Holly, Holly, Holly

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There’s a ton of beautiful Holly Jumpsuits on the web, but I had yet to see someone make up the pants. That was until I saw Jo’s pair, who inspired me to make my own. Usually before cutting into fabric, I like to peruse the net to see how it looks on other folks and then kind of weigh in if I’ll make it or not. Like Murphy’s law of muslins.. whenever I do one it turns out that I didn’t have to un the first place. To be on the safe side, since I was cutting into silk wool, I made a quick size 4 muslin shorts to gauge the crotch depth.

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Construction wise there’s not much to say. Two pleats in the back and an invisible zipper with tiny waistband, made the pants easy from start to finish. I have no idea how long it took, since they were done ages ago but it was in one sitting.

I decided to show off different kind of looks using the Holly pants, since they’re obviously meant to dress up and down and whatever in between.

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My first look is a little more laid back and 90’s ish with my crop top and slip on vans. The second look would be more business casual, and the third is a little bit more experimenting with color and textures, since I paired it with a chunky sweater and platforms, and accentuated it with a green belt.

 

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Sisterhood of Traveling Fabric & other updates

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A lack of posting between my last entry and this one would lead anyone to believe that I’ve been rather lazy, which is somewhat true. There’s not much going on sewing wise because I haven’t made anything post worthy and the weather hasn’t cooperated for me to photograph whatever has been made. However, I have been given a really great opportunity that has kept me both busy and freaking the eff out. I was asked to volunteer to the assistant Director/Producer of Brooklyn Fashion Week for S/S 15 which is happening in spring. It’s entirely exciting, because ever since I saw Kell on Earth, I’ve been dreaming about what exactly goes on production wise to put together a fashion show. I’ll be helping oversee everything from model calls, assigning models and stylists to each designer. The even bigger excitement is that the Producer has given me a spot to show a small collection for the September show! Even though the looks are only 10-12 max, there’s so much work I have to do, and I’m trying not to freak out! ha!

I’ve narrowed down my story and inspiration, but I’m still researching color scheme, fabrics, and trends. Trend forecasting is probably the hardest thing I have to do, given that we’re talking about showcasing in September what will in style for spring/summer of 2016 (eep!) Regardless, it’s a tremendous opportunity which I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. That said, it may mean that I may go off the grid or post a little less than usual, but I may decide to document my process on my blog as well.

On to the name of this post. For a while now, I’ve been trading fabrics with some wonderful people. It started with Maddie and the plaid I turned into a Mcqueen inspired skirt, and then Jen of course enticed me with Lamè (of course she would, she’s fabulous like that), and of course my lovely Jo sent over such lovely fabrics from across the pond. A few people have asked me, what is this sisterhood of fabric that I had been posting on my instagram, and how they could also be sisters as well.

There’s really no rules, well just one. You find yourself a sister, and then mail each other fabrics with the promise of not hoarding it and making something as equally as wonderful as the person that sent it to you. You can team up with anyone on my comments section or choose someone you’ve been wanting to get to know.. No deadlines, no fuss. Basically how I like to get my ish done. If you’re feeling extra fancy I made a little banner thingy that you can either save or embed on your sidebar and be a part of the sisterhood. Once your goods arrive, tag your stuff with #sisterhoodoffabrics so we can all indulge in your goods.

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Bra Making with Madalynne

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Most overdue post probably but ¯\_(?)_/¯. Kate & Roses probably articulated the experience better than I could ever, and also let us all know that making a bra can be a feminist act. I struggle with my feminism so there’s that.. struggle in the sense of details but not the overall sense of it. Going on a tangent here, this week we had a shit ton of snow, and lo and behold my landlord was in Cali, which meant I was stuck shoveling snow. The contractor working on the building next door offered to shovel my front stoop since I was struggling. I oscillated between “No, I can do this it’s ok” to “What a kind and generous offer, please help”. </rant> 005 028110

I had bought demystifying bra fitting and construction way back when it was only offered as a PDF because I knew sooner or later I was going to dip my toes into making undergarments. The book was great, however I knew I would need a visual in construction steps. Obviously if I truly wanted to I wouldve been able to figure it out on my own (with a lot of cursing and tossing shit around of course). Going back and forth between emails with Maddie, she had mentioned way before announcing her workshop what she had in mind. It was Christmas, so I gave myself the workshop as a gift. The week right before the class we had a snow storm and I had to assure Lauren that I’d rent a snowmobile if need be. or ride my Tauntaun

 

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I took the bus to Philly with Jen from @ohhellodollface whom I was dying to meet even though we live in the same city, ha! The taxi tried to play us taking the longest route ever until I got upset and told him to leave us 5 mins away and we’d walk.

