Make a creative center piece Download Nowread more
Cross two things off my summer sewing to-do list: work out a hidden inseam pocket, and sew capris. Done and done! Frankly, I’m elated about these capris, even though they just appear to be a simple project at first glance. And technically they kind of are, but they signify a… read more »read more
A few weeks ago, I came to the startling conclusion that my kids have grown since last Summer. This ‘growing’ seems to be a recurring thing, forcing me to make new clothes for them year after year. Crazy. I decided to make a few quick projects: some shorts, gathered skirts, and a few Hoppe jumpsuits. […]read more
Rock hunting is all the rage! Kids of all ages will love using Sharpie markers to create super easy Sharpie Rock Art. Sharpie Rock Art Until last year, my kids and I didn’t know rock hunting was a popular family activity. One day, we were walking in a park when my son spotted a bright yellow…read more
I was intrigued by this clever idea from Clover to make a pincushion without sewing. The packaging says it is for fabric and I wanted to see if it would work with the stiffer canvas of needlepoint. The Parts This pincushion creates a 2.5″ round pincushion, making a small pincushion. It consists of three parts. […]read more
Im so glad Daniel Radcliffe has found more work! This collection is all liverwurst and bananas for me. Things I like in small amounts but not near each other. Legs- those are legs. Evil clown blouse with disembodied legs. I hate the underwear waistbands. Yech. But I think I hate the weird decorative napkin folding […]read more
It feels like summer is firmly here: we’ve been experiencing a heatwave over the last few days, Lucia is in summer school having fun, and we’re hosting family and friends who are staying with us over the next few weeks. Lots to look forward to! Hope your week is going well, thanks for stopping by! […]read more
Yay! I’m glad to see Suzannah of Create/Enjoy sewing again! As much as I love her other posts on decor and food, I’ve missed her sewn creations. Today she’s sharing this tie neck sundress and it’s so cute! Click on over to her site to see all the details. While you’re on her blog, you Read the Rest…
The location of our next Sewing Space Tour, where someone lets us have a nosey around their lovely creative space, used to be a chicken shed – although you’d never know it now! Lexy here, handing over to Emma to find out more…
Hello, I’m Emma and…read more
Again, I couldn’t help but make two of the same pattern! This time the pattern is the Bronx dress from SBCC, with some fit alterations (armhole redo, back width increase, sleeve redraft). As I’m sure I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I just love the fit and flare shape. What I especially love about this dress, though, is that I can sew it in way less than 2 hours, from cutting the fabricread more
I’ve really fallen for this pattern. It’s been made in three different fabrics so far and I love each & every (very different) one. The pattern is culottes 104 from the February 2017 Burdastyle magazine. Made late last month for Daughter No2 to take on her holiday to Madeira, she chose a linen viscose blend … Continue reading “Hook, Line & Sinker”read more
Jalie’s Stretch City Coat pattern has been around for a while. Many folks have made it, and many of them have made it in a woven, just using a larger sized pattern. I really wanted to stick to the original intent and so having been keeping my eyes open the right stretch fabric for a couple of years now.
I finally found it along the back wall of my local Fabricville.
I decided to use a grey outerwear fabric with a micro fleece bonded to the inside. It is a pretty interesting fabric. The outer side is a tightly woven poplin, much like commander if you have sewn that, and the inside has a very fine micro finer fleece bonded to it. Perfect if you want weather resistant with a little warmth but without the hassle of putting in a lining.
I found this fabric very easy to sew. I used a standard sharp needle and polyester thread but I did lengthen my stitch length to 3.0 for construction and 4.0 for top stitching. There is a fair amount of volume to this fabric, sort of bouncy like Ponte and I felt that the longer stitch length was just more compatible with it.
I made a few changes to the pattern.
First I couldn’t decide on whether or not to do the collar or hood view – one is dressier one more useful – so in the end I made the collar view but sewed the hood up as a separate unit and added three snaps to the back of the collar stand so I could snap on the hood as needed. I placed one snap just a half an inch or so from the end of the collar stand on each side and one at centre back on the back of the stand on the jacket. I then just sewed three snaps on the inside of the hood to match.
This is a bit of a pattern hack and I do realize that one result of that is that the collar has to stand up when the hood is attached. You might think this looks weird but living in Nova Scotia I have no problem with as many rain barriers as I can get. I have also convinced myself that this detail looks edgy and works with the techno nature of the fabric. If you disagree, don’t tell me.
