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.

Monday, January 30, 2017

MOB: Lessons in Lace (Mother of the Bride, Technicos/Techniques)

I have been fussing all month over the pattern work I've been doing for my Mother of the Bride (MOB) outfit. I don't even want to start fussing about where I've gotten to with it!

But I will enjoy showing some of the experiments I've made, learning to sew with the lace I'll be using for my MOB outfit.

This is sample lace I had in my inventory, not the real deal I'll be using for my MOB ensemble.
I chose stitch 22 on my machine to experiment with edging the lace.
Haven't decided yet how much I'll be stitching onto tissue paper, then peeling the paper away. It works  OK for some of the  parts, but in other cases I can't get all the paper off  - particularly once I gather the lace.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

EnchBySew-51: Betsey Johnson - Following a Vintage Alley Cat

Click on this link in iTunes    to download the 51'st episode of the Enchanted by Sewing Audio Podcast,  produced in January of 2017.

Or listen directly on the web by clicking on http://traffic.libsyn.com/enchantedbysewing/FINALcastBetseyJohnsonAlleyCat_LAURELSHIMER.mp3

Not long after I finished up my front pleated, mid-weight,  denim trousers. Suddenly hit … that
I was taking my sewing inspiration from trousers I’d sewn in high school – which for me was quite some time ago.

And that inspiration came from fashion designer Betsey Johnson.

What will you hear in this month’s show?

1) Vintage Alley Cat – The Original Betsey Johnson
– In which Laurel is whisked away on a time travel jaunt, reminding her that not all of her sewing projects come from the pages of the here and now.

2) Betsey Briefly – A Timeline
a. Including  a bit about how Betsey’s designs iinfluenced my own coming of age sewing

Great article about Betsey in Vogue - lots of interviews with folks who have known her for a long time


Betsey is still going strong ! http://www.betseyjohnson.com

3) -Trousers Inspired by an Alley Cat
In which  A woman draws inspiration from her teenaged sewing self. Talk about time travel!

a. The original Betsey Johnson pattern  - way back when - was B3289

b. Further ideas for sewing inspired by Betsey Johnson. The Jamie M pattern, I mentioned in this section, - way back when - was B6533 Here's a posting I did showing a little bit of what I talked about in the 'cast. http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2017/01/laced-up-empire-alley-cat-more-betsey.html

c. Different kinds of pockets - https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2014/02/kinds-of-pockets/

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Laced Up Empire - Alley Cat - More Betsey Johnson Inspiration

Since I fashioned my Alley Cat trousers from a modern pattern, I'm thinking about recreating another vintage Betsey Johnson Alley Cat style. If I use modern fabrics, it's not going to be obviously vintage. But you could recreate a vintage look if you change the material.
An empire style emerges once a peasant blouse pattern is secured below the bust line.  I like the crossover look to form a more fitted torso. Either this tunic or a dress - maybe knee length - would work for my modern stylings. A basic peasant blouse pattern (examples belowwith judiciously arranged loops or rings as guides for the cord  would be my guess for recreating the sense of this. I'd cut my pattern a good bit longer because that cord is going to pull it up. I'm partial to the hairstyle in the middle too. I wore my (long thick) hair like the model in the short dress back in the 1970's ! I used little barrettes. It was not attractive! 

 Some ideas for a basic peasant blouse that could be converted into an Alley Cat.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Vintage Flared Trousers - Alley Cat Inspired - Betsey Johnson - Mid Weight Denim

Back in the early 70's - We sewed  flared trousers with front pleats and high waists.
Designer Betsy Johnson's Alley Cat label exemplified this look. I was in high school then, and I sewed a lot of  Alley Cat patterns.

McCalls 6403 - May be out of print, but several online vendors still sell this pattern
It's really fun to recreate this now vintage look, by altering a favorite trouser pattern, I've used for five or six pair of long pants and shorts. Back in August I created my first flared leg version - Floribunda Bouquet's black linen  pants. I found myself reaching into the armoire for those cropped - ankle  pants again and again in the late summer and fall. In my Enchanted by Sewing audio podcast  for August, in the techniques/technicos section, I talked about how I added the flares. You can listen to this 'cast directly on the web, or download it from iTunes.

McCalls 6403 - Pleated Front Trousers
Made up in mid-weight denim  -  Full length - Flare added at both inseam and side seam
(Yes - I hope to take a bigger photo and update this posting)