December 19, 2009


A walk to Georgetown in the snow, a hot tottie, tackle my holiday crisis sewing! AH BUENO!!

November 25, 2009

Mrs. O Slams It AGAIN!

Seriously D.C. - WE HAVE STYLE!

Naeem Khan

Isaac Mizrahi

J.Crew (sweater) and Rachel Roy (skirt)

November 21, 2009

DC Threads Hits the Road to the Holiday Heist!

Thanks to NinnyCat Crochet for inviting DC Threads to offer a sewing workshop at today's DC Craft Mafia's Holiday Heist craft bazaar! The project of the day is - - HOLIDAY STOCKINGS! Love it --- the crafting of holiday stockings 2 years ago at Ipso Crafto is where Allison and I dreamed up the idea of a DC-based sewing lounge! And the rest is history! Here are some pics from the event

Re-purposed Washington Posts for the patterns

The mittens on this stocking are needle felted in place

A lil wintery bling

Ready for the stitching to begin!


November 6, 2009

Fashion from the Inside Out!

Isabel Toledo on her love of sewing (1989):

"I really love the technique of sewing more than anything else…the seamstress is the one who knows fashion from the inside! That's the art form really, not fashion design, but the technique of how it's done."
Look closely at "the dress" - here is has breast pockets........

November 5, 2009

Isabel and Ruben Toledo - - 'n me!

What a week it has been here in DC!!  Tuesday was Christian Siriano - a great night, for certain! But tonight was an UNFORGETTABLE night!  I just spent 90 minutes 10 feet away from Isabel and Ruben Toledo and a jacket made from "THE LACE"!  Of course the back story of Mrs. O's inaugural dress was fascinating but the best, the very BEST, part of the evening was when Isabel talked about her love of sewing.  Her description of her love affair with textiles and construction is just how I feel about fabric and sewing and design!  Ohhhhhhh, I am gone!  
Ruben letting me peek at the collar detail and the undercollar construction

Up close with THE LACE!

Remember What Isaac Mizrahi Said - LEARN TO SEW!

Looking for a place to start your sewing motor??  Would you like a place to practice your new found sewing skills between DC Threads Sewing Lounge sessions?  Don't want to travel to the 'BURBS - ever!!!!  Well, now you have a fabulous sewing resource in downtown DC!   My good friend and DC Threads co-founder has launched "Bits of Thread" - a sewing studio available for private or group sewing lessons.  All you need to bring is your enthusiasm, creativity, and fabric. 

Here is what Allison writes about the inspiration for the name "Bits of Thread":

“Bits of Thread” comes from one of the side-effects of sewing that I have come to love. After a long day of making a new summer dress or teaching a group of teenagers how to use a sewing machine for the first time, I’d come home with little bits of thread still stuck to my shoes, clothes, and even in my hair– little reminders that I was doing something I loved. Whether you come for one class or for many, I hope to share some of my joy for this art form, and maybe get a few bits of thread stuck to you too.

So come on all you budding sewists - give Allison a call and then stop by the DC Threads Sewing Lounge and join the fun!

October 25, 2009

Fashion in DC - An Oxymoron? NOT ANY LONGER!

So I actually have been doing ALOT of stitiching lately but the problem is that I have not finished a single garment - INCLUDING my NYC "Sit and Sew" extravaganza --- but I am "oh so close to being sorta kinda done"! I will at least post a photo of my multiple works in progress soon!

But enough about my sewing procrastination......

The BIG news is that - - - - DC HAS ITS FASHION GROOVE ON!!!! Check out these upcoming DC-based fashion events.....

The Textile Museum has two “must see” events on their calendar. First up is (drum-roll please) an evening with ISABEL TOLEDO - designer of Mrs. O's fabulous lemongrass dress and coat!!! I have already snagged my ticket for this outing!!


From Switzerland to the White House: The Story Behind the Inauguration Dress

Thursday, November 5, 5:30 pm

Isabel Toledo's Lemongrass Coat and Dress dazzled the world when it was worn by First Lady Michelle Obama on Inauguration Day. Join us at The Textile Museum for this special evening program and hear firsthand about the process behind its creation—from the fabric, made by the Swiss company Forster Rohner, to the finished product.

Panelists include American fashion designer Isabel Toledo, her creative partner and husband Ruben Toledo, and Hans Schreiber, creative director of Forster Rohner, moderated by Robin Givhan, The Washington Post's fashion editor and winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. The talks will be followed by a reception featuring Swiss wine and chocolate. This program is co-sponsored by the Embassy of Switzerland.