The other variation I made was to change up the suggested buttons and buttonholes for big sew-on snaps. I test sewed a few buttonholes and they just looked small and wimpy to me in this fabric so I went back down to Fabricville and got these wonderful snaps – large ones for the coat and smaller ones for the hood/collar attachment.
A word on the snaps. I have observed in RTW that the stitches for big fashion snaps like these go right through to the right side of the fabric. Once you get your head around this, and the fact that your hand stitches might not be 100% perfect and that is OK, this are easy to stitch on. Each snap has two holes at each corner which I used in the coat but for the smaller collar snaps just sewed them on through one hole as we are used to doing with snaps.
Use a biggish needle and I really recommend a buttonhole twist or heavier thread for the snap sewing on. The metal of the snaps tends to break an ordinary construction weight thread. I should note though that sewing on all these snaps carefully took a bit of time. I probably spent two sewing days to make the coat and about three sewing nights to do the snaps.
Finally pockets in this coat are interesting – sort of free floating square bags that the pattern instructions tell you to tack to the facings, giving you a reference to an illustration that seems to be on longer available on Jalie’s site.
As a result I sort of improvised here and folded the pocket bags slightly vertically and did a short row of machine stitches to secure the pocket top and bottoms to the facings. This actually seems to work quite well, holding the pockets in place so they don’t flop around but not pulling on the facing.
I really am very pleased with this coat – it has a combination of style and function that really appeals to me. I know I am going to wear it a lot – both at home and when I am on tour visiting.
Hey there fabric friends! Once again, we have an exciting newsletter for you, starting with another fabric option for our Hawthorne Threads designed and printed collections. With this release comes the opportunity to chat about some of the compelling environmental advantages to digital printing, and why we are so excited…read more
In preparation for the release of the Grace Tankini, we’ve been preparing a few tutorials for you. Swimwear sewing is doable for the home sewist, and every tip and tutorial helps you achieve a more professional look. Today we’re talking about power mesh. Power mesh is a lightweight, sheer fabric used to add extra compression […]
Finger Step Designs, 2016 $18 Just like the man in the Moliere play who was surprised he had been speaking prose, you may be surprised that you have been making Running Stitch patterns all your stitching life. We usually call them something else though — Blackwork and Pattern Darning. This project pack covers them both […]read more
Thank you to Elmer’s for sponsoring this blog post. I received compensation and free product from Elmer’s in exchange for writing this post. All opinions are my own. Unicorn Slime is one of our favorite borax-free slime recipes. My kids are obsessed with slime and unicorns, so what’s better than combining their two favorite things…read more
For my first born, I was given a beautiful Usborne cot book with a farm theme. It was fun to tie to the crib/cot rail for entertainment, but my second born is more grabby than my first and it was coming…read more
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been eyeing that Geneva dress from Universal Standard and wondering if it’s worth the money. I’ve heard from several reliable sources that they’re wonderfully made, that the jersey is awesome, and I love the company for their policy of letting customers exchange their garments for a new size for…read more
Hey y’all – aloha! Today I’m sharing this floral sundress that was my last minute travel sewing for this vacation. Once upon a time, before we had kids, the Coach and I took a trip to Hawaii and fell in love with the state. And we returned every summer…but then we had the boys. We Read the Rest…
Sometimes you see a sewing pattern, and you simply have to have it. Such was the case with the new Farrah Pattern by Chalk and Notch (keep scrolling for 15% off your pattern). When the e-mail first came through asking me to be a part of the Chalk and Notch Summer blog tour, my initial […]read more
Thanks everyone for the lovely messages you sent to Julia for her graduation on this post. We loved them all. You all have been so supportive of me and my family since I started this blog in 2006. Hard to believe I’ve been writing here since then! …….read more
I recently returned from Italy. (I still have jet lag.) Ten days of my 2+ week visit was part of a History of Italian Fashion class, offered by Cañada College’s fashion department. (More about this class on their blog.)
Italy was splendiferous!
I posted some pics of my trip on Instagram and Facebook, but I haven’t posted the pics in this post.
One of the assignments for the class was to prepare (in the U.S.) and present (in Florence) a brief talk chosen from a list of suggested topics, including a number Italian designers. I chose designer Antonio Marras because a) I had never heard of him, b) he’s actively designing, and c) his aesthetic excited me. I very much enjoyed researching Marras, though much of the available information and interviews are in Italian, so it was also a bit of a challenge.
What follows are the slides from my presentation, with notes of my talking points. You’ll also see a garment that I sewed based on one of Marras’ designs. It was a failure, but at least it gave the class a giggle!
