Thursday, June 14, 2007

One thing that always cheers me up...

1) Wearing an evening dress to work. I do this a lot, because beautiful dresses are absolutely my favorite thing to buy. In the last week I have worn: an ankle length, 1970's, bright-red, skin-tight crocheted mermaid gown. A Trina Turk silver grey halter neck 1950s cocktail sheath over a black tee-shirt. A bias cut green chiffon dress. My "Pat Nixon" orange and pink chiffon dress.
The secret to doing this is pairing the dress with casual shoes and adding a layering element, like a shrunken cardigan or tee-shirt, to make it a bit more day.

I do this a lot, and it always cheers me up...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Suzy Wong...



Well, this dress isn't quite done yet, but it's done enough to be worthy of posting I reckon. I learned alot making this, mainly that:

a) Starting a dress in 2005, and finishing it in 2007 shows poor work management skills.
b) Cheap materials are NEVER a wise investment, especially when you add up how many hours of your life you are going to put into the damn thing.
c) You need to honor your investment in the dress. If I'm going to spend a weekend and many evening sewing, then I need to respect this, and put a suitable amount of effort into really precise tracing, cutting and sewing. Ditto with the fabric; the clothes I make tend to last forever, so I need to get over my skin-flint tendancies and buy decent material.

This dress actually looks pretty good all things considered, but I'm not thrilled with it. I was a little sloppy when I cut out the fabric, and as a result the seam allowances were all different widths, which made precise sewing tricky. There is a lack of balance that bothers me.

One thing I am thrilled with is that I finally conquered invisible zips, which have always flummoxed me. I was never able to insert an invisible zip the way Threads or any other reference books tells you to (before you sew the seam). I used the technique that was outlined very well on another blog (sew the bottom of the seam up to where the zipper stop will be. Press the seam allowance to use as a sewing guide, sew each half of the zip down the respective seam, use a longer zip than you need so you can just sew over it where the zip stop should be, rather than futzing around with getting the bulk of the zip stop inserted....)

I'm also really happy to realize that sz 38 in Burda WOF, is my Golden Rule, or whatever you want to call it. It just works almost perfectly for me. Vogue doesn't always suit me, Simplicity's sizing seems way off but Burda is just right....

Now that makes me happy!