January 29, 2010

Weekly outfit nr.17

Black trousers, an old favorite which I made about two years ago, a store-bought black turtle neck and the cardigan-thing which I made a while ago from one of my boyfriend's old sweaters worn with a thin belt.

By the way, I did read some comments on the colour (or lack thereof) of many of my outfit. I think I should try to give a bit of explanation on that point.
First of, I'm just one of those people who believe that everything looks good with black. My old 'uniform' (before I made all my clothes) used to consist of a skirt in a colour and a black top (or jeans and a black top, but that was just too boring).
I also used to love 'standard' romantic goth clothes. My first succesfull sewing creation was a read satin skirt with a black lace overskirt (which I wore with black tops, of course). Although my style has changed quite a bit, some of the esthetic is definately still with me.
And I went to art school. Studying photography. Art folks and photographers are still a little more prone to wearing black than the 'average person' (who doesn't exist, I know).
Also, it's still winter here. I wear black all year round, but I tend to pair it with much brighter colours when the sun is out more.
The last, but not least, reason is deeply practical one: I can't really afford to spend a lot of money on fabrics at the moment. I'm lucky to have my sources for very affordable jeans, plain cotton, wool and jersey, but the supply of colours is limited (often to black, grey or dark blue, and some ugly, very bright colours). It is very hard to find nice lighter weight fabrics (for tops) as well as anything to matching or complementing a coloured fabric or a good print. It is not just a money-thing either. If I go to the fabric store, I don't like most of their prints and very little of their colours. And, to make it harder, I prefer to sew with natural fibres.

Basically, I do have a lot of black in my winter wardrobe. For a large part, I like it that way. However, I'm definately on the lookout for some great colours to add to it, but finding them might prove to be quite a challenge.

January 25, 2010

All in a day's work

Most of the time, I consider myself to be a fairly skilled hobby seamstress/pattern maker, hopefully eyeing up carreer options and supplementary education possibilities in fashion. However, I also spend quite a bit of my time helping designer friend M (who taught me how to draft my own patterns by the way, that's how I got to know her: I took her pattern making and sewing technique course) on her new collection.

Today, however, we went to the 'modefabriek' ('fashion factory'), Holland's largest fashion trade show. This is the place where buyers for retail stores go to see the new collections available to them for the new season (winter 10/11, in this case). And it's the place where all kinds of fashion professionals go to see what everyone else did. We didn't have a lot of time, so we did kind of a quick run-through, concentrating mostly on colours, shapes and textures in women's wear (modefabriek offers women's wear, men's wear, jeans and accesoiries).
Despite the lack of time, it was pretty interesting. There were some small areas dedicated to small brands and up-and-coming designers, which I really enjoyed. With the larger 'main stream' brands, there was some good stuff: a nice shape here, a good texture or great detail there. However, there was also a lot which just really showed that trade fairs are about what you will find in every high street next year, so: not the greatest quality and a lot of stuff which looks like other stuff you've seen before.

I really wanted to write you a nice, comprehensive report, but it isn't really coming together. If I end up making something in the near future inspired by today's experience, I'll make sure to mention it.

On a completely unrelated matter: I still haven't heard from New Year's Giveaway winner Cashew. So Cashew, if you're reading this, please contact me at aicha_hockxAThotmailDOTcom. If I haven't had a reaction by Februari 1, I'll put the other names back in the hat and draw another winner.

January 22, 2010

Weekly outfit nr.16

I know I've skipped a week, but it's too late now to correct that. So, without further ado, I would like to present to you this week's weekly outfit:

Here, I'm wearing my flared jeans (made last year, and already shown in an earlier 'weekly outfit'), the anatomical heart T-shirt I made the week before last and my black boucle 'cape-bodied' jacket. I made that last winter. It has normal, jacket-style, two-part sleeves, but a fairly short and widely flared body with round lower lapels and a stander at the back of the neck.

So much to do, so little time

Hi everyone, I'm back! I really didn't mean to stay away for so long and I could come up with several fairly decent excuses but the bottom lines are: 'life getting in the way of blogging' and 'perfectionism'.

Anyway, I'm back and I would like to show you some of the thing I've been up to. You may have seen my posts about my two pairs of trousers in charcoal grey wool (blogged about here and here). They were made from the same piece of fabric. I bought four meters of it (standard discount at that store is 4 meters of thin wool or demin at 10 euros). The two pairs of trousers used up somewhere between 2 and 2,5 meters. So I made a jacket.

I made my own pattern. It's from my 'normal, contemporary' jacket block (I'll explain in a later post, I don't have pictures of the other one now) but this time, I added shoulder pads. I think for the first time. They are rather small pads, so they don't really stand out, but to me, the shoulder really does look more angular and a bit boyish (in a good way).

