Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Sneaky Peak

Ok, so I actually have been doing a fair amount of sewing... but it has all been skating costumes.  My competition dresses always take a long time to make, especially compared to my regular practice dresses.  Often I have to make multiple versions to meet my expectations (this year was no exception), mostly because I am always trying tricky things that I don't bother with on the practice dresses, and finally there is the extensive amount of time I spend beading the darned things.  So, to be honest, they aren't anywhere near finished, and I don't like to reveal the competition dresses until after they get skated in anyway, BUT I do want to point out that I am actually still sewing.  And I did promise you guys a sneak peak at what has been going on, since you probably won't get to see the finished projects until July at the earliest.  So, here it is:

Sneak Peak #1

Sneak Peak #2

Sneak Peak #3
Oh, and just in case you are wondering - yes I am sewing the appliques down by hand.  This will account for lack of getting any other sewing done in the foreseeable future.  This is why I don't get a lot of normal sewing done in the months of April, May, and June.  Then with regional/national competitions I get less done in July and August.  This is why I have no summer clothes.  Oh well.  I think the rhinestones sort of make up for it.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pyramid Fabrics

So, last week Fabric Mart was having one of their famous Pyramid sales...  And since I have been looking for some white cotton I figured it would be a good time to look there.  Luckily, I totally scored on the white cotton front.  However, I also managed to find a few other things to get along with it...

Black faux suede with a diagonal texture, and a thick white cotton for lining some summer dresses.

Red denim and navy/lime denim - the colors are a bit less saturated in real life
The faux suede is great - light and soft, I am planning to use it for a jacket at some point.  The white cotton will get used in some dress patterns this summer.  The red denim will be a pair of jeans, eventually.  Normally I don't go for the odd colors, but I have seen so many great colorful pants of late, I was inspired.  The navy/lime (it just looks green, but actually it is multicolored) was intended for jeans, but it might be a bit stiff.  Depending on how it washes it will either become another pair of pants, or it will perhaps be my first experiment with making a bag?  Or perhaps a jean jacket?  It might be wearable with a lining...  We shall see what happens with it.

Anyway, yeah, it seems like I have been doing an awful lot of accumulation lately.  But, I have also been sewing, I swear!  I will share some sneak peaks with you all tomorrow...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

More Sewing Stuff

First off, I was really excited when I got my May Burda magazine this past week.  Then, as I was reading through I saw that my favorite dress is in TALL SIZES!  Damn it Burda!  Stop putting the best design in tall sizes!

Burda I shake my fist at you and your glamazon models!
This was somewhat mitigated however, when a recent Ebay purchase also showed up this week:

Two issues of Patrones - #284 and #259

I had tried to buy issue 284 in an earlier Ebay sale, but I lost that auction.  So I am glad I was able to get it as I really love the patterns in this issue:

Adore these pants, and the jacket is cute too!

These jeans, I NEED them!

I really like the interesting seaming/pockets on this trench.

Two more fabulous trench coats.

From issue 259 (the two issues were sold as a set):

Lots of nice coats (with designer names!)

Love this fitted shirt.

And this jacket!  I must make this!

Awkward pose, pretty dress.

Another stunning gown.

This is what old Patrones instructions look like.

And then I also hit Joann's this weekend.  Among my many sewing projects of the moment, I have been doing some alterations and sewing for people at skating.  Which means I have been picking up a little cash.  Which I immediately took to Joann's to pick a few more supplies for the costumes I am going to be making for them, since they are having a 50% notions and interfacing sale (yes, boo to crappy interfacing, but it is cheap and going in a costume and I couldn't bring myself to use the good interfacing on a costume that will only see occasional use).  Anyway, despite the fact that I fell into the trap known as the Fabric Mart Pyramid Sale (I needed white cotton!  I just got a few other things while I was ordering it - will post when it arrives) and have absolutely no need of more fabric, well, while I was at Joann's I got this:

Textured navy weather-proof jacketing
It was in the red tag section and I couldn't pass it up!  I love my blue raincoat so much, that I really want to make another trench in a more subdued color (it is really a dark navy, but lighter in the photo to show the texture).  So, it followed me home.  However, Joann's threw in a free "Go Green" shopping bag!

Free bag does not make up for fabric splurge, but it makes me feel better about it somehow.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Newsflash - Early June Burda Preview Posted

The German Burda website has posted their preview here, and the Russian website has a slightly different preview here.  Overall there is a lot of boring easy summer blah, but there are a few pieces I seem to have taken a liking to...

Typical summer boring-ness

Pants are maybe - I need to see the line drawing.

Another maxi dress (or is this a top and skirt again?)

I like this, but I don't know if I would make or wear it...

I do rather like this dress (but I bet it is a plus pattern)

The June designer dress - my favorite!
So, what do you all think so far - are you ready for easy summer clothes or do all of these just look super boring?

Newsflash - New Vogue Patterns!

I have been stalking the Vogue website for the past few weeks just waiting for these to go up.  Of course, they go up on the day when I am stuck at school/work and can't look at them right away.  Such is life.  Anyway, you can check out all the new Vogue-y goodness here.

