The Chanel Mission – part 1

Step 1: Get a new job that let’s you travel back to Britex fabrics again (I visited the first time after the interview)

Step 2: Buy Chanel

Step 3: Party on Halloween (pictures unavailable for now lol)

Step 4: Get home safe and post on your blog

A Spooky Scramble

We have some great friends in NYC who host a Halloween party every year. They know about my sewing and they told us at least a month ago about their plans for the upcoming party. That said… I’m writing this draft on Oct 12th and we have not made our costumes yet – nor do I even have the fabric! (I am holding off posting some things until I have officially left my old company)

This delay and slow down in sewing has mainly been due to my job search and wrapping up work at my old job. Balancing and preparing for interviews was really intense on top of my normal responsibilities and I’ve also been working to improve some of my computer skills now that I have the new job.

I am also finishing the Dangerous Polka Dot dress first as I want to wear that for some work stuff. Work Sewing > Halloween Sewing.

I am also waiting for the week I have off between jobs to try and do this project… and it may be a scramble!

Here’s the plan:

There is an anime series called One Punch Man that D and I really love and right now we are thinking of going as the two main characters for Halloween.

The bald guy is so strong that he beats everyone with a single punch, and with such easy victories being a hero stops being fun. The cyborg behind him is his student who takes everything really seriously.

Except for in the most intense battles, the bald guy is drawn like below. He is a normal dude who is a hero for fun. He trained so hard, his hair fell out. Talk about a Growth Mindset!

I want to be this bald man for Halloween and D can be the cyborg. I feel like I have the giant head shape already down.

But, this scene from Mean Girls makes me have some slight concerns (watch the first 1 minute 6 seconds, sorry I know this is clearly someone recording their TV): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBySfz_w3YE&feature=youtu.be

Will this be too weird? It is a very popular show, but are you probably hearing about it for the first time right now? haha we’ll just have to learn the hard way! Also, by the time this is posted, I will probably already be sewing a bright yellow jump suit, so it’s too late for alternative ideas in the comments 🙂

ALSO an even bigger risk is that at my new job, they will have a Halloween costume lunch on the 31st. Do I reveal this much about my hobbies and media preferences three days into a job? I think I will use the party as a test drive and then bring my pirate costume from last year to the office in case I chicken out. I am pretty certain I will chicken out unless I can learn in the first two days that people at the office know and like this show.

Things to do for this and my game plan:

  • Sew a yellow jumpsuit for the first time (it’s really just attaching pants to a shirt right??)
  • make my first cape (big rectangle in something flowy?)
  • make some red gloves (I figure I’ll get a stretch fabric and trace my hands)
  • make cybord arms out of cardboard (we’ve been saving some amazon boxes for months)
  • repurpose black clothes (probably attainable)
  • prepare to be labeled the “weird girl” or “the coolest girl” (call my mom after and tell her it was all okay)
  • relax after all of it at the Korean Spa (I have found one in SF already too)

It will all be great! or at least fine!

Secret Sewing Trips

Well, I have been waiting and waiting to share this post. I decided it was time to take a risk and pursue a career change. I made it to the final rounds of a remote nyc job for a company in San Francisco. With the interview I got to fly out and once the interviews were over I had time to explore. I am REALLY enjoying visiting fabric stores in all the cities I get to visit (Tokyo, Chicago, & Vancouver). This time it was time to visit Britex fabrics. Oh My it was amazing. It reminded me of the library in Beauty and the Beast but with fabric!!! Why is this the only picture I took? They had huge walls of fabric stacked like this to the ceilings with sliding ladders going back and forth.

All I can say is that I was FOCUSED on the fabric instead of taking pictures. When I walked in I was on the phone with my husband and the store assistant saw me say “WOW” and then promptly wrap up the call to get to step inside.

The entire staff was SO NICE!! I also immediately said something like “Hi I’m here from NYC for an interview and I just wanted to visit so badly! It’s beautiful here!” The bottom floor was all wool folded on the walls and the silks, very fancy couture beading, and brocade were on tables. It was stunning. There was also a TABLE stacked with Chanel tweeds. They were so detailed and glimmery.

The staff was so nice. There was a woman who showed me all around the main floor and she was very complimentary of my dress and explained a few of the fabrics to me. There was additionally a really nice man who was wearing a very colorful dress shirt with a vest and slacks (I stalked him on instagram so you can see how great his clothes and style are). He definitely represents my future menswear sewing goals. He was also complimentary of my dress. Wow – these folks sure know the way into my heart: talk about tons of fabric and sewing, compliment your sewing in a totally genuine way, seem to be truly nice. I also got to meet the owner of the store. She was so nice too! I really can’t believe she came over to say hi to me.

Upstairs there were also all of the cottons, linens, stretchy jersey, trims, bridal lace trims, buttons, and tools! I got sucked into the linen and cotton shirting. D agreed that I should get something fancy… but I dont think he could imagine how fancy this store was and I made myself at least temporarily resist the Chanel table.

