Friday, August 31, 2012

Finished: the scalloped dress

These were the busiest days this summer, readers. But I am so happy I was able to accomplish what I planned. Here is my latest dress. How does it happen that until you take a picture you don't realize that the bodice needs a better press? I am embarrassed - please forgive me, readers.

By the way, you'll get points if you spotted the scalloped border behind me! Only now have I realized the scallops haven't entered my life with the newest trends. Interesting, how photographs offer a new perspective on yourself... what was I talking about? the dress?

Ok, posing for photographs is not my strength - I was following my daughter's instructions.

I love her :)

unpressed bodice (please, give me some comforting words - tell me it doesn't look unpressed!)
I mean scallops look good...
Ahem... and the photographer was my 6-year old daughter - she is not bad at all, right? And I need another belt for this dress.

I drafted the pattern myself using the sloper I made in Kenneth D. King's Moulage class. The fit was perfect, until I dropped several pounds while on holiday. Seriously, I was eating a lot. In fact, in the place we stayed in Italy they feed their guests up. But it's probably all that hiking and a healthy dose of good Italian wine. I wish I was still there... Anyway, I decided not to overfit the dress, but my master sloper will need couple of ease adjustments.

I will show detailed construction shots in a separate posts, especially the closure in the back, since I decided to keep the upper separate from the skirt, to allow for movement.

All fabric, including the wool as the fashion fabric, silk organza underlining and silk crepe-de-chine comes from Mood Fabrics. I loved this wool, very thin Super 120, which according to the selvedge comes from a Turkish mill which supplies big fashion retailers, such as Zara for example. It was surprisingly affordable and easy to work with, just perfect for a sloper test project. I love working with wool, and Mood has a great variety to choose from. By the way, if you are in New York, have you seen their new suitings sections? It looks so good, all the wool is perfectly organized - I love just hanging around there.

To construct the dress I used techniques taught by Susan Khalje in her Couture Dress Class, and the scallops were drafted following instructions in her Threads article "The Scalloped Hem" (Issue #85, from the Threads Archive).

Thursday, August 23, 2012

WAHM Style: Frumpy or Fabulous

Readers, since I’ve become a work-at-home mom - (Is there actually a non-work-at-home mom?) - I realized that I lack a whole range of clothes that would suit my new lifestyle. I should be blogging about it, actually!
I am not a sweatpants kind of girl, but there are days I would rather hide than show myself to the world. How do I want to look at home?

Well... but it's getting warmer

‘STYLE IS LIKE A MUSCLE’ - Nina Garcia, the oh-so-fabulous judge on Project Runway. 

“If you don’t exercise it, you lose it.” So, how do you exercise the style muscle if you are a work-at-home mom with three toddler-to-teenager kids. In the morning, breakfast - bringing the toddler to the daycare - getting back - organizing home - working - writing - early afternoon, picking up the 6-year old from school - an hour travel back home (NYC subway) - homework - evening, cooking - dinner - kids bath - COMA.

With these frantic days it is just so easy to forget about style, knock it out of your consciousness, pretending noone will ever care or notice. “...if you have a job that doesn’t require you to check in at an office or take the occasional meeting,” Nina Garcia warns in her ‘Lookbook’, “you can be on a very slippery slope from being home and comfortable to looking like a disheveled mess who panics every time the doorbell rings and you realize someone may actually see you in this state.”
So, here I am: I am losing it. The style, that is. 

Or, do we need to be stylish, actually? Anyone out there in the mood of directing it into a discussion about feminism - please, feel free. What I think is that the way we look reflects very much the way we feel, the way we are, who we are... Who are you? THE QUEST FOR STYLE
I am looking forward to your answers, readers! Meanwhile, I need to declare a war to my personal home-wardrobe frumpiness, readers! And I am asking you, WAHMs or non-WHAMs, what are you wearing at home? Do you think we need to be stylish at home? Are you a who-cares person, or do you want to be and to feel fabulous at home too?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Work-in-Progress: Godet Skirt for Burdastyle

Finally I have time to dedicate to the blog again, readers! Five weeks, mostly spent on holiday - suitcases unpacked, home tidied up, sewing revisited. This month I have a busy schedule: I need to finish my Burdastyle Couture Challenge garment and the tangerine red dress I started before holidays. 10 days left, and I have to be especially careful that I stay on track.

Without going too much into my planning for the rest of the month, today’s topic is my project for the August Burdastyle Couture Challenge. A Godet Skirt (#112) from the issue 08-2012. There are couple of styles I liked in this issue, but I wanted to make something practical I can wear every day, as well as work on a technique that hasn't been covered in my BS guest posts yet. A godet was a good option.

I love godets, prominent in 30s, they looked best when women dance. Well, this skirt is not quite that style, but I like the transformation of a classic but dull tweed pencil skirt into a flirty little number.

A godet is a triangular wedge inserted into a seam or a slit to add flare to the hem without increasing bulk at the waist or the hip.

This skirt is designed with in-seam godet, which is easy to sew and is stronger than the one inserted into a slit. For a tweed godet of this volume and length, this is the perfect solution.

The skirt itself is pretty simple: a pencil skirt with one princess seam that incorporates the godet piece. However, when I look at the skirt image and the instructions, there are a few things I would like to do differently. I am not claiming that these are problems, because it may have been done intentionally, yet from the comments on my Facebook page I understand that some of you agree with me on these points.

  • Godet is puffing out at the tip (you can see it pretty well on the image). There is excess fabric that needs to be taken care of.
  • I am not sure I like the petersham belt, but this is more of personal preference than anything else. I think I’d rather go for more polished look and use self-fabric for the belt too.
  • The skirt has no lining. I am using tweed for the skirt, and there is no way I want to wear tweed close to skin. So, lining in!
  • Finally, the BurdaStyle construction uses a small patch of the lining fabric - a narrower and shorter version of the skirt godet (an ‘undergodet’) - to create a stay behind the godet, so the skirt doesn’t flare out and preserves its silhouette. I am not sure it works perfectly, but I will need to make a muslin first and see what other options I can use to stabilize the movement of the skirt underneath the godet.
Pattern pieces of the godet skirt, Model #112, Burdastyle Magazine, August 2012
Image: Burdastyle magazine. 
You can see here, that the godet (6) is relatively wide, almost as wide as the front piece of the skirt so it will require some preparation, such as slight pattern alteration for the skirt front, and tapering of the volume at the tip.  The stay (7) looks wide as well and one better option I can think of is replacing it with a narrow power net wedge... 

More to follow this week.  With two kids (incl. a 3-year old toddler) at home, I need a day or two to get the muslin, cutting and underlining done, so please bear with me. Once the school starts I will have much more time to interact).

What do you think about the skirt, readers? Would you sew it for yourself?


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