I love to use Pinterest as my virtual bulletin board. As you might guess many of my pins are sewing related. Click here to see what fun stuff I've found and pinned to different sewing boards.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween - What Would Marie Antoinette Wear? (Costume)

Am I the only sewist who's ever been tempted by the thought,
 that  she could pull together an historic ensemble, like this, in no time flat?
Golly with modern sewing methods,
and inexpensive luxury-look fabrics, what's to stop us?

Yeah, right!
Am I the only sewist out there who suddenly starts dreaming about the perfect Halloween costume less than a week before the big celebration? 

Wouldn't I just look ravishing, while passing out chocolates and other sweeties, in the fashions I associate with Marie Antoinette's times?

And really, how hard could it be to whip a gown like this up in no time flat?

Hummmm. Yes, it will be the witches hat, and orange tee shirt from the craft store for me again this year. Maybe 2014 will be the year I start getting serious in early September.....

~ ~ ~

I highly recommend the lovely, and informative, book, Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution. It's a lovely read about what Marie Antoinette actually did wear to masquerades (like our modern day Halloween), grand balls, or just toddling around Le Petit Trianon with the dear little daughter, she nicknamed Mousseline, a fun allusion to the fashions that Marie herself made popular at the time. 

Since I like to keep my iPad happy, I bought the Kindle version of Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution.
 ~ ~ ~ 
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* Thanks so much, to readers who sponsor the work of this blog and the Enchanted by Sewing Podcast, by purchasing books, ebooks and other products through links in this blog.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

New PODCAST EPISODE Jeans Style Sewing – Skirting the Issue (#13)

Hey wait! Those aren't jeans!
Is this sewist skirting the issue? **
I was intimidated by sewing well fitting jeans, in addition to learning how to achieve an authentic jeans-styling look when it comes to fabric, hardware, and embellishment.
So, I put aside fit issues, 
for the time being, 
and created a jeans-style skirt.

Hey! The latest Enchanted by Sewing Podcast has been published!
Two Ways to Listen
~ OR ~
ii)  Click on this link to iTunes  to download this and other Enchanted by Sewing shows to your mobile device (iPhone, Android, etc.) free from iTunes 
Did I miss any links mentioned in the show? If so, please post here and let me know, or else email me ,  EnchantedBySewing AT gmail
This month show is Jeans Style Sewing – Skirting the Issue**

The Enchanted by Sewing Podcast is an  extension of my regular sewing blog Me Encanta Coser, which, roughly translated, means Enchanted By Sewing. My blog is written in English. The name celebrates the historical and modern use of the beautiful Spanish Language in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, where I live.

Podcast Show Notes http://EnchantedBySewing.blogspot.com

* Post your suggestions, thoughts or questions about episodes below this post
* Laurel's Pinterest Boards http://www.pinterest.com/lrshimer/boards/
* Personal email – Enchanted by Sewing AT gmail.com

This month
1) First/El Primero - Inspiration: Why I wanted to sew my own jeans?
     * Lori talked several times about jeans she'd sewn in various Sew Forth Now podcasts. She continues to write about her projects in her long-time wonderful blog, Girls in the Garden.
* Several Threads Magazine Articles gave me the idea that jeans were a do'able sewing project. If you don't have the issues you need, check your public library. Mine keeps issues for four years. You can also buy the complete Threads archive. 
Search for Jeans articles in their online index. http://www.threadsmagazine.com/magazine-index

2) Then/Entonces - My Prototype Jeans-Style Sewing Project: What is this skirting the issue business? And what do I mean jeans style?
     Full-On Jeans Sewing was intimidating for me. So, I started with a prototype project. http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2013/08/jeans-sewing-skirting-issue.html
3)  After That - Breaking  jeans-style sewing down into manageable chunks
    1) Fit and Pattern Selection

        BTW...Trudy of Hot Patterns has more than one jeans pattern available, including one for men! Trudy provides a wonderful service to the sewing community when it comes to YouTube videos too.

