It’s Not Too Late For Summer!

Good ol’ Saks bringing me back down to Earth.  I coveted this skirt for summer.  Jersey, cool, white, awesome.



It’s from the July issue of Burda magazine.  Looked simple enough.  Just never got around to making it.  So I figured I’d leave it until next year (perhaps) and go on my merry way.   But then this happened!



Let’s take a closer look, shall we?



Very similar skirt in hot black lace with a ribbon down the middle.  In the store window right now!  Perfect for winter!  And looks completely do-able!


Put it on the list!


Marc, We Have to Talk

Pop quiz!  Where was this outfit first seen:

A)  Ice cold Alaska

B)  My Great Aunt Ida at her 90th birthday

C)  Marc Jacobs runway show

If you said B, you were wrong (I don’t even have an aunt Ida!).  But if you oddly guessed Marc Jacobs runway show, you’d be right.  I love dark, crisp brown.  This, eh, nope.  But these items are absolutely I Can Sew That projects!

First up the skirt.

Looks pretty straight forward (although the top of the skirt is hard to see.)  Basic A-line.  Measure your wait, draw a straight line down to your desired length.  As for the defining feature – the pleat – no problem!  So simple.  I’ve already done it for this pattern…

As for the top…looks like my first project ever!

Anyway, for all my Marc bashing, I dig the pieces, just not the palate.  And since my jacket for myself is done, and all I have left to do is mom’s lining.  So perhaps ones of these garments will be up next!

What Don’t I Love About This?

The answer to the title:  NOTHING!  I love everything on this Saks mannequin!

It’s hard to tell (well, impossible) that both the jacket & pants are shiny, so I used my excellent photo editing expertise to replicate the flash from my camera bouncing off of the fabric (which would clearly happen if I had a professional camera):

So while your eyes recover from the reflections, I’ll go on…

The jacket is in a brocade fabric.  I love brocade.  In fact, I once told my sewing buddy, that I wish I could work only in brocades.  Bright colors!  Shine!  Texture!  It’s great stuff.  Even though I tend to wear a lot more neutrals in my “real life.”

The thing is, I think the shape is do-able, too.

Look at the waist.  This just seems to be a basic coat with giant darts on the outside of the coat instead of the inside.  Seems easy enough!  This is one I just might try.  Don’t know if I’ll make a coat (for goodness sakes, I’m six months into two different coats and neither is even close to done!).  But I could see this cute architectural detail being used in just about anything!  I’m thinking shirt.  But these jackets still come first!

Buried in Jeans

During the aforementioned trip to San Francisco, there was a moment of sadness (not to be confused with the madness of a 5-hour plane ride surrounded by a screaming baby & man with Tourette’s).

As I bent down to tie my shoe before heading out for a fabulous dinner, I heard a riiiiiiiip.  It was coming from my upper thigh.  No pain = good sign.  So I bent over to check it out.  Riiiiiiiiiiip some more.  I put a hole in my favorite jeans.  In hysterics, I begin laughing and yelling with all of my might, and, you guessed it, one more riiiiiiiip.

I think these bad boys are a goner, despite some gentle nudging to patch them.  Frankly, I don’t think I believe in the patch.  It may work for some people, but I’m more of a cold turkey kinda girl.

I have some dark stretchy denim sitting in my stash, just waiting to turn into a fabulous pair of jeans.  But what kind?  Something appropriate for casual Friday.  And perhaps nondescript, so they can be worn more than once a week (don’t judge me).  Part of me says go for these little hotties, but they do break all of the (2) rules.

I caught Diesel’s window.  Perhaps it can be of some help.

Looks like Diesel is doing denim this season!  Maybe I’ll have to go in and see what’s “cool.”

But maybe I’ll stick to the original plan for the denim.

These pants came out great, so I think a pair of jeans from the same pattern will be just as good.  Burda 9/2009.  The sewing course was muy helpful!

Hot Pants

Today’s story brings us to the land of Can I Sew That?  I have never seen a pattern for pants quite like this, but I LOVE them!  I *think* I saw them in the window of Versace, but I could be wrong.  I was late for work.  Not late enough to stop and take a picture.  Just late enough not to look up at the sign.

If you and any tips on how to pull this off, please let me know!  Until then, I might just have to try to replicate this on my new dress form!  (Sewing nerds rejoice!)

I Don’t Do Diets

I read a stunning article in The New York Times the other day.  It wasn’t politics or corruption or explosions or despair.  It was fashion.  Some people decided to go on a “diet,” and cut back on their calor– uh, clothes for a month.  Each person picked six items, and those were the only six items they could wear for a month.  As it turns out, nobody really noticed that they kept wearing the same things over and over…including one participant’s husband  —  WHO DOES THE LAUNDRY!

So now I’m taking a hard look at my closet.

