Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Edie Sedgwick

I've been kind of bummed out on sewing lately due to a couple of failed projects (more on that later), so I thought I would share a little about someone who inspired my latest dress, Edie Sedgwick. I've been influenced by her style in 2013, she inspired John Galliano's collection for Dior in 2005, and was the muse to not only Andy Warhol, but also Bob Dylan, in the 1960s. FYI I'm not putting myself on same pedestal as Galliano, Warhol, and Dylan. Just saying her impact has spanned decades! ;)

Reading biographies is one of my favorite things to do. I love reading about the personal and professional lives of people, especially Old Hollywood stars. Technically, Edie doesn't fit into the Old Hollywood category, but a friend let me borrow Edie American Girl and I was intrigued the moment I started reading. Of course after reading it I re-watched Factory Girl, a movie about Edie's life in New York. Sienna Miller played Edie and did a fantastic job, I have trouble telling the two of them apart when I see photos!

Edie was from Santa Barbara, California (a couple of hours away from me!) and moved to New York in the sixties where she met Andy Warhol and became his muse. If you know anything about her then you know she was a tortured soul and some of you may be wondering why I am so fascinated by her. I'm can't pinpoint why I'm drawn to her, but I do admire her fashion choices and she was the inspiration behind my last sewing project. I chose that particular fabric to go with the pattern because I thought it was something that Edie would possibly wear.

Doesn't Sienna Miller look just like Edie? source

I plan on making some more Edie inspired clothing in the future. I have the black tights and (faux) fur, but would like to make some boatneck striped shirts. Does anyone know of a good pattern that they would recommend?

Are there any other fellow Edie fans out there?

Monday, January 28, 2013

The first thing I sewed

January 2010. I decided that I wanted my first sewing project to be a cat bed. Not only was this my first sewing project, but my first time ever using a sewing machine. Using some cheap fabric and stuffing I sewed the bed, wrong sides together. I showed it to my husband's family member and she asked how I was going to finish the raw edges. What are raw edges???

December 2012. The cat bed has seen better days. It's been washed a ton, the stuffing is flat, the raw edges are unraveling, and the colors aren't as vibrant. It's ugly.

Looking like a loaf of bread and being ticked about this photo session

January 2013. I decided to get rid of the hideous cat bed, but it had to be replaced with another bed, as my cat Stella is obsessed with sleeping in the same spot. I used some pretty quilting cotton and stuffed it with sewing scraps. I save all my fabric scraps, selvedges included, for projects like these. This time I made sure to sew the fabric right sides together and then turn it inside out ;)

Stella loves her new bed! It's definitely more her style.

Instant gratification projects can be so fun! Do you still have the first thing you ever sewed?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Burdastyle Shift Dress

I'm the lamest sewing blogger ever. I've had TWO different opportunities to photograph my latest dress and have failed miserably both times. Time One was when I was in Los Angeles with Qui and Jessi for the party at Sew LA. You'd think that I would have thought, "hey, maybe I should ask Qui if she could take some photos of me in my new dress." NOPE. My mind must have been so high on stuck on fabric that I forgot to ask. Time Two was at dinner last weekend with my husband Luke. I felt so clever remembering to ask him to take a couple of photos, but then the memory card in my camera died after one picture. The good news is that I now have a new memory card, so future projects aren't in danger :)

This is the one picture I have of myself wearing the dress :(

The pattern is from the latest Burda book, Sewing Vintage Modern, and it is the shift dress pattern. I used a mystery fabric from the Michael Levine Loft in downtown Los Angeles. It's stretchy, thick, and appears to be good quality. Since the fabric has stretch I decided to omit the zipper because if I can get around sewing a zipper I will.

I only made one other adjustment and that was to remove some bagginess from the neckline. It was very appropriate that I learned how to do this from Gertie's book and I got to meet her the day I wore my dress for the first time. Something I should have done was try and match the pattern on the fabric at the side seams. Learning how to match fabric is on my to do list for the year, but I didn't do it for this project :( However, I did take my time with the construction and the inside is finished really nicely.

