Sunday, December 6, 2015

Multi-colored Burda Vest & Other Stuff

After attending the Etsy Fair with DD1, Pier 35, San Francisco, Thanksgiving weekend

Caught a pic of this seagull, just as it was landing, last Thursday morning at work.

Happy Hanukkah!

I've received some touching emails, asking where the heck I've been. I have nothing compelling to report. I've been... well... busy. I have made a few things (just a few), but I have only pics of the vest for this post.


Burda Vest

I first made this Burda vest a little over a year ago. It's been a great piece in my wardrobe so I decided to make another one. I bought one yard of this wool in Santa Fe two years ago from Santa Fe Fabrics which has, sadly, since closed. The wool has yarn felted into it. You can use either side as the outside, but I preferred the side that is more muted.

Both sides of the fabric

I like that I can wear the collar open or closed

This version of the vest also features:

  • Stretch taffeta side panels and lining.
  • A double-ended, custom-length zipper from Zipperstop.
  • Pockets that I call "Covert Cavity" pockets because they cleverly hide a pocket inside the pocket.

Pantone 2016

Have you seen it yet? Have you seen the Pantone color for 2016? Except it's not just ONE color, this year it's TWO.

And, well... just take a look:

Yes, it's PASTELS. Pastel pink and pastel blue.


It really doesn't matter to me, in the big scheme of things, as I am not subject to the vagaries of these fashion colors—I have a deep fabric stash and black is always in, no matter what other colors might be au courant.

One of my sewing pals is thrilled, as these are her favorite colors to wear. She might want to gear up for some shopping. The next year or two will be the perfect time to buy these colors in accessories—bags, shoes, scarves, earrings.... If you like these colors, get ready!

Otherwise, join me in patiently waiting it out.

BPSewVember Instagram Hop

I joined in another Instagram photo hop for the month of November, this one sponsored by the blog Bimble and Pimble. Seriously, why do I keep doing these? I like how the daily prompt makes me think, but every day for a month is a lot!

Here's the summary, in case you find it interesting.

Day 1 of #bpsewvember: Three Facts. 1) I'm 57 and have been sewing for 50 years. (Geez, that sounds old.) 2) I am totally helpless when faced with a great novelty fabric, especially some Japanese fabrics. 3) One of my pet peeves is spelling "so" as "sew." Maybe it's because I am a technical writer. However, "sewist" doesn't bother me at all. :) (In the pic, I am with Diane Ericson, who is taller than I am. :) )

Day 2 of #bpsewvember: Like a boss. I love making coats!

Day 3 of #bpsewvember: Inside. I love lining with scarf panel fabric, when I can find it. I took this photo today but made this jacket a long time ago.

Day 4 of #bpsewvember. Inspiration. I derive inspiration from lots of places. Artemisia is one site I like to visit for eye candy.

Day 5 of #bpsewvember: WiP. A vest, made from wool and stretch taffeta, with a "Covert Cavity Pocket." Last Saturday, I ordered a double-ended separating zipper from Zipperstop in NYC and just received notification that it's shipped.

Day 6 of #bpsewvember: Fast or slow. Both! The speed of the process must be in service to the result. The top two garments were fast. The bottom two were slow. I set over 240 grommets on the duster at the lower left and knitted the sleeves and collar for the coat on the lower right.

Day 7 of #bpsewvember: Stash. Just a bit of my stash that I pulled for Design Outside the Lines last month. The theme was on coats, so I pulled some of my coatings.

Day 8 of #bpsewvember: Why sew? Because I must. Or else.

Day 9 of #bpsewvember: Game changer. For me, my game changer has been blogging my sewing for the last 6 years. Blogging has caused me to stretch myself to learn many (non-sewing) skills, like taking better pics and using software to manipulate those pics: size, collage, make call outs, etc. Blogging has led to many opportunities, such as being flown out to meet the president of McCalls/Vogue Patterns, competing in contests, being asked to speak and teach in various venues, and being featured in last December's issue of Vogue Pattrn Magazine. And, finally, blogging has vastly increased my world and has led to many friendships with likeminded sewing sisters.

Day 10 of #bpsewvember: View. It was dark when I left this morning and it will be dark when I return. But here's the view from my office today when I was getting my decaf soy latte.

Day 11 of #bpsewvember: Tools. Some of my favorites. I have about a dozen pair of Kai scissors in different sizes and for different kinds of fabrics. My handmade custom ham from Stitch Nerd. My Reliable Digital Velocity v200 iron. On of many seam rippers, this one made of resin.

Day 12 of #bpsewvember: Community. I love my sewing community, both online and in real life!

Day 13 of #bpsewvember: Style. Funky. Comfort. Details.

Day 14 of #bpsewvember: Help! I've often provided help when asked, from full bust adjustments, to how to noodle out a pattern with strange shapes or unconventional construction.

