March 22nd, 2013 by Goodbye Valentino
While Tory Burch may refer to her Ginevra dress as the little lace sundress in the classic shade of navy, I’m calling my new navy lace dress my Easter dress, and it better warm up or I’m in trouble.
This is my completed project for the Mood Sewing Network lace challenge and I must say I’m pleased.
Inspired by the Tory Burch Ginevra dress, I ordered this navy cotton lace from Mood,
and was set to go until I saw – and touched the actual dress in a store. I suddenly lost confidence fearing I could never make a dress that favorably compared to it….
Thank you, Readers and thank you Lynda Maynard’s online Craftsy Course, Sew the Perfect Fit. for moving me past my apprehension!
Since this was my first experience to sew with lace, I vowed to limit the risk factors by selecting an easy to work with lace, keeping the project simple and sewing a familiar garment style.
The cotton lace was a delight on many levels. Hand stitching and tracing paper marks disappeared into the sea of navy flowers. The fabric has good body and held up well when I attached the grosgrain waistband and inserted a hand-picked zipper.
My only surprise lay in discovering how easily lace can stretch. Fortunately stay-stitching the edges solved the issue.
The dress is lined with a navy china silk from Mood Fabrics. I used an older Milly cotton lace dress for reference and decided underlining was unnecessary for this fabric. Since all of my adjustments were made in the muslin the sewing went quickly and a new dress was born!
March 21st, 2013 by Goodbye Valentino
I’m staying at a lovely 5-star resort through the weekend (not our typical getaway) – one of those places where you swap your car for bicycles upon arrival. My husband is engaged in professional activities allowing me to bring along a suitcase of sewing paraphernalia guilt free.
This morning when I discovered my white thread was left at home I called the concierge to request a sewing kit so I could hem my top.
“My apologies Mrs. Gunn, but we do not furnish sewing kits.”
My husband was slightly incredulous when I got dressed and pedaled to the nearest store to find some thread. I ended up buying a sewing kit with a minute amount of white thread at resort prices – ugh.
Fortunately the kit contained enough white thread to complete my latest.
Can you tell the difference between the Kate Spade and the K a t i e Spade?
It’s easy to tell the difference this time – I was able to duplicate the style and fit but not the ruffle. My daughter’s Kate Spade blouse is so cleverly designed that I wanted to clone it.
I ordered this vibrant blue and white silk twill from Mood Fabrics which has exceeded my expectations. The fabric weight, body and texture are perfect for a variety of garments. I want more!
As I began to put Kenneth King’s Clone Your Favorite Garment instructions to practice I noticed the lined shoulder tab in the Kate Spade top.
The seams rest on each side of the shoulder,
and the purpose is to give a nice flat fit across the upper chest – no gaping whatsoever!
This is my third time to clone a garment from the wonderful class, Kenneth King’s Clone Your Favorite Garment . Sadly for me, the class does not address cloning a flounce, but somehow I’m going to solve this mystery. Kate Spade’s flounced ruffle has a great drape, width and length. The edge is finished with a rolled hem.
The K a t i e Spade flounced ruffle is finished with a narrow hem, and the ruffle itself is shorter and wider.
As for the fit – I’m thrilled. Loose but not baggy, the neckline is low enough but not revealing and the shoulders are slightly cut in to elongate the arm. I can wear the shirt tucked in or left out.
I’m happy to sacrifice the Kate Spade ruffle for a good fit this time. Anyhow, my yard of white thread is gone, the weekend is fast approaching and it’s time to enjoy the gift of these beautiful surroundings.
Have a good one!
March 20th, 2013 by Girls in the Garden
At Mood Sewing Network, March is lace sewing month for the bloggers. I was discussing with my oldest daughter, Paige, what I might make for this challenge. After a few ideas, she suggested a dress for her. I thought it was a great suggestion and I told her to start looking at patterns and inspiration photos.
Next step was the lace selection and Paige wanted a mint color lace (popular for spring). She looked at the incredible laces on Mood Fabric’s online shop and we knew Mood had an even a wider selection at their at their store in NYC and LA. Then the best thing ever happened, MSN bloggers Oonaballoona and Carolyn volunteered to go the NYC store and take pictures of laces for us. We emailed them what we were looking for and all morning they sent pictures to our phones. I would look, ooh and aahh and then forward the picture to Paige.