I don’t buy a lot of clothes, but I tend to hang onto items for a verrrrry long time.  I have more than one item that has been around since high school.  This dress: 13 years old.

When am I ever going to wear that again?!?!  (In fact, I did wear it to a wedding a few years ago, but it’s still debated whether that was a good idea.)

But anyway, now that I’ve been sewing up a storm – 99% of it for myself – all of the new duds are just adding to the pile.

I always figure if I wear it, there’s not reason to get rid of it.  But if the Fashion Diet experiment is any indicator, nobody is paying much attention anyway.  Guess now would be a good time to put together a giveaway pile, because Lord knows there are people who need these clothes more than me!

Selfish? Who?

Let it never be said I don’t make sacrifices for those I love.  So in the ultimate small-scale show of love, I have gotten rid of the scrap bag.  Let’s go back for a moment…

I was given The Fabric Hamper when The Photographer and I moved in together.

It was a compromise.  I was happy to store cuts of fabric in a the heap on the floor.  He thought it would be fair to throw out anything I wasn’t currently working on.  The compromise was if it fits in the hamper, it can stay.  It was going well until I really got into sewing and began to crank out pieces left and right.  That makes for lots of scraps.  And what a waste to throw out so much fabric when:

  • a)  there are people out there who surely could use it, and
  • b)  I’m just going to have to buy more for trim & small projects later on.

I was storing all the little bits and pieces with the large cuts of fabric.  It became a big mess and very hard to find stuff, so I separated the unused fabric from the scraps.  The bag full of scraps was large.  Really large.  And for months and months it sat in front of the hamper taking up our precious Manhattan real estate.  The Photographer begged and pleaded for me to get rid of it.  He threatened to make it disappear (Where?  The East River?  I’ve never heard of the Fabric Mafia.)

Finally, an angel came to me.  One of my sewing buddies.  She told me about the Textile Arts Center.  It appears to be a non-profit studio for those who love to, or want to learn how to, craft.  And they said they’d be happy to take it all.  So here is my final good-bye to the Scrap Bag.


Easy Breezy

Since I have now accepted clothes are a necessary part of live, something light and airy sounds like a great idea.  Too short, and I’ll flash New York City (just like the poor girl I saw trying to hail a cab today).  Too long could mean too hot.  Unless the dress lets the air in.  Just Cavalli got the message.  Check out this dress:

If you can’t tell it’s a light fabric with lots of print, which could make it harder to see through.  I’m not sure if there’s lining.  Unfortunately, the $1,300 (or so) price tag puts this lovely dress way out of reach.  But I have a hunch I could find some gauzy animal print over in the West 30’s.  And I have my July issue of Burda at hand.  Just flip to page 18 and we’re on our way:

There are a couple of major difference here which I have to point out:

  • The Burda version had a slit up the front.  The Cavalli does not.
  • While both dresses are halter tops, they connect to the bodice differently.  JC used a metal triangle.  Burda seems to knot it.

The slit seems like an easy change.  The connector may require you to redraft the top to get rid of the extra knotting material.  But if you leave the pattern as it is, trust me…people won’t be looking at the knot.  They’re going to look at a nice, cool you and your ultra-flowy skirt breezing past their hot sweaty selves.  Maybe you should carry a squirt bottle (turned to the mist option, of course) to give them a little cool down on your way to someplace, hopefully, well air conditioned.

In The Fold

I’ve been eying up this top in the window of Blanc de Chine.

I’m not sure how it would look on a busty lady, such as myself, but I dig the idea.  It would be a whole lot of work to make all of those pleats, especially for a shirt that may not even look good on me.  BUUUUUUUUUT…as luck would have it, I have just the thing.  Something only I (and Express) could have seen coming…

This skirt has been gracing my closet for more than a decade.  It’s always been a little  big and a little longer than I prefer.  Now, with all of that black pleated material at the ready, it may finally be time to say good-bye.

Urban Jungle

With this spell of skin-melting heat, I’m thinking about exploring nudism.  Think New Yorkers will mind?  Imagine the photos the tourists would bring home!  Nonetheless, for the time being I’m still erring on the side of clothing, and it seems our friends in fashion are thinking heat, too – safari style.

Saks is venturing into the serengeti:

It’s hard to see some of the detail with the big ol’ necklace, but this dress has some great details.  Double breasted, big collar, rectangle on the upper left-hand side.  Hmmmm…now, where have I seen that before?

Ah ha!  Burda – May 2010:

This would take some work to turn into a dress, but it has the tricky components all done:

  • Double breasted
  • Big collar
  • Rectangle on the upper left-hand side

It also has a belt, albeit a different style, but one that I think would look nice.

Frankly, just the idea of heavy khaki right now is making me sweat, but for those whose first instinct still includes cloth, this may be right up your boiling hot alley.