Monday, May 31, 2010

Cool Birthday stuff

It was my birthday this month, and for the first time I got some sewing-related gifts. YAY!

My co-parent's fiance got me a stack of workbasket magazines and an old McCall's sewing mag.

My daughter bought me a jar full of vintage notions from an antique mall. (She saw me notice them when we went there on Mother's day.)

My husband got me this great book:

Some great pictures:

My husband also got me this.

That would be a Rowenta steam iron. It produces more steam than I know what to do with.

My girlfriends grimace when I tell them I got a new iron. Little do they know how much I am going to love this little machine.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Simplicity 2451

After not sewing for 2 weeks, I went a little crazy yesterday and knocked out a new skirt. I have been wanting a kicky summer skirt that I could dress both up and down so I looked into my pattern collection and picked out this:

Simplicity 3251

The fabric is a lovely tweedy linen that I got at Gorgeous Fabrics. (They still have some and it is on sale, btw. Also in black and green.) I really really like this fabric. It was nice to work with and it just has a great hand.

The finished product!

I think this skirt will look great in a variety of situations. I love that is swingy and fun.

I did not read the instructions, because it is fairly straightforward pattern. I inserted an invisible zipper and a lining. (Neither of which is called for. I forgot that the front side piece has a section cut out for the pockets when cutting the lining, but I just added a little piece there later.)

Top of the skirt details:

The skirt fits really well except for the yoke part. I did not make a muslin of this skirt, but fit as I went along. I must have misfitted the yoke, because when I was finished, It was waaaaayyy too big. (And I thought the yoke was cut funny. If I make this again, I am going to completely redraft the yoke. Don't like it at all.) Rather than taking the entire thing apart, I just hand-seamed the yoke side seams more. No one will notice and I never tuck in my shirts anyway. Except for that one thing (and maybe the fact that my lining hem looks like I was drunk when I did it) I am pretty pleased with with this skirt. (For some reason, my linings never look as nice as the garment itself. I just need to learn how to manipulate that tricky polyester crap. My serger hates it too. And yes I know I could spend more and get higher quality lining. I'm not quite there yet in my mind.)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ladies Rock Camp in Seattle

Long time readers know that I am a camp counselor for Girl Rock! Seattle which is a non profit group that fosters leadership and self-esteem for girls 9-16 through music. The girls take up rock instrument instruction, form a band, write an original song, and perform a concert. In one week.

They are currently accepting applications for girls and volunteers for summer camp July 26 - 31. Please click HERE for more information. I cannot tell you how awesome this program is. I saw shy girls get up at the end of the week and rock out. Too Cool!

More exciting for the more adult aged ladies out there, is the announcement of our first Ladies Rock Camp. I went to ladies rock camp in Portland, OR this year and had a blast. Ladies Rock Camp is a fundraiser for the Girls Rock! Seattle program. Basically, it is the same program that the girls have, but condensed into 3 days (Fri-Sun). It's one of the best experiences of my life. At the camp I went to, the ages of the women ranged from 20s to 60s. There were even a few mother/daughter pairs there. Absolutely no experience is needed. This camp is for anyone who has ever wanted to be a rock star, hang out with cool women, or support music and leadership education for girls. (If you are from out of town and want to attend, we will help you find a host family to stay with if needed!)

Go HERE for more information and the application for Ladies Rock Camp in Seattle.

Here is some info from the website:

Ladies Rock Camp (LRC) is a weekend day camp in Seattle that serves as a fundraiser for Girls Rock! Seattle. LRC is an opportunity for ladies 19 and over to let loose for the weekend and play rockin' music together. You'll start to learn and/or practice your instrument of choice on Friday, then keep receiving instrument instruction all weekend. Meanwhile you'll also form a band and work together to write an original song you'll play on stage as a band on Sunday. The Ladies Rock Camp Showcase is an unbelievable experience! In the course of the weekend you'll also be offered a variety of workshops with topics related to being a lady rocker.

