About this “SIMPLE” Jacket….

So….remember my post with those fancy hot pink suit plans???

Well, yeah…this jacket, as it turns out, isn’t quite as simple as it looks. As much as I hate to say it, anyone could tell you I’m not a pattern basher, this ones leaves quite a few questions marks floating overhead. Thankfully, I made a muslin (DON’T ASK ABOUT IT) so I knew what the general fit would look like going into things with the pink sateen.

Firstly, there are minimal markings on the pattern itself. I’m almost certain my sleeves are in backwards, something I can do WITH the pattern markings in place, so without them I was bound to fuck it up. See how they twist across my biceps??
About this "SIMPLE" jacket
I lengthened the sleeves quite a bit. I really like the whole look Ms. V.B. has going on and wanted to mimic it as closely as possible. I’m happy with the length, I cuffed the bangled side up, here. But maybe they should taper in more?? And, you know, face the correct direction?? I must say, the sleeve cap is drafted to perfection. There is, literally, no easing in. It fit exactly into the armhole. Both sleeves. A small miracle.

But, it seems much shorter on me than the model.

PDF Sewing pattern - Cropped blazer

I never thought I had a particularly long torso, but I’m reconsidering that, as I ultimately add length to most things that I sew. It’s also entirely possible that I messed up on the hem. The instructions are a riddle wrapped in a conundrum. Thank goodness for sewing bloggers. Tidy Tipsy noted the missing step in her post. She saved this thing and its muslin (DON’T ASK ABOUT IT) from being flung out the window. I assure you, that is not hyperbole.

About this "SIMPLE" jacket

Ok. So, once I got my head around the hem on the pink version (DON’T ASK ABOUT THE MUSLIN) I tried it on, and I kind of love it. Well, after I (hand) stitched the hems and facings down. Beforehand, it looked terribly misshaped. But, I find that while it looks and feels better, I’m really unhappy with how unfinished the inside looks.
About this "SIMPLE" jacket

About this "SIMPLE" jacket

From a distance, it’s not so bad.

About this "SIMPLE" jacket

But, I’ll be wearing this, not viewing it from across the room. Maybe I should use a different stitch? Or make them much closer together? Or both?

Idk, at this point, I’m ready to pull the whole thing apart and start again. I’m OK with that thought, though. I really want this to look like the vision I have in my mind. With the exception of the side seams, which I top stitched, this should be easy to undo.

What do you all think??

Try to line it?

Use different fabric?

It doesn’t look so bad, forge ahead (after you put the sleeves in properly)?

You’ve got bigger probs than you think, there’s something else afoot with those sleeves?

Summer in the Wintertime

Summer in the Wintertime

Top :: Old Navy (from a zillion years ago)
Skirt :: Handmade
Tights :: F21
Boots :: Target
New Lipstick :: Revlon Super Lustrous in Black Cherry
New Blush :: e.l.f. All Over Color Stick in Pink Lemonade

I think of this skirt as a summer look. It certainly should be worn with bare legs, as it wanted to climb up my body even with a slip on. Even so, I was pretty comfy for the day.

Summer in the Wintertime

I’ve been all into Black fashion history, lately. I checked out two amazing works from the library. Both, unfortunately, deal with aspects of our history that are painful and difficult to read. Our major struggles (slavery, racism, oppression) but also relatively minor ones, too. Those that deal with expressing ourselves, succeeding and triumphing through all things. But, the books also hold many very positive messages and stories about self expression in spite enslavement/oppression/resistance and really celebrate and validate the right to express, and take pride in, our personal style and beauty.

There is this amazing new short film titled “The Door” from Miu Miu that brought black fashion history to the forefront of my thoughts. It’s directed by an incredible Black woman, Ava DuVernay, and stars Black women (Gabrielle Union, Alfre Woodard, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Adepero Oduye, and singer-songwriter Goapele) wearing AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL clothes!

