Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tom's bag

Today I finally got to give Tom his bag. It turned out great although the photos aren't so great. We stenciled his bag with the alaph naught symbol, using Hannah's patented sticker paper stencil technique. It came out beautifully. The bag in general was exactly what he wanted and I'm proud of it's construction. So not a bad project all in all.

is it me or the economy?

I went in to Opening Ceremony today, just for some inspiration - the store usually has a lot of pieces that I think are interesting, and it's fun to go in and try them on, or try to figure out how theyre constructed. I was disapointed though, I only found a few things that didn't seem run of the mill. Im not sure whether thats because I've been working with some of the most interesting designers in NYC lately -- between proenza's spring 09 collection, Nathan Jenden and alexander wang, there's a whole lot of extravagence and forward-thinking going on -- or because people generally are just making boring clothes right now, partly due to a crappy economy. I'm not sure which is worse. I certainly dont want to be a jaded fashionista after less than a year in NYC. But I hate seeing people make things that arent worth making....
Peter Pilotto was one of the designers whos pieces I needed to really inspect to figure out. This dress doesn't look too special, but notice the directions of the pleats and tucks. I'm sure the pattern looks a little bit like a lightning bolt.

I can't wait to post some of proenza's runway shots next month. I love almost everything we're working on, although i'm sure all my favorite pieces are show pieces for the runway only and will never be produced. ah well...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Junya Watanabe's Menswear

I always think of Junya Watanabe as much more avant garde than this, but damn, i love it. I want men to dress like this every day. I like the first two looks in their entirety, the pants in the last are incredible, with the exposed button fly and color reminiscent of classic carharts, but dressed up by everything else hes wearing --and after the flood of superskinny-jeaned hipster men in williamsburg, theyre exactly what I'm in the mood for.
also, cuffed jeans with dress shoes. sooo hot.


I was inspired to look these up after my friend Matt showed me a pair of wool felt shoes he made in grad school - I'm going to try to get a picture of those on here, because theyre actually amazing and remind me a little bit of the adorable square slippers you made Carly.

I love how simple they are, pure functional design, but beautiful for it. The addition of the rubber slip-on bottoms only make them more attractive i think - apparently the wool isn't waterproof, so for outdoor wear they have to add the rubber galoshes bit.


I'm adding this to our side bar because it is an amazing collection of good quality fashion books without all the home sewing crap that usually clutters up the craft section of bookstores.
On a side note I recently saw Sewing with Nancy on a hung over saturday morning. That is one of the most creepy and uncomfortable sewing experiences. for those of you that haven't seen it, Nancy is a stroke victim that can't use one half of her mouth and walks the audience through god awful projects that are meant to inspire young people to sew. Things like tube tops made from slinky fabric and ribbing cut from sweaters, all sewn together with a regular strait stitch, 5/8" seam allowances, and all the raw edges hanging out inside. Bllleehh!
Oh and if you want to try something else make it reversible. Double blleehh!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tom's Bag

I'm doing a shoulder bag for my friend Tom that I went to PSU with. We were both in the math department which explains the equations. (click on the picture to see a bigger version.)

The image on the front is Aleph 0 which is a hebrew symbol and is the first cardinal number in mathematics. Which means it's the smallest infinite set. Because yes there are different sets of infinity and some are bigger than others.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


The summers here are amazing. I wish I had a ton more time. I wouldn't go home till october.

Pig Roast

Last weekend it was my friend Elliot Martin's birthday. They decided that they wanted to go camping and have a suckling pig roast. We went to Stub Stewart State Park which is a new state park outside of Vernonia OR. I tagged along with Bill and Pinn to get the pig and drive out there. We went to a wonderful farm where they had killed the baby pig that morning for us. I'm being a little ironic but it was a wonderful place that made me only want to buy meat from a place where you could see the living conditions of the animals as well as the people who do the processing. It didn't hurt that it was in the midst of the rolling farmlands outside Sandy with Mt Hood just around the bend.
On our drive out there our car over heated and we were stranding on the side of the road for an hour waiting for our friend to rescue us.
Anyway we finally got out there and it was so beautiful. We spent the evening roasting pig, drinking, gossiping, and generally having a good time in some of the best weather that Oregon summer provides.
This is me making a spit for the pig.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Up date on Taylor's dress

