Category: Behind The Seams

Sewing or Design Quick Tip

Goodbye July, Hello August!

It’s hard for me to believe that July has come to an end and it’s already august. With “back to school” being advertised everywhere, it feels like summer is almost over, even though we have 52 days left until the end of summer. Talking about back to school… Can you believe this cute little human is starting preschool next month?!!!!

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When I think of august, I think of white and yellow. It’s still summery and warm and really wants me to catch up on all the cute summer clothes I didn’t make. Before I get into the items I MUST make in August,  I want to recap what I make in July and how much I enjoyed them.

JULY PROJECTS

I made this striped dress that I absolutely adore. It is so simple and yet one of the favourite dresses I have made this year. You can read more about this dress HERE and HERE

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I also made my first pair of shorts ever! Loved these and plan on getting some good use out of these for the rest of the summer. You can read more about this project HERE and HERE

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Moving on to my August projects… I am really feeling inspired to make a pair of white denim skinny jeans. I feel like these are a must have. I could pair these with so many existing tanks and tops. White skinny jeans would be so easy to pair with peplum tops, button downs or casual tees. Mine won’t be distressed and will fit more like skinny jeans and less like jeggings.

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I am also in need of a comfortable and practical pair of jeans to replace my current straight leg denim jeans. So this will be my second project for August. As a mom of a toddler entering her terrific twos, I need practical clothes, while still looking stylish.

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If I am lucky, I will be able to throw in some simple tops to pair with these pants. Wish me luck for my august projects. These two pieces will transition perfectly in to my pre-fall and fall wardrobe.

What did you make in July and what are your sewing goals for August? I would love to hear! Leave me a comment below.

-XOXO

Behind The Seams- Nautical Shorts

So I am still in awe of the amazing fabric I found at Hobby Lobby when I went shopping for my 4th of July outfit. I picked up this amazing cotton navy fabric with anchors on it. Lately I have been obsessed with anchors. It all started on Mothers Day in Charleston when my hubby and daughter took me shopping. My husband must have been giggling inside as he knows I don’t like shopping, and barely ever spend any money (except on fabric). I saw an anchor necklace I liked, but it was kinda cheap and cheerful (quality wise), so I didn’t get it. But then next week I found the cutest anchor charm bracelet and ended up gifting that to myself.

Back to the GORGEOUS fabric.  Look… Just L@@K! Isnt it just beautiful?

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I decided to use Mccalls M6756 that was sitting in my pattern stash.  To make sure my fabric is straight and not slanting, I placed the pattern piece such that the grain line ran through the anchors. And yes, that IS a tomato I am using as a pattern weight. What can I say, I work on my kitchen island, so I grab whatever is available 😀 Haha!

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I decided to make a muslin because I have never sewn a pair of shorts before. Well, maybe in fashion school but that was a long time ago.

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I also realized that I don’t have many shorts in my wardrobe. All I have is these el cheapo and el micro shorts from last summer and this summer I am quite surprised that as a momma of one, I ever wore these. The only other pair of shorts I have are these, and while they are nice, I did not make them.

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Like my pretty toes? Thanks! That’s my DIY pedicure 🙂

The muslin was quick to sew up. These shorts call for a faux front fly zipper. so I pinned in along the centre front. Looks a lot better on me. This dress form has bigger hips than mine, thus the tightness that is causing the wrinkles on the crotch.  As much as I would LOVE a custom dress form, those run around a thousand dollars. Do you know how many diapers that could buy? So for now, I fit my garments on myself…

IMG_7814Now I have sewn pants before, but I usually stay away from those with a front fly zipper, mainly because it’s a more complex construction technique than an invisible zipper,  and I have always been afraid of wrinkles in the centre front. Remember these pants Haley Berry wore a while back? I like to call this “Mister crotch pants phenomenon”. No body wants that.

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Back to my shorts… I should have them done by tomorrow and get to wear them over the weekend! Yay!

What are you guys working on for the weekend and what do you plan to wear, and how do you plan to style it? Whatever you do, stay fashionable!

-XOXO

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

 

 

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