I will be teaching some new classes, some on Zoom and some In Person! If you’re interested in any of these classes send me an email: Contact Me
October 2, 2021 10-12n with Atlanta ASG (American Sewing Guild) in Atlanta, GA:The Bodices from Creating Couture Embellishment
October 2, 2021 2-4 pm with Atlanta ASG (American Sewing Guild) in Atlanta, GA:Carnations & Leaves from Ribbon Flowers
October 30, 2021 9-12n with ASDP (Association of Sewing and Design Professionals) Conference in Boise ID: Writing About Sewing
February 8-9, 2022 with the NTGM (Needlework and Textile Guild of Michigan) on Zoom, 3 classes: Feathers, Chinese Knots and Channel Quilting (Boutis Provencal)
I am making KITS for some of the techniques in Creating Couture Embellishment. So far, I have great Reverse Applique Kit. The Reverse Applique Kit has 2 new design to try: one in paper and one if fabric. The kit has all the materials you will need to complete the designs and more detailed instructions and photos than shown in The Book. Still churning about in brain is a Carnation Kit and more…
Coming soon: a blog post about the Reverse Applique Kit and directions on how to get one!
#29 – Giveaways!
It’s snowing again here in New England! To alleviate the gloom I have three tidbits- the first: the Word of the Day from the gratefulnetwork.com
The second tidbit is from Goodbye Valentino: Sarah is offering a giveaway of my book!
Sarah Gunn, author of the Goodbye Valentino blog, is co-author of The Tunic Bible, with Julie Starr. The Tunic Bible is a wonderful book about tunics: how to make them, including patterns for them and how to change up your tunic with different necklines, sleeves, cuffs, hems. I can’t wait to dive into The Tunic Bible. At Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tunic-Bible-Interchangeable-Ready-Wear/dp/1617453560/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520960118&sr=8-1&keywords=the+tunic+bible
I met Sarah in Ohio during the taping for It’s Sew Easy TV; Sarah couldn’t be nicer! We had dinner together in Ohio, with Lynn Browne of Coats & Clark. Lynn told us Coats & Clarks answers lots of questions about their threads and yarns. The wildest question, so far, “Is there gluten in the thread and yarn?” At first I thought this was silly, but as I thought about all the thread ends I put in my mouth to smooth the yarn before threading a needle I rethought my skepticism. If the thread and/or yarn are processed with a starch, it could be a wheat based starch…which could be troublesome. Lynn said there was no gluten in the Coats & Clarks thread or yarn. Live and learn.
The third tidbit is from Paganoonoo: Michelle Paganini, whom I met in Ohio too. Michelle is offering a giveaway of my book too!
Michelle specializes in up-cycling clothing. She sells patterns that create amazing garments from old fabric salvaged from clothing from the thrift store. I haven’t tried her patterns but her finished garments are beautiful, as you can see from the photo above.
You can go to either (or both) blog posts to enter into the giveaways!
#28 – Mother of the Groom Dress in Photos
Finally here are the photos of me in my Mother of the Groom Dress. I felt great in this dress; it was warm enough with the long sleeves, yet cool enough to dance with abandon later in the evening. I love the streamers down the front; they moved of their accord and were a nice contrast to the fixed trim on the princess line. Just looking at these photos makes me feel happy; it was a great celebration of a wonderful occasion.
These photos were taken by Carl Heyerdahl http://carlheyerdahlphotography.com/
In this photo you can see the trim going down the back princess line.
#27- Another Wader
For those of you who are not current in sewing lingo a “Wader” or wad-er, is a sewing project gone awry, so in frustration, the sewist balls up the offending project into a wad and throws into into a corner. This week I have 2 waders!!!
In post #24 https://creatingembellishment.com/2018/02/07/24-sitting-by-the-river-on-a-snowy-day/ I wrote about the brown floral top I was trying to make. On Monday my friend Martha came over to visit. While she was here I put on the brown floral top. She re-pinned the side seams and fiddled and diddled with it but ultimately we concluded this top is a WADER. Ugh.
I got into a fix with the brown floral top because I trying to make the burgundy top, but longer and with more ease for the side gathering.
OK, maybe the solution to the too-short burgundy top was to add a lengthening layer, coming from underneath. to the burgundy top. I had resisted this idea as I thought the top had enough going on, but Martha was the third person to suggest this solution… I found some top extra fabric I had squirreled away, plenty of fabric for a circular flounce! Circular Flounces are front and center in my mind as I demonstrated them for It’s Sew Easy TV in Ohio, 2 weeks ago.
I cut out four circles: two flounces to get enough length to go around my hips, two flounces to be the lining and make everything pretty.
I sewed the circles together to make one long, lined circular flounce. And then I pinned the flounce to the hem of my too short burgundy top….
