-s of photos to go through and post about, so please bear with me! I wore my StyleArc Marie jacket pretty much non-stop, too!tags: shopping, vintage
Greetings readers! I’m still away on holiday, meeting cool people, (hopefully) photoshooting my new Easter makes, and eating my bodyweight in crab cakes, but here’s something to tide you over til I’m back… the latest issue of the Brazilian pattern magazine Manequim!
I think this sleeveless blouse with neck tie looks like a really classy blouse for the office, and it’d be great paired with a skirt and nice jacket, though it’d be a shame to hide that back yoke. I only wish this one was in my size!
Here’s another look at that lace dress from the cover – it’s almost a skater style with that short, full skirt, and a nice surprise V neck in the back.
oh my god, you guys – this cropped trench coat is so me! And it’s in my size!
Here’s a jacket where the zipper teeth extend up the lapels – a very cool effect! (and one that’s easy to achieve with a variety of patterns!)
I’m not sure whether I like this billowy, bubble hem top or not. Especially in this grey marl, it reminds me of the other, billowly Manequim top I made (and didn’t really wear much!)
I don’t think I’d really wear this, but I really like the unique triple sleeve feature and wrap back on this blouse.
Are we over peplums yet? I thought I was, but there’s something about this one that really appeals to me…
Maybe when I’m back the UK weather will have turned Brazilian? I can hope, right??tags: magazine, manequim
Well, it was bound to happen… We’ve had quite a few great Burda issues in a row, but to my eyes, this one’s a stinker. I mean, there are a few patterns that are okay, but an awful lot of ugly that I couldn’t bring myself to even scan. I’ve sifted out what I could from this issue though, so here are my picks…
I’ve never been a big fan of maxidresses, but this one looks nice, if a bit “only to be worn on holiday”-y. There exist maybe two days in the year you could actually wear something like this in London and not look unspeakably sad. Which is why I don’t sew many summer clothes…
Here are two versions of the same simple, boxy top with pleats around the neck (not that you’d know it from the pose on the left!). I like this top (and to a lesser extent, the belt-required dress version), but I swear I’ve seen this design over and over again before. I do kinda like the idea of having an all-lace back, but I’d do it in a teeshirt pattern or something.
This bustier-style dress is quite cute, and I like that they didn’t publish it in Petite sizes for once (something about it just feels like their petite designs!), but again, there’s that feeling that we’ve seen this design a thousand times before…
Ok, this top with the bubble hem and asymmetric drape I actually like, and I think it could be a really forgiving style for a lot of women, especially if you choose a really flowing fabric for that drape, which would also make the high cowl neckline softer. Added bonus that this pattern has the colour, illustrated instructions in the middle of the magazine!
Sigh… Burda, I bit my tongue through all the boxy, dated, hoochie-mama, and just plain ugly designs in this issue (a necklace made from plastic rhinestones and snaps?), but I cannot sit back and have you tell us to chop a sweatshirt and buttondown shirt in half and jam them together. This isn’t fashion, this is dressing like a freaking DIY hobo.
The Plus section is all really ugly, unflattering designs this month, so I’ll skip over that and get right to the children’s patterns, which this month is just for boys, and for men, in some weird 1920s-meets-Mumford & Sons styled shoot.
Wait — what was that you slipped in there, Burda, because that might be important – These men’s patterns are for Tall Men, which, AFAIK they’ve never, ever done before. Luckily, they printed a size chart for Tall Men in the magazine, which I’m going to post here:
Why am I posting it here? Because BurdaStyle.com have already started posting the men’s patterns from this issue, but without any hint of a size chart on the site for this new Tall Men’s sizing! So, once more for those who got here via a Google search, here is a “Burda size chart for Men’s Tall sizes”. You’re welcome, future readers, you’re welcome.tags: bwof, magazine
You’ve heard me mention this book a few times as I’ve been experimenting with various drafts, but I felt it deserved a full review because, frankly, I’m a little obsessed with it right now. My mom surprised me with this when I was ill with shingles and the subsequent nerve damage pain, and it gave me something to focus on right as I was in the midst of
It’s “Patternmaking for Underwear Design”, by Kristina Shin, PhD, and here’s a (pretty bad) shot I took of it’s cover:
It’s primarily a book for drafting your own bras and lingerie (but much more, too), and the biggest difference I’ve seen here in that these bra drafts all start with the underwire shape, and build from there. Every other bra draft I’ve seen starts with a bodice sloper, which is then adapted into a bra shape. The approach taken here makes a lot more sense to me for getting an accurate fit, since there’s so much variation in breast shape and distribution for women who even wear the same size bodice. As anyone knows who’s ever sewn a bra, finding the right size underwire is absolutely key, so it really seems right here to use that as a starting point. And it helps that most women can make a small incision in a well-fitting bra and just trace off one they know fits them!
