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.  


  1. Gorgeous outfit Nancy, the pants look so good with the black top. This will be a great wardrobe. Looking forward to see your jacket especially.

    1. Thanks Sigrid. I used a method from Kenneth King's Jeanious class. Instead of my usual straight waistband I cut it on the cross grain and and shaped it using steam as if it were cut on the bias. It really curves quite well. I stretched the seam edge so that it really fits over my hips and fits well at the waist.

  2. That is a lovely outfit, especially topped by your silver hair. The plan for your white blouse with piping is so great-I love that slightly retro look of contrasting piping.

  3. Oh Nancy, your Mini Wardrobe is going to be gorgeous! nancy 2001

  4. Love the leopard pants mom! Tres chic. Can't wait to see how the motorcycle jacket turns out. The piping on the blouse sounds cool, makes it more interesting.

  5. Nancy, you look absolutely fabulous in your leopard pants and perfect T. You've got a great wardrobe working. I bet you win the contest!!!

  6. ditto what everyone else has said - you look great in your leopard pants and T. Your mini-wardrobe sounds great good luck in the contest.

  7. I love the leopard print fabric. The photo of NY make me miss home more :(...Nice sewing ;D

  8. Fabulous. And I really love the hair. Good luck with the contest!

  9. This is a great concept for a fall wardrobe and the pieces you have already made look fabulous.

  10. This wardrobe has chic styles and great fabrications, which make for very stylish outfits. I love the leopard pants, which look great on you. And a leather jacket! How ambitious. I hope the sewing mojo stays with you to the end!

  11. Your outfit is wonderful, crisp, sleek and very polished.

  12. Oh my, this is a very elegant look on you! So chic! I sure hope you feel that way in it too!