Sunday, February 18, 2007

Long time no write

So two weeks since I didn't write or post pictures. It's been a hectic time at work plus I went to Brussels on a mission (took advantage and bought some notions, including red and green felt; felt is impossible to find here). I kept sewing however every time I found a moment to do it (luckily my husband helps with the cleaning and he doesn't complain when I don't cook). Florin left for Lisbon on Friday and he will be back today at 1 in the night so I took Friday off and used every single moment for sewing. Well not every single moment, I could have sewn more but at some point, after doing a jacket (which involves a lot of work) I got kind of bored and demotivated. It happens to me unfortunately. I dream about sewing time for weeks and then... I lose my appetite. :(
As nobody was here to take pictures and I quickly got tired of trying to improvise with books on chairs to put my camera at a decent height and then programme it to take automatic pictures, I decided to take pictures on clothes on hangers. They would look a lot better on an actual person or a dress form (I must make one of those duct-tape doubles some day, but as my sisters is no longer in this country, I don't know whom I would ask; she sews too so her help would be a lot better than anybody else's). At some point you will notice some funny round whiter spots on clothes. Those are not stains, it's some weird trick the camera played on me, don't know why. It seemed to happen with darker clothes.
So here is my SWAP and non-SWAP sewing in the past 20 days....
The jacket below (left) is inspired by a Marni's jacket worn by Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the city. Since I saw this picture on the HBO website, I became nearly obsessed with the jacket and wanted to do something similar. I did mine using a Modern Sewing electronic pattern customised to my measures (they only ask for height, bust, waist, hips and shoulder length so it's rather half customised but it's ok). I wanted a bord a bord finish on the jacket so I've cut the part extending beyond center front and added bias-cut loops. I also used a kit I bought in Brussels to make self-covered buttons. At first I loved the ruffled cuff on the Marni's sleeve, but when I did it I hated it - I think the fabric, although a fine wool/poly/Lycra is too stiff for ruffles. Ditched the ruffles but kept the lace for a feminine look.

The flowers are cut from wool fabric (dark grey) interfaced so they will fray but not an awful lot. The are then sewn on the jacket with a triple stitch (as are the stems) using black silk thread. The beads are at least 40 years old and they've been a pain to sew :( You need the finest needle ever, one you can only thread using a needle threader.
Detail of flowers and lace on the sleeve's cuff.

Now I'm thinking of replacing my houndstooth jacket in the SWAP with this one and I really need some feedback on this, what do you think? The jacket would definitely go with the houndstooth skirt, in my opinion - see photo.

Another item I've started doing this weekend is the fifth SWAP item - the Simplicity vintage blouse 4047. Couldn't finish it because I don't have a long enough white zipper, wanted so much to finish the blouse that I tried to bleach a yellow zipper last night :)) - it didn't work at all, the colour didn't even fade. I'll wait for Monday to buy a zipper. Anyway, the blouse is pretty much done, I only have to insert the zipper, hem it and hem the sleeves because I don't want to use sleeve facings as in the pattern, I'm afraid they would keep "flying" out of place. Photo of the blouse and detail of the sateen fabric.

Sixth SWAP item - done last week - a twist top. I love this top, it is totally flattering. Drafted after a RTW top that I had to take apart to copy, couldn't do it without cutting it because of the complicated design. But I'll make at least 10 tops like that, either long or short-sleeved, so it was worth it. Photo of top and detail of topstitching.

Seventh SWAP item - done 20 days ago, my Jalie red top. I doesn't stay well on the hanger but I posted that picture because it is closer to the actual color (in the other photo it looks rather raspberry). It looks all wrinkled and not very well sewn - which is not the case believe me. I think it's because of the fabric - a silky, slippery, drapey poly knit. It doesn't stay on the hanger, doesn't stay folded, it's really awful, but once I put it on, it looks marvelous.

Eight SWAP item - not finished but started more than three weeks ago I think. My reversible Cross your Heart top. Needs hemming and topstitching on underarms, but can't bring myself to do it, don't know why :(

Better picture of my fourth SWAP item - the HP Slouchy Man pants. Notice the funny round spots I was talking about....

