Well I pinned and pinned and hand sewed away and then before I knew it all the fringe was in place and one of my best friends was willing to join me to party it up!
I finished the bottom hem of the dress with a hand rolled stitch. Overall this dress included: machine sewing french seams on the sides, machine sewing bias trim finished neckline and arm holes, hand stitched fringe, and hand rolled hem!
I think this is the first evening dress I’ve ever made and it is possibly my best work yet.
I got a bunch of compliments at the party and it was so fun! To make the night even better my plus one was my best friend from third grade!!
The party was super fun and you can really tell because almost none of these are official sewing pictures. I actually put my outfit on in the morning to try and get a few pictures that show the details better. Those are the ones where my hair is not combed lol
Here is a morning video:
Also my jewelry for the night – an old juicy couture pearl and chain necklace and an alexis bittar fox pendant!
Happy holidays! Now it’s time to start working on my chanel jacket again.
Well, my life has changed a little bit lately and so it’s been much harder to sew with the dedicated amounts of time I had earlier.
I have also had some more unusual seasonal events which have mixed up some of my work compared to my standard project cycle.
For November, I have almost lived in San Fransisco so I’ve been far away from my machine. I was not there for approximately only 5 working days. I have had my hand sewing project with me, but I also finished reading all of the One Punch Man internet comic so my down time has not been as dedicated. I’ve also really focused on meeting friends and coworkers for dinner. I think being a little more soc-ial vs sew-cial is worth it – a healthy balance is always good.
Either way! I have been buying some fabric over these trips and it’s time to do a quick check in on my plans of items I want to work through.
Ironically, this is all being written in the plane to Chicago for Thanksgiving!
Here’s my game plan:
– I have a green cotton fabric I planned to turn into a pencil skirt. I would like to do that unless I can think of a cooler project.
– I want to finish my muslin jacket and move on to the official Chanel fabric. I will need to buy a cool trim for the jacket too. That part is still TBD. Question though: Should I try to incorporate some feathers? I think I will not…. but I kind of want to.
– Flapper dress: this has started with a silk charmuse black slip that I’ll drape under a sheer black silk georgette. I will sew the fringe onto the georgette in sweeping diagonal drapes so that it hangs nicely from the hip. Then if I turn around or spin, there will be the sheer outer layer with fringe and then a dark thinner inner dress. I think it will be cool.
– I then have a few summer fabrics in the collection that need to be converted. A pink linen flamingo dress, and red striped and white striped dress shirts.
– I also have a fabric I bought for my dad but I haven’t made yet. This is getting old! I need his measurements.
– Then! Something new! A pair of grey wool slacks for D! These will be interesting. A new fabric and moving into a more intense tailoring and menswear space. I am excited and I will go slow.
– I also want to upcycle an old lace skirt my Nana gave to me. She was SO Skinny (hi Nana haha) I will shorten it so that my waist can fit where her hip bones & bum used to be.
– Finally, a staff memeber at Britex gave me a great idea for my leftover chanel scraps – I could turn them into a little purse. Thinking on this more, this seems like a great way to work through some of my cooler and small scraps. I can also make some pencil cases or whatever. I have enjoyed making purses in the past and so I think this could be a really fun next step. I think I may do this with the extra fabric from my Nana’s skirt too.
Alright! Flight update! This is a bit of a bumpy one! I am glad science works such that differences in air pressure lift up airplane wings. Is that how it works? I dont remember what the slower air over the upper curve of the wing actually does. Right now I can mostly just focus on hitting the right buttons with my thumbs as we move side to side lol. My mom will not like reading this. I will schedule it to publish once she is already in the air. Haha.
Also! Since we’re on the subject: my favorite tip for riding out turbulance – take a moment to think about if you’re actually in physical pain during the bumps. Not really right? The jostling is weird and unexpected – but it’s not the same as stubbing your toe or even hitting your funny bone in your elbow. That always helps me focus in and push away some of my concerns.
Anyway! Lots of sewing fun and an amazing surprise coming in the future!!! I won’t talk about that yet -that will happen in December or the new year 🙂
I am super appreciative of all of you reading this and all the comments and encouragement!!! I am really looking forward to working through these projects and picking out something even harder when they’re complete!
Did I post this already? Not sure what is going on. Either way… here’s an update on my 1920s outfit!
I flew back from San Francisco on a red eye and got in on Saturday – I had to do something to stay awake all day, so why not go fabric shopping to start my 1920’s dress? The weather was horrible on Sunday too so Saturday was a perfect time to go to the city and explore a bit!
D came with me and first we got lunch at Cafe China. It was pretty good and cute. We got Dan Dan noodles, wontons, and cumin lamb. Next time we may order a few things we saw other people order lol – there was a really good looking lobster, pepper chicken, and beef shortribs. yummm
Back to sewing! After lunch we went to Mood! It is always fun and we got to say hi to George. We then went to the wool section and got a theory fabric which will become a nice pair of pants one day.
I also picked up a black silk charmuse and a black silk georgette with a 4 inch fringe trim! I studied a bunch of dresses online and decided to make a flapper shift dress.
Here’s the plan:
I will make this with french seams.
Update: I forgot to post this… so here’s how the rest of the project went!
