Monday, May 17, 2010

Balmain update

An update on the Balmain just to PROVE I am actually working on it!

The collar is beaded and in the process of being hand stitched to the neckline. I have to hand sew it on because the rhinestone chain goes all the way to the seam line and I'm not taking any chances of the machine needle hitting one of those. I'm using a thick G├╝termann polyester thread, which also was used for all the beading. Those silver gray pearls next to the rhinestone chain are 3 or 4 mm, can't remember, and were beaded on two-three at a time. Most of what you see came from FireMountainGem.

Below is a picture to show how I attached part of the sleeve to the shoulder before the beadwork. You can also see some of the hair canvas that is used to support the beading.

The bottom of the sleeve: Everything is beaded except the last loop, which will be done after the underarm seam is closed. If you look closely you can see the beaded rope I found in NYC (and cat hair! those cutie pies OWN my grainboard, it's their Pride Rock). I chose to use the rope instead of the larger pearls because it's lightweight; the sleeve is cut on bias so extra weight truly drags it down.

Well that was the update. Thank you so much for the nice comments on the much-delayed pictures of the Dior coat. I'm thankful I actually wrote the review last year, but now I'm fearful of how I'll write a review of the Balmain... Hopefully the pictures I've taken will refresh my memory. Not that it matters much, I mean, who's gonna want to make this, it's been more than a year since the original came out! Yes- one year almost to the day since DH showed me a pic in the LA Times...
I'm such a slowpoke!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dior Coat- it's been done since forevah!!

Better late than never. At least that what I've heard... Remember this coat? Maybe not, and I won't blame you. I had to go back and see when I last posted about it. That would be December 29. And it was done way before that. Ha. It's been worn, NYC was a perfect match. Got my boots there too and love love.

Open gets the most wear, but it was good to close it
on those chilly windy days.

Some close-up details: Double collar, single welt pocket, chest flap. And of course, the exquisite workmanship of Warren at A1 Pleating: belt and buttons.

Like the lining? Silk charmeuse in ombre, gray to purple.

Here's the link to the post about the pin tucks, which also shows the original Dior inspiration coat:

Btw; I can't be the only one having trouble with the new blogger formatting? The photo thing is driving me nuts. And the preview is so bad! Hey Blogger/Google, get together with Mac, they know how to do it, just check out their iWeb :))

Thanks for all the encouragements on how to wear the Balmain; I'm inspired!!! I'm in the process of beading the collar, which means the lining is not far behind :)) Thanks sooo much, it's the push I needed.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My Elna

Allison asked to know more about the machine bound buttonholes. I just discovered this option myself, and it's a very simple thing; the machine stitches a rectangle automatically, no pivots needed. It's a great feature, and if your machine can stitch sideways, i'st very likely it has this option. The picture below shows my machine, Elna Xquisit II, and the bound buttonhole option.

For those of you who've read my posts for a while, you know how much I love bound :)) Bound buttonholes, bound (welt) pockets... It's just a nice finish IMO, and, although I love my machine, it only has 4 feed dogs, so regular buttonholes don't always come out the way I want them to. I feel more in control when I use bound.

This was the first time I made them on the sleeves- had to pick them for a Chanel-style quilted lining jacket cause I always want to make things more complicated than they deserve to be. And this jacket is totally undeserving. I love the fabric but it's bulky. DD wanted a shawl collar, but it is better suited for straight and collarless. But she's young, NYC is calling in the fall... yada yada. Jeez I feel old!!!

I'm not inspired by anything at the moment. Lots of beautiful fabric in my stash and yet... I'm finishing this jacket, then maybe the Balmain (for those who are visiting for the first time, here's one of the last pictures I posted: Balmain). I've done most of the shoulders and the outline on the sleeves, and it's SO bling I will have to wear a shawl over it or something or I'll be liable for a lawsuit from people suffering permanent retina damage... Some people posted comments about WHERE I could wear it. I honestly don't know. Maybe while gardening to scare off the crows. Only I don't garden. Everything I touch meets a fast and furious death... If you have any suggestions please share :))

And btw, remember last year when I tried to figure out/find the trim (see this post) that looks like a beaded rope? Well, I found it at M&J Trimmings while in NYC... It would have eliminated a TON of work, and the jacket wouldn't have been so heavy. Oh well...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chanel construction

A few pictures of the process so far. It's the same as my other Chanel inspired jackets, but a very different fabric. A lot of extra steam pressing on this one due to the bulky wool boucle. I also cut off some of the taffeta strips in the SA.

Same pattern I used for my first Chanel: BWOF 01-2008-127. Well sorta... I kept the muslin from DD's recent Chanel (04-2008-120), and that was a time saver. I simply traced out her size in the shawl collar piece and added it to the muslin; length was added as well. I tested buttonholes and went with my usual bound, using the silk from the lining (crepe) and silk organza for the facing. And I also just discovered that the machine has a bound buttonhole option- DUH!!! THAT IS SOOOO EASY! I even made bound buttonholes on the sleeves, which was a little tricky due to the quilted lining. Think I took some pictures so will post them if I did.

I'm in the process of setting in the sleeves, and it's not hard because there isn't much matching to speak of. And; I used Roberta Carr's method to gather and shape the sleeve cap. That is just an awesome technique, try it! See this post on my coat.

Okay, at least I'm back to posting about sewing :)) Thank you for all congrats!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


We slept late (DH and I like to create at night), and woke up to a ton of faxes, emails and phone messages...

So... you know what this means right? More fabric shopping NYC ;)


PS; the Chanel jacket is for DD, and yes, I DESERVE another one for myself :) I might make it in black.
Metal trim could be an option (if I can find the right one).
The fabric is from Parons in NYC.