Overall it looks like an ok release - only a few patterns I really love, a few more where I am on the fence, a lot that I can't decide if I like it or hate it, and a few that made me laugh out loud.  It might not all be beautiful, but at least it isn't boring.

Ok, so here are the ones that I really loved:

V1302 - a Kay Unger design. 

Here is the line drawing - devine!

V1303 - another Kay Unger

1303 line drawing - I really like it, but is it too similar to some of my other patterns?

V8808 - A Very Easy Vogue Pattern.
Of these I am for sure going to buy the first one, maybe the second, but probably not the third, only because I recently got this Burda pattern:

And this Patrones pattern:

Patrones No. 295 style #41

Both of which I am more likely to use than a Vogue.

Ok, moving on, here are some new vintage (ha!) patterns:


I don't think the first pattern would be particularly flattering on me, but I am debating on the second pattern - I do like the top and the shape of the skirt.  Hmmmm....

Also, while I have more than enough Burda magazine patterns in the style of a Channel jacket, there is a new Claire Shaeffer pattern, which might be good to buy for the instructions, if not for the pattern itself:

V8804 - What is up with the gloves and helmat?

Close up of the details - it might be worth it for the detailed instructions
Also, can't help but point out the color blocking trend going strong:

V8805 - Hmmm, where have I seen these colors before?
Oh yeah!

I am on the fence with these following patterns:

V1304 - a Lialia pattern - the top is LOW, but I like the shoulder/sleeves

Not sure how I feel about the open back...

V1305 - another Lialia.  Do I love it?  Do I hate it?  I just don't know...
And, finally, a few patterns worth mentioning, not because I liked them, but because I didn't:

V1300 - The new DKNY sack dress.  After my experience with the last one I WON'T be getting it.
But I do expect it to be the new popular pattern on Pattern Review...

V1301 - A KOOS Couture Pattern.  When I saw this picture I thought it was ok...

But the 1301 line drawing confused me muchly...

Apparently 1301 can be worn many ways?

Many many ways?

V1308 - A DKNY Jumpsuit.  After looking at that behind who cares what the front does?

V1307 - Today's Fit Sandra Betzina pants.  I think I snorted up some water when I saw these.
So, all in all, not a bad release, but not a great one.  I think I am definitely going for those Kay Unger patterns though.  Maybe a few others...

Oh, and the Vogue website is also having a $3.99 sale but today is the last day!  I will be waiting for my local Joann/Hancock to have a sale, but that shouldn't stop the rest of you!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sewing for Guys

So, as I have been mentioning, I now have a team dance partner for skating.  Which means I am now attempting sewing men's skating patterns.  My first attempt was the ever popular Jalie 2802:

Perhaps the best part of this pattern is that it exists.  Which sounds dumb, but, really, it is the ONLY men's skating shirt pattern on the market produced by any of the major pattern companies.  So, well, it has the market pretty well cornered.  And it seems to work out pretty well too.  Here is a look at my first version:

Man's shirt - version #1.  He picked the fabric.

I am going to wait to do a review until after I do a few more shirts - my first shirt ended up HUGE, but I think part of it might have been the fabric, which seemed to grow before my eyes.  So I will hold off on a formal review as of yet, but I expect I will be making quite a few more of these in the near future.

Also, I am going to be working on a man's jacket for competition as well.  Dance skating is pretty much like ballroom dance on wheels - so I am going for a tailored tux type jacket, although it will be a bit more embellished, and I wanted to go with a more modern puffy sleeve (which I had to draft myself).  Since I am starting with a normal jacket pattern, I did a muslin, and I am going to have to get rid of a lot of wearing ease (because stretch velvet doesn't need any wearing ease).  My starting point was Burda 7194:

Basically, I have used only the top half of the jacket, and I am re-doing the sleeves, changing/removing the collar, and doing a few major fit adjustments.  One thing I have noticed - how is it that guys fit into straight sizes???  I mean, I looked at the chest size to pick a pattern size, and as I worked my way through the measurements they all matched up exactly.  How creepy is that?  Do I even know any female sewers who use a straight size?  I doubt it.  Also, because I was toying with different patterns, why does Vogue for men have so much ease?  These things I ponder...

And now, for a laugh, here is a look at the most ridiculous muslin ever:

The jacket muslin - with a puffy sleeve!

The body is a cotton velvet I got in a Fashion Fabrics club mystery bundle.  Rolls like nobody's business and with only 1/2 yard (and a dislike of the pattern - it looks cool in the photo, not so cool in person) I had nothing else to do with it.  And the sleeve?  Yes, those are parrots.  No, I didn't actually pay for this fabric - it was a gift.  I had no idea what to do with it - it is like a polyester terrycloth and doesn't have a pleasant texture.  So, well, I figure this was as good a use as any.

Hello little parrot - I thank you for your sacrifice.
So, I still have a lot of pattern adjustments and, you know, actual sewing to do, but at least I am sort of getting things underway.  And learning to sew for guys.  A bit odd, but, well, interesting!