Sunday, June 5, 2016

Poncho for Paris, Hunger Games, and More


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Poncho for Paris

Another piece for Paris! (Or should I say, potentially for Paris... The final cut will be determined just before the trip.)

Margy gave me the idea of creating another layering to wear over the Minoru. Anne Whalley gave me the idea of using this particular pattern, out-of-print Burda 7313, view D. I tracked it down on ebay but, to be honest, it's a rectangle with a neck cut-out, so a pattern isn't strictly needed—you can find tutorials via Pinterest.

On two separate occasions I purchased some soft, drapey, heathered sweater knit: teal from Emma One Sock, and indigo from Stone Mountain. At first I was planning to finish the teal with a black knit binding, when it occurred to me that the indigo might be a better choice.

It's a very simple pattern. You cut out the poncho and finish the raw edges. Anne favors fold over elastic (FOE), but I prefer a fat knit binding. For the poncho, you want a fabric that looks good from both sides. This knit is brushed on the right side, but the back side is also acceptable.

I cut 10 yards from the indigo knit on the cross grain, in 2-1/2" strips, and joined the strips on the diagonal to reduce bulk. I pressed the final strip, wrong sides together, matching the raw edges. I sewed the raw edges of the strip to the right side of the poncho with a 1/4" seam. I then wrapped the folded edge to the wrong side and stitched it by hand. This creates a fat, 4-layer binding that makes my heart go pitter patter.

It took awhile to finish the hand sewing. I think that, in the end, I used 9 yards of the binding.

I like the finished poncho...

But would it work over the Minoru? I wasn't sure that it would...

But I think it does!

I love these Tagua nut earrings. I purchased them 5 or 6 years ago at one of my favorite boutiques (Emily Lee) which has, sadly, closed.

And speaking of the Minoru... Tasia of Sewaholic Patterns, who created the Minoru, has sold her business to a brick-and-mortar fabric store. You can read about it on her blog. This is causing consternation and speculation in the sewing community (particularly on Pattern Review and GOMI), but it sounds like they plan to continue selling Sewaholic's current patterns and to create new designs.


The Hunger Games Exhibition (and Costumes!)

I had heard about the Hunger Games Exhibition at the Palace of Fine Arts months ago. It is being held in the space that used to house the Exploratorium—the building is now called the Innovation Hangar). I couldn't get over there at the time, and then it slipped my mind. I remembered about it last week and wondered if it was still open.

It is.

I don't know a single soul who has seen this exhibit, but I decided to check out the costumes from the movies. The clothing is a central feature of this series.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the exhibit—the website is high on glitz and low on specifics. But what they've done is create a meandering experience where you move through a succession of rooms, roughly in the order that you see them in the movies. You start in the Hob, the economically depressed part of District 12 where Katniss lives, and you eventually reach the Capitol, with its excessive wealth, and President Snow, who might be called a president, but is actually a dictator. The exhibit ends in a room showcasing Katniss' most flamboyant dresses, including the wedding-dress-that-wasn't (though it's not on fire ;) ). Each room features costumes, props, still photos, and videos. There are even a few interactive activities.

For the most part, I focused on the costumes, though there was one green screen exhibit that I tried. When you come to the room with the chariot that Katniss and Peeta rode to the games, they have a green screen room. You stand behind a line and follow the stage directions instructing you when to wave, when to throw a kiss, when to look angry. They use the material to create a video and several still images (which you can buy). You can't see the result until later. It's a bit hokey, but you can see why I have no future in acting:

Luckily, I am not easily embarrassed. ;)

So, on to the costumes!

I found it interesting how much the costume designers pulled from contemporary fashion, especially for Katniss' clothing. For example, look at this asymmetric combination of a cowl and a vest—one of my favorite pieces.

They sell a "toned down" version of this cowl-vest in their gift shop, in oatmeal-colored acrylic, for $129. I suspected that there would be renditions of this on Ravelry. I searched when I got home and, sure enough, "Katniss Cowl" yields a number of interpretations.

I was alone as I went through the exhibit—it's not well advertised or well attended. Here's a peek at the "train" room:

The men's costumes are particularly interesting, featuring unusual shapes and details. I like some of the men's costumes better than the women's! The following jacket, worn by Peeta, features cargo pockets, with flaps, below welt pockets:

I particularly loved the shaped shawl collar/lapel combo on Haymitch's jacket:

This outfit, worn by Katniss, is very contemporary in its draping, layering, and combination of textiles:

The top of the raglan sleeves are made from gold leather (or faux leather)

The under sleeves are made from knit fabric

Textured pleather leggings. Excuse my hand—I didn't notice that it appeared in the reflection of the glass, and right at crotch level!

