Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Perfect top for Layering

                                                    Vogue 8669

I decided to take a break from my Pattern Magic construction project today and work on my mini-wardrobe that I will be wearing in a few weeks on a trip to see family near Kansas City. I want to have pieces in Blue and Green that can be worn several differnt ways.

Since I've been into the "Lagenlook" scene lately I wanted to be able to layer a different assortment of tops with basic pants for different looks.      Sometimes I layer as many as 3 different tops and want all of the collars to show! In finding the pieces for this look, I think the different necklines that will be worn together are very important (also the different hemlines but I don't need a pattern for that).

What I needed was a middle piece---one that would allow an underneathe turtleneck to peek out but wasn't so large (in the neck area) that I couldn't wear another layer over it. I must have at least 50 different knit top patterns in my stash and finally decided on this one, which turned out to be perfect.

I made it up in green with an underneathe blue t-neck.  The neckline still enabled me to wear my signature (at this time of year) Nutcracker necklace.
I am trying to use some of my self-made knit and crochet items in the wardrobe so here it is with my crocheted purse                                                        
And here it is with my newly "off-the-hook" crocheted tunic----now you can see what I mean about showing 3 different layers at the neckline:
Sweater collar down

sweater collar "draped"
I even tried some crocheted "boot toppers" but am not sure if they are a little TOO MUCH?

Now to think of some different tops that will go with my "look"----and a coat coming up too (as soon as I decide what pattern to use).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pattern Magic 3--"Two Peas in a Pod A"

I'm continuing to work my way through "Pattern Magic for Stretch Fabrics", making each design for my Half-scale model Dolly, and then enlarging it for myself if it seems wearable.

The second pattern is again an easy one. The basic premise is to take the sloper pattern and reduce the front to 65% while enlarging the back by 135%, which math tells you results in the overall garment being the size of the sloper.  My pieces looked like this:
Then, gathering all the seam edges on the big piece so they fit the little piece, the 4 seams are sewn together.

The one in the book looked like this:
I added longer sleeves on mine and put it on over the red tee to see the contrast better.
And here are several views in my plain grey model to show the different seam lines. Again, a very fun project yielding a quite unique look without much complexity.  Note that I decided to break out my Nutcracker necklace since there is a little bit of snow on the ground!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pattern Magic 3---"Wear it Wrong"

I recently purchased this book and thought it would be fun to try some of the projects in it. It seemed more accessible than the other Pattern Magic books or the Drape, Drape ones because instead of having to trace the patterns, it uses a sloper for a half-scale model, which I happened to have.  Here my model "DOLLY"  is wearing the sloper pattern for a basic top (I added the wrap skirt to avoid embarrassment for her!).
Now that I knew the sloper pattern fit well I was ready to try the first project in the book, called "Wear It Wrong".  There was a bit of humor in the write-up for it, saying that if one happened to put their top on wrong it would still be stylish.  In fact it is a top that can be worn several drastically different ways, with head and arms coming out of different holes in each!
The first step is to make a simple kimono top which you can see here

Then, it instructs you to pull the whole thing to HER left and cut off the right sleeve enough that it will fit over her head.   Her left arm then goes through the original neck hole and her right arm goes through an opening in the right side seam----like this:
Then one can arrange the sleeve in different styles that seem to "work". Here are my attempts:

This was so much fun that I decided I needed one that fit ME! Here it is worn in the traditional way (the only "give-away" is that the right sleeve is shorter so it will fit my neck when I wear it WRONG).
Here I am after turning it around.

And here are some ways I tried with using that dropped sleeve in different ways
This was so much fun I can't wait to start the next project in this book.  I have a feeling I will be running through my Knit stash quickly!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My "RE-FASHION" contest entry

I just finished my "ReFashion/Repurpose" entry for the Pattern Review contest that ends on Nov. 15.  The rules are to use anything that has already been worn and make something entirely new out of it.

I went to the Thrift store and purchased (VERY cheaply) 3 wool and 1 suede men's coats, some silk ties and 4 sweaters (which I didn't end up using) shown here:
I had an idea that I wanted something "patch-work"looking in the style of this French Au Bonheur pattern (sadly no longer in business)
Though I didn't actually use this pattern I was inspired by the combination of vertical and diagonal lines.

First I threw all of the "thrifted" items in the washing machine and dryer, even the suede coat which came out looking much better!  I couldn't "cut" on any of the items until Nov. 1, the contest start date but at least they were clean.   When the start date arrived I began seam-ripping and cutting the coats apart, leaving the biggest flat pieces possible.  Wow, did I learn a lot about tailoring from these Italian made coats!

Then I cut out a large rectangle approximately the size I wanted the skirt to be in a lining fabric and began laying pieces on the lining.  

When I had the pieces sort of like I wanted I used fabric glue to secure them to the lining until I could sew them down.  I used strips of the ties to cover some of the seam lines.

   I PURPOSELY left the distinctive coat pieces such as buttons, pockets, leather elbow patch etc   I also  salvaged all the labels and put them in a prominent spot on a patch of the suede.                                                            

Here's  pic of the finished skirt
And another of me wearing it:
Now I need to figure out what to do with the felted wool sweaters I didn't use--any suggestions?