Friday, January 9, 2009

Missed but Not Forgotten!

I am contemplating whether or not to re-subscrive for Burda WOF. So, I decided to go through the 2008 issues and look-out for missed gems. Here is what I came up with:

02-121 Pleated pants.
I want to make a pair of cropped pleated pants in silk and this pattern is a good starting point:

04-101 Safari Dress
Love the flounce at the bottom:

04-113 Cargo Pants
I'd make them longer, so I could roll them up:

05-126 Jacket
I'd make it longer (high-hip or so); otherwise the design of the sleeves is really unique:

05-113 Shirt dress
It is not exactly that I missed this pattern, I just could not find the right slot buttons last year:

05-108 Tulip Skirt
Interestingly draped design:

06-105 - Shirt
Not completely sold on this one but with the right fabric it could be a winner:

08-111 Shirt Dress
If I only find the right print, this would be a lovely 4-season dress:

09-115 Shirt
Basic and fitted. Icould try it:

07-118 Sleeveless Tunic
I'm thinking of making this in a stable knit, perhaps with a colorblocked effect, or if it has two distinctive right sides, use both:
Well, the jury is still out on the re-subscribing, but at leat now I know that if I don't subscribe, there are pleanty of projects in the 2008 issues!
What are your omitted but "must-make" designs from the 2008 issues of Burda WOF?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My 2008 Non-Sewing Product Discoveries

Ok, so, this is still a sewing blog! I would typically not rave about products, unless I am absolutely consumed with belief that they are mention-worthy. It is penny-pinching time right now for many, so I think it is important to share about products that we have found to actually work.

Here are (in no specific order) my 2008 discoveries:


This is what their website says: “PHYTO drew inspiration from plants well before the emergence of environmental awareness. To this day, our family-owned Phytosolba Laboratories carefully select the plants with the most beneficial properties to use in each product. Our solutions boast extremely high concentrations of active botanical extracts with clinically proven results. PHYTO products are not tested on animals.”
I have never bought anything more expensive than Tresemme and Pantene for my hair. One reason – at this point my hair does not have any special needs. Recently though, I noticed that as my hair was getting longer, the ends were getting dry and brittle. My hairdresser suggested Phyto, in my case Phytonectar ultra nourishing oil treatment with egg yolk oil and Phytonectar ultra nourishing shampoo with orange blossom. I was pretty ambivalent at first because I tend to doubt more expensive hair products, however, since he has not given me a bad hair care advice yet, I gave it a shop. It has been amazing. I used to use a fair amount of styling products to infuse volume in my hair; now I don’t use anything but a shampoo and a conditioner. DD has very fine hair that gets incredibly static and tangles like crazy. I used the same products on her and the result is silky hair, no static, no tangles. I did the math… The Phyto line is by no means cheap, however, it goes a long way, provides amazing result and I don’t have to buy any other styling products! Additionally, due to me not using styling products, my hair now lasts 1-2 longer without me having to wash it!So, financially, it is a wash, but I love the effectiveness!
My MIL gave me a few to try and that was it! I buy veggies and fruit a lot and since I resent grocery shopping, I buy them in big packages. The Green Bags allow for my produce to stay fresh. I could not ask for more!

I have heard people talking about this line but have thought it was all hype and PR. Some time ago I took some samples from MB’s stand Nordstrom and was sold. My skin is combo/break-out prone and likes to create problems for me. I’ve tried many products – OTC, prescription-ointments, Murad. SkinMD, Proactive, you name it. Nothing had really worked, but my credit card company was happy. MB’s products are not cheap, however, they last really long time, you need very little product and are very effective. Here is what I use now:

I have also heard that people with rosacea sweat by his products.

