Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vogue 1177 Poppy Blouse

Vogue 1177 Blouse Front

Vogue 1177 Blouse Back

Fabric: Printed voile from Gorgeous Fabrics
Pattern: Vogue 1177

Vogue 1177 Line Drawing

I used upper parts to make a blouse.

As I mentioned in my previous post, this pattern involves tuck and pleat details.

Vogue 1177 Front Detail

I shortened the sleeves and added fringe around the ends of the sleeves.

Vogue 1177 Sleeve Detail

In addition to the pleats detail, I really like side panels. It adds dimention to the side view of the blouse.

Vogue 1177 Side Panel

Meanwhile there was a moment I had to pause...

Since the fabric was very loosely woven I knew I needed to finish raw edges, but look at what Vogue Patterns had to say about finishing edges:

… and I do not own a serger (yet). Duh!

There was a simple solution though; I used hand overcasting to finish all the visible raw edges. It was a very easy process and did not take too long to finish all the edges.

Vogue 1177 Hand Overcasting

This blouse is a good match with the Vogue 1247 black skirt.

Vogue 1177 Blouse + Vogue 1247 Skirt

It can also be tucked into the skirt.

This look reminds me of Nanette Lepore's Circus Lovin' skirt.

Source: Neiman Marcus

Despite making all of the tedious pleats, I was very impressed by how effective each detail works together. I am looking forward to trying other Anna Sui patterns in the future.

Until next time, cheers to you all!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Vogue 1177 Pleats Please

No, I am not talking about Issey Miyake's collection. It is more like "Oh gosh, Vogue 1177, how many pleats do you want me to make? Please someone do it for me..."

Vogue 1177
Source: Vogue Patterns

There are pleats and tucks to make in Vogue 1177. I began with making five tucks in each front yoke. It went well. My next task was making seven pleats in each front piece. Then fourteen in back. Then more in sleeves, which I had not even marked yet... If you are good at making pristine pleats, Vogue 1177 will be great for you to showcase your skill.

The above picture shows the yoke front after the tucks were made. I was happy with the result until I realized that I pressed the tucks in wrong direction...

So I re-pressed. Oh well, those unfortunate chopped ends of the tucks should be hidden under the neck binding.

Then the next unfortunate thing happened when I tried to join yoke and upper front. The length of each piece did not match. I had to redo the pleats on both right and left pieces. Luckily the back pieces had no problem. It is possible that I might have made the tucks bit wider or the tucks were marked wider than they should be on the pattern.     

After joining yoke, upper front, and upper side front, it looks like this:

Back piece inside view:

Guess what? All the tedious works were rewarded when the front and the back pieces joined together. I immediately fell in love with this unfinished top!

My plan was to make a blouse from this pattern. Now that I love how it looks wihout sleeves, I have to make a decision: Long sleeve, short sleeve, or no sleeve? Hmmm. 

Vogue 1177
Source: Vogue Patterns

Well, that is all for today. I am hoping to show you the finished blouse next time. 

Until then, cheers to you all!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Vogue 8784 Wrap Dress

Hello everyone! This week I made a cotton wrap dress to add to my everyday wardrobe. 
Vogue 8784 Front

Vogue 8784 Back

Vogue 8784 Side

Vogue 8784 Inside

Pattern: Vogue 8784 
I made View A (left) without cap sleeves.

Source: Vogue Patterns

Per my usual petite alteration, I shortened the bodice by 3/4" and the skirt by 4".
I usually need to do narrow-shoulder alteration as well, but I kept the shoulder length in order to achieve an X-shape as seen in some dresses sold at Saks this spring.  

Cotton Wrap Dress
Source: Saks Fifth Avenue

Alice and Olivia
Josie Ruched Blouson Dress
Source: Saks Fifth Avenue

I changed the way the dress wrapped. If you follow the pattern instruction the right front should be on the left front. Well, when I was sewing the side seams, I just realized that proper kimono wrapped the opposite way and I suddenly wanted to make this dress that way. It is just my Japanese thing!

Fabric: Theory Cotton poplin from Fabric Mart. This fabric was very easy to handle.
Lining: Cotton voile from Denver Fabrics

Lastly, this is how I style my new dress.

Just kidding! Meet Perry, a corn snake who usually lives in my daughter's middle school classroom. She is taking care of him while school is out. I am no snake person, but I THINK I am slowly getting used to seeing him in my house.

Until next time, cheers to you all!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Emergency Kit

Here is a question to ask yourself today: If you can take only limited number of fabric from your enormous stash, what will you choose?

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Monument Fire. The fire destroyed more than 32,000 acres in Sierra Vista area in Arizona and 1500 acres in Mexico. 
Smoke from the Monument Fire - 6/15/2011
My house was not in the evacuation zone at that time, but seeing the smoke like this made me worried.

Then two days after I took the picture above, another fire broke out - this time much closer to my house. Ironically the fire was caused by the blade of a bulldozer sparking while dozing a fire break. Here is youtube video of the Antelope fire.

