Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October in Paris Musings

Extraordinary weather.
A blue-sky-75-degree weekend.

raison d’être.

The Pyramid at Musée du Louvre.
Le Café Marly at the Louvre.

Nothing better than
fabulous surroundings and
the company of great good friends.

Paris is for noticing.



and the new space
lets more light in.

Whitewashed window.

Beautiful images
and textures
appearing everywhere.

Expect the unexpected.

Classic form
cunning execution
(but not enough to actually consider wearing a suit).

Stella does zippers.

Is more really more?

Dries nails bold.

Large and more.

Rebel without a cause.

Paris just
be cause.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Amsterdam Design

Traveling is such a gift.
Allowing me to come face to face with all my foibles,
likes, dislikes and comfort levels.
Being lost.
Not knowing where to go.
Wandering and then

Meeting lovely people,
cranky people,
different people.

Noticing when I'm the cranky people.

My first visit to Amsterdam,
(the Venice of the North it is,
though I've not been to Venice),
where the canals dazzle and calm,
and heaps of bicycles create static pattern
or energetic flow.
One really does have to watch out for those cyclists
and finding a break to move through them
isn't always easy.

Exploring with long time friends,
celebrating (tardily) the 19th anniversary 
of a milestone birthday.
No idea how to top this next year!

Extremely hip concept store Sukha
was filled with so many immense
cozy knitted, crocheted and padded nests 
I wanted to snuggle in and stay all day.

Rowers on the canal reminded me of
my dear granddaughter Bridget
who rows on the Mississippi.

Beautiful artist's paintbox in the Rijksmuseum.
Wouldn't be complete without the pipe. 

Ancient mariner's hat is still stylin'.

So many beautiful and not before seen works
by Van Gogh in his museum.
His words touched my heart.

I want this chair!
Bundled clothing, yours or theirs,
creates this marvelous piece at Hotel Droog.

Beautifully delicious amuse bouche
at Spelt.

Nothing speaks like Amsterdam design!

Monday, September 29, 2014

The American Sewing Expo -- Go Michigan!

Cosplayers added a lighthearted creative spark! Though this mouse does look a bit serious...
 Perfect weather.
Fabulous fans.
Grand booth mates.
Scoring cool new buttons.
Connecting with friends --
new friends, Facebook friends and long-time friends --
a treat to teach at and experience.

Such an odd juxtaposition of interests sharing signage and Showplex space. 

Nobody confuses the participants.

McCall's designer Melissa Watson gives a customer a tote bag.
The McCall's booth was hopping
 with celebrity guests, the bosses and happy sewers;
all enjoying meeting, greeting, gabbing,
getting to know each other
and buying patterns at a bargain price.

McCall's designer Khaliah Ali and Kathy Wiktor, Director of Retail and Consumer Relations.
McCall's designer Khaliah Ali
is as warmhearted and lovely in person
as she is beautiful in photos.
A fun new experience
to get to be one of the 'celebrities'.

Super-fan Jan Crews drove 3-1/2 hours from Ohio to visit!
As you may be able to tell,
I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

Chandra Worman working on her 'Under the Sea' dress.
ASE "Passion for Fashion" contestants
worked long hours on Friday and Saturday
preparing what they hoped were winning entries.
I focused in on fellow Oregonian Chandra Worman
working on her design Friday afternoon.

Each designer had a specific theme to inspire their creation
using fabric and notions donated by show vendors and
David Tutera's Social Occasion Collection.

Frank Rizzo, McCall's President and CEO with Leslie and Bridget.
Saturday afternoon Frank
Pied-Pipered a passel of people with posies
to purchase always pleasurable ice cream cones.

The experience: priceless.
The ice cream: forgettable.
The alliteration: irresistible.

Gertie signs Rickey's new copy of Gertie Sews Vintage Casual.
Gretchen Hirsch (aka Gertie) was great fun to hang out with!
We met for the first time in person in the hotel lobby
as she returned from a ride on her pink bicycle.
Handily enough the bike folds up and fits in a suitcase
providing transportation and exercise
while looking super-hip and cool.

Gretchen's got it all!

Chic in raw edges.
I can't remember this creative's name
(I forgot to write it down)
but I spotted her wearing
this great vest as she arrived in my class.

Simple and stylin'
she really knows how to make those denim scraps work!

Close up of Jasmine's hat.
She's got it happening.
Friday afternoon I found myself following Jasmine's fabulous hat
and she happily let me take a photo.
She is currently working on a knitting certification.

Jasmine's jacket front.
Jasmine's jacket back.
Jasmine showed up Saturday in her prizewinning
red leather moto jacket with chain mail inserts.

At the McCall's booth she was surrounded
by multiple mature sewing fans who were in awe
of her pattern drafting and sewing skills!
She is only 18 so we will surely
be delighted with her creations for many years to come.

Award winners Mari and Ezekiel.
Clearly it runs in the family
as Jasmine's siblings,
10 year old Mari and 8 year old Ezekiel
won awards in their ages groups as well.
Mari made her tunic and pants;
Ezekiel made his vest, bow tie and pants.

