Sunday, September 25, 2016

Reptile Moto Jacket, PROJKT Maiden Lane, and Artistry in Fashion!

Well, this has been a crazy few days. Crazy fun! It's been a weekend of fashion with the PROJKT Maiden Lane runway show on Friday, and Artistry in Fashion on Saturday.

I'm writing this on Saturday night and I'm pooped!


Reptile Moto TEAL

I wanted to make a moto jacket for my Paris wardrobe. I bought this teal reptile quilted-ish stretch woven from Mood months ago.

I had the lining in my stash. It is a heavy charmeuse that has an almost hammered look. I have a lot of it!

There are so many moto patterns available these days that I had a hard time deciding which to use but, in the end, I decided to go with the Lisette pattern, Butterick 6169, which has many satisfied reviews on Pattern Review. This collarless jacket is lined, has shoulder pads, shoulder princess seams front and back, in-seam welt pockets, and two-piece sleeves. Most reviewers noted that it has more-than-usual ease through the bust. Of course, I still made modifications:

Alterations and modifications:

I started with my usual size 18.

  • This jacket has more bust ease than similar jackets. Many reviews have mentioned that they didn't need an FBA. I did do an FBA, but I added much less ease than usual.
  • Narrowed the shoulder by about 1-1/2". This is more than usual.
  • 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment.
  • From other reviews, I saw that the jacket was on the short side. I lengthened it by 2".
  • Shortened the sleeve by 1".
  • Removed 4" from the waist at the side seams.
  • Swapped out the vertical in-seam pockets for angled zippered pockets.
  • Added zippers with gussets to the sleeves. I used a technique similar to my tutorial, though I actually centered the zippers at the seam. Centering the zippers requires more facings, but the technique is similar.
  • I used the reverse side of the fabric (which is black) for the front and back neck facings so that it exposes black when the lapel is folded back.

I mentioned my zipper expedition a couple posts ago. I wanted teal zippers for this jacket and I found a size 5 zipper with black tape and chunky metallic teal teeth at J.N. Zippers. They had both separating and closed styles and I had them shortened to my desired length. I also had them swap the silver zipper pull for a black slider. The front zipper is 20" long, the pocket zippers are 6", and the gusset zippers are 5".

Finished zipper pocket

Installing the zipper in the sleeve seam

Installing the zipper gusset. I used remnants of crinkled taffeta for the wedge-shaped gussets.

Finished sleeves

Zippers galore!

Back facing + lining using the reverse side of the reptile fabric. The heavy charmeuse lining has a hammered look.

I had to run to Britex for shoulder pads!

The reverse of the fabric shows when the lapels are turned back


Flashing the lining


Butterick 6169, Lisette

PROJKT Maiden Lane

Left to right: Emily Payne, Kini Zamora, Richard Hallmarq, Rey Ortiz

Britex Fabrics pulled together a fun event last night! PROJKT Maiden Lane was a runway show featuring 4 designers, all with a connection to Project Runway or Tim Gunn. Britex closed off the entire length of Maiden Lane, festooned the lane with lights, brought in a DJ with a sound system, and installed a long red felt runway. It was a lovely evening in San Francisco, a bit nippy, but nowhere near as cold as it can get. Before and after the show the first floor was open to guests for some late-night shopping and champagne.

Lining up for the event
Photo credit: Britex Fabrics

It was Very Civilized.

Sharman, the owner of Britex, and Kirby are filling the goody bags
Photo credit: Britex Fabrics

Setting up Maiden Lane
Photo credit: Britex Fabrics

The runway. There's Wendy peeking out!

Looking across the runway

Waiting for the show to start
Photo credit: Rose

Emily Payne, a former Britex sales person on the first floor, a contestant on season 13 of Project Runway, and season 5 of Project Runway All Stars, kicked off the show. She continues to have close ties to Britex and was the impetus for the PROJK Maiden Lane event. Emily presented two runway shows, starting the evening with her children's line, named for her daughter, Devon Rose.

