Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

My friend Sue sent me this picture about a week ago and I couldn't get over the awesomeness. Her granddaughter, Gracie, wanted to be Strawberry Shortcake for Halloween. Look how happy she is with her grandma-made felted hat. Do you remember Strawberry Shortcake? From the 80s?

If that wasn't enough, Sue then made the SS dress. (I thought, at first, that it was a Strawberry-Shortcake-Joins-the-Brownies costume. :) )

Sue sent me these pics this morning. I am in love with the whole look!

This is probably the only kid in the U.S. wearing, for Halloween, a custom made felted hat worth $200 retail!

Sue didn't make her grandson's costume, but I thought that Jonah's mad scientist was fabulous. It looks like his goggles are made with painted eggshells, probably looted from the Easter decorations. Paired with a lab coat, and some hair gel, what a brilliant, easy, and effective costume.

Last, but not least, little brother Crosby is wearing a purchased costume and looking completely adorable. (All of these pics are posted with mom's permission.)

Excuse me while I go remind myself that my ovaries are closed for business.

This is how I'm going to the grocery store today. Do you think anyone will notice my monster companion?

I bought these glasses in the Castro and they fit right over my regular glasses.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween 2005

This is probably my last "blast from the past" Halloween post, unless I somehow unearth more pictures! (You can see all of my Halloween posts using this link.) It's too bad that most of my kids childhood occurred before I had a digital camera.

In 2005, my kids were in 6th and 8th grades. It was the last Halloween in grade school for my eldest, so this is the last year I did the "big" costumes and that we followed our usual traditions. The next year she entered high school and she was pretty much on her own for Halloween.

DD1 selected a design that was suggestive of the Elf Princess Arwen from the LOTR movies, though she had not seen those movies and was not aware of that. I decided not to point it out. She had some changes she wanted me to make from the pattern – she considered herself a "medieval princess".

DD2 was going through a lengthy obsession with Garfield that year. It seemed like I was making lasagna on a weekly basis for months, so of course her costume had to be Garfield. I managed to score an OOP Garfield pattern on ebay, though I really only used the head, feet, and tail pieces from the pattern. I used the body from a "pumpkin" pattern and modified it to get the shape I wanted. I then bought, on ebay, Garfield-yellow sweatpants and sweatshirt which, believe me, was not an easy color to find that year.

The first time she tried the head on. The black detail is painted on and notice the little embroidery floss whiskers up near the ears.

What happened to these costumes? Well, the princess costume was donated to the grade school costume closet (and has been much used). DD2 sold her Garfield costume on Craigslist. I think she got $35 for it. :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Burda 2483 - A Holey Sweatshirt

This top started with the fabric. I found this novelty fabric on Marcy's website some months ago. It is a fuzzy grey fabric with holes edged in a bluish teal color. The back of the fabric has a teal colored blue tulle fused to the grey fabric. So the holes are "filled" with teal-colored mesh. Very unusual.

I knew right away that I wanted to use a solid teal contrast. I then bought three rayon lycra fabrics, two by mail order, and one in a fabric store, but without a swatch of the novelty fabric at hand. None was right. All three are a greenish teal and not a blue teal. I now understand when a friend of mine talks about the challenge of finding the "right teal". Blue-teal, in particular, seems to be hard to find these days.

I finally decided enough was enough. It isn't a perfect match, but I used the green teal. In the photos, it looks like a close match, but in real life, it is off.

I spent a lot of time dithering on whether I wanted a zip-up sweatshirt with a hood, or a pullover with a tube neckline. The tube neckline won, largely because I wanted to try this double collar. The outside collar, out of the holey fabric, is finished with a channel. At center front are two black grommets and a thin self tie is threaded through. The inside collar, made from the teal lycra jersey, is taller than the outside collar and is finished with a channel through which I inserted plastic tubing from the hardware store.

Other than the collar, this is a very straightforward pullover. The novelty knit has 2-way stretch. The stretch ran along the length of the fabric, so I cut it on the crosswise grain so the stretch would go around the body. I did my usual knit FBA, which meant lengthening the front 1-1/2". But when I went to sew the side seams, I could not ease the fullness in at the side seam because the knit, quite literally, had no give whatsoever in the other direction. So I sewed standard darts and that worked fine. The only other alteration I made was to narrow the shoulder by 2".

Finally, I wanted to add a pocket. I used a hanging pocket, also trimmed and lined in the teal rayon lycra jersey.