    2) Focus on Sewing Skills and Machine Skills
    3) Special Jeans Stuff - Materials, Jeans-Style Notions, hardware, and thread - http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2013/08/jeans-sewing-skirting-issue-resources.html

    4) Embellishment
    5) Resources
Links to several tutorials here, including a favorite fly-front zipper you tube tutorial http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2013/08/jeans-sewing-skirting-issue-resources.html

4) The Prototype Project
a. In this meaty section of the show (and the most fun for me!) I talk about how I implemented my manageable chunk learning style in the prototype sewing project,  my jeans-style denim skirt
5) Project Wrap Up 
  My Terminado/Done posting recaps the project and has links to all postings I wrote about the prototype http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2013/09/jeans-sewing-skirting-issue.html
a. Why this was a successful first step project for me
    A Summary of my jeans-style skirt prototype project, with links to each posting I wrote about the project http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2013/09/jeans-sewing-skirting-issue.html
b. Jeans – Style Learning Continues What’s next ? Where I am now when it comes to my learning to sew jeans?
    I've continue to write about my follow-on jean projects http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com. Titles of all such postings start out with the phrase "Jeans Sewing".
~ ~ ~
Sew Easy to Sponsor this Podcast!
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I dreamed that when Ms. Maria, the Sometimes Sewist,  bought me and brought me home, she’d bring just a little romance to my hum drum digital life.  I’m proud to be an up to date, technically competent, ebook reading device, But with Ms Maria, it’s nothing but work, work, work and never any fun for me!  I provide her with view after view of important information, so vital to her life. But all she ever downloads are self-help books and those tedious Legal Beagle Journals....

Hey podcast listeners are you acquainted with a sad and lonely iPad, kindle, nook or other ebook reading device that’s just aching for some romance ?

Why not give her the romantic time-travel e-book, My Heart Beats Faster in Past Times? And treat your forlorn buddy to a lively spin into the glittering world of Imperial Russia! This novella is available exclusively at amazon.com. You can download it to your iPad, Kindle or Nook e-book reading device for only 99 cents

99 cents? That’s a lot less than a cup of coffee!

You can read a free excerpt from this romantic spin into past times by clicking here (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005HPPB34).
~ ~ ~
Foot Notes
* Thanks to Pamela for sharing this free, downloadable ephemera http://freevintagedigistamps.blogspot.com/2013/04/vintage-printable-victorian-lady-photo.html

** If English isn't your first language, you may not be familiar with the idiomatic phrase Skirting the issue - It means to avoid a subject, often by talking quickly about something else.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Gypsy Skirt is Also NOT the Assignment - More Historic Draping

Instead of thinking - work with the circle-
I was thinking...
"A gypsy's life is gay and free not cares have we!*"
Remember my other two in-class draping projects that focused on draping a full fabric circle? 

The jacket one was the right way - The Gallant** way. (OK, I journaled about that project first, but it was actually my last creation. The one where I finally figured out what was being asked for). The first two were my Regency Romance bodice novel cover inspiration and this gal. 

Both were Goofus style, and oh so fun! 

The jacket was fun too, but controlled fun.

Yes, this skirt  was another one that my teacher indicated was not at all what she was looking for!

The problem? I just loved it. I loved it as much as the Regency Romance novel cover bodice.

Once more, I incorporate a little twisted rose at the side. I love those. 

Clumps, my teacher said. "You really like those clumps. Work with the circle. Let it flow."

Flow? The gypsy needs her skirt out of the way.

She studied the tiers I'd pinned so carefully into asymmetric lines. "Don't fight the circle."

I'm not fighting it. I'm giving it character! No self respecting gypsy wants her skirt to just fall from her hips. She wants style. 

Yup, I finally figured it out and got on with my jacket. It helped a lot when I remembered how inspired I'd been,  sitting and listening to Sandy Ericson talk about Madeline Vionnet's work as a fabric technician. (See  "Vionnet and Ericson Inspired my Circular Work (Draping)"  

And along the way.... I had an awfully good time!

Not taking my sewing designs too seriously is the kind of thing that keeps me..
Enchanted by Sewing!
~ ~ ~
Inspired by the work of Madeline Vionnet, Sandy Ericson creates beautiful fashions 

* Do you know the "Gypsy's Life" song?
It's a jolly little tune I learned as a kid

“A gypsy’s life is gay and free, no cares have we.
 No taxes need a gypsy pay, no wealth has he. 
What care we for castles high, o’er our heads is the bright blue sky. 
Never a hurry and never a worry, a life that’s free.” 

** Remember Gallant in  Highlights magazine ? That's right the magazine you read in the dentists office as a kid. He's the little boy who always pays attention and does things 
right the first time. Goofus was the sluff off kid who didn't do things right and always suffered the consequences.

