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.
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!
Sometimes unexpected events come up and things take longer than expected. In these times, it can be hard to make time for sewing while balancing everything else. This is when it’s important to focus on little things. Last night I tackled this placket! These are tough and include a few tricky details. I had about 30 min before bedtime and it was really nice to do just a little bit. I forgot to play music this time. Sometimes it’s just nice to hear the hum of the machine.
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!)
For this project, I transitioned back to my existing fabric collection and broke out a small circle print fabric I had purchased with the second laundry disaster. This fabric had survived and it was time to bring it to life!
I started out by trying to get everything I needed together first. This involved a quick trip to F S Fabrics and I finally bought some real fabric scissors and nice buttons.
I will use the white buttons on this shirt.
By the end of the night I was here:
Boy oh boy it is a lot of cutting and honestly, these new scissors are EXACT but also heavy. I may switch back to using paper ones lol.
With all that cutting, something has to pass the time right? I will try to start featuring this more for fun:
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)
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.
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!