The Chanel Mission Part 2 – Making a Muslin

I’ve decided to take this project seriously* so I am going to make a muslin – a test garment out of un-dyed cotton – to test out the fit of the pattern before I cut and sew it in the official fabric.

I visited my local F+S Fabrics to pick up 3 yards of the un-dyed cotton and I laid out my pieces to cut them out. I also labeled each of them because I’m going to bring them all with me to my next stint in San Francisco. I am going to hand stitch the final jacket, so this first muslin will be a great practice. Traveling with a needle and spool of thread is also way easier than traveling with an entire machine! I will be able to work on this bit by bit at night to pass the time (after eating ramen etc don’t worry).

*I am still going to only have tons of fun no matter if the final project is unwearable or whatever. This is all just fun for me pretty much no matter the sewing result.

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…

The Vancouver Dress – Finished Project!

While I am also working on this Simplicity dress with my friend, I wanted to understand the fit of this pattern better before we completed the project. I hope that this will let her have the most positive experience and not be discouraged by any type of fit issue.

With that in mind! It seemed like a great pattern to use for the linen I picked up in Vancouver at Atex Fabrics.

I cut this fabric perpendicular to the graneline so that I could take advantage of the floral ombre effect.

From here – it was sewing time! This pattern is actually quite nice and pretty easy. I had never sewn with linen before and the weave of this fabric was definitely looser. This meant there was some chances to get wavy seams and cutting straight lines was a bit odd a challenge too. Through lots of pinning and pressing I managed to still make it through pretty quickly.

Mmmm side gather…

Next time, I may make this dress in an even lighter silk or a wintery fabric! Or crop it into a top! I liked this first version.

Here was a process picture pretty far in where I was double checking the fit ahead of finishing the french seams.

I think the ombre makes this looks really nice!

There was one other REVOLUTIONARY element of this project. I finally cut my bias tape for finishing the arms… on the bias. This has always seemed so wasteful to not use straight strips of fabric bit I realized I was starting to get wobbly necklines because the bias tape didn’t have enough give and stretch… I know it’s so obvious… this turns out to be one sewing corner you should not cut. The more you know!

Ta da! The Vancouver dress!

With pockets!

Vacation Sewing – Exploring Chicago and Vintage Machines!

We headed to Chicago to celebrate the 4th of July and while we are playing some tennis, most of the time is pretty relaxed and I have some free time for a unique project!

This all kicked off with a trip downtown for lunch with friends. We had lovely Giordano’s deep dish pizza. Here is a picture of the “D Special” – bell pepper, mushroom, and pepperoni.

From here we went over to a few streets that had fabric stores! We visited Fishman’s fabric that had an amazing clearance section and a wide array of upholstery as well as garment fabric. 

This is the garment fabric half of the store

I got a cotton for a shirt for D and some tie silk – all for $2.50 a yard!

We then visited New Rainbow fabric and Joann’s. At Joann’s I also got a simple navy polka dot cotton for my mother in law.

Her husband was the sewer in the family and they have a vintage 1970’s Singer! I decided to put my Moodu pattern making skills to the test and draft her a dress.

This is HEAVY!
Getting all the measurements right!
Ta da! Skirt block complete
Top and back bodice done too!
Using all the tools from this other helpful vintage sewing basket
Oh boy! Aren’t we all on the hunt for the perfect pattern!

Stay tuned to see the dress! Hope you all had a great Canada Day and enjoy celebrating the 4th with families in the States. To other international visitors -I hope you’re all having a nice week too!!

Vacation Part 5

Today was my last full day in Vancouver!

We biked out through Kistalano beach to Jericho Beach. From there we got dressed and headed out to the market and shops at Granville Island!

It was poodle skirt time

We took the AquaBus through the False Creek area. It’s so much fun!

Now we are cooking dinner at home and when it eventually becomes dark it’s quite beautiful.

Good night Vancouver! See you next time!

Vacation Clothes

The week of the wedding for my cousin arrived and it was time to fly to Vancouver to celebrate! On the plane I had many prints going on with the fabric dress from my neighborhood shop and the anna sui scarf:I went to my parent’s place and went for a run in the morning near False Creek.From there it was time to travel to Vancouver Island and then Quadra Island. I wanted something sunny so I picked out the ruffle skirt that I made with fabric from Mood and adjusted via my mood u pattern class.This is the delicious poutine and white spot spicy chicken burger we had for lunch…. I know today this more of a travel blog.One we were in Nanaimo, we drove up the island to Campbell River. Now we’re waiting for the next ferry to Quadra Island. It’s a beautiful day!Can you see the float plane above?The Tokyo purse is in full swing today too!After the short ferry we are now at Quadra Island and it’s beautiful!

We had a great dinner of smoke salmon and a winnie roast followed by smores on Digestive cookies!