Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Work on the Sewing Workshop Tosca Dress

I got back up to the sewing room today, finished my alterations, then traced the pattern pieces onto vellum tracing paper.    I compared the armhole depth and the finished length to one of my sleeveless dresses.   The front dress pattern piece is the full front with a grain line marked from top to bottom at center front.

The armholes on the front are OK -- the back ones were much deeper.    So I folded out the depth at the back and not the front.

The length of the side seams was folded out to match.    I then trued up the lines and traced the altered pattern.  Here are the pattern pieced taped to my mirror frame with trusty Frogtape so the vellum doesn't crease.

 The only facing requiring alteration was the back armhole facing so I just drew a new one using the altered back pattern piece.    I had already traced the others onto pattern ease over the weekend.

I plan on sewing up a wearable muslin in this Ikea cotton print before cutting the silk twill.  

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bits & Pieces of Inspiration and Progress

Thanks to everyone for the complements on my latest Ikina Jacket!  I found this ETRO jacket with a real mink collar on eBay  styled much like mine.   Take a look at the large photos to see how they pieced the silk-embroidered pieces in what looks like a log-cabin quilt pattern - interesting if you want to play with your embroidery machine and do some fashion quilting.    As many of you know,  I'm always on the lookout for great inspiration and there are photos of more ways to do a swing style jacket with front bands like this in this Snoop Shopping Set on my Flickr photos,  including more ETRO jackets.

I worked on the alterations for my Tosca dress yesterday.   Since the original length of 46 inches in that style dress doesn't work for me at  5'5", I must shorten it by ten inches.  The lengthen/shorten line on this pattern is right around the bustline but if one folds ten inches out there, it messes up the side seam lines.  I also need to adjust the armholes that are way to low.    I gave up and e-mailed Linda Lee to ask her advice about it and she suggested folding out smaller amounts in various places and then re-draw the side line.  Linda also told me they posted photos of my Ikina Jacket on the Sewing Workshop Facebook Page

I got an e-mail today from Louise Cutting who said she was busy with processing and mailing to those on her pattern auto-ship list her new '2 X 4' Pattern for 2 tops with several variations.    So the wait is almost over for that highly anticipated pattern!   Here's what she said about my Ikina, "Your jacket looks wonderful. The Chanel way of sewing takes a long time...I used to teach it in the store and we did a jacket over 5 weeks at one full day a week...there was so much homework for them to do.....  I still see some at expos and everyone says they still have their jacket and still wear it!"

Louise had done some snoop shopping at Neiman's in Boca Raton, and was excited about a vest with a beautiful front drape that inspired a modification to her Anything But Ordinary jacket pattern, eliminating the sleeves.  She said that she is going to make up one to show that option for her constantly updated  'I love you to death, now change'  class that she teaches with variations on the patterns.   I told her that wanted to make a faux Persian lamb vest that will work over one of her tops from the forthcoming pattern and this mod might be just the style.

Here's a full length photo of the Textile Studio Basic dress with the Ikina Jacket.   I thought about shortening the dress, but the knit drapes so nice, and I think it's just fine for fall/winter.   I wore it with another jacket Thursday night to a Christmas party and got many complements on the dress from women and many of the young men!    The shoes aren't Terri's typical shoes but these are Alegria Paloma shoes that were recommended by my physical therapist.   I can't wear shoes with heels and flat slip-ons come off my feet - very dangerous.  These have a flat sole and the straps with velcro that secure them to my feet.  Hey if I have to wear shoes like this they might as well be fun and interesting!    One of my DAR friends loaned me her cane and a fancy walker.  We picked them up Friday.  I hate to have to use these things, but after falling down several times in different places over the last week,  this is necessary.   Even with the assistance of the therapist,  I crumpled at my ankles and feet on the pool deck at the therapy pool bruising myself up.   I thought I broke my little finger last week after falling here at home, but it just hurt a lot.

In closing,  I want to thank everyone who has e-mailed, called, posted and given me good wishes and moral support.  Attitude is everything!  I hope everyone is persevering with your own lives and situations this time of year.    "Happy holidays" is certainly what you make of them.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Do you like it?

Showing cuffs rolled back
Here's me wearing the new jacket over my ten year old knit boucle dress from the Textile Studio Basic Dress pattern.  I designed the cross-over petal collar on this dress that is still stylish after a decade!   I got my hair done yesterday for first time since getting sick.   It looks so much better,  but what you can't see is that I am leaning against that post behind me because my knees and ankles don't function correctly and my leg muscles are so weak from not being able to use them properly over these past months.  That combined with the numbness in my legs and feet seriously affects my balance.   

Showing quilted lining
Fax fur cuffs are full width here
The blog count says lots of people are looking at my blog.   I got an e-mail from Linda Lee, the owner of the Sewing Workshop who said she loved this Ikina and that she can't wait to see the Tosca Dress.   I highly recommend their auto-ship program for new patterns at a great discount and free shipping.   If one of the styles doesn't suit you, you can opt out of that one.   I've known Linda for several years, and she is a very busy lady,  so it was so nice of her to take the time to e-mail me about this special project.   

