Sunday, December 27, 2015

Black Shawl

My Facebook post a night before the trip back in September:

"Want to make a shawl in two hours. 
 It has to be all hand-sewing to retain softness. 
 Wish me luck! 

明日からの旅行に急遽持っていくことにしたストールを作るところです。柔らかさを殺さないように全て手縫い。2時間で仕上がるのか??? その後パッキングは終わらせられるのか??? なんともチャレンジングな夕方になりそうです。"

Of course, it took so much longer than two hours to finish. 

Fabric: Mixed content woven purchased from Emma One Sock
Dress: McCall's 5466 + Vogue 8555

I was truly fortunate to attend opera at the Semperoper/Le Nozze di Figaro and the Wiener Staatsoper/La Traviata in this me-made outfit. The trip was a blast and I will be ever thankful to the person who took me there. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Hello Again!

I have to admit that I once used this beautiful fabric as a tablecloth for a dinner. Luckily nobody spilled wine or anything on it, but even if that happened, I could probably pretend that the stains were part of the painted design. For that, this was the perfect fabric for a tablecloth. 

However, I wanted it to be a skirt. 

Fabric: Hand-painted canvas-ish cotton purchased from Emma One Sock  
Lining: Polyester or acetate lining fabric purchased from Fabric Mart
Pattern: Skirt from my TNT dress (modified Vogue 8555 - out of print) plus belt from Vogue 1247
Cardigan: Elie Tahari

To support the hemline, I first thought of applying fusible interfacing. However, when I opened up my interfacing bag, I discovered few other choices: silk organza, netting, and a bias strip of hair canvas. I grabbed the hair canvas simply because it was ready to use. 

I was happy to see that the hem interfacing made a difference in the overall silhouette of the skirt.  

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Simplicity 2648 Flower Sheath

As if I could never have enough sheath dresses... 

Fabric Love Story...

The Fabric I chose for my third S2648 is matelasse from Elliott Berman Textiles. It was love at first sight, however, the price was not so pretty:$55/yard. I decided to wait and keep my fingers crossed, and hoped this beauty would not sold out until their anniversary sale.

On the night before the sale, I was so relieved to see that the lovely matelasse was still available.

The order confirmation e-mail was still in my old e-mail account:
Thank you for your order. Your order number is ****, placed 04/10/2012 at 01:44AM.
1:44AM? I did not hit the order button as soon as the date changed in the East Coast. That was a mistake. I received this message from the seller the following day:
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 16:28:14 -0400
Subject: re: Prada item
Dear Yuki: 
Thank you for placing an order with us. It is ready to ship, however, item MB-17473 Designer Matelasse. Prada. France is available in 1-3/8 only. If it can still work for you, I will charge you for 1-1/4 yards. So far the item is marked as SOLD OUT in your favor.
While I was busy loading more fabric to my shopping cart and making tormenting decision to delete many of them, other smart shoppers around the world bought this fabric.

Of course I immediately let them know that I still wanted it, but with only 1-3/8 yard, my original plan of making A-line dress with my TNT, M5466 + V8555 had to be changed. 

Regardless, I was so happy that I could grab the last piece of the bolt because the real thing was so much more beautiful with a gentle drape and a soft hand. 

Both sides are equally beautiful, romantic, and oh so dreamy...

... and if you trim away white layer around flower motifs, the fabric will look like this:

I could combine these four "sides" any way I wanted: I could use the side of white background for bodice and melange for skirt, or sheer for center front and others for the rest, etc.

Honey, We Need to (Geek) Talk...

By the way, it is easy to know how many combinations you get to play around. Just type this formula in Excel:
= number of "sides" ^ number of pattern pieces
For example, I have four sides to play with and S2648 has ten pieces:
4 ^ 10 = 1,048,576
Oh wow, I get to play around more than a million combinations!? That is amazing!*

Now, Back to Sewing...

For lining, I could not think of any other but red silk. This is the same china silk that once rescued my daughter's concert dress. (You can read the story here: Adding Length to a Ruffle Dress )

After the lining was attached, this dress had been on the dress form for about three months. Everyday I saw it and grew to like how the red lining peeked out of the neckline. When I finally made time to finish this dress, the first thing I did was manipulate the lining to make it look like piping. All I did was trim the seam allowance so that it would function as cording, wrap the lining over it, and hand-sew it into place. 

I will probably wear this dress to the Tucson Symphony Orchestra's concert which gives me another chance this year to listen to Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3. The theme of the concert? The Power of Romance - Isn't this fabric perfect for that?  

*Long story short, I settled with only using the melange background side. Life is too short, seriously.