Sewing, illustration and design.
Spent the better part of yesterday (‘course it was the better part!) with Jenny and Emily. Prepare to have your retinas seared by hideous iphone images. But first, here’s the dress I wore:
Standout moment of the day: walking through Myers department store and being approached by two buff, shirtless, hunks in low waisted jeans.
Hunk 1: Moisturiser?
Me: What, to put on you?
Hunk 1: *pause* -it’s a sample…
Me: Sure, why not (in my defence, it was men’s moisturiser and he did consider my offer).
I believe Emily’s response to Hunk 2’s offer was, ‘Sure. Squirt some on, I’ll rub it in for ya’.
What was that thing about great minds thinking alike?
Emily, deconstructing the work of art that was the top tier of our high tea.
The lads were very tolerant given it was 5:40 PM and they’d probably been putting up with cheeky comments for 4-6 hours by then. Oh well, presumably Biotherm paid them for their time and their calendars are now booked solid for the next decade, so all’s well.
Structured wool clothing from Woolmark International’s Australian winner Dion Lee. Images of other finalists’ creations here, my favourites here (that cross-stitched dress..*o0*). Apologies for the lack of hunk shots, I was completely distracted-they should put them in the women’s lingerie section next time.
Emily and I had La Terre Sucree High Tea at the NGV tea room (24 hours later my pores are still oozing sugar. Sofi’s lounge next time-I prefer savouries) then browsed Cleggs Fabric store and the Magnation store (they have the September and October 2013 issues of burdastyle andthis issue of La Mia Boutique on the ‘Crafts’ shelf at the moment-jump on it).
We then made our way through Myers department store, got our moisturiser samples (hawhawhaw) and walked to Cookie where we met a fabulous lady in a completely self-drafted wiggle dress (with an awesome zipper in the back) and had dinner and cocktails together.
Emily’s wearing a skirt from an Oona swap, Jenny’s in a self-drafted wiggle dress. The waiter was so distracted by our hand-made awesomeness he brought us water twice and blurred every photo he took of us. The rest were taken by a helpful waitress.
Emily and I discussed pattern drafting the last time we met, so Emily brought along some drafting books for me: a Mrs. Stylebook and a vintage drafting textbook she’d used to teach herself drafting. I spent the tram ride home excitedly flipping through the books.
Mrs. Stylebook essentially gives you the directions for turning your personal bodice, skirt and pant blocks into contemporary wearable garments (much like the Pattern Drafting for Dressmaking/ Kamakura-Shobo books used to in the 60s, 70s and 80s). There’s another, similar, magazine called Lady Boutique with more ‘grown up clothes’ but I’ve never seen one of those in Australia.
Here’s a couple of my favourites from the Mrs. Stylebook:
I love both these tunics. The one on the left is such a simple, modern silhouette and the sleeve treatment on it is just elegant. The one on the right should work well as a day shirt/ silk blouse too.
MSB often includes designer patterns but I’ve only ever seen them feature Japanese designer patterns before, bit of a surprise to see an Anne Klein number. I really like the shirt dress on the left, it gives the impression of a narrower waist without any physical cinching involved.
I need to check on the copyright status of the other one (low hopes, it’s from 1970) to see if I can scan it for Friday Freebies.
When I got home Carl was in the middle of a whiskey tasting session with one of his programmer friends.
C: What do you mean hunks?
Friend: We’re hunks mate.
Me: Oh good, you’ll need this moisturiser then.
He left it behind. But not before having an interesting discussion with me on making a proper pattern/fabric catalogue app for mobile devices. Coolcoolcool.
Pattern: Patrones 306, dress 23 H&M
Fabric: Double sided silk (the wrong side is black)-a birthday gift from Carl (I wore it the day we were in the live audience for Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell show and the audience prepper asked about it. When I said I’d made it from fabric Carl gave me the whole audience went awwwww).
Modifications: I (cold) machine-washed the silk, line-dried it, and pressed it before use. Shortened the pattern 2 cm at the waist and 3 cm at the hem. The armholes are on the bias at centre points so I’d suggest basting through inside the seam lines or bias covering them first. I didn’t, and there was bit of stretching while I sewed so I actually had the take in the shoulders about half a cm front and back (either that or it just has larger sleeve openings than normal). All inner seams finished with a narrow hem presser foot.
Tights from Galstern.
Disclaimer: All non-self generated images remain property of their owners and are used here for purposes of illustration, discussion and review.
