Thursday, February 07, 2019

Wardrobe Planning with Ann: Red Lace


Ann has just completed her first outfit in this wardrobe planning series!  Why a lace 2-piece dress you ask?  Well, let me share why this is the first outfit.  

I visited Ann’s closet a few weeks ago to assess her wardrobe and do an analysis.  Ann had already done a very good wardrobe cleanse and we had established her style aesthetic (Victorian, Edgy, Modern) so we moved on to the questionnaire.  Ann answered questions pertaining to her personal, professional and family lifestyle plus any upcoming events.  With that information, I was able to see what her wardrobe needs were and put them in order of priority.  

    
The first immediate need was an upcoming wedding (2/2/19) and the Lunar New Year celebration happening a few days later.  Ann’s wardrobe is full of great neutrals (black, camel, grey) and soft pastels (cream and dusty rose).  I suggested we add red that would not only complement the other items in her closet but also help her stand out professionally plus the color looks great on her!  Because Ann is in the fashion/bridal industry, lace (without beading and sequin) was a good choice and could work for both events and in her everyday life.  Lace is not just for special occasions anymore!  

Scarlet Red Lace




We decided on a modern and sleek silhouette a pencil skirt and a short sleeve crew neck top.  Ann added pockets using a Threads Magazine free pattern, lined both pieces with tricot lining and finished the seams with a Hong Kong binding.  








Ann’s goal is to make items that look pulled together and work in all areas of her life.  Here are the looks we put together:

Everyday 
The top works well with jeans or casual pants.  The look on the right is what Ann wore to celebrate the Lunar New Year!


Professional Look:
The skirt as worn to the office and for client meetings mixed with the neutrals from her closet.


Special Events
And the final look Ann wore to the wedding accessorized with her DIY earrings.  

Follow Ann’s YouTube channel for upcoming tutorials on how to make the earrings and her zipper application (a technique from Susan Khalje) for the top.

As Ann always says "I hope you get inspired to create something EXTRAordinary;)"

Up next:  Wardrobe basics…….

Thursday, January 31, 2019

New Marfy Challenge!

Ready to participate in a fun new challenge?!  

Be sure to tune in to Andrea on her Live Saturday Night YouTube show, SewToFitbyAdlynn with a new series the “Monthly Marfy Pattern Challenge”.  Joining her will be Becki Chitwood from the blog Beccabeckstuff.  The series will be aired on the first Saturday of the month starting this Saturday, February 2nd @ 8pm CST.   


Becki, the resident Marfy expert, and Andrea, the fit expert, will challenge each other every month, to make a new garment from a Marfy Pattern, with fabrics from Sew Much Fabric.  Becki will keep us informed and up-to-date on Marfy Patterns and Andrea will discuss the fit necessary to make Marfy patterns work for you.  


Now here is where you, the viewer, get to participate!  You get to vote during the live webcast for the pattern Andrea and Becki will make!   The following month you will get to see the reveal.  Now if you miss the live webcast you will be able to watch at a later time but will not be able to vote.  Voting is for the live webcast only so make sure to subscribe to SewToFitbyAdlynn!  And follow Sew Much Fabric (@sewmuchfabric), Sew To Fit (@sewtofit), Becki (@beckichitwood) and the hashtag #sewtofitmarfychallenge on Instagram for more updates!  See you on Saturday!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

January Fabric Sale!

Selected Fabrics are discounted 25%-50% Off
Head on over to the website to see the complete selection of
 sale fabrics and SAVE!!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Burda Style 02/2019


To purchase, go to smfabric.com

All Styles at a Glance



Line Drawings



Classic and office appropriate with just a little detail on the sleeve!  

The versatile pencil skirt with pockets

Always a wardrobe stable, the button-up shirt

Modern cropped pants 

Plus Size
Love the details at the neck and sleeve

Great pants to add to your casual wardrobe.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Red Dress Refashion!

Andrea, of Sew To Fit, has turned this former maternity dress into a dress that is perfect for a day to evening look on Valentine's Day.  Great save Andrea!  Thanks!!

This dress was originally made for my Daughter-in-Law, when she was pregnant, way back in 2017.  She had thoughts of wearing one of those slim fitting dresses with all the ruching up the side, in order to reveal the bump that was soon to be my grandson.  I made three dresses for her, all in one week, trying to get the look she wanted before I realized, that I was not a "Forever 21" mass production line. I finally decided to just make a simple wrap dress using this matte rayon jersey fabric in black.  I was so happy she didn't like this one!  What was I thinking!!!

