Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pattern Weights

Hello everyone. I'm sorry about the holiday hiatus. I don't know about the rest of you but I was holed up working on people's christmas presents until the ninth hour. This was exacerbated by the un-precedented (at least in my life time) snow that we got here in Portland. Christmas shopping was hard without snow plows. Anyways I would like to do a post about pattern weights. People seem to have very strong feelings about where and how they use their weights. I have also never been able to buy pattern weights I liked and have therefore made my own. I imagine that its the same for many of you. So, I would like people to send me pictures of your weights and comments about how you use them. Please send them to carlymick@gmail.com.
Cheers and a happy new year!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sewing machine shopping

It's been awhile since I've posted anything! I have a very long mental list of posts that I would like to make, I'm hoping I get to them soon....
For now, I have a question for the sewers out there: Does anyone have any good advice as to what brand and make of sewing machine is high quality but not too pricey? A friend of mine is on a hunt for a good basic home machine, and I'm sad to say I didn't have a lot of advice for her. Any feedback would be lovely. Thanks!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


This post was inspired by a conversation with Hannah earlier today. Silk is one of my all time favorite fabrics. The variety and suppleness of silk makes it appropriate for just about everything. I have seen many wonderful designs look cheap because people chose synthetics to mimic silk. Silk is a wonderful fabric to work with and has a variety of different weights and hands for all different projects. I would like to dissuade you from some silk myths and note the rarely discussed issues I've had with silk.

Myth: Silk is too fragile.

Silk is actually an incredibly strong fiber. It has been used in armor for thousands of years and is said to be stronger than steel although I'm not entirely sure what kind of strength they are talking about. Most silk is also made from a very long single filament. This means that the fiber can distribute the force over the width of the fabric and the individual fibers are not going to sluff off. The point is that silk isn't going to disintegrate while you are wearing or sewing it, unlike acetate which will melt in a wide variety of solvents. However, if you have a very fine knit or loose weave it will snag and shift, although this is true of every other fiber as well.

Myth: You can't wash silk

I think that this is the real reason that many people don't like wearing silk. They believe that you will always have to take that garment to the dry cleaner's. Well, the truth is that you can wash silk. (Believe me, I'm not a dry cleaner kind of a girl.) There are a few things that you should know about washing silk.

1. Some manufacturers don't set their dyes for washing. This is something I have heard about, but never experienced myself. What I have noticed is that the dye will bleed somewhat in the first two rinsings. This is true of most other fabrics as well. This is the best reason to treat your silks gently. You are trying to preserve the process that's been done to the silk more than the silk fibers themselves. It is always wise to wash a sample first and make sure it behaves like you want it too.

2. If you pre wash your silks you will never have any issues with water spots.

3. You should wash your silks often and gently instead of waiting until they're really dirty.

4. Wash with luke warm water and dish washing detergent. In general detergents are always gentler that soaps. Laundry
detergents are sometime made more powerful than you need for silks. Think grass stains on denim.

5. Your silks are likely to change a little when you wash them the first time. The finish that is put on fabrics is meant to make you want to buy it when its on the bolt. This finish might not be as suitable for wearing as it is for selling. Think formaldehyde and other chemicals on your skin. However the finish might be what attracted you to that silk in the first place and removing it might distroy what you liked about the fabric. Test, Test, Test. The most common ways that silks are likely to change is in the sheen and the hand. Some silks will be come less shiny or more prone to wrinkles. Most will become softer. Some will fade slightly.

6. Occasionally when I have rinsed silks there have been some strange smells. I don't know if it comes from the silk or the finish but poor susanna's shirt smelled particularly like fish. I have since discovered that most off odors can be eliminated by adding some vinegar to the rinse. This has the added benefit of helping to set the dye. You will probably have to rinse the vinegar out too but its a lot easier than weird odors.

7. Wash the yardage gently while still folded. It's easy to want to open it up and work it like cotton but silk is more likely to keep the shape it was when wet. DONT RING IT. Place the washed, still folded yardage in a towel. Roll the towel up and press the water out. Then unfold it and steam iron dry.

