Maravilloso Malvarosa

This one was a nail biter….
Would I like that chic drop waist look on me?

The smile says

HELL YES!!!

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso MalvarosaI really, really love this dress!!!! It’s so comfy I’m still wearing it while writing this. And I hate wearing outside clothes, inside my home! I’m so pleased with the fit. I tried sewing this shape before, using a vintage pattern in my stash. It was a disaster! I forced myself to size up from what I would have normally gravitated to, with the thought (from the last experience) that loose would definitely be better than tight. I traced size 36 and made it up exactly as is.

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso Malvarosa

I did struggle with the facings, which I ALWAYS DO. SIGH. I was hesitant to switch to bias bindings, which I have more success with, as I was unsure of how it would work with the unique (and SOOOOO cool) sleeve shaping. Plus, I think the slight bulk of the facings gives the sleeves structure that binding wouldn’t. I did leave off the pockets. I never put things in dress pockets and I hate when they sit open.

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso Malvarosa

Full disclosure: I also worried about things lining up properly with all that gathering. I really suck at even gathers. But I rocked it this time!! This is the perfect amount of fullness. I don’t feel swamped, just flow-y!

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso Malvarosa

I serged all of the seams and the edges of the facings and along the hem which I handstiched. I just couldn’t put any top stitching on this beautiful blank, linen canvas! I think this is the first time I’ve sewn with it and it most definitely won’t be the last.

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso Malvarosa

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso MalvarosaWorking with it has been a real lesson in fabric selection. This is heavier than what I would have chosen if I saw it in person. It was gifted to me by the folks at Britex, so I only saw it online. It was also very stiff prior to pre washing it. That wrinkly, post wash texture was so pleasant, though. And, as you can see, it sewed up perfectly!

Great pattern. Great color. Great drape. Great dress!!

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso Malvarosa

Obligatory swishy shot 😉
Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso Malvarosa>

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 😀

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!

Draping: The Complete Course

You all know the drill by now, right? The awesome people at Laurence King Publishing asked if I wanted to review Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel. Little ole me stumbled into their path when they hosted a pop-up event at Britex and they peeped at their blog. Check the amazing hair on the adorable Karolyn! And can you spot the beautiful Laura Mae?

Britex & Laurence King Pop-Up EventI took about .6 seconds to think it over and replied YES, of course I do!  It was the perfect time as I was already up to my eyeballs in draped projects. But those are cheater makes when it comes to the REAL Drape!

This amazing (HEAVY! Seriously. You could use it to weight train.) book comes with a DVD.

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I have to admit, for some unknowable reason, I was expecting a VHS tape! Can you believe it?!?! WHAT was I thinking! lol

I might have been a little tired when I arrived home from work and my hubby told me that a heavy package was waiting for me. This was, literally, 2 days after I got the email from the good peeps at LK, so I wasn’t hopeful that I’d find a book inside. But I DID!! So, excuse my Dumb & Dumber moment. K? Thanx!

Though I didn’t have to try a project from the book to sing its praises, I really, really wanted to. But, everything in my life conspired against finding the time to do so. It’s New York Archives Week and my duties as the Dir. of Communications for A.R.T. have kept me SUPER busy. Things have reached maintenance mode, so I could chill (only a bit!) for a minute. That meant that today was the day.

I didn’t even let this jam packed, suggested tool-kit page stop me.
Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel
Seeing this page had the same effect as waving a red flag in front of a bull!!

BUY ALL THE SUPPLIES!!

But, that would have meant taking a trip and I wanted to dig in, NOW. I forged ahead with my minimalist tool-kit. And for good measure, skipped right over to:
Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel

My dress form (which used to reside in Kalkatroona with Ms. Oona) is lacking in the lower pear area. So I thought this swing-y dress was the perfect place to start.

Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel

I pulled out my iron, put on a movie and got to work.
Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel

Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel

Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel

Sheared off bits!

This was after trim and pin session one.

Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel

I took Karolyn’s advice to heart when she states: “Check hem, armhole, and neckline shape for attitude.” I have been reading tons of Jane Austen and the “attitude” in which one stands, sits, dances, responds to a query is everything. So I was all over checking the attitude of my work!

Turns out, I didn’t like it. I gave the side seam a second trim. And found that I liked the look of it better.

Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel

I grabbed some hem tape to stand for in for sticky tape and marked the neckline and armhole.

Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel

And then marked up the muslin.

Draping:

Next stop, pattern pieces baby!!

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?