Hint - We are supposed to want to be Gallant. But sometimes he is just a bit much.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Regency Romance Novel Cover is Not the Assignment! Historic Inspired Draping

I was thinking Regency Romance Novel Cover
When I draped this bodice
But I was supposed to be thinking about
working with the circles!
This is not what my draping teacher was looking for - at all - when she had us draping with circles in class.

I finally pulled off a project she was happier with ("More organic. Work with the circle."), but I can't seem to help having this dress-my-Barbie-doll reaction when somebody tells me to get creative with fabric and form. 

What deep seated emotional problem does this mean I suffer from? And can I get my community to pay me to overcome it, so that I can buy more fabric and notions?

Playing with materials in draping class keeps me...
Enchanted by Sewing!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jean Sewing: My First Jeans are Done/Terminado!

* My very first time sewing jeans 

* Yup, they fit me. I drafted the pattern myself 

* I'm already looking forward to making more - so many ideas 

* I'm not telling you about anything I didn't do right the first time. I just want to enjoy all the rightness that's there :-)

Jeans Sewing: JeanAge WaistBand

JeanAge WaistBand
Sing it to the song (and especially the chorus)  of The Who’s, Baba O’Riley*
(That song is often known as Teenage wasteland)

Out here in the fashion lab...I fought for that fly front
Then got my back into drafting – what comes above
I don’t need to fight
To prove I’m right
I just gotta get the fit tight

Jean age waistBand
It's only a Jean age waistBand
Jean age waistBand, oh yeah
Jean age waistBand
It’s all stitched now

~ ~ ~
A great fly-front zipper youtube video, I've used several times by "Fashion SewingBlogTV" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91gO3iE7YOU

Baba O’Riley is The Who song that starts out
Out here in the fields
I fought for my meals
I get my back into my living
I don't need to fight
To prove I'm right
I don't need to be forgiven
 the chorus

Teenage wasteland!
It's only teenage wasteland.
Teenage wasteland, oh yeah.
They're all wasted.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Jeans Sewing: Looking Jeans'y - A Jeans Fit Garment (fit)

One day I put them on and...
Even without a waistband
I could see they were starting to
look like real jeans.
Drafting, drafting drafting. Pattern drafting is a great new learning experience and, oh yeah, it takes a lot of time.

At some point I just wanted to know how the pattern I was creating over and over in muslin was going to look in the real deal ....

And, just as I learned with my jeans-style denim skirt, I found that the denim draped totally differently than the muslin. More challenging yet, I was working this time with denim with lycra. Guess who looked like the saggy baggy elephant? No, sorry. I just couldn't take a photo.

How many times did I take in the seams? Four on the side seam and twice on the inseam. 

Then one day I put them on and low and behold, they were starting to look like jeans!

It's times like these that keep me...

Enchanted by Sewing

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Vionnet and Ericson Inspired my Circular Work (Draping)

Back of imaginary jacket I created from a full circle
Sandra Ericson's recent talk on her fashions, inspired by the work of Madeline Vionnet, has me looking at dress forms with a new eye.

In a recent draping class (our midterm actually) we were asked to fold a square of fabric - I chose a 45 x 45 square, round it off into a circle and see what we could create. 

This is one of my designs. In this case I cut a line along one radian of the circle.

Here's the fantasy front
I like how it swings!
I wonder if that sleeve I created by simply pinning a line up from the edge, part way, would fit me? And would that tuck coming down from the shoulder at an angle fall well, and be comfortable on my body?

I liked the way the cuff rounded up from the base of the circle. That is something I plan to try in a real garment.

I also plan to try out the multiple layers of hem, at different levels. Some kind of sheer floaty fabric - like voile or silk organza - would  be nice for that. Wool jersey would be good too, but with our climate, I'd get very little use out of a jacket made from that.

My favorite features?
The triangle pocket, the diagonal shoulder tuck,
and the curved cuff.

The swinging lapel in the front, gave me the opportunity to create a little chest pocket at the top, another feature I'm definitely going to integrate into a real jacket!

Playing with circles in fashion lab is the kind of thing that keeps me,
Enchanted by Sewing!

~ ~ ~ 

Sandra Ericson and Madeline Vionnet - Modern fashion inspired by historical beauties


If this were a real, complete garment - which it's not - it would be a Zero Waste Pattern. Zero Waste designs are something I'd like to create. Here's an article about them, I found on Sandy Ericson's site.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Jeans Sewing: Drafting a Basic Pants Pattern

Learning to create the pattern  for my first pair of jeans, certainly has me
Enchanted by Sewing!