I know there are plenty high-quality cosmetic brushes out there but, but the prices can prohibitively high. A new line called Ecotools is different. Ecotools are designed to be as ecologically friendly as possible. The products are made primarily of bamboo and synthetic bristles. The company donates some of the profits to sales to environmental groups around the world. What I like: very soft bristles, smooth makeup distribution, very affordable (unlike MAC). I absolutely LOVE their angle eye brush, it is the best! You can purchase Ecotools at WalgreensTarget, Ulta, and Ecotools has a store locator tool.

I am in love with the products I’ve tried, i.e. the Body Butter in Peach, Endless Glove Hand Cream, Flake Away Body Scrub, and Sugar Crush Body Scrub. They are effective, smell deliciously, and the packaging is witty. It doesn’t hurt that DH loves them too!
So, this is basically it! I am, of course, not affiliated with any of these retailers/brands. Just a consumer:)

Monday, January 5, 2009

High Waisted Pants and Jeans Refashioning

First, I want to thank everybody for your responses on my previous post. I have not decided what my spring-summer sewing plan would be; but there definitely would be a jumpsuit/pantsuit thrown in the mix, and I might do the Proenza Schouler top. As all of you, I love the Gianbatista Valli top, but don't know if I'd be able to drape it myself. I know Marita would be able to do it, she did so wonderfully with the Rick Owens one! Interestingly, economic crisis or not, the Mike and Chris Jumpsuit I posted a picture of sold everywhere immediately upon becoming available, prices at $280-290, mind you! Glad I can sew, is all I can say!
Anyway, here is what I have been working these days:
The story behind this project:

On a day-to-day basis I wear mostly pants or jeans. I buy all my jeans and sew 90% of my pants. This project is for a pair of slim high-waisted pants.

This time I did not have a specific inspiration piece to copy. I had the general idea in my head and some designer pieces, such as the ones below, helped solidify it:

EOS Dana Buckman viscose bottom-weight 4-way stretch fabric. I bought it in the end of September for $19/yd and it was a deal, for me at least, because it is extremely high quality. I have seen pants and leggings made of similar fabric starting at over $200. This fabric is currently sold out, however, if EOS gets it back in stock, I highly recommend it!

To the left is my sketch, I know it is primitive, my drawing skills aren't great!

I started off with a developed some time ago pant sloper and the facing pieces from Vogue 8425 (a high-waisted skirt I made). The pant leg was modified according to the knee and ankle circumference I was going for. Everything above the lower waist line was drafted using the Vogue pattern pieces as a guide.
Ultimately, I arrived at the final pattern, and luckily it only took me two muslins:
FYI: Burda WOF 8/2008 - 116 is a similar slim pant with corsetted waist.

Construction details:

Invisible zipper in the CB
Front crease line is edge stitched
Front dart was converged in the front crease line
Back darts are top-stitched
Waist facing is interfaced
Waist facing is boned at side seams, front crease lines, and back darts
Waist facing is anchored ( I used stitching in the respective seams) to the pant at side seams, back darts, CF and front crease line
Waist facing was sewn to the invisible zipper using Fasanella’s method.

I have not decided whether to put belt carriers or not. I am afraid that is I do, it would limit the width of belts I can use, so I'll see if belts stay put without carriers first.

I am planning on sewing another (completely different) pair of tailored pants, but before I start on them, I thought I should tackle a more immediate-satisfaction kind of project. So, inspired by the idea behind the Gwenevere Jeans by 7 For All Mankind, I refashion a pair of skinny jeans.

The refashioned jeans are Goldsign Frontier jeans (skinny jeans with 12” hem circumference), and I inserted a 7” brass jeans zipper in Navy at the bottom of the outseam. Although the zipper doesn’t serve any utilitarian function, it is completely functional. In the process I had to decrease the hem circumference from 12” to 10” and in order to do so the pant leg was tapered from about mid-calf to the hem.

Add ImageHere is a side view. Apparently, my little one was in the spirit of full disclosure, and felt you should see me rear part as well.
Details of construction:
Although I had some doubts in the beginning, I really like the end-result, it has some 80’ flair and the brass zipper adds interest to an otherwise basic pair of skinnies.