Friday, July 6, 2018

Thinking Out Loud

**Thinking out loud** Over the last couple months I've been looking at my closet of clothes in disappointment of myself. This is why. Way back when I went to college for marketing and fashion. I understand the industry and in many ways have watched it change over the last 30 years. I've found my self trapped in the "throw away fashion" trend. If you don't know what I mean by "throw away fashion" ask your self how long do you keep your garments in rotation. Not just because you want a different style, but because they do not hold up to the wear and tear of you wearing them. Have to be honest I loved the idea of adult geranimals, AKA Lularoe or similar brand, even if I don't wear them. Something nice about walking to the closet and finding matching clothing. In the attempt to make things simple 90% of my clothes has become RTW 'throw away fashion" that last on average less than a year or 2. Compare this to 10 years ago when 80% of my clothes were made by me. They matched because I made capsule wardrobes. I still have and wear some of those things. I've been sewing and designing since I was 12 years old. I've continued teaching myself and taking classes all these years. In my high school days I took 4 years of art and 4 years of sewing related courses through tailoring. (I wanted to be a designer but got married instead.) I choose to make simple styles because that is what fits my lifestyle and body. Any way the more I look at things the more I realize I need to make my pendulum swing back to clothing I make. Why? 1. I feel happier. 2. Generally they fit better. 3. I can express myself. 4. I like the challenge. 5. In the long run the $$ and time may pan out in my favor. 6. who knows where this will lead. **End of thinking out loud** #jenneoriginal

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Orientation Module at Penn Foster

I've completed the orientation module of Penn Foster. It was an fairly standard introduction to sewing. Lots of review but I did learn a few things. Somethings you learn include several hand stitches, names of needles and thread, which needles sizes work best for certain fabrics, pattern sizing and so much more. This is a lot of stuff often questioned by beginner sewing enthusiasts. The charts and glossary were very nice. I honestly do not think any of my sewing books cover so much in so little space. Closest one might be my 1975 Vogue Sewing Book. So fare I am enjoying the class and the review is refreshing.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

High Waisted Bikini

It's swim suit time again. Every few years my daughter finds a style she likes but can't quiet find what she wants. A week ago my daughter walked in with an Old Navy bag with two bikini tops that fit her correctly. Very nicely she asked if I would make matching high waisted  bikini bottoms for each. The first one had to be ready for a day at the water park today. This is what we came up with. I started with the basic panties pattern in the book Kwik Sew's Swim & Action Wear. We then fit the basic panty to her sizes. Once we had that fitting I adjusted the panty to what we hopped would be a good high waisted look for her. Next I playing with the general directions in the book to created the gathered/ shirred panel, and finished sewing up a sample pair. The sample pair will make a nice new jersey panty for her. Glad we did that fitting since we ended up adding several more inches to the panties to create the desired look in her swim suit fabric. Happy Sewing!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Laid back and cool like the 70"s

Today I pulled out some wonderful bright bamboo rayon knit. This knit kept screaming old 70's black movies at me. Yeah, you know the kind that Pam Greer would star in wearing those wonderful jumpsuits and flawy dress in. So I took a stab at a two piece sundress. flowy and loss sexy cool.

Yeah it did not turn out exactly as I thought. But I do like the two pieces. The skirt is a self draft. I basically cut the fabric the length I wanted it and used elastic to gather in the waist to my waist measurement. It's not hemmed here and even after I cut off four more inches I decided not to hem it. At least not today.

The stripe top is Lutterloh 293-88-2014. I had a few little problems or questions with this pattern.

1. How to best stabilize the neck edges. I had a sewing friend suggest just stabilizing the back which I did do. I also stabilized the shoulder seams. I think next round I may try to do something with the front. I felt like the bamboo rayon knit could have used a little support.

2. How to best secure the front crossover so it does not droop?

3. make sure next round with this top to hem before basting cross over to other side front. Really once you sew the side seams you can't really hem it. So my version is not hemmed.

Over all I lied this top pattern and will do it again in a solid color.
Here is the top Lutterloh 293-88-2014 matched up with my black and pink piping skirt Lutterloh 281-144-2011.

