Monday, April 15, 2013

Completed Project: Scout Woven Tee


I have nothing but enthusiastic RAVES for the Grainline Scout Woven Tee!  It's a fairly simple to make, super-flattering and an easy-to-wear design.  And well-worth shelling out $6.50 for!  For the front of the tee I used reclaimed fabric from a vintage 1970s floral print scarf.  

Yes - quell horreur! - I plead guilty to cutting up a perfectly fine and wearable vintage scarf, but it was put to good use, right?  And I have a confession - I have tons more of these oversized vintage scarfs in my stash just like this that I've stored up from my various thrifting adventures.  I find that, at $.50 cents to $2.00 each, they are an affordable fabric option for small projects like this and usually offer nice pops of color or unique design that's usually hard to find in modern fabric.             


Since I only had a small amount of scarf fabric for the front I opted for a matching rust-colored rayon challis for the back and the sleeves.  I found this fabric at a thrift store as well.  This tee is extremely comfy to wear I really love the swingy fit!  Although the floral scarf fabric is slightly sheer, I opted not to line it because I have a feeling this summer is going to be a hot one and I plan to wear this often!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Completed Project: Reconstructed Tom Hanks "2x Academy Award Winner" T-Shirt



This reconstructed t-shirt is definitely an in-joke amongst myself and a few of my friends.  I'm notoriously not a fan of the once-ubiquitous Tom Hanks, which my friend Scott insists is positively un-American.  So he made me this t-shirt to wear as a joke to he and his wife Cate's annual Academy Awards party in late February.  I believe the photo of Tom Hanks used here is from an episode of Saturday Night Live that he hosted in the late 1980s.





The original t-shirt was an oversized Hanes men's shirt so I decided to take it apart and reconstruct it into something a little more wearable. This is the pattern I used: Simplicity 9165 from 1989.




I thought the front overlapped detail was really cool and I had *barely* enough fabric to make it happen.




I zig-zag stitched around the the original iron-on printed fabric photo so it would stay in place.




Detail of the unique front-lapped design.




The original design didn't call for a center-back seam, but I had to utilize it due to a major lack of fabric!





I cut a size 10 and I usually wear a size 12.  Although the original design is cropped, the shirt is extremely cropped on me and (as pictured here) will require the use of a camisole of tank top underneath.  Not sure how often I'll wear it as I consider it to be pro-Tom Hanks propaganda and - well - I'm just not cool with that!  ;-)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

"Te Amo" - Look of the Day


My first post in about 3 months!  I hope to be able to do more of these "look of the day" posts.  You see, I work as a cook during the day and I kind of live for shedding my kitchen scrubs and dressing up every afternoon when I arrive home.  Plus, I suppose this will be the last time I will be able to wear a plaid wool skirt and grey over-the-knee socks and get away with it before the slight winter chill is gone and Spring is here for good.


None of my look is handmade, but the bias plaid skirt is definitely vintage 1970s.  Scored with an entire armful of similar skirts all at once during a lucky pitstop at the Goodwill in Black Mountain, NC last fall (and they all fit, too)!  The awesome "Te Amo" Han and Leia shirt was definitely love at first sight and is from We Love Fine which has nerdy t-shirts at decent prices and awesomesauce customer service too!  The skinny belt is from Banana Republic from, like, 13 years ago.  The combat boots by Espirit are just about as old.  You see, when you're poor you tend to make your things last....

Monday, December 10, 2012

Screen Caps from Cabaret - 1972

Cabaret - 1972 - Directed by Bob Fosse.  My favorite movie musical because it has such style, because it exudes a seedy, sinister, and decadent vibe and because the characters don't just break out into song and interrupt the flow of the story (all of the musical numbers are performed in the Kit Kat Klub).  As a teenager, I had a minor obsession with Joel Grey as the Emcee and with Liza Minnelli's eyelashes.  Here a few favorite stills that I've screen captured:








And on a minor sewing side note, I've managed to finish Vogue 8837 and I'm rather happy with the outcome.  The most difficult part for me is finding the time to take photos of my projects.  Hopefully I'll be able to snap a few tomorrow.  Next up is this BurdaStyle tie-front blouse!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Imminent Sewing Plans

Okay.  So I'm ready to stop neglecting this blog.  Really and truly.  Ready.  Here are a few visuals of the sewing projects that I've queued up:




I've fallen in love with these 1970s Annie Hall style high-waist, wide-leg pants.  Head-over-heels in love!  It's Vogue 8836.  Very difficult to tell from the scan, but I'll be using this heathered blue and brown woven suiting fabric to bring these to life (view B).



