Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Garment Sewing Class:  We are doing collars and collar stands in the Garment Making class.  I spent the morning making samples for each student with upper collar, under collar and collar stand.  It is a great group of students.  They will get to learn Pam Erny's turning the point technique and Margaret Islander's burrito technique.

Today I received my 100% cotton Bare Knits from Nancy's Notions.  I am excited to get started sewing each piece.  The feel and look really great.  The weight is nice and they are opaque.  I have been very disappointed with the knits and jerseys that I have purchased from cheap online vendors. They look good on the computer, some die in the wash, most start to pill immediately.  I sew things that I want to wear and that work with my other wardrobe.  It makes me really unhappy when they become rags after 3 washings and have to be thrown away.  I have high expectations for these knit pieces.  Stay tuned.

Now I have made the Bare Knits top.  I have washed it a few times and it is holding up really well. This fabric is not shown in the current catalog but is available on Nancy's Notions website.

My successful sewing with a plan Finally


Last October I agreed to do a program for Sew Fitting, a neighborhood group of the Atlanta Chapter of the America Sewing Guild.

It took several months and false starts to find the right print fabric for the project.  I planned to use the print in several garments, a dress, top, jacket and culottes of slacks.  I would use some solid that appeared in the print to make other jackets, tops and slacks.  Since I started with a print instead of a "neutral" (ugly) I will have ten pieces that play nice together.  From those ten pieces I will have many many outfits.  The photos will be posted this weekend when my photographer is available.

Wardrobe for travel or life

The Inspiration: I found that many small collections of a dozen or so garments are presented at the time of fashion week. I became intrigued with the fact that there were 2 or three principal fabrics that were used in several different garments. That was the inspiration that started the process.

The Process: I began looking for the feature fabric as soon as I agreed to present the program. That was a long journey. I wanted 10 yards of a cotton sateen print. I found a few that had the wrong colors or a mix that did not appeal to me. I found something that might work on Craftsy. They only sell 4 yard pieces. So I was off searching for other sources.

I finally found the piece on Gorgeous Fabrics. I wanted to get a swatch but they only had 19 yards. Likely by the time I got the swatch the piece would be gone. I ordered 8 yards. It was a border print with the white down the middle. This presented some design challenges.

I drafted two dress patterns, three top patterns and I am working on the jacket pattern from my master patterns. I made samples/muslins of each pattern and tweaked them a few times. The jacket will be done shortly but I want to make a sample before I make it in the feature fabric.

Designers take all year to work on two collections. I have a much greater appreciation for the process. My work was based on design for fit and esthetics of how it looked on my body. I have some more ideas in mind that will use bits from the fabric in other garments.

I have assembled many groups of fabric for making swaps. I never got beyond the first pair of pants or top. There were always pieces that worked but did not inspire me. I really like to idea of using a focus fabric that I really love and building around that. Boo to all those who say start with a (ugly or uninspiring) neutral.

I have found that most of my red family fabrics work with this piece. I will be making a red wool crepe jacket, red wool pants from Vogue fabric that was too light to become a jacket and black tropical weight wool pants.  I have a deep pink jacket made from a Caroline Rose piece at Gail K Fabrics.  This was an orphan but now works well with this print dress and top.