Sunday, June 29, 2008

Working Some, Dreaming More

This is the working part: Burda 2-2008-120 Parka.

Here are the cut pieces, well some of them at least, had to order an additional yard. This is real metallic organza, which I suspect is not the case in the Burda photo. The real stuff is quite stiff and very sheer, so it will be interesting to see how it will turn out. Fun to work with though; you can actually bend the fabric due to the high metallic content- 80/20. It can never be washed, so if it ends up being wearable, I should put a giant sign, "DO NOT TOUCH" on the back :-)

And here's what I'm dreaming about. My current inspiration pieces:

Louis Vuitton blouse jacket. The details include 3/4 length sleeves with pin tucked hems, contoured and topstitched front princess seam, diagonal dart from neck, soft Peter Pan collar.

Jenny Packham black dress with metallic detail. It's the skirt portion I'm interested in, very Art Deco and I love it over the pants.

Dior dress. What can I say. It's everything I love. The drape, the Art Deco trim... I will make this an experiment to see how far I can go with my still very limited draping skills. The ad itself is a masterpiece, pure Art Deco from background to the Cleopatra-inspired hairdo...

What are you dreaming about?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rock Star Jacket- Star Included

Links to more photos added on 6/26/08:

We sure had fun when she got home yesterday afternoon! She was thrilled with the new skirt and top.
Skirt is a self draft A-line with darts in a remnant stretch with shiny scales on i. Top is BWOF 3-2008-133, in cotton, also a remnant, with silk chiffon drawstring.

The photo shoot went very well, the star was extremely cooperative, and most poses were too good not to show;-) Please forgive a mum's momentary pride!

It's hard to see in this photo below, but I put my label on the back waistband. 

Hopefully you can see the gorgeous buttons DD selected by herself- each and every one different.

She wore the jacket to school, so I'll take some close-up pictures later.

Also, Happy Birthday, mate!
You're better than new, I'll stick to you like glue.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rock Star Jacket Is Done

This is Jalie 2320, a truly great pattern. I drafted the lining per Kathleen's book. If you don't yet have that book, do yourself a favor and get it. It's worth its price for the lining/facing instructions alone.

Well, it's all sewn up, but the rock star wanted a whole outfit, so the photo shoot had to wait. She's at school right now, hopefully she'll be up for a performance when she gets home :-) In the meantime, here are some construction photos. This leather is super soft and quite easy to sew. I did use a leather needle at first, but after switching to a ball point for the silk lining, I found it to work just as well. I changed the front pockets since I didn't have enough leather; I made a single welt and silk pocket bags. I used tear away stabilizer when sewing with the metallic facing down, which helped the feeding go pretty smoothly. 

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dreamer. I Am.

Supertramp is one of my favorite bands, and this song gets a lot of airplay... 

And this skirt and all its travails, pretty much sums it up; I dream. A lot. And sometimes it's a long and winding road... But what matters in the end is that I get to the end. If, for nothing else, to start anew.

When this journey began, my plan was quite simplistic. Yes, I did the smocking on the yoke and used dye, but the BWOF skirt was pretty much straight forward. Then mistakes happened, new designs incorporated to 'save' it from the trash can, and the final mistake turned everything on its head:

Seeing the basted pleats on the yoke, it became clear that the yoke color was too blue. Back to dying, this time using thickened water and a lot more dye. So far so good. BUT... after attaching the pleats, trying it on... oh my! Horrifying, beyond repair... The yoke was waaaay too dark, way too neat-o, and super unflattering. See below.
It was hard not to panic, not sure how I managed to think clearly. But I tried it on again, this time, inside out... Muuuuch better. The dye was uneven, and the raw seams were right for this skirt. After reversing the zipper insert, I still wasn't satisfied. The blouse color had to be repeated more than just the streaks on the pleats. I cut some bias strips of the habotai lining scraps and ran them over the smocking's joining SA. When the lining was attached,  I decided to keep the uneven hem- both pleats and lining. It's a side of me that comes out now and then- careless, fearless, live now.

If the text is now fixed, it is thanks to Grace, who emailed me the instructions. Thank you Grace!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Dye Oh My- How I Do Love Thee!

Here's the habotai silk lining, dyed with Charcoal Gray, willfully splattered. Check out the sloppy job I did on the French seam lol.

I finished the zipper and attached the insert to the yoke. Both top and bottom need to be stabilized with some hand stitching before I can attached the lining and skirt. I'm just so lazy at the moment, got a cold too. Hopefully I'll get it all done by tomorrow. Want to get started on DD's silver leather jacket. She's so patient- the little one, not the older :-)- it's been months since I made the promise. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Unfinished Project Calling Me...

Can you guess what's inside?

Sunburst pleats! Oh yes, I've had them for some time now, but got sidetracked. First the Sabrina dress and then the mini wardrobe. Guess that's what happens when you are an eager participant over on Pattern Review...

To refresh your memory; these pleats will go here . I will have to add a piece of fabric to the smocked yoke cause I pulled it too tight. These are the jokes. My solution: Make a beaded zipper, positioned at left side, another bohemian twist  a la  Birgitte...

Also; we didn't have to leave for Chicago today, which is good. I don't like to travel that much, and it's such a long way for just a few days.

Lindsay T would like to know if I'm on stage:

No. I'm only on stage when I do the 'movement coordination'. This show does not require a choreographer, so my job is listed as 'movement coordinator'.  It's mainly the one girl, Elvis' girlfriend, who has to move flawlessly in stiletto heels across the wide stage. Not a small feat in this day and age when no one is being taught how to walk in these things. She and Elvis also have to dance- with romance- so that's what I do. Tough job but somebody gotta do it :-)

Connie B asked if I wrote/produced it:

No. DH is a co- everything on this show; co-producer, co-writer, co-director. He is also the originator of this show, as well as all the others we will be doing. And I'm his partner :-)

Marji asked a question which I myself took a long time figuring out; What is a workshop (in this context)?

A workshop in the legit theater world is when the book is written, the piece is rehearsed over a number of weeks (usually 4), often this is done in one of the many non-for-profit theaters around the country. During this rehearsal period, the book and music can be tweaked if necessary. While the rehearsing is going on, sets are built, lightning and sound contemplated, and finally all is put together. Then the show runs with audience for some weeks. Often these runs are extended, which happened to us both times. This will be our final workshop, and a move-over to a for-profit theater in Chicago is planned for November. A for-profit theater usually has an open-ended run, which means, as long as the tickets are selling well, the show stays.

MDQ (Million Dollar Quartet) is a fast paced, exciting show with people dancing in the aisles. When it's up and running you are all invited!

I guess this post is mostly about what happens "in between" the needle and thread part LOL! 

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Why We're Going To Chicago

Lindsay T asked what "Million Dollar Quartet" is all about...

It's our musical about Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, and the one night they all got together at Sam's house; Sun Records. We've already done two workshops; one in Daytona Beach, FL, in 06, and last year in Issaquah and Everett, WA. We had sold out performances every time, and this will be our last workshop, at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

We're also getting ready to do a workshop on another show, "Baby It's You", here in Los Angeles. This show is about The Shirelles, the first all-girl rock group, and Florence Greenberg, the most powerful woman in the golden era of Rock 'n Roll. 

Here's a link to DH's page describing all the shows we are planning

We're leaving Tuesday to do a few days of casting in Chicago- equity rules. I'll keep you posted!