Monday, June 28, 2010

Cute Naughty Librarian outfit

This turned out SOOOOOO cute! Who knew that a dress that hits mid calf would be so hot? Sometimes less is more, ya know? I would totally wear this on a coffee date or to work. The little dress month continues and the weather is starting to cooperate with my desire to bike to work in a dress.

Vogue 2019 View B:

See my pattern review of this style at Pattern Review

When I started sewing again I was interested in knits. Since, in my career I'm a knit expert, I know they are forgiving and easy to wear, but not having a serger anymore (gave to Goodwill- stupid, stupid, stupid). I went a lookin' in the blog world for help with the best way to sew knits.

Here is a little of what I found: Laura's Sewing room
She seems to be on hiatus right now (pesky kid growing inside pushes mommy far away from machine...... and blog) but I read through all her posts and she has great links to great sewing tips. I found the link the a Burda workshop on Jersey however if you follow the link now it doesn't lead anywhere.

Only a week or so after I found Burda World of Fashion did it dissolve into what it is now for the English speaking world. I was so confused! I couldn't figure out where I was looking before when I found stuff and then I started reading the rants and I understood. I found similar info on the Sewstylish Copy your Favorite Tee article.

Stay tuned for that project. Page three shows the teeny tiny zig zag used. That's my main tip, to sew with a tiny tiny zig zag. I set my machine (Brother Inno-vis 80) to 2.5.

I wore this to the office with a J. Crew cable knit cardigan in dark pink and dark pink Banana Republic croc pumps and all I have to say! I loved it. It's comfy and pretty and looks great with a sweater over it or alone, with pumps or flip flops. I was kinda kidding about the naughty librarian thing, but not totally.

Eventually, I might add some pics of me in these garments as my dress form isn't rocking it like I do. She's too "skinny" if you know what I mean. And without shoulders it's not the same for this sweet dress.

Ciao bella

Sunday, June 27, 2010

To China with much love, b rgds

I'm back from a week in China. M y trip was good work wise. I wore this dress on the plane:
Vogue 1027 made in bamboo viscose (essentially that's rayon) and spandex.

See pattern review here . It's wearable, comfortable and packable. My only concern was the twirliness. As I entered the tiny sky high airplane bathroom, I had to make sure it didn't swish itself into the commode and bring back with it germs and ickiness.

I love this dress.

Meanwhile, I know you didn't ask, but, here are my thoughts on traveling for business. Disclaimer: I'm a grouchy, jaded traveler so take it with grain of salt.

Once upon a time when I was in my twenties and had a bunch of roommates and no pets, I begged to be sent anywhere in the country/world. As my career progressed, I did go everywhere in the country and the world, often. At least twice a year to New York and Hong Kong. The rest of the year was sprinkled with trips to one or more of the following: Peru, China, Singapore, Korea, Egypt, India, South Africa, and most of the countries in Central America at least once. I've seen many awesome things, including the biggest metal Buddha in the world and the Buddist monastery (located on Lantaou Island near Hong Kong airport.)
This is a photo that I took a few years ago. Follow above links for many more.
I love/d traveling for work for many years. Traveling allows you to see wonders in the world, eat great food/suffer bad food, meet fantastic people and generally expand your understanding of the planet. However, as the mystique fades the reality is that you are not home. WARNING: Log out here if you do not want to read my bitter burned out traveler comments.

The part that is tough about traveling is that when the work day is over, sometimes at a reasonable time and sometimes not, it's not really over. That is the time that the host whisks you off to dinner and sometimes drinking and karaoke/ktv for hours late into the night. Sometimes great food, sometimes not so great, sometimes fun, sometimes not.

So your day isn't over till you get taken back to the hotel at 10pm or sometimes WAY later. Which is good or you would go to bed early and create jet lag CHAOS. However, it makes for a long tiring day with no time to unwind and decompress and not be "on". And if you throw a hangover in there, well you can guess how fun the next day will be.

Hotel living, kids, is not my favorite. On this trip we changed cities each day so we left the office, went to the airport or train, arrived in next city/hotel went to bed and woke up the next morning, checked out, went to work, same thing. Packing and unpacking, especially toiletries, can be disastrous, if you don't put everything in the same place each time you end up searching, which isn't easy after several cocktails (enough to sing Greese Lightning at the top of your lungs) and getting home late. AND finding all the light switches to go to bed- my most hated activity.

