Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What about a sew-along?

In my post on the latest Burda issue, Jenb left a comment asking whether I was going to make the dress pictured above and she suggested that we could have a sew-along.
What do you think about it? Please leave a comment if you like the idea.
Since not everyone is a subscriber to Burdastyle magazine, we could wait until the digital patterns come out on (which will be in a few weeks, since the November patterns just came out).
As I told Jenb, I don't feel too confident to host a sew-along, but I'm sure we can help each other and learn from each other. That's an aspect I've always loved about sew-alongs.
What I'm thinking to do is to cover the main steps of the construction providing some visual help through photos. There already are some great sources on making a muslin and choosing fabrics, to which we can refer.
Also, if there's someone who would like to participate actively by writing posts to help me cover everything, please let me know.
I'm very curious to know what you think about this!

Monday, November 28, 2011

La mia boutique 12/2011

I might have said some bad things about this magazine earlier. I think I'll have to take it all back.

I freaking want this (although not so short)!  Since I saw this, I've been looking for some mustard heavyweight fabric and found nothing. But I'm motivated.

No faux fur for me, thanks, but with a collar made from regular fabric this dress would be awesome.

Most slimming dress I've ever seen. It somehow reminds of that Stella McCartney's dress that has been talked about a lot, but still I'm amazed by how good it looks on the model.

The bow, the pockets, the princess seams... I love this dress!

You can see all the patterns of this issue here.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Scallop fever #3: More Scalloped Hem Shorts

A few days ago, I was a bit down and I felt the need to make something quick, that I could cut, sew and wear in an afternoon. So, to keep my hands busy, I brought to life an idea that had been in my head for some time: winter shorts!
I decided to go with a pattern that I had already tried, the Scalloped Hem Shorts from Pattern Runway. This time I cut them shorter (the original lenght of the pattern) and I must say they're nicer like this.

They turned out cute, didn't they? They're not the most flattering cut on a shape like mine, but I still like them very much. I used some super old wool that has been in my mother's stash for years, it's a houndstooth pattern in gold, blue, green and a little hint of burgundy. Very appropriate for Fall!
I don't have much else to say, I didn't even take detailed pics of the inside and everything else because in my restlessness, I didn't really put too much effort in finishing seams and stuff. These shorts are not perfect, but they were a great distraction.
Did it ever happen to you to feel the need to sew (or make) something withouth caring too much, just to keep your hands busy?

♥   Scallop Fever #1
♥   Scallop Fever #2
♥   Pattern Runway interview

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Interview: Salme Patterns

A while ago, I saw this beautiful dress featured on A Good Wardrobe and I grew curious. Today I'm happy to feature Elisa, who created that beautiful dress and owns Salmepatterns on Etsy.
I'm in the process of trying one of her patterns and I hope to share it with you soon. For the moment, I hope you'll be interested in getting to know her better.

1 - Introduce yourself: tell us something about where you live, your origins, hobbies, etc. 
My name is Elisa, I'm from Finland, but have lived abroad for the last 8 years and am now in the process of relocating back to one of my favourite places, London, so I'm currently living out of a suitcase for hopefully not that much longer! I am looking forward to start exploring the fabric stores of this city!

2 - How did you start your shop, Salme Patterns? 
I guess it first started with my own dissatisfaction of sewing patterns available. I felt that they were not up to date seeing that sewing has been taken up by so many young and fashion interested people lately. For example, i couldn't find a pattern for a jumpsuit though they have been so trendy for years now!

3 - How did you choose the name of your shop?
It was a very easy choice, I wanted a traditional Finnish name, but not my own, that doesn't sound incomprehensible in English. Salme is the name of my lovely grandmother, who is also my idol when it comes to sewing and crafting. I am in fact wearing socks knitted by her as we speak! (Houses are cold in London!!)

4 - Do you have formal training (art, design, sewing, etc.)? 
I have a masters in architecture and have also studied patternmaking for women's apparel. My being an architect and knowing so many drawing programs, some graphic design and photography has helped me a lot along the way.

5 - Does your shop support you economically? If not, do you have another job? 
At the moment my shop is just a nice extra income, mostly just making up for my crazy fabric shopping addiction, but lately i have started to see it as a realistic possibility that i could one day do it full time. Salme Patterns has been growing slowly but steadily, and hopefully I will find the time to add many more patterns in the near future and see where it goes!

