Sewing and Style with Seamstress Erin

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Go check it out!!! My Sewing & Style post over on Seamstress Erin‘s blog!
Continuing the discussion started here, the one all about style and sexiness and the expression of both!

I’m honored to be included in this series. Some really awesome folks preceded me.

Thank you for asking me, Erin!

Shades of Grey

Hey, all!! This here (comfy, like lying in the clouds of the Gods!) sweatshirt has been done for a while. But, there was a bit of a shake up with my Britex guest blogging gig.

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But more on that, later. Let’s talk about the sweatshirt. Yes?

With winter fully set in here in Brooklyn, I was immediately drawn to the “double” in the description of this double-faced rayon knit. It implied double warmth and double softness so it was, therefore, double good. With the fabric selected I thought…what to make? This was the project I dragged out my copy Built By Wendy Home Stretch for. I used a slightly altered version of the Flashdance mods. But, looking back, I might have liked that super off the shoulder look…good thing there is no shortage of fabric in my home.

SAM_0133 With my three pattern pieces ready to go, I drafted some super simple cuffs and a hem band (or, you know, I just cut the hem band) and I was off to the races. Or, to the sewing machine. The project was done so super quickly! Maybe an hour? Paired with leggings, it was my wardrobe for the next two days :D

SAM_0126 What more can I say? That I’d like to sleep in sheets made from this fabric? That I could EASILY make a dress, leggings and a slouchy sweater and be all set for my PJ days. For there are several days a month where I need to wear as close to jammies as I can get. Tomorrow is one of them.

SAM_0118Go get some grey and make a sweatshirt, or two!!

As for me, I hope to get into my new patterns, this week. And try my hand at some baby knits for the hubby’s niece. Hope that knitting curse was broken with the completion of Frida’s heart!

Urban Stroll Cape

After I stopped squealing and jumping around when the good peeps at Britex asked me to join their team, I zoned in on the project I wanted to start with. Almost immediately the word

*CAPE!!

(yes, all caps with !!!!) came to mind.110Because cape wearing, to my way of thinking, is for women with a certain flair. A certain sense of style. A certain je ne sais quoi! Therefore, I did not feel like cape wearing was for me. But, through sewing for myself, and blogging all about it, I became a part of a super supportive community: The Sewing Blogisphere. With the help of these virtual (and real-life) friends my feelings about beauty and talent and style began to change. As those feelings changed, so did the way I viewed myself. I slowly came into my own style. Accepted, and appreciated, my own looks and figure. Got much better at choosing and making things the flatter me. And made the kind of friends that tell you, without hesitation, how great they think you are.

Amazing!!

Also amazing, this *Liesl + Co. pattern!!

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It appealed to me for many reasons. One: it looks amazing on Liesl!! Two: the equation {simple to make = fabulous result} is not always a given. With this pattern I thought I’d have the best of both worlds. Three: thing one + thing two = perfect intro into outerwear. Four: It’s perfect with both dressy and casual outfits. That’s a major one for this tee, jeans and sneakers lover.

IMG_9019You might have noticed that my version is a little different than the pattern image. I didn’t think those curved hems would work well with the curvy area of my body they’d line up with. I also left off the buttons. During one of my (many) try-on-and-twirl-in-the-mirror sessions I began to realize that I loved the look, as is. Simple. So, I swapped out buttons and buttonholes for covered, sew on snaps. I also went with the largest size. I wanted draaaaape!

This wool is PERFECT for drapey-ness.

And it is, easily, the most beautiful wool I’ve ever held in my hot little hands!!

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I had to leave the male side of the snap plain. Covering both sides made them sit too high.

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Isn’t the lining perfect! I loooove the color!

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And my new Chelsea Crew shoes!IMG_8962

Ahem, back to the cape….I also left off the side buttons, opting instead to add about one inch of stitches, straight through both layers, to hold the sides together.

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Now the front is as sleek as the back.

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Overall, this project was a JOY to work on!! It’s SO easy that I’ve promised my sister one. And I never sew for others. It’s so easy to wear and make but still makes a statement!! Even for novice cape wearers. Seriously, I’ve worn it everyday since I completed it. I SO need a plain black one. And a boldly colored one. And one for my little girl. And maybe the big girl, too

;)

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*Amanda guessed that I was making a cape and Lizzy guessed which pattern!! Maybe we’ll be a little mini army of cape wearers, soon!! Get a feel for how fierce they’ll look in this post.

HOT posing, ladies!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED: Guess That Pattern!!

Hello, again!!

I realized that I forgot the best part of a guessing game,

prizes!!!

