Sunday, November 23, 2008

Creative Christmas Gift

It's been a while since last post, and apologies to all who read my blog. I've been tired and not my usual self. But the good news is that both our shows are doing well in spite of the bad economy, so I have no right to complain.

Youngest daughter is an aspiring designer (among other things- she's six!), and keeps drawing outfits for her future store. She's even taking orders :)) So... I came up with this nifty (I hope) idea of a Christmas present:

I present The Design Portfolio

I bought the folder at a drugstore, created the front picture in Photoshop, printed it on silk fabric, and attached it using Steam-A-Seam.

Inside are photocopies of illustrations from the book below, with additional smaller outlines of same poses so she can design to her hearts content :)) And if she's really productive, mom will print her favorite poses in any size she wants.

She's a hard worker with a keen eye for detail so I'm hopeful this will continue to inspire her. I also bought some wonderful art supply from Blick on line- they have fantastic prices btw.

The bias dress is coming along. I need to cut the sleeves, buy a button and hem it. It gives me curves I never had  :)) Carr's instructions were superb and I loved handling this dress. The hem is even- can you believe it! That's what you get when you do it exactly her way.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Working With Bias

I'm taking a break from my mini wardrobe to work with bias. All thanks to Nancy and her beautiful black skirt which so inspired me.

I have recently added two books to my library: Couture, the Art of Fine Sewing, by Roberta Carr, and Draping for Apparel Design, by Helen Joseph-Armstrong.

The latter has a chapter on draping bias which is very interesting, but Carr's book has detailed info on how to manage bias, from the very first touch and all the way to the finish line, so I'm mostly using her instructions. I'm not draping this time, instead opting to use this BWOF dress as a block (03-2008-115).

I made up a muslin to fit and then cut away SA. Armstrong's book suggests to leave all design detail off below the bust, so I left the waist darts stitched down in the muslin and pressed it flat in order to get the fit in the bias without darts. We'll see if this works... I'm just testing and learning at this point, and thankfully the black silk georgette was had at a bargain ($2.99 a yard at Trim Fabrics) so I won't feel too bad if it goes wrong :)) I will most likely add a bias-cut fitted sleeve, maybe 2/3 length- I just don't look good in sleeveless, and the puff sleeve is not suitable for this fabric.

I have also ordered a grainboard cover from All Brands and will make the board according to Carr's very clear instructions. I can see this becoming one of my most important tools in the future.
If you have a grainboard, please leave a link to a picture of it in the comment, I'm just dying to see everyones nifty tools at this point! As always, when something gets my attention it becomes an obsession :))

Ever wonder why some bias skirts just can't seem to hang even on both sides?... Thread count, friends, it's all about thread count :)) Click below to see how to lay out ALL bias cut fronts and backs. I'm gonna blow it up and hang it on the wall :))

And this made me smile. And no, I will not attempt this... at least not without my grainboard! Roberta Carr shows a wonderful sense of humor in this book and I'm truly sad she passed away. 

So, pictures friends, pretty please!

Monday, November 3, 2008


This was a long time in the making, but it's been so busy with rehearsals and previews. I now only have one item left in my mini wardrobe and hopefully that will be faster (although I doubt that very much since I don't have a clear image in my head of the Big Bird skirt yet.)
As usual, I took these photos with a self timer, so you can't really see the beads sparkle as they do in real life- you know I adore sparkle right :)) Anyway, I'm happy with this blouse, and it goes great with black pants as well. 

The word Habili is Latin and means (according to one website): clothe, clothing, that which may be easily handled, suitable, fit, proper.

Blouse assembly:

Centered tucks:
Making folds on centered tucks: