Friday, March 23, 2012

Vogue 8182 + Vogue 1086 Part III - It's All Done!

I finished my Milly inspired dress today. :)


The inspiration for this project was this Delia dress by Milly.

Milly Delia Dress from

Pattern: Vogue 8182 and Vogue 1086
(For pattern usage detail, click here to go to my previous post.)

If you follow Vogue 8182's instruction, you will end up with exposed zipper tape inside the dress. I did not like it when I made this pattern before, so this time I covered the zipper tape under the lining instead. To do so, I left lining unstitched about two inches from the left side, attached the zipper (kept lining free), then hand-sewed the lining to the zipper tape.  

Zipper Opening
Inside View of Zipper Opening

Fabric: Printed silk from Gorgeous Fabrics. It looks like this fabric has an intermixed design of paint splatters and plants in vibrant colors. It is light weight and has a fluid drape. It leaves a stitch mark so make sure you know what you are doing when you sew this fabric.

Stitch mark

By the way, I have been trying a new (to me) approach to sewing this week and it worked great. It is simple. I sew just a little bit in the morning for about 30 minutes before I start a regular busy day. I was surprised to find that knowing my project is progressing (even if it is a teeny tiny little step) has a positive impact on my mind throughout the day. I love it!

Sewing in the morning sunlight
Until next time, cheers to you all!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Vogue 8182 + Vogue 1086 Part II - Bodice and Midriff

Hello, everyone! I hope you all are having a great weekend.

Today I have finished bodice and midriff. :)  Both are Vogue 8182. As I noted in my previous post, I substituted midriff pattern with  midriff lining pattern for a cleaner waist line.

Vogue 8182 Front
Vogue 8182 Back

I think the trickiest part of Vogue 8182 is attaching the midriff to the bodice. If you are making this pattern, basically you "sandwich" bodice seam allowance between midriff and midriff lining, both right sides together, then you press midriff and midriff lining down. Be sure not to stitch lining all the way to the left side opening if you want to cover zipper tape under the lining later.

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By the way, if your cat stares at you from behind your sewing machine for VERY long time, you may want to check his/her water bowl...

Mommy, I'm thirsty!

Until next time, cheers to you all!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Vogue 8182 + Vogue 1086 Part I - Pin, Baste, Repeat...

My spring break sewing is all about Milly fabric. Earlier this year I got this silk from Gorgeous Fabrics and planned to make a dress from it. I thought that Vogue 8182 + Vogue 1086 combination would work.   

Milly Delia Dress from
Vogue 8182 + Vogue 1086
Crinkled Silk Chiffon Dress

I startred this project in January but all I could achieve while taking the classes was cutting skirt parts. I admit that I am not fast when it comes to cutting and marking. I become even slower when the fabric is slippery and has a fluid drape...

This week I finally finished cutting all the parts. Since I mixed and matched two patterns, I probably should specify what I really used.

Vogue 1086 (Left) and Vogue 8182 (Right)

Bodice and bodice lining: Vogue 8182 view A; I raised front neck line.

Midriff and midriff lining: Vogue 8182; I wanted a clean waist line, so I omitted gather, meaning I used the midriff lining pattern as the midriff pattern.

Skirt: Vogue 1086

Skirt lining: Vogue 8182 view A; I placed the pattern on the lengthwise grain, not on the bias.

What I was forgetting about this pattern until this morning was that there was much basting involved in the process... It was not difficult, but rather time consuming.

I am so happy that I have finished all the basting on the bodice and the midriff today.
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Meanwhile, I baked chocolate chip cherry muffins. I followed Nigella Lawson's chocolate chocolate-chip muffin recipe from These muffins are delicious! Her recipe adds cocoa powder but I did not use it. I added dried cherry (soaked in rum and water for about 30 minutes) and 1/8 teaspoon of salt.


Until next time, cheers to you all!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Simplicity 2472 Milly Knit Top

Spring break, baby! I have just finished my first spring break project. I was excited to use this yellow knit which I bought in January (blogged here).

Fabric: Viscose knit from Sawyer Brook. This is a four-way stretch knit with ample stretch and recovery. It is very soft and comfortable.   

Pattern: Simplicity 2472. It is a very simple pattern which only has front, back, and binding for neck and sleeve. I made View C.

Does everyone like sewing bindings? Well, I found out I did not! It required lots of patience.  

Neck Binding: 

Sleeve binding: 

When I finished all the bindings and checked how it looked, one word immediately came to my mind: pajama. I like using a simple pattern for busy print fabric, but this time it looked way too simple and boring. Since the fabric was so soft and comfy I was tempted to just hem it up and wear it as a pajama but hey, this is Milly fabric! I wanted to make it wearable outside.

I liked the look on the right much better. I decided to add lower band to transform it into a top.

I cut off 10 inches from the hem, shortened its width so that it clings at hip, and folded it half to make a band. Then I gathered the bodice hem and attached the band.  
Lower Band from Inside
Lower Band from Outside

Here are the front and back view of the final result.

Yay! This fabric is a little bit sheer so I am going to wear it with a camisole underneath.
Update: You can see the picture of this top on me here.

Helper of the day: Leo

Until next time, cheers to you all!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Love for Japan, Textile, and Cats

As tsunami anniversary fast approaching, I have been thinking about Japan a lot this month. There are so many things make me proud to be a Japanese. A rich textile history is one of those things. Have you ever seen any design by Keisuke Serizawa? He is my favorite textile artist.

I love his symmetrical bold design and the color combination of these two kimonos.

Courtesy of Tohoku Fukushi University Serizawa Keisuke Art Museum

Courtesy of Tohoku Fukushi University Serizawa Keisuke Art Museum

Serizawa was a collector as well. This kimono with heavenly bamboo design is from his collection. 

Courtesy of Tohoku Fukushi University Serizawa Keisuke Art Museum

He designed more than textile. This stained glass design is based on the Finnish folktale, the Three Chests.

Courtesy of Tohoku Fukushi University Serizawa Keisuke Art Museum  

You can see more on Tohoku Fukushi University Serizawa Keisuke Art Museum website. The website is mostly in Japanese but do not be discouraged because his works and collections are so inspiring. When you click here you will be navigated to the page with a red circle and a green circle. If you want to see his art work, click the red circle; click bottom left picture; then click any picture to see more of the category. If you want to see his collection, click the green circle then click any picture to see more. 

On the side note, this museum had been closed after tsunami then partially reopened in October 2011. I am happy to read that it will be back to full operation in April 4, 2012.

Now for the animal lovers out there;

Perhaps you enjoy watching Animal Planet. Do you recognize this gentleman in the front?

Picture courtesy of Japan Cat Network
 Yep, he is John Fulton from Must Love Cats on Animal Planet! He visited Japan Cat Network and other  interesting places such as cat cafe and cat island to record  the newest episode, Cat Crazy in Japan.

Japan Cat Network is a group of amazing people, including my lovely friend Sylvia, who rescue animals in Japan. Despite their name, they rescue not only cats but dogs and other animals. They are the type of people who do not hesitate to drive for hours and go inside the area restricted after tsunami to feed abandoned farm animals and rescue pets separated from their owner. (They do that with permission.) Their love for animals are tremendous! I see them as genuine heroes and heroines.

Please watch them on Animal Planet, Must Love Cats - Cat Crazy in Japan - this Saturday, March 10, 8 P.M. Eastern Time and visit their website Japan Cat Network (The website is in English.) !

John Fulton and Japan Cat Network
Picture courtesy of Japan Cat Network

Until next time, cheers to you all!