The second runway show featured Emily's adult clothing. Emily commissioned some art pieces from Lance Victor Moore, who made some compelling face masks, designed to disguise the gender of the wearer. All of the models, male and female, wore one of these interesting-but-creepy, one-of-a-kind masks.

Lance Victor Moore's masks
Photo credit: Britex Fabrics

Emily Payne and Lance Victor Moore
Photo source: Emily Payne

One of my favorite pieces in Emily's show
Photo source: Emily Payne

Photo source: Emily Payne

For more pictures of these runway shows, see Emily Payne's Instagram feed and the #emilypayne hashtag. For more information on Lance Victor Moore's masks, see this Britex blog post.

Richard Hallmarq, a contestant on season 11 of Project Runway, presented the third runway show. His clothing featured knitwear and day looks. You can see more about Richard on his Instagram feed. Rey Ortiz, a contestant on season 1 of Under the Gunn, presented the fourth runway show, featuring evening wear. You can see more on his Instagram feed. The final runway of the evening, by Kini Zamora, contestant on season 13 of PR and season 5 of PR All Stars, featured his evening wear and clothing made with double-sided mesh fabric. You can learn more about Kini on his Instagram feed.

I took photos of the runway, but most of them did not come out, which is why my descriptions are so brief. One of my few pics that wasn't a complete blur is this dress by Richard Hallmarq:

It was a fun show, with lots of energy. Sharman says they may do more events of this type, and I hope so! It was a lot of fun for a mere $20. You can see more at #britexfabrics, #projktmaidenlane, and @britexfabrics.

Here are a few more pics from the evening:

A beautiful pic of Wendy and Rose!
Photo credit: Rose

The lovely Lucy, of Love Affair with Sewing, introduced herself!
Photo credit: Rose

Grace, a blog reader, also said hello!
Photo credit: Wendy

Sharman's pug, Kirby, was a star of the evening!

Who's a good boy?!?!

Someone is smitten!

Gorgeous Italian digital prints decorate Britex's window

Artistry in Fashion 2016

me, Sharman, and Ronda Chaney, who is wearing a self-made Kathryn Brenne jacket
Photo credit: one of Ronda's former students

Sharman Spector, owner of Britex, had a busy weekend! Her big event, PROJKT Maiden Lane was Friday night, and she was the featured guest at Artistry in Fashion on Saturday.

I love this annual event! Ronda Chaney, chair of the Fashion Department, asked me to help out with Sharman's talk, which was formatted as an informal Q & A.

Photo credit: Lynn C

Photo credit: Lynn C

Photo credit: Wendy

Photo credit: Wendy

I had left my regular glasses in the car, so I had to wear my prescription sunglasses!
Photo credit: Wendy

Photo credit: Wendy

Photo credit: Wendy

Other than the featured guest, one of my favorite things about AIF is seeing my tribe! You might recognize some of these talented folk!

Dorothy and Ann, each wearing self made

Patty and Mary, two talented sisters! Both are wearing self made outfits and Mary also made her purse from canvas that she painted. Mary Boalt is also one of my favorite people to follow on Pinterest!

A closeup of Mary's self-painted, self-made, purse!

Chris Groom and Mary Lou Lange, each wearing self made. Chris gave me a piece of that gorgeous ikat last year and I am busy thinking on how to use it!

Lovely Heather is wearing a self made "ball" necklace. She purchased that beautiful vest some years ago from Ruti. She came upon me buying my first purchase of the day in that very booth.

Artistry in Fashion raises funds for scholarships for deserving fashion students. Much of the student work is on display.

A beautiful felted vest made by one of the students

A hallway of student work

Have you heard of the book #OOTD (Outfit of the Day) by Angela Lan? Angela is fourteen years old and she's published a book on sewing and designing clothes for 12- to 16-year-olds. She learned to sew at the age of 11 and wasn't happy with existing books which focused on making pillowcases and other non-garment projects. She wanted to make clothes that she could wear, so she wrote a book, with included patterns. She is a very impressive young lady and she had a table at AIF, selling her books. Keep an eye on this one, as she might go very far.