There’s not really any construction or sewing instructions included in this book, but there are a few pages at the beginning with stuff like tips on cutting lace…
…and the wide variety of bra backs you can use once you’ve got your basic draft sorted out…
…plus several pages of various tables of measurements for different sizes, and exactly what to measure, both for the breasts and the rest of the body.
Here’s an example page from the leggings draft so you can see the style of instructions and diagrams. I personally found these easier to follow than Metric Pattern Cutting and WAY easier than any of the Pattern Magic books!
Here you can see the drawing for the babydoll nightie draft, and it’s nicely detailed on the front and back. The last step of each draft is always a page showing you all of the pattern pieces, and a suggested seam/hem allowance around each, too.
There are instructions here for drafting a full brand bra, partial band bra, sports bra, and a few cup seam variations. There are also drafting instructions for a teeshirt, leggings, boy short panties, G-string, and brief panties. You can then mix and match these drafts to create a bodysuit, camisole, and even an old-school button-down pyjama set!
Here is a compilation I made showing the tech drawings of all the different drafting instructions included in this book! There’s a ton in this book!
Some build on others, so like the frameless bra (“hook-up bra”) is based on the framed bra draft (“basic underwired bra”), and the bodysuit uses the basic t-shirt and brief drafts.
So far I’ve drafted myself the basic t-shirt and the leggings drafts, and both are the best I’ve ever had – the t-shirt is far better than the one I made from the Pattern Magic (Bunka) instructions, and the leggings are vastly better than the one I drafted myself from Metric Pattern Cutting.
Here’s me in my t-shirt sloper, which I actually like so much I wear it around the boat at the weekends, and I used it as the basic for my disco running top!
The next step for me is to attempt the basic underwired bra draft, because I’m pretty happy with the band fit on the Elan pattern now, but the cups are just deeply, deeply unflattering (oh, not dissimilar to a duckbill!). However, on first appearances the basic bra draft doesn’t seem to be as clear to me as the teeshirt and leggings draft, so I’ve emailed the author asking for some clarifications. Mainly, in the bra draft, she uses measurements, whereas the others it was “Hip/4 * 90%” so you could easily plug in your own measurements. I’m sure I’m just missing something, so I’m hoping to update this review once I’ve had a reply and the chance to test it out.
What became apparent to me is that this book and the upcoming “Demystifying Bra Fitting and Construction” by Norma Loehr, are pretty much the most perfect bra-making companions. I’ve had the privilege of testing Norma’s book before its release, and it’s an absolute must buy for anyone interested in sewing their own bras (seriously, there’s one gem of bridge fitting advice in there alone that’s worth the purchase price!).
Kristina’s book gives you fantastic drafts, but no advice on fit nor how to construct the garments. Whereas Norma’s gives no patterns or drafting instructions, but provides amazingly good tips for improving fit and best ways to assemble bras.
I’m happy to announce that Norma’s book finally has a release date of April 15, and I’d strongly recommend buying Kristina’s book now (US & AU & CA) to get your drafts in order, and you’ll be ready for Norma’s by the time it’s released!
EDIT: Norma’s book is out now, for Kindle, which can be read on iOS, Android, Kindle devices, and pretty much everything you can think of!tags: book, lingerie
Thank you all so much for your patience! I finished sewing this dress in time for my 34th birthday on Monday (and I proved it by showing you dressform photos and talking in depth about the construction process!) but such a rich, dark colour really requires daylight to shoot properly, and today was the first opportunity we’ve had.
Another reason I wanted some great photos of this is because it’s an incredible pattern with some seriously striking design lines and beautiful details, and frankly, it deserves to be seen properly! In fact, it’s a true designer pattern, and from Matthew Williamson, no less! It was printed in the September 2012 issue of Burda magazine, but you can still purchase it as a pdf download if you missed it and want to make your own!
I made mine in some lusciously soft and supple “Ravissant Duchess Satin Plum” that’s been in my stash for three years just waiting for the perfect use, and paired it with a floral lining fabric gifted to me from Veronica when I was in Paris last Spring. Personally, I think these two make the most perfect pairing, even if it’s only me who sees the inside!
As I said on Monday, this pattern is a step up from the usual Burda patterns – more like a Vogue Designer pattern in all its wonderful details, but with the usual precise Burda drafting. I really wanted to do this dress justice, so I did quite a few things the long way, like the fell-stitched sleeves, walking vent, and all the matching seam intersections!
Here are some shots of the back seaming and that neckline! It a dress that looks as good going as it does coming!
Oh and it has pockets! A fancy designer cocktail dress with pockets!!
And as I mentioned on Monday, the section seams are really tricky to keep aligned over the side seams, as they’re diagonal and of course, satin is a bit slippery (mine’s non-stretch, too!).