6 - What are your main sources of inspiration? 
Getting inspired is not a problem for me, i have too many ideas and too little time! I do love to read fashion magazines and go through every single collection after every single fashion week. I mostly get
inspired by beautiful detailing or an unusual cut, rather than a style or a trend.

7 - What are the main satisfactions you get from your shop? 
I have been getting such lovely feedback lately, it makes me so happy and eager to continue. I still feel like a beginner in all this so to it means a lot.

8 - How and where do you advertise your business? 
I don't advertise at all at the moment, but i've been lucky enough to have been contacted by a few blogs who have mentioned my patterns and brought some traffic to my shop.

9 - Do you have any advice for who wants to sell or already sells online? 
I guess it sounds like a cliché but you should really find your niche. Find something that people are interested in, and do it in your own original way. Also, always aim for superb quality, it's as simple as
that. Take all the feedback you can get and keep developing and improving your products.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Burda 12/2011

With my computer broken and all, I completely forgot about Burda! The December issue is already out, but I'll share my picks anyway. Maybe it'll help you make a choice if you don't know whether to buy it or not.
Of course the first issue after my subscribtion expired had to be great.
Just look:

For me, this dress alone is worth buying the magazine. I litterally went "Ooh!" when I saw it. The details around the neckline and the midriff are gorgeous and I have a soft spot for fluttery sleeves. I'm sold.

This, again, is beautiful. It reminds of something I've seen in the book Pattern Magic, but this has the advantage of not having to draft the whole pattern from scratch.

I've been looking for a blazer like this for a long time. There's something about the shape of those lapels that really attracts me.

I think I've already written at some point that I'd love to make a trench coat one day, and this is a pattern I'd really like for that.

You can see the patterns of this issue here, as part of the Burda Archive Project.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Minoru jacket

The pattern has been released, I have my computer back and I managed to take decent pictures: that means I can finally show you my Minoru jacket!
Back in September I was lucky enough to be chosen as a pattern tester for this beautiful jacket. At first, I was a little intimidated by the design, I thought it would be a difficult garment to sew. It was my first experience with Sewaholic, I had only read somewhere on the Internet that the instructions Tasia gives with her patterns are great and I came to discover that they are actually awesome.
This jacket came together so quickly and without any accidents of any sort. I was so surprised! So, if you feel a bit intimidated... don't! You just need some experience with zippers and everything will be fine, I promise.

As far as fabrics are concerned, I decided I wanted a cozy, sweater feel, so I chose a heavyweight dark grey jersey for the outside and added some graphic interest on the inside using a black and white houndstooth printed cotton.
Another thing that surprised me about this jacket is the amount of compliments I received for it. And the faces people made when I told them I had made it myself! So rewarding! My mother even asked me to make her one for spring, in a lightweight cotton canvas (we'll see, mum).
My only regret about this jacket: not adding pockets to the outside. I'm one of those people that carries everything in her pockets, so I definitely miss them.
Since finishing the Minoru jacket, I bought the Pendrell blouse pattern and I can't wait to try it. I also have a few tips on princess seams, so stay tuned!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanks, Burdastyle!

This morning, while checking my emails, I found this beautiful surprise: my Darling Ranges dress is the Member Project of the Week on Burdastyle! I almost jumped on the chair, I couldn't believe I was there, alongside Mena... I'm really flattered.
So, a big thank you to Burdastyle and if you're new here... welcome!

I should be back to blogging soon, I already have a couple things to share and I can't wait!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Technical Problems

My Macbook had an accident last week. After much swearing and crying, now I'm relying on my boyfriend's laptop to check emails and Google Reader, but blogging will be kept to a minimum. I hope it's going to be for a short period of time.
Have a great week, everyone!

p.s. Many many thanks to Megan and Mathilde who shared my Darling Ranges dress on their blogs!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Burda Archive Project

The first Burda magazine I've ever seen was back in 2006. I couldn't sew yet, but I had asked my mom to make me a skirt for a formal occasion and she told me we could find a pattern for it in that magazine. I was immediately charmed. It wasn't just the begininning of a learning process, but also of a small collection. After that year, I bought Burda magazine randomly until 2010, when I started to buy it regularly
Granted, some issues are really not worth buying. But looking at the previews on the site and leafing through the actual magazine every month has become a sort of ritual for me.

