Archive for February, 2013

February 13, 2013

All That Glitters


Pattern:¬†Inspired by Alabama Chanin’s Alabama Studio Sewing and Design

Fabric: Organic Cotton/Lycra Jersey Made in Canada from Hart’s Fabric

Notions: Coats and Clark Button Craft Thread, Vintage sequins (cream and small faceted silver), African metal seed beads, and Shell beads.

Time to Complete: 2 hours for the garment, 7 or 8 hours for the beading


You might recall that I was in search of an internship in the industry last fall. I ended up landing a spot at a couture bridal salon in San Francisco and it was such an incredible experience. The couturier had me dabble in a little of everything but I ended up falling head over heals for beading and much of my three months was spent hunched over with a cup of seed beads and a straw needle in my hand. It was glorious!

At the same time, my darling husband bought me the Alabama Chanin books. Since I was doing so much handwork at the atelier, Kelley knew that I’d find the books inspiring. I was introduced to Natalie Chanin’s work in 2011 when Andrea of Stitch Parade posted her stunning skirt and I’ve wanted to make something of my own ever since. If you’ve been interested in purchasing one of these books, I’d recommend Studio Sewing and Style. It has the most comprehensive information on Chanin’s techniques and several wonderful patterns as well.

Coincidentally, Craftsy emailed me this morning with their latest class – Natalie Chanin teaching Hand-Embellishing Knit Fabric! If any of you have signed up, I’d love to hear about your experience. I’m banned from buying any more courses until I’ve finished one so I can’t research it myself but I’m wondering if there will be any new techniques not covered in her books.

I made this tank top last October and it is absolutely my favorite thing I’ve made! It was so fun to create, fits beautifully, and is unbelievably wearable. I was really worried that it would be too delicate to wash but I found out just how sturdy it is when I splattered pomegranate juice all over myself while making Thanksgiving dinner. After a heavy-duty pretreatment session, I threw it in the washing machine and it didn’t disintegrate! Amazing! Now I wash it with all my other clothes which means that I wear it about once a week. In fact, I have it on again today.

I’m pretty sure that eventually I will make every pattern from the Studio Sewing and Style book. My next piece is in the process of getting embellished and I can’t wait to show you the finished product!

February 4, 2013

Miss Me?

ImageImageImageImageImageDid you miss Me?

Because I have certainly missed you!

Thank you to everyone who reached out to me these past few months. It meant so much to me to hear from you! I know I’ve dropped the ball on getting back to many of you and I hope you’ll accept my sincere apologies! Life was so hectic that I had to let go of something and, sadly, that was sewing and blogging. This weekend was the first time in months that I’ve touched my sewing machine and it felt amazing to be back at it!

Pattern: No.5 One-Piece Petal Miniskirt from Drape Drape 2

Fabric: Jersey from Hart’s Fabric (sadly, all sold out) – made in Canada!

Notions: 3 inch wide heavy stretch elastic

Time to Complete: maybe 5 hours – I struggled lining the pieces up which delayed completion


I was so excited when Laurence King contacted me wondering if I was interested in receiving a copy of Drape Drape 2. They have published my favorite English translated Japanese sewing books. I am constantly looking through my copies from the Pattern Magic series for inspiration and you may remember my hot pink dress from Drape Drape 1. While I absolutely love Drape Drape 1, the previews of Drape Drape 2 seemed far more “wearable”.

I decided for my first make that I’d try out the One-Piece Petal Miniskirt. Actually made from two pieces that overlap each other and then wrap around the body, I thought from the diagrams that the construction was fairly simple. It was, however, deceptive and I spent most of the time ripping out the waistline and realigning the two pieces. If you attempt to make this, I would recommend marking well and labeling the markings so that you don’t forget where the front, back, sides, and center are. I tend to think that I’m far too clever for markings and then I hate myself half way through the project. Don’t be me.

If you’re planning on making this, don’t be afraid to get a very drapey knit. The drape is a must if you want the skirt to flatter the hips. The fabric I purchased has some drape but not nearly enough and the gathers lift rather than fall creating a lot more volume. While I like this effect, I do regret not making the skirt in a patterned fabric or a bright color. This grey is beautiful with a lovely textured striping throughout but the skirt’s volume keeps me from wearing something bold or bright on the top. I’m afraid with my height that it just wouldn’t work but I’ll keep experimenting and hopefully prove myself wrong.

It’s so lovely to be back! I have some projects that I didn’t post about last fall and then several in the works right now. I can’t wait to share them with you!