Sunday, June 29, 2014

Front marked with a button and a tease

My son came up with this idea. You put a button on the front center of the waistband, so you don't have to futz around looking for the center back with the tag. Also allows for sleepy dressing.

And it allows a sneaky pattern preview.

Hey, I made two of them.

More to be presented later....

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Polly and Dolly Stayed Up Too Late Online

Polly is the freebie tank top from By Hand London, who have many fine dress patterns of legend.

I don't believe this is a very flattering version of this, but it shows the pieces off well.  The alteration dart/curve is around the center panel.  Devilishly clever piece of drafting. Could be a devil to turn those opposing curves into one seam, but with patience and a world of pins, you could have an amazing fit there.

and I would not have downloaded this without spending the entire evening

 (when I could have been finishing watching Jeanius! or Doctor Who or Archer or FullMetalAlchemist....)

reading Dolly Clackett, whose devotionals to the short sleeved, fitted bodice and flared skirt dress provide the legend. We share a strange love of novelty prints and making the same dress over and over again. And who doesn't? Really?

I am the proud owner of three yards of "Home Sewing Is Easy - Hawaii" thanks to Ms Clackett. And the dress I'm going to make is going to look all too much like a mashup with this and it's friend, the Wood Dress

I also bought  a dress worth of Heather Bailey's Painted Mums

because of that damnable Clackett.

NO more staying up reading sewing blogs for me! Bad ErnieK! Bad!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Fashionary Tape Questions

I have promised myself not to be a crank anymore, and I have mostly good days, but I am bepuzzled and redamned by this product.

Remembering all the body measurements is too harsh
Feeling tired of checking body measurements when creating outfits? Those days have become history. We created the Fashionary Tape Measure which is the World 1st tape marked with advanced body measurements.

30 Womens Measurements and 27 Mens Measurements are precisely marked on the white and black side of tape respectively with womens size: 38(EU), 10(UK), 6(US) and mens size: 48(EU), 38(UK, US).

I am confused. I thought the idea in sewing was to make stuff fit me. If I fit a standard size, I wouldn't have to sew for myself. And nobody is a perfect standard size.

This would work if you were making something to a size for sale to someone you'd never met, because you are drafting a pattern for the item. Which I know you would be, if you were selling it. It could be very handy for that.

I do like a big tape measure with imperial and metric measurements, and the printing is clear and the presentation is handsome.

Beyond that, I can't see the sense of it. The thigh measurement alone, oh, don't go there.

Oh go look at it yourself. If it makes sense to you, you can come back and 'splain it to me.
(my text in purple italics)

There is an update to this post here

Sunday, June 15, 2014

New costumes for Giselle

I had the great good fortune to see a preview of new costumes for Seattle's Pacific Northwest Ballet's new 'Giselle' recently. 

It was a great afternoon, in one of the conference rooms at the Phelps Center, surrounded by props and stage models and two of the new costumes for Giselle herself.

A combination of what thinking and research goes into a new production's costumes and scenic designs, and a WHOLE lot about polyester chiffon (perhaps I was just paying more attention to what bedevils me).  In the case of PNB's multilayered costume as shown above, the sourcing and availability for the chiffon determined what kind they would use. Even costume shops have to live in the real world like we do. And yes, the outer skirt has a ribbon sewn to the hem. Possibly nine yards of ribbon on the hem of that full round skirt.

The part that surprised me is the small number of costumes vs the larger number of dancers (2 costume sets for 4 or 5 Giselles). The practice is: most dancers in the company are about the same size, and there's a fair amount of stretch in the tech fabrics they use now. 

Bonus information: they deodorize rather than clean, and they use vodka. Picture the tiny senior wardrobe mistress going to the big box store to buy five gallons of vodka. And see her loading up the spray bottles back at the shop. Kids, don't try this at home!

Kaori Nakamura

new Giselle

Principal dancers Carla Körbes and Karel Cruz in Giselle.
old Giselle

Telling the story of Giselle involves a fair amount of 'ballet mime'. Check out that link for a two page guide to story ballet's finest ghost story.

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2011 production of Giselle has been staged by PNB artistic director Peter Boal, based in part on primary sources from Paris and St. Petersburg, with the assistance of dance historians Marian Smith and Doug Fullington. In 2014, new scenery and costumes designed by Jérôme Kaplan will be added to the production.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Charles James is everywhere and so is Fashion Doll Stylist

I am not alone in that I got my start sewing for Barbie, and she was a helluva FBA!

(or is it just a severe waist adjustment?)

If you recall, we did learn draping on something with a painted face.

Which explains my love for Fashion Doll Stylist and particularily this post. 

Oh, just go read it now!Don't miss the older posts!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

It needs a (VPLL) Hat

VPLL H5685
The vintage wrap dress needs a hat. I don't have any 40's hat patterns that qualify as real vintage, and since I'm not a stickler for dates but I am a stickler for contest rules, a Vintage Pattern Lending Library one will be my choice. And since I have this at hand already, well....

I joined the VPLL's 1912 Titanic sew-along, but never got to making the blouse I signed up for. I did meet up with some amazing folks online, so I have a very squishy spot in my heart for them.

As for hats, they had an online sew along for H1440  , which has information about crinoline and where to get it in this century.

Of course, it wouldn't be a project if it didn't involve materials I don't already have on hand.

Being the improvising materials engineer at heart, I must have something that does the same thing. All I need to do is find out what its properties are.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Crinoline was originally a stiff fabric with a weft of horse-hair and a warp of cotton or linen thread. The fabric first appeared around 1830, but by 1850, the word had come to mean a stiffened petticoat or rigid skirt-shaped structure of steel designed to support the skirts of a woman's dress into the required shape.

Something not as heavy as buckram but more than netting. How about....plastic window screen material? Flexible, stiff, free and available in my basement workshop in the middle of the night.....

And it melts. Okaaaay...

Dug up lightweight buckram, that frankly I had forgotten I had ever owned. It's rolled up and stored with the Mylar and tyvek for heaven's sakes.

So let's get sewing!

It's three triangles for the crown, and two rectangle-like pieces for the band and the transition between the two. 
Piece 4, the transitional one, has a dart lengthwise

It forms that ridge coming around from the upper left.

The 'band' (#5)lines up with the seam in piece #4 which ends up as the back of the hat.

Thread marks the center front. The pin is at the dip over the right eye. #5 has the buckram/crinoline, and it does need that kind of stiffness.

I had to drag out pattern piece #5 to figure out the little circle marks and what they were supposed to mean. This is often where I fall down with old hat patterns: there are a million little circles on the patterns, and some obviously mean something and are indicated as such in the instructions. And some .... don't.

The side/back of the crown comes down to the bottom edge of the band in the drawings.

I dunno.

Sewed on ribbon to bottom edge, and then flipped it up to machine stitch the overlap of the crown to the band.

Ribbon interior band back inside.

After awhile, I just left the original pattern sheet on the floor to check and recheck the mystery dots, for overlapping and exterior ribbon placement.

The lining is indicated as a large circle gathered and sewn to the ribbon. I just measured the hat from side to side over the top and cut out a circle roughly that diameter. Which worked just great!

I dunno. I think the crown needs to be larger to overlap the band more. It needs crisper fabric (or underlining) to resemble the drawings. Still, a worthy activity.