Slides 3: Sardinian Son
Slide 4: In his Laboratorio (“Workshop”) at his home on Sardinia
Slide 5: The Antonio Marras boutique in Alghero, Sardinia
Slide 6: The Antonio Marras boutique in Alghero
(Very hands on, he’s on the ladder in the right pic.)
Slide 7: With his wife Patrizia. On the right, his eldest son, Efisio.
(Not pictured: his younger son, Leonardo)
Slide 8: Collage/sketch (left), and Antonio creating (right)
Slide 9: More of his artwork. A sketch (left), and a painting (right)
Slide 10: From his Milan Triennale exhibit in 2016/2017
Slide 11: Also from his exhibit at the Milan Triennale Museum
Slide 12: Examples of his designs (Plus a great pic of he and Patrizia!)
Slide 13: More examples of his designs
(Note: The blue dress, second from the left, is one of my favorites)
Slide 14: His high-concept store in Milan
Slide 15: Another pic from NonostanteMarras
Note the similarity between these light fixtures and the pieces from the Milan Triennale exhibit (slide 10)
Slide 16: Examples of his fashion sketches. The middle sketch is from his tenure at Kenzo.
Slide 17: Pre Fall 2107
Here is an example of his “densely multilayered concepts” (to my mind, he collages disparate ideas when creating his collections—he is a natural-born collager) from Pre-Fall 2017:
Designers typically don’t hold a live runway show for pre-fall, but you can see the looks on Vogue.com.
Slide 18: Fall 2014
The common threads for his Fall 2014 collection were the wolf and the moon, and he included these specific references:
The models were done up like Rachael, the replicant in Blade Runner. “There are no wolves in Sardinia,” Mr. Marras acknowledged. “But you can dream.”
Slide 20: My Inspiration
Slide 20: My Failure
At least the class was amused. 😉
(Note: I was embarrassed to wear this outside to take pictures. Even though it was 7am on a Sunday—Mother’s Day, in fact—I had to screw up my courage!)
When I left for Florence, my slide show ended here. I then spent 3 days in Milan and had a chance to visit Nonostante Marras. TWICE. Afterwards, I added the following slides:
Slide 21: My Visit to Nonostante Marras
Looking out onto the lush courtyard
It was such a delight to visit this shop! Located in a mostly residential part of Milan (not far from the Armani Museum), Nonostante Marras is hidden behind a gated entrance. Upon entering, you see a lush courtyard. This shop is a high concept shop, meaning that it’s more than just a store that sells items. A high concept shop allows a designer to express his or her vision in a unique way. In this case, Nonostante Marras is a living room, a library, an art gallery and, yes, a clothing boutique. Once a year in April, the store is entirely changed for Milan’s Design Week when they also bring in chefs to create food for a popup cafe. In fact, the New York Times listed Nonostante Marras under item #1 for things you should do if you have only 36 Hours in Milan.
Slide 22: My Visit to Nonostante Marras
The livingroom and library areas.
Martina and I sat here and enjoyed an espresso
Slide 23: My Visit to Nonostante Marras
The walls feature art. The large designs, created by Antonio, are actually wallpaper that you can purchase of his designs. The framed images showcase a guest artist.
Slide 24: My Visit to Nonostante Marras
On the left, wallpaper featuring Marras’ art provides a background for guest art.
On the right, Francesca and Martina (store manager) staff the store. Both women grew up in Sardinia where Marras lives.
Slide 25: My Visit to Nonostante Marras
Yes, that is me with a shopping bag! I don’t yet have pics of my purchases, so that will have to wait for another post.
Thanks to Vera for these photos, taken as I gave my talk!
Here are a few bonus pics that I didn’t put in the slide show.
Francesca and Martina. Their tee shirts feature his artwork
Even the bathroom is interesting!
Another livingroom shot (you can see my shopping bag in the lower left)
The lovely courtyard
Another courtyard shot
Selfie in the mirror.
Look at that cool sculptural piece below the mirror. This shop is full of interesting things to look at
Antonio Marras has three Instagram feeds and I follow them all!
That’s it for now. I will take pics (later) of the two garments I purchased at Nonostante Marras. On Sunday morning, I dressed up in one of them to go to the grocery store at 7:30am. We’re in a heat wave here, so I can’t wear either garment until it cools off a bit.
I’ll soon be off for a short work trip to Seattle and, in a couple of weeks, to NYC. After that I should be settled for awhile.
I might even sew!read more