Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Flounc-ing Around

The flounce on BWOF from 08-2009-117, as done in the pattern, is too wide out on the shoulder so I'm playing with the neck pleat to make it fall more toward the center, along the button band. I'm using a stretch silk charmeuse, flat side out. The flounce edges was hand rolled, and I see that the left and right flounce move differently at the bottom edge so I must have done something wrong.
The bodice is BWOF 08-2009-103. I had to let out some of the front dart because it's very fitted, which is somewhat odd because the back is not. I'll chop off quite a bit of the length as well.

Just got the call from school that oldest DD has flue symptoms... :(

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Inside The Suit

The suit is finally done but DD is out shopping (what else?). Here's the inside:

And a construction shot of the skirt:

The quilted lining worked great on the skirt so I'm most definitely going to do that when I make my own Chanel suit :)

Next up will be the blouse. I'm going to try to use the ruffle from BWOF 08-2009-117 with bodice from 103 from the same issue. But first I have to clean up the mess- threads and strands of boucle/ribbon everywhere!

Nice and hot here in LA, around 85 degrees. Not complaining cause this penguin actually LOVES heat :))

Monday, September 21, 2009

Neck Froth

What do you call this? A scarf, a neck muffler...?

When I saw Chanel's delicious neck ornamentation, a frothy cappuccino was what popped in my mind. And of course, I had to have it. It will be for DD to wear with her almost-finished jacket :)) After visiting all the usual suspects without any luck, I bought some off white silk chiffon and took it down to Warren and Jan at A-1 Pleating. Btw, Warren worked as head of the costume department at the Pasadena Playhouse in the sixties! Needless to say he's pretty excited about our show going there. And he and Jan will be at the opening party :))

These are tiny pleats, I forgot to ask what they're called. As you can see the fabric is sandwiched between two layers of brown paper. I didn't want to take it out until I'm ready to go to work, just a tiny peek and it looks super.

And Vicky; I'm waiting.... :)) Maybe you want a cappuccino too :))

I'm also planning on making separate cuffs. A bit a urban chic; when she takes off the jacket she'll have a sleeveless silk top with cuffs :))

And thank you for all the thoughts on the sleeve.

Nancy K, I remove most of the ease, usually by slashing and overlapping. In this case, the sleeve has the added third seam from top of shoulder straight down the grain which is where the majority of the ease got eliminated. Then I drape it on to make it fit and also match the pattern in the fabric. The armhole was changed first, scooping out in front. This must be done when you try on the muslin; test by reaching the arm forward and draw a line where the arm and body meets, then adjust to make a pleasing, yet functional, seam.

Gry, that's it; three variables in the sleeve and only two measurements from the armhole, it's bound to be tricky!

But I think I solved it - at least for this jacket. The sleeves are done and ready to be attached by hand. I think DD will look very cute in this jacket, and they have dress-up Fridays every week at school so she'll have ample opportunity to wear it :))

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Sleeve

It is always what I dread. The Sleeve. It IS the hardest thing to draft/construct well. And it IS what makes or breaks a garment. Looking at the sleeve chapter in Draping for Apparel Design, by Helen Joseph- Armstrong, I got dizzy staring at all the numbers, and then got that sinking feeling I had back in algebra class... How can I possibly wrap my head around all this, I just want a well fitted sleeve, jeez!!

I should mention that this is not the first time. In fact, the sleeve was what catapulted me into the arms of Fashion Incubator and its owner, the very smart Kathleen Fasanella (if you're reading this Kathleen; I miss you too). And this is the post I found:

When you study her drawing of how a sleeve cap will look if it is drafted to function with a real arm as opposed to a static dress form, it makes a lot of sense, at least it does to me. The scooping out of the front armhole and the added bulge in the sleeve cap is what makes us able to move our arms forward without all the pulling.

So that's where I'm at. Back to the draping board. I started with the original sleeve that came with the pattern and have now scooped the armhole front, added sleeve cap bulge etc. Since this is for DD, I will have to baste it in and test- at her highness convenience of course- and take it from there.

