Friday, 27 July 2012

Goodies from the August Burdastyle magazine

I am not the only one excited about the new Burdastyle August issue. I can't wait to start preparing my mini-autumn collection. My top 8 from the magazine are pictured bellow

 Have you picked your favorites?

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Sunny Lily and Sewing Social in APAC

Please meet Lily! What a wonderful pattern to work with! Compared to the Pastille dress, which cost me three muslins and lots of nerves, I made only minor adjustments. While Pastille is sitting somewhere in my drawer waiting for a better day, working with Lily went flawlessly from the very first minute.

During my lunch break a friend/colleague of mine took some fancy pictures outside the office
Fabric: NaniIro red brushed cotton twill
Time spent: 8 hours (including 2 muslins)
Size: bodice 0, skirt 2
Cost: $20

Modifications to pattern
My long torso meant that I had to  lengthen the bodice by 9cm. Additionally, I needed a SBA (Small Bust Adjustment). The SBA for princess seam is an easy one. I followed the instructions from The Perfect Fit (ladies, it's classic!).

1. Find the fullest point of the bust on your bodice side front pattern (piece B in this case) and remove the unnecessary fullness. In my case, I removed 1cm.

2.  On the bodice front pattern (piece A), lap the pattern exactly the same amount you removed from the previous piece, matching more or less the fullest point on the center piece.

The dress turned out so well! Before this, I had drafted and made only one princess seam dress. But back then I was in the classroom and my teacher helped me a great deal.

My office is located just in front of the biggest art museum in Tokyo

Here's one of my creatures (in case you were wondering about the title of my blog). He (my camera case) does not have a name but he's got stylish hair
He likes hiding (⌒▽⌒)☆

My wardrobe does not include many close-fitting clothes. Since childhood, I suffered from an inferiority complex in regards to my body: tall, skinny, no boobs. I always looked like a stick and was secretly jealous of curvier girls. But let's face it: that's the body I was given and I should accept it. Last year, one of the fashion challenges which I set myself was to dress more feminine and less like a sack of potatoes. So when I saw Lily, I knew it was the pattern for me.

To have fun during our "photo shoot", we created this pose called "I-am-looking-for-an-American-millionaire-husband"!

P.S. If you live in APAC countries, join our the Social Sewing Twitter Chat. Organized by Tilly last month, the chat was a great success. On Sunday, she's running version  2.0 and I am helping coordinate in APAC.

Sunday 29th
India: 10.30am
SEA (Bangkok, Jakarta) :12.00am
Tokyo: 2.00pm
Sydney: 3.00pm
Auckland: 5.00pm.

On Twitter using the hashtag #sewingsocial
You can find me on Twitter as @thewallinna

What shall we talk about?
  • How did you first learn to sew?
  • How do you continue to develop your skills? 
  • What do you think of IRL classes, online courses, videos, books. blogs, photos, diagrams...?
  • What puts people off learning to sew? 

Monday, 23 July 2012

NaniIro, my love!

What can compare to the joy of seeing/touching/buying beautiful fabric? Probably only the joy of transforming fabric into a garment! From the entire spectrum of possible textures and fibers, my favorite to work with is cotton. Recently, I've been working more and more with knits and I am gradually falling in love with them. But cotton will always remain on the top of my fabric-friends. Don't you also like this easy-to-sew fabric offering zillions of colors and textures? 

Within the cotton family, one particular textile house always produces fabrics that I can't help loving: NaniIro. If you've ever touched this fabric you must have fallen for it. No words can describe the gorgeous prints and smooth textures of most of the NaniIro fabrics. Some, though, are cottons blended with linen.

With the temperature rising over +30C and ~75% of humidity, cotton clothes are essentials for the Tokyo summer. During the past two years, I've created a mini NaniIro clothes collection that I wanted to share with you and, who knows, maybe inspire you to give this fabric a try.

In Seoul attraction park, all soaked with water
It was my first dress made from a Japanese sewing book Stylish Dress Book. In took me less than 2 hours to finish this dress.

Dress fabric: Fuccra rakuen.
Tote bag fabric: SAAAA, SAAA.

Another NaniIro dress that I made for my boyfriend's niece from another Japanese sewing book.
Dress fabric: Fuwari fuwari.

Double gauze NaniIro fabric
This skirt was my first project in ESMOD Tokyo. I used the fabric from the basic collection Fuwari Fuwari.

A friend of mine received this scarf as a birthday present. Made using Japanese fuccra.

For one of my latest projects, Zen dress from Burda, I used this gorgeous double knit fabric called Element Collage.

Currently, I am working with two more NaniIro fabrics:
  1. red polka dots pieces from Pocho fabric have been cut to make a Colette's Lily sundress. I hope to finish the dress tonight
  2. Painting MUJI cotton-linen blend will soon transform into a Starlet Jacket from Gertie's online lesson on Craftsy.
Do you have a favorite fabric manufacturer? What's the fabric you like to work with? 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Mildred Pierce costumes

Have you watched Mildred Pierce? I fell in love not just with the movie and actors, but also with its beautiful costumes.

When I tried to find out more about the costumes, I came across this article, describing the work of Ann Roth, who designed the costumes for the movie (and who also won an Oscar for the Best Costume Design for The English Patient).