8. The one thing I don't recommend washing is already made garments with inner structures like jackets or suits. I can bet you that whoever made it did not pre-shrink all that foundation stuff. That's a recipe for a very lumpy jacket.

Myth: You have to use silk thread to sew silk.

You can use any type of thread with your silk. Silk thread is especially good for basting because it is a long satiny filament that can slide through the weave of the fabric with minimal abrasion. This means that when you remove your basting you don't have a bunch of little holes in your project. I like using silk thread for silk because it satisfies my neurotic desire to to put like things together. That and it feels fancy. I believe that the best kind of thread is actually cotton. Cotton is a lot weaker than silk. This means that if your dress gets caught it will tear on the seam lines instead of the silk.

Myth: Silk is too expensive.

While its true that some silks are worth a kings ransom, you can also buy many silks at comparable prices. China silk for example makes a long wearing, washable, totally luxurious lining, or slip, and can be had for 9.99/yrd at my local fabric store.

Notes on working with difficult fabrics:
1. It is true that gauzy and slippery silks are hard to cut. All gauzy and slippery fabrics are hard to cut. Your best defense is tissue or butcher paper laid on top of the silk as you trace and cut the pattern pieces. If you find you need it you can even put paper on either side of your fabric. If you chose this option your lay up would be table, paper, silk, paper, pattern piece. With one or two sheets of paper you are going to dull your scissors a little. Its best to have a pair of scissors sharp enough to cut silk but not your favorite ones. PLEASE REMEMBER not all silks are gauzy slippery fabric. There are silks in a rainbow of weights and textures. Pick one. Try it out. You might never go back.

2. Always use 65 needle or even smaller for fine fabric. It should be the finest needle appropriate for your thread. If you still have trouble with your machine sucking it down, place a piece of tape over the needle hole on the throat plate. Regular tape works fine, like the stuff you wrap presents with. You might have to trim it to the right size so it doesn't interfere with the feed dogs.

If there is anything I forgot, feel free to speak up.
Happy Holiday Silking!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Double needle pintuck.

So I tried it and had to post it right away, because it was so much fun! I just threw a double needle in my machine, threaded her all up, and sewed along my mock style line. I decided to start with denim because it was less intimidating than chiffon, but will be trying that next. Once your line is sewn, simply pull the bobbin thread taut, bringing the two stitch lines together and forcing the pin tuck upwards. It took a little manipulation, and must say it feels a little delicate. However, this is my first try and I'm sure it takes a little customizing with the stitch length and such. Very exciting though. I definitely achieved the look I was going for! Click on the pictures to see ultra close-ups.

To ravel or not to unravel.

Okay, another sewing conundrum accompanied by a vocabulary one...

I am making a pair of jeans, also for my Senior Collection of course. Here's the catch. They have a seam that travels from the hem all the way up the balance line of each leg. Then in the vicinity of the hip level line, these two seams make a 90 degree turn towards one another, meeting at center front. The very last thing I want to do is compromise my design. However, I want them to be finished very professionally and be as durable and easy-wearing as any other pair of jeans. The issue I'm anticipating is difficulty finishing these seams, seeing as I will bust them flat and then clip them.

Options I have considered are:

-I could overlock the seam and then clip.
-A friend suggested experimenting with bias tape, and finishing the clipped edge with that (something very lightweight).
-I could overlock everything BUT the curved area, as it will be on the bias, and shouldn't ravel unravel ravel. On a side note: are ravel and unravel interchangable? It sure seems that way to me. I tend to fill in the blank with UNravel, but others differ I have noticed.
-Fray check is not an option.
-Give up. (just kidding geez!).

If I absolutely must compromise my design (which I shouldn't have to), I do have a fairly decent backup plan which is to create this style line with a pintuck instead. I am planning to do samples of each, just incase one proves to be blatantly better.