This is the lace Paige selected, the perfect mint color and a beautiful lace pattern:
The pattern Paige picked was McCall’s 6699:
I ordered the lace, a matching silk charmeuse for the lining, a yellow silk taffeta for the waistband the the back slit, thread and a matching mint invisible zipper. The fabric arrived and the mint lace was incredible, a soft hand and wonderful design, this started my excitement for the dress, such perfect fabric.
I went to work on the muslin first to perfect the fit. Next step was to baste the lace to the silk, I used some of my weights to keep all the fabric in place:
After basting the layers and the darts, I serged around both layers to keep the lace from fraying.
I was so pleased with the invisible zipper insertion. Whew, I didn’t have to unsew!
I have sewn lace one time before, so it wasn’t something I had much experience doing but I loved the sewing steps, each one brought more satisfaction in the garment. The only part I was nervous about was the final fitting, oh I hoped it fit Paige perfectly. We both had last Friday off, so I drove the couple hours to her house for the moment of truth. It fit perfectly and the mint color looks gorgeous on her.
I think the yellow is just the right accent color for the mint. The bodice is fully lined on the dress, while the skirt is just underlined with the silk.
A closer view of the dress:
Another picture of this stunning dress on my beautiful girl, this shows the bust darts and waist darts on the skirt:
A fun feature of the pattern and a way to showcase the yellow fabric is the turned-back slit on the skirt:
This dress was fun to sew and the only thing I had to work on three times was the hem, I just wasn’t pleased with the way it would hang. You know what they say, third time was a charm!
Paige was so happy with her dress and I was so happy to sew it for her. Paige isn’t one to ask for many things, so when she asked for this dress, I was more than happy to do it.
March 19th, 2013 by Diary of a Sewing Fanatic
Let’s face it ~ this month it’s all about the fabric! Upon accepting the Mood Sewing Network lace challenge, I decided to use a lace that I’ve never sewn with before. I’ve made a few lace garments in the past, even using an embellished lace in an evening gown but never a piece of lace as beautiful and awesome as this guipure.
I chose the guipure because I wanted to interpret a designer dress and it featured the prettiest lace on the bodice of the dress. So after choosing my guipure, I headed upstairs to the third floor of Mood Fabrics NYC to pair it with a wool tweed.
Even though this wool tweed has a bit of a sparkle in it, I knew it was perfect for this dress especially since the designer inspired piece is also a little on the dressy side. This dress is the cornerstone of my Easter outfit, and I think the fabrics make my version of the dress sing.
Because it’s guipure, I wanted to take care with the construction details so the dress consists of four layers ~ guipure lace (laces available from Mood Fabrics online here) on the dress front…wool tweed for the dress…it was underlined in a taupe silk organza…and lined with a peach silk charmeuse.
All of the construction posts can be found here because making this dress was a journey ~ a really extensive journey. There was approximately 25-30 hours of hand stitching in this dress. There is almost a spool of thread used to hand stitch the lace to the wool tweed and I used a needle and thread so much more than I did my sewing machine. However, all of the work was worth it, because it is an amazing dress than doesn’t photograph as well as it looks in real life.
So let the photo montage speak…
A few close-ups of the dress
A close up of the middle of the dress so that you can see it with the belt
and how the lace forms around the dress.
Finally a pic of the bottom of the lace edging and the dress hemline.
I wanted to make a special dress for Easter. I also wanted to reproduce a designer dress that would work for this occasion. I think I’ve accomplished the challenge of working with a “new to me” lace and stepping out of my comfort zone to create a very special garment.
March 18th, 2013 by Sew Well
This month I was in such a colorful mood. When challenged by the Mood Sewing Network to sew with lace, I found myself gravitating towards this bright, textural orange lace with its organic pattern of swirling leaves and flowers, from Mood Fabrics. I really wanted to have some fun with color by pairing the orange with an equally vibrant hue. After a very circuitous path, I ended up choosing this blue double-faced wool from Mood to partner with the lace. Since this experience marks my first time to truly work with lace, I chose a pattern I had successfully made in the past: BurdaStyle’s Jenny basic skirt. It’s a classic, and I wanted to be able to focus on the fabric without any pattern hiccups!
