Two Minute Posts: Autumn Leaves

#autumn #leaves are falling down, falling down, falling down. #fall #yellow #red #brown #green #ombre #September in #Brooklyn #leaf #colors #woodland #stroll

A pause to ponder natural beauty.
A childhood wonder held onto into adulthood.
Leaves.
Their changing colors.
Their bright, crinkled texture.
An ombre path from solid to multi-hued.

A mental snapshot around which to center oneself when too many ideas

and duties,

wants,

desires

and dreams threaten

to overwhelm.

One leaf. Two leaves. Three leaves….

on the SHELF: The Vogue Sewing Book

This was my grandma’s book. On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing BookIt’s seen better days.
In her defense, she had seven children and a husband with near legendary book destroying super powers.

It’s possible she absconded with it from NYPL….
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing BookPerhaps she got it at library book sale. (#HopefulLibrarian)

Grandma left this super cute sketch between its pages.

On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

I think….we have very similar handwriting (so close that I actually signed a couple of her credit cards).
I’m still not entirely sure I didn’t draw this.

It’s an acceptable mystery.

Onto book show-and-tell with:on the SHELF @ Sown Brooklyn
This first edition of The Vogue Sewing Book was published in 1970.
At the Butterick Plant.
If I ever have a my own business, my ultimate goal is to take it all the way to plant level.
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

It tells you right here in the preface…

On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Bookthat it was made for you, the woman who sews.
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

The book considers you a creative rock star.
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

Clocking in at over 400 pages, you’d be hard pressed to identify one thing missing from this tome.

Imagine how indispensable it was to the YouTube-less sewers of the past??

On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

Broken down into books within the book, we have

Vogue Sewing BookThere’s coverage on that pressing pattern matching issue.
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

Lopsided figure fitting.

On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

There’s even a fashion vocabulary.

On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

It is indeed your complete sewing handbook.
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

I love looking at the silhouettes and smiling about how many of them are back in vogue.
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

And taking comfort in the fact that the quest for the perfect sewing room is not a new fad.
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book
On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

The revised and updated edition of this book has it’s own brand of charm.

Vogue Sewing Book, Revised and UpdatedElegant illustrations, detailed instruction and information, all in a more convenient size and paperback format.

But nothing can top this old beat up beauty.

On the Shelf:  Grandma's Vogue Sewing Book

This bit of my gran. In book form.

Right on the SHELF.

Malvarosa en Denim

La presentación, Malvarosa! Numero dos! En denim!
Malvarosa en Denim

This was a real touch and go make (much like the last one, just can’t call it until it’s done!). I’m still not totally sold on it. BUT it’s really comfy to wear and easy to make and I loved styling it with chunky boots and tights.

Malvarosa en Denim

Malvarosa en Denim
I totally intended for this version to have long sleeves, however, the puzzle of getting those two curves to lie together, in holy matrimony forever and forever…the power eluded me. LOL I cut the facings out of the sleeves and I was happy to salvage the bodice after clipping the curves. I also think I could go up to the larger size. But I’m not fussed.Malvarosa en DenimThis denim is quite thin and has zero stretch. I think this was the perfect project for it as it’s a bit stiff and would have made one awkward fitted garment.

Malvarosa en Denim
I hand stitched the hem.

Malvarosa en Denim

And I tacked down those unruly facings, too. Why do I still suck at facings????

Anyway, this shiny, golden bias tape?
Malvarosa en Denim

She is purty but she ain’t comfy. SO ITCHY! That shit has got to GO!
And I was so proud of this top stitching job!

I have another all cut out and ready to go. I have to work while the mojo’s working, or I won’t make another garment for weeks!
My fall wardrobe won’t make itself!

Hello, fall!

Couture Adventure Part Duex?

My birthday is next month. I will be 35. I’m not a huge fan of birthdays. That has nothing to do with my age and everything to do with the incredibly shitty ones I had as a kid. Though the bdays have improved drastically as a wife and mom, I am still somewhat reluctant to make an event out of them. For fear of…I don’t know what really. I think I still tend to restrain my emotions due to some long held fear of….something.

Well, I enjoyed my recent dressmaking experience so much (thanks for your kind words!! I will try to get better at replying to those much appreciated comments!) that I’ve been trying to think of another reason or occasion to indulge and completely disregarded my birthday as an option.
But, why?

The bug to bone (PUN!) has been reawakened (with a vengeance, please help me refrain from ordering that beading tool) by viewing some spectacular examples of couture artistry in motion via that most excellent medium, YouTube.
Look at all of this deliciousness and tell me you don’t want to spend weeks working on an outfit you’ll only wear a handful of times ;)


discovered via Pauline Alice



discovered via Frau Fleur


discovered browsing Dior

I’ve been collecting couture/high fashion-y inspiration in a pinboard, naturally.

OOOOOOH FASHION

Or from here, where I could work with a new and challenging material (like leather!!) rather than more traditional couture techniques.

RTW

I realized, somewhat belatedly, that I could create my own reason to wear finery. That I have friends willing to play dress up, just for the hell of it, and a husband who would take me anywhere I wanted to go to show off my hard work.

Do you need a reminder that any day can be a special occasion? Look at those videos and dream with me.

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.