From Miu Miu:

The Door, by Ava DuVernay, the fifth Miu Miu Women’s Tale, is a celebration of the transformative power of feminine bonds, and a symbolic story of life change. The symbolic centre of The Door is the front entrance of the protagonist’s home. As she opens it to greet a friend in the powerfully framed opening scenes, she is shrouded in an oblique sadness. “In the film, characters arrive at the door of a friend in need, bringing something of themselves,” explains director DuVernay. “Eventually, we witness our heroine ready to walk through the door on her own. The door in the film represents a pathway to who we are.” Clothing is also a symbol of renewal, each change of costume charting our heroine’s emergence from a chrysalis of sadness. In the final scenes, she takes off her ring, pulls on long, black leather gloves, and walks, transformed by the emotive power of the clothing, through the door.

The existence of this film is in direct relation to the topics discussed in Black and Beautiful: How Women of Color Changed the Fashion Industry. It is still uncommon enough to have anything fashion related feature so many BROWN women that  watching this film feels like a victory. Ms. DuVernay has created a world as visually appealing as the clothing featured in it.

Those beautiful women look wonderful in those clothes.
They look beautiful on film.
They look at home in their luxurious surroundings.
They sell the clothing as capably as women of any color.
The number of women on the set of this film, contributing to its beauty, is a triumph for all women.

Cheers to Miu Miu for celebrating that.

Check out the other Miu Miu Women’s Tale stories here.

BIG Cables & BIG Winners!!

Dudes, I really hate snow.

The frigid temps did make for the perfect opportunity to wear this sweater I thrifted a million years ago.

BIG Damn Cables

Sweater :: Thrifted Express Design Studio
Jeans :: Old Navy
Sneakers :: Mia

But you guys don’t care about that!! Or how nice my eye make-up was today.

LOOK!!

BIG Damn Cables

Drugstore Makeup ;0)
Lip :: Revlon Kissable Balm in Smitten
Eye Shadow :: Wet n’ Wild Petal Pusher palette
Liner :: Jordana
Blush :: Something cheap in Raspberry
Mascara :: Clear Maybelline

BIG Damn Cables

You wanna know who won the patterns, of course! But, first, look at how my blue hair color has faded!

BIG Damn Cables

Okay, Okay. Here are the winners!!

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Rachel from Felt Sew Knot Fair!

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Liza Jane from Liza Jane Sews!

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Stevie from Beebee’s Vintage Dress!

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These ladies all included AWESOME quotes!! And also happen to prefer Miss Kristiann’s patterns,  soooooo, I’m gonna play Oprah and give the women what they’re asking for!!

And YOU get a VICTORY PATTERN, And YOU get a VICTORY PATTERN, And YOU get a VICTORY PATTERN!!

Grainline and Mimi G fans, fret not. I will do another giveaway soon!

Stay tuned for actual sewing content, I cut out my cropped jacket wearable muslin, and just got the new In Style which always makes me want to sew!

Pride & Prejudice & New Kicks

Pride & Prejudice & New Kicks

P&P Tee :: Brookish on Etsy
Jeans :: Old Navy
Belt :: Gap
Sneakers :: Mia via Marshalls ($30!!)

Pride & Prejudice & New Kicks

Wearing one of my fave tees!! And the first new sneakers I’ve had in a long time. I really like them!! Best part, I’m footwear twins with my big girl! I’m so pleased that she still likes to match with me ;o)

#mother #daughter #sneaker day. She still likes to match with me. How long will that last??

She wore the shirt she made with it, too. It was the same outfit I choose in my mind when I saw these! My GOD, she has grown up SO much since that picture!

I’m wearing a new lippy, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable in “Smitten”, in the pics above. I took these after we’d come home from dinner at my MIL’s house, it’s usually a bit darker than it looks here. I brought it home in a nice small-ish haul from Target the other day. I was looking for a winter coat (my Fu*#$ng zipper is BROKEN) in February. You know, when they start putting out spring stuff. It was such a harrowing experience, I needed a pick me up, lol

#makeup #shopping at the #drugstore cause I'm fancy like that :0) @maybelline @askelf @revlon

Apparently, I need a class in gel liner application. I had very comical raccoon eyes after my first attempt with that little ass brush. I’ll have plenty of time to practice if the coming storm shuts the city down….I’d better go grocery shopping in the morning.