Would love to hear any thoughts!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Wilding's first project

My friend Matthew Radune has been working on a series of beautiful felt lamps recently, and has just completed the first batch.
It's been a lot of fun to watch the process of the conception of the production of these lamps for distribution. A huge amount of thought was put it into it, and I believe the first one or two were dried in Matt's oven. He's gotten progressively more sophisticated in technique, and I'm very impressed with the finished product. Here's a photo:

The idea was originally conceived in collaboration with Susanna Homann, whose picture you can see below in the Flock and Fiber Festival post. She's a lovely lady who knows a whole lot about wool felt.
For anyone who is interested in purchasing one of these lamps (Seriously good Christmas gift. I feel warmer just looking at the golden glow) they can be bought in NYC at Houndstooth Fine Vintage for Men, and, if I'm not mistaken, will soon be available on Matthew's website www.thewilding.com.
I'm not going to explain the process he used to make them, but if anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them.

Light box as pattern table

I've been spending some time at a friend's studio lately and I have to report on a brilliant but simple setup he's created for himself. He mentioned that he has started to think of pattern making as something akin to engineering, and in doing so, was inspired to set up his workspace in a similar way.
Now, one of my least favorite things about pattern making is tracing patterns in bad light. The thing is, almost all light is bad when you're using a clear plastic french curve, because the light, no matter where it's coming from, bounces off the side of the curve and creates this tiny little shadow, which is just big enough to make it impossible to see exactly where the line you're drawing is at.
What my friend has done to remedy this is essentially create a light box. He bought a large table with a frosted glass top, put a long rope of those tube white christmas lights under it, and viole, lightbox. It looks really classy, not DIY at all, and not only is the french curve tracing problem fixed, but so is the problem of creating flipped patterns for things like facings and linings. You can place a pattern face down, put a clean piece of paper on top, still see all the details, and create a mirror pattern in one trace.
I'm writing about this as if it's a new idea, but has anyone seen this used for patterns? I asked some of my industry friends here, and they said that they're generally only used for technical flats and sketches.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Oh Pintuck.

For my senior collection, I have designed a dress that I would like to make of silk chiffon. However, I would also like for it to include panels of pintucks in several areas. In looking for pointers on how to do this, I came across this little entry. Although I will probably end up hand sewing my tedious tucks, I may have to try this technique on a more stable fabric just for fun. Enjoy, and by the way, clicking on the title will link you up to the original source for this.

Pintucks are tiny folds sewn into the fabric to add texture and decoration. There are usually several placed together in vertical rows, like on the bodice of a top or dress.

If the pintucks run from one seam to another, there is no need to tie them off. But if the pintucks end in the middle of the fabric, it is necessary [normally] to pull the threads to the wrong side of the fabric, and hand tie them to secure.

This technique is for pintucks that end in the middle of the fabric. You will be sewing along a fold in the fabric, 1/8 inch [or a little more] from the fold, using a regular machine needle.

Get ready to 'think outside the box' when it comes to threading your machine. Each pintuck is sewn with a single thread from your bobbin. Remove the top spool of thread.

With the bobbin in your machine, pull thread from your bobbin. Pull enough out that it is about a foot longer than the length of your pintuck. Put this thread through the needle, threading it the opposite direction [a needle threader really helps do this]. Keeping using this thread to completely thread the machine...the machine will be threaded as usual, you're just starting at the needle and working backwards. Just lay the extra thread on top of your machine. The thread should go directly from the bobbin to your needle, no slack. You're ready to sew the first pintuck.

You start the pintuck where you want the finished end to be [in the middle of your folded bodice, not at the raw edge]. Sew along the edge of the fold, until the pintuck ends at the edge of the fabric. Cut thread and remove bodice from machine. Remove any leftover thread from the top of the machine. Voila, the pintuck is finished, and no thread tails to tie off.