Fee: $25/Textile Museum members; $45/non-members. Advance registration is required; space is limited. Call (202) 667-0441, ext. 64 to register.


And it seems the Textile Museum is on a fashion roll – a new genre for them! Don’t miss the extraordinary collection of Mary Baskett’s Japanese garments.

Miyake_Red Dress

Contemporary Japanese Fashion: The Mary Baskett Collection

October 17, 2009 – April 11, 2010

In the 1970s and early 1980s, Japanese designers Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto shocked the fashion world by introducing avant-garde styles that challenged received Western notions of “chic.” Informed in part by Japanese traditions such as the kimono, obi and the art of origami, these designers produced radical garments with shapes and textures often incongruous with the natural contours of the human body. Their designs—characterized by asymmetry, raw edges, unconventional construction, oversized proportions and monochromatic palettes—effectively overthrew existing norms and set the stage for the postmodernist movement in the fashion industry. Miyake, Yamamoto, and Kawakubo remain three of the most successful designers in today’s fashion world, and under their tutelage a new generation of Japanese talent has emerged.

This exhibition, an expanded version of an earlier showing at the Cincinnati Art Museum, includes avant-garde garments from the collection of Mary Baskett, an art dealer and former curator of prints at the Cincinnati Art Museum who has been collecting and wearing Japanese high fashion since the 1960s.

And before you set out for S Street to view the collection please please take a few minutes to read Robin Givhan’s review of the collection and her views on the designers – her insight definitely will make your time with the garments more meaningful!



And as previously posted, Christian Siriano willbe speaking about and signing his new book, “Fierce Style” at the Corcoan Gallery of Art on November 3rd.

Oh yes! November is lookin' mighty fine here in DC!

October 11, 2009

Go Go CoCo - Chanel To Die For!

Perhaps the reason that I can't seem to get any sewing done is because I am mesmerized by the Spring 2010 Chanel collection.......

We love, love, love these:

And these not so much:

See all of Karl's magic here: Chanel 2010


September 22, 2009

From 1600 Pennsylvania Ave to Your Sewing Studio!

So, one of my favorite design/sewing blogs closed it shutters this month – Weekend Designer – a sad, sad day for me, indeed!! Here's the description of the blog:

Welcome to Weekend Designer! This pattern-drafting blog is meant to show anyone that it is not difficult to fabricate fashionable clothing, accessories, and soft home furnishings. All designs shown on this site are samples culled from the world of fashion and design. In no way am I claiming that they are my own creations but use them as examples of what you can do yourself. Most of the tutorials illustrate basic concepts in pattern-drafting or are patternless designs. In all cases whenever possible, credit is given to the original work and creator. I do not have any affiliation with the designers and do not have access to their original patterns or production methods.

And here's an example of WD's mastery:

I hope someone else fills this void.....

Silver Lining ------ The Weekend Designer inspired me to take images from another favorite site - Mrs. O and make them my own (or, for those of us who live in DC, to bring those stylish frocks from Pennsylvania Ave to M St to Canal Rd to MacArthur Blvd to Q St to Greene Pl).

Here's a lovely dress that Mrs. O wore to a recent event:
If you want one like it in your closet as much as I do - all you'll need is one of these -
---- a new Michael Kors Vogue pattern (V117 - a lined, fitted dress, below mid-knee length has pleated bodice, tucked front, invisible back zipper and center back slit) and one of these extraordinary silk florals from Gorgeous Fabrics

See you at the next STATE DINNER!


September 16, 2009

Fashion Week - AH BUENO!

Videos speak louder than words!

Enjoy Zac, Jason and (coming soon) Isabel - - -


September 13, 2009

So I Love the Lounge!!

Sweet September at DC Threads! The project for this month was a stylin' laptop sleeve.

Juliana nailed it with her Ikea fabric and handles!
I'm thinkin' I may need to grab the seam-ripper and add a pair of handles to mine! Great idea by Coach Emily and stellar execution by Juliana!

We had a great turnout AGAIN! Our new registration process sort of worked. Lots of folks signed up early but only a third of them showed up - but we had loads of drop-ins so we still had a full house. Gotta figure out how to get folks to either come if they registered or respond to our email request to let us know if they are not able to join us! If anyone has any ideas how to solve this conundrum drop me a line! I am certainly not complaining - it's a wonderful problem to solve!

