Sunday, July 22, 2012

I did not know I could win something, ...

This morning, as usual, I checked my e-mail and noticed that I had two messages from Vogue Patterns.  Strange, I thought.  They have been running Thai Silks fabric giveaway and I have been entering whenever I had time to do so. It turned out the second message was the announcement that I won!  Yippee!

What shall I make with it?

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Flamenco skirts

I made two flamenco skirts in 2010 for my DDs using simplicity pattern 5914 and modified. 

My daughters have been taking flamenco dance lessons for quite some time and they enjoy a lot.  Current teacher is Sabrina Avil├ęs.  For their upcoming dance recital, I made new skirts using the same pattern with some changes: upper skirts fitted through mid thigh and no frills at the skirt hems.  The previous version has yards of frills which were pleated first and gathered. 

What fun skirts to wear!  One day, I would like to sew the real flamenco skirt or dress.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Green Retro Dress

My DD1 announced that she needed a semi-formal dress for her friend's 16th birthday event.

I had this pattern, McCall's 6462, for a while and I immediately thought this dress would fit the occasion. I had a perfect fabric in my stash as well, a synthetic rib knit in dark green.  It has a nice weight, a bit heavier than a cotton knit.  The only issue was that it was 44" wide instead of 60" required by the pattern.    

I modified the skirt pattern pieces so that they would fit the width of the fabric by taking away 3 to 5 inches at the hem circumference in three locations per pattern, with the total of 12 locations for the entire skirt, and without changing the waist circumference.

The original dress has a skirt which is a complete circle. Instead of a narrow hem, I did 2.5" hem. My DD1 is about 5'3" tall and wanted the skirt to be shorter than the original.

In terms of sewing, I did some extra work on the dress.  I added a cotton tape along the seam allowance in the center back where a zipper was applied, and along the waist seam.  I also added an elastic tape along the upper edge of the bodice to prevent overstretching after the upper bodice was assembled. It would have been much easier had I sewn the upper edge of the bodice fabric and lining together first and applied under stitching and elastic tape along the seam without the rest of the bodice assembled.

Since the fabric was rather heavy, I had to hand sew the fashion fabric and lining together along the waist line to prevent the fashion fabric to stretch out.

My DD1 is ready to go out to the party.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Anna Sui dress for my daughter

My DD2 is graduating from her middle school and I made her a dress with Anna Sui Vogue pattern 1153.

The fabric is crinkled silk chiffon from Sawyer Brook Fabrics, purchased a few years ago.  It turned out quite nice and both DD2 and I are happy with it.  The original have you finish skirt hem and neck ruffle with a serger, but I chose not to do so since the fabric had tiny pleat-like texture.  I thought the serged edges would be too stiff relative to the soft silk fabric.  Instead, I hand-rolled the skirt hems and added a continuous self-facing to the ruffles at the front neck line.  They worked very well.  She did not like the idea of gathered decorative trims affixed long the seam line between the upper and lower skirts.  Because of this omission of the trim and the fact I purchased some extra yardage, we could add an extra layer on the lower skirt with the upper layer 1/2 inch shorter than the one underneath.  I also added a skirt lining which was made by extending the upper skirt by 7" at the lower edge. 

The photo on the left shows the continuous self-facing added to the front neck line.  Although it did not have enough length along the edge of the self-facing, the section was to be gathered and I just winged it to fit.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Yuri Kaneko's Retro Coat

My red retro coat was from this book:

And Ms. Kaneko's original version is:

Can you see the insets on the front?  That's the one I could not fit on my red silk noil version.  Since I love this coat so much, I am going to make another one, in red again, with the same lining.  I already have a beautiful red wool fabric, enough length.  I think I would like pockets along the inset seams. 

I love this book.  Ms. Kaneko's garments in this book have just the right amount of retro feel.  I hope to sew the black retro jacket and the white jacket below.

I am attracted to the collar of the black jacket.

I think I have the right fabric for this one.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Red Retro Coat

Bright red retro coat with a twist inside. 

Outer fabric is a light weight silk noil and the lining is a cotton print, a Picasso like print.  The pattern is from Yuri Kaneko's book from 2006 (Bunka Shuppan).  I love the flat collar of this coat.  So perfectly formed thanks to the good pattern.  I did not have enough fabric and had to cut two front pattern pieces together.  Shame. 

I am on to the next project which is my DD2's dress.  What you see on the upper right corner is a test garment.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Hand-rolled hem for Ginko Scarf

Hellenne beautifully painted ginko leaves on a piece of silk fabric.  It will be a gift for one of my relatives in Japan and thought I should finish the hem.  I have had these tools since I was in the grade school, still useful and work very well for hand-rolling hems. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Gray Cashmere Cardigan

Sounds of silence cardigan was finished a few days ago. It has a pretty peplum and cabled midriff and collar. I like it as is, but it is not as good as I hoped it would be.
Here are things to remember for the next version. The cardigan is too small for my body both vertically and horizontally. I should have known this. Looking at the booklet photos, the model has a flat chest and very skinny, while I am not. As a result, the front button bands are pulled and puckered slightly. I need to knit size M, not S. Next, I’d rather have more length, about 2 to 3 inches, in bodice and sleeves. I have knitted the collar much wider than the pattern instruction, by 12 more rows. I will keep this change for the next one as well.

A lesson to be learned: check differences between myself and the model and do not ignore them.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hello again

It has been so long since my last post that I seem to have forgotten what to do here.

Well, I have been knitting all these silent months. I may trip back in time and post about older projects. We will see.

At the moment, I am knitting Sounds of Silence cardigan by Irina Poludnenko using exactly the yarn required: Filatura Di Crosa Golden Line Superior and Nirvana in gray. The yarns are lovely to touch, but a bit difficult to work with when held together.

More later.