Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I am a Tarot card :)

You are The Empress

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.

The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home
decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.

The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

If you want to take the test, click here

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Monday, February 19, 2007

Suffering from accute lack of inspiration

Yeah that's me. And I'm so unhappy because of that. I normally have a head full of ideas, things I want to sew. Many nights just before falling asleep I'm thinking of one pattern that I fell in love with, sewing it in my mind, exploring ways to do this and that, trying to identify possible problems etc.
Sewing is a thing I do with lots of passion, I must be in love with a project and I can even get obssessed with it.
That's why I'm unhappy now, I have a huge box full of patterns, a closet full of fabric, but nothing appeals to me.
So I decided to browse the online shops and style websites and post here things that I like. Maybe my inspiration will come.

Older pictures found on my computer... If anyone knows about a pattern that looks like the jacket below on the right, please tell me!

New pictures... From Neiman Marcus:

From Anthropologie:

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.