Let’s get it started in here… let’s ok I’ll stop. But really, have you heard? I’m sure if you follow me on insta I must’ve made you sick already with teasers. The Sewing Party has relaunched as a fantastic platform to connect with other likeminded folks. They’re featuring tutorials, stories, and most importantly a forum to be able to discuss all sewing things to your hearts content. Do you want to read about the development of my collection? Well you’re in luck, because I’ll be writing the process from start to finish at The Sewing Party. The first installment is live and you can read all about it here. So put on your party dress and your dancing shoes and hop on over to join the party!
Don’t ask me why I felt like I needed Seamworkmag’s Mesa pattern because honestly there’s no rhyme or reason in my thought process sometimes. Call me lazy, but why not take an already existing pattern instead of having to go draft something on your own. ¯\_(?)_/¯ Add the cost of the subscription and why the hell not? Truth be told, I’m kinda glad I purchased it because I can tweak it as a block to other types of dresses.
My first one, let’s call it a wearable muslin, fits a bit like an slightly oversized tee in the waist, which was what I was hoping for. There’s a bit of pooling in the back that kinda sorta is fixed with a belt. For my first try I omitted the neckline instead opting to serge, turn under once and finish with a zig-zag stitch. I’ve worn it around a few times around the city and the dress is comfortable AF. I’ve even biked on it and no lady parts have been on display. The fabric could be modal, i’m not entirely sure what I get whenever I go to Trumart.
Now for my piece du resistance. A few weeks ago, on a trip to Spandex house, there was this floral medium weight neoprene knit that somehow found it’s way from the cutting table to my shopping bag. Given it’s stiffer nature, I had intended to use for a circle skirt inspired by A pair and a spare’s scuba skirt, but then opted to test out a second mesa dress this time with a midriff cut out. Tadaaaaa, you didn’t see that coming did ya.
I decided to create a cutout on the front to break up all the floral repetition. It could probably use hidden elastic to keep it a bit snug, but so far it hasn’t stretched out that bad; I had forgotten how neoprene likes to mold itself. This version does have a neckband, that was then top-stitched down; to avoid pooling in the back I took in about an inch at both sides. (I started with a small to be on the safe side.) Look, I’m really digging this dress. I’ll probably wear it out everywhere and be known as the girl that always wears that flower dress.
Excuse me while I go feel my look.
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.
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.
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.
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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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>
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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