One of the things that has been so daunting about completing my French Couture Jacket are all the buttonholes. There are 14 total - 4 on the front, 3 on each sleeve and one on each of the 4 pockets. Each buttonhole requires multiple steps. First you stitch a little rectangle (with your machine) using really tiny stitches, then you cut a slit and then proceed to hand finish this with lots of tiny blanket stitches around the entire hole. If this weren't enough....Read More
Sooooo Excited to finish this sweater. I started in late June of this year when my friend and I estimated it would take 100+ hours to finish. Ha! I have no idea how long it really took but I just finished it last week. Hooray. And it's a beauty. So excited to go through my closet and see what I can wear it with...Read More
Progress has begun on the re-start of my Chanel-Style jacket. It's been in the works for several years now. I don't even remember when I started but I do remember buying fabric at the Mill Ends store in Portland, OR in November many years ago, and giving myself the fabric + trims for Christmas that year. Maybe my friend Angie remembers....???Read More
As Some of you may or may not know, I've taught an online class about how to run your own Sewing Camps through Pixie Faire (where I sell my doll patterns), for the last two years. I built the course so that other people could have success teaching kids how to sew. And over the last couple of years, I've learned a LOT about the whole process.....Read More
I've been looking to finish my own "French (Chanel inspired) Jacket" this year so I turned to an expert for some inspiration and encouragement in doing so. Susan Khalje is THE expert and has been making, teaching how to make and writing about making these Iconic pieces for many years. She is also my own Couture instructorRead More
Welcome to Part 2 in my Journey to Filoli - Doesn't that sound like the start of a public television announcement? It really was such hot day, all I really wanted to do was jump in that amazing pool, built in the 1930's at the estate...Read More
Built by Willis Polk between 1915 - 1917 for one of the wealthiest gold mine owners in California, Filoli House, sits amidst 654 acres of country land near the town of Woodside CA, in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a majestic home fit for fine living.
Earlier this Summer, I took a trip to visit Filoli house.....Read More
This Dress was a long time coming. I started working on it in November of last year. Originally, I intended to make it from a wool crepe and that the red rayon would be a wearable muslin. Using the Colette Patterns Oolong Dress pattern (purchased for 1/2 price, when they were discontinuing the pattern), I decided to make one modification - add godets to the skirt in the princess seams to give it a little flip and flare....Read More
After all your wonderful suggestions, I did end up choosing Ladies 1931 Dress from Vintage Pattern Lending Library for my Gatsby Dress. I just can't seem to get enough of those VPLL patterns! More on THAT later. Here is the story of how I came to use a Vintage 1940's dress for my "muslin" prototype....Read More
The Art Deco Society of California's Gatsby Summer Afternoon, is right around the corner. Slated for Sunday, September 10th, this annual event will take place on the majestic grounds of the Dunsmuir Hellman Estate in the Oakland Hills. Hundreds of people enter the grounds dressed to the nines in gorgeous picnic attire....Read More
Summer is my busiest time of year so I only work on projects I can pick up and put down easily and those that travel well. That usually translates into hand sewing or knitting. So, when The Recrafting co., my local (crafting) consignment shop, had a posting a few weeks ago for a Sashiko Sewing class, I could not pass it up.Read More
Who would have guessed that our seemingly demure and always impeccably attired, Art Deco Society of California Secretary, Alice Jurow, would write a book about Vampires? Set in Paris 1929, 3 impossibly chic fashion models work their way into the hearts and souls of numerous suitors, while drinking of their blood, just a little bit. It's a delicious helping of fun, dripping with scrumptious details describing the opulence of the time...Read More
My friend Jonathan invited me to his 30th birthday party. He wanted to leave his OWN roaring 20's in style and asked everyone to come dressed up for the occasion. What a great opportunity to play dress up and put on a made-by-me gown from my favorite era!Read More
As part of my quest to build a "Miss Fisher" wardrobe, I've sewed up three little blouses inspired by separates her character wears in different episodes. This post will show you 3 blouses I have made, starting with one pattern and explain how you can do it too!Read More
Recently, I've given myself the task of creating a "Miss Fisher" wardrobe....Read More
Body Image - That's a tough one for a lot of us. It's not something talked about openly, very often, but a lot of the people I work with seem to be challenged by it, and daily. I've struggled with my own body image over the years as have most of my friends. As a teenager, looking through fashion magazines constantly (wanting to be cool, fashionable and popular), I compared myself to the models on those pages, dressed beautifully & styled to the nines. The comparisons killed me. You see, I've always been my own worst critic. Self criticism and loathing get to the heart of the matter. That internal critic (along with a little external reinforcement - peer pressure, magazines etc.) led me to an eating disorder, hospitalization and a life unmanageable, all by the tender age of 15...Read More
The Annual College of Alameda ADAM (Apparel Design and Merchandising) Fashion Show.
The stage was set in the Grand Ballroom at the Hilton Oakland Airport. With a Runway & a DJ, the tables were set for friends, family and fashion professionals. A light lunch was provided. I even got a space at the front (with a VIP sign!). Perfect for viewing the show and seeing the garments up close...Read More
My best friend (Angie, I know you are reading this!) has started to identify herself as a "quilter" in recent days. This was somewhat alarming the first time I heard her say it. I haven't really understand the pull, other than the simple act of sewing. Well, as I was about to find out, it is much more than just stitching some fabric together. It's about color, design, brain work, pattern manipulation (2D this time and not 3D) and ,funny enough, comfort. The process is much easier than trying to fit a garment (again the 2D as apposed to 3D aspect of it). I'm beginning to see the appeal.Read More
Well, the day of the ball arrived and I was prepared! This year's theme was Death on The Nile (the Agatha Christie Murder Mystery) with a focus on Egyptian Revival of the Art Deco era.Read More
This jacket was found at the Vintage Fashion Expo in the Michaan's Auction House out at Alameda point last Fall. I loved it immediately and was pleased to say that it fit fairly well upon first trying it on, all be it, a little loose. This beautifully embroidered piece was only $45, so I nabbed it up and took it home.
Once home, I kept trying it on with different outfits and just found that I felt a bit frumpy in it. Have you ever had this experience? My bust and hips are full, at least in comparison to my shoulders and rib cage. The difference in size is about 3 dress sizes. Yikes. I'm the typical "Pear" - size 4 in the shoulders and rib cage, size 8 in the bust and a 10-12 in my waist andhips. Makes for a difficult fit a lot of the time. Well, this car coat (that's what these short jackets are called) is just a little too "Miss Fisher" to give up, so after close inspection, an alteration seemed in order.
"What to do?" You ask. Well, I say, make it fit in the shoulders. I started by pinning out the shoulder to see how much needed to be reduced - about 2" in the end.
After seam ripping the sleeves off the jacket, I drew a new armhole on the jacket, making the shoulders 2" smaller on each side. This made the armhole quite a bit larger than the sleeve.
In order to reduce the armhole measurement so that the sleeve would fit, I created a dart along the sides of the jacket, as there was no side seam to reduce. This made the bust smaller as well, but that worked out just fine, as the jacket was quite full in the bust already.
The sleeves were sewn back into the garment and the lining pinned in and stitched by hand.
With my jacket altered, and fitted properly, I now love it even more. Time to make an outfit to go with it, don't you think?