Ignore that this photo is over exposed so that the color is wrong. I like the flounce under the beaded part, but the rest of the flounce makes me think of the dancing rhinocerous (or are they hippos?) in Fantasia! Not a good reference when you’re looking in the mirror. Another WADER!
At least the flounce is only pinned in; I don’t need to get out the seam ripper. As soon as the pins are removed, this flounce will be joining the brown floral top in the wader corner!
I hope you’re have more success with your sewing projects than me! Happy Sewing!
We had a Book Signing Party!
from left to right: Catherine Burkey, Jane Levin, Ellen Miller, Tracy Aiguier, Martha Palaza, Eddi Phillips, Roseanna Ansaldi.
Over the seven years of creating the book I had many collaborators, many with more than one job. Anne Townley was my editor at Laurence King Publishing, although “editor”. Amy Ozay designed the spectacular bodices shown at the start of each chapter. Very early on Anne and Amy insisted, rightly, that each chapter have a consistent color theme running through it, and thus elevated the tone of the entire book. Neither Amy nor Anne could attend the book signing party and we missed them!
Martha Palaza helped with the pattern making: creating the basic pattern and muslin for Faith, our mannequin for the bodices. Martha also stepped into the breach whenever my pattern making skills faltered and gently set me on the right course. Roseanna Ansaldi helped me master pleats, tucks and spiral flounces. Roseanna and I tried many fabrics for the sample for these chapters (linen, plain cotton, striped cotton, cotton polyester blends) before settling on a fine wool, notable for it’s ability to hold a crease. Jane Levin created all of the line drawings in the book, working until each drawing showed a precise moment in the sewing process with utmost clarity. Eddi Phillips designed nearly all of the amazing sleeves featured in the circles at the top of each technique. Eddi also helped choose the appropriate fabrics and trims for each sleeve, ensuring the sleeves were couture quality. Catherine Burkey designed some of the more picturesque sleeves, and worked with me day after day until all the sleeves were perfectly sewn, creating a comprehensive library of the techniques. Tracy Aiguier photographed all the bodices and sleeves, leaving me speechless with the beauty of the photographs. I could not have “written” this book without their invaluable help.
Laurence King Publishing spent two years “editing” Creating Couture Embellishments: book design, layout, color correction of my photos, copy editing and text-photo matching, checking the colors of the “actions” lines in Pleats, Tucks and so forth. All the work by Laurence King Publishing transformed my Word documents into a beautiful book. But it had been two years since many of us had gotten together, and some of the collaborators had never met each other. The release of Creating Couture Embellishments was the perfect reason to have a party together.
My husband and I made Swiss Chard Spanakopita and a big salad. We had wine, beer & ice tea. For dessert we had cake & ice cream. In between the main course and dessert my fellow artisans and I sat at one table to sign books. You would think that our spouses/partners would cheer us on as we signed books—you would be wrong! They ignored us and carried on with own conversations that had nothing to do with fashion. Luckily, my niece Alice (of Kimono blog fame) was suitable impressed by all of us and took pictures to commemorate the occasion. We tried to stretch dessert so we could talk for hours but we had to disband about 10 pm as everyone had a long drive home and work the next morning. It was a wonderful party to celebrate a unique event: Signing Creating Couture Embellishments!
Martha and I met, again, to fine tune my basic muslin; Martha pinned in some changes to the muslin.
In the back view you can see some wrinkles in the muslin: near the shoulder blades and through the armhole & upper sleeve areas. I decided not to fuss with this “small” fitting issue; I am calling it “wearing ease”- which it is… If this were a knit fabric muslin I would be more concerned, but since it’s a woven I’d rather have the wrinkles and the wearing ease.
Martha and I picked apart the muslin and transferred the changes to the paper patterns. I need to make clean copies of the patterns: accurate seam allowances all the way around, no tape making the pattern a little bigger or smaller, no arrows appointing to the correct line when there are three lines side by side, underarm, bust, waist and hip lines that connect from piece to piece to make straight lines
Because my shoulders are not the same height my fronts need to be different right to left. Also my right and left arm holes are slightly different from each other, meaning I need 2 sleeve patterns; one right, one left.
Here are the perfected patterns copied onto to poster board; my local store doesn’t stock oak tag.
My shoulders are rounded so the front bicep length is shorter and the back bicep length is longer. Can you find the major mistake I made in the sleeve patterns? Yup, the elbow dart is in the front part of the sleeve when it should be in the back! Back to the drawing board with these sleeves.
These bodice and skirt patterns are not flawless, either. Not all the seams are exactly the same length, the notches may be a little off, the skirt hem is a little crooked, etc. Still, they are ideal for me; I’m ready to move forward in my quest for custom, stylized garments– after I fix the sleeve patterns.
P.S. Here are the corrected sleeve patterns.