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

Camas Camas Chameleon

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Happy New Year! New year new snow was basically what happened over the last few days. I was worried that we would have a mild winter and then summer would be scorching hot. I took a long hiatus over the holidays, went to New Jersey and spent all my days eating and drinking with the boyfriend and his parents. Before taking off I managed to make a number of new items that I had no time or desire to photograph or talk about. With it my Alexander Mcqueen knock off dress for New Years’ Eve, which I’ll get to (promise).

Speaking of New Year’s Eve.. you already know my motto “go big or go home”. Well, I went big and then I went home. As I peeled off my dress, slipped into my pajamas and crawled into bed, I had a ghastly premonition that I was going to pay for it the next day. Not only did I spend the 1st with a hangover so big, I think I had the shakes (seriously), but the next day didn’t go so well. I guess I paid my dues with the fun I had. But really, it was fantastic. We waited for the ball to drop at the place where I used to bartend, where we indulged in a few shots of whiskey and vodka. Afterwards everyone was too drunk to rebuttal when I suggested we head to Metropolitan (a gay dive bar) because it was free and almost nothing is free in NYC on NYE. So there we were, dancing and even m0ar drinking, when to my surprise a drag queen took to the stage to lip sync. Who was it? None other than Dita Ritz… what?!! I flipped a shit.. in less than 2 weeks and both by accident I manage to witness a RuPaul Drag Race contestant lip sync for her life. The other was Jiggly Caliente at Paradise in NJ.

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Anyways 2015: the year of my sobriety? Maybe. At least that’s how I have been feeling the past few days after a hangover so bad my eyeballs felt they had sand in them. Drink responsibly people. Let’s get back to the topic of things I managed to sew but then got too lazy to talk about.. what ends up happening? If you wait too long, the temperatures drop, it snows and you’re stuck debating on making a run outside or a low lit basement apartment. I opted to freeze my ass off. Mind you this was the shortest amount of time I’ve ever spent photographing. Didn’t even bother to check the shots after to see if I was in focus the whole time.

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I was really drawn to the Camas blouse when it came out because it’s usually the type of knits I wear other than tshirts, when I want to feel somewhat fancy and more grown up. I really wish I were the type of 30 year old that stopped dressing like a slob, but wrap me up in combat boots, oversized sweaters and knits and call it a day. Way back when Fabric.com had their black friday deals I purchased this Cotton rib knit (no longer available). I don’t remember what I had intended to make with it but thought that perhaps it would work with the Camas Blouse. Originally I intended to make the whole thing out of the fabric, but had some lace lying around. Not too much to make something big out of it, but just enough to use it as accent, I went ahead and cut one yolk and one set of front pieces out of it and used the cotton to back the yolk and second set of front plackets for stability.

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I want to like the shirt, but I’m still not sure. Having no white serger threads, I went with the instructions and decided to french seam about 90% of the blouse (aka everything but the sleeves), so fixing the shirt is going to be a hassle, which I don’t want to get into right now. If the material doesn’t drape enough (and this one still kinda does) then the ends tend to flare out and have wonky seams. I know one of the variations on the pattern page does have this issue, which is why I was a little hesitant to buy the pattern but I’m guessing that my blouse and that one have similar weight and hand. I have issues with my collar, which doesn’t lay flat, but I compared around and noticed the same.

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I didn’t add buttons, instead opting to fuse shut the placket. (There’s a safety pin on there for modesty’s sake). I do like Cookin & Craftin’s version a lot better than mine. Her’s tends to drape more and hang correctly instead of flaring out like an exaggerated a-line blouse. I absolutely adore the fabric, so this is something that I’ll want to salvage at some point in time when I’m not feeling so lazy. Perhaps if taking in some of the bottom flare, I’ll get something that I’ll like more.

Indie Sew Winter Collection

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Hey guise.. remember when I won second place for the Nettie Challenge? If you don’t thats ok, I don’t expect you to. One of the prizes included a certificate to IndieSew. When Allie sent over the code, she expressed how much she liked my blog, which makes me happy because if you like to hear about my sewing fiascos when I drink then I salute you. I would probably be drinking right now if I had this bag:

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Enough about drinking, let’s move on. I think I made some purchases on IndieSew about the time when the Fall Collection was being displayed, and I thought it was actually a pretty cool idea to bundle patterns up and save, and all the participants made me jealous with what they made. I probably threw out some jealousy vibes into the universe because it was really fan-freaking-tastic (at least to me) to open my inbox and see an email from Allie asking me if I would like to participate in the Winter Collection Tour.

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5 patterns with a total of 15% discount and every time someone buys a discount an angel gets their wings (don’t quote me on that). I chose two patterns to review and based them off my style. My style falls into two extreme categories: either edgy/urban (aka hipster brooklyn) or really fancy dressed up. One thing for certain that I do know from much trial and much error is that I’m not girly by nature. My dresses won’t flare, gather, or fall to my knees.. I don’t wear headbands and sweetheart necklines.. even princess seams are pushing it…  So I took the opportunity to make the Out and About dress a little more tailored to my Brooklyn style. A flurry of google image searches for the dress results in very casual knits, which led me to do the opposite and work with something a little bit more sheer and shimmery for when I outdo fitty cent and you can find me in da club.

