Category: Behind The Seams

Sewing or Design Quick Tip

I’m feeling (Navy) Blue….

So…. I’ve been wanting a navy blue and white striped dress for such a long time. I really wanted to make one for Memorial Day, but the local fabric stores have such a sad selection of knits. And I really don’t buy fabric online much. Here are some of the looks I would LOVE to sew up:

This one below, but I would sew it up a one piece dress instead of a skirt and crop top. I love the thin stripes on this. It’s so chic and reminds me of a French Sailor’s shirt. I think I would make this with a boat neck instead of a round neck

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Here is another look I love, with thicker stripes:2db54a2f3a63d63861c764ead03b7b52

These would sew up beautifully with McCall’s M668 that I previously used HERE

Love this dress to.So effortless, yet so chic. Love the pockets too!

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I have a bit over two yards of the fabric with thing stripes.. so I am hoping I can get a dress AND a tee or tank top out of it. How cute is this look below?

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So Memorial Day came and went, and it’s hard to believe, but Independence Day is this weekend! Anyhooz.. today when my kid went down for her nap, I sat down at my desk and decided it was time to make the navy blue and white striped dress. But we are one day away from the weekend, and even if I opted for overnight shipping, I still would not have enough time to get my dress done by Friday. I was feeling inspired, so I shopped for fabric. I found three beautiful fabrics on girlcharlee.com

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Fabric: I figured for the 4th, I would use some navy and white fabric and somehow make do. But then I went to Hobby Lobby in the evening to get somegol paint and found lots of nautical theme fabric! I’ll be using one of the two striped fabrics for my outfit for the 4th. But check out the anchor fabric! That is for a pair of shorts for me and matching dress for my little girl! I also got a navy knit in case I decide to make a bow for my kid. All this and I went in to by a tube of paint! You can also find similar fabric HERE, HERE and HERE

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Pattern: I will use a tested and tried pattern Mccalls M668 that I used previously to make THIS dress.

Hope you are planning to have a LOVELY weekend. Happy Independence Day!

-XOXO

Aich Fashion Portfolio Showcase and Runway Show

Last week fourteen of my students graduated and the Fashion Design department put up a fabulous portfolio showcase and runway show. I was so proud and here are all the designers and their models! The show was so much fun and we wrapped up with hugs and a group picture.

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My students have been working hard for the last ten weeks designing an eight to ten piece cohesive collection and also creating one or more garments to be presented on the runway. They worked long hours, and some of the students had to be kicked out of the sewing lab at 11 pm when lab time was over.  Every students had a very different project. Some were creating garments using tailoring techniques, while some were using draping techniques with delicate fabrics like chiffon and organza.

The show was held at the Art Institute of Charlotte

I attended with one of my friends, and we enjoyed an afternoon of fashion and gourmet cuisine. The graduating Culinary students had booths set up with their creations. Most impressive of all was the presentation by both the Fashion Design students and the culinary students.

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This desert was my favourite. Eggless custard with a sweet and tart sauce, pomegranate and chocolate!IMG_7610

 

Here are some of the looks that came down the runway: everything from bohemian chic to bridal to beach wear and plus size…

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Last, but not the least, fellow designer and friend Tara Davis presented a few looks from her collection:

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I was asked to judge the best overall portfolio and present an award to the winner. As an instructor, I definitely get invested in my students work. I have to say, I was feeling proud of them and gave them a few words of encouragement before presenting the award. Oh! And I have to mention what I wore 🙂 I wore this light coffee color scoop neck tee and a pencil skirt with ruffles on the back. I designed these two pieces a few years ago. The top is a tussue knit and the skirt is made from linen fabric. I love wearing my own pieces.

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What I also liked about the Portfolio Showcase was that the students got to set up their individual stations and network with industry professionals. We all know the power of networking. I was impressed with how creative some of the students got with their takeaways- something I have been stressing to them is important to make them memorable.

