Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Building on My Moulage with Kenneth King

You may  remember that I took Kenneth Kings Moulage class a couple of years ago.  If you are not familiar with the term, it's a basic bodice and hip in one piece drafted without ease.  Based on that we were able to draft slopers for a blouse and jacket.  These are very basic with out any design ease or style lines and no sleeves and collars. I really didn't know what to do with my slopers though, so other than using the muslin of my moulage  to pad out my dress form, the slopers have just been sitting in a drawer. But, guess what? I am taking a full day, 3 session class on collars and sleeves with Kenneth at Sew Right Sewing Machines in Bayside Queens the first 3 Saturdays in November.  There are still places if you are interested, but hurry because they only have 8 places.  He is also doing a fit clinic on November 11.  Oh, a prerequisite is having taken his moulage class, or having a moulage and slopers that you've drafted with his method.
KK sells cd's  for drafting a basic sleeve, advanced sleeve and collars.  Considering that each cd costs $28 plus shipping, add the cost of printing and binding them and  the 3 full day sessions with the master for  $250 seems like a bargain.  

I am behind on my leather jacket, and I may not finish the 4 pieces in time, but no matter. I had to make another muslin to get the sleeve fit right.  I've had issues with every coat and jacket I've made over the last few years with the armhole and sleeve fit. Playing around with the fit on fabric is one thing, leather is another. It has to be right the first time. Using Sarah Veblen's fitting book has really helped. The HBL,, or horizontal balance line makes a world of difference.  It really gives you a visual reference that can tell you where the problem is. I don't know about you, but reading the wrinkles has always been hit or miss for me. But a line that isn't parallel to the floor is easy to see and understand.  It took me all of yesterday to cut and fit the muslin, but it's worth it.  I not only have sleeves that fit but a better understanding of fitting, which I hope will help me fit a blouse for my dd.  We are seeing her the first weekend in October at my son's house and I'll be bringing a muslin for Vogue  8815 , the popular peplum top.  Coming with me is Veblen's book. 
Back to cutting out my jacket. I've got almost 2 skins cut and 3 to go before I can start sewing.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Color Blocking

While I am  fine tuning my leather jacket muslin I've also been playing around with ideas for a color blocked coat using my double sided black and blue fabric that I showed you a couple of posts ago. While  I was inspired by this gorgeous coat from Celine,(It's the coat on the right)

 I am not planning on adding any other colors, just using the fabric I have.  Drawing on my croquis was fun lots of fun; now I have to find a pattern that I can fit my idea onto. Actually, there are a number of simple coats in my back issues of Burda Style that should work.  My next project after the mini wardrobe was supposed to be a trench coat, which I really need and have all of the materials for.But I can't get excited about sewing one.  (I have had the fabric for this for several years and I even have a pattern but I keep putting it off) It just seems boring at the moment and a lot of work, while this coat feels like fun.

Here's what I've been playing with.  Which one do you like best? 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fall Sewing, A Mini Wardrobe

I decided to enter the Pattern Review mini wardrobe contest.  I haven't made it official yet, nor have I made a storyboard up, but it's a great way to jump start my sewing mojo.  I always think that I will sew more in the summer than I do.  Without ac my sewing room can get hellishly warm and I don't work well in the heat.  Fortunately, it's cooled off and I am working again.  I finished 2 out of the four pieces required for the contest.  On Saturday in fact and wore them Sunday to a family birthday party on the lower east side.  
I've had this leopard print fabric for awhile now and the success of my black and white brocade pants was a deciding factor in making pants out of it. I love them and got complements.  I need more tnt patterns! Sewing becomes so much less involved when you always  have a lot of fitting alterations. I  did make  some style changes to the pattern. Narrow pants are very big right now and have been for awhile. Skinny cropped pants are not for me, but straight narrow pants look modern and slimming.  I took in  1/2" front and back, inseam and out, at both the hem and the knee and then blended the  seams for a total reduction of 2" at hem and knee.  I still have enough ease at the  calf so that I don't get the fabric hanging up there and it still hangs nicely in back.  The second piece is another Giorgio's top, which makes 3 for that pattern.  I haven't blogged about the yellow silk jersey version.  This fabric is another double layer textured knit from Emmaonesock. I love these fabrics. 