I guess you could officially call this one a "save", since I drew it from a pile of lost souls, aka UFP- Unfinished projects, just in time to cut the pleated/gathered side seams off and slim the dress down to  my waist size, stitch the hems and get out the door for our family Christmas Party.  I was intending to make a cute dress with that buffalo plaid you see around my neck, but I just plumb ran out of time.  



The dress is a simple tee-shirt dress designed from my basic dress block.  I figured it should be easy to just throw together a dress with some ruching up the sides, as she had requested.  The original dress was made with added length up the sides to give it the pleating she wanted.  The neckline was made simply by creating a binding from the self-fabric.

Construction Details:

Pattern: Self Drafted from my dress block, sold here

Finishing:  I finally decided to use my cover-stitch machine to hem my knits.  What took me so long, I have no clue.  I think we become so set in our ways, that the thought of learning something new scares us.  Well, I think that's the case for me.  


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Little Red Blouse

Who couldn't use a dressy knit top like the one Samina, from Sew Everything, has made!  And in red!  Just in time for the upcoming Valentine holiday!   Thanks, Samina!!   

This wardrobe item is a resounding success, in my opinion. 


One look at the pattern (Vogue1596) and I felt warm and fuzzy ….  know that 
feeling?











Pattern Review: I followed the instructions and recommendations almost exactly, with a couple of tweaks. So, here’s a short review:

Assessment:  A stable knit is recommended by the pattern company, and I used a soft 11 oz rayon jersey in Torch Red from Sew Much Fabric.  It's a bit less stable than say, interlock or ponte knit. I’ve sewn with this jersey before and knew how to work with it. I was setting myself up for a bit of difficulty, though.

The design elements in this pattern are what is usually found in a design for woven fabric, not in a knit.  Because, there are multiple details: tucks on front and back, a one-piece yoke (no shoulder seam but two layers, like a shirt), an interfaced neckband, sleeve plackets and interfaced cuffs with loops for the buttons. Plus, a curved hem. And pockets!!

Points to Ponder over this Pattern (eye-roll here over the alliteration; I can’t help it):

Take extra time and patience with this pattern. It’s worth it in the end.
Paper between the fabric and your cutting surface is a must for fabrics with questionable stability.  Using newspaper is fine unless your fabric is white, beige or pastel (to alleviate any chance of the printing ink coming off on the fabric).
Serger not required: The entire top was sewn and seams finished on a sewing machine. I double stitched the seams and pinked the edges to finish. The pattern guide recommends it and rightly so since I found a serged seam would mean too much thread in this fabric. A serger is best used with minimal design and construction detail – in my humble opinion.


Tucks: Right away, I knew that making accurate tucks in the rayon knit would be a problem due to the nature of the soft jersey under the needle. To keep the tucks accurately straight, I needed to stabilize that portion of the front piece. There was a choice of thin fusible interfacing or woven organza; I chose red silk organza from my stash and basted it to the back of the tucks section, BEFORE sewing the tucks. The fine organza stabilized the knit without changing the “hand” too much.  Then, I marked the tuck lines using a tracing wheel and carbon on the wrong side AND then thread-traced the fold lines so they could be seen on the front.  After this, it was easy peasy to sew evenly placed tucks.

Create Templates:  except for the main front and back piece, anything else cut on a fold needs a full template. The yoke pieces (yoke and yoke-facing) are supposed to be cut on the fold if you use the pattern tissue; but I recommend that you make a full template with heavier paper.  The other pattern piece needing a full template is the neckband.


Tweaks: they are minor. 1) the neckline is just wide enough to go over my head without the little neck chain having to be opened from one end. So I did not attach a hook in one side of the neckband but tacked the chain on both sides.  2) I reduced the curve of the hem because a straighter hem is much easier to sew —  by now I wanted the darn thing finished!!


Into the spring 2019 closet it goes! This tunic is the first item done for my Spring 2019 “collection”.  Onward, seamstress, to the next item in the queue.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Meet Ann!