Needless to say their proud parents had big smiles!

McCall's designer Melissa Watson with celebrity wedding planner David Tutera.
Melissa Watson did a fabulous job
as commentator at Saturday afternoon's
McCall/Butterick/Vogue Fashion Show.

And the winner is...
Fancy fabrics were the perfect prize
at the McCall/Butterick/Vogue Fashion Show
This lucky lady walked off with the Grand Prize.
She won so much fabric she needed help
carrying the bolts home!
It will be great if she comes back next year
wearing what she makes with it.

Ruth modeling Butterick 5960.
Ruth found an amazing fabric
to make her version of my coat.
What a great model she is.

I sure hope she sends me a photo when she completes it!
(hint hint)

Happy stitching everyone!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lengthening Butterick 6106

Since my last blog
about making some jacket/shirts
from Butterick 6106
I've received several questions 
about lengthening it.
Here are the answers.

butterick 6106 in monet's garden 'denim'

Yes, I did lengthen the pattern for my blog versions.
No, I did not use the 'lengthen here' lines
as shown on the paper pattern pieces.
Well, I didn't have the Butterick version
of the pattern yet, I had my own
(which by the way has no seam allowances).
Know that I have the pattern before Butterick does
but it doesn't look the same as what you purchase.
From the time I send Butterick the size 10 samples
to be photographed, it takes about 9 months
for the pattern to come out.

top left front showing 1-1/2" of added length
left front and left side back showing 3" of added length

I looked at my pattern 
and made an educated decision 
about where to best lengthen it
to get the 3 more inches I wanted.
Given the number and shapes of the front pattern pieces
it seemed like too much to add in just one place.
Since I couldn't see adding at the hem
I basically chose two places where I could add 1-1/2"
while still maintaining the integrity
of the jacket/shirt's lines.

right front with 1-1/2" added in two places

It was fairly simple but like any pattern alterations
the details take some time.
I've opened the now released pattern envelope 
of Butterick 6106 and looked at all the pieces.
The 'lengthen here' lines are all good to go
so you don't have to reinvent the wheel like I did.

adjusting the seamline with a curved ruler

If you want more than 2" of length added
feel free to copy what I did.
I think you can figure it out from the photos.
Remember it's not brain surgery,
what you are about to attempt
is mostly common sense.
I've just done some of the thinking for you.

All fabrics used for my work are from
Because the samples go to Butterick
so far ahead of time
often the fabric used in those samples is gone
by the time the pattern comes out.
(At the time of this blog
'Monet's Garden' and 'Versaille' stretch denim
are still available. If you can't find them on
Marcy's website, then they are sold out.)
But there's always more fabric.
New pieces are posted almost every day.

Have fun and send me photos please!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Babe and Jean (or Variations on Butterick 6106)

butterick 6106 in plaid
 There are some wonderful plaids
available these days
in fabrics and ready-to-wear.
When I saw this bold plaid 
in grey and black I was hooked.

Sometimes I'm attracted to a fabric 
and it sits on the shelf
waiting for inspiration.
In this case the inspiration was right there.
No escape.

The moment I'd finished
the sample I was playing with I was on it.

with front collar open

Since I was going for a Babe* look
I knew I wanted to do something different
with the plaid -- more than just matching.
Butterick 6106 seemed right
for the challenge.

back butterick 6106

 Planning how to cut out something like this
takes some forethought.
I knew I wanted to mix it up
and I also knew
I wanted to match things up.
I started with the matching up.

side back cut at an angle

 The back is always a good place to start
as you won't have to look at mistakes 
(if there are any).
Originally I cut the back with the plaid
matching all the way across.
After I completed the two fronts
I decided that one of the side backs
needed to be cut at an angle.
Since this fabric was woven and then brushed
it was quite stable 
so I didn't have to worry about stretching
if I cut off grain.
Which I did a lot of...

left front plaid matching

I decided to match plaids on one side of the front.
I chose the most complicated side to manuver
but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.
I love how the bold black line
zigs and zags down the front.

front facing detail
All pattern pieces were cut out one at a time
moving from the shoulder to the hem;
back, left front, right front, back revised.
Decisions about how to design/cut the next piece in line
were made one at a time 
after studying the plaid and the pattern piece.
An organic process,
allowing each design decision 
to lead to the next.

fold back sleeve detail

The plaid fabric was too thick to use for facings
so I chose a lighter weight fabric.
The contrast fabric definitely 
takes the jacket up a notch.

* Plaids always seem to remind me of Paul Bunyan.
Paul had a sidekick named Babe
(never mind that she is a blue ox).
 Hence I call this my Babe jacket.

butterick 6106 jean jacket

I made the same jacket in a 'denim'
digitally printed from the image 
of a well loved jean jacket.

front button detail

I was able to utilize the fabric print
to my advantage.
Fun to be able to top the visual buttonholes
with real ones
and manage to find buttons 
that mimic those found on the real deal.

back view jean jacket

I call these 'jackets' but often
I wear them like a shirt
as well as layering them
over T's.

Can't wait to make another one!