February 23, 2009

Welcome Back Isaac! We missed ya!

Click on the photo to view the entire collection. Enjoy!

February 18, 2009

Listen to Isaac - LEARN TO SEW!!!!!!

Listen to this man - he is a GENIUS!

Click on his mouth and hear his wisdom!

February 15, 2009

It's Fashion Week - Darn it! And the Sewing Lounge is Alive and Well!

So it's fashion week and here I am in DC pining away to be in Bryant Park! Sigh! Thanks to FW's Fashion Report for providing us with the latest!

Stuff I missed and want to re-create:

Jason Wu - click here for his collections

And then there is this:
Nicole Miller - such a Laura outfit!

More to come as the lusciousness emerges!

On another note!!!!!! We had over TWENTY people at the DC Sewing Lounge yesterday! 20! It may not be Bryant Park but who knows what talent will emerge from our lil Lounge! Many thanks to the Helen, Andrea, Sara and Judy who GRACIOUSLY helped us manage the terrific crowd! We even had 2 sets of "three generations of sewists" (grandmother, daughter and granddaughter) stop by - how cool is that! So much positive energy! So much learning! So much TALENT!

If you are interested in stopping by the Lounge next month - check out DC Threads!

Ciao for now!!!

February 12, 2009

Style and Substance - A Peaceful Coexistence!

In today's Washington Post Jeanne McManus offers up her thoughts about the "politics of fashion". Here are a couple of excerpts:

"The clothes she wears are a means of self-expression. So why can't we appreciate that particular form of her expression as well as her many others?"

"The first lady is a composite; she is not getting attention solely for her clothes. To give Michelle Obama her due, can't we acknowledge that by mentioning her speech and, in the same breath, noting the smart white collar and cuffs on the outfit she wore to the Education Department.

Click on Ms Obama's photo to read the entire piece.

February 8, 2009

Next Up! The Pressure is On!

If I post it --- I will sew it!!!

Here's my latest challenge from my American Sewing Guild crew - I asked my ASG crew to choose a design for me to complete this season from four looks that I offered up. This is the inspiration they chose (I love Michael):

The fabric and the pattern are below. The original design features a cap sleeved vest/jacket. I decided that I would get much more wear from a cap sleeved dress with a sleeveless vest - - artistic license???? The original pattern I chose was McCall's 5466. Good fortune was tracking with me last week. Just before I was about to cut out the garment I happened upon "The Slapdash Sewist" and saw this post "McCall's 5466 Pleat Neck Buyer Beware" ! Talk about good karma!

I'm still searching for the vest pattern. And, oh yea, divine intervention for a pristine welt pocket!!!

Tonight I am diving into the project with a 'muslin' from this robin's egg blue herringbone tweed that I purchased in NYC three years ago. I bought FIVE yards of this fabric - what was I thinking????

Okay then - - - - take a seat and start to sew - D*$& it!

February 6, 2009

2009 – The Year of the Dress

Not certain why but I am loving wearing dresses to work lately. I sort of went through the Katharine Hepburn period the last 2 years with lots of slacks and sweaters and jackets. I think the turn came when I purchased a great JCrew dress on sale – a sort of retro 1950’s style cotton voile dress that lots of folks commented on and that I really love to wear! And with Michelle Obama in the house - there is dress inspiration EVERYWHERE!

So, the search for the dress patterns began! A couple of wonderful friends gave me some terrific vintage patterns that I promise to use soon; however, the problem with vintage patterns is that the cut of the patterns is very different from current patterns and I will have to spend a fair amount of time “altering and muslining” those garments!

So enter McCall’s 5576. - - - my, Lauren’s and Barb’s love of Michael Kors steered me there! Here we are in Nicaragua - Lauren is wearing the MK blouse that was worn by all of us at some point during the trip!!!

The pattern turned out to be a great purchase. It's the same pattern I used for my OBAMA MAMA dress – except, for the Obama creation, I omitted the zipper and I used a smaller sized pattern --- it fit wonderfully.

But I digress! Here's the finished product – on the dress form and live in person!

The fabric is a medium to heavy weight knit - a wonderful hand and really easy to work with!

The yoke is Dupioni silk. I love that fabric!

The sleeves are lined! Instant volume and stature and sooooo easy!

I have a couple of additional cuts of fabric that will definitely have a second life as this dress!

February 5, 2009

Eden Couture – Me of Little Faith!

Here's a shout out to Mariangela and her team at Eden Couture.

Mariangela, a friend of my friend Linda – one of my G-burg pals, used to live in DC where she was a stylist at the Four Seasons. She was transplanted to NYC/No. NJ and started Eden Couture. I’ll let you take a look at her website – Eden Couture – to better explain her approach to fashion, design and marketing (although having just re-looked at the site I will say that the garments that she brought to DC were much more stylish than some of the ones she has on the website - hopefully she'll include some of the cute samples she brought with her to DC in her on-line collection). A Palisades couple hosted one of her design events, so (for Linda) I went - plus I needed a new white blouse anyway (I really am not a big fan of sewing blouses - Grrr). Mariangela arrived and carried in about 40 samples (in sizes from 4 to 12). The scoop – you try on a garment, you like it, she takes a ton of measurements, and her team makes you a custom garment fit to your measurements - all reasonably priced - VOILE! Too good to be true? Honestly, I admit to having that thought! So with blind faith (and knowing that Linda wouldn't steer me wrong!) I chose two garments, was measured, wrote a check and waited!

And then they arrived - a well fitting white dress blouse with great ruching details on the cuffs and collar and a linen tunic to die for!!!

This ruching is a design element that I will definitely use on blouses I construct or refashion.

By the way, my friend Gina purchased a jacket and a white tunic and is equally pleased with her garments!!!

Thanks Mariangela and good luck Eden Couture!

February 4, 2009

I Need a New Pair of Pants – So I Took the Plunge!!!

I love wide leg pants, always have/forever – even when they are not in style! Sigh! So when the wide-legged window opened I jumped through and stitched up a pair with Vogue 8131 using a lightweight men’s suiting in a grey Glen plaid. The fabric is a great color and weight. I have, and will continue to, get a lot of wear out of these slacks!

I like the finished product – they fit well with nearly zero adjustments to the pattern, are WIDE, and have a unique element at the cuff. My only issue is that they have a HIGH waist and WIDE waistband – which are both totally acceptable design elements but you need to be a size (-)1 to pull off that look! Otherwise I love these slacks!

The fabric was great to work with and the plaids lined up beautifully

High waist and wide waistband!

I love the BIG DEEP cuff detailing!

February 2, 2009

The Longest Gestation Coat in the History of Sewing.....

Last November (I cannot believe it was that long ago!) I posted a desperate appeal to my fellow sewists to help me shake a seemingly terminal case of sewist's block (Rescue Me From A Bad Case of Designer’s Block!). I finally finished the garment THIS September and have worn it all season long. The design/pattern (Vogue 1064) that Alisa suggested was spot on and I have gotten a lot of compliments on the garment - primarily because of the FABULOUS needle-felted wool from Mood Fabrics in NYC!

Good things really do come to those who wait (or are REALLY late)!!!!!

Lining details