It’s still Sew Grateful Week, so I’d like to say, again, how awesome you all are! You’ve been leaving me such lovely comments on my posts! I love to read what you write and I love all of the quotes and book suggestions coming in! I’m going to put them in a post after the contest is over. Speaking of which…

Don’t forget, you have until

MIDNIGHT TOMORROW 2/8/13 TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!! CLICK THIS LINK TO ENTER A COMMENT ON THAT PAGE

Sew Grateful GIVEAWAY!!!

As you know, I am sew grateful for you all!! To say thank you,

I will give away

one DIGITAL DOWNLOAD pattern/tutorial

from each of these indie pattern sellers to

THREE lucky peeps!!

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All you have to do is comment with a choice A and B (in the event that your first choice is taken) and that’s it!

If you’re feeling charitable, you can share:

Your favorite color

Favorite book

A fab quote

You have until

Friday, February 8th at Midnight

to enter!!

Pink, Black, Bangs, Braids

Don’t you hate when your hair looks great and you have nowhere to go??

This was the night before work, when I untwisted my hair to braid it for the next day.

Twists Out

Of course, if I had untwisted it in the morning it never would have looked this good, lol

It ended up like this for the day. Not bad!

Bang & Braids

I was super comfy for work as I planned to go to Pacific Trimming beforehand and knew that would involve a bit of walking. I went to buy shoulder pads for my coat.

But I nearly had a commuter rage breakdown while on the Q train. Some clueless idiot in front of me thought he should have a backpack AND a HUGE shopping bag in the sardine can the train becomes at rush hour and an asshole behind me was still wearing her backpack.

I was sandwiched by fools.

And then the train stopped in the tunnel for 5 mins (which feels like 5 million) on a tilt, so I felt like I was going to fall over.

SIGH

I’m smiling here because this was taken at the end of the workday. I arrived home to kids doing homework and I had cooked so much food this weekend that there was no need to make dinner.

Basically, a perfect evening.

Pink, Black, Bangs, Braids

Sweater :: Calvin Klein
Tunic :: Old Navy
Leggings :: Old Navy
Socks :: F21
Boots :: Target

Pink, Black, Bangs, Braids

And to make it sweeter look what my big girl wore to school today!! She likes it! She really likes it!

I’m participating in Debi’s Sew Grateful week.
Look for a giveaway later!

Muslin’ing Around

Here is proof that I did actually sew a coat muslin! That Rachel is a good influence! We must convince her to move to America.

Check it out and weigh in.

muslin front

The main problem is the sleeve/shoulder area. Too wide and too much sleeve cap ease. The armhole is also criminally low.

simplicity 4110 muslin

One sleeve was sewn in with the recommended 5/8 inch seam allowance and the other was rather slapdash. I think you can tell which is which just from the photo.

muslin back

Is the upper back too roomy?? I did a small swayback adjustment and tapered the lower side seam to give my hips some room. I mean, the coat is meant to be worn with some ease and the actual coating fabric has a far different drape.

Here’s a reminder of how the pattern looks.
Simplicity 4110

The shoulder should definitely be narrowed, as was suggested by my awesome #sewcoatbuddies in the flickr comments. But would I be changing the design entirely if I made it more fitted? Yes, I think I would.

The length is OK.

IMG_5754

Would a combo of these fixes make a positive difference??
Narrow shoulder adjustment via Colette Patterns

Threads Armhole Fit Guide

Removing Sleeve Cap Ease via Design Loft

The muslin was stitched together quite loosely, so I think (to save myself cutting out more of this horrific fabric) I will pull it apart and use some of the pieces again. Is that crazypants?? I’m encouraged by the muslin making experience. I know I wouldn’t be happy if I cut my coating straight out and got this fit. Maybe I will try out Anise and see if what changes it might need.

FYI: I’m not sad in these pics.
I’m just afflicted with Chronic Bitchface.