Since lace can run on the expensive side, I’d bought just enough to work as an overlay with the scallops running along the hem of the skirt. I wanted to be ever so careful with it, so I read up on how to prep it for use and settled on the method of hand soaking, then laying it flat to dry. I spent all of the next day at work mustering up the courage to cut it that evening. When I got home, you wouldn’t believe my surprise when I realized it had shrunk too much to use as a simple overlay! Instead of cutting, I spent that whole night draping the lace this way and that way to see how I could keep a semblance of my original design while maximizing the scallops somewhere other than the hem. After some encouragement from my husband, I finally settled on a wrap effect by using the scallops vertically. I then created pseudo scallops along the hem by cutting along the lace’s natural design. Since the lace wouldn’t reach the true hem, I aimed for it to cover roughly 2/3rds of the skirt’s length in the hopes that the rule of thirds would look favorably on my new design. The little bit of the length I cut off meant I had a couple extra scallops. I appliqued them on at the bottom corners to help the vertical scallops merge with the natural hem scallops. Surprisingly, after all of my fear of working with lace, sewing with this lace was really easy! Its texture meant my hand stitches sunk right in and disappeared.
To add to the lace challenge, I also did my best to make invisible darts and seams. I really like how the subtle break in pattern is almost imperceptible. There are side seams in the lace in the photo below, I promise!
I made a few modifications to the pattern to keep the focus on the lace. First, I eliminated the back center seam on the lace overlay so that I wouldn’t have a break in the motif. I also narrowed Jenny’s high waistband to a more typical height, eliminating the back center seam there as well. Finally, I switched out the split for a kick pleat so that there wouldn’t be an obvious break in fabric right under the lace hem at center back. But, I didn’t mess with the classic pencil shape. Jenny’s just naturally got the right curves!
I lined the entire skirt in a purple silk crepe de chine from Mood. For some reason purple seemed the obvious choice. Since the double-faced wool was so thick, I used the lining to face the waistband. I hope it holds up! Also, I always convert darts to tucks in the lining. It keeps the shape of the skirt while also providing a bit of extra wiggle room. I will admit to some laziness in not switching out my thread for something that matched a little more closely when understitching the waistband facing and hemming the lining. But, I figure it helps tie the lining in with the rest of the skirt. A bit of teal for everyone!
All and all, I am very happy with this skirt. I love the colors. I love the shape and the feel of the wool. I love how much I learned about working with lace. Mood Sewing Network lace challenge completed!
Editor’s note: If you’re looking for a lace similar to Amy’s, please call our NYC store at 212-730-5003, ask for the lace department, and tell them you are interested in guipure lace. Here are some wool crepes that we recommend for the skirt, and here are some crepe de chines well-suited for the lining.
March 15th, 2013 by Male Pattern Boldness
Editor’s note: We are thrilled to welcome Peter as one of our newest Mood Sewing Network bloggers! You may already know Peter from his blog Male Pattern Boldness, “the world’s most popular men’s sewing blog.” We look forward to seeing what he makes with our fabrics.
Readers, I am thrilled to be participating in the Mood Sewing Network and extremely excited to be posting this, my very first MSN blog post. A special thank you to Meg and Eric for inviting me to be the network’s first blogger dude!
I had no idea what my first project would be. I’m fortunate to live within a mile from Mood so was able to make multiple visits for inspiration. After my first trip, I returned home with two pockets-full of swatches — so many amazing options. One fabric called out to me louder than the others, however. It was leaning against a wall among a pile of bolts of fancy silks and taffetas, waiting to be reshelved, and it seemed to glow from within. Upon inquiry (the Mood staff know their stuff) I learned that it was a Marc Jacobs poly-silk taffeta.
The daisy print has a photographic quality (almost like a hologram) and I loved the slight blur of the print. I wasn’t sure how it would look as menswear though: I’m all for subtle florals, but this fabric basically screamed daisies. The more I thought about it, the more I thought I should use my participation in the Mood Sewing Network to challenge myself. I ran back to Mood the very next day (in the rain) and picked up two yards (of a 60″ bolt). We bonded right away!
