The Most Comfortable Top in the World

I have to say–this could be true.  This top is made from a dark blue bamboo/viscose knit, cut out on the bias and has dolman sleeves and a drawstring gathering on one side.  It is so soft and drapey you barely feel it on you.  Really, really, comfortable as well as stylish.  I love it.

detail of gathering with drawstring

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Slouchy Sweater

A comfy-cozy knit top with a soft neckline.  I implemented a gathering technique on the bottom five inches of the side seams.  What this does is visually make the waist appear smaller.  It’s a really subtle design change that can just make you feel thinner when you look in the mirror.  Simple tricks.  I used a soft drapey tweed-textured sweater knit in lavender.  I left the edges unhemmed–just overlocked them with a narrow overlock stitch.

rouched side detail

This is really easy to do.  Just sew 1/4 inch elastic onto the pressed seam allowance on the inside of the finished garment.  Stretch it as you are sewing it on.  I used 6 inch lengths of elastic for this.  This technique can be done to any longer top that you feel lays too snugly against your belly.  On my manequin, the sweater fibers “stick” to the twill cover so you can’t really see this, but when these gentle gathers spread across the mid-section, they can camouflage just enough where you need it.  Use a long, narrow, zig-zag stitch on knits.

Kwik-Sew Redesign

This is a Kwik-Sew pattern a client brought me.  She liked the overall design of the top, however the pattern called for a very deep cowl neckline, which would have required a camisole, or some sort of liner, underneath.  She expressed a desire for a more shallow neckline, so I made a few minor adjustments and this is the result.  The top has some interesting horizontal seaming across the upper arm, which I like.  She chose the fabric and did a fantastic job.  The dark brown is a slinky jersey knit, and the print is a medium sweater knit.  This top is perfect for a rainy Saturday morning trip to Starbucks.

Aside

Are you frustra…

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Are you frustrated with your closet?  Check out this book–literally–you can check your library for it.  In this book, Ines de la Fressange, the first model to sign an exclusive contract with CHANEL, teaches you how to build your wardrobe from the bottom up, using foundational pieces that never fade from style.  I found a blog that hightlights her very well.  Go to http://www.thesimplyluxuriouslife.com/2010/11/rules-of-style-ines-de-la-fressange.html

Here’s an interview she did on beauty and makeup.  I just love her perspective!  http://intothegloss.com/2012/01/ines-de-la-fressange/

In Focus

So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what dirction to go with my craft.  I love simple, versatile clothing, but there’s a part of me that loves vintage designs and fabrics.  I have been throwing around around the idea of doing a few vintage dresses because, well, I love them.  I do believe that I need to find a niche and vintage clothing draws me in.

 I am gathering inventory for our town’s local annual event in early August, where I’ll hold a booth and market what I have made thus far.  Leaning toward doing various tunics and want to try a wrap skirt in a variety of fabrics.

Here’s what I’m working on now.  I have a pile of linen in brigh colors and for the first one, chose to pair a tangerine with a navy.  This tunic has pintucks and I like it with a slouchy belt, so I made one with coordinating fabric.  The sleeve is only pinned on at this point.  I ran out of  thread so now I have to run to the fabric store before I can finish it.  Figures.  Projectus interruptus…

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Alive and Kicking

What do you get when you cross the seasonal flu with an out of town trip, a new business, and an office remodel?…a very BORING blog.  Life takes interesting turns and sometimes all you can do is hold on for dear life.  The blood is slowly flowing back into my knuckles as I continue to play nurse to my ailing kiddos, and personal assistant to my darling husband as he gets his new venture into full swing (“GO, Honey!”).

I spent all afternooon yesterday tidying up my studio, since every waking minute I had to spend there over the last several weeks has been devoted to pure productivity–so the thread piled up on the floor, the dust bunnies were having babies so it seemed, and stacks of material were everywhere.  So…I had to do a little clean-up.  My recent order came in and I’ve been busy prepping fabric for some new projects.

Incidentally, I did finish up my last tunic I began here.

Ties on the left, with a hidden tie on the inside right

Sleeve detail, 3/4 length with tab ties and top-stitching

Here’s a little construction detail showing the inside of the side seam.  I chose to do a flat-fell seam which provides a very neat and clean finish.

The Conundrum of Creativity

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Every artist deals with it.  It’s not necessarily a “block”, but the opposite–an overload of ideas.  If you sew or create anything from raw materials, you know what I am talking about.  You have some sort of material you love and you have to decide what it’s purpose is–what it’s destined to be.  As a clothing designer, you have to analyze your fabric, look at the drape, feel it between your fingers and envision a garment that would best show off the qualities of that fabric.  The possibilities sometimes seem endless and that is where you can become paralyzed as an artist.  But, as artists, we must not be afraid of making mistakes–for they can be the portals of discovery.

For my first posted project, I’m leaning toward a wrap-front tunic.  This is a tunic I love–versatile and practical.  It goes over jeans, slacks, or my favorite–leggings.  It has strong vertical lines so it is visually slimming.

My fabric of choice–a “denim blue” linen/rayon blend.  Linen is a stiff and earthy fiber.  It has definite springy qualities, but when it’s combined with rayon it become more fluid, especially on the bias.  It has almost a chambray look to it.

Off to the cutting table…