The Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator

I took a tour of the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, yesterday. A truly amazing space!! Like a normal atelier…on steroids. In space lol. We (Jenny and I) saw soooooo many cools things. In addition a truly enviable space, the tools, designers and common spaces are to die for. I’m feeling so inspired.

These beauties great you when you walk in the door. Pieces from some of the design venture fellows.
IMG_8765
 On the far right, you can see the entrance to their conference room. This space can be utilized to by venture fellows to  present collections and rented by locals. As soon as you turn left of this pciture, you’re met with this outstanding sight. Knitting machines roughly the size of a car, lol.

IMG_8764These are Shima Seiki knitting machines. This one is a normal, flat knitting machine. While the one behind it knits an entire garment. That’s not a clear enough description. An entire, finished sweater comes OUT OF THE MACHINE!! Madness.

They also have the Cadillac of 3D printers. I wish I had taken photos of the other samples. Totally unreal. Linked, complex pieces with the fluidity of fabric. But still rigid to the touch. I can’t wait until they give tours for kids. I’m totally bringing my kiddos and as many neighborhood kids as I can grab.
When I look at that space and those tools I see future careers.

The Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator is just getting started. I can’t wait to see what they’re made of!
BF+DA

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

on the SHELF @ Sown Brooklynon the SHELF: Fashionable SelbyDudes, this book is so stinkin’ beautiful! My goodness! If your mojo needs a kick in the groin (is my mojo is male??) this will more than do the job. If you’re anything like me, you will want to run to the nearest hardware, fabric, craft, stationary every kind of store to stock up on cool tools and supplies.

Just look at all of the cool folks, and their amazing AMAZING workspaces, included in this dense beauty.

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

If that wasn’t enough, the foreword is written by one of my fashion faves, Simon Doonan.

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

Check out just a hint, a mere hint, of the goodies in this book, below.

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

Look at this!! I was not familiar with this designer’s work before reading this book, you can bet she’s on my radar, now!

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

I have a serious jones for tools. And woodcarving is calling me (loudly and I’m so near to succumbing. Even if it’s just a class someplace like this.
You know, when I’ve a spare 500 bucks around ;)

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

I can already jump in with this machine.

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

This guy just might be the most beautiful clothing designer I’ve ever seen. Including Tom Ford.

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

This silhoutte is calls to me. And I’m not usually one for sternum exposure.

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

I really love couples who work together. Isabel and Ruben. Frida and Diego. Carmen and Geoffrey.

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

One day, will have walk in fabric storage. My kids will grow up and their rooms will be mine.

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

Brooklynites like the last word. Word. :p

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

on the SHELF: Fashionable Selby

 Find
Fashionable Selby
Author: Todd Selby
Publisher: New York : Abrams, 2014.
at a local library (or bookstore) near you.

More, here.

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.

BONUS- Using the “Scraps”

This is a bonus project. You know, when that one cut of fabric yields more than one garment?

BONUS!

This skirt, which coordinates nicely with the houndstooth, was made with the same neon dream fabric as this top (there’s still some left). At about the same time, too. I just didn’t have a proper camera to capture it! I took those pictures at work ;)

Black : White : Houndstooth & Sexy

I could fill my wardrobe with tons more things:

Black and White and Neon and Bright.

A spring theme!