I tested the fabric extensively: it was surprisingly sturdy, didn’t water spot at all, and was relatively easy to sew (for taffeta). Since the fabric design was bold, I decided to stick to simple lines — easy in menswear since most men’s garments are basic shapes. I chose to make two items: 1) a raglan sleeve, lined windbreaker, and 2) matching short pants, the combo inspired by the matching cabana sets men wore poolside in the 1950′s and the bold print ensembles seen in many contemporary menswear fashion shows. I used two vintage Seventies patterns from my stash: Simplicity 8808, a teen track suit pattern for the jacket, and Simplicity 3044 for the shorts.
Here are the results!
I made a few minor changes to the original patterns, adding single welt front pockets to the jacket as well as an inside breast pocket, and adding a full lining (a vivid yellow Italian nylon I found at Mood among the outerwear fabrics; the sleeves are lined in a lightweight gray polyester lining). For the shorts, I altered the waistband (using my yellow lining to line the inside) and lowered the rise. I was originally going to go with a standard plastic YKK zipper for the jacket but decided to splurge on a gold metal one and I’m so glad I did: I think it adds a lot to the jacket.
A few details: outer pockets, inner pockets, zipper, and shorts.
I love my new outfit and can’t wait to wear it outside when it’s a little warmer (it was close to freezing when I took these shots — brrrr…). The jacket is perfect for spring, summer, or fall, and I know I’ll be wearing the shorts this summer, both with the jacket and without.
Perhaps you’re wondering what Marc Jacobs used this fabric for. A ballgown, from his 2010 RTW Fall collection!
Is it wrong for me to say I think this fabric works better in my version? I’d love to hear what you think!
Editor’s note: Inspired by Peter’s jacket and shorts? Mood has a wide selection of floral taffetas online.
I can’t wait to start on my next project. Thanks for reading!
March 14th, 2013 by Threaded
Editor’s note: This month we are pleased to welcome Haylee, a college student from Utah, as our newest Mood Sewing Network blogger. She writes a blog called Threaded. She isn’t participating in the lace challenge but check out these chic lace skirts she and her mom made for the bridesmaids to wear at her brother’s wedding (lace from Mood!). Welcome, Haylee!
This month I decided to re-make the Shimmer Down dress from Tobi.
I fell in love with this dress when I saw it but I’m a more conservative dresser so the mini length wasn’t going to work. I couldn’t get the dress out of my head, though (so dramatic I know! so plan B it was.
I was pumped to find this muted gold baby sequin fabric from Mood for the bodice because it was exactly what I was looking for, so that worked out well. The skirt fabric was from my stash. As for the pattern, I drafted the bodice/sleeves and then used the skirt pattern from another one I had laying around. (New Look 6723, to be specific.) Editor’s note: Haylee’s baby sequin fabric was a closeout fabric, which is sadly all gone. Here’s a gold brocade from Carolina Herrera that would work well for the bodice; here’s an ivory 4-ply silk crepe that’s perfect for the skirt part of the dress.
I really like how it turned out, so I’m excited. I like how the V-neck back looks, and I like that the dress isn’t too “in your face” sparkly. That makes me happy because I don’t want to be reflecting sunlight everywhere I go. (Ha, though I definitely am working on a skirt right now that is the epitome of “in your face” shiny. So don’t quote me on that later.)
Yay for sewing projects that work out!
March 14th, 2013 by Amanda's Adventures in Sewing
It’s the Lace Challenge month at the Mood Sewing Network and in the past few months there has been a flurry of excitement and activity concerning the picking out of a choice piece of lace. I did not participate in any of that excitement, though, because way back in July of last year I used my Mood money to purchase some exquisitely beautiful green lace. (It sold out quickly so I unfortunately cannot link you to it. Here are some of their other laces.) Oh I had plans! I bought 3 yards and could have done just about anything.
So why are you looking at a plain straight skirt that could not possibly have taken all 3 yards to make? Because I screwed up, people. I had wanted to make a dress but I picked a pattern with princess seams. Despite all of my careful laying out and measuring to make sure this linear lace lined up, a dress with princess seams on the bodice simply will not look good with any fabric that has to be matched along the seamlines both vertically and horizontally. Plus I made some dreadful mistakes while cutting it out. I was very fortunate to be able to salvage the skirt portion. But oh, how my heart aches for that lost yardage!