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Here’s an outtake because why not

There’s a lot of changes I made to make the dress better fit what I was envisioning (think Free People). I cut a medium for starters so it would be a bit more flowy than fitted. Because I was raising the hem of the dress drastically, I rose the neckline as well. I like the balance of modesty on top. Originally going for a boatneck, I was a little less overzealous and should have given myself less shoulder width. That’s fine, it still works for me as a crew neck kind of option. At first I had actually decided to lengthen the waistline a bit, because one thing I’ve noticed in patterns is that my waist falls a little lower than drafted or I like to give myself the illusion of a longer waist. That idea got nixed quickly and keeping true to my Free People inspiration decided on shortening the waistline to an almost empire waist. Finally like Andrea, I opted to shave the side dip that the dress has.

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The fabric remind me of this 80’s shift dress my mom has in her closet that I’ve been dying to steal for ages but she just won’t let me. I obviously sewed the skirt wrong. I was meaning to keep the same directional print as the top, but I think I like it better that way and breaks up the visual a bit.

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I was trying to be a wallflower

Keeping up with extremes, the other pattern I chose was the Josephine Top by Made by Rae. It’s something I’d wear to go on interviews and Christmas dinners at my boyfriend’s house. I love the idea of pleats and wanted to try and incorporate that into a drapey poly georgette that I had in my stash for maybe a year now. I really like to get myself into trouble without realizing it until I’m halfway cutting my patterns. I was lucky this georgette was a little on the thicker side, which made it easy to cut. My fabric is black which makes marking a pain in the ass. I knew that if I used white chalk it would be terrible to wipe off and I had all these pleats to mark. What I ended up doing instead was making sure each side of the pattern was cut accordingly and clipped into each end of the pleats. I then folded each end and ironed the shit out of each pleat to crease and sew. It was tedious having to go back and forth and measure the distances so I had even straight pleats but it worked.

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The pattern options are sleeve and sleeveless, which i should’ve taken into consideration, given the fact that I opted for sleeves and should’ve lowered the armseye. You’ve been warned. I don’t have that much arm moving wiggle room. (I’m flapping my arms right now like the chicken dance, so use that as visualization. You can also see a little pulling in the armpits in some of the pictures) What I did like about the pattern is that it comes with 2 front options for cup sizes A/B and C/D, which kinda saves you time regarding FBAs and such. Because this IUD has given me the boobs I’ve never wanted, I chose the C/D version. The darts however end a little too close to my apex. I’ll probably come back to this shirt in a week or two and correct the dart issue or treat this as a wearable muslin. There’s no back elastic thing on mine so maybe that could also be the deal.. since nothing is pulling the back… but I’m not a fan of back elastic. This version made me rethink it though.. especially the sleeves. At first I didn’t want the tunic.. you know what though.. I’m rethinking it

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Speaking of sleeves, something was telling me to construct the whole thing flat, attach the cuffs flat and sew up in one run. As of lately, I’be been taking the time to follow directions as opposed to doing things my way. Note to self… sometimes my way is better. The cuff opening is tiny which is ok given my tiny wrist and forearms… My machine is not capable of handling tiny circumferences and the instructions have you insert the sleeves flat, close up the sleeves, side seams and then insert the cuffs. I hand sewed the cuffs because sandwiching the fabric and sewing the cuffs on to the sleeves without using the arm extension to hold my shit together wasn’t going to work at 1am in the morning. I HATE HAND SEWING EVEN THOUGH IT GAVE THIS SHIRT THE LOVELIEST FINISHING DETAIL.. <– that’s me having an angsty teen moment .. I have residual teenage angst.

 

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when you’re paying more attention to the TV you end up doing shit like this

The neck and hem were finished with minty green bias binding. I was scared that it would show through, however it seems that I’ve been overestimating the sheerness of this fabric. The matching of the bias binding to my pants was unintentional, I swear. But these are my wishful thinking pants, when I wear when it’s brick outside and I want to remind myself of warmer months when flowers are in bloom. You love them don’t you? I know, me too.

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PS – It’s BRICK COLD. These pictures were taken today, after it snowed & rained last night, leaving a residual of temperature dropping and gusty winds. I have no idea how models do it, when they have to model swimwear a season ahead and it’s so damn cold outside. Cheers to you ladies. PS- too cold to smile.

I finally have fabric to start playing around with my next sewing project. I had instagram this vintage pattern I bought on etsy as an ode to the passing of Oscar De La Renta. I’ll probably wear it to Thanksgiving dinner and win over all the ladies.

 

Lastly.. have you guys seen Mortified Nation? It’s on Netflix and you should. The collection of embarrassing stories is cringe worthy. They go on tour, which I found out about because boyfriend sent over the link that they were in town last night. The highlight of the night of course was this girl telling us the story of when she auditioned for the Christmas Story play in her home town. She wrote an 8 page monologue of some sort of Dr Jekyll / Mr Hyde deal where this doctor killed a patient with some sort of collector’s item cutlery because the patient dared accuse the doctor of prescribing the wrong medication on purpose. PS – she got a part in the play.