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Faux fur trimmed SW Ikina Jacket is finished

Using a combination of hand and machine sewing, and some steam a seam to secure the faux fur trim inside collar band, the jacket is finished.   Although I had days when I was too exhausted to sew, and I have difficulty with sensation in my fingers and have to lean on something to stand at the ironing board to press,  I persevered and made progress a little at a time.   When I do a channel quilted lining again,  I wil NOT,  and do NOT recommend cutting rectangles of lining and quilting them to the jacket fronts and backs as I did this one.   It is too much of a kludge because you end up with a lot of trimming; have to hand stitch the shoulder and side seams and it is difficult to attach the sleeve lining after the fronts and back is quilted.   The real Chanel jacket lining (see the Flickr photo set) was cut a bit larger to accommodate the quilting, assembled, inserted into the jacket, and then quilted in strategic places on the fronts and back - nothing on the sleeves.    Do it that way.

This soft, pliable mocha faux fur looks the same whatever the direction,  is easy to work with and very forgiving.  While cutting I had to keep my Dyson hand vacuum cleaner handy since the fibers get all over the place!  

The jacket is cozy, flattering and works with many things in my wardrobe - very important to me as you all know!   Next project on the cutting table is the new Sewing Workshop Tosca Dress using the same silk twill that I used to line the jacket, shortened ten inches without the pockets.    I'll post photos of me wearing this jacket soon.   The jacket and Tosca dress will be a great holiday ensemble.   More photos on my Couture SW Ikina Jacket Flickr Set

Open to show lining
Detail of inside front band and lining

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ready for Faux Fur Trim

I finished attaching the sleeve linings today.   I finished all the quilting and trimming and hand sewing the lining shoulders and side seams together a couple of days ago.    Lining is hard for me to work with since my sensory abilities are still messed up and lining doesn't have as much texture as the tweed.

All that is left to do is to sew the faux fur collar and cuffs on.   I haven't decided whether to put it at the hem as well, but it's very soft and pliable on a knit backing, so that would be simple to do.  I uploaded a number of photos of the work in progress to this Flickr set.   I'm much too tired for an elaborate post linking photos today so you can see what I've been up to there.

There are so many different options on the blogger.   I must have clicked the wrong button and disabled the ability to leave a comment.   You should be able to leave a comment now.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Couture Sewing Workshop Ikina jacket

I'm working on another Sewing Workshop Ikina jacket I cut out last summer from this Chanel Linton Tweed.   Since the dexterity in my fingers has improved I basted a silk twill lining to the fabric yesterday. 

I will then channel quilt the lining to the tweed as in these samples - note that you cannot see the channel quilting on the tweed side in the second photo.   The colors are most accurate in these two photos.   The dusty brown of the faux fur works well with the dark brown in the tweed.

 I got the fabric as a remnant at Fabrics Unlimited in Arlington, VA years ago but didn't have enough for a typical short jacket.     By eliminating the deep hems, I cut out the sleeves, fronts and back .    I plan on using this soft faux fur for the collar band and sleeve cuffs. 

I will stitch the shoulder seams of the fabric and lining separately.  I won't have to do anything to the edges of where the collar and sleeve cuffs will be applied.  I intend to fold under both lining and tweed at the hem and hand stitch.

Where there is a will there is a way

I managed to cut out and sew up this Vogue tunic top using a Ponte Roma knit from Hancock Fabrics.   I hadn't sewn a Vogue pattern for a long time and thought this would make a basic top I could layer -- but I think the high collar makes me look like George Jetson.   Not sure I'll made another without lowering the collar,  but it works under this interesting Anthropologie sweater jacket I scored on eBay this month.   Those are Loes Hinse Euro pants I sewed a while back using an elegant pinstripe Armani wool from Louise Cutting.   

Vogue Pattern 8616 view A
Tunic under wool knit jacket

I rejoice in the tiny improvements that say normal is slowly returning.    On Monday I actually cleaned my downstairs bathroom myself !   Yes,  I'm actually happy to be able to do housecleaning!   I am now able to walk without falling down due to returned flexibility in my feet - vs walking on table legs that wouldn't flex.   I still have no sensation or reflexes, but that will come.    I have improved dexterity in my fingers but everything feels like sand.   Everything I do takes much more effort than normal so I have to stop and rest often.    I may be handicapped but I'm going to look good!

My husband and I spent the weekend before Thanksgiving in Charleston, SC.  Since I can't walk far, it wasn't the same as our previous visits since we love to spend hours walking through the old streets and the shops. We had a nice time and it was good to get away and enjoy the local cuisine.   My son and his GF bought themselves two tiny Pomeranian pups, Bonnie and Clyde, who are smaller than the chinchillas.   I have to be careful not to step on them since my balance isn't so great.   

It is extremely difficult and depressing to deal with Guillain–BarrĂ© syndrome.  So how special to be bullied online by a bunch of grown-up mean girls who serially retaliate against anyone with an opinion somebody doesn't like.   Behaving like a high school clique, they congratulated one another with adoring praise afterward, then playing that old "do as I say but not as I do" game,  eagerly trashed out businesses who did something to irritate them.    Ah, look at all the lonely people who don't get enough attention at home trying so hard to get it online....  Here's some good advice:  if you don't want anybody to know all about your "life",  then don't post every detail of it online!   Just as I don't return to businesses whose owners treat me poorly,  I don't patronize sites that allow bullying.   Educate yourself about bullying and those who enable and go along with them at http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/serial.htm

If you want to see stylish fashion, read my blog.   If your "thing" is to dress like your six year old, like Miley Cyrus,  or sew frumpy, dowdy stuff that looks like it came from the thrift store,  this isn't the place for you.  If you don't like what I say,  go whine and play someplace else.