An Ode to Poppy

This Coach ad struck me today (not literally…don’t worry!):

Now, you may think it caught my eye because Coach, a classic American brand, is advertising to teenyboppers.  (They were so good with neutrals, can’t they stick with that??)  But it was actually the model’s pin that got me:

I guess the name of the collection is Poppy, but in my mind, it’s an ode to my dad, a man my nephews lovingly call Poppy.  Poppy may not wear bright pinks & purples, but he did have some crazy curly hair back in the day, so it only solidifies my contention that Coach loves my dad!

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Down to Business

Now let’s get down to the inspiration behind this blog.  The stuff I see in the stores-I can sew that!  So take a gander at this beaut from Saks today;

I have the perfect pattern for this!  Say hello to Simplicity 2584:

So how can we make the fabulous tunic seen above?  Pretty easily, actually.

  • I can tell you from experience that the top (not dress) is long, and can easily be made longer.  Just use the top pattern for the bodice, and the dress’ 3/4 bunched sleeves.
  • You can restyle the decorative yoke to have straight sides.  The main part of the shirt wouldn’t have to be restyled at all.

I bet the trickiest part would be to find such great printed fabric.

The Big Reveal

Rehearsal was today for my cousin’s wedding.  I was wearing a store-bought summer dress.  The word is out that I’ve been whipping up a dress for the wedding, so everyone asked if that’s what I had on.  Not until tomorrow.  But it got me wondering…has my stuff gotten to the point where it looks like it could have been professionally done?  Or do my store-bought items look cheap enough they could have been handmade by someone still learning?

Do you remember when your crafts finally hit “professional” status?

Expect photos of the previously mentioned ruffle dress after the wedding!

Measuring: Fail

I like to think my basic math skills will help me a lot in sewing. Algebra isn’t my strong suit, but luckily geometry is…when I’m paying attention.

For months I’ve been promising to make jumpsuits for my friends. So tonight I was ready to turn this:

into this:

I already had the pattern pieces cut out, so all I had to do was pin it onto the fabric and cut away. As long as I had enough fabric, of course. Which I did not…of course. So back to Spandex World for me!

Rainy Days Are Good For Something

Hot times, summer in New York City. I love the city in summer. So much going on, so much to do, so much to see. It may be a little hot, but everyone else is sweaty, too. But when you want to be out and about all the time, and also want to spend some QT with your sewing – a decidedly indoor activity – what do you do? Enter rainy day.

I figured a nice walk through the garment district, seeing if anyone had some sales going on, would be a good way to spend part of my afternoon. Unfortunately, a block from work I felt a drop of water. Then another! “Air conditioner drops!  Blech!” I thought to myself. No such luck. I’m standing in the rain, checking The Weather Channel app (which still said 0% chance of rain for another 3 hours) and figure, gotta go home. So I did. And it drizzled on and off all afternoon until the skies finally opened up.

So after scanning Simplicity.com again (still no purchases!) I decided to get down & dirty with the dress I’ve been making to wear to my cousin’s wedding this weekend. The only thing left to conquer: the hem. I tested out the blind hem stitch. A valiant effort for sure, but alas, it was not meant to be. A regular hem it was, but now it is done, and I can stroll to my heart’s content tomorrow.

Photos forthcoming, but I’ll give you a hint: Looks like this.

It’s OK Because It’s an Addiction

I’ve been so good recently. Until today. Now, I haven’t gotten my fix yet, but I feel it coming. Probably right after I finish writing this post. I thought if I hid it, I would forget about it, but I’m really cheating on you, dear readers.

My mind is completely on that Simplicity sale e-mail sitting in my inbox. 3 days only! One part of me knows I don’t *need* more patterns. And shipping is so expensive it makes me mope. And my new Burda magazine, chock full of 40+ new patterns will probably arrive tomorrow. But the little devil on my shoulder says, “Time to stock up!”  If I just get that shopping cart up to $40, it’ll be free shipping! And I’ll have a fun, new package headed right for my mailbox! And these are paper patterns – no tracing paper necessary!

What to do, what to do?

It’s Right There For the Taking

The inspiration for this blog:  5th Avenue in New York.

When I initially started sewing, I would go shopping, pick up a Prada, and say, “Why buy it?  I can make that.”  With the skills I had, um, not so much.  But more and more I’ve seen things in the windows that not only look do-able, but I realize I have actually seen patterns for!  And I don’t mean Armani put out a pattern for their coat.  I mean it looks like the designers took a pattern off the web, made it in silk, and stuck a $4,000 price tag on it.

Courtesy of The Selfish Seamstress

I wish I had gotten a photo, but the most classic example I can think of is the Coffee Date Dress.  Right there in the window of Saks last year.  I’m quite sure the Selfish Seamstress didn’t make the dress & sell it to Saks (I’ve read her blog…I don’t think that’s her gig).  But there is was.  And as it turns out I could get the pattern online for FREE!  So all it’ll cost me is 2-3 yards of fabric, some thread and a couple of hours.  Luckily, I’m the kind of girl who had a couple of spare hours handy.  I’ve yet to make the pattern, but knowing I could make something a professional loved too = awesome.

Two worlds collide

Crafting and the news.  Two things I’ve come to love.  And now these two things have come together (plus a little dark humor) and manifested themselves as this:

Image from CrossStitcher magazine

The intended news peg was the World Cup.  This is supposed to be British soccer star Wayne Rooney.  Unfortunately, when Mr. Rooney is turned into a series of X’s & dots, he bears a striking resemblance to admitted murdered, and former (current?) suspect in the Natalee Holloway disappearance, Joran van der Sloot.

So soccer and possible serial killer fans unite and stitch a celeb in their honor.

I can sew that! And that, too!

Each day I make my way through the fabulously fashionable streets of New York as I hurry to and fro.  Up 5th Avenue.  Down Madison.  All around SoHo.

Enter sewing.  Two years ago I was inspired to take on a craft.  A creative outlet, if you will.  At first I couldn’t use a pattern.  What did all of those markings even mean?  But now I’m hooked on them.  Burda and Vogue and Simplicity, oh my!

Now I find my two worlds meshing on a moment-by-moment basis.  Beautiful people wearing beautiful, dreamy outfits cross my path each day and I am starting to understand how inspiration works.

My most amazing realization, though, can be found in those huge glass store windows.  Armani, Prada, Saks, Henri Bendel.  Amazing things.  Things I want.  The things that caused me to take up sewing in the first place-to make the things I can’t afford.  And now, with the patterns I have accumulated, the links I have found, and the tricks I’ve picked up along the way, I’m ready to attempt to master the Masters’ creations.  And maybe, just maybe, I can make them even better…

Join me as I try to conquer couture on my own.