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Some of the designer and models after the show:IMG_7665IMG_7674

 

Me and my designer friend and fellow instructor, Miss Tara Davis. She is amazing. IMG_7683

 

 

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A lot of work goes into designing a garment. The typical life cycle of designing a collection is as follows: We start with the inspiration, then create a mood board or inspiration board. This is the 1st tangible rendition of the inspiration that previously sits in our minds. Then we proceed to creating illustrations and then technical flat sketches. Pattern making, muslin making and fit analysis follow. Sometimes designers have to make multiple muslins and do multiple fittings before they can commit to a final pattern. After ALL of this is done, the designer is ready to cut the fashion fabric and sew. Goodbye muslin, hello gorgeous fabric, texture and drape. Here are a few of my students in action:

 

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What a nice way to see off our students. I hope you enjoyed reading this. This week I have finally worked on organizing my studio. I also binge shopped for fabric as there was a ridiculous sale at Joanns last week. So I am currently planning my sewing projects for next week and spending my evening cutting and pattern making.

Hope to see you soon with many new fabulous garments. Can’t believe I am about to hit the halfway mark of my 2015 Ready To Wear Fast!

– Until next time

 

Brother Coverstitch Machine First Impressions and Early Birthday Present!

Happy (Early) Birthday to me!!!! My birthday is not for another few weeks but I love celebrating every and any occasion, so I am getting an early start on my b-day 🙂

I came home from lunch today and found a box on my front porch 🙂 I started bubbling with excitement as I realised what it was!! I have been eyeing the brother 2340CV Cover stitch machine for months now and finally just ordered it. Here she is!

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You can watch my first impression of it below. I can’t wait to start using it. I have heard mainly good reviews about it. In general Brother machines are robust and user-friendly. I absolutely love that all the internal parts are made of metal. Anyways.. I’ll be back with a review.. but here are my first impressions. Now go eat some cake to help me celebrate turning THIRTY SIX years old. Haha! 🙂

It came with the following accessories:

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Now Ican finish all my UFO’s :)See you soon 🙂

-XOXO

 

A Time Lapse Video: The Making of a Dress

HI Gals!

Happy Friday!

I am taking a break from sewing this week to work on my garden. It was so hot yesterday and I only got to plant two plants. Today is cloudy, so I am going to take advantage of the weather and do some gardening.

I wanted to share with you a time lape video I recorded last weekend when I was making my dress. Take a journey behind the seams with me and see what goes into make a dress from scratch. This is obviosuly very different than how Ready To Wear is made, which is done in an assembly setting. I hope you enjoy!

Happy Friday!!! And Happy Sewing. The weekend is here. Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

The actual post about this dress is HERE

-XOXO

 

Last minute Easter Sewing… Because He is Risen!!!

HI Gals,

It is almost 3 pm the day before Easter.. and I am just now getting started on my Easter dress. This is one of the most special occasions I will sew for all year.. I really wanted it to be a special dress. Even though I never wear florals, I wanted to sew with a floral fabric.. I searches high and low at my local fabric stores for a floral that would feel modern enough for my style.. and I found NOTHING.. I did find a lot of floral silkies… but I wanted to find a sturdy woven with a small amount of stretch. I found nothing in that category that I liked.

I even browsed the quilting section.. but once I ended up in the Hello Kitty Isle.. I knew it was time to give up.

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I did like this fabric.. but it was in the upholstery section. The fabric was beautiful, but thick and expensive. .(I had to take a selfie with the fabric to see how it would look on me 🙂

I think for Easter I need something lighter… so I decided to go with a pink tussah silk that has been sitting in my stash for at least half a decade..

And since time is of the essence.. I am going to frankenpattern instead of drafting. I decided to go with the bodice of Mcalls M7126 view A and I am undecided about the skirt, but I might use one of the skirts from Mcalls M5955.

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Below is the fabric I am using. It is such a pretty pink.. I might throw in a sash and an oversized bow.. not sure yet. The light pink is the apparel lining….the ONLY thing I found at Joanns yesterday.. and since when is apparel lining $6.99 a yard? I miss fabric shopping in San Francisco.

 

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I better run and resume sewing.. working on the muslin  for the bodice now.. I might just freehand the skirt.. Wish me luck!

Are you sewing or shopping for your Easter dress last-minute? Love to hear what are wearing or sewing for Easter..

See you soon with my completed dress.

-XOXO

 

 

Behind The Seams : The Power of Pressing & Pressing 101

HI Folks!