So, I’ll be giving away two patterns, one to Amanda who guessed which type of oterwear correctly.

It’s a CAPE!!

The other pattern will go to the person (and if more than one, a randomly selected person from that pool) who can guess which pattern it is.

Here’s a photo I posted on instagram while I was tryng to decide on the final finishing.

Britex Fabrics Project #1

I’m so excited to show you the final product!!

EDITED TO ADD:

Lizzy got it right!

A Britex Fabrics Guessing Game

Before I can dip into all of that super delicious fabric I posted about (which has the added bonus of reminding me of the lovely company I had every time I look at it) I have a bit of housekeeping to do. This cold snap is just the thing to get me moving on finishing my Britex project!! I’m super excited about it (I put it on partially finished and I felt FABULOUS in it) and I want to get you all excited, too!

And play a little guessing game.

You might know that I’m using some lovely wool fabric.

Britex WoolIt is so, so, so, SO beautiful in person!

I hinted on Twitter that I would be dipping my toe into dum-dum-DUM

OUTERWEAR!!

And I mentioned, once upon a blog post, that I felt ready to rock a specific type of outerwear.

So….

who wants to guess what type that is?

Newest Britex Guest Blogger? ME!

Britex Guest Blogger

You read that right?? I’ll be joining one of my fave ladies, Jen from Grainline, and other super talented sewcialists over on the Britex blog!! I am so stupid excited about it!!

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I also spent time with beautiful and talented sewcialists (and some of their family members) at the Male Pattern Boldness Day Extravagaaaaanza.

AND, thanks to the easy to decision to sew with Victory patterns, I had my picture in Flare, a Canadian fashion magazine!!

From Kristiann @ Victory PatternsThis week has been awesome for sewing news!!

What’s (sew) awesome with you?

Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced – A Handmaker’s Factory Review

A curator’s job must be so difficult. Deciding which bits of a vast history, body of work or era to include sounds immensely challenging. Perhaps, that is what makes it all the more impressive, and rewarding, when the job is done well. When I planned my visit to the Stephen Burrows exhibit on display at the Museum of the City of New York, I expected to see beautiful clothes arranged in an artful setting. But, both Mr. Burrows work and the museum met, and far exceeded, that expectation!

The very first thing you see when you enter the space that houses this collection is a massive photo of Grace Jones, outfitted in Burrows’ clothes.

This image immediately sets the tone for the liveliness, beauty and attitude of the entire exhibit. Burrows’ work is an explosion of color, pattern, texture and, most of all, movement. Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced, is appropriately named.

The designer’s evolution is clear and the way the exhibit has been arranged encourages you to view the pieces in the order of that evolution. Positioned just after Ms. Jones are several sketches. An introduction of sorts.

Leather, fringe, fur, glamour give way to jersey, silk chiffon, sequins, glamour. Even a coat made of wool felt drapes in such a way as to appear weightless. I was also struck by how body conscious and sleek many of the pieces were while still remaining fun and elegant. Quite the accomplishment.

Taking it all in as one evokes a feeling that Iman succinctly sums up:

Even the room is cloaked in billowy fabric, carrying the movement from the clothing up the walls to the ceiling.

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The sparse color of the ceiling, background and platforms create the perfect backdrop for this color explosion. The deep ebony mannequins setting them off in a way that any other color just couldn’t do. Their posture communicating self assurance, elegance, class, playfulness, sex appeal.

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Stephen Burrows continues to enjoy a thriving career and made a splash at the opening ceremony for the exhibit. It’s so wonderful to see someone receive their honors and accolades during their lifetime. To have the chance to see the impact that their influence has had on their industry. What an amazing privilege.

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It’s thrilling to see him smile and mingle with those whose careers mirror his own rise. Iman, Bethann Hardison, and more of the African American glitterati gathered to reminisce with him and show that they still look fabulous in his clothes. This exhibition is just one in a long line of retrospectives, documentary films, awards and fashion milestones. After more than 45 years in the fashion business, he can also add to his list of distinctions the honor of styling for a range that includes collector edition Barbie dolls and the First Lady of the United States.

His continued success and growth into a fashion mogul that has prospered with the times, he’s on Twitter AND Instagram creating his own buzz about his work, makes me think of his contemporaries (like Jaxson and Kelly) who did not live to do the same.  With a few of his vintage pieces for sale on Etsy and Ebay, including sewing patterns(!!) and invitations from the Chambre Syndicale de la Mode to present his collections in Paris, make me hopeful for more of his work for years to come.

IMG_7993This review originally appeared on Handmaker’s Factory.
Thanks, again, to Nichola for making the arrangements for me!