Anecdotes aside, let’s discuss what you came to read. All my life I grew up wishing I had my mom’s touch to decorate things nicely. The lady goes all out taking christmas trees, ornaments, 2ft santa dolls, etc. I mean I can’t even be bothered to serve alcohol in anything other than red cups when I host parties. If my mom made me jealous, Maddie had my jaw drop. So imagine her blog aesthetics times 54542643863896360436. Everything was thought out and anticipated for in advance. There was a breakfast corner stocked with coffee, juice, the works. The studio had big windows so everything was lit nicely. I know some people would rather have a no frills lesson with none of the extras included, but I was really happy with everything. Plus have you seen me eat/drink? I’ll school you.

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Once the class was over Maddie had expressed how nervous she was, but she did a good job at hiding it. The class was for construction and not fit, which again was fine by me since I just wanted to learn steps and pieces and constructions, and also hang out with other women who love to sew. Supplies were included: rotary cutter, fabrics, notions, pre-cut patterns, as well as printed copy of the pattern in cardstock paper. Maddie was thorough in explaining the different parts of a bra and construction. The class was setup in similar fashion to other classes I’ve taken at FIT where the teacher talks, demos and has us watch and then we go at our own pace.

Tricks like temporary fusing lining and fabric saved us time, as well as how wide our stitches should be, because that wouldve taken me personally a few tries to get. We took a few breaks to eat, which by the way was delicious. I was wearing one of those waist belts that I had to put away for a bit cause yeah. We all sat at the table eating and talking to each other which was awesomesauce, cause there was no sort of clique thing where people go on their own. I had to take advantage of the photo booth because I’m a clown and will jump on the chance of making a fool of myself. There was a taxidermied wolf that I really wanted to hardstyle with but nah. I groped the mannequin instead.

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Back to bras.. I was so fucking esctatic to see my bra coming together as one of the pictures captured. You see.. everything for me is looked at in an analytical form. Sewing to me are like puzzle pieces that at first Im like how will this work and then it’s like OHHHHH SHIEETTTT. My advice however is to place all the cut fabric pieces on top of the pattern piece laid out as if it were constructed. It makes it easier to know which ends to sew and you don’t end up sewing something wrong with the lightening stitch, like I did. Much to my surprise we finished the bra in the time slot. At first some of the women were hesitant to try on the bra, but (and this is why I love her) Lauren had no fucks to give and changed in her bra and came outside for us to see. Other gals, tried it solely in the bathroom. I was looking forward to modeling my bra at the photobooth with a soft blur but sadly my bra was a size too small because that was the week when my ladies blow up. But it fits now and I wear my bra all the time. Maddie did offer fitting advice to those who ask, and gave them tidbits on how to pinch in some places or modify the cups to fit better.

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The Malborough bra works for my breasts. My next one I’d probably raise the top cup a little more for coverage and slighlty widen the top part of the bridge.

After the class Maddie took Lauren and me out to eat and drink and meet Andrea. It’s always so meta like when you correspond with people so often online and then finally meet them in person. We were pooped, headed home and got ready for bed. Lauren and I had a slumber party, where we had pillow fights, braided each other’s hair, played girl talk and dream girl… just kidding. We did talk so much crap before falling asleep that help solidify just how much we have in common ha!

It was a weekend of firsts for me. Meeting Maddie finally, which I had been really looking forward to since we were already inducted in our sisterhood of traveling fabrics. Visiting Phila was also a first and making a bra. The next day Lauren and I mapped out our walk. 4 miles in total and then practically ran to make our train/bus.

Bullet points for the TL:DR version

idk why this gets me every time

If you’re an advance seamstress, you could figure it out on your own
If you’re like me and want a step by step visual, you can benefit for the class
It’s pricey but there’s so much included
A small class is great to get one on one advice without interrupting the class
You never know what other small tricks you can learn from the other women there
Madie does a really good job in explaining everything, and why certain things are done a certain way

Normcore

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Being one to go out of my way to avoid this word, the truth is that I should start embracing it. My style probably reflects more normcore than anything else. Regardless of always wishing to be one of those women on the train with crisp blouses, skirts and heels, or structured dresses and trench coats, on their way to their finance job.. I chose comfort over gloss. Even when I sit at my desk and dream of sewing a fitted sheath or button downs, by night time I’m reaching for cozy knits to sew. I’ve been wearing the shit out of this hemlock tee turned sweater. The fabric was purchased from that time I went nuts on black friday. It’s a sweater fabric made up of acrylic and god knows what else, so I tend to hand wash and lay flat to dry.