And thank you JoanneM of Miss Muslin for the link to the frilly blouses :)) As soon as I'm done with the jacket and skirt (yes it will be a full suit), a blouse will be next. I'm considering quilting the lining to the skirt- very curious how it will look and function. It's an above-the-knee, straight skirt with front side slit. Anyone tried this?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Chanel, the Speedy Way

This time I'm doing things a little faster and it's mainly because of the fabric I chose. It is so thin and lightweight and made up of mostly ribbon yarn, making it impossible to deal with without fusing it first- and I fused the entire piece before I cut. This one is for DD, who just turned 16 :)) She's not a die-hard preppy anymore, but she is so excited about this. The fabric is from Mood in Los Angeles. It's really a great store with so much to choose from, but I dislike that they never have a clue about the fiber content or where it came from.
Below is the pattern I'm using:

BWOF 04-2008-120
I obviously omitted the collar, and also the slanted front. It will have three quarter length sleeves and pockets.

I had decided not to use fringe this time around but I couldn't find the right trim. So, I bought some B & W hounds tooth, cut strips on the bias and added the only trim I could find that worked. I wanted it to be controlled (aka not my usual frilly fiesta :)) so it's pressed down and cut short-short.

The lining is quilted on as usual; Lindsay T, it isn't hard and doesn't take a lot of time AND since you got the magnifiers, threading the needle for hand stitching the lining seams in place will be a piece of cake ;)
This is my third Chanel style project and it is true that it gets easier with practice. I haven't needed too look up anything so far, it's all in the memory bank.

I'm tempted to make myself another one, but that will have to wait until the Balmain jacket is done.
DD also wants a ruffle blouse. I've been looking around for something like what Chanel is showing in their fall collection but no luck so far. If anyone has any ideas please share :))

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Goodbye Laguna, Hello "Baby It's You"

Sunset at Three Arch Bay, Laguna Beach


We're back from a wonderful- way too short- trip to Laguna Beach. We all love that place so much it's always hard to say goodbye. This time, however, we had urgent matters to attend to so no time to dwell on paradise lost:

The news broke today so I can happily announce that our musical, "Baby It's You", is going to the Pasadena Playhouse.

Here are some links to press releases from today:

We will have the first performance on November 6th, with the official press opening on November 13. This is just so cool :)) That theater is awesome, the most beautiful theater in Los Angeles. And the stage is HUGE; I'm so excited to be working with a Broadway set designer, possibilities are endless and my mind is swirling with ideas. Better watch out or I'll get dizzy!

Also, our costume designer is fah-bu-lous!!! Lizz Wolff did both our shows at the Coast Playhouse, and she and I clicked the moment we met. She has a perfect sense of color, texture, glamour, time period, and she's only done TV and movies before which actually was a big plus. Sometimes it's better not to know everything about theater because you can easily become entrenched in how it is "supposed" to be done versus having that freedom that comes with a bit of blissful ignorance :)) You all know what I mean right? Kinda like sewing isn't it!

And finally, thank you for all your well wishes and for your kind comments on the shirt. I will still be sewing (can't keep my sanity if I don't) and am presently working on a Chanel jacket for oldest DD. Cindy, if I don't get around to signing up for the Chanel sew-along just know that you inspired me, so thank you. I did my Chanel jacket last year, and, just like now, it got started when I returned form Laguna. It's something about that ocean air I think :))

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Art Show Opening Blouse

Another break. But I AM working on the Balmain it's just so darn hot here right now. This blouse was made in a couple of days and I love it. So easy and soft to wear yet it has some structure which my body sorely needs. If you are a rectangle I think you should make it right now ;)
A few pictures of the inside. It is very easy to make just be sure to mark all the lines and info on the pattern for the hidden button placket so you can refer back during construction. I used the magnifier I wrote about in my last post to clearly see the close stitching I had to do (matching the stitching line on the tuck exactly over the pleat stitching.)

And it is official: Million Dollar Quartet is going to Broadway in the spring :)) And I'm expecting to make an announcement regarding Baby It's You any minute. We're taking a quick vacation to Laguna Beach so I probably won't be posting for a week or so.