And, of course, the main event at AIF is the shopping! There are lots and lots of vendors! I didn't take that many photos of the shopping because, well, I was busy. But here are a few that I took towards the end.

My friend Sarah was selling her beautiful ball necklaces!

One of the many jewelry vendors

One of the many clothing vendors

And, of course, you may have noticed one of my purchases!
Can you see what it is?!?!?!
Can you?!
It's made from eyeglass lenses!!! Most of them have been etched.
I love it!


I visited Seattle again last week and work is heating up. I have only a few weeks before Munich and Paris and I won't be doing a whole lot more sewing before then. (Though I do have one more almost-finished project that I hope to finish tomorrow.) The fall colors in Seattle were wonderful!

I learned that these are Horse Chestnuts, or Conkers, if you're British. I've never seen these in San Francisco! (They are evidently poisonous.)

Such beautiful berries!

I think it's kinda weird that Seattle has a statue of Lenin

I can't help it. I love a wing shot!

I hope you have a great week! Join me on Patti's Visible Monday!, Shoe and Tell Fashion, Defined Style, and Style Sweet Spot.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Teal Stripes in Wool (Dress) and Other Stuff

Teal Stripe Dress

I purchased this teal and black stripe fabric from Sewing Workshop last January or February. (I see it's still on their site!) It's a wool and acrylic blend and pebbled on one side. I'd been trying to decide how to use it when I realized that it would be perfect for one of my sheath tunic dresses.

I used the Style Arc Adele pattern to make myself a black wool doubleknit tunic dress a couple years ago. I wear that dress so much that it's pilling. I should really make another.

In fact, ironic aside: I recently learned that there's another sewist in my neighborhood—just a couple blocks from my house. I met up with Carrie for coffee and we realized that we were both wearing the Style Arc Adele! Hers really looked like an Adele (and very pretty) while my black tunic version only retains the neckline and armhole, but it was still funny! I wish I'd gotten a picture, but next time!

I dug out my pattern and, chop chop, had a dress in an evening. This is a great basic for me and I can layer many things on top.

A couple things to note.

Matching stripes:
The FBA I added to this pattern means that the stripes won't match up perfectly at the side seam. I handle that by matching the stripes at the hemline and as far up as possible. They won't match at bust level, but that's pretty much right under my arm. Why are you staring at my armpits? I would wonder. That's kinda weird.
Neckline finish:
I often finish my knits with a visible binding but, on these tunic dresses which are made with beefy knits, I like a cleaner look. The Adele neckline has a nice shape and uses narrow facings. Because I use a substantial knit, I whip stitch the facing to the body. The stitches are hidden in the knit, and the facing never flops around. You could also topstitch by machine.
I used a ponte for the facing, which is fused with interfacing, serged, and stitched down by hand. You can see the pebbled texture of the fabric on one side and the smooth texture on the other. I noticed that the smooth side snags fairly easily, so I'm glad I featured the pebbled side.

Koos Scarf

I had a half a yard of the teal and black stripe left over, so I decided to make a Koos infinity scarf! I've made several of these scarves and I love wearing them. The advantage of using the same fabric is that, when worn together, it looks like a cowl neckline. But sometimes you don't want a cowl, so I can have it both ways!

I had thrown this fabric into the washer before I remembered that it contained wool though, to be honest, I probably would have done it anyway. I love throwing wool into the wash. Before washing it was 52" wide, at least according to the Sewing Workshop website. After washing it was 45"—perfect for a Koos scarf!

A Koos scarf, so named because the technique was commonly used by Koos van den Akker, uses a half-yard rectangle of fabric. Koos' rectangles were collaged and embellished with bias strips. The rectangle is sewn on the bias. Kinda sorta. It's hard to describe and requires a leap of faith to sew. You can introduce one or more twists into the infinity scarf. I always use a full twist (or two half twists). This results in a scarf that lays very nicely on the body. The last time I made a Koos scarf, I blogged about it and linked to Linda Teufel's directions. Linda wrote a book about Koos, and she published an article in Threads Magazine about this scarf technique. See my post for more info.

