Friday, January 28, 2011

Las Vegas Little Black Dress

I have had a busy time this week with moving my sewing space, working, sewing for the girls and getting ready for a last minute business trip!

I needed a little black dress for dinner & cocktails during my trip so I decided to sew this black cotton bamboo dress.  I also needed a garment that can be folded and crammed in a suitcase as I always like to travel light with a carry-on suitcases for business trips. This was a another simple shift dress that I sewed by gathering the middle bodice for a better fit and detail.  I sewed most of the seams on my serger and I had no issues sewing the bamboo cotton fabric - it was a dream to sew with.  With this fabric I did not put in a zipper - I usually don't with jersey and bamboo so this dress was very easy to sew!

 I also serged this silver oh so soft shawl for cooler nights.  It is a knit fashion fabric that I got on sale!

I added the feather & beading trim by hand sewing.  It was time consuming because the thread kept getting caught in all the feathers & beads but I did this when I was watching my fave show Top Gear so it wasn't too bad.

I sewed this chiffon polka dot scarflette using my same pattern as my other ones. I think I have a hoodie
scarflette addiction. This will be my last one - for sure!  This one was entirely sewn on the serger ( a first) - I like the lines it gives the hoodie.  I always have problems sewing chiffon on my sewing machine it puckers so the serger was great!

When I wear it though, you can not tell from these pics because my hair is so dark.

When I knew what kind of trim I wanted - I searched 3 fabric stores until I found what I was looking for!  My daughter has asked me to sew a similar dress in white and I have started (a month ago) but I cannot find the white bead/ feather trims anywhere!  Her dress will have to wait or I will have to create my own trim!

 This will be my first business trip that I will be wearing clothes that I have made for my self!  I finally have a few garments that I feel are sewn correctly and look great!
My inspiration for this dress came from the Chanel Spring Collection 2011.  I love glamorous & glitz so this dress is perfect for Las Vegas!  The city  where I can wear my rhinestones during the day!!!

This is my Fashion Friday outfit this week. 

Have a spectacular weekend!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Snowball Dress

I now have several projects on the go right now - not quite completing them - does this happen to everyone else?  I am usually OCD in completing things so this is not normal for me.   Plus I am moving my sewing studio to a larger room so everything is in transition right now.  I am also trying out fabric I have never sewed with before so I guess this is a good enough excuse for not finishing them.  I did design this winter white dress making up my own simple shift pattern.  I used snow white anti-pill fleece for the fabric.  Yes, I know fleece!  I wanted a white dress and this is what I had in my stash!!  This dress is so comfortable & cosy!  I did end up cutting a bodice part and a skirt part for a proper fit.

For my snowball scarflette I used my same pattern as my Noir Scarflette.
I always pin before I sew - it really does help.

 The pom-poms were easy to sew on!

 I added pockets that I cut free hand and sewed the matching trim on.

For the bottom hem of my dress I hand sewed on these circle rings - a pain to hand sew but I love the look!

I also got the stunning scissor necklace and bold brooch from a consignment store called Unique & Trendy.  I met the owner and she was very friendly and helpful!   She has her jewelry brought in from L.A so it is refreshing to see new and unique pieces!  Her store is fabulously laid out and I could spend a lot of time in there just browsing!  She lots of glam & glitter with a modern edge to it.  It truly is a unique & trendy boutique!

I am starting a Fashion Friday post on my blog and I would love to see what readers of this blog are creating.  Send me an email with a fashion item you have created and I will feature it next week.

This is my Fashion Friday outfit!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snow Day Top

It snowed here a few days ago and mini-me had a snow day from school so I whipped up this top in the morning.  This is a top that I designed my self  with inspiration of a RTW top I saw.  I used my own measurements and copied the sleeves from a top I already have in my closet.
I like the fit but when I sew this again, I will make the neckline a little bigger.

I also think next time I set in the sleeves I will try a different technique and sew with the 2 piece bodice lying flat before I sew the side seams together.

I sewed without pulling this fabric so I would not have that lettuce effect on the material.
I used a warm & cosy knit material.  I think I will try & draft a pattern for this top as I really like it!  My Model (middle child) & girlfriends  thought I bought this top!