To do the next pintuck, pull thread from bobbin again, and rethread machine as before.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Chuckie meets Anne Geddes

I know this isn't entirely on topic, but it does fit under the general umbrella of "sewn manufacturing." I've just read an article about a new type of stuffed animal being made in tokyo. Apparently you can get you child's face put on any animal body:

You send a profile photo of your child in, and choose from hundreds of plush animal bodies, and they send back.....umm.
Lillian just chastised me for not including the name of the company that makes these dolls. She's thinking about Christmas presents. The company is called Sha@Lark, and the names of the dolls are "Purimen Gurumi." Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Women's Institute of Domestic arts and sciences

When I lived in Tucson I worked for a wonderful woman who owned Desert Vintage, the best vintage store in Tucson. On top of helping me with my sewing she once gave me a book called Drafting and Pattern Design. I coveted this book for many reasons but didn't take it seriously as a sewing reference. Because of the beauty of this book I went on to collect a few other volumes published by Women's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences. I recommend these books for their information and inspiration.

The women's institute was founded by Mary Brooks Picken in Scranton PA (the home town of our VP elect). She authored 96 books on sewing and fashion, was the first woman trustee of FIT and a founder of Fashion Group who's 60 years worth of fashion archives can be found at the NY public library. Hint, hint for you people in NY. She was also the first women author of an english language dictionary. And you thought you were busy.

When I got this book I was still so new to pattern drafting that I imagined that it was old and there for out dated. It was not until recently while reading Kathleen's book that I remembered this wealth of information that I ought to revisit.

This book was published in 1924.

This is the draft for a basic block. Notice the unusual angle of the CF line. I have my theories about why you would do it this way but I would love to hear yours.

This is the basic fitted block if that makes it any easier.

Check out this tailored sleeve. The shaping involved is beautiful.

This is the only tool used in this book. It is called a Picken's Square for obvious reasons. Both the book and this tool assume that you might not have any experience with multiplying or dividing.

And here's a little eye candy to leave you with.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


One of the more exciting finds in the aftermath of our Murder on President Street Halloween blowout party came at about 7:30 am on Saturday, on the floor of my room, when I was finally heading to bed:

Apparently a man dressed in a paper suit evaporated before he could make it home. Or he went home naked. I was pretty impressed with the level of skill and attention to detail exhibited - notice the digital watch, and also, the buttons are functional -there was also a belt with a nice western style buckle, but that was accidentally thrown away yesterday during the scrub-down.

And this is Kate, she made the alligator headdress herself, and no, she is not a patternmaker, or even in fashion. But she did a damn good job.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

FREE "Scary Hannah Mask"!

Happy Halloween everyone! Here is another something frightening for you! (Sorry Hannah, I couldn't resist!)  This is my terribly inaccurate drawing of Hannah being her goofy self.

So in order to make proper use of such a rare and valuable resource, I have provided a Scary Hannah Mask. This goes out to all those Hannah admirers and costume collectors alike, who are looking to complete their collections!


Halloweens passed.

My favorite holiday is finally here! In honor of the wonderful Halloweens of yesteryear, I share with you some of my favorite memories.

Indeed an item of the past, our 2006 pumpkin rendition of the Britney and K-fed phenomenon:

Another favorite... when Rob and I dressed as bears... It was a brilliant idea, but neither of us could see through the poorly planned eyeholes in our gutted teddy bear heads.

I have yet to see what we concoct this year, but this dress has seen many a Halloween, and I may be forced to carry on that tradition.

Happy Halloween y'all!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I love this sweater

For the most part I don't believe in pushing my politics. I think that what people believe in and who they vote for are entirely their business. Don't get me wrong I love talking politics I just want both people to be happy to be having a conversation. That said I love this sweater. It makes me want to fish out my massively under used yarn collection and start a fall project. If you want to check out the blog of the girl who made it click on the title. As a warning it is light on the sweaters, heavy on the politics, and drowning in kittens.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Anatomy and Kinesiology

I was just taking a peak at Adam Arnold's studio, described and photographed in the Portland Mercury blog MOD, and was struck by this photo. He has X-rays of a torso on his chalkboard! Now he could just be being cute and design-y, since X-rays are totally the kind of thing that people put up just because they're interesting, but my impression is that it's for the sake of anatomy, because being able to see exactly how the human body is constructed, as well as how it moves, is one of the important aspects to patternmaking that I think is often overlooked. Jessie? As his new intern, is that the case? Also, I'm so envious and excited for you. It looks like he has such an efficient process that he works with, and his new clothes are gorgeous.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hannah's story.

If you're not gonna say it, I am. Hannah's mini life-as-a-patternmaker autobiography, How I got my start, is featured on Fashion-Incubator. Way to rock it Hannah, we are all so proud of you!

Thoughts on Lanvin and "The Economy of Cut"

At a time when, as Cathy Horyn writes in On the Runway, there is a "gloom supplied at once by the economic crisis and the expensive orgy of the [fashion] shows," it's nice to know that some designers have the economy in mind.
One of the things that surprised me most when I first arrived in NYC and started working with Nicolas was the complete lack of consideration for how much fabric a pattern would require. There were numerous circumstances where a some extravagant dress needed five yards of fabric when it could have been made with two, had a simple seamline been added in a strategic and unobtusive place. I'm sure this was because we worked on pieces for the collections, and had they been production patterns we would have worked differently. All the same, it was exciting to read a review of Lanvin by Sarah Mower on style.com and hear that his runway pieces were patterned with a mind towards efficiency and a reduction of waste. Here's an excerpt:

"Can voluptuous fashion stay relevant in an age of austerity? Can gorgeous decoration coexist with the need for something plain and simple? Ask Alber Elbaz, a man whose recipe for reductionism and all-out gorgeousness squared the circle with a unique flourish. "Whatever's happening now," he said, "it's the end of fake. What's not real will go. What we have to do now is make life easier for women."

To him, that meant going back to the studio with scissors and fabric and working out, first, a supreme economy of cut and design. Airy shapes in poufy gazar, duchesse satin, georgette, and cloque were crafted from single shots of color in one-shouldered tops, balloon-sleeved blouses, and shifts in which the only feature is an internal drape that adds a miraculously chic fillip to the hip line."

Of course we are still talking about pieces that cost thousands of dollars. But if other fashion houses follow suit and direct part of their creative energy at diminishing the wasteful and "expensive orgy" aspect of the process, I for one will be much happier working in the world of high fashion.

Elbaz's pieces, by the way, are stunning. Here are some of my favorites:

The color combination of this one is so unexpected but pretty -- but look at the back of the other one! The front was very plain. I love designs with more going on in back, it adds an air of mystery.

This one almost looks like it's just pulled up on her thigh from static cling. I love clothes that walk that line between "is that an accident, or is it a stylistic choice...?"

Monday, October 6, 2008

Dang, Dolman.

I don't think I've mentioned yet that I will be starting my internship with Adam Arnold next Monday. Yay! I'm very excited!

Meanwhile, he's invited me to his fall open house. The invitation strongly suggests wearing Adam Arnold. Unfortunately I haven't yet had the honor of owning anything Adam. I thought in order to get in the spirit of being a designer, that I would try to crank something out for myself.

So, I came up with a lined wool dress that is very coat-like. I sketched over a dozen designs an finally decided on one. I began by sketching them as flats, and created a sheet of progressives. I actually began drafting the pattern and began to second guess myself.

I love dolman sleeves, but because I have an unusually large bust circumference, they tend to look dumpy on me. It is visually confusing, because unless my waistline is defined, I look pregnant or overweight. And most dolman sleeves are baggy in general. As I was drafting the sleeve I began to wonder about how this would look, and lost some faith in my design.

In a completely natural search for reassurance, I was drawn to do what I've been taught, and drew my garment on this fashion figure! And I feel a million times better now! I drew this in less than ten minutes, and am so glad I did it.