I’ve been feeling some serious sewing discontent lately (no, I’m not going to make up new words/ afflictions with the word sew in them nor will I be utilising pre-existing made up words with the word sew in them). I’ve had the better part of three weeks to trace, cut and sew everything my little heart desired, and I have traced and cut a lot of stuff but there hasn’t been much sewing. A lot of the stuff on the wait list is stuff that I’ve been really excited about for a while. Seems to me I should be more gungho and just getting on with it. Part of the reason for this malaise is the misplacement of an envelope of over 50 brand new YKK invisible zippers (in all the colours I could ever need-from the land of freedom, French fries and people getting killed/ maimed while shopping).
I don’t want to buy any more zippers but without zippers I can’t finish the garments I’ve sewn up. Existential dilemma.
I’ve hunted high and low and it is pissing me off no end (YKK are a b*tch to find here. You end up paying $5 for cheap China crap that miraculously self-disassembles just from being in proximity to an invisible zipper foot). So the routine lately has proceeded thusly: sew up a storm, almost finish a garment, hunt high and low for the zipper bag, clean up a cupboard/ room, give up, start sewing the next thing. Repeat ad infinitum. I hate unfinished stuff just sitting around waiting for that one last little bit to go in.
The other component of perfect dissatisfaction (I have awesomely high standards, where the f*cketyfrack are my f*cking zippers for f*ck’s sake XS) with sewing at the mo’ is the sheer lack of (eventually surmountable) obstacles. I’m at that point in my skill development where everything just seems-for lack of a better word-easy. There’s no challenge at all, nothing special to attain, and the sheer boredom of more of the same is dispiriting to say the least. So it’s time to up my game.
Which brings me to, Grading and Draping.
The following books will be involved. To varying degrees. Reviews soon. Meanwhile re-read this.
From Left to Right: Concepts of Pattern Grading, Grading Women’s Garments, Patterngrams, Patternmaking in Practice, Draping, The Party Dress, The Little Black Dress.If you can only get one, get Patternmaking in Practice. It has basic draping, pattern drafting, and a couple of makes to practice techniques on. I’ve reviewed another one of Lucia Mors de Castro’s books here.
Obviously there will be some pattern drafting and manipulation involved but I’ve been doing that intermittently (in a somewhat half-hearted, lack-lustre fashion) for a while now. I’ve been using iDraw to vectorise patterns on my Mac Book Pro. Or should I say pattern. Because I’ve only finished the one. The collarless blouse from Pattern Drafting Volume I by Kamakura-Shobo.
I’ve picked up a print-out from the copy shop but I haven’t tested it yet (the vector is here if you want to have a play with it-it’s in pdf format so you can open it in iDraw, Sketch, Illustrator or any other Vector program). Wait, I also did the shopping bag from this book (see below, it no longer looks anything like that). There’s a story here (bear with me here, it’s hilarious).
Every pattern in this book is like this, on a grid you’re meant to replicate on pattern paper (or directly onto fabric. I recommend the latter) like in the past.
A friend gave me that book two Christmases ago with, “Because I know you like sewing-I’d like that bag please”.
Now.. my normal response is ‘hahaha NO. Never. Speak. Again.‘, but she’s one of those friends that says what she thinks and does what she says (and I respect that) + it’s an easy bag so I went, ‘sure’. And forgot about it.
Set scene: Last Christmas.
“Oh this is awesome thanks. Where’s my bag?”
Have you sewn anything from that book?
Why not! (Not a question. She is a mom. She doesn’t ask questions, she makes statements. Because she already knows the answer).
It has no patterns. It expects you to draw everything. Everything. Also I couldn’t find handles. Also I thought you were kidding.
Draw it. Find them. (Yea we know each other well enough for abbreviated conversations of this sort). I’d love a bag like that (Carl was cracking up. In front of her. Meanwhile her husband was cracking up. Facing the wall.).
6 months later: I found the handles and the insides weren’t sanded down-damn you Etsy (it-sucks-y hahahaha)-you’re just another ebay in hipster clothing, re-selling cheap China crap.
4 months later-er I found a nice pair of unpolished, light wood handles.
2 months later OMG iDraw! Let’s test it with a bag pattern. zOMG it works.
So I should probably get to sewing the bag now..
I might also slot some illustration into my plans by doing fashion drawings to replace the eye-searingly hideous crap in this book (the patterns are cool though).
By early Americans they mean Neanderthals..
Disclaimer: All images remain copyright of their original owners and are used here for purposes of illustration, review and discussion. Images from Behance link directly to original content and are used under an attribution no derivatives non-commercial license.
It works like this.