Spring’s Sheer Fabrics (from Cheryl Shops)

sheer-top.jpg  I found some nice sheer tops on the blog Cheryl Shops, I like this one because it would make a plain, easy to sew knit top look unique.  I  check in with this blog often to see what Cheryl has found on the web–I like her taste and find some copy-worthy fashions. Here is her post: Spring Shopping Guide: Sheer

There is nothing practical about sheer fabric, so of course the fashion community wholly embraced the trend after last fall’s Spring 2008 runway shows. There is no question that sheer fabrics are beautiful–they’re floaty, they skim the body, and they’re airy and diaphanous. Oh, and they’re sexy. But in order to wear sheer pieces in public and not look like a hooker,

 

Read more…

Spring Wardrobe ’08 Part 6

I gathered together a lot of “dressed-up” ideas for my spring wardrobe and now I need some inspiration for casual clothes. This season there are dresses everywhere, but sometimes I just want something to throw on that I can wear to the grocery store! Alternatives to jeans and t-shirts for days when nothing special is going on. For these clothes, comfort is my first priority along with fabrics that I can throw into the washing machine. As I get older, it gets harder to dress down and look age appropriate.

Here are some outfits worth copying:

diane-von-furstenberg-at-bloomies.jpg This is from Diane Von Furstenberg, available at Bloomindales. I’d have to wear the top tucked in–loose and flowy makes me look like a marshmallow. I like the shorts because they’re on the longer side. I can see the top in a cotton voile and the shorts in cotton poplin, fabrics that are relatively easy to find.

I like to wear shirts and shorts. Shirts are cool and comfortable, more so than t-shirts which are cut so skinny these days. I found a couple of copy-worthy shirts at J. Crew–with a classic American sportswear look:

j-crew-blue-shirt.jpgThis shirt in broadcloth or linen would be cute with some plaid Bermuda shorts. The only shorts I could find with the look I want are men’s, I like the muted pallet and all cotton fabric:

plaid-shorts.jpg

Here’s another nice shirt from J. Crew, in a Liberty print (I’ve always loved Liberty of London fabric–glad to see it re-surfacing. I probably have some in my stash!):

j-crew-liberty-shirt.jpg

This will look comfortable but polished with these J. Crew linen shorts:

j-crew-linen-shorts.jpg I’ll have to lengthen them a little.

T-shirt dresses are great to throw on in the summertime. This one looks pulled together with the belt. I’ve been wanting to try some the raw edge finishes I’ve seen in RTW garments, like this one:

j-crew-t-shirt-dress.jpg  j-crew-t-shirt-dress2.jpg

After hours of surfing the web, this is all I’ve found that looks interesting. But it’s a good start–I’ll see if I can find fabrics to duplicate these looks.

Ta-ta for now!

Sew it yourself (from The Thoughtful Dresser)

Here’s an article I’ve been waiting to see, it says that sewing machine sales are way up. You can tell that interest in sewing is increasing just by going to a local JoAnn or Hancock Fabrics. Those stores used to be ghost towns and now they’re buzzing. 

The consensus is that the renewed interest is because of a lack of original boutiques and clothing and for economic reasons. I’ll add to that and say that I think Project Runway has had a big impact on exciting want-to-be sewers. 

Now, to see the reemergence of independently owned fabric stores that offer top quality fabric and knowledgeable staff…

Here’s the article:

courtesy of the Sewing DivasI know some readers will be delighted to hear that there has been a huge jump in home dressmaking,

 

Read more…

Different tops for skirts and pants (from You Look Fab)

 The untucked shirt thing has been hard for me to wear. I guess I liked the 80’s when a shirt tucked into a skirt or pants with a great belt would really make a statement. But, as I’ve said before, as you get older I think its important to keep up with the major trends. And wearing a shirt tucked in with a great belt looks, well…so 80’s!  Untucked shirts can be a godsend to cover-up a tummy.

 Here’s some good advice from you-look-fab.jpg on how to choose the right length for an untucked top.

tops-for-skirts.jpgIf you’re going to go un-tucked, then tops that look good with skirts are not the same tops that look good with pants or jeans. Length is the key issue:

  • Skirts look best with tailored tops that are shorter in length. This is especially true of A-line skirts where it’s imperative to accentuate the waistline (volume on top of volume doesn’t work). Keep the hem of the top on or just above
  • Pants look best with tops that are 1 to 3 inches above crotch point

 

Read more…

Project MyWay #5–Nanette Lepore Knock-off Blouse

nanette-lepore-knok-off-1.jpg

Yes, I did finish the outfit I told you about in my very first post titled Welcome to The Feed Dog. I wore it with the TSE black silk skirt that I re-designed in Project MyWay #1 and my beautiful cashmere knit coat from Project MyWay #3 and my cute booties that I got on sale at Macy’s (marked way down in February). We went to the city for dinner and then to a jazz club and I looked very ou current!

This beatiful silk satin burnout fabric was in my stash, next time I’ll try it in a solid color so the details won’t get lost in the print.

I started with Simplicity 4277 and made some simple changes:

simplicity-4277.jpg

Here is a picture of the Nanette Lepore blouse I wanted to copy:

nanette-lepore-at-nm.jpg

And here is another Nanette Lepore blouse that shows the details better:

nanette-lepore-top.jpg

I wanted the cross over bodice with pleating and the sash under the bust, but the sleeves are too “girly” for me, so I wanted a simple cap sleeve.

Simplicity 4277 was a good place to start, it has the basic design of the Nanette blouse and the changes were easy to make.

For the pleats on the bodice, I slashed and spread the front pattern piece to add more ease to the front and I extended the front past center to create the cross over:

nanette-lepore-knok-off-4.jpg

nanette-lepore-knok-off-6.jpg

I figured out the pleating by folding the new front pattern piece and matching it up to the top of the waistband until it fit. After cutting out the fabric, I pleated each front piece, then lined them and basted the 2 fronts together at the center front. 

nanette-lepore-knok-off-5.jpg

For the sash, I used a pattern piece from a dress I made a couple of years ago:

neue-mode-23326.jpg  I used the hip sash from View C and cut it to fit when I was constructing the waistband. I made the sash for the front only–from side seam to side seam. I didn’t want to deal with it in the back as it would have ended at the center back and made the zipper application very difficult.

nanette-lepore-knok-off-8.jpg

Speaking of zippers, I used a looooong invisible zipper and as I had mentioned, I tried the application I learned in the tutorial on Sew? I knit!–

http://sewiknit.blogspot.com/2006/03/invisible-zipper-tutorial.html

It still had a bubble at the bottom, but it was better than the zipper on my black silk skirt. I’ll keep trying…

The cap sleeve offered in this pattern is gathered at the cap. I didn’t want the gathering, so I used the set-in sleeve of view A and re-drew it into a cap sleeve. 

I then tried something new I saw on a Banana Republic dress, I put a piece of elastic at the center of the hem of the sleeve, about 2″ on either side of the center, for a total of 4″, to pull it in a little.

I love cap sleeves because they are great for summer dresses and blouses, but give a little more coverage than sleeveless tops. But cap sleeves look awful when they point straight out like wings. I find the best looking cap sleeves have plenty of ease in the cap (without being gathered) and this Banana Republic method of inserting elastic at the sleeve hem makes the sleeve nice and fitted. I always self line cap sleeves, it looks so much nicer than narrow hemming the sleeve.

nanette-lepore-knok-off-7.jpg

Ta-ta for now!