Saturday, June 20, 2009

Silk Pants and Top - ohhhhhhhhhh, the luxury....!

Soooo... I became an American citizen today! Exciting! About 30 people (including one refugee) from 23 countries were sworn today during the ceremony. I liked that it was a small ceremony (as opposed to a couple hundred people). It was touching actually and the lady who presided the ceremony was charmingly nervous. She said something that I thought was really worth mentioning. She said that her grandparents who arrived from Europe never talked to her (when she was a child) about why they chose to move, how they did it, what they had to go throught, etc. Then she added she really wished they had shared that with her. She went on addressing the people who were to be sworn to please share their stories with their children because it is important to know where you come from. DD (who is the only born in the USA in my family) got a flag, although what she was really eyeing were the balloons...

So, there!

Back to sewing. Back when I made my wool pleated pants I wrote I wanted to use the same pattern for a pair of silk bottoms. I used the same Burds WOF pattern , but omitted the back welt pockets. Why? Well, frankly, the hassle of making welt pockets on twitchy silk was not worth it.
The fabric I used is from my local Textile-o-Philes store. I used the silk to make the pockets and the binding too. I purchased the silk for the pants and the top together, I think they compliment each other so nicely!

Perhaps some of you might wonder how it was to sew pants from silk. It was not a piece of cake (definitely advanced intermediate level sewing skills necessary) but it was not bad either. I have one advise and I cannot stress enough how much following it helped me: thread-trace and baste! Since silk is so slippery, thread tracing helped keeping seams straight and avoided all the second-guessing. Basting helped prevent undoing seams, which with silk cam be desastrous. Also, on all visible from the right side seams I used Sulky 100% rayon thread. Due to the shine of the thread it blends well with the silk and the stitching does not become an unwanted "design element."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Silk Tank

This is a project I finished long time ago but did not photograph untillately.
It all started by me liking the new loosely cut tops, like the ones below from Alexander Wang and Rag and Bone (courtesy of and The cut is sexy in a subdued way.

I posted earlier that I intended to use Burda 7661 View B but then did not and drafted it by myself, copying the armhole of a tank I have. This is the muslin I made a few months ago:

Fabric: Floral silk charmeuse from my local fabric store Textile-o-Phile;jsessionid=9ADA420BB3C7982D88C538DCF692B430.qscstrfrnt01. The lining is also silk from the same store. I love the watercolor-ish print and the muted colors.
The top consists of essentially 2 tops, shell and lining, attacked at the armholes and neckline. That, of course, eliminated the need for facing.
The hem is finished with a narrow hem.

Somehow it took me two muslins but I ended up with something I was truly happy with.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

On Reliving the 80's - Strapless Jersey Jumpsuit

In the 80's I was a kid living in a communist country, so no, sort of the cold war, I did not get to experience that decade. My husband still finds it perplexing that I do not recognize bands/tunes/movies from that era, and I understand how a Westerner would find it difficult to comprehend what it was behind the Berlin wall, from a cultural perspective, that is. What I do remember though is the AWFUL hair and I hope that trend never gets resurrected.
Anyway, perhaps because I never got to truly experinece the 80's, I am now transfixed with some of the trends that reinterpret that decade, namely jumpsuits. If you think that it is hard to find RTW that fits, then it is three times that hard to find a fitting jumpsuit. Luckily, I can sew.
I was trying to find a photo of my inspiration piece and the website I saw it at is sold out, hence no photo. You can still see it here but the photographs really did not capture the details. What you won't see in the photos is a pretty cool drapey "Pattern Magic"-type design feature in the back. I have no ides how it was done and did not try to replicate it since it would have only been distinguishable if the piece was worn unbelted, which I did not intend to do.
The drafting was not hard, particularly since I have already drafted a jumpsuit couple of weeks before. The fullness at the chest and the length of the rise needed the most work/decisions. Once the pattern was made, the sewing part was a breeze, it took me couple of hours from cutting all the way through having it compeltely done.
I made it from a rayon jersey I got in the fall from EOS.

More photos:
(btw, it is very hard to photogrpah black, especially when you are doing it yourself, so pls excuse the not so great quality of the photos. I wanted to wait to DH who has aprofessional camera, but he is here only during the weekends and the weekends have been lacking sun recently.)


Notes on design features & construction:
  • strapless, pull-on style
  • pleated front and back
  • a pleat at the side seam overlapping from front to back
  • 1.5" elastic sewn to top and then turned under
  • reinforced front and back crotch
I am very happy with the was it turned out. It is actually better than I thought it would be! In summation - I LOVE it and hope to wear it a lot this summer!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Quick Update

I passed my Immigration Interview last Tuesday and my oath ceremony is this Saturday!
Thanks for all the good wishes!