Monday, December 10, 2012

Screen Caps from Cabaret - 1972

Cabaret - 1972 - Directed by Bob Fosse.  My favorite movie musical because it has such style, because it exudes a seedy, sinister, and decadent vibe and because the characters don't just break out into song and interrupt the flow of the story (all of the musical numbers are performed in the Kit Kat Klub).  As a teenager, I had a minor obsession with Joel Grey as the Emcee and with Liza Minnelli's eyelashes.  Here a few favorite stills that I've screen captured:

And on a minor sewing side note, I've managed to finish Vogue 8837 and I'm rather happy with the outcome.  The most difficult part for me is finding the time to take photos of my projects.  Hopefully I'll be able to snap a few tomorrow.  Next up is this BurdaStyle tie-front blouse!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Imminent Sewing Plans

Okay.  So I'm ready to stop neglecting this blog.  Really and truly.  Ready.  Here are a few visuals of the sewing projects that I've queued up:

I've fallen in love with these 1970s Annie Hall style high-waist, wide-leg pants.  Head-over-heels in love!  It's Vogue 8836.  Very difficult to tell from the scan, but I'll be using this heathered blue and brown woven suiting fabric to bring these to life (view B).

The Colette "Beignet" Skirt from this amazing vintage 1970s leaf and mushroom print twill fabric that I've had in my stash for, like, 10 years (!) now...'cause it's so awesome and I've been saving it for something special.  I know I'm probably the last seamstress on earth to tackle this, but better late than never!

I love the late 1950s Brigitte Bardot look of these high-waist, skinny leg knit pants.  Designed by Katherine Tilton for Vogue (V8837).  These have interesting seaming details that aren't even captured in the photo from the pattern envelope.  To be made using a heathered brown interlock knit.   

Another Colette Patterns Skirt - "Ginger."  Simple A-line design that will work well for this crazy busy 1980s splatter print twill fabric!

Tie-front blouse from the October 2010 issue of Burda Style Magazine (although I downloaded the pattern from their website).  I'll be using this slightly retro floral and vine print purple-hued cotton fabric !

I'm really looking forward to getting back into the sewing groove.  Now, off to decide which of these projects to tackle first.....

Friday, August 10, 2012

Projects in Progress

So the most prominent project in progress at the moment is a special quilt that I'm making for two of my dearest friends who are getting married in mid-October!  While I have the ability to do the piecing and quilt binding my faithful, but simple, Singer sewing machine won't quite do the trick for the actual quilting.  So I have until the end of August to finish the piecing, then I'm sending it off to an "expert" for the heavy-duty work.  I want to keep this a secret, so I can't show photos just yet!

In addition to the wedding in October, I'm also attending a wedding with my boyfriend in September, and I'm desperately in need of a cute and chic dress to wear to both of these!  This is where Chantilly from Colette patterns comes to the rescue!  I'm kind of late to the Colette patterns party.  And when I mean late, I mean mega-late......this will be my first time sewing a Colette pattern!

Since the design has a light and airy Spring/Summer feel to it, I will be using this lovely, autumn-hued crinkled chiffon which will be lined with a fabric that exactly matches the splashes of green in the print:

It's been a long while since I've sewn a dress for myself, so I'm really looking forward to this!  In addition to the Chantilly dress, I have started to plan my fall sewing projects.  I recently went on a bit of a pattern-buying binge, including the Scout Woven Tee, VioletGinger and Beignet from Colette patterns and the Betty High Waist Panties from Ohhh Lulu.  I have so much fabric in my stash that planning has actually been super-easy! 

Lastly, I also discovered a fantastic blog today - Clothes On Film - where the aim is to "examine costume and identity in movies."  Of recent note, there is an article about the costumes in Breakfast at Tiffany's and another about a new adaptation of Anna Karenina and a possible collaboration between the costume designer Jacqueline Durran and Banana Republic.    