It’s my neutral face. I cannot tell you how often someone asks me if I’m sad/mad/pissed/cranky…. Which, of course, actually makes me three of those four thing ;o)

Good Mail Day

First!

Thanks for the love on my last post!! The sweater is actually not super difficult to make. The yoke is mostly stockinette stitch with the smocking detail every ten rows or so. It was my first bottom up sweater, though. I had misplaced my notes with the yoke only partly done and I found it hard to judge its size before it was completely finished. It’s much easier to fit top down knits, imho.

Next!

My mailbox held a nice surprise yesterday! The first portion of my internship stipend!

This is the first thing I treated myself to!

First check spoils!

I LOOOOOOVE candy and periodicals ;o)

I also bought my copy of Nikki’s book and this one, too

And, because I was still in a sewing type of mood, I finally bought this pattern.

Salme Cropped Blazer

I fell in love with this little blazer when I saw it on Tidy Tipsy’s blog. I hope to make it into a rather casual suit when paired with my TNT skirt pattern.

Something like this Victoria Beckham look:


Or a variation of this, depending on the fabric I choose:

If I’m feeling especially ambitious, and have enough fabric, I could add pants to the mix a la Blake Lively.

Or this gorgeous lady:

I haven’t forgotten about my sewing dare. Don’t worry! I think I’ve been hesitant to start because I know it’s not going to be something I can wear out anytime soon. If ever. But, a dare is a dare! And I accepted! My girls can play in it when I’m done, lol.

There is so much to sew, and sew little time! I’ll be back soon with a peek at my first time….making a muslin!

It wasn’t so bad, but it damn sure wasn’t fun!

A Lil’ Bit 60s

A Lil' Bit 60s

Sweater :: Handknit Coraline
Blouse :: Freecycled
Skirt :: Handmade Advance 9916
Tights :: F21
Boots :: Anne Klein

This is another of my cardigans from my former knitting life. That yoke nearly killed me! After battling with it, the end result was smaller than I wanted. It’s knit up in one of my favorite yarns, Silky Wool. The top was in a Freecycle haul. It’s from Express and it’s a size XS. I would never buy that size in the store, but I found the close (kind of shrunken) fit to be just the thing with certain outfits.

A Lil' Bit 60s

This is actually version two of Advance 9916. Version one, which is shorter and made from stretch denim, was finished before the new year and I still haven’t worn it. This longer version is also shorter than the full length of the pattern. I don’t know how tall this cover model is supposed to be, but it’s safe to say she is massively disproportionate if the skirt is this short on her, lol!

Advance 9916, 1960s

I got the pattern in the great Sew Weekly NY Meet-up and pattern swap. I’m almost positive it was Marina’s as most of the giveaway patterns were donated by her.

A Lil' Bit 60s

The only change I made to the pattern, besides the length, was to cut the waistband longer. I also lined it and finished that hem with pretty lace. I loved wearing this today! The lining prevented the dreaded static cling and it felt so slinky as I walked around. This fabric is the same one I used for my Meringue skirt. This was the last of it, some kind of poly/wool blend, I think. It’s perfect for skirts as I think it would be terribly hot worn on top. It doesn’t have much give either.

A Lil' Bit 60s

I tried to get some outdoor photos before work. I nearly froze my cheeks off! They’re not that red from just blush! I don’t know how some people take coat-less pics in the snow! Must be made of tougher stuff than me.

A Lil' Bit 60s

A Lil' Bit 60s

It was definitely hat weather, today. GEEZ was it cold! I re-twisted my hair last night so it could stay small enough to be hat wearing compatible ;0) It gets so frizzy, so fast but it was worth it as it was complimented by two very nice library patrons, lol. It has been over two years since I asked my sister to chop it (nearly) all off. This lady’s site was instrumental in helping me decide to embrace having hair that short for the first time. She has written a book about this massive shift in the way we (those of us who are naturally curly/kinky/coily/nappy) think about our hair. I think this is the most comfortable I’ve ever been with the way mine grows out of my head. I KNOW this is the most well equipped to handle it I’ve ever been.

Thanks, Nikki!

BetterThanGoodHair pb c