Thursday, June 16, 2016


Color, as you can see I haven't quite succeeded in adding a lot of color to my wardrobe. I do wear red lipstick, which I've done for years.  The current color is Beso by Stila. I love this stuff.   Red lipstick is usually high maintenance but this one doesn't come off all over the place. Well, some of it does come off when you eat.  Oily foods are the worst.  But it doesn't come off in the usual course of the day and it stays on all day.  I  have added  other accents of red to my wardrobe; a red everyday handbag, red glasses, red sandals.  These are big steps for me. I've got a red pashmina too, as well as a black and red silk scarf I bought in India years ago.  I've been using them more.  

Seamwork, the monthly magazine from Colette patterns posted an article on how to find your colors.  I downloaded the recommended Sherwin and Williams app.  I took selfies of myself and ran the program.  Problem is, I didn't like most of the colors.  I don't wear pastels.  Can you really imagine me in pastels?  I can't.  There were lots of grays and some black as well as a number of different reds, yellows and golds.  These are colors I can relate to. I already have plenty of grays and blacks  in my wardrobe.  Big step for me, I ordered a red and white stylized floral for another Gypsy top.  I've got a nice gold rayon knit in the collection (thanks Caroline; a much better word than stash!) that will work with my gray, black and white neutrals. I also ordered a coral, gray and ivory knit from emmaonesock to go with gray or white pants. I have three pairs of gray pants and I'm making a pair of white linen pants.  I've got some red linen that would look pretty as a summer woven tee with white and gray and my multitude of black pants.  Baby steps for the color.  Oddly I did make some pieces a few years ago with more color but they are gone from my wardrobe due to stains or relegated to exercise clothing due to wear. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Big Style

As you can see above in Bill Cunninham's Sunday NY Times offering,  off the shoulder tops are very much in vogue right now. and there are lots of ways to wear it. I finished a blouse version of Hot Patterns Urban Gypsy Friday and wore it out to dinner with friends.  This top is in a lovely black and white stretch cotton from emmaonesock and probably as old as the fabric I used for  my dress!     Every season I make a list of sewing projects and a blouse is usually on it and until now hasn't made it to the sewing machine.  

This version uses the alternate sleeve that comes with the pattern.   It's quicker to do well, no baby hem. It's still not the original version with it's shirt tail hem.  One more would be nice, using the tie sleeves, and the original hemline.   After all, I bought a strapless bra for my dress and I wouldn't mind getting a little use out of it!   

I really enjoyed working in a nice woven cotton instead of my usual knit tops.  Knits can be finicky, and this was not in the least.  the only issue I've have with this top is that I made the elastic too short to stay further down on my arms. I think I may open it up and put longer elastic in. it's a fine line between too long and not long enough!  I would ere on the longer side if you make it.  I didn't really notice it until I sat in the car.  Because of the seating angle I think, the shoulders rose. 
One of the reasons I bought this pattern was how current it is.  But, I am not a big fan of over sized shirts or anything else for that matter.  This shirt has too much ease as drafted in my opinion.  I carefully measured the hips and even at a size smaller there was 8".  I of course then added an fba and made it worse.  It's also totally straight at the side seams. When I altered it to make the dress, in addition to narrowing it I shaped it at the side seams, in at the waist and pegged the hem a good inch on each side. I do have to shimmy into the dress a bit to get it over my hips, but it's fine once it's on.  I have to keep saying that if you are making a muslin  add Horizontal balance lines.  I could see that the one for my bust was pulling down at the sides, so I added another small dart to level it out.  I rotated it into my existing two darts and then equalized the two darts.  I almost didn't see it, but after spending a long time looking into the mirror I realized what the problem was.  Finally learning to see after all these years!

I have a number of shirting fabrics in my stash for that planned shirt that never materialized.  I saw a gorgeous white cotton and  linen shirt from The Row in Elle magazine that I would love to replicate. (of course I have several whites to choose from) It has a large notched lapel and collar.  The Row's shirt wraps, but I'd probably add some buttons and a bit more shaping.  Now to find a pattern, or maybe I'll finally  draft it myself.  I've taken all of Suzy Furrer's drafting classes and several in person from Kenneth King.  I have Kenneth King's cd books, but I found Furrer's classes easier to understand.  I drafted a notched collar and lapel for a coat I made in late winter.  I tried to draft it using KK's book and couldn't get what I was looking for, but I did using Furrer's class and it came out exactly what I wanted.  I'll write a future post on the coat.  I love it and it's probably the best coat I've ever made.