Today we are taking a tour behind the seams (literally)! I want to spend some time on a topic I used to hate as a beginner: pressing while sewing. It is very important to incorporate pressing while sewing as opposed to pressing after finishing sewing. There are so many components to a garment like facings, seams, darts, lining etc. and its very hard to get inside the garment and press it correctly after the fact, Pressing as you sew will not only make your garments look professional but it will also make the construction process a lot easier as the fabric will behave and co-operate. Think of pressing as sculpting the fabric to comply. Heat and steam are your best friends when it comes to sewing!

I have documented how to correctly press a seam in three easy steps below. Pressing will take your garment from homemade to professional. Before we get started, I want to show you what a beautifully pressed seam looks like:

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In my many years of sewing , I have noticed that a lot of sewists tend to skip over this very important step. Why? Because as creative people we are eager to get finished and see the end result. But in sewing garments, there is no such thing as instant gratification. To demonstrate the importance of pressing every seam while sewing, I have sewn up two miniature size bodices cut from the same pattern.   On the garment on the left, I pressed the princess seams after I sewed them up . On the right is the exact same garment, without the pressing. As you can see on the right, the seams are very 3- D and wrinkled. We want our seams to look more flat and wrinkle free as we are sewing.

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Given that sewing is such a long process from getting inspired, to sourcing the fabric, to either pattern making or buying the pattern, cutting the pattern, cutting the fabric, sewing it up, making final alterations etc before you can actually put it on, what’s another step right? If you have sewn up even one garment and ignored the pressing step, I want you to repeat after me: “Pressing is an integral part of sewing, I will press EVERY dart and seam after I sew it”. Trust me, sewing and pressing must go hand in hand, they are eternal soul mates. Details below on how to correctly press a seam…

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Pressing any seam is a three-step process.The technique is essentially the same for a curved seam, but you want to press the curve using a tailors ham or seam roll.

Step 1: With the right sides of the fabric facing each other, press the seam while giving it steam. The steam will loosen up the fibres in the thread and in the fabric and allow them to relax, getting rid of any puckers or wrinkles.

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Step 2: With the right side of the fabric facing the ironing board and wrong side facing the sky, finger press the seam allowance towards the desired side and then press it while giving it steam.

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Step 3: With the right side of the fabric facing the sky and wrong side facing the ironing board, press once again using steam. In this step, you want to ensure that there is no fabric overlapping on the seam. To ensure that, pull the fabric taut while pressing as shown below:

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Optional Step (For difficult fabrics or heavy fabrics)

If you have a fabric that does not respond well to pressing, or if you want really crisp seams, you can use a tailors clapper as the final step. To use tailors clapper, you can steam press as shown above and then press the seam with the clapper. The clapper absorbs the excess moisture and locks in the heat. It helps flatten the seam and you will have a crisp seam in the end.

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Here is the final seam.

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I hope this helped you learn something new about the importance of pressing! Happy Tuesday and I would to hear about what you are working on next 🙂

For more tutorials, click HERE

-XOXO

 

 

Behind The Seams: Repurpose with a purpose

HI everyone!! I missed you last week!!

I managed to do a quick tutorial but last week was a tough one, so unfortunately, my sewing had to take a backseat. I made a commitment to myself that I would sew every Thursday without fail. So I did go into my studio late Thursday night and gathered up some tulle, but that was about it!

Well I am back on track and ready to get to work this week! So…. the 1st thing I am going to work on this week is a blue peplum top, and I am planning on re-purposing this dress instead of making it from scratch. Do you have an unwanted knit dress in your wardrobe and want to sew-along? Design details below…

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This is a dress I bought sometime last year and never wore. I tried it on once and it was big on me. I meant to take it in, but I just don’t think I am going to wear it. So…  I am going chop this baby up and re-construct it. I am going to preserve the hemming on the neckline and sleeves and I will be using the fabric from the skirt to create the peplum. I want a full peplum and this is the overall look I am going for:

 

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PATTERN: For the base pattern, I will probably use a self drafted pattern I used HERE. I wont touch the neckline as it is beautifully hemmed.

Peplum: I will self draft the peplum using this technique that I documented HERE

SEWING: After I de-construct the top at the sleeves , side seams and waist, I will resize the sleeves and top and then re-attach the sleeves using this easy method I documented HERE

I am truly hopeful that I will also be able to make a pair of skinny jeans or capri pants to go with this peplum. Ambitious for a day of sewing, but a girl can dream, right?

Are you sewing something? I’d love to hear from you 🙂

Until next time, Happy Sewing!!

XOXO

 

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