And that's it! (Oh, I should mention that I am wearing this over a black tee, or you would see through it.)

Arrow points to the upper right corner of the hanging pocket. I resisted the temptation to put two googly eyes above the mouth-like opening. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Holiday Vogues Are Out - Thanks Vogue!

The holiday Vogue patterns came out today. Is it just me?! The poses are much more "normal" this time around! I can appreciate the lines of the garments much better.

THANKS, Vogue!

Having said that, I'm not seeing lots of patterns that I must have (so.many.dresses...) but there are a few I will add to my collection.

First up, I am very excited to see an updated version of one of my favorite Sandra Betzina patterns, Vogue 1018, which I made 5 or 6 times. (Click the image below to see the review.)

The line drawing of 1018:

You can see the similarity best when looking at the line drawing of the updated pattern, which includes a cute top. The 60 tucks have been left off the new pattern, so it will be much quicker to make.

Next, I really like the man's hat pattern, Vogue 8869:

In fact, it was raining and I wore my own funky fedora today... (Not the most flattering picture, but I was on my way to Trader Joes.)

I really like the zipper treatment and asymmetric hem of this Katherine Tilton jacket, Vogue 8863.

I love the details on this coat, Vogue 8862, which looks like high end boutique RTW. Vogue showed it sewn up in black, making it hard to see the flounce front, so I'm also showing the artist illustration in red.

If you like close-fitting, cigarette-style pants, Vogue 8859 has nice lines.

In the new wardrobe pattern, Vogue 8865, I like the red leather jacket when made in the "deconstructed" view.

This Koos coat, Vogue 1331, features an interesting design treatment. I look forward to reading about how this was accomplished, though the swing shape of the coat is not for me.

This Pamela Roland garment, Vogue 1332, is interesting. It's like a coat nestled in a pea pod, or emerging from a chrysalis.

This Guy Laroche jacket is wonderfully futuristic. (I wouldn't make it in straight-coat-jacket white, though.)

It's simple, but I like this Very Easy Vogue 8854 top with (or without) hood.

So, Vogue, how about fewer dresses and more separates with funky details... Please? :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Matrix Top

This top started with a sample of a pleated pocket that Diane Ericson shared at DOL. I loved it. In her version, the background fabric was "built up" around the pocket, similar to the center of a log cabin quilt block, except framed with background fabric.

I wanted to use the same idea of a pleated pocket, but to attach it to the background fabric like a regular patch pocket. I made three sample pockets before I was happy with the result. I experimented to figure out how to minimize bulk while retaining the pleats - a challenge in this substantial fabric. I used a single thickness of the fabric - the top edge of the pocket is the fabric selvege.

The futuristic "matrix" print is a 100% woven rayon twill from Emma One Sock. It is amazingly soft, drapey and has a "brushed" surface. The companion fabric is a solid black 100% rayon faille that I acquired from my friend Heather N, who recently did some destashing.

This pattern is quickly becoming my favorite TNT for woven fabrics - it's an OOP Adri pattern from Vogue, used most recently for my artist smock. (And, yes, I did use my smock at DOL!) For this version, I made these changes:

  • Lengthened to fingertip length and created side slits.
  • Used the same v-neck I had used for the "casually elegant" jacket, but this time I drafted facings, since I used bias binding for that jacket.
  • The top has an asymmetric closing. I used black snap tape with white snaps for the closure. The snap tape is inserted into the right front edge between the outside and the facing, similar to a piping. (An idea from Diane E.)
  • I rolled the solid black facing to the outside far enough to create the effect of a tiny, 1/16" piping. (Another idea from Diane.)
  • I bought less yardage than usual, which is something Diane suggests to encourage a more creative approach. Because of this, I had to piece the sleeves. I decided to create a vertical insert in the sleeves. I put pleats in the sleeve inserts to echo the pleats on the pocket.
  • The sleeves 3/4 length and are edged with more of the snap tape.
  • I found two tiny holes in the fabric. I patched them with pieces of the fabric and frayed the edges.

There is a lot going on in this top, and it's a bit hard to see the detail because of the dark print, but I enjoy the subtle effect.

Constructing the pocket.
Creating the pleated sleeve insert.
One of the completed sleeves.
The snap tape is inserted into the right front between the garment edge and the facing.
One of the tiny holes that I covered with a self patch.
Completed patch.
The completed pocket with the other tiny patch above.