2010 Camp Details
Camp Dates: Friday, August 27- Sunday, August 29
Camp Venue: Theater Off Jackson, 409 7th Avenue South, Seattle, WA
Showcase Venue: TBA
Cost: $350

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hip Pad Pt.2 Dior

I've been a little obsessed with hip pads this week and have had some fun looking at dresses that have them on the Internet. (Most hip pad links are for cross dressers who want a more curvaceous figure. More power to them!) My favorites belonging to Dior of course. A lot of his early New Look clothing was very sculptural, and hip pads were just another tool in his arsenal.

(The images below are from the Metropolitan Museum of Art where they have other photos of some very beautiful Dior dresses. Drooling. Clicking on the images will make them bigger.)

"Chérie" dinner dress 1947

That hem is something like 13 1/2 yards. Hand hemmed.

"Bar" Suit and Jacket 1947

Long time readers will know that this is my favorite jacket ever.

"La Cigale" Dress 1952 - 53

Look at that thing. Crazy, no? I love it. That skirt is a masterpiece of engineering.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hip Pad Optional

During the BEST MOTHER'S DAY EVER, I managed to pick up this little number for $2.00 while at an antique mall with my daughter.

Vogue Special Design S-4821

I don't think I'd ever really wear this dress, but it is very very cool. From the description:

"Tucked Skirt with soft pleats at side fronts and side back, joins bodice at waist-line. Shaped collar, self fabric tie. Long fitted and very short sleeves. Hip pad optional."

It was the "hip pad optional" line that called to me. During the New Look period (1947 to 1957 for the Dior years) hip pads were often inserted into skirts to exaggerate the difference between hip and waist. (Sometimes a girdle/corset can use a little help.)

Here is how yoou would insert the hip pad into the dress: attached to an inner belt. I have installed an inner belt into a very full-skirted 50's dress to provide stability, but I have never attached anything to it before.

I wish this pattern had a better full on view, so I could see how the hips are exaggerated. Ah well.

Another thing I really like about this pattern is the instructions they give on possible alterations:

And for those who like it, here is the back of the envelope (clicking on any of the pictures will make them bigger):

Monday, May 10, 2010

Giveaway Winner

The winner of the Design-it-Yourself Clothes book is . . . wait for it . . . Angela! Angela has a great blog at So NGLaLALa. She just made the cutest jacket for her mom; you all should go and check it out!

Angela, please leave me your email in the comments section so I can contact you about where to send your fabulous prize! (I will be happy to delete it once I have it.)

In other news, I had the best Mother's Day ever! It was the first time my daughter has ever taken me out for lunch (now that she is 19, she's all mature and stuff), I got to lie in the hammock and read, and then went to a drive-in double feature. Life is good.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Skirt by Me!

Yay! I now have a skirt that was designed, drafted, and made by me!

Hands-in-pocket action shot:

Close-up of pocket:

This skirt was drafted using the methods describe in Metric Pattern Cutting by Winifred Aldrich. The fabric is an Amy Butler twill and it was a pleasure sewing with it.

Features of the skirt:
  • A- Line
  • 2" Facing at the waistline
  • 9" invisible zipper
  • Patch pockets (with top inserted into waistband and side inserted into side seam)
  • Really really good fit!

As you can tell from this view, I did not match the pattern at the seams, which is something I need to learn how to do.

I thought I would go into more depth on how I made this skirt, but I decided to wait for the next one so that I would have a better idea what I was doing. I already have a plan for the next iteration, so hopefully I will remember to take lots of pictures during the process.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Giveaway: Design-It-Yourself Clothes

If you have been reading this blog, you know that Design-It-Yourself Clothes by Cal Patch did not work for me. Different people have different styles of learning, and this is not mine. However, that doesn't mean that this book won't work for you. So, if you are interested in trying this book out, please leave a comment on this post before Friday, May 7th at 6:00 pm PST. I will, through random means, pick a winner and send them this book. I will send anywhere in the world (via the cheapest means and you assume responsibility for any duty fees.) I will announce the winner on Monday morning and let them know how to get a hold of me. (Please check back on Monday to see if you have won!)

Amazon reviews. Flickr group.