16 September 2007

Kira's Top Ten

In following along with Tim Gunn's suggestions and the Stitcher's Guild, here are my top 10 must have, classic pieces chosen specifically for my pear shaped body:

1. Shirt Dress in a medium to dark color (M/D)
HP Plain and Simple Shirtdress

2. Hepburn type timeless pants in M/D
HP Razor Sharp Pants

3. Shirt in cream/ecru
HP Great White Shirt

4. Woven Tank Top in cream/ecru
I've got a funky Patrones in progress at the moment

5. Trench/Military Jacket
NL 6617; Wool crepe

6. Chanel Jacket in rich colored boucle
I've got at least 3 patterns for a starting point, and I'm following Cheri Dowd's "Shortcuts to a Designer Jacket" article in Threads magazine Dec 06/Jan07

7. Tall boots in Black
Dansko FINALLY released their Risa in Leather, see photo at top of post (I don't wear suede on account of the furkids)

8. A-line skirt in M/DHP A-line

9. Khaki's
One of my Burda's

10. The perfect T-shirt (asst. colors, but definitely several to match or blend with M/D items)
Jalie 2005

Admittedly, the basics are very boring to make. Once you've adjust your pattern perfectly though, you can whip out a couple pieces one after the other, or intersperse them with more fun sewing.

Basics are also great to batch process, especially as you can do the skirt and pants from the same or similar fabric, sewing and serging both patterns at once.

And finally, you will get much more wear out of your basics sewing, than your "fun" sewing. Might as well put your sewing time to good use.

Of course, fun sewing is necessary to feed the creative soul.


03 September 2007

Bumps in the Road ...

What have I done lately?

(sigh ...)

School kinda interfered again, but the good news is my degree is so close I can almost smell the drying ink!

The bad news is that all of my sewing has been knit based, since it is fast and requires no interior finishing.

So my first adventure of the month was with New Look 6429, the ubiquitous faux knit wrap dress (it does bring Loes Hinse's Portofino to mind).

After throwing together a bodice muslin from cheapy, freeby poly; I realized I'd need to take a lot more out of the upper chest to prevent gapping. I have a shallow/concave chest and unadjusted wrap styles make me look like I'm: trying on Mommy's clothes or advertising, as NOTHING is left to the imagination.

As such, with my second full muslin I've taken out a total of 2 inches in darts from the upper neckline.

Now that the neckline has been adjusted, its time to look at everything else: length, gathering, and fullness.

I'm pretty small boned, so too much fabric can overwhelm me. I'd also like to save fabric, so I narrow the back/side skirt by about 6 inches total. Now I can get two skirt backs out of a doubled layer of fabric. This reduces the amount of flare in the skirt to something resembling more of an A-line than a circle skirt.

I need to add to the length of the skirt, as this dress is office bound and that means it should at least touch my knees. And my long torso puts the gathering directly underneath my chest, rather than at my tummy. So I spread the outer bodice to add more gathering and drop the gathering point by several inches.

So far, so good. Now I'm ready to cut into fashion fabric. Maybe that will be next week's adventure.

My next two trials are finished and drying at this moment.

OOP Vogue skirt and Kwik Sew 3384 (gaucho-like pants)

The Vogue has been sitting on Snowdrop's table for several weeks now, waiting for the 60 minutes or so that I would need to finish it (the pieces were: cut out, interfaced, elastic sewn, the works). It's an old Donna Karan 4 gore knit skirt that is just perfect for me. I was so proud of myself, now I've sewn and washed it.

The Kwik Sew was a bit trickier. I pulled out the pattern:

I've been wanting longer "gaucho" type pants: i.e. fuller. In my experience, close fit does not a comfortable summer make. So I've planned fuller knit pants that still look good for work but that feel comfortable. I've been picturing a knit Hepburn costume in my mind. So I tugged on and down my one lonely pair of gauchos to get a gander at hem width. My gauchos were 32" at the hem. No problem, looks great. Compare that to this pattern ... the pattern says the pant hem is 40" in the size Large, but it measures to 43". That's a big difference between my gauchos and this pattern.

So I set about figuring out how much to narrow the pant legs. My first muslin, I've removed 5" total from each leg. My results are clown pants, just too much fabric.

So for the second pair, I take a dart out of each piece the length of the pattern. As a result, I've pulled a total of 11" out of the hem circumference and feel as though I have accomplished my goal.

I'm wearing these tomorrow, as I've got an outdoor meeting at noon. Now for more fabric to make many more knit hepburn's.

:) I'm that much closer to a working wardrobe.