We had fun playing in the snow! It was all gone by that night though! That's Vancouver weather for you - snows one day & sunny the next - love it!
Pics by mini-me (future fashionista)! 

The straps are black stretch cotton and I serged the sleeves and hem. I must of taking this top off at least 10 times to get the straps to fit (that's with me taking measurements too) I really need a dress form!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Reflection

It has been a year since I started to sew my own clothes.  I had been away from sewing for about 10 years doing the mom thing, the wife thing and oh yeah go back my career thing.   When I was a stay at home mom and pregnant with my youngest (she is 12 this year) I was a a yard sale and saw this 1960's Singer sewing machine with most of the attachments, original manual and built in cabinet.  I had been wanting to sew and this seemed like the time to do it.  I tried out the machine and it worked so I bought it for $25.00 and also got a box of patterns and fabric.  I had not sewn since Grade 8 home economics but I thought I could teach myself.  I did learn and I had a computer back then but there was really nothing on sewing.  I sewed the usual - curtains, pillows, sachets, and I also mended clothes for my daughters but that was it.  Fast forward to December 2009 - I was looking for a dress to wear to a Christmas Party and could not find one that fit me properly.  I had been noticing too that the quality of garments being sold had also gone down, flimsy fabric, buttons that are too loose and the same style in most stores and nothing I liked.  So I thought... this year I am going to try and sew some skirts  & dresses.  I got my self a new Singer Precision on sale, watched the dvd it came with and delved into the Internet on how to sew.  

Mini-me was interested from the get go and together we sewed Mother Daughter skirts!
I did not use a pattern, just our measurements and my vague memory of sewing a skirt in high school.  

I then started reading how to sew books and started to sew a bubble dress for my Model.  Right from the beginning she was my dress form when I was teaching myself.  She stood there while I pinned and draped and hardly complained. lol!  She has that perfect body shape to sew clothes for.  That was then, now she runs when she sees me with fabric in hand!
It was not as easy as I thought to sew a dress and I used my seam ripper many times and it took me a long time to finish but she liked it & wore it!  I then sewed some skirts for Easter from the book Chic & Simple Sewing.

These skirts were worn all through spring and into the summer.
I sewed more projects but I will post them another time.  What I didn't expect when I started sewing my own clothes was that I did not purchase any new clothes for 2010.  That was just a side effect of sewing my own clothes, I did not need to buy anything new.  I already had enough jeans and pants and tank tops in my closet (I have not yet mastered that though I am staring to sew my own pj's so that is a start I guess).  I still buy shoes & purses because hey lets not go crazy here!  I love shoes!!!! I also like the creative outlet designing my own clothes has given me.  When I think of a design and start sewing it,  I feel great that I am doing something that I love to do!  I also did not expect to blog with  some real great seamstresses from all over the world.  When I started to blog last July, it was more of a diary to keep track of my projects & progress.  Then some real talented ladies started commenting and giving helpful advice through emails.  These are women who are truly creative seamstresses and have sewing their own clothes down to an art form.  I appreciate your kind and thoughtful comments and wish you happy sewing & designing and all the best in 2011!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful celebration to welcome 2011!  I have had this week off from work so I have been happily designing & sewing!  I sewed this outfit to wear on our New Year's Eve dinner.  This Snow White Cape is a white wool and I cut it longer and I lined the hood in aqua blue crepe satin and hand sewed the neck part of the lining to the back part of the cape.
 I also lined the front & back inside but I did have some problems with the lining(I used my seam ripper many times)!

It is not right as you can see from pictures so I will have to take apart & sew properly.  I ran out of time & wore as is to dinner.  I know now that I should of sewed the hood & body part of lining together first!

 For my top I found this colourful fabric at a great fabric store near the beach!  I will share more on the future posts about meeting the owner and all her fabulous sewing notions & fabrics!  I thought because this fabric was so bold that I would keep my design simple and sew a cowl top.
It is called a torn fabric with black lining and I sewed the sparkly black chain for the shoulder ties.
I sewed a ruffle waist tie from the same material.

The skirt is my own design and is cut straight.  It is made of black dupioni silk that I sewed with 2 layers and waist darts and side zipper.

Here is a rare picture of my elusive husband in the background!

It snowed here last night so it was a cold night but we had a great night celebrating with the family and good friends!