This is my TNT straight skirt pattern, McCall’s 3830, which I used for the straight skirt portion of the dress. I’ve used this pattern quite a lot lately and you are probably tired of hearing about it.
Thankfully I didn’t make any laying out mistakes on the skirt portion, and the pattern of the lace flows nicely across the side seams and back.
I used green bemberg from Mood for the underlining and lining. I tried several different colors but kept coming back to the dark green.
I really wanted to underline this skirt so that the seams of the lace couldn’t be seen through the skirt. I also wanted uninterrupted scallops along the hemline. In order to get the look I wanted, I had to sew the lace to the underlining down to the top of the scallop. Then I sewed the bottom of the lace together, clipped the lace to the seamline at the bottom of the underlining hemline, and sewed the underlining together. I pressed the scalloped lace to one side and secured it with some hand stitching. After that I had only to whipstitch the underlining in place. This is a difficult process to describe, but here is what the final outcome looks line:
|This picture is of the lace and underlining with the LINING PULLED UP AND OUT OF SITE.
And here is the pattern I used, McCall’s 3830:
This skirt is not what I had pictured in my mind’s eye, but I do love it. The fabric is very fancy with gold thread woven throughout, so this skirt definitely fits my lifestyle more then a dress would have.
March 13th, 2013 by Oonaballoona
I’m going to call this my Project Runway make, because I finished it in the four hours I had free Sunday. Down-to-the-wire sewing is of course de riguer on that jammy, and if season 8 is any indicator, peeps are constantly choosing silk chiffon. Much to Michael Kors dismay. That was my weapon of choice to pair with this chartreuse cotton lace, for one of my hopefully two (!) March Lace makes. Both fabrics are deliciously drapey, and this is my first time working with either! That also seems to be a recurring them on le PR…much, again, to The Kors dismay.
I’ve messed around with poly lace and chiffon before, and the poly lace just doesn’t compare. You look at this cotton lace IRL, and want dive into it with both paws open and swim around awhile. It molds soooo nicely, I was able to stretch it across the four vertical darts on front and back bodice of this heavily modified vintage TNT pattern (Simplicity 4290) and just go with bust darts. Regrettably, I had to go ahead and sew up the bust darts…I tried to do that whole couture lacey piecey thing and make them disappear into the bodice, but I think maybe the cotton lace is not the best friend of that technique? I’m going to try it in my next go…still, I’m proud that the matching lining has 10 darts, while the lace has only two.
The silk chiffon was a beast, though! A sexy beast, but a beast nonetheless! Perhaps I felt I needed punishment for Sonja’s dare, because I found myself returning to the scene of the crime, as any criminal will do, staring at all those silk prints… woooweee. I walked away with two strangers. Know what I found out about my new girlfriends? The silk chiffon. She does not want to be toyed with, or hammered into a pleated skirt (34 pleats, all ripped out, to be exact). She wants to be footloose ‘n fancy free, gathered to her sturdy lace bodice, and who am I to say no to a lady.
Said lady has a double layer of chiffon to obscure le parts. Naturally.
To be honest, my plan all along was this shape. But Plan A morphed into Plan B when I lamented the lack of using the lace motif on the edges, then it went to Plan C when the lace cotton didn’t want to be motif-ed, then onto D when I thought I’d scrap the 34 chiffon pleats and make a tattered lace skirt from the remnants, and back full circle to A when I realized I had four hours to finish and only half a bodice done.
You may blame those scant four hours on Sonja and new MSN adventuress LLadybird Lauren. Those girls have kept me out till all hours of the night for the past 48 hours. Payback for a sewing dare? You be the judge.
Actually, I think the pressure helped me… if I had been languishing around the living room this weekend, just me ‘n my sewing gadgets, I probably would have gone all tunnel vision and churned out another piecy alien dress. I’m glad I had to wheel back around to my first instinct. DIABOLICAL PAYBACK PLAN THWARTED, YO!
Editor’s note: Inspired by Oona’s stylish dress? Here are some of Mood’s laces and silk chiffons to get you started.