The bodice should be very fitted aside from the dolman (it has an overarm seam), and has some combination of a built-up neckline and a mandarin collar. The bodice ends exactly where it needs to in order to accentuate the waist and has a true waistline seam where a slight amount of fullness is added, and increases to a somewhat fuller a-lined silhouette which is pulled in by a band at the hem. I added the band in order to balance out everything that is happening at the top, and feel it's a little over-accentuated in the drawing. I'm hoping that once it is made out of the medium-weight wool, the sleeve will droop a little and not be too stiff, and that the "coat feeling" doesn't take over too much. I would love to combine it with a satiny silky shirt with a "secretary" feel, black tights and boots.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Flock and Fiber Festival

Susanna and I went to Canby OR to go to the Oregon Flock and Fiber festival. It's a large collection of all thing sheep. There were livestock pens, craft contests, spinning circles, and a parking lot full of raw fleece. The clientele ranged from good old farm folk, "crafty" middle aged women, and some of the waldorf crowd. I was especially excited about the craft exhibit but I found it a little disappointing. Most things were just what you would expect, a shawl, a sweater, a hat, but there were a couple of things that totally blew me away. One woman named Debbie New had made two knit teacups.

These are knit in the shape of a football and then inverted onto themselves to lend support. They are totally soft, there are no wires, or glue, or anything.

Even more awesome was a knit kaleidoscope that she made. Its made as a series of Styrofoam cones wrapped in knit "hats" the whole thing is operated by a hand crank.

There was someone who made the tackiest and most elaborate felted scenes. They are a perfect example of the amazing capacity of people being used for things I find totally inexplicable. Although I might pay a small fortune for this unicorn. Bear in mind that both of these are 100% wool. And yes, that's a bear catching salmon.

We also found a wonderful booth that had felted goods from Kyrgyzstan. They had some beautiful stuff. Susanna who has spent time in Mongolia studying felt told me all about how the stuff was made. Its amazing. I can't explain the amount of wool that goes into a rug or the amazing way it feels in my hand.

Taylor and Travis's wedding

Well a lot has happened since the last time I posted. First and foremost I moved into a new house. It is beautiful old portland style house with three room mates that are all pretty awesome. I am even going to have room to move my studio into the basement. I have in the past shied away from having my studio in my house because it seemed nice to get out and a little more professional to have one's studio in a different building. However the fact remains that where I had my studio was not very professional to begin with, I rarely had people over to impress, and there have been so many times that I have not worked on projects because I didn't want to take the time to get on my bike and go down there. I'm also feeling pretty cheap these days so that doesn't hurt either. Anyway this is a round about way of apologizing for not posting in such a long time.
There are two major events that have happened in the last two sewing weeks. (I say it like that so I don't have to go off on the vice presidential debates that I just watched.) The first being the wedding of Travis and Taylor and the culmination of my well documented sewing project Taylor's dress 1 Taylor's dress 2 Taylor's dress 3
The second I will get to in my next post.
Our friend Taylor worked at beckel canvas with Hannah and I and is a remarkably vivacious person. She and her husband once had a small fashion line of their own called T-Rex. For the most part Travis sewed the clothes and Taylor decorated them with a technique of cutting away a top layer of fabric to expose the under layer in spots, coupled with a lot of embroidery. On the whole they were pretty cool clothing.
To make a long story short T-Rex became the theme of their wedding. It was officiated by a friend in a dinosaur costume, they had a dinosaur themed cake, and lots more. For all of its non-tradition it was the sweetest, most honest and heartfelt weddings I have ever attended. But pictures speak a thousand words so here are some photos.

Taylor with her brides maids.

Taylor walking to the alter with her father.

Check out the beautiful trellis their friend made.

This is a good chunk of the wedding party on our bike ride to the reception. You can spot yours truly out on the end of the outcropping sporting a T-Rex made dress.

T-rex cake.

This is the groom standing in front of a 15 foot tall gold vinyl T-rex with christmas lights strung behind it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Leather belts

Alright, I admit I'm spending my rainy Saturday internet surfing. I just found these leather belts made by Jasmin Shokrian, and they're amazing, despite the fact the the pictures are a little hard to make out. Might have to copy them if I can get my hands on some lovely leather.