Duster, Second Try

You might remember my heathered blue duster. I wore it on 4 different days since making it and I decided that it really was too long. One evening last week, I chopped it off. I removed 9".

I then realized that I should have more carefully checked the length.

It's now too short!

Oh well, I'll still wear it—I love how snuggly soft the fabric is—but I do wish I'd left it a couple inches longer!

And, yeah, I went to the bank and the grocery store dressed just like this! Hats rock. :D

Flaxseed Therapy Pillow

I'm sure you've heard of rice bags, yes? You heat them in a microwave and apply them to where it hurts. They are therapeutic except, over time, the rice dries out and the bag no longer holds heat as effectively.

My daughter, who is at university in Canada, accidentally left her heating bag behind, so I did some research. I learned about the superior effect of flax seed in re-heatable pillows. Flax seeds contain oil, so you can heat, and reheat, them endlessly. The oil does not evaporate and they continue to hold heat (or cold, for that matter).

I found this tutorial and here, where she talks about why flax seed is better. I whipped up a flax seed bag using some very soft denim, 2 pounds (more or less) of flax seed, and 1/2 cup of dried lavender.

Wow, it smells fabulous!

The flax seed pillow is part of my first care package to Canada. These items, along with two bars of fancy chocolate, cost $44 to ship. Ouch.

Artistry in Fashion 2016

So, local sewing friends, will I see you next weekend?

Next Saturday is Artistry in Fashion, one of my favorite days of the year! The featured guest is Sharman Spector, owner of Britex Fabrics. The Designer Showcase, a fashion show styled using clothing and jewelry from the vendors, is at 11am. I hope to see you there!

And, speaking of Britex Fabrics, did you see that they launched a new website this week? They are also hosting an event on Friday evening, PROJKT Maiden Lane. I'm not sure if tickets are still available, but I'll be there, too!

I have a boatload of sewing to do this weekend. I hope you have a great one!

And please join me on Patti's Visible Monday and Judith's Hat Attack!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Teal Vest, Zippergasms, and More!

Long Teal Vest

I've finished another garment for Paris. Sandra Betzina released this tunic/vest pattern with the early Fall Vogue collection last July. I snapped it up in the first sale. I purchased this fabric, "Teal Double Weave", from Marcy Tilton last January.

It is a very interesting fabric. The double weave, which creates a quilted effect, was lovely to sew. It raveled a bit, but not badly, and it pressed beautifully. The yardage went through the washer and dryer like a champ. I also used a 2-way 24" zipper I'd purchased from Botani while visiting NYC.

I started with a size E (typical), View A, and made a few alterations and modifications:

  • The front-and-back-princess seam pattern has Dior darts, which I lowered and enlarged (typical).
  • 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment (typical)
  • The pattern has a CB seam, but I didn't notice at first. When I cut it out I put the back pattern piece on a fold. I could have easily sliced along the fold afterwards, but I decided not to. Instead, I removed the excess with two 3/8" darts at the back neck. I was pleased with this approach because it gives me another 1-1/4" of ease across the back. I don't mind having more ease in this non-stretch fabric.
  • Reinforced the back of the collar stand with extra stiff interfacing secured with rows of quilting
  • The pattern has no pockets. (Whaaaaaaaat?!) I added my "Covert Cavity Pockets."
  • The pattern has no front facings, meaning that the zipper tape is not covered. If you wear the neckline open, the wrong side of the zipper tape would show. I covered the tape with narrow front facings.
  • This sleeveless pattern is designed with extended shoulders and the armhole is on the small-and-tight side. I didn't like how closely fitted the armhole was for a layering garment, so I removed 1" around the entire armhole. I also didn't like how the extended shoulder cap looked on me (it looked a bit Romulan), so I removed another 1" from the top of the sleeve (removing a total of 2" from the top), creating a more natural armhole.
  • The vest is unlined, but I finished all raw edges with bias tape.

