Thursday, July 30, 2009

Something Slightly Different

I got sick of seeing heaps of white or sand-colored fabric with multicolored--often neon bright--stitches. I've often created muslins to work out the kinks in patterns, but I've never known what to do with them after their useful purpose has been, well, used. I feel too guilty to toss them out, but they're just too plain ugly to wear.

This dress was supposed to be a wearable muslin for a more elegant combination of fabrics. (I've used this fabric once before for a sundress that I made but have not worn yet.) It needed a bit more than just the stripes to made it fully wearable, so I added a red embroidery stitch, a few round wooden beads, and a vintage leather belt.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Black Drapes, White Sky

This black knit cardigan drapes.

(Yes, I left that sentence intentionally short.) It seems ironic that such a simplistic function like draping allows the cardigan to be aesthetically stunning. Although I had an array of colored knits to choose from, I chose black. I believe it most closely identifies with the simplistic sense of lines and the classic identity that draped material has had throughout antiquity.

I have seen unending variations of this cardigan in stores and always have found it to be an interesting design. Even so, I never bought one and was never compelled to make one: I rationalized that it was simple enough to make, but I also thought that there were more interesting projects to make--well, at the time.
I was reintroduced to the cardigan on Couture et Tricot and was amazed by the linked video. The video illustrates the amazing versatility of a similar cardigan, the DKNY Cozy. The talented Tany of Couture et Tricot used Simplicity 2603, so I decided to give it a try. Wonderful, wonderful pattern!

As a mini dress, pictured with a vintage leather belt.

Five other variations, although certainly not all of them

If viewed as a reflection of art history, the perfect topper for this embodiment of drapery would be YSL's caged boots. Even what is ethereal is ephemeral, and the ephemeral state of things makes life seem like a caged slideshow of images, sensations, feelings.

(This wasn't much of a pattern review, so see my actual review for Simplicity 2603 here.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009


I am finally back to sewing! I was much too busy for a few weeks and also had a stack of alterations to do on existing stuff. There isn't much creativity attached with sewing on a few extra buttons here and there and hemming pants, so I haven't posted anything.

I still have to take photos of what I've been making this past week, so I'll put up a photos over the next few days. So far, I've completed my project with the onyx knit (as shown in one of my earlier posts--my gosh, there was so much of it) and will start tomorrow on the quick project of the paint brushed charmeuse and striped faux fur.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Europe Post #2

Here are the few photos that I took when I was at the Musee des Art Decoratif's exhibit on Madeleine Vionnet. I passed through the first floor with no problems, but I was yelled at on the second floor by a grumpy security guard (who later yelled at two other groups of tourists in other exhibits). Consequently, I only have photos from the first floor, and even these photos reflect just a small portion of what was shown.

Look familiar? This probably was the inspirational doll for Tissus Reine. Vionnet used this doll to create smaller prototypes of her dresses.

The one above looks more spectacular up close. The concept (whose fine details I've currently forgotten) was simple yet genius. The pieces are identical for the front and back.

Possibly my favorite piece.

Beautiful beading. The photo again doesn't do it justice. It almost looked like sand that had been washed upon fine fabric.

I loved nearly every piece, so I think that it would be wise for me to invest in a book with Vionnet's collection. I checked the book shop at the museum, and it sold one for about sixty euros--alas, a bit too high for me. I'm hoping that I can find the identical book somewhere online for less.

Europe Post #1

What an amazing, yet tiring trip! I still am in the process of going through all of the photos that I took, but here are the ones related to fabric and fashion. I'm going to have to do this in two posts--it'll be too long otherwise.

Paris fabric stores:
The general area around the Sacre Coeur in the Montmarte (a bit seedy) was full of fabric stores:

Tissus Reine:

I had to get a picture of these dolls from across the street. I was scolded in French when I took out my camera while I was inside of the store. The dolls wore outfits that were created from fabric on the tables. I thought it was a really cute idea, and then later saw it's inspirational source at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs (will show in second post).

I snuck a couple on the 2nd floor. A wall full of buttons, bias tape in a plethora of colors and prints on rolls, other notions, fabrics, patterns, etc.

Marche St. Pierre:

Photos from first floor. Sorry that I didn't take more on the other floors!

Excursion to Laduree on Champs Elysees:

Delicious little things! I'm determined to make my own macarons.

Pistachio, Citron, Currant, Coffee

Musee Des Arts Decoratifs:
A must go! I actually enjoyed it more than the Louvre, which is right next door. The Arts Decoratifs building is the one next to the carousel, and the Louvre continues in the wing to the right of it.

They had a wonderful temporary exhibition of Toulouse Lautrec and Madeleine Vionnet. I'm going to post the photos from Vionnet in a separate post to keep things a little easier to follow. I was absolutely awestruck by her work.

Amsterdam's Albert Cuyp street market:
Filled with food, cheap clothing, