Friday, September 27, 2013

Wedding Shopping in NYC

It was time to shop for wedding dress fabric.  And where else to shop but the fabulous fabric stores in New York City?  I originally planned to shop alone because I had a singular purpose and I didn't want to be distracted.  This was not a social shopping trip.  But, I'm so glad I changed my mind and contacted Nancy K and she agreed to meet me.  We arrived at Penn Station within minutes of each other, had lunch and hit the stores!

Just a peek
The major feature of Lindsey's dress is lace and I needed wide yardage, which might have been difficult to find anywhere else but New York City.   I downloaded and printed a Garment District Shopping Guide from a few years ago.  The guide listed a store named Lace Star.   Perfect, right?  I googled Lace Star and discovered Lace Star was now Fabrics & Fabrics. (See more information here.) Nancy had Fabrics & Fabrics on her list as well, so we went there first.  What a fabulous place!!!   A phenomenal selection of special occasion fabrics.  An impressive selection of every other kind of fabric.  I originally planned to find what I needed at  B&J Fabrics, but we never made it there after visiting Fabrics & Fabrics.  I found 95% of what I needed for Lindsey's dress there.  The sales associate was extremely patient and helpful and I sought out the owner and told him what a gem she was.  Because I bought so much, the associate was able to be flexible on the prices and the dress came in under budget.

A better choice
Since I came in under budget, I could buy something for myself at Mood Designer Fabrics without guilt.  I'd changed my mind about the pastel satin fabric I bought for my MOB dress.  What was I thinking?  I'm not a pastel satin kind of person.   (I can use that satin to make a dress for Lindsey's next Marine Ball.)  I had shantung in mind when I first considered my MOB dress.  I found a dark teal iridescent silk shantung.   The iridescence gives the fabric a really dressy look and I think the color is more suitable for a mother of the bride.  I also bought a piece of denim from Mood.  I wanted to make a pair of colored jeans that seem to be the current style.  But, I didn't want to have the same buyer's remorse I had with the pastel satin, so I found a light blue denim with a little pink woven in to add color.
Denim with a touch of pink

This was an extremely satisfying shopping trip.  I found exactly what I needed for the wedding dress, I spent time with a good Sewing Buddy, I found a new favorite store and including the purchases for myself,  I stayed well within my allotted budget.  I doesn't get much better than that!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Finished: BPF FW-06-402 and V8689

I am terrified of color.  When I match a print with a solid, I want one color in the print, preferably the most obvious color, to match the solid exactly.  Matching solids is much more difficult.  Matching solids keeps me up nights.  One would have thought this fabric combination was a no brainer.  The blouse fabric has a dark red warp (or is it weft?) and a navy blue weft (or is it warp?).  The pants fabric is navy blue.  Perfect together, right?  Yet, I'm still not entirely comfortable with this pairing.  I have a real problem with color.

Blouse:  Vogue 8689

Pattern Description:
Long or short sleeved blouse with princess seams and front and back yoke.

Pattern Sizing:
This pattern comes in sizes 6 - 22 with custom fitting for A, B, C, or D cup sizes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the vertical seams.

Fabric Used:
100% cotton

Sewing this blouse was really fun!  I love it when I have the opportunity to use my favorite foot, #10 edge stitch, so much.  And the 100% cotton fabric behaved very nicely.  In the past, I always pinned with the pins parallel to the cutting line.  This time, after watching Seven Core Sewing Skills at Daily Craft TV,  I pinned with the pins perpendicular to the cutting line.  It could have been my imagination, but it seemed to really make a difference – even with a rotary cutter.  The fabric laid flatter at the cutting line and hills and jagged bits that sometimes occur were eliminated.

Pants:  Burda Plus Fashion FW-06-402

Pattern Description:
Now that I'm semi-retired, I've adopted a very casual work "uniform" that consists of "Docker Knock-Offs."  I put welt pockets on the back of fly front pants, use a twill fabric and I call them Docker Knock-Offs.  Pair them with a top and I'm ready for a more casual work environment.

Pattern Sizing:
Burda's plus size range 44 - 52

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I've sewn this pattern a jillion times and I've developed my own sewing order.  I didn't use the instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
This is a classic, simply styled design.

Fabric Used:
Nave blue twill.

When I make my Docker Knock-Offs, I vary the way I finish the welt pockets.  This time I chose a double welt with a button.

I'm glad the blouse has long sleeves.  I have several weeks before it's cool enough to wear it and I have time to get used to wearing the two colors together.  I'm hopeless when it comes to color.  I wonder if there is a support group for the color-phobic.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Wedding Dress Adventure: Chapter Three

It's almost time. The preliminary muslin fittings are finished.  The pattern pieces have been traced and stored in handy little mailing tubes. The Wedding Dress Adventure is about to begin in earnest.

So far, everything is on schedule (and I pray it stays that way). Sometime at the end of October,  Lindsey and I have to get together and shop for fabric.  She gave me permission to select the fabric without her, but I wouldn't want to rob her of another chance to ignore my suggestions and do things her way.  Early in the summer, I saw a lace I really liked on a hurried visit to B&J Fabrics in New York.  If we can't synchronize our schedules, I might just take her up on the offer and head back to New York and buy the fabric by myself.

Long distance dressmaking is going to be a challenge. Once the fabric is purchased and I'm ready to sew, I'll have to pack up my  machines and sewing supplies and spend several days in Richmond (in her one bedroom apartment with no TV) so she will be available for try-ons.  I remember how she hated to try on the prom dresses I made for her.  I hope I'm not met with the same resistance this time.  Especially after driving four to five hours on I-95.  Major construction won't start until well into the fall because in addition to sewing her dress, in October I'm giving her a shower here in Pennsylvania.  I can only focus on one thing at a time.  I suspect she asked me to give the Pennsylvania shower so I will stay out of her way while she plans the wedding.

I won't be sharing too many pictures of the dress in progress.  I don't want to jinx anything by revealing too much.  In the meantime, here is a picture taken during the last muslin fitting:

If my prayers are answered all goes according to plan, she'll be beautiful!