Thursday, March 31, 2011

Get your stripes right

When I have a design in mind and the fabric picked out, I usually have a pretty damn good idea of what I am going to do right down to the very buttons. But sometimes I am wrong and the design details need to be tweaked a bit. Such it is with this dress.

I had the bodice done and the skirt done but not attached and I was a little worried about these stripes being too bold, especially with red buttons down the center, so I put this thing on the mannequin to have a look see.

And I do think the the stripes are a bit too bold, so I was hoping once I got the sleeves on with pointed cuffs it would tone them down a bit, but well that didn't work. The cuffs and the center front now both seemed out of place:

The solution: repeat the same stripe pattern on the cuff, and there you have it:

This also gave me a better spot to place the button on the cuff. I didn't know where to put it on the cuff on the right, but on the left, it fits right in that little gap between the green.

And here is it almost completed. I still need to sew the buttons on, but that will have to wait till the end because I've got to move on to the wool skirts and vests this week.

I think I am moving right along. I've also completed all the shirts, they just need buttons and button holes.

This week I shall finish three skirts and two vests, leaving me two jackets, a pair of shorts, a pair of pants, three ties, two belts, and one bow tie to finish in 5 weeks. Right now I am not too stressed about finishing on time, I just have to keep up my current pace.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pattern making all day long. . .

. . . For almost a whole week.

Monday I finalized all of my designs: I've got a full skirted cotton dress; a short full wool skirt, with button up shirt, vest, and tie; a pencil skirt with a peplum jacket; a high waisted pencil skirt with a button up shirt and tie; shorts with a button up shirt, suspenders, and bow tie; and a 3 piece pants suit complete with button up shirt and tie.

From Tuesday till this evening, with the exception of the ties and suspenders, I made all of those patterns, sewed them into sample garments, and fitted all but one of my models. Man, I'm pooped. But overall, the fittings went pretty well. I did have some adjusting to do, and now I have to do a few more fittings based on those adjustments. All of these adjustments were made possible with this book:

And I must say it is pretty dang good. It helped me a lot, especially with two of my models who had narrow backs.

Gentlemen beware this book is primarily for women's clothing, although I am sure some of the same techniques could be applied to the man's pattern, just maybe not how to eliminate the bust dart.

My one problem with this book is that it skates by a few complicated situations by choosing some fairly simple patterns, but I only found that in one case so far.

And it is inexpensive. Only 9 bucks over there at amazon.

Well tomorrow is my last pattern making/adjusting day (I hope) and then I'll start sewing these shirts.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fabric Shopping in LA

So what is up with the Fashion District in LA? It kind of sucks. I went there last week to search for some wool for this fashion show coming up, and man the trip was almost not worth it. . .

Well, I had gone to all two of the fabric stores in San Diego, exhausted all of my online resources (at least within my budget), and decided that it was necessary to make a trip to LA to find some more stuff. Before the trip I had bought 1 piece of wool online from Black and Sons, and some shirting cottons from

Our first stop was International Silks and Woolens. We got there a bit late after a couple of wrong turns, but we made it, and I found 1 piece of wool that I liked that went with the color palette, and was in my price range. I was a little bummed because I was expecting to find almost everything I needed there. But, they have a ton of great wools there so that is worth going to just to look and dream up some suits.

When we were driving a few miles in the wrong direction looking for IS&W, we happened to see Mood Fabrics on the corner. So after IS&W we stopped there. I had heard so much about Mood, and for some reason I was not expecting much, but man they had some really nice stuff. I only bought one cotton there (the wider red pin stripe) but man I was impressed. They had a great selection of wool, just not the colors I was looking for. Oh, and there coating section was great. I could have made about 17 coats from all those good fabrics, plus they had a really good cotton shirting section.

So there we were in LA, rented a car to drive up there (ours probably wouldn't have made it), it was getting a bit late in the day, and I only had 2 fabrics. As a last resort (because I had been there once before and was pretty disappointed) we headed to the Fashion District downtown where there are a ton of fabric stores lining the street. We put an hour's worth in the meter ($3) and stopped in a few of the stores. Everything there was all jersey knit, metallic spandex, glittery, shimmery, and synthetic, but there was no wool or cotton as far as I could see. I was about ready to give up and say lets go home when I remembered that Black and Sons was in LA, luckily it was also downtown so we didn't have too drive far to get there. We got there about 2o minutes before they closed, and boy I hit the jackpot. They had the best selection of wool, and it was all organized so well, easy to see, and there was some stuff on sale too. I cleaned up. Bought the rest of the wool that I needed, and all for less money than I had planned on spending. Shit yeah.

That was a couple weeks ago already, and I have since gotten all of my designs in order, measured all the models, made most of the patterns, and have fit a couple of them. If posts about this project are a little scarce is it because I literally have to spend every waking hour working on this fashion show, but I'll try.