This was my first time sewing a Burda pattern and I'm not sure if it will be my last or not... The directions were great, but tracing the pattern and then adding seam allowances was a lot of work. I would have to really like a pattern to want to do that again. Does anyone else feel this way or am I just super lazy? hahah

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My guest post

Happy Thursday everyone! If you're interested in hearing about what kind of music I listen to while sewing, then check out my guest post on Lucky Lucille. Rochelle is my BBFF (best blogging friend forever), so it was an honor to post on her site. Thanks for the opportunity, Rochelle!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What a fun weekend in Los Angeles

If I could time travel back to last weekend I would. It all started on Saturday morning at 8:30 when Qui and her sister/my good friend, Jessi, picked me up. We drove three hours to our first destination in Los Angeles, Mood. It was my first time to the new location, as they had just moved a little less than two weeks ago.

The new location is so much more spacious!

I would also like to note that we had the BEST customer service while we were here. I was very impressed!

a peach punch cocktail, yum!

After falling in love with Mood shopping at Mood we checked in to our hotel and had a nice cocktail with our lunches! We walked the 0.8 miles to the garment district, but did not have much luck. Qui was hoping to score some treasures at the Michael Levine loft, but it was an "off" day and the fabric selection wasn't the best. We walked back to the hotel, hung out, went to dinner, and then watched the movie Ted.

 Sunday afternoon was the big afternoon, party time for Gertie!

 Myself, Qui, and Jessi.

 Me and the guest of honor, Gertie! Everyone that meets her always comments on how sweet she is and I couldn't agree more. I was nervous meeting her, about as nervous as when I met Sarai in Oakland (when I started babbling and saying weird things and then sweating because I knew I was saying weird things and then my bangs stuck to my forehead). Gertie was so friendly to everyone and seems like such a down to earth girl. I want to hang out with her again!

The beautiful dresses on display from her book.

The girls at Sew LA know how to do appetizers! I'm still thinking about the cheeseball that Christine made. I think I had three helpings! I wanted more, but didn't want to torture Qui and Jessi on the car ride home with my killer breath haha.

Christine and I. It was so nice to see her again, she makes me laugh! It was also great meeting so many other bloggers that were SO friendly, sweet, and talkative. I walked away with some new friends for sure.

My fabric treasures! The three on the left are from mood and the green on the right is from the Michael Levine loft. Christine was sweet enough to give me a Peter Pan Collar pattern that she designed (I am SO happy about this!) and some adorable vintage buttons.

Yes, typing this out confirmed the fact that I would like to time travel back to Saturday :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sew LA Party!

I have been dying to visit Sew LA for one of their fabulous parties and now I have the perfect reason, Gertie is coming to Los Angeles on Sunday! Qui, Jessi (Qui's twin/my good friend), and I will be headed down south on Saturday for some shopping at Mood and the garment district. I'm not sure what we will be doing Sunday before the party, suggestions? Even though I go to LA every so often, I'm not sure of where I should go.

Are any of you going to be there? I hope so! I  love meeting fellow sewing bloggers :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I find that having goals to focus on throughout the year really makes me push myself and work harder, so I am all for New Years Goals. 2011 was the year of reading and I read 25 books. 2012 was the year of sewing at least one Colette garment a month. If you look at the list of garments I sewed here, it's safe to say that I surpassed that number.

2013 is going to be the year that I focus on quality instead of quantity. Last year I felt so rushed to complete garments and didn't take the time to learn new techniques. Well, I did learn some new techniques, but not as many as I could have learned. This year I will probably make fewer garments and blog less, but will hopefully end up with beautiful clothes, inside and out :)

While I may not complete all the items on the list below, I would like to put a good dent into it. Some techniques I would like to learn and some items I would like to sew are:
  • Bound button holes.
  • "Tricky" fabrics.
  • Pants, specifically Juniper.
  • The Anise jacket (I have never made a jacket).
  • Jeans.
  • Sew more separates.
  • The Bombshell dress.
  • Lapped zippers.
  • Matching stripes, checks, and patterns.
  • Altering existing patterns (changing the neckline, adding a collar, mixing different pieces from different patterns, etc.)
  • Trying new pattern designers and companies.
  • Drafting a couple of simple patterns for myself.
I would also like to say "thank you" to everyone for a great last year. 2012 was the year that I met the most sewing bloggers online and in person and for that I feel so lucky! You guys are my main inspiration, the people I go to for help and support, and most importantly, my friends. I'm glad that I have found a place that I can write about what interests me (sewing) and have other people that "get" me. Thank you!!!