On arrival all the lights are on and, inevitably there are what seems like 100 lights: entry way, bathroom, desk, closet, minibar, bedside, overhead, corner, nightlight, etc. All with separate switches and sometimes if you turn off most and then find a weird switch, it turns half of them back on and you don't notice till you are the rest of the way through and you can't go back and figure out which one it was. DAMIT! This is a curse, UNLESS, dear readers, you get the blessed MAIN SWITCH by the bed that will shut off all of them at once. My favorite! Thank you whoever invented that!

The oddest thing on this trip this time was: the gym factor. Now, I like to exercise in the morning usually, but will do ig anytime I can due to schedule. It makes you feel better when you are living a weird schedule and eating strange foods and battling jet lag. Granted, most hotels do not have 'nice' gyms but they will at least have a working treadmill which is all I need for a short run to energize me and keep me on track.

The first hotel I was in was familiar and the gym was open early and late. I had a short run before bed- yay!. Second hotel the gym was open at 6am but no AC was on. It was about 75 degrees with about 95% humidity and there was no water in sight. I made it about 15 minutes into my run before I gave up to shower and the oasis of AC in my room. Blah.

Next hotel, woke up early, thank you jet lag, and went to the gym to discover: not open till noon, rats!!! Next hotel, after work (two days at this hotel), went to hotel to work out before dinner because we finished early and I called the night before to ask gym hours (I learned from the last hotel). I changed my clothes and followed the signs to gym, only to discover, gym no longer exists. Thank you language barrier and the concierge that told me it was open from noon to 2am instead of: we closed it forever, no work out for you. arg!!!!

So, in summation, traveling is awesome! Traveling for work is also awesome but grouchy circus girl needs some things to be consistent for her trip to be good. What I didn't write about was my frizzy hair and the episode with the flat iron as well as the burst blood vessel in my eye. Hey, don't cross yourself like that, I'll get a complex. You were lucky this time. Next post may include the bloody eyeball story.

Someday I will post myself in an actual garment. For now, I'm out.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bon Jour! Hello! Hola, etc... sundress

This is my first post. I may be the only person who ever reads this, and like Jack Handy would say: that's, OK.

I got a wild hair as summer was approaching that I wanted to sew a sundress. After not sewing for so long, I wondered if I could do it w/out loosing my patience or messing it up. What I found is that I have more patience for the journey and the process now than I did when I was 25.

I Chose this dress: Vogue 8380, view B

I chose a chambray weave linen blend with a boarder detail stripe.
Chambray: Plain weave with colored warp (vertical yarns) and white weft (horizontal fill yarns). You will find out that I'm a stickler for correct terminology, especially weave vs. fiber content and weave vs. knit. Look OUT people. Please correct me if you find something in this blog that is not correct. There are several definitions sometimes, but I'll try to put what I know here.

Instead of self tie I used white twill tape 1 1/2" width. I also cut this on the cross grain so the stripe could be at the hem. To make sure that the dress hung consistently, I cut all pieces on the cross grain.

The other thing I discovered after not sewing for a very long time is pattern sizing
. I took my measurements that told me to cut a 16. Now having lost about 30lbs over the last 2 years and wearing an RTW size 6, facing a size 16 is really offensive. But, I quickly got over that because like the impending 40 year old birthday, its' just a number.

At any rate, I didn't do a muslin, and I constructed as the package instr
uctions advised until it came to putting in the zip. I tried it on and it was HUGE. Like sad, gathered sack huge. But don't dis pare, I was able to fix that by taking about 2" out of the side seam (4" all around) before putting in the zipper. Because of all the gathers it's not obvious. Had I done a muslin, I would have realized that although I didn't need to do an FBA, I should have really just lengthened the bodice about 2." I forgot all about doing a muslin till I started reading all your blogs out there when I planned my next project.

This dress can't be worn w/a normal bra. It needs a VERY strong strapless bra to hike up the girls, otherwise they look like they are sitting at my waist. Of course the dress form looks good, she's a b. One other comment of note, the cashier at Anthropologie called me adorable while wearing this dress, biking around the Pearl on Sunday. Now, not only is that a compliment, but the kid could be my daughter- albeit my daughter that I had just shy of graduating from high school but nevertheless she was much younger than me. I was flattered, like a fool. :-) Other note is that I was returning a ridiculously expensive knit dress that I measured to knock off. Please don't tell.
.... happy weekend.