Until next time......happy sewing!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Completed Project: McCall's 6387 - Rainbow Brite Dress

I have a confession to make:  I rarely have time to sew for myself, let alone for anyone else, so sewing things for other people usually falls very, very low on my list of priorities.  However, a couple weeks ago I found several amazing scraps of vintage 1980s Rainbow Brite fabric panels at a thrift store in Black Mountain for a mere .25 cents and my niece Ella's 3rd birthday is July 3rd, so the time finally presented itself for me to make her a dress!  

I used McCall's 6387, mainly because I was charmed by the little detachable "Heidi Style" apron.  Ironically, even though I purchased fabric for the apron, I ultimately decided not to construct it since it was going to partially obscure Rainbow Brite and her horse Starlite which is the main focal point of the dress.

The skirt of is made from rainbow multi-striped cotton quilting fabric which I lined with white cotton.  For the lower fabric ruffle, straps and bodice lining, I used an orange and pink toned batik.

From start to finish, I was able to construct the dress in about 4 hours.  It's a very simple design, but all of those gathers take an eternity!  Even though Ella has no idea who Rainbow Brite is, I think she will love the colors, ruffle and gathers.  Her parents, both children of the 1980s (like myself), will probably appreciate the nostalgic elements of it!

Monday, June 25, 2012

"Painter Man" - The Strange and Brief Intersection of 1960s Mod Culture & 1970s Disco Culture

The original 1966 picture sleeve single of The Creation's "Painter Man" next to the Atlantic 45 label from Boney M.'s unusually rocking disco 1979 cover of the same song.

I have been a fan of 1960s music group The Creation ever since their song "Makin' Time" was featured prominently in Wes Anderson's 1998 film Rushmore.  They are one of the many "lost" and overlooked bands that emerged during the Beatles-influenced music explosion of the mid-1960s and are most notable for Eddie Phillips playing his guitar with a violin bow (years before Jimmy Page gave it a whirl).  

I have a weakness for 1960s Mod-era British music and an extreme fondness for late 1970s disco-era music.  So when I discovered 1970s European disco group Boney M. while searching for 1970s line dance clips from Soul Train on You Tube, I was seriously intrigued.  This is the first video I watched, an amazing (though lip-synced) performance of "Rasputin."  It must be watched to be believed:

 The futuristic space age-meets disco-meets new wave look of Boney M., circa 1979.

From "Rasputin" I quickly went to Spotify to find anything that I could by Boney M. and there I discovered their 1979 album Night Flight to Venus, an insanely fun disco trip into outer space and beyond.  And when I saw that the third track on the album was a cover of The Creation's "Painter Man" and that it's actually a tasteful and surprisingly kick-ass cover....I had it on rotation all day long.

So it is here, in Boney M.'s cover of "Painter Man" that the brief, strange and wonderful intersection of 1960s Mod culture and 1970s disco culture takes place!  Unusual since Boney M. was probably the epitome of manufactured disco groups of the 1970s, and ironic since The Creation was one of the most original and provocative forgotten music groups of the 1960s.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Shorts....with lots of fashion zing!

No, my latest sewing projects haven't been 1970s glam rock era hot pants (although the View 4 leopard print hot pants are very tempting).......but I have been sewing a lot of shorts!

My wardrobe is seriously lacking in this spring and summer wardrobe staple. In fact, I used to hate wearing them. But with a two year old boy who constantly wants to play outside, well, let's just say that dresses and skirts aren't the most appropriate attire for me to wear while accompanying him on his adventures!

I finally purchased this downloadable scalloped shorts pattern from Pattern Runway on Etsy! Only $9.50 and going to a good cause, in my opinion (YAY for independent pattern designers). I hope to start these this weekend and my plan is to make them with a dark blue crinkly linen fabric that I thrifted a while ago.