Lately I've been attracted to plain things that seem really well-made and sturdy, and these belts embody that.

Gianfranco Ferre

I haven't ever paid a lot of attention to Gianfranco Ferre, but I stumbled onto his Spring/Summer 09 collection the other day, and am in love -- it's exactly what I'm in the mood for: Womanly and flattering but a little tough, futuristic/architectural with really new interesting shapes, and not a print in sight. Here are a few of my favorites:

This one above is kind of the perfect party dress.

I love the way that the pockets stand away from the body on the skirt. Also I think the fact that the belt is dark only in the middle section of the bodice is really flattering and makes the waist look tiny.

I love how in these last 2 pieces there are so many hard lines and edges as well flowing lines that maintain a balance between a feeling of strength and grace.

Shirt problems

Awhile ago, when we were discussing balancing patterns, Dana had mentioned something about the possibility of balancing shoulder seams as a way to keep from having to pull shirts down in front while wearing them. At the time I didn't know what she was talking about, but just this week I started having that exact problem. I've started wearing button-up shirts that fit a little looser, and I noticed that they tend to ride back and I'm constantly pulling then forward so that the collar sits against my neck. The shirts fit me in every other way, and I'm wondering if this is a common problem and if so, how it might be solved -- it seems to me that the shirts don't follow the curve of the back of the neck well and that's why they slide back, but I want to hear other people's input.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More jean talk.

Well, I finally made myself a pair of jeans. Aside from a few very minor errors, I am very happy with how they came out! I have been wearing them everyday since I finished them. I'd been imagining this large back yoke, which pushed the pockets down onto the leg. It's a design I'm incorporating into my senior collection, and thought I would try it out on myself first to see how it makes me feel. I have yet to apply belt loops, but plan to do so soon.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Eating my (snarky) words

As a few of you know, I've never been much a fan of Leanimal, Portlander Leanne Marshall's line. I have to retract that sentiment though, having just taken a look at her capsule collection shown in NYC as one of the Project Runway finalists. I like this look below more than most things I saw on the runways this season. Although, as a blogger mentioned on ultrapdx.com, her work has become "decidedly un-portland." Maybe that's the change that took it from kitchy-not-quite-interesting to classy-completely-interesting. From now on I'll be paying more attention.

A few days ago I flew to Portland OR for a visit, and on the plane ended up watching 5 or 6 episodes of the current Project Runway. Not only are Leanne's final pieces interesting and beautifully made, but she is by far the most likeable person to have ever appeared on a reality TV show. I won't be watching the finale, but I hope she wins, because I'd love to see how she furthers her line with the prize money.

portland fashion week

So my dears, it looks like I accidentally scheduled my trip to portland right over portland fashion week -- I don't know that I want to go to the official shows, but on Saturday the 10th there's a multi designer show at Someday Lounge, featuring the indie designers I always think are more interesting...how about it, can I count on going with you all?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's Fall!

I just got back from China, and discovered that hot sweaty NY summer had turned into beautiful breezy fall. Hurray! To celebrate I am posting all the things I've been dying to wear/find lately (but it's been too hot for).

I found a pair of Wranglers similar to these, but in much better condition on ebay a couple weeks ago, I can't wait to wear them with thick tights and short poufy skirts, or straight jeans tucked into the tops...

I love the idea of rainboots but I'm pretty tired of imitation wellies everywhere I look. I really like how woodsy these are - I think I'd wear them the same as the wrangler boots.

I just found a black cotton jacket similar to this one, and am thinking about remaking it in waxed canvas (see post below) because I love it so much.

I really love the idea of harem pants like these, although I haven't seen them anywhere except the runway (here, Proenza Schouler resort 2009) I think they'd be pretty easy to sew up though.
Also on my list for the thrift stores: Large men's dress and plaid shirts and smallish blazers (to be worn over the shirts).