The pattern has no side seams, so use the other seams to control the shaping. My vest is a bit loose through the waist, but I wanted to be able to layer it.

Reinforcing the back collar

See the darts added to the back neckline

The "main" pocket opening of my "Covert Cavity Pocket."

Unzip the invisible zipper along top edge to access the stealth pocket inside.

A 24" double-ended zipper I bought from Botani when I visited NYC

I like how it layers!

Vogue 1510, Sandra Betzina's Zip Front Tunic and Vest

J.N. Zippers

I first visited J.N. Zippers in South San Francisco over 3 years ago in July, 2013. Last Thursday I made my second trip there. J.N.Zippers is a wholesaler who imports hardware from China. They have a (hard to navigate) retail website, Zprz, and a wholesale website, J.N. Zippers (which had been down for days until I told them on my visit). They don't have a brick and mortar store, but they are willing to sell to individuals who stop by. This means that you have to visit on a weekday, during the day. They are located in the industrial part of South San Francisco near the airport. They've actually moved since I was last there in 2013—they are now located at 380 Swift Avenue, #5. Parking is plentiful and free in this area. If you look at the massive building from Swift Lane, they are along the left side of the building, five businesses down.

They don't only sell zippers. They also sell giant snaps, buckles, cord stops, and purse hardware. I only have to walk into their office and look at their wall of goods to enter my spiritual happy place. I have lots of pictures to share with you. If you see something you like, and you can't find it on their website (they told me that they are working on an improved website, thank goodness), send them a copy of my picture and circle the item you want.

Their factory is next door to their office and they are willing to customize zippers for you by cutting them shorter or swapping the slider to one of their many decorative sliders. I was on a mission for zippers for a teal jacket. I found the perfect zippers and I had them customized while I waited. If you have a large order, they prefer that you come back later or that they mail them to you. There is not much going on in this part of town, but you can drive to nearby Burlingame or San Bruno for food or shopping.I was on my lunch break so I waited for my 6 zippers. I also bought two zipper lanyards and two polka dot zippers. I still have a stash of striped zippers from my last visit.


My haul

I love all of the metallic shades!

I loved the 2-color zippers and asked if they could do red and black. She said that they'd have to get that from China. I didn't ask, but I assume that means they'd require a minimum order.

Thar she blows! The elusive striped zipper!

Giant zippers and center pull (luggage style) zippers!

A few of their rhinestone zippers—they had more variety in one of the binders

Giant snaps

Silk Chiffon Burnout Scarf

When I was in NYC last July, I purchased 2 yards of silk chiffon burnout. I saw lots of silk chiffon burnout fabrics at different stores in the garment district, so it must be an "in" fabric right now.

Measuring the silk chiffon burnout, Chic Fabrics, NYC

I intended the fabric for a scarf. I thought I would do the easy thing and tear the fabric to my desired dimensions (26" by 72"). It tore ok along the grain. But when I tried to tear it across the grain... what a mess! Regular silk chiffon tears very well, but not this stuff.

Oops, don't tear a silk chiffon burnout!

If the fabric had torn cleanly, I might have just left the raw edges unfinished, but this fabric needed to be finished, so I used a micro hem for sheer fabrics along three edges. I left the selvedge edge alone.

I've worn this scarf to work and I love it! It's as if a litter of kittens are cuddling my neck.

Sweater Knit Presto

Here is Presto top #7! (Savage Coco has made 12 herself and I need to catch up. ;) )

I really wanted one made out of a sweater knit. This is that same heathered sweater knit that I've already used for 3 projects in different shades of teal and blue. I just love this fabric! It's soft and drapey. Another great basic that I'll probably take to Europe.

Presto #6

DD1 needs some mom time this weekend, but I hope to squeeze in some sewing. I have one more jacket I'd like to finish for Paris, plus a raincoat which is almost finished. Otherwise, I'm working on some simpler projects.

Have a great weekend! Join me on Patti's Visible Monday.