Lastly the striped 70's inspired skirt with an Old Navy pink t-shirt.

I don't know what tomorrows adventure will be. Not hearing any of my fabric calling out to be next.

Oh well. Happy sewing.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

My Church Flow Skirt.

This week was one of those weeks were I was testing my pattern making skills for a few tops (bodice). I will share those shortly after I work out a few kinks. Love learning pattern-making. Found myself really shooting for a super fun outfit for Fathers Day Church service. Well that certainly called for a new skirt first. Here it is. A super simple 3 piece skirt using your body measurements. I followed the basic ideas form this maxi skirt tutorial . My additions included inseam pockets and two 11/2 X2 inches pieces off elastic add to each side of my waistband above the hip hopping it would snug in the knit waist band a bit. Next skirt I will be reworking the waistband since the 4 way stretch knit is having a work out keeping the skirt up and keeping it's shape. I also need up shorting the skirt 5 inches from my original measurements. Not sure if son took my length wrong or is I some how miss measured the fabric. Love, love this skirt and will be making more. Fabric is a simple cotton quilting fabric picked up at Walmart. Happy sewing!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

And Then There Was An A-line Skirt

Once upon a time a sheet was hanging at a thrift store. That sheet did not know what it's purpose was any longer since it's partner was no longer around. In came a bright determined sewer who looked at that sheet and saw a skirt. Took a few dollars to to buy the sheet. She then brought it home and cared for its needs with a good hot washing and drying. Gently fold that sheet and placed it promptly in the sewing corner of the kitchen.
For weeks the dressmaker tried to figure out what to do with the sheet. Drawing pictures and looking through patterns to find just the perfect garment or two.
One cold and dreary spring.... Are we sure it was not still winter? No, spring weekend the sewist dreaming to become a designer decided to watch the Patternmaking Basics: The Shirt Slopper offered on Craftsy.  New inspiration began fluttering and and singing in her brain. Although this would be designer had a perfectly good skirt block made from her Surefit Designs Dress Kit she thought it would be great fun to see how she could change that pencil skirt (straight) into some thing new.
When it came time to work with the fabric she released she could not separate the sheet from her new friend, some pink broadcloth, and decide the broadcloth would be the perfect lining.  Other decisions went into the plan and inspiration began dancing in her head. The skirt no longer would be a straight skirt but and a-line for summer with in seam pockets.  So at last the day came and the button was sewn on. The happy seamstress looked at the creation and said yes this is good. Smiling as the sheet now skirt fluttered in the wind with all it's glory.

The magic of dart manipulation and adding volume. I've been reading about it in several books including  Patternmaking of Fashion Designers, and Make Your Own Dress Pattern. It was just the right time to take a new step. One of the things I have learned is that having several well fitting basic patterns is all you need to start designing more for yourself. A rather good wardrobe can be at your finger tips.  I will be sewing this skirt again. After a few more minor adjustments  I commit it to card stock like my initial pencil skirt I made earlier this year. I'm not sure what's up next on my sewing table but several Lutterloh tops have been calling. Happy sewing!

Update: My daughter tried on my skirt and it fit her perfectly. I decided to give it to her as one of her Mary Kay outfits. Here she is styling it.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Special Delivery

In the last few months the mail person has brought several well waited package to the door and none of them are fabric. Ok it's not just the mail person but the the amazon download monster too.
My sewing library seems to be getting bigger and betters as I stretch to go to the next level.
What is that level I'm not sure but I know it includes pattern making and new respect for fashion sketching and historical clothing.  The new titles that have made there way to my shelves are How Patterns Work by Assembil Books, The Complete Book of Sewing by Constance Talbot, Drawing Fashion by Bill Thames, Fashion Sketchbook by Bina Abling, Decorative Dressmaking by Sue Thompson, How To Design Your Own Clothes and Make Your Own Patterns by Claudia Ein,
Vintage Lingerie by Jill Salen, Pattern Cutting Made Easy by Gillian Holman, and last but not least Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph Armstrong. Trying to mind the budget it is so nice to find many of these titles used on Amazon.

Happy sewing until next time.