So much inspiration in these simple yet divine garments! My favorites are Kate Winslet's fuchsia dress (pictured second from the bottom) and Evan Rachel Wood's brown dress with buttons.

It's all about details
Add caption

Add caption

Detail inspiration: piping

Monday, 2 July 2012

~~~Travel plans ~~~~

Only one month after my last trip, I am packing again! This time you will never guess where...

You're probably thinking, What the hell will I be doing there? I'll visit a friend and sort of relative of mine. We've been known each other for about 18 years and our story is quite unusual. I promise to tell you everything upon my return.

After one week in Eden Prairie I'll stop by for three days in glorious Chicago!

Of course, I've planned a fabric shopping trip to Textile Discount Outlet and Vogue Fabrics. Even though I said that I'd stick to my fabric stash and stop fabric shopping, it's really, really difficult! Fabric-shopping in a foreign country is always better ;) I'll try to fix a budget or fabric quantity and follow the plan.

If you are in Chicago on July 13th-16th, it would be great to meet up for a cup of coffee or something stronger  :-) 

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Dilemma: help!

Big question of the day: shall I keep it or make a new garment?

Today I went to Omotesando to buy presents for my forthcoming trip. One of my favorite places for present shopping is a vintage kimono shop, Kawano Gallery! They always offer a great selection of antique kimonos and scraps of kimono fabric. 

For weddings and birthdays  I usually buy antique nagajuban, or kimono underwear. Yes, ladies! You cannot put your kimono on like a regular dress and go shopping! A kimono needs some special underwear. 

A nagajuban worn on its own looks very sexy yet feminine, made of beautiful Japanese silks. My friends who own a nagajuban wear it as a dressing gown and love it. 

 If my teacher for kimono dressing saw this picture, she would have a heart attack. 

I bought a beautiful deep red nagajuban for a friend I'll visit next week in the US. But then I saw this beautiful piece made of heavy silk. Feeling it agains the skin is like wearing rose petals. Besides, the price was a bargain for this antique nagajuban, so I bought it. Unfortunately, I cannot wear this nagajuban with my kimono because, as you can see from the pictures,  it's very very short (maybe 15-20 cm shorter than it should be to wear under a kimono, and the sleeves are also 10 cm too short for my gigantic frame). The only way I can wear it is as a gown or if I cut it for fabric.

Have you also noticed the gorgeous red lining on the sleeves? And a stain, just on the knee level? That's why it was so cheap! Only $40!

All and all, I am torn between keeping this nagajuban as a gown or using the fabric to make some cute garments which I can show off in public ;)

What's would you do?

Basic pants pattern Part 2: Back

Work in progress: self-drafted cigarette pants. They are waiting for the waistband to be added! Please, believe me, they look more beautiful up close. Yesterday I tried them on, and they fit perfectly!

I wanted to created slim (or cigarette) pants, something in between this Burdastyle version and Colette's  Clover.

If you'd like to draft the pattern for trousers by yourself, follow my tutorial. Today, we'll draft the back.

After you've finished drawing the front pattern, you will draft the back pattern over the top of it. Why, you ask? Because the basic frame for the front and the back is the same. Most of the alterations will take place between the waist and the crotch (we need to create more room for sitting and to accommodate our bottom!).

This is how the front looks. Next step will be modifying the part from the waist to the crotch.

CC₆ = 1 cm
C₃C₇ = 2 x CC₆
BB₂ = CC₆
B₂B₃ = BB₁ (=¼ waist measurement)
C₇C₈ = 0.5cm
C₉C₃ = C₃C₈
C₉C₁₀ = 3cm

Draw a line between C₈C₁₀
C₁₀ C₁₁ = 1.5cm

AA₆ = 3.2 cm
A₆A₇ = 1.8cm
Draw a line A₇B₂

C₅C₁₂ = 5cm
Draw a line connecting C₁₁, C₁₂ & B₂

A₇A₈ = ¼ waist measurement + 4.5cm (dart) + 0.25cm (ease) - 0.5cm (balance difference)
A₈A₉ = 0.5cm

If you look at the front part, we have added 0.5cm for balance .

Connect A₉B₃
You can draw a light line A₉A₇ for reference. Later on, you'll shape this line to accomodate darts.

D₁D₃ = D₂D₄ = 1cm
E₁E₃ = E₂E₄ = 1cm

Draw lines C₈E₄ & C₈B₃

Draw a line D₃E₃
Connect D₃ & C₁₁

A₇H₁ = 8cm
H₁H = HH₂ = 1.25cm
HH₃ = 12cm
H₂I = ½H₂A₉
II₁ = II₂ = 1cm
II₃ = 12cm

Now it's time to create a line line connecting A₉ with A₇ shaping both darts.

We have finished drafting the basic pants patten! We've got to create pockets and the sections for the fly and the waistband. But at this point, you can adjust this pattern to your desired style and create a muslin.

Using the previous pattern draft, copy the front and the back on separate sheets of paper.

In the next post, I'll show you how I adjusted the basic draft, fitted the muslin and step-by-step sewing instructions.

I hope you find this information useful! If there is anything you'd like to ask, please shoot :)