Saturday, July 30, 2011

Draping & Flat Pattern Finals in progress

The summer classes at my college are coming to an end. Therefore, it's time for our final projects.

First, the final project for the flat pattern 1 class.
We have to make a dress with a natural waistline as we're using the bodice and skirt sloper (we've done the torso one, but it's to be used for flat pattern 2).

I wanted to make a dress without using a whole lot of fabric, so exit the circle skirt. I choose a straight one but wanted to play more, so I looked up for godet. That's how I ended up with my main inspiration: Alexander McQueen Ready-to-Wear Spring 2011 by Sarah Burton.
I also wanted a V-neck with a built-up collar, so when I found the advertisement in Bride magazine, I knew it was a hit!

So here are my sketches (the first ones!!! but ok, I did copy the body silhouette) with the plain gray (not so Alexander McQueen, I know... but so me!) fabric I'm using:

Flat pattern - McQueen inspired dress

Right now, I'm sewing it, so I should be done by Thursday.

For the draping class, we've been doing a soft bustier to try the Madame Grès technique for pleating. That's a lot of hand sewing! For the grade we just need to stitch a few rows so I will finish it after the end of class, as I'm pretty busy right now...
I'm happy because I adjusted the bustier size to mine. So I will be able to wear it!

Madame Gres Technique Bustier

Oh, and for the multi-colored grosgrain ribbon well... It will be fully covered, so I used some leftovers from my millinery class.

But wait, that's not the final.
So for draping the teacher made us pick an envelope.
Here is mine:

Draping Final Project

Isn't it a GREAT idea? I love it. Thank you Vi.
So now I have one week and half to sketch, go fabric shopping, drape, do the pattern and sew a dress Gossip Girl actress Leighton Meester would wear for the MET Costume gala!
It would be so awesome if it could be for real...
Anyway, I hope I'll be able to come out with something she would actually wear. Maybe I can send it to her ;-)

So that's gonna be a hell of a week for me. I never had a big timed challenge, and now I have 2!

Stay tuned for the final pics'

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My draping class

I've been talking here and there about my sewing classes at the community college. I love that so much I'm following 2 classes this summer: flat pattern I and draping. As the time goes by pretty fast, we are starting our final projects! I'll sow you pictures of my work on finals in due time.

So here, I'm gonna show you what we've been working on in draping, but not before a short intro.
I took draping thinking it was the opposite of Flat pattern making. I thought I would directly drape the fabric on the mannequin to easily make a floaty chiffon or satin evening dress.
So you can imagine my disappointment when I discovered we actually had to work with muslin, in order to make a pattern!!! I though it was a waste of time when I could use a ready sloper from flat pattern!

But I finally like this class, and I now understand how you just can't do everything just by flat pattern or just by draping. I'm so glad I took both classes at the same time.

Here are the pictures of some draping I did in class: a bodice, a torso, a cowl neckline and a mandarin collar.


My new dream: to have a custom made professionnal mannequin!
So yes, I'm making a duck tape mannequin right now, But I'm not sure I like how it turns out!

Monday, July 25, 2011

I received my fabric order

Last Wednesday, it was Christmas in July: I received my fabric order from!

As you can see, I'm really fond of plain and neutral colors:
fabric order

I already have some plans for some fabrics:
- The gray one on the top left corner is for my pattern making class. I will make an Alexander McQueen inspired dress out of it, if I don't change my mind for the pattern or fabric...
If I have enough leftover I will also make a jacket
- The 3 fabrics on the top right corner are for a skirt and 2 tops. I have the whole projet in my mind, but it might take a while before I start. But I could show you the sketches I made.
- The dotted yellowish cotton on the bottom left will be dyed. I will probably use that for some tops, tunics....
- Since ran out of the wine colored organza I ordered (6 yards!), they offered my the black netting and the white/gray/black print. I love the print and the hand of this fabric (cotton?) is awesome! That was a great surprise, as I discovered this fabric whil opening the box.
- I plan to use the pink chiffon as lining for a black lace dress. But I still need to find a nice lace!
- And the blue fabric, well... I have no idea!

I went more printed and colorful for the cotton prints:

fabric order

I plan to use those, with some plain colored fabrics, for handbags or accessories.

I guess now I just have to start sewing again!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Millinery class: Wide brim white sinamay hat with feathers

Here is my 7th and last hat made during my millinery class.
It's a wide brim white sinamay hat, trimmed with black sinamay and rooster feathers.

Sinamay hat with feathers

This hat has probably the biggest WOW factor among the 7 I made.

wide brim white hat

You can see the green shine of the black rooster feathers:

feather & sinamay, white and black

Here are some pictures during the construction: you can see the sinamay blocked on the wood blocks and the hand sewing for the sweatband.

Steps wide brim sinamay hat

Conclusion about my millinery class: I really loved making hats and I will continue to do so. I'm also thinking about taking millinery class again so I would work with felt...

So, among my 7 hats, which one is your favorite?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Millinery class: Black sinamay hat

Among the 7 hats I made for the class, here is my favorite:

Black Sinamay hat

I just love it! I would actually wear it wear it a little more forward.

I used black sinamay and satin for the trimmings.

Black Ceremony hat

Here a picture at the Spring Fashion show at my college:

Millinery sinamay satin hat

The steps:

Millinery black hat

For the class, we didn't have to make sinamay hat. Actually, the 5 hats I made before were enough. But the teacher was nice and since I wanted to play with sinamay, she explained to me how to do that.
I'm now a huge fan of sinamay. I love how you start with a simple bolt of sinamay "fabric" and you end up with a hat. And the possibilities are endless.

I know it doesn't look like it by the pictures, but you need quite a lot of time to make a hat. For each step, you have a whole lot of had sewing (my fingers hurt just by thinking about that...). But the final product definitely worth it!

I love it, but to wear it I still need:
1) To sew in an elastic
2) An event!!!

Hope you like it too!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Buttercup Bag, again!

I already sew it twice. I like the bright yellow/green one, but you definitely don't want to use it everyday... So I needed a new one to match my neutral summer clothes.

I really like this pattern and it's free! Could it be any better?

buttercup bag

bag free pattern

This time I used a magnetic snap, and I love it.

buttercup bag inside

Monday, July 4, 2011

Millinery class: Cocktail hat "Americana"

Today is THE day to present my other cocktail hat:

Cocktail hat Americana

This hat is sooo American: beside the colors, I used an old Levi's jean, and some 100% American silk for the trimming.

Cocktail hat silk

Here are the steps to make it, but before to create the right ambiance, a music I like:

So, the steps:
I smoothed 3 layers on the head shaped wood block (the kind I used for the 1st picture).
Each layer was moisten and really smoothed on the block, before starting with the next layer.
The first layer was a black satin (lining), the second was the buckram (you can see it on the picture below), and the third was the jean.
Once everything is totally dry, I had to decide the shape I wanted it. I did a drop:

Cocktail hat

Next, I added a metal wire all around, before sewing some bias (hand sewn!)

I added a comb inside the hat to make it stand on the head. The last step is the trimming: the silk flower!

Happy Fourth of July!!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Millinery class: Cocktail hat "Bird of paradise"

I called this cocktail hat "Bird of Paradise" for its similarity with the flower.

Cocktail Hat bird of paradise
The yellow dots are only my pins...

The side view make the name even more obvious.
I lightened the picture so you can see the pleats and texture in the black wool.

millinery cocktail hat

The white triming is in sinamay. I lined this hat with a vintage American silk scarf (you'll see mor eof this fabric in the next post... on July 4th!).