The Colette "Beignet" Skirt from this amazing vintage 1970s leaf and mushroom print twill fabric that I've had in my stash for, like, 10 years (!) now...'cause it's so awesome and I've been saving it for something special.  I know I'm probably the last seamstress on earth to tackle this, but better late than never!



I love the late 1950s Brigitte Bardot look of these high-waist, skinny leg knit pants.  Designed by Katherine Tilton for Vogue (V8837).  These have interesting seaming details that aren't even captured in the photo from the pattern envelope.  To be made using a heathered brown interlock knit.   



Another Colette Patterns Skirt - "Ginger."  Simple A-line design that will work well for this crazy busy 1980s splatter print twill fabric!



Tie-front blouse from the October 2010 issue of Burda Style Magazine (although I downloaded the pattern from their website).  I'll be using this slightly retro floral and vine print purple-hued cotton fabric !

I'm really looking forward to getting back into the sewing groove.  Now, off to decide which of these projects to tackle first.....

Friday, August 10, 2012

Projects in Progress

So the most prominent project in progress at the moment is a special quilt that I'm making for two of my dearest friends who are getting married in mid-October!  While I have the ability to do the piecing and quilt binding my faithful, but simple, Singer sewing machine won't quite do the trick for the actual quilting.  So I have until the end of August to finish the piecing, then I'm sending it off to an "expert" for the heavy-duty work.  I want to keep this a secret, so I can't show photos just yet!

In addition to the wedding in October, I'm also attending a wedding with my boyfriend in September, and I'm desperately in need of a cute and chic dress to wear to both of these!  This is where Chantilly from Colette patterns comes to the rescue!  I'm kind of late to the Colette patterns party.  And when I mean late, I mean mega-late......this will be my first time sewing a Colette pattern!



Since the design has a light and airy Spring/Summer feel to it, I will be using this lovely, autumn-hued crinkled chiffon which will be lined with a fabric that exactly matches the splashes of green in the print:


It's been a long while since I've sewn a dress for myself, so I'm really looking forward to this!  In addition to the Chantilly dress, I have started to plan my fall sewing projects.  I recently went on a bit of a pattern-buying binge, including the Scout Woven Tee, VioletGinger and Beignet from Colette patterns and the Betty High Waist Panties from Ohhh Lulu.  I have so much fabric in my stash that planning has actually been super-easy! 

Lastly, I also discovered a fantastic blog today - Clothes On Film - where the aim is to "examine costume and identity in movies."  Of recent note, there is an article about the costumes in Breakfast at Tiffany's and another about a new adaptation of Anna Karenina and a possible collaboration between the costume designer Jacqueline Durran and Banana Republic.    

Until next time......happy sewing!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Completed Project: McCall's 6387 - Rainbow Brite Dress



I have a confession to make:  I rarely have time to sew for myself, let alone for anyone else, so sewing things for other people usually falls very, very low on my list of priorities.  However, a couple weeks ago I found several amazing scraps of vintage 1980s Rainbow Brite fabric panels at a thrift store in Black Mountain for a mere .25 cents and my niece Ella's 3rd birthday is July 3rd, so the time finally presented itself for me to make her a dress!  

I used McCall's 6387, mainly because I was charmed by the little detachable "Heidi Style" apron.  Ironically, even though I purchased fabric for the apron, I ultimately decided not to construct it since it was going to partially obscure Rainbow Brite and her horse Starlite which is the main focal point of the dress.




The skirt of is made from rainbow multi-striped cotton quilting fabric which I lined with white cotton.  For the lower fabric ruffle, straps and bodice lining, I used an orange and pink toned batik.




From start to finish, I was able to construct the dress in about 4 hours.  It's a very simple design, but all of those gathers take an eternity!  Even though Ella has no idea who Rainbow Brite is, I think she will love the colors, ruffle and gathers.  Her parents, both children of the 1980s (like myself), will probably appreciate the nostalgic elements of it!