Adventures in Couture Dressmaking

There has been so much good, this summer. If you follow me on Instagram* , you probably already know that I’ve eaten a lot of good food, spent a lot of time with some really amazing friends, smooched my hubby, watched my children grow, play and be generally awesome, drooled over stunning couture and then started my very own adventure in couture dressmaking.

I was beyond excited about my cousin getting married and thus providing me with a reason to sew formal wear! After some time spent looking for the perfect fabric/pattern match, in my stash and beyond, I settled on this one:

An out of character animal print from Mood and Advance 9290.

The initial fit was mostly OK. I added inches to the bodice length, they’re always too short for me, and the side seams right off. That didn’t work. It was too big around the chest and upper back and tight around the gut. I went back to the original upper circumference, added a bit more to the bottom one and added another half inch or so to the length.

After a couple tries, I ended up with this:

Adventures in Couture Dressmaking

Not too bad!! Here’s a peak at the inside. The outermost seam line is the original princess seam line. Needed less boob room.

Adventures in Couture DressmakingI skipped making another muslin and resolved to make my seam allowance a bit larger to get rid of that teeny bit of extra room at the side.

I used the muslin to draft new pattern pieces and went straight to actual construction. I made up three bodice layers: powernet, organza and fashion fabric. I sandwiched the first two together and sewed in channels for boning, then attached the sandwiched layers together with the self fabric and facings.

Here is the finished bodice! I was so proud of it!

The dress ended up with so many special touches: the lining and powernet came from my grandma, the zipper was given to me by my sister, the boning was my late grandma’s and I used a needle from a packet inherited from her to do all the hand stitching (the lining to the bodice and the hem).

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 2.01.33 AMThe strapless bodice was the star, here. I added a simple, slightly pegged, pencil skirt and called her done. Here’s a close up of the finished dress.

IMG_0566 My weight fluctuated all through the making of this dress. And the fashion fabric had a bit of stretch that, well, stretched over time (this was taken at about 11pm when I got home). BUT! It worked out in the end and mostly held up well!

 I was having too much fun to get any great shots of me (alone) in the dress at the wedding. I might take some time to get all dressed in it again for some blog pics. You know what, maybe not.

How about some
Warhol-ed because-they-were-taken-late-at-night-and-are-therefore-super-dark
pics instead?

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 1.10.25 AM Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 2.08.08 AM   Now! Onward to new projects!

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 1.06.26 AM

*What Instagram can’t show you are all the times I was too busy enjoying myself to take photos or those too special and personal to diminish by pausing for social media documentation.

Vogue & Braids

Apparently, I can still be surprised.
I kind of expected this cover.

Though I am still SO PLEASED.

lupita-nyongo-vogue-cover-lg

But this video.

SURPRISED!

I can’t even get into the painful, beautiful, complex, disheartening, encouraging, ever-changing THING that is the relationship between black women and their hair.

It’s too much.

I will give Vogue an A+ for respecting and including this (clearly joyful!) part of Lupita’s life with the Vogue masses.

And for these insanely beautiful photos.

lupita-nyongo-vogue-cover-story-01_103558393476 lupita-nyongo-vogue-cover-story-02_103600948709 lupita-nyongo-vogue-cover-story-03_103601368484 lupita-nyongo-vogue-cover-story-04_103602569204 lupita-nyongo-vogue-cover-story-05_103603808938 lupita-nyongo-vogue-cover-story-06_103604788331 lupita-nyongo-vogue-cover-story-07_103605621171 On the off chance that I run into you while running around Brooklyn, Lupita, I apologize in advance for being starstruck and weird!

 Photographed by Mikael Jansson

All images from Vogue.com

Colcha Folklorico

My garment sewing mojo has taken a little hiatus. Instead, I’ve been reading and day dreaming about a host of other creative endeavors to get stuck into.

Like quilting.

I am not a quilter, but I will be making my own version of this art quilt.

It’s Frida. So, obviously, I love it.

I stumbled across it at the perfect time: while focused on projects/additions to bring color to my bland home.

I’ve ordered the fabrics.

I can’t wait to see them in person!

Image from @alexanderhenryfabrics on Instagram

Drumroll please….

THE WINNER OF SEWING INDIE MONTH’S

indieloveaffair_banner_SIM_2014

CATEGORY IS

RACHEL OF THE BRODRICK DESIGN STUDIO!

Sewing_indie_month WIINNER

Her mashup of By Hand London’s Anna bodice and Sinbad & Sailor’s Raven Shorts tickled your fancy! That playsuit is envy making!! Check out her blog post to see how she did and stay tuned when her prizes start rolling in!

Thanks for playing, everyone!

I have been sewing. I swear! If can manage to catch the good weather on a day when I have times for photos, you’ll see I’m telling the truth. In the meantime, I’m reading like crazy and FINALLY organizing some neglected areas in my apartment.

Oy! Hate it!  ;)