Because I had no idea how quickly the fire could spread over the dry desert grass, I was not really alerted when I heard about this new fire that had started 20 minutes ago - until I opened the garage door. Holy cow! All I could see was smoke. Our entire housing area was in ominous smoke. Then I saw the flashing light on the top of the police car slowly emerging from the thick smoke. A police officer was repeating "Evacuate immediately".

I started loading my car right away. First, cats. Then important papers, laptops, valuables, phone charger, and some clothes which I randomly shoved into my travel bag. It took less than 10 minutes to leave the house, but took forever to get out of the housing area because the street was ridiculously congested.

Chester stayed on my shoulder while I was driving away from the fire.

Luckily, the fire was contained by that evening and we all could go home. The fire did cross the road called Buffalo Soldier Trail but did not cross the block fence of our housing area. My house stands four houses away from that fence.

It is important to keep yourself calm. Right? Well, it is not easy to do. I was mildly panicked after seeing the smoke. When you are not cool, it is very hard to make a right decision. That is why we have to prepare when everything looks calm and peaceful. Do you know what to take? Making a list of those important stuff and storing them in a container that is easy to carry is a good idea.

After the evacuation frenzy, I selected several cuts of fabric from the expensive/non-reorderable group of my stash. Then I bought a garment container and stored those chosen cuts in it. Not only the container protects those beauties from cats and bugs but it is ready to be carried into my car in case of emergency. 

An alarming number of wildfires are burning in the U.S. right now. Hurricane season has already started. We never know when earthquake hits... 

Are you ready?

Parting shot: Peony - my favorite flower of all
Until next time, stay safe!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Vogue 1247 Little Black Skirt

My third and last Vogue 1247 skirt is done!

Fabric: Theory stretch cotton twill
Lining: Stretch polyester charmeuse
Both from Mood Fabrics

Although this skirt is made from cotton, black color makes the skirt look heavy and hot. I probably wear white version more often in early/mid summer then gradually switch to black in late summer. (I think dark orange version can be worn year round.) If I add a jacket/coat, tights, and boots it can be worn in fall/winter in mild climate like Arizona.

Some coordinate:

1. American Eagle knit top knock off (blogged here)

2. 5/48 chiffon blouse

If you have read my previous post on Vogue 1247 White Skirt, you have already seen these tops in coordinate 3 and 4. They are pretty versatile pieces to pair with either black or white.

3.Lafayette 148 silk knit top

4. M Missoni knit top

5. Missoni for Target cardigan which I share with my daughter

While I was browsing Neiman Marcus website for more black skirt coordinate idea, I came across this little number called Circus Lovin' Skirt by Nanette Lepore. If I look at only its silhouette, it is almost identical to my Vogue 1247! Styling a black skirt with purple and neon green is eccentric for me but I think the top is darn cute.
Source: Neiman Marcus

So, I completed three casual skirts. I am very happy that each skirt works pretty well with what I have in my closet.

After working with three cuts of solid cotton, I am having a gorgeous-fabric withdrawal right now! If you are a fabric-holic like me, you know what I mean. My next project must involve something oh-so-fabulous... Perhaps like this:

It is Carolina Herrera sheer basket-weave silk from Mood Fabrics. I am excited to work on this beauty!

Until next time, cheers to you all!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Vogue 1247 White Skirt

Hello everyone! Today I am going to show you three summer coordinates I came up with my new skirt. It is my second Vogue 1247 skirt - this time in white stretch cotton sateen. (You can see my first Vogue 1247 skirt in orange here.)

1. My good old M Missoni knit top which I re-sized from size 16 to size 0.

2. Lafayette 148 Silk jersey top and turquoise-ish beads which I bought during my recent Sedona trip. Orange and turquoise also works well with white. 

3. ... and of course my yellow Milly knit top 

I was glad to see that this skirt worked well with fitted tops as well as loose-fitting style.

The lining is stretch charmeuse. Its weight is similar to the lining of RTW Elie Tahari skirt which I have worn very often this spring. Silky lining is smooth to my skin and makes putting the skirt on and off easy.


Fabric: Theory cotton sateen
Lining: Polyester stretch charmeuse
Both from Mood Fabrics

Until next time, cheers to you all!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Greeting from Arizona

I finally saw Grand Canyon this summer!

Top: Simplicity 2472 in viscose knit (Remember the pajamy dress? Blogged here)
Pant: J Crew surplus chino

The tiny white spot in the sky was the moon. Too bad my phone camera did not capture it well.

I stayed in Sedona and took a day trip to Grand Canyon via Flagstaff. Sedona has been my favorite getaway destination since I moved to Arizona five years ago. You can hike/mountain bike Red Rocks, swim at Slide Rock, shop and eat in uptown Sedona, etc, etc. You know, there is something about Red Rocks...

Some Courthouse Butte Trail pictures :

 Can you see the bird tracks (possibly quail mom and chick)? 

Twisted juniper tree is said to be a sign of spiritual energy. If you are interested this link explains Sedona's energy voltex.

Hiking along the Courthouse Butte Trail
View from the Courthouse Butte Trail

Prickly heart :)

Until next time, cheers to you all!