There must be something new and fun to discover today

Dream it...Design it...Do it!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Project 6 - Track suit

 There is a dearth of stylish track suits that you can wear to and from your athletic activities. We are all so busy ~ we need our clothes to really perform. By that I mean look great and be machine washable. I don't do the dryclean thing. It's just a bad thing all around. I got to thinking about track suits because I play tennis and after our matches, we head to lunch. I can't stand being all sweaty and gross and sitting in public with my butt hanging out of my tennis skirt. And, on inclimate weather days, struggling with pulling off and on sweat pants is just annoying. So, I am developing a track suit that is made of performance fabric but takes it to the next level as far as fashion! 

 Here's a sketch of my design. It has my signature kimon sleeve and casual elegance that I love. I can't wait to get started.

I found some great cobalt blue performance fabric at Joanne's. The silver performance fabric I got from fabricmart.comThe zippers I snagged at Texstyles Designer Fabric. They are a great resource here in Austin.

The pattern development is the slowest part. And, as much as I'd like to get sewing, you can't rush it. The other thing I've discovered is figuring out the construction order. I inevitably come up with a cool thing to add only to discover that should have been done three steps earlier. It's all a learning process and noting my procedures in a notebook is very helpful. Every day I learn something new. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Project 5: Quilted chiffon wrap skirt and jacket

This project is totally out of control!

It started out as a dress, using McCall's M6520 pattern. The dress is designed with a raglan top and bottom connected by a drawstring in a casing. After cutting out all the pieces, I realized that there was no way I would ever wear this as a dress using this fabric! 

 The material is a weird, wrinkle-free, slippery polyester I found at JoAnn's, not unlike a shower curtain liner. I probably paid $5 for it. I really don't know why I bought it, except I liked the impressionist flowers floating on the black background. I'd like to believe it has a Prada vibe to it. I decided to make a wrap skirt and cropped jacket instead, and tone down the print with some quilting.

 I quilted some purple chiffon to the sleeve cuffs. Looks pretty cool. 

To create the cropped jacket, I made some facing pattern pieces. I fused black, woven polyester interfacing to the purple chiffon to give it some body, then hand sewed the facings to the jacket.  I need hem the jacket but I am going to wait until the skirt is finished and see what length looks the best. It looks like a blob on the hanger, but it fits great!

The skirt seemed skimpy, so I decided to use black pique to create an underlining and lining. Underlinings are used extensively in couture sewing and can really change the feel of a fabric. Hopefully,the skirt will feel more luxurious and not like a shower curtain anymore. Tip: Wash everything first before you sew!

Using my walking foot, I machined stitched chiffon to the top section of the skirt. I might shred the chiffon  between the stitching, and I have to decide before I finish the waistband and front skirt edges.

So far, So good!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Dress becomes a skirt

 Finished my wrap skirt! 
The gingham is from a $3.99 3X dress from Old Navy.
The floral fabric is a cotton japanese print from Stitch Lab
which has very cool fabric.
For fun, I added some kick pleats in the back. 
You can see what the floral fabric looked like before.

Using a free motion embroidery pressure foot I machine stitched around the flowers I wanted to keep. This is a take on the ancient embroidery technique called Mola, which I learned at a class at Sew Much More. Carefully, I cut around the flowers revealing the gingham below. 

 I came up with the idea of lacing the front like a corset. After marking the fabric with a pen, I made tiny button holes using my buttonhole foot. Having the bow at the top makes it easy to take on and off. 

A matching acid yellow cord add just a touch of fun. 
I love all the contrasting colors against the plaid. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Draping 101

I am channelling my inner project runway. I am going to a party in Orlando that is "resort casual". I found this great orange-red drapey rayon at Tex-Styles fabric shop yesterday (it looks pink in the picture). I have to whip this together by tomorrow!!! 

1) I draped the material around the form using the elastic band.
2) Just above the elastic band, I marked the cut line with a water-based fabric pen. 
3) I laid the fabric on the floor and trued up the line with my french curve.
4) I cut the piece out, using the line as a guide. It curved, mmm, interesting.
4) It is on the bias so I let it sit overnight to see how much it would stretch. 

Now I have to make the waistband and do a side seam and voila! 
It is never that simple, though, right? I should probably make a paper pattern before anything, in case it turns out fabulous. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My wrap skirt is coming a long. I've reverse appliqued the floral cotton so the flowers look like they are cascading down the front. The seam is well hidden so you can't see where the wrap starts and stops. I put in a kick pleat but it looks kind of silly, so I might get rid of it. 
Here is a closer look at the flowers. I am trying to figure out house to do the closure. I purchased some acid yellow cording and think I want to lace it, but probable need to reinforce it from the inside somehow. I am happy with it so far!

Monday, March 5, 2012

 Today we started drawing clothes in Fashion Illustration class at Austin School for Fashion Design. It is much more fun than drawing the croches but I can see why you have to learn about proportions first.
  Next, we colored our drawings with pastels and added a bit of marker to make details pop.
Practice, practice, practice!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

 I decided to make a wrap skirt because I just couldn't envision a new dress. I am already sick of this fabric, but I saw a gingham skirt in Vogue (from Marc Jacobs spring collection) I got re-inspired. His skirt is "leth-aw" (Mark Jacobs). And this is only practice... 

I cut off the sleeves and made a two side panels, one back and one front panel. It looks a little wacky but the seams are straight. I added darts to the back to shape it a bit. 
 I had been looking for a cute print to use for reverse applique and decided this would also look great as the skirt facing. Using my french curve, I made the pattern by tracing the top part of the skirt and making it 1 1/2" wide. 
 I cut the facing pattern in half to conserve fabric. I'll just stitch the back seam together after the interfacing is on.

I cut some pieces of fusible interfacing and ironed them on. 
I serged the bottom edge, sewed the seams together, clipped the layers, ironed and edge stitched. So far, so good.