I definitely didn't remember that Peeta's duster-length dinner jacket was made from sheer organza! (I didn't see these movies in a theater. I "watched" them on TV, which I rarely really watch. Usually the TV is on while I'm sewing, or surfing the internet, so I miss visuals.)

The lapels and pocket flaps use a contrasting solid black fabric

It ends below his knees

An interesting neckline and cutaway silhouette on this dinner jacket, worn by Haymitch:

Sketches for the "girl on fire" dress:

Sketches for the wedding dress:

Outfits worn by Katniss and Cinna (her dress designer, played by Lenny Kravitz):

One room was dedicated to the games and included weaponry used by the contestants. I can't remember who wore this costume. Maybe Rue?

The final room:

This is a sampling of my photos. Effie's and President Snow's costumes were also featured, along with a Peacekeeper uniform. If you want to see these in person, the exhibit is in San Francisco through September. It started in New York, then moved San Francisco. It moves on to other cities in this "global tour", though I couldn't find a listing of cities and dates.

Caeser, the talking head (Stanley Tucci)
Another pic from the green screen session

I intentionally arrived early to the Palace of Fine Arts so I could spend some time wandering around. I hadn't been there since doing a photo shoot with my kids and their cousins several years ago. I arrived at 8am on Saturday, a chilly, overcast San Francisco morning. Several photo shoots were in process—engaged couples, shivering in the cold, memorializing their love against beautiful backdrops.

A napping swan family


Love and Friendship - The Movie

Have you heard of the new movie, Love and Friendship? Starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny, it's an adaption of an early story written by Jane Austen in the form of letters. I'd heard really great things about it—one of my young, male colleagues spoke very highly of it.

In fact, I heard it was hilarious.

I like hilarity, and I love Jane Austen. I was into Jane Austen back before she was "in". In fact, since first reading Pride & Prejudice in 1975, I re-read it every year for many years. Now I periodically re-watch the BBC version.

The movie was playing at my new favorite San Francisco Theatre, The Landmark. I went to see it Friday after work.

I was left wanting.

It wasn't bad. I mean, any Jane Austen is better than most other things. But the adaptation from the letters to screenplay wasn't adeptly handled. There isn't much action in the film but there is sure a lot of talking. Lots and lots of talking. We weren't shown why Lady Susan's daughter was so upset and troubled. We weren't shown a lot of things that were hinted at. And the ending was quite abrupt.

I didn't laugh at all. I smiled, yes, but that's not what I'd call a hilarious reaction. Maybe my expectations were too high.

The costumes were nice.

Afterwards I wandered around the Embarcadero. The weather was unbelievable—it was one of those rare evenings where you don't need a coat. I wandered along the bay. I didn't want to go inside!


Updated: French Sewing Glossary

In late March, I received an email from Bessie Crocker, a member of Stitcher's Guild. She had some feedback on my French Sewing Glossary post from 2009. As a result of our discussion, I updated the glossary. At the same time, I was preparing for a retreat, so I neglected to mention here that it's been updated.

Thanks so much for your feedback, Bessie!

If you have expertise in French and sewing and notice anything I should include or correct, please let me know!


There is lots going on Chez Shams, including more sewing, so I'm not sure I'll get another blog post out next weekend, but I'll try.

Have a great week!

Enjoying my computer monitor glasses—teal on the sides!

42 comments:

  1. This may seem like over focusing on a detail, but it was kind of sad to hear that Emily Lee has closed. Way back when I lived in the City, I shopped there often and still own several things that I purchased there. Love the earrings

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    1. Yes, I loved Emily Lee for years! After the dot com bubble burst, she started losing business. Then her accessories buyer (who was amazing) retired. Finally, she had some health issues and closed up shop and moved to Kansas. Though one of my favorite sales people, Patty, now works at Britex. :)

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  2. I really like the poncho so glad that it works with the Minoru. Now that you've detailed the Hunger Games Exhibit I'm sad I missed it when it was in NY. I kept saying I might go but didn't realize that the costumes were included. If I'd realized that I would have hustled to see it especially since I am a fan of the series.

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    1. Thanks! I wonder... did they advertise it better in NYC? I heard that since it was in Times Square that they pulled 700 people a day. Here at the Palace of Fine Arts they are lucky to draw 100 people a day.

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  3. The poncho and Minoru look very Parisian together, and the colors are great. I'm usually lugging my camera bag, so a poncho wouldn't work for me, but a small crossbody bag would fit underneath very nicely. ~Martina

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    1. Thanks, Martina! I am planning to wear a small-ish crossbody bag. The bag that I originally wanted to bring has worn out, but I have my eye on another. My big camera always stays home - it's too big for travel. I've gotten lazy and use my Android phone for photos.

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  4. You have such a terrific sense for color. I love the poncho and the Minoru together.

    Trying to talk Nick into the Hunger Games exhibit. We both read the books and saw the movies, but he is kind of museum averse. I told him the next rainy day...