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These are my second pair of Gingers, except they’re jeggings. There’s a mock front fly and it’s all elastic waist. These are waxy stretch which I love. Not a lot to talk about construction wise other than changing the waistband to enclose the elastic and omit the button. I didn’t include the front fly flap, and just created a mock zipper top stitch.

Tardy for the party, I wanted to recreate this Mcqueen dress for New Year’s Eve. It took me a while to get a starting point pattern and after looking at patterns for an hour I settled for Vogue 8615.

It seams (pun intended) that almost all of the vogue/mccalls/butterick dress patterns favor princess seams and I kid you not this was probably the only french dart dress on there. I semi lined the dress with a peach poly crepe that I thought was going to give me a rough time, but ended up semi alright. Whenever I’m faced with a project that I have no idea how to tackle it sits on the floor while I look at it for a while before deciding where to begin. The skirt was on the Mcqueen dress were inverted pleats all around, so since I wasn’t in the mood to do math, I cut a really long strip of fabric, pinned it to one end and started folding the pleats by 1/2 inch under and 2 inches over (if that makes sense). I didn’t want to recreate the bubble part of the skirt only because pleats and bubble hem means hell to iron out, so I turned the hem, pressed and hand stitched it all around. The tulle comes from a dress I had that I folded in half and stuck under there ha! But I really like the way Emma looked when she wore it with a tulle skirt under so.. yeah sue me.

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2015: New You; Same Bullshit!

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The inspiration for the title comes from this book I keep side-eying on my boyfriend’s shelf: Lose Weight! Get Laid! Find God! Supposedly 45% of people tend to make new year’s resolutions while only 8% of those actually stick and complete it. I don’t make resolutions, rather I’m more the person to stop and start any time of the year as seen with my drinking, running, diet, etc because I can’t really find myself committing to things long term. Surprisingly, blogging about my sewing has been something that I’ve stuck with even when I really don’t want to. I’m still not making any resolutions (even though I did get up to go to the gym today and pre-pack my lunches in advance. In fact I’m about to go for a run and then heat up my meal.. ON A FRIDAY!) but taking inspiration from Ginger‘s now defunct check the technique; I would like to lay out techniques or things that I would like to accomplish this year. Usually whenever I store seasonal clothing, I go through them and decide what to store and what gets donated. This year a large chunk of things I made I did end up donating because I wasn’t happy with the outcome, or the colors didn’t suit me, but most importantly they were rushed. Now that I know how to construct a garment, I want to take the time to perfect the insides as well.

A few Halloweens ago before I knew how to sew, I had commissioned a costume by an excellent seamstress. The costume is still hanging in my closet and I like to take a look at it every now and then. The skirt was lined (invisible zipper included) all by machine, instead of slip-stitching the lining to the zipper. I know it’s probably pretty easy but I keep on wrapping my head around that. So that’s definitely on the list. For the first time ever, I made a blouse using 90% french seams, which I never wanted to do because it took so much time. Speaking of time, I’ve realized that taking into consideration the time factor, I really am not saving more on clothing as a single garment that I had thought or expected. And that’s ok. I figure one dress that fits me perfectly with the materials that I want is worth more than the 6 dresses I would have careless bought and then donated at the end of the season or had to throw out because of signs of wear. But since I’m throwing supplies and time into the mix I figure this should be the year where I take a step back and be a bit more meticulous.

In no particular order or rush some of the things I’d like to accomplish are:

1- Active wear. I swear by under armour clothing, but I’d love to give Fehr Trade a go, especially with moisture wicking fabric from SpandexHouse

2. – Stop being lazy with my lapped zippers peeking through. All my previous attempts have been futile

4. – Double welted pockets

5. – Fully lined by machine dress

6. – Make a tailored Coat

7. – Fully commit to knitting something. A scarf, a hat, something!

8. – Tackle a Bra

9. – Make a tailored fitted button up ( Sewaholic read my mind)

10 – Draft a bodice sloper

11. – Finally accept that I now need FBAs

 

I think 11 are good for now. I don’t want to be overzealous and then not get through anything, although accepting that I now need to do FBAs (fuck you iud) is going to take a while. Denial is not just a river in Egypt.