Here is a red and blue striped shirting I picked for him

I found a shirt design that can hopefully replace the best shirt (RIP) and then I saw these pink flamingos. Oh man I didn’t know I needed this in my wardrobe until suddenly I had no other choice! This reminded me of the vancouver dress and so I think I can do something similar.

It was a WONDERFUL trip and I got to see old friends in the area too. I have not convinced then to sew just yet 🙂 Now D and I can match:

All in all – I am also excited to announce that I will be returning to SF with some frequency for training! I got the job! Look out Chanel fabric…

Green Square Dress with Bias Detail – Finished!

Here’s my next dress for fall:

After the navy dress, I felt a little hesitation starting this dress. I wanted to make a style that would be unique and push my design skills a little.

I had also been inspired by some of the Dries van Noten dresses which had panels which hung down past the hem. As I made the dress, I also decided to do it without sleeves so I can layer it over a turtle neck.

It was fun to put this together and the fabric is SO SOFT!

I also made sure I used the direction of the stripe threads to make the fabric face the same way throughout the outfit.

First I made a normal dress with a standard back zipper. From there, I played around with the plaacement of the front panel. To add flexibility to the fabric and give it a looser drape, I cut it on the bias (diagonal)

Ta Da!

D is becoming a very good sewing-photo-husband

Last but not least, a great friend was in town from Saskatchewan and we got lunch! Afterward the Equine Immersion Program was having an even called Trail to Zero with NYC police officers and veterans to raise awareness and help prevent veteran suicides. They were riding 20 miles through the city because every day approximately 20 veterans across the country die by suicide. It was very neat to see them have such a unique event and it was great to talk to the people involved.

Also featured – the Tokyo purse
There were probably 30 horses total!

It was a great day! Now it’s time to kick off the process for a few new back to school dress shirts. Stay tuned!

Navy Shirt Dress with Stripes – sewing slowly through tough projects

Here was the game plan! I was so excited to whip through this dress and make a really nice classic look… but… it’s only been going “sew sew” (is that a pun? It’s supposed to be)

The first challenge was that once I was home, I wasn’t 100% sure if I liked this fabric after all…

It felt very classic and sort of like a polo/golf vibe. It’s a cotton men’s shirting fabric. I thought it would be neat to have a striped shirtdress in my wardrobe, but then I started to question if I actually liked it.

At first, I gathered the skirt but it had too much volume. It was not very flattering 😦 there is no picture of this, but beleive me, it happened and wasn’t good.

I tore it off and really thought about a way to achieve a less busy look. After some time, I decided that pleats could be the answer! I hoped the pleats will be flatter yet still break up the stripes and make a nice A line silhouette. It started to get better! I used an inverted box pleat.

Last but not least! I visited F&S fabric store to pick up some unique buttons and made a sash on the bias to finish it up. I also actually hand pick stitched the collar too as inspired by my sewing friend George who showed me a jacket he was working on that used this technique!

Ta Da!

Also I think I’m going to make this a little less anonymous. I dont think it really matters…

With the pleats, it was much easier to align the stripes between the collar, bodice, and skirt! This also makes the sash pop a little bit more since those stripes go diagonally.

Overall, I feel like I achieved the look I set out to create, but I will be a little more discerning with my in-store fabric choices so that I hopefully feel more confident throughout the project.

Last but not least, I’ve learned that the two daughters of my husband’s coworker have visited the blog and are going to be taking sewing classes! Just wanted to say HI! They are about 10 and I really can’t wait to hear about if they like their class!!! They have a very cool Mom for encouraging them too!

Look who tried sewing! The poodle peplum

I am so proud of D! One night we were talking and I asked if he would ever want to try to see how it worked and he agreed that it could be cool.

With that in mind, last night I started to make the poodle peplum to expand further my Carolina Herrera print wardrobe. At first I was working on all the bodice seams for the front and back panels. It then became time to attach them at the shoulder and when I looked at the very straight seam it occurred to me that D could do it!

I grabbed him from the other room and picked up a scrap of I folded in half.   From there I showed him how the presser foot went down and then how to hand crack a few stitches forward. I also briefly lifted up the fabric to show how the shuttle circled around to pick up the thread. From there, it was pedal time! He did a great job going forward and then we backstitch a little!

It was time to try again on the final pass on the french seam! I had already sewn the inner seam and so we flipped it inside out and d sewed it down!! I’m so proud of him! See below for more bodice pictures.

Continue reading “Look who tried sewing! The poodle peplum”

Sewing with Friends part 3 – the Gathering!

Today we met up and finished our second pockets and joined the skirt to the side bodice panels!!

This fabric was a bit tricky since both sides looks the same… we both had moments where we put something together backwards but it’s all been fixed really easily!

These dresses are turning out great!!

Next time we will complete the front panels and back zipper. From there we may or may not be able to also finish the arms and neckline.

Till next time!