    BTW you are BRAVE to post that video! You had a real Queen Liz thing going on. Perfect hand wave!

    - Heather

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    1. Thanks, Heather, QE2 is *exactly* who I was channeling! This is definitely not a traditional museum experience. I think he might like it.

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    2. You in the video .. in the horse-drawn carriage >> hilarious! Still have drying tears in the eye corners from laughing. You're just precious. I LOVE the cape .. it's gorgeous. When I first saw it, I thought it was raingear fabric, but that knit is gorgeous. Great job with the trim .. it's just perfect, and I'm sure you'll find so much enjoyment wearing it, in Paris and everywhere it's a little nippy.

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    3. LOL. Thanks, Joy! I still need to make a rainwear layer. :)

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  5. Not a Hunger Games fan, don't like the violence. But you looked cool!! Love, love Jane Austen and have watched the BBC series many times and read all her books. Shame the movie wasn't as good as you hoped. The poncho is fun. love the colour.

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    1. Thanks, Vicki! Had you read the "Lady Susan" letters that the movie was based on? I hadn't, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

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    2. I am also a Jane Austen fan. There is a woman in town with the name- spelled the correct way.Her kids went to school with mine and hubby taught her kids. Neat name. Anyway, have you ever read the Jane Austen mysteries by Stephanie Barron? Interesting, with lots of talk of clothes and sewing, and lots about writing. Check them out.

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    3. I have not read those, Patricia. I will look for them!

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  6. Beautiful colors on your wrap. I loved your 'screen test'.

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  7. Love your poncho--perfect to wear on the plane! Takes too much space in the luggage, and the planes are always cold IMO. The Hunger Games costumes!! LOVE them. Wish I could make it to SF this summer. I emailed them to find out if it is going somewhere else next. Thanks for the heads-up.

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    1. Thanks, 365! That's a good thought to use it on the plane. I wore the poncho today, so I'm getting used to it. :)

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  8. The colour of the poncho plus the jacket look just amazing on you.

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  9. Great post, Shams! That poncho is worth remembering. The blue trim was the right choice. And I'm liking your developing Paris wardrobe a lot!
    Hunger Games? Never seen it...or them? But those costumes were fun to see, thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Gayle! I didn't show some of the wilder costumes - they did a nice job.

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  10. As always, your post is so well-written, so detailed, and has so many great photos that it's a privilege to read it and go along with you on your journeys. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Glenda! Much appreciated.

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  11. Love the poncho -- fabulous fabric & the color is so great on you. It makes a terrific addition to the Minoru. Thanks for the 'tour' of the exhibit -- really enjoyed that. I think you have the 'royal wave' down pat in that video. As always, another great blog.

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  12. Your hunger games video made my morning, thanks! :D I feel like I need to re-watch the movies just for the clothes now. I saw them on the big screen, and I didn't notice the organza jacket either.

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    1. Me too, JT! I came home and set up my DVR to record the first 2 movies.

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  13. That jacket poncho combination is gorgeous. Love the color. what month is your Paris trip? you are preparing for cold weather? and thanks for all the pics of that exhibit, it looks great. I was hoping for more from the Austen movie. oh well.

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    1. Thanks, Beth! I'll be in Munich and Paris in late October and early November.

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  14. Another great post! The poncho is perfection!

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  15. There is a free version to SEW a version of Kathie's cowl...I found it thru Pinterest and it's a PDF. I haven't made it yet put the pattern went together better than some Ive paid a fortune for! I love shawls....love the idea of them but never manage to be successful wearing them. This one is beautiful and the indigo was the perfect choice.

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    1. Interesting, corkpop! I will look for that!

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  16. Stupid auto correct...Katnis cowl...Katnis.

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  17. Love your computer glasses and that you are embracing my favorite color- teal. It flatters us redheads! Karen

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    1. Thanks, sewingkm! I've only recently realized that I actually had a lot of teal in my stash! I do like it though I won't be giving up red! I went to a concert on Saturday and they gave a prize for the "purplest person" and I didn't have ANY purple in my closet!

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  18. Wow - what a busy sewist you have been! Adore the computer glasses. The poncho is glorious, will be an easy blanket on the plane too. The Hunger Games exhibition was fun to see. The detail, sketches, and variety of clothes was inspirational. Thanks for sharing your adventures with the green screen too! Memorable!!!

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    1. Thanks, Judy! Yes, it's been hard to sew with all the other stuff going on, but it's fun!

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  19. Lovely- those Hunger Games close ups were really intriguing- I wouldn't have thought they looked so interesting! Nice onE!

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  20. Really very beautiful! We are going to attend a fashion event quite soon at one of local Seattle Venues. Will take my friends too to this event. Quite sure that we all will have a great time over there and will enjoy being there.

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