1) Summary - What I've learned
2) History
3) Resources
~ ~ ~
1) Summary - What I've Learned
* Have now drafted my Basic Pants Pattern
* Jeans Pattern will be a variation on the Basic Pants Pattern
* A lot of time!
* Basics - Used charts in book (see Resources below) to draft a basic pants block. Created first pass at pattern from that block. 
* A double tracing wheel-  carbon paper to fabric tracer tool - (like Clover Double Tracing Wheel) was very useful for adding a 1 inch seam allowance to the original pants block. The reason I couldn't make that work before - lousy carbon paper from local store. Clover Chacopy transfer paper works much better. I bought both on the web.

I continue to use these time saving, transfer, seam allowance adding, tools on each iteration of the pattern.

* Alteration Time - Time is the key word here. I continue to spend a lot of it on this project
* Alter muslin, alter pattern, study results with fit buddy or in the mirror (for the front anyway). Repeat these steps until done.
* Fit buddy eyes me and suggests alterations
* Studying typical alterations is very useful - even those that don't sound like my fit issues help me to think through those I need to make
* Not all alterations are standard. Studying them helps me to develop my eye, and use my own senses about what needs to change in each pattern and muslin draft
* Mirror is essential. I used masking tape on fit lines, so I could see them better in the mirror when I was working on my own between classes (this really only works when altering the front!). My teacher thinks masking tape drags down the muslin. In order to keep going on the project, I needed that masking tape!
* Straight of Grain (SOG) is essential, as well as perpendicular fit lines. When I make changes, I need to relate back to the original pattern and these lines provide those relative points.
* Drawing fit lines is essential - waist, upper hip, lower hip, crotch, thigh, knee, calf. They need to be dark enough to see them in the mirror when I try on the current muslin
* Fit lines below the crotch need to stay parallel with the floor!
* Watch that straight of grain!
* In the curvy parts of the body, fit lines and SOG will curve. That makes sense, when I think about it.
* Thread basting fit lines takes longer. I like using a dark pen that shows through both sides of the muslin better
* Staystitch the waist line. Use narrow elastic to tie muslin pants on at the waist. Leave open at front (where zipper would go) but draw on stitching lines and pin on there when trying on.
* This process takes a lot of muslin. When I try to conserve muslin, sometimes it just adds a lot more time

~ ~ ~
2) History

I've blogged/journaled many times about my determination to learn to sew jeans. In the summer I began this journey by working on jeans sewing techniques, but without the jeans! That is, I first sewed a jeans-style denim skirt

I had found myself intimidated by the many different, and new-to-me, skills involved in sewing jeans. When I sorted through what was keeping me from getting going, I realized that getting the fit right on a jeans pattern was a biggie, so I put that off and focused on materials and techniques - though I found fitting that skirt in heavy weight denim - versus the twill I'd used to test out the pattern - to be more work than I'd expected. I'm currently at work on the October Enchanted by Sewing Podcast, which will be an audio show about my experiences working on the jeans-style sewing skirt project. You can signup to be notified (no spam!) when monthly podcast episodes are released by visiting the show notes for the  Enchanted by Sewing Podcast.

This fall, I've begun working towards my first pair of actual jeans

I'm taking a pants drafting class in order to get a pattern that fits me. Alternatively, I could have worked on altering a commercial jeans pattern. There are several recommendations for jeans patterns others have tried, in the Pattern Review forum Make Your Own Jeans, You Can Do It! Several of those patterns, have detailed instructions about fitting the patterns to your figure type, as well as  many more sizes than are typical in Big-4 patterns.

I haven't ruled out using a commercial jeans pattern for a future jeans project (in fact I bought a couple when I was first considering taking this learning project on), but since I am a student in the Cañada Fashion Program, why not learn something about pattern drafting and fit in a classroom environment?

~ ~ ~
3) Resources
* Jeans Sewing: Skirting the Issue - Terminado!/Done! 
This blog/journal post summarizes the work I did to create my jeans-style denim skirt. This project got me started on the path to jeans sewing.

* The Enchanted by Sewing Podcast is an extension of this blog. It's a monthly Audio Show where I focus on sewing specific garment styles and interview other sewists. You can either listen right on the web (while you sew maybe!) or download it to a mobile device like an iPhone, Android or other mp3 player. http://www.enchantedbysewing.blogspot.com

* In pants drafting class, we're using the book Building Patterns, The Architecture of Women's Clothing by Suzy Furrer.

* Pattern Review: Make Your Own Jeans - You Can Do It!