Friday, July 10, 2009

Baby It's You

Yes, very much so.
What was I thinking, planning the Balmain knockoff in the middle of tech rehearsal???....

The second staging of our musical Baby It's You begins previews on July 18 so our days are looong! Lots of fun of course, but tech rehearsals can be grueling. We have added a whole bunch of goodies (movies, slides, lights, wardrobe, sound, choreography, scenes, some cast replacements...) But, as I was watching it last night, I actually cried. That's what live theater can do to you ;) We have such talent on and off the stage that every piece of hard work is priceless. It lifts you up into a state of spiritual awareness, like you're riding on some magical cloud where possibilities are endless.

Somehow I did manage to make a test shoulder pad. We'll see if it works when the jacket fabric is cut but for now it looks good. I will use a sleeve head of course, and like Nancy K mentioned, some kind of interfacing on the sleeve cap.

The main points of the shoulder/sleeve for me are:
straight line (none-sloping) shoulder
extended shoulder
slender look of shoulder
slender sleeve

The increased height of the shoulder will have quite an impact on the sleeve cap and yet I have to be careful not to add too much ease or the sleeve will be too full.

Nancy K mentioned that Kenneth King may be using mohair in the sleeve cap (she also made me get his latest book- thanks for enabling me, Nancy :)) While I'm waiting on my Amazon order I also bought some mohair on eBay. But I'm really confused... Please look at the picture and let me know if this is the kind of mohair I should be using. To me it looks like a velour or velvet, upholstery weight. My only previous connection to mohair is yarn, which always is fuzzy. This fabric seems way too substantial and overpowering for the wool crepe...

And for the stay in the back; I have no idea what I should use. Would hair canvas do the trick, and should it be on bias or straight? Any and all insight is appreciated.

Trim: The bulk pearls I ordered were not the right color/gloss :( I think my sample, which I bought at a local source, must be Swarovski crystal pearls due the the wonderful shine. I just may have to use my connections in the costume world to track down some of this trim... I don't like to take advantage of people so I'll have to come up with some kind of exchange. As long as that does NOT include sewing/mending for other people I'm willing and able :))

And Lindsay T; your idea is great if not doable :) I would have loved to be part of the NYC workshop and get hands-on help from experts. I hope you will share the experience with lots of pictures and info.


  1. Bias, no matter what you use. I had sofa pillows backed in that velvet mohair. I don't think that it looks any thicker than the ready made sleeve heads I have. the sleeve head is shaped like the top of your sleeve. Or use a bias strip to set in your sleeve and fill out the cap all in one. Make it about 3" deep and round off the corners that project into the sleeve after you set the sleeve. Tany had a picture of sleeve heads like I am describing. The idea is to pull the bias strip to gather the sleeve cap. This is my preferred method of setting a sleeve cap.

  2. Oh, and glad to enable your library acquisitions!

  3. Oh dear. Your attention to detail is giving me goosebumps. In a good way. I can't help out with mohair advice.......and Birgitte have you taken classes to reach this level of understanding/technical experience or are you completely self taught? I am admiring your work so far. Bravo!

  4. I love your patience. I am getting ready for a longer project in August. Good luck with the show--if it is anything like the Million Dollar Quartet--it will be fantastic! My husband still raves about it!

  5. I am in the process of viewing Claire Shaeffer's cd book on her Chanel collections. The interior pictures of the jackets are worth the price of the cd. The photographs are gorgeous and detailed. The commentary is a bit thin though if you have her couture book I think that this is an amazing complement to it. I think that you'd get a lot out of it.

  6. Wow, Birgitte, you are one busy lady! How and when do you find the time for the shows and to create stunning outfits for you and your daughter? I am looking forward to the progress of this project.

  7. I am reading Claire Shaeffer's Couture Sewing, which I just bought and immediately thought of your Balmain jacket. If you have a copy of this take a look at the St. Laurent jacket. The shoulders are a smaller version of the Balmain and she makes shoulder pads and details how to get those peaked sleeves.

  8. How to built such shoulder pads for your new jacket see this Signe Chanel YouTube video !
    scroll towards 7 minute.
    At 7.27 you see how this shoulder pads shape gets built up.