Now, the number of issues in my possession is starting to be diffucult to manage. I sometimes look for a specific pattern but I never remember in which issue it was in. I had started to make copies of the central pages, the ones with all the technical drawings of the patterns, to be kept in a binder in my room, but then I thought, why not to share with the Internet?
You can find all the issues from 2010 and 2011 in my Flickr (January and August 2010 are missing, sorry). All the titles and stuff are written in Italian, but you don't really need them if you're using these pages like I do. I will update the sets regularly and I will also add the few issues pre-2010 and the few issues I own of La Mia Boutique, in case anyone might be interested.
This is a great way for me to keep track of all my patterns, but I do hope that someone can find this useful!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Inspiration: Lemon Breeland

Hart of Dixie is one of Cw’s newest series released this year. Honestly, the only reason I started watching it is because I'm a fan of Rachel Bilson since The O.C. (don't judge, I was a teenager!).
The show doesn't have the most original plot, in fact it's full of rom-com clichés and it's quite cheesy. But it's the kind of show I like to play in the background while I sew and it's pure eye candy.
The makeup and costumes of the female characters are always perfect; Rachel Bilson has an edgy, modern New York girl style, but my favorite is Lemon Breeland's wardrobe. She's a southern belle and she's always dressed very girly and vintage, as a contrast to Bilson's character.
Her hair and makeup are also worth mentioning, they're always to die for.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Highlights of the week ♥ 13

Hi, guys!
This week three out of four of my links are tutorials, so enjoy and get crafting!
I wish you all the best of weekends!

1. There are a lot of Peter Pan collar tutorials on the Internet, but I really like this take on it.
2. Lovely and recycled packaging? Yes, please!
3. Amazing polo transformation.
4. These emboidered pieces are unbelievably inspiring.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Peter Pan experiment

Didn't I tell you that I had made another blouse from the La Mia Boutique pattern? Well, here it is!
This blouse was purely an experiment, since I wasn't sure if the collar would work once shifted. That's why I only used remnants from previous projects (this and this) to sew it.
I'm quite satisfied with the result, but it won't become one of my most worn blouses. First of all, the materials are stiffer than the viscose I used for the Apple of My Eye blouse, which means that the bodice is significantly tighter and the collar revealed itself to be what I had already suspected: a flounce, more than an actual collar. I really wasn't going for a ruffly effect, so I handstitched the collar to the shoulder seams, this way most of the "ruffliness" is in the back and I can hide it wearing a cardigan over it.

As I said, it's not the best blouse in the world, but it was great practice for sewing a bound collar and a placket (is anyone interested in a tutorial for the latter?).
All in all, it increased my love for Peter Pan collars even more (like that's possible) and since it kind of reminds me of Megan Nielsen's Banksia top, it made me want to try that pattern even more.

In other news, did you notice the new "Sewing Studio" and "Lovely Guests" tabs under the blog banner? They took some work, but I'm so satisfied with the result. I hope they make the blog navigation easier!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Darling Ranges Dress

Did you see that Megan Nielsen recently released the first pattern based on her past collections? Since I'm a big fan of her work, I was waiting for this moment, so I bought my copy as soon as it came out and it arrived in my mail surprinsingly quickly.

It was such a delight to sew this dress! The instructions are great, the pattern sheets are made in a sturdy paper that is ten thousand times better than the super thin one you usually get, I even loved the sizing (the pattern comes in 5 different sizes, which means clear lines to follow on the sheets).
I had to make an FBA (which is starting to be a standard for me), other than that everything went great and all the marks matched up. I really love that the neckline is finished with bias tape (see last detail photo), because I loathe facings and this way you have a chance to add a splash of colour (pink and white polka dots for me :D).

The only downside is that the neckline is a bit too low for me and I find it a bit uncomfortable: great for a date, not so much for the library. I'll add a camisole underneath for every day wear (I can use one more layer in winter anyway), but a future version will definitely have a higher neckline.

The fabric I used is a lightweight viscose I bought last summer; I had saved for this pattern and I'm so happy I did. I think they work great together and I can't have enough polka dots (seriously, my wardrobe is vomiting polka dots).
Sorry if this post was a bit on the cheesy side, but I guess you've realized by now that I have a new favorite pattern. I can't wait for Megan to make more of her designs available, in the meantime I've already decided that I'll make a sleeveless version of the Darling Ranges dress for next summer, as she suggests in the instruction booklet.