I made the slip! And then I tried to make the sheer outer layer to hang wider over it… but it didn’t look that good. I decided to sew the fringe onto the charmuse and call it a day.
Turns out -this is hard to do!
The fringe is really static-y and heavy and so it started to be very challenging to keep in place. I finally started pinning it everywhere!! And this started to work.
I had a wonderful day going to Mood and picking out my fabric for my One Punch Man outfit. It was my first morning officially between jobs and it was wonderful!
I ran into my friend at Mood and he knew the show and was very excited about my costume choice! He saw me when I was getting about 5 yards of yellow cotton and we talked about the best fabric for the gloves and cape. I ended up picking out a polyester stretch fabric for the cape and a thicker jersey for the gloves so that they will hopefully stay on. I will also make some covers for my boots to make them red too.
I’ve realized my zipper should technically be silver but I’m going to have fun with this and not sweat the details that much.
I have combined three patterns to try and do this – D’s vogue pants pattern, and two butterick shirts.
I am not planning to do fancy seam finishes because I just have other stuff to do… like make cardboard robot arms for D
As the week progressed, I continued to chip away at this outfit. There are many pieces and the fit is actually a little complicated because the shirt has to attach directly to the pants!!
First, I made the jumpsuit which I think means I have officially made my first pair of pants for myself! I then attached the shirt very carefully and then cut out the proper facing for the neckline.
The polyester seemed like it could be tricky so I decided to prick stitch this whole thing. I am actually getting better at this technique and I like the way it looks.
From there it was cape, gloves, and shoe cover time!!!
The cape was pretty easy – but gloves are tricky!!!! I did it “Thanksgiving Turkey” style but at first I actually made the fingers too narrow and had to re sew them. It was an interesting learning experience.
The shoe covers were also pretty easy -my own original idea! I made a tube for my legs and then a flappy circle with another half circle sewn on the bottom. This covered the tops of my shoes but my heels and middle sole of the shoe were exposed so I would still have some traction on the ground.
From here… it was robot armour time for D! This was made the day of the party and I basically took some of the ideas of samurai armour that we saw in the Tokyo Samurai museum and some cosplay googling to make this out of old amazon boxes we stored up and some acrylic paint. Here is the mess that was left behind:
In the final minutes of getting really to leave to the party – the bald cap was NOT working. It was too hard to put on and seemed like it would get hot. D as the continuous source of supportive sanity told me to tear it off before it was too late. I took his advice and did not look back!
Here’s the final look!
One person at the party recognized us LOL but I did not do this for the fame, this costume is exclusively for myself based on the joy that show brings me. D later pointed out that that is truly the most One Punch Man style costume possible hahaha. I did receive many nice compliments about the details and sewing. It was a really fun night and great to see friends!
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.
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…
First let’s be clear, this is sewing so everything is fine.
Second! This fabric has been very runny so it is a danger to avoid converting to a pink wardrobe in the future.
Third, I’ve decided to try a new pattern. This could be considered dangerous because it will require new fit adjustments and breaking away from some of my standard designs. I think I’ll be able to make a nice dress if I extend down the length of view D
I also managed to cut everything out and this is always the point where I feel a second of hesitation regarding whether the plan will work out. But! It’s not the time to give up – it’s the time to start sewing!
It’s done and possibly better than ever before! This is made with all french seams, bias binding on the bottom edge, and a few seams where everything is tucked in before sewn down. You could almost wear this inside out!
This was a wonderful weekend of tennis, brunch with friends, some chores, and sewing!
I got into the zone and so I kind of forgot to take more pictures. Opps.
After getting everything cut out it was time to start putting things together!
Let’s talk about necklines and collars today! Collars were initially tricky for me but I am starting to feel more and more confident in my abilities. In fact, I am actually pretty proud because it sounds like collar shirts really weird some people out but I find them to be a pretty fun project that includes a nice mix of shapes of fabric and sewing techniques.
Once you complete the back panel and attach the front body pieces, you then have this funny shape that you could wear like a hanging Cape. At this point, you can open and layout the pieces such that you have a nearly straight edge if fabric for the whole neckline. This is where you take the bottom pieces of the fabric and pin them right sides together onto the shirt. This is what you see happening above.
It is easiest to start by aligning the center notches of the collar and back shirt neckline. From there I pin out towards each edge. I also start by pinning down one collar piece and then adding on the second by taking out each pin and layering on the extra piece. This is what you see above.
From here you can sew this down by slowly working along the raw edge and taking out the pins as you go. The pins really help make sure all three pieces stay together and help you avoid any unusual wrinkles.
From here, you sew these little J shapes on the edge of each collar, only through the collar material. You then flip these up from the shirt and press them flat! This makes the neckline of the collar with a nice bit of flappy extra fabric which the outer collar gets attached to.
I have started to skip adding in the collar stays feature of these collars and the nice part about that is that I can choose which side has the best print alignment. I am sure there’s an official technique that I’m missing by doing this, but it does really help me get the best print alignment.
I am continuing to be about on par with getting though the collar approximately on weekends and having the sleeves left to finish up in second and third sessions. Buttons are always usually a 4th session. This will be a long sleeve shirt so it will take longer than the magical Chicago shirt.
Today, sewing music was a little more hardcore and 90s/rock inspired:
System of a Down: Toxicity (very good for threading a bobin!)