The remaining pieces I have planned are a leather motorcycle jacket  with  skins  from a Fabric Mart sale. 
I made another muslin of my Hot Patterns moto jacket and the verdict was to scratch it.  Even after KK had altered it.  I really just didn't like it on me and it needed even more changes.  So on to plan B.  I took out the pattern for my Oscar de la Renta knock off motorcycle jacket of a few years 
ago and used everything but the collar and the center front. 
Burda 12/09 110

 I took the center front from Burda 12_09 110 and lengthened the whole pattern to mid hip instead of high hip.  I decided to  narrow the overlap so that while it is still off center it  doesn't go all the way to the princess seam.   I felt that with my fba the seam was just too curvy 
That seam on me is very curvy for inserting a zipper. I added another seam on the left underlap for  the zipper.  I also raised the gorge line on the lapel, making it more horizontal and the zipper comes up higher before the lapel breaks.  Using Sarah Veblen's HBL on my muslin I realized that it dipped on the sides in the back, or rather the center was high. Age has set in and I need a rounded back alteration.  Not drastic, but it straightened out the line.  I also have found lately that I end up with my side seam flaring to the back.  I had Seth hold a plumb  line to my side seam at the underarm and he marked where it hit my hip.  The back hem needed an inch removed and  added it to the front. 

The fourth piece will be Burda 135 5/12,  a white blouse with a convertible collar with long sleeves.  I think that I am going to use black piping to trim it.  I've never done piping before, can you believe it? and it's been on my list of techniques to learn.  The white fabric is a luxurious cotton from B & J.  A  definite splurge.  My fba made the side dart way too big and so I rotated part of the side dart into a vertical one so that the fabric isn't falling from my bust. Much more flattering. I added back darts, but I think I will leave them unsewn.  I don't want it to be too fitted.  I added a center back seam so that I could alter for the rounded back and I shaped the cb seam 
at the waist at the same time.

My fifth piece, the key piece that can be made ahead, is a pair of black cotton pants I made last spring.  

Today's To Do List includes cutting and sewing up another muslin for my leather jacket and washing the white blouse fabric.  Fortunately I remembered that I had never washed it.  Woops.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

I Won This!

If you belong to the BMV Club you are familiar with the periodic fabric giveaways. If I like the fabric  I enter, but I never expect to win.  After all, as my son said when I told him I'd won, "We  never win anything"    The latest was fabric from Marcy Tilton, a woman whose website has gorgeous fabrics.  On the last day this lovely black and blue striped coating was offered.  It came on Thursday and it's perfect.  I thought that it was a regular stripe, but it's  more like a panel with wide blue stripes in a field of black.  The other side is reversed in this lovely wool blend double sided coating.  2 1/2 yds were  offered but when it came there was a long section that had been used for samples and a note from Marcy said that the usable fabric area started after that and was 2 3/4 yd.  Since it seemed longer than that I measured it and it's actually 3 yards plus the long uneven piece.  There are lots of ideas running through my mind for this piece   I can see color blocking by  cutting the stripe and sewing it back to make maybe two stripes sections of stripe, maybe on the lower sleeve.  It's definitely  lots of possibilities and I've already been sketching  The big decision is which side will I use?  Do I want black with a blue strip or blue with black stripes?  Well, I've got lots of time as it's pretty far down on the sewing list.  Yes, I have been sewing, just not blogging.  Now that the weather has turned  hopefully I'll be sewing more and blogging about it.  I've got 2 pieces done for my mini wardrobe for the PR contest that's running this month.  More on that later.

More storage ideas:

If you'll remember my dh came up with pvc pipe for rolling up my lovely 60" wide interfacing, saving it from wrinkling and making them easy to find.  He was up in the sewing room last weekend and decided that all those tubes were wasting space.  The shelf is high, but with the rolls laying on the shelf the room above them was wasted.  This is what he came up with.

He had a length of 4" diameter plastic pipe that fit the tubes and he cut it to length and fastened them to the shelf above.  He had to actually buy the black pipe, but it was cheap. I have room for more pipe if I need it, and look at all the storage room it opened up below the pipe.  How cool is that?