spring wardrobe

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:

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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!):

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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!

Project MyWay #2–Black Silk Anorak

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I’m outside, rain or shine for my job and I’ve been wanting a jacket with a hood so that I don’t have to carry an umbrella unless it’s pouring. There are soooo many great anoraks out there (see one of my favorites in Spring Wardrobe ’08 part 1) and once I found this Neue Mode Pattern it was easy to come up with a great design. (You can find this pattern at My Notions.com)

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I used a black silk shantung I had in my stash. It was super easy to work with and has my favorite fabric quality, it presses beautifully with nice sharp creases. Neue Mode patterns don’t have seam allowances included  :-(  and I’m just too lazy to draw all those seamlines, so I added seam allowances only where I had to–around the hood opening, the center front, the armseye and sleeve head. Then I used one size larger than normal. This worked out fine, in fact the pattern is so over-sized that I still had to take in the side seam allowances about 1 1/2″ on each side side (for a total of 6″!).

The pattern does not include lining, but I used the pattern pieces to cut a lining from a heavy satin. This gives the anorak a nice, hefty weight and it will be quite warm. Because I lined the jacket, I formed the casing by stitching the lining to the silk. I used elastic and sewed a 2″ wide belt to the ends of the elastic.

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I used View A for length and added a 2″ band to the bottom to give the jacket a nice finishing at the hem.

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I used the pocket from View C, but instead of regular zippers, I used invisible zippers for a sleeker look.

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I wanted to use 3/4″ silver snaps, a la Prada, but I tried a sample and they just don’t work! I’ve never had luck with the snap kits available at the fabric store. Next time I’ll try to find a source online for commercial snaps. So I used covered buttons instead and I like the look, they go well with the dressy fabric.

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Here’s a picture of the hood pattern piece. If you can see, I added a 1/4″ seam allowance around the front opening. I didn’t even draw it on, I just added it as I cut-out the pattern. I also added an overlap for the buttons and button holes. I added plenty (around 3″) and trimmed it to fit as I was sewing.

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I added a cuff and pleated in the fullness of the sleeve to fit the cuff. I used a method for constructing the cuff that gives a nice square finish:

1.  Interface cuff

2. Sew cuff to sleeve bottom, right sides together

3.  Fold seam allowances to inside, fold long edge first and then the short ends

4.  Fold cuff on fold line and topstitch into place

This works especially well on fabrics the press nicely.

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I just ordered a dressform so I can take better pictures of my creations. It’s about time I had one, I’ve been sewing for over 30 years!

Ta-ta for now!