Day 15 of #bpsewvember: Heirloom. So far, neither of my kids (ages 20 and 23), have any interest in sewing. Maybe one day I'll have a grandchild who might be interested in an heirloom sewing machine.

Day 16 of #bpsewvember: UFO. I don't know why I haven't finished, but this knotted scarf has been on my design board, in exactly this state, for 2 or 3 months.

Day 17 of #bpsewvember: Print or plain. Actually, neither is my favorite. I love texture! I love fabrics where the design is woven in or knitted or felted or perforated or dyed.... Somehow manipulated. That's my jam!

Day 18 of #bpsewvember: Dream project. My dream project is to make a travel wardrobe to wear when traveling to Paris with the Tilton sisters.

Day 19 of #bpsewvember: Workhorse. I've shown my beloved Bernina 930 before, so here's a wardrobe workhorse! I made this coat in 2012 and have worn it hundreds of times, which is saying something since I wear self made everyday and have other coats that I also love. I'm wearing it today—I took this as I was leaving for work.

Day 20 of #bpsewvember: Tried and True. My TnT top pattern used to be the Sewing Workshop Tea Garden Tee, which was based on an Issey Miyake design and included underarm gussets. I made at least 13 of those, such as the red one in the inset. My new TnT is the Presto top by Savage Coco, which has set-in sleeves, so it's more updated in terms of fit.

Day 22 of #bpsewvember: Best part. I was going to say finishing a garment, including posting on the blog and social media. Then I saw this pic and the best part is, without question, hanging with my sewing friends, like Margy!

Day 22 of #bpsewvember: The vault. I had to dig out my old external hard drive and could only find the low-res version of most of these, but here are some of the Halloween costumes I made for my kids over the years. In no particular order: My daughter and her friend wanted to be "Girls that didn't want to go to bed." For that I made them matching night gowns with twirly skirts. I also knitted their sleep caps and made matching outfits for their teddy bears. Harry Potter—a "Weasley" sweater with a Hat that Hermione wore in Prisoner of Azkhaban, and matching Griffyndor scarf. Christmas Tree with flashing, star shaped, tree lights and real candy canes, hat with glitter star tree topper, and self made Christmas ornament earrings. Garfield-I used a pumpkin pattern for the body and the tail, head and feet from a commercial pattern; details are painted. Warrior elf. Medieval princess (who looks suspiciously like Arwen but she hadn't seen the movie). Alien Moon Robot-I used a stretch metallic fabric and fashioned a control panel with flashing buttons; the head cover is a playground ball that I spray painted silver after cutting away an opening so she could pop it on.

Day 23 of #bpSewvember: Essentials. This was hard because there are so many essentials, so I'm going with the thing I run out of most. Black thread! (I prefer Mettler brand over Guterman.) And because I'm sewing with so much black, I own several Ott lights!

Day 24 of #bpSewvember: Skill up. One thing at which I suck is wardrobe planning, especially a travel wardrobe! Ironically, I have few wardrobe orphans, so I have some sort of intuitive thing going on, but a planned wardrobe?!?!! Yikes, that's hard. And when I go anywhere I tend to completely overpack! I need to work on this.

Day 25 of #bpSewvember: Oh no! I made these Jalie jeans in 2010. I had altered them to fit my large waist and they fit pretty well. Problem is, when your waist is larger than, or equal to, your hips, pants like this have a tendency to fall down. Over and over and over. I started wearing the jeans with a snug belt but it wasn't comfortable—when they were sufficiently tight I felt throttled. Given that I have boobs, suspenders do not appeal. This is why all my skirts and pants have firm, non-roll elastic-so they stay on! I later made another pair of Jalie jeans, putting elastic in the back waist-so I won't flash anyone! Gee, @bimbleandpimble, you sure make me think!

Day 26 of #bpSewvember: Best make. How does one measure "best make"? Most worn? Most challenging? Most changed-your-life? The wedding dress I made for my sister in law was more involved than mine, but I can't easily access photos. It was in the 1980s, but here's my wedding dress which is a mishmash of patterns and self drafted.

Day 27 of #bpSewvember: Detail. I'm all about details! Here is a pocket from my current project.

Day 28 of #bpSewvember: Sewing space. Here is a table that holds some of my special purpose tools (left to right): dry iron, serger, felting machine, Stitch Nerd pressing ham in ham holder.

Day 29 of #bpSewvember: Confession. 1) I have too many clothes! I will be clearing out over the next few weeks. 2) I love my Fly London Yitos. I bought a yellow pair 2 years ago in Santa Fe (at full price) and have been coveting a red pair. About a month ago I found them online at a greatly reduced price, since they were out of season. I bought a red pair AND a black pair and, combined, paid less than what I paid for the yellow pair.

Day 30 of #bpSewvember: Next up. I finished a pair of pants last night. I'm also half done with a vest. So... What's next? I'm not entirely sure, but this fabric, purchased at Puyallup from Vogue Fabrics, is a strong contender.

I can't believe the weekend is gone already. I hope you have a great week!