Then, I only had 0,5 meter left, plus some scraps. So that could
only be a skirt (or a vest, but I never got those to look nice on me). Usually my leftover bits of fabric are a bit longer and a bit narrower and have to become staight skirts, so this one was definately going to be a wide skirt. So it became a pleated skirt.

Irregular pleating scheme made up by me, the same on front and back. Center back zipper (hey, there is only one seam, so how could I have put it anywhere else...)
However, working with M on her latest collection (and maybe reading Dress a day for, I don't know, ever) means that by now, I've been well and truly bitten by the pocket-bug. This skirt just had to have pockets. If I had had more fabric, I would have made scoop pockets but all I had left were some long, narrow strips. So I made bound pockets.

This means, perhaps perversely, that every single item I made form this fabric has some form of bound pocket... Double welts on the sides of the skirt, double welts with button loops at the back of the belt pleated trousers and coat-style single welts on the jacket and the back of the flared trousers...

I guess I shouldn't even try to contemplate what that means about your humble savage seamstress...

January 9, 2010

Weekly outfit nr.15

It's still cold outside, so trousers just tend to be more practical for now. These are the flared ones which I made recently, worn with a black poloneck and a blouse/jacket which I made last summer. It is fairly short, has a collar with rounded lapels and puffy sleeves (it is also, embarrassingly, the one item in my wardrobe which closes the wrong way, left over right instead of right over left. I didn't notice my mistake untill after I had slashed the buttonholes). I never quite liked the look of it in summer, but as soon as the temperature had dropped, it seemed to come into my comfort zone.

Shapes of grey

It's been a while since posted about anything I have made. Which doesn't mean I didn't make anything. Not at all.
In my wardrobe, most things are made by me with the notable exeption of t-shirts. Untill I bought my serger, sewing jersey was an absolute nightmare, that's why. This winter, I noticed I needed more fun basic pieces for layering.
I have loved making jackets ever since my first self drafted one a year and a half ago, and I love dressing down my shapely, formal jackets by wearing them over t-shirts. I had two old t-shirts, one bought, one a recycled band-shirt which belonged to my boyfriend in its previous life, doing that job.
So, I needed more. And I could use a simple cardigan with long sleeves (I often make cardigan-like things from odd bits of fabric and that always seems to result in three quarter length sleeves at the very most).

The fabric I used is a cotton double knit jersey. It was for sale at the market (2 euros a meter, but only 1,20 m wide) in a very limited choice of colours. I ended up buying (over the course of several weeks) 2 m of each of the fairly dark and grey colours (this is the lightest, I already made a dress out of the blue/lavender/grey and the dark grey/brown is still in my stash).

I made the cardigan first. The pattern is based of my knit sloper, I just opened it up along the center front and cut out a deep, wide V-neck. I was going to do a 'normal' closure, with a buttonband along the straight bit of the front, but decided on differently when I had sewn together the body parts and tried it on.

Not wanting to put a partly cut length of fabric back in the stash, I moved straight on to making t-shirts. One has cap sleeves and wide neckline, the other is a bona fide skinny fit tee. Even before I cut the fabric, I realised that what I really wanted for under my jackets, where printed, or otherwise decorated shirts. So, I decided to do something which I hadn't done in quite a while: decorate.

Cap-sleeves has a 'necklace' of miss-matched mother-of-pearl buttons from my grandmother's box. Skinny T sports a drawing (in black textile marker) of an anatomical heart. I'm rather pleased with both of them and looking forward to find out how they will perform in real life.

January 2, 2010

Weekly outfit nr.14

Of course, after all the excitement of the holidays, it is now time to return to normal life, and as far as this blog goes, that means a return to regular posting. So here is my first 'weekly outfit' post for 2010.

I made this bias cut skirt in December 2008 (I remember wearing on Boxing Day that year) and the sweater a bit later. Oh, and yes, the checks on that skirt do match at the seams.
I really like the look but I hardly ever wear this skirt outside because knit lining I used, tends to stick to thights or stockings and the hem has a habit of snagging on any kind of extremity on my shoes.

By the way, if you are new to this blog, and have come here through Burdastyle, fehrtrade, Dress a day or any of the other great blogs which link to this place now: welcome! I hope you'll like it here.
I have to confess straight away that I'll be very busy until the 20th of January. So, despite my resolutions, I don't think I will have time for elaborate how-to's very soon. Regular posting will continue though.

January 1, 2010

And the winner is...

Drumroll please...
The winner of the Petit(e!) main sauvage New Year Giveway is... Cashew!
Please get in touch with me through aichahockxAThotmailDOTcom (of course changing the capital letter bits for the appropriate symbols, I'm just hoping the spam-bots won't pick up on it this way), and let me know which design you want.

For those of you who didn't get lucky this time: you should know that my New Year's resolution for this blog is to do more, and hopefully better understandable, how-to's. I loved all your great reactions to the Giveaway and I'm planning to make at least one of the designs into a how-to as well.

A happy and creative 2010 to everyone!