I have known Ann for almost ten years and she is one of the kindest and most generous people that I know.  She is a young mother of three wonderful children and a husband that is in dental school.  She is also the Creative Director of Youtique Bridal and Lifestyle.  To say her household is busy is an understatement.  Ann made the decision to live a simpler and less cluttered lifestyle to reduce stress and increase joy.  I will be collaborating with Ann on building a small but highly functional wardrobe that is handmade.  Continue reading and meet Ann!!

Where are you from?
I was born in Vietnam and became a resident to Lynchburg, VA when I was 1.  My family moved to Sugar Land, TX when I was 6 years old and lived there until I became a Katy resident in 2017.  My family & I have fallen in love with Katy.  

How did you learn to sew? 
When I was a toddler, I would watch my mother in awe as she sewed clothes for us.  I tried sewing in middle school but failed at reading sewing patterns.  I tried it again in college as I still wanted to wear fashionable pieces on a college budget.  Although I was a biology major, I would go to the bookstore and skim sewing books. I still have a few of the first sewing books I purchased from college.  My college friend Anne Kuo, who sewed for herself because of her gifted full bust size, gave me my first lesson on pattern adjustment.  She also gifted me my first Nancy Zieman book.  With the books I had as a reference and my limited sewing experience, I started a custom formal dress business.  I learned a lot about formal fabrics and specialty sewing during that time.  I continued to expand my sewing knowledge when I joined the Sewing Fashionistas in 2010, the year my daughter was born.  I finally took my first official sewing class in 2012 with Susan Khalje Couture.  It was a week-long class that changed my outlook on sewing, fabrics, and fitting.  I learned so much from my fellow classmates and Susan Khalje.  It was a life-changing sewing experience for me.  I hope to one day attend The Paris Tour with Susan Khalje Couture.  

As a Wife and Mom to 3, how do you find time to sew? 
I had tried for years to sew for myself but it was hard fitting it into my schedule after caring for children and managing my online Bridal Business.  Instead, I decided to work it into my business model to share my experience of sewing for myself and do wardrobe planning, especially since I am on a journey of simplifying.  This is an opportunity to explore different fabrics outside the world of bridal.

What kind of sewing machines do you use? 
I use the Bernina Artista 640 and the Bernina 1300MCD. 


What is your favorite Sew Much Fabric garment? 
My favorite Sew Much Fabric garment is the Pine Green Laser Cut Faux Leather dress.  Beside sewing on a leather patch, I never had the opportunity to sew a leather outfit.  Everything about the Laser Cut dress was a fun adventure for me.  I learned a lot about sewing with leather and new sewing techniques for this particular project. 
Photo courtesy of Victoria Garcia Studios

Why do you want to do this “style journey” now? 
When I had my third child in 2010, I decided to stay home with my children.  However, I transitioned my job into doing video tutorials and alterations part-time where it gave me the flexibility to work from home.  Working behind the camera and caring for little children led me down the path of self neglect.  I lost my fashion sense and my body was not the same as it was pre-babies.  I want to do this “style journey” now because I am ready to go out into the workforce full swing.  In 2018, I started stepping out of my home studio to attend meetings, networking events and traveled for work.  I decided I needed a new fashion forward “working” mom wardrobe.  I wanted a wardrobe to fit my lifestyle and express my style aesthetic.  
Ann's collaboration with Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn.

What do you want to achieve with this collaboration? 
 I want to explore how to sew and work with different fabrics beyond the basic formal bridal fabrics I am used to.  Through this collaboration, I hope to learn more about my style aesthetic and how I can plan my wardrobe accordingly.  Since Roz is a textile expert and professional stylist, I know I will expand my sewing experience and successfully accomplish my wardrobe goals.  I have a feeling this will be another life changing experience for me.   

What other interests do you have outside of sewing? 
Besides sewing and spending time with family, I love a good adventure. I enjoy traveling, exploring places, and learning about different cultures.   Also, my husband & I enjoy running to keep ourselves healthy.  We have accomplished 3 half marathons (13.1miles) and will be running our first full marathon (26.2miles) in January 2019.  Now, this final interest is a stretch.  I want my very own motorcycle but my husband is hesitant about the idea, understandably.  I have taken a motorcycle class and got my license.  However, I am waiting on my better half to give me the okay.  This way, I can feel the wind in my hair and ride off into the beautiful sunset.  
That's Ann in the middle!

Anything else? 
I am excited for this new chapter in my journey and I am hoping anyone who comes to visit can learn something new and share in the experience.