This is Taylor in her mock up. We're going to redo the top to eliminate the cap sleeve and make a more dramatic cowl.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Shirt buttons two

Oh my goodness I'm afraid you may have touched on a personal rant. I have so much to say about buttons I might have to post pictures. That trick about insetting the top and bottom buttons on vertical button holes seems like a good one. I've experiences gaping on my plackets sometimes, especially with extended wear. That would probably fix it.
I know that horizontal button holes are often chosen because you can be a little more sloppy with how the buttons get sewn on. I have also seen people draft vertical button holes 1/8" to the inside of center because it will cause pull and "pull" to center. Which I think is what you were saying in the previous post. I have also heard that you should draft vertical button holes 1/8" to the outside of center to allow for the thread under the button. Thus making the center of the button on center instead of the edge of the thread. I think this is more important with big buttons and heavy fabrics. I personally subscribe to the second idea because I would like to have the placket of my shirts not have any pulling. I also have a feeling that it will depend more on the fabric and button combination that anything. Imagine for instances that you are making a coat and the front opening in made with two layers of heavy wool. I can easily imaging loosing 1/8 " in thread it would take to make a button hole in that fabric.
Anyway maybe there will be more to come if I can find some time.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

shirt buttons

I'm curious how you ladies, with all you button up shirt experience, pattern your button holes. I remember learning ages ago that when you have horizontal button holes you off-set then so that you only have 1/8" of the button hole sitting on the far side of the buttoned button, and the rest on the other side, because the shirt is constantly being pulled in that direction, and you want to make sure that the buttons still sit in the center of the placket. I realize this would be easier with some illustration, and the reason I'm writing this post is because I just learned a related way to pattern vertical buttons and then realized that the only way to demonstrate it is to sketch it out and then take a photo of it and I don't want to go to the trouble, so i want to know if you already know it. Nicolas says nobody does it anymore.
Basically you offset the top and bottom buttons in opposite directions and then keep all the other buttons centered. This keeps the placket tight.
Maybe that makes sense without the visuals?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Carly remember I was telling you about Hussein Chalayan when we were at the Superheroes show at the Met? Here are a couple classic examples:

Sunday, July 6, 2008

More on Draping

I'm almost embarrassed to post this to all you draping savvy ladies, partly because of my janky dressmakers form and partly because I'm sure there are things I'm missing. But this is the same reason that I am posting this, I would love any feedback on things you think I should know or things you think I'm doing well, or what ever. This is the dress I'm making for Taylor Valdez who's getting married at the end of Sept. The skirt it one she gave me because she liked how it looked. Currently it's for visualization purposes only, I intend to drape the skirt as well.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Follow Up on Draping Question

You are totally right I was trying to do a Princess line using one piece of fabric from CF to SS. I wanted to post pics anyway so you could tell me what ever else you wanted too.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Thakoon Resort

Here are some pieces from Thakoon for Resort 09:

This one was really problematic because all the sequins are actually shapes of sequined fabric cut out and sewn onto an organza backing, which, if you look closely, creates subtle grey style lines throughout the garment -- the problem was that when you cut out sequined fabric and and applique it, the little threads that hold all the long lines of sequins on start coming loose, and then if the dress has been promised to a friend of the designer's, for an awards event, that night, and the sequins are all falling off...
There was a little frantic huddle of hand stitching for a couple hours. Am very curious if it's going into production - I think Resort pieces are usually all produced (???), and I wonder how it'l be done.

This piece was interesting because the entire front, sleeves included, is cut out of a single piece of fabric, which is also gathered around the neck, making for a huge and oddly shaped pattern piece. Things like this are funny to me, because in the rest of the fashion world, fabric allocation is so important -- but time and time again we make patterns that creat enormous amounts of scrap (which sometimes I take home. This one made a pretty gauzy scarf...)

I honetly don't remember if we made this or not - I think Erin may have made the pants. I just love it. Pantsuits in general are so damn cute and the rise is always too short for me and I get cameltoe.