And I actually finished making View C from Simplicity 3850 from the Wendy Mullin "Built By You" pattern series several days ago (hope to post here very soon). I think it's obvious that this pattern would win the award for the absolute worst pattern envelope illustration ever.....the shirts are covering up the cute waistband, belt carriers and pocket design details! So thank goodness for simple line drawings:

Hopefully these shorts will fulfill a few spots in the "wardrobe basics" section of my closet and I can move on to sewing a couple of fun and frivolous designs next!

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Fashion Fund

Have any of you been watching The Fashion Fund? So far, this 30 minute documentary is 3 episodes in and is streaming for free here at Hulu! It follows the 10 finalists of the 2011 CFDA / Vogue fashion fund through panel interviews, fashion shows and lots more on their quest to win $300,000 towards their business and a mentorship. This program is a change of pace from the sometimes gimmicky weekly challenges of Project Runway (which I still love, by the way). The Fashion Fund is a highly recommended 30 minute weekly fashion fix!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Latest Etsy Finds & Wants

Here's a peek at some of my favorite Etsy finds & wants!

Just in time for Spring! Sweet scalloped hem shorts PDF sewing pattern from PatternRunway.

Vogue Paris Original 2628: Super chic Alexander McQueen for Givenchy asymmetric double-breasted dress pattern from PatternVault. This one comes with a hefty price tag, but I would love the challenge of making this dress!

Pleated shirt PDF sewing pattern from SalmePatterns. Simple and pretty.

Colorful rainbow striped vintage 1970s wrap skirt from OldAge. One of my absolute favorite vintage clothing stores on Etsy!

Cute nautical knot rope bracelet by junghwa. I don't wear a lot of jewelry, but I think I would wear this quite often this Spring and Summer.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Completed Project: 1970s Betsey Johnson High Waist Pants

When I moved back to North Carolina almost 9 months ago, I unintentionally lost a lot of weight due to stress and other factors. I found that all of the pants and trousers that I'd put so much time into making no longer fit, which left me without a few essential wardrobe basics. So now, along with looking for thrifted vintage pieces, I'm trying to sew and build up my wardrobe again (with a 1970s slant, of course)! I used Butterick #3846 (a "Young Designer" pattern by Betsey Johnson) to make this pair of simple high waist pants:

Do forgive the dark and pixelated photos! I am well in need of a new camera (and some natural sunlight)!

I omitted quite a few details from the original design and opted to keep these pants extremely basic. I thought the extreme high waist fit and wide legs made enough of a statement. The original pattern design included huge patch pockets over the hips, round applique patches at the knees and a detachable bib.

I wore these out to lunch today and received a few nice compliments. The fabric that I used is a lightly slubbed medium weight denim-look cotton that I purchased with a huge lot of patterns at a local sale. I thought this type of fabric would be perfect for the transition from winter to spring - not too heavy or too light. The pants have a front zipper, wider than usual waistband and button closure.

I will definitely be wearing these often and I'm so glad to have a basic pair of high waist pants in my wardrobe again!

Fabric - approximately $1.00
Zipper - approximately $2.00
Pattern - $6.49 from Granni Gert's Attic @ Etsy

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sewing....How I've Missed You!

I can't believe this, but it's been almost 10 months since I've posted anything here on my sewing blog. Without going into specific details, let's just say that I've been going though a major life change and I'm now a single mom working full-time. It's been extremely difficult and sewing (sadly) hasn't been a major part of my life recently. I feel like I've missed out on so many possible sewing projects and not being able to sew as much as I used to has been like suffering a huge I've had a creative hole in my life for the past 10 months.

Things are looking up, though! I have a new project in the works and my goal is to start sewing and posting here regularly again. Here's the pattern I'll be using, an amazing Betsey Johnson of Alley Cat pattern, circa 1974:

I'll be making the high waist pants, without the detachable bib, from a nice lightweight dark denim chambray, perfect for the transition from winter to spring. Definitely time to start thinking about a home sewn spring wardrobe!