Friday, February 18, 2011

Sorry about the *cough* silence.. *hack, cough*

Yep, I'm sick. And the boyfriend is sick. He actually got sick first and is still way sicker than I am.
I *did* get a little sewing done the other day. The bodice of the galaxy dress fits like a dream but the raised waist is really unflattering, so I'm going to lower it back down to 1" below my actual waist. But now the skirt doesn't fit! What is with Vogue and their crazy curvy side seams?!?!

this is me:

I have a 30" waist and 40" hips, but aaaaalll that hip measurement is pretty much back in the "trunk," so to speak. Not on the sides.

From the front: Straight up and down. From the side? Badonkadonk.

So here's my plan:

I'm either going to straighten up the side seams and deepen the darts, OR, use my skirt block.

Is anyone else (meaning my two readers) noticing that this is about 5% a Vogue pattern and 95% alterations now?

I'm still glad I bought the pattern though, I didn't want to draft those sleeves.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Good Grief

Suffice it to say, I'm having some fitting problems. In fact, after making all the alterations you see here, I *still* had a bunch of gaping above the bust. So I said, "screw it" and started tracing the pattern for re-drafting.

WOW, I think I might see why this dress isn't fitting right out of the envelope. I mean, dayamn. The waist and the bust points, to start, are in the wrong places. And that's just what I realized right away. I compared the traced pattern to my two-dart block.. at the end of this I had better have one sexy dress.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Galaxy dress progress

Last night I started sewing up a mock-up of Vogue 8280.  Besides the fact that it fits nowhere on me except the waist, there are a few things I want to tweak around the neckline.  I want to make it a little less rounded, but I think what's keeping it from looking like the real thing is the sleeves.

I thought the pattern directions were a little unclear, so I tried folding the pleats a few different ways:

So far the third one is my favorite.  Still, it doesn't look like the famous dress:
..Which seems to have a "W" shape to the pleats.  So I'll try again tonight when I get home.

And here, you get a bonus picture of my re-introduction to sewing.. while watching What Not to Wear:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Missed opportunities

I'd like this blog to be full of project photos and finished products.  I don't want this to be a private journal, but I saw something today that I felt like I had to talk about here.

In 2008 I went to an interview for an internship in New York.  One of my very good friends made the trip with me.  I had nowhere to stay, a laptop bag with my computer and portfolio, and a suitcase with my interview clothes and shoes in it.  When I got there I felt like a bumpkin: frozen, red, wet and loaded with baggage, but on time for my interview.  The next day they hired me for the summer.

I was ecstatic.  I saw this designer in In Style magazine and tore out the page.  I pulled it for inspiration because I just liked the outfit, but I fell in love with her aesthetic.  I got to spend a summer working with her design team and felt like I was really accomplishing something... Until little by little I felt like I was fumbling my opportunities there.

I kept saying the wrong thing, I got confused by things I had missed because I worked every other day.  I stayed in four different places that summer so I was always moving.  I tried to be proactive and asked for more days, but I felt like the design director didn't like me.  I rarely saw the designer herself, she spent nearly all of her time working with the designers with vendors with the company that was looking to invest in her, and the one time I got to talk to her, she walked in and I was looking at a magazine.  I must have seemed like the lazy intern.

At the end of the internship, I was asked to go get some bleach and make patterns on a knit blend purple fabric out on the fire escape.  The director liked what I was doing so that became my 'job' for a couple of weeks.  I started to miss more announcements, I forgot things, I left early because I didn't know we had been asked to stay late.  What a horrible impression to make during such an important time.  But I had my little project, and every once in a while another intern was sent out to the loading dock with me to work on it too.

I left my internship, later asked for a reference and haven't heard from them since.

I beat myself up about the internship because I've never gone back to New York to get a job.  But today was worse, because I saw the print on a famous model today on a fashion blog that I read.  The designer I worked for is getting more and more successful, as I knew she would, but seeing her dresses on Oprah and the first lady never bothered me as much as seeing the print I worked on out at a red carpet event.

I keep thinking, should I be there?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pattern crazy

Butterick, Vogue and McCall's had some major sales on sewing patterns today and I practically cleaned them out!  It's easy not to feel guilty about adding to the pile of patterns in my collection when they're under $4 a piece, even though I haven't sewn in months.

My loot:

I had originally decided against this one because of the high neckline and almost cap sleeves.  high necklines just make me look big up top and I don't need the help.  And cap sleeves don't do my arms any favors.  But I was seduced by the open back.  With the twist at the top, I can lower the front neckline all I want without worrying about the shoulders of my dress slipping off.

This one caught my eye but didn't impress me first (my first impressions kind of suck, don't they?)  UNTIL I saw Gertie conceiving of a dress for a black-tie function.  It wasn't until then that I saw the real potential for the adorable detail in this dress.  And who isn't flattered by a pencil skirt and natural waist?  Well I don't want to know who, because I am.

I'll admit, this is one of those patterns I look at again and again because I like the styling of the photographs and the fabric choices for the modeled garments.  NOT the most important factors to consider when choosing a sewing pattern, but at $4 I let myself make the impulse buy.  Plus I'm loving blousy tops right now.

This is where I get my revenge for being too old to go to prom anymore.  Because I'm going to make this.. for [Goth] Prom!  Yes, there's a Goth Prom.  Yes, I will be there.

Does anyone else remember when this one came out?  It's the first time I remember being really impressed with the merchandising of Vogue's pattern books.  All of a sudden there were these fabulous formal gowns in BRIGHT colors, like parrot dresses!  And now it's mine.

The Galaxy dress.  
So many sewers have done this that I think it needs no introduction except to say that I've talked myself out of buying this pattern many times.  On the one hand, I should hate that it's a knock off of a designer dress.  On the other, it's a simple pattern I could (and should) draft myself.  But did I mention how long it's been since I've sewn anything?  I think it's safe to say that a finished project will be a lot more likely if I purchase the pattern.  Baby steps!

Let's just say this one's been a long time coming

Two simple designs made more interesting by a small detail.  I'd like to claim that I don't wear jeans and some variation of a knit top or tee every single day, but that would be a dirty, dirty lie.
I can't have too many tops for summer, when working on computers it's easy to slide into frumpy from "comfortable," so I grabbed a couple patterns to use on the growing pile of knit jersey in a space bag in my sewing room.

A name! I have one

I can't describe how frustrating it is to name a blog right now.  Every time I thought of something kitchy and sew-appropriate, it was taken. Eventually I just started typing them in to my browser to see just who had taken my name from me.. just to find they haven't made an entry in 5 or 6 years!  Not fair!