Finally, on to the details you can’t see from the street – the lovely floral lining (with it’s own separate pattern pieces and separate facings, too), and that fantastic walking pleat I took so much time on.
Since it’s my birthday, I thought it’d be nice to document my face, too, since we actually got some nice profile shots of me!
If you recall, I always make myself something nice and special for my birthday each year…
33rd – A leather iPad case, protecting a new gift against the rigours of a transatlantic work trip the following day.
32nd – Manequim silk blouse:
31st – LMB draped birthday dress in teal silk jersey:
30th – Green silk birthday dress using a Burda magazine pattern a emerald green silk satin:
29th – A bolero and jeans, on which I put the outline of the Thames on the back pockets, and lined the bolero with some vintage apron fabric from my Granny:
28th – I was homeless and living out of a suitcase in my boyfriend’s parents’ house, watching the Shipping Forecast every single day, hoping for good weather to sail our boat across the North Sea. My sewing machine was in storage, so I couldn’t make a new outfit, and frankly, ALL I wanted was for our boat to arrive. And it did, on the evening of my birthday.
27th – New Look 6429 in a fun sparkly knit from Walthamstow Market (and then about three days later decided to lose all that excess weight for good!).
26th – (probably the first year I was really into sewing) my favourite vest pattern with a red vinyl square neckband:
Does anyone else share the same birthday sewing tradition?tags: bwof, designer, dress, featured
Thanks very much for all your birthday wishes! I had a brilliant day, and the dress fared very well indeed at my mystery dinner – the waitress complimented it the second I sat down!
With the dark colour of the dress, I really need daylight for a photoshoot, though, so the first opportunity is tomorrow (Friday). I’ll try to get the post up later that day as I know you’re all waiting patiently to see it on me!
My thoughts are definitely drifting towards the upcoming long Easter Weekend, and what I’d like to sew during it. As usual, I’ve got mental plans for way more than I can possibly get completed in four days, but here’s what I’m hoping to make…
I need to draft up leggings for two friends from my running crew, and sew samples/muslins for each from some cheap lycra I’ve got on hand for the purpose. One of them is popping over late in the weekend so I’ve really got to get hers ready by then!
I’d also really like to sew up two pairs for me based on my own draft, one in black supplex (with the aim of using that fishnet trim on them afterwards), and one in the tribal print from Funki Fabrics.
Once a pattern is set and ready, I can churn out a pair of leggings in a few minutes, though, so I’m not too concerned about fitting these in, it’s the drafting that will take the time (and desk space!).
Style Arc’s Marie Jacket
My main task for the weekend, though, is to make Stye Arc’s new Marie jacket, especially since I’ve gathered all the necessary supplies over the past week or so – some fabulous black and silver heavy jersey from Minerva and a big separating zipper from Our Patterned Hand
I cut out the paper pattern pieces one evening this week and studied the layout and instructions, too. The pieces are different from what I was expecting and I’m really intrigued to see how this sews up – I really like the concept of it – the tech drawing doesn’t do it justice, especially in the shoulder/neckline area!
Drape Drape 2 Top
And my other big goal this weekend is to sew up the “one piece asymmetrical top” (No. 4) from the second Drape Drape book (a Christmas gift I think I forgot to post about!).
The tech drawing looks hilarious but in reality, it’s just a nice teeshirt with some draping happening on the right side (here are some reviews on PR showing it on real people!). I know here that the challenge and time involved isn’t in the sewing (because it’s really just three seams and some edge finishing) but in cutting out the enormously massive pattern piece from my fabric, another of the lovely viscose jerseys from Tissu that I just can’t seem to get enough of!
I traced the pattern out last night and it’s separated into three parts on the pattern sheets, that’s how big it is! Though worryingly, the Drape Drape book sizes list size “XL” as having a waist measurement 10cm smaller than mine, and this particular pattern only has two sizes, S/M and L/XL so I’m hoping the jersey will be forgiving and the pattern has enough ease!
If I manage to get through the above, I’ve also got enough fabric on hand for the Style Arc Ivy tee, and I should also think about making my “gold medal leggings” from the Suzie Spandex yellow Spirographix, because I’ve earmarked them to wear to the East London Half marathon on 14 April since I wasn’t able to run the Paris half this year.
And that actually isn’t that far away because… we’re off to the States next week, specifically Baltimore! I haven’t been there in at least 10-15 years so it’ll be great to see lots and lots (and lots!) of family who are driving in to visit with us, but also finally meet Cidell and Trena, and also go for a run with Kathy while I’m there, too!
I’m hoping to have a few posts to share with you while I’m away so you won’t get too lonely, and then when I get back, there will be a TON of finished garments, because I’ve already made three tops for family members that I haven’t been able to share with you yet, plus any of the above I finish up over Easter, too!tags: drafting, exercise, knit, style-arc, top