Friday, August 15, 2008

My sewing plan for September'08 - March'09

I am starting school this coming week, my daughter starts gymnastics and dance, I'd like to throw in some skiing in our winter plans, and we are also going to be away for a few days in September and 2 weeks in November. With other words, it appears that the fall and winter are going to be rather intense and this will inevitably affect my sewing/crafting.

BTW, speaking of dance...brag time! This is my daugher during her dance class:

I think that, hands down, she is my best creation ever!

With the busy schedule in mind, I decided to make a "rough draft" type of plan of what I really want to make during the cold months. It includes mostly unstructyred fluid pieces since I doubt I'll have time for involved tailoring.

1. I'd like to make a drapey cashmere or cashmere-blend coat based on BWOF 10/2007-101 pattern, sans the fur cuffs and possibly, the collar will be a side neck tie a la a 3.1 Philip Lim coat from his 2007 or 2006 collection. I am thinking either woven or appropriate knit.

2. A sweater coat with simple raglan sleeves and straight lines or possibly inspired by this Marni coat:
3. A sweater dress. I really like this dress by Jovovich-Hawk and am thinking of doinf something similar.
You cannot tell from the photo, but the turtleneck is so big that it can be used as a hood!
4. A jersey dress a la :
a) this Halston (it has a deeper V-neck in the back and the side seams are weighted in order to allow the drape):
b) this Bi La Li bubble dress:
5. I have to finish my BWOF jumper I posted earlier this week about.

6. Knock-off a top by a label called Alldressedup. BTW, their collection amazes me. It show draping in a completely new (almost origami-like) light and at the same time very modern and clean. Check it out if you are interested at The top I want to recreate is this one and it is going to be a challenge but a good one:
6. Knitted accessories:
I am not a knitter but can knit VERY basic stuff like scarfs, ponchos, wraps. I am really fascinated by some designer accessories, such as these:
a) Michael Kors Snood (essentially an oversized cable-knit turtleneck knitted in the round):

b)DKNY Infinity scarf (a scarf which two ends are sewn together):

c)See by Chloe Hooded Scarf:

For this one I will need my MIL's help but can definitely do it.
So, I am interested in your imput. What do you think? Have you seen something similar to my inspiration pieces that you could point out or hint at a pattern I can use? Any input will be appreaciated!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Draped Asymmetrical Top Inspired Obakki and the Slapdash Sewist

I saw this top in the latest issue of Lucky and looked it up online ( I liked the casual cool about it and the asymmetrical, yet sophisticated drape.
I started by drawing down the shape of one of my favorite tank tops that are not tight but skim the body instead. Then I added the drape and cut my 1st muslin. This muslin proved a need for a cowlneck adjustment and I cut the 2nd muslin. I used the 2nd muslin to establish the bottom hem and the precise lines of the right armhole. The 3rd and final muslin (on the photo) had all things figured out plus the bias established, but something was still missing… It was just like my inspiration but I did not like it because it was too geometrical and did not gel with my personality, if that makes sense. It was then when I remembered a cool detail that the Slapdash Sewist had added to a dress of hers (see here:, i.e. a twisted shoulder detail. So, I added some length to the right shoulder seam and twisted. I liked it and went with it.
There was the question about finishing the neckline and the armholes. I wanted something as clean and unobtrusive as possible, so I went with facing. The thing about this particular facing is that it is cut with the garment, as one pattern piece. Essentially there are only 2 pattern pieces to this top – a back and a front with the back and front facings incorporated in them. The draped left “armhole” is where the facing extends from the front/back. It worked because a/the top is cut on a bias and b/because the fabric is oh so soft and between light- and tissue weight.

Actual garment:
Fabric: Lightweight rayon jersey in black from
No interfacing and/or stabilizing, however, the facing is understitched to the seam it faces.
The draped left “armhole” is not pressed at the crease, rather, left soft.
The garment was left to hang overnight (but did not stretch) and only then the bottom hem was finished with a 1 ¾” narrow coverstitch.
The bottom edge of the facing is left unfinished, just pinked.
Finishing touches:
I wanted to add a waist-cinching option, just in case I wanted to wear it that way. It did take me some time to decide on how to do the belt since I only knew I wanted to mix up the knit fabric with some different texture. I ended up weaving the fabric with organza ribbon, tying knots and adding some plastic beads. When wrapped around the waist the top has more of a dressed up-eveningwear look.
For a more everyday look I took some large very dark irregularly shaped beads and made a choker (first time beading and it was fun).

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Burda WOF 09-2007-121 Jumper: Review Based on my Muslin

I still don’t know if I am going to make this jumper, it would depend largely on whether I find the right fabrics (read towards the end).

Regardless, I made and fitted my muslin:

and this is the magazine photo:

Here are my findings (FYI, I am size 34 at the hips, 36 at the waist and 38 at the bust and 5”4” and I cut the pattern appropriately):

- spot on at the bust
- too big in the waist: I took in close to 3.5” from the circumference at the top of the band and about 3” at the bottom of the band. This I find to be typical of Burda WOF – too much wearing ease at the waist.
- very slightly larger in the hips: took in about an 1” from the circumference
- the bodice piece was spot on lengthwise
- the skirt piece was 1.5” too long (as expected)

I read all the reviews on PR (and there are many reviews for this jumper) and noone seems to have been displeases with the pleat in the back skirt, therefore, my observation may be the “just me” kind. Anyway, when I pleated the back skirt as the pattern indicated, I ended up with too poofs right at my derriere, and they were not the right kind of poofs either. I tried several different alternative ways of pleating, including completely removing the pleat (which might work if your rear part is fairly flat) and the best I managed to end up with was two pleats: the first is 1.5” deep and positioned 1” from the CB. The 2nd is placed 2” away from the first and is 1.25” deep. Both are pleated towards the CB.

The instructions suggest cutting the front bodice on fold, with the fold being the straight grain. Well, I just don’t see how this is going to make that edge stable and it is a neckline edge. I think you would need to cut 4 front pieces, sew at the neckline and understitch. Also, If I do the jumper, I’ll cut the front and back bodice lining pieces 1/8” smaller all the way around, so that armsye and neckline seam won’t be visible (hope this makes sense).

Well, this one I think is tricky if you are doing a fall-appropriate garment. Weight of the fabric: I think, if 1 is tissue-weight and 10 mid-weight, one should aim for fabric with weight coefficient of 7-8. Otherwise, IMO, there would be a lot of bulk at the seams that connect the bodice to the band and the band to the skirt. Secondly, since at least I wear tights in fall, the skirt part of the dress MUST be either lined with some stretch lining that does not cling or worn with a slip under, one made also from some stretch lining that does not cling. Of course, if you are making a summer jumper (to be worn with a cami), this would be a nonissue.