Some non-SWAP related sewing I've done. I get sidetracked easily especially if I get inspired by something I want to make. Plus knits are really quick - about an hour to whip one out. I have 5-6 knit items cut now and every time I will find an hour to sew I might finish one.

So, this is the Simplicity 6149, in a fine sweater knit. Four more cut: burnt orange, same knit; lilac, cotton/lycra; turquoise cotton/lycra; bleu-vert cotton lycra.

And the Simplicity 6149 skirt in a dark teal knit. Silk was recommended for this skirt, but I ditched the zipper and made an elastic waist. It drapes really well.

And at last a skirt I made last summer but wanted to show it to you because it will go great with most of my SWAP. It is inspired by a skirt a girl made and posted on 13 panels of black polka-dotted fabric and black stretchy fabric with satin stitch in red silk.

So that's it for now. I might try and sew some more today as my husband arrives very late in the night and I cleaned the house and cooked yesterday. Have a brown knit dress cut (Simplicity 6149 wrap-up top seen above in blue, combined with a flared skirt I drafted; it will be a faux wrap-up, as I will sew the wrap parts in and ditch the long tie), khaki knit pants and khaki knit twist-top with long sleeves, plus the items I mentioned above.


Summerset said...

Wow, you have been busy! The tulip jacket is nice, and is a touch different than the houndstooth, but obviously they can be worn together - why not keep it for the moment? It's a softer, more spring/summer look than the houndstooth, which to me is more fall/winter. Everything looks great so far, keep posting those pics!

Laura said...

Thank you, Summerset! I find that the more I sew, the quicker I get - it's obviously the practice. Things that I found difficult one year ago now seem like a piece of cake.
I keep reminding myself to count the actual hours spent on sewing an item but I forget.
Laura Lo

Sharon said...

Wow! Everything is so beautiful. I love the embellishments on the white jacket and might "borrow" your idea for the black/black polka dot skirt.

Laura said...

Thanks, Sharon, you're welcome to borrow the idea. Here's the link to the tutorial on drafting the pattern for this skirt, if you're interested. It sure was useful to me (go down to reply #5).

Laura Lo

Erica B. said...

Everything is beautiful!

Laura said...

Thank you, Erica, I'm honored by such a comment coming from somebody who does gorgeous things! Love your style.
Laura Lo

Anonymous said...

Hey Laura,
I would keep the houndstooth jacket for your Swap. The white one (it is beautiful!) is a jacket, the houndstooth together with the skirt makes a wonderful suit-like combination. And worn with the red belt - it´s very classy.
Is the white one a real jacket - big enough and the style to wear the houndstooth underneath (as in winter, when a suitjacket is to cold by itself?) That way you could take the houndstooth as a top, the white jacket as "coat"-jacket...

Laura said...

Actually the white jacket is thinner and more spring-like that the houndstooth one, and quite fitted (i'll try and post pictures of me wearing it), it would never work as a coat over the houndstooth one. It's made to wear a t-shirt underneath.
Laura Lo

sewingmama said...

I like your style of dress. I have been in a slump for a long time, so I am looking for inspiration to get started sewing again.

Laura said...

Thanks, sewingmama, hope I can provide some inspiration. What helps for me is to look at other sewing blogs, look at online stores and I also check Then I go through my stash and through my patterns and let things "soak" into my brains until inspiration finally comes.
Laura Lo

Marji said...

I really enjoy your design sensibility.
Whichever jacket you choose to use will be great!

Laura said...

Marji, thanks a lot! It is so encouraging to get such nice comments especially since lacking inspiration.
Your black dress is absolutely gorgeous, I love so much this vintage dresses, they are so feminine and elegant.
Laura Lo

Tany said...

Wow, all your garments look fabulous! Great job! I love the black tulips on the white jacket, I've been percolating a white dress with black embellishment, maybe some crocheted flowers on hand made eyelets. Your work is a great inspiration to me!