But let's talk about the amazing sewists that joined us yesterday - a great mix of ages, expertise, experience, and interests. We spanned the ages from 10-80 and tackled chair cushions, recycle/restyling jeans to a dress, lots of easy breezy blouses, tote bags, etc., etc.....

A HUGE thank you to our amazing volunteers/sewing coaches! The Lounge is a successful because of all of you!! Thanks thanks thanks!

Enjoy the photos and hope some of you will stop by October and celebrate our 1 year anniversary!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

September 12, 2009

Pining for those lazy days of couture! DRUM ON!

So I haven't touched my couture dress from my AWESOME class in NYC with the fabulous "sit and stitchers" because life (and its adult responsibilities) has managed to get in the way of fashion progress! I am also WOEFULLY delinquent in posting about the class (on the bucket list for this weekend - after the Lounge today!).

But in true L2 form I (with the help of Greene Place's newist sewist - Lauren Archer - I know, who'd a thought!) have managed to squeeze in the construction of 16 lapas for the Young Women's Drumming Empowerment Project's performance today at the African Art Museum! Why not wander down to the Mall today and check out their AMAZINGNESS!

Get a sneak peak at this year's "Sistas of the Shakedown Tribe" as they take the Pavilion Stage at 2:30 p.m. for the Museum's Community Day... Festival entitled "Africa Now!"950 Independence Ave SW



September 8, 2009

September Sewing Lounge! DC Threads Rocks!!!!!

UPDATE: Due to a fabulously positive response, we have filled our registration slots for the upcoming sewing lounge this Saturday, September 12th. If you have not already registered, we hope you will join us for the next lounge in October. You can reserve your slot using our new registration page here. Thanks so much for your interest! REMINDER---if you are a member of the American Sewing Guild or would like to volunteer at the Lounge your registration request will be automatically honored.

Join us this Saturday, September 12 from 1-4 at North Michigan Park Recreation Center, for the DC Threads Sewing Lounge! We will welcome the glorious Fall with a fabulous back-to-school/campus project - a hand-designed and crafted laptop sleeve - thanks to Ars Technica!

Laptop Sleeve

Here's what you need:

  • 1/2 yard (or so) of outer sleeve fabric
  • 1/2 yard of lining fabric
  • Thread (preferably in a matching or complementary color, but it can be any color you want)
  • Your laptop measurements


  • Sew-on or glue/iron-on velcro, or a button

As always, you can bring your own project or browse our library of patterns for other ideas. We’ll also have tutorials for first-time and beginning sewers and plenty of opportunities for you meet others who love to sew. Check out our pattern library here....

And, in response to your requests for tutorials about sewing techniques (see, we really do read and value the evaluations you graciously complete!), we will offer a 20-30 minute tutorial about how to read a sewing pattern. The tutorial will start promptly at 1:15 - leaving you loads of time for sewing!

Hope to see you there!

Laura and Allison

August 24, 2009

Sit and Sew Preparation - Will I Ever Avoid Crisis Sewing

On Wednesday I head to NYC for my class with Susan Khlaje and Kenneth King! Beyond excited! But, as usual, I'm in crisis sewing mode! My pesky real job always seems to get in the way of my sewing and other parts of my life!

Anyway - here is my plan for the class......

I will have a muslin of a basic dress sloper completed and ready for Susan's and Kenneth's magical fitting touch. I hope to use the sloper as a stepping off point for designing and constructing a variety of dresses (both work and casual). Our first lady offers me some fashion
inspiration --
and Michael too -

I hope to begin work on a garment using this sloper while I'm in NY - which, likely, will require that I stumble into several fabric stores!! Tragic!!

I am also hoping to have a muslin completed (or nearly completed) of this jacket (this task is the source of my current crisis sewing state):
in the hopes that I will have a jacket like this one some time this fall/early winter:
I will look to Susan for any sage wisdom about Chanel construction techniques (I have read and re-read her Threads article a bazillion times!).

And in the times that I am sure I will have between discussions and fitting and fabric shopping I have tucked away this pattern in the hopes that Kenneth will share with us some of his embellishment and millinery tips:

I also have a "life list" of techniques and embellishments that I would love to finally have the time to sit and practice - you know all those things like welt pockets, bound buttonholes, the PERFECT zipper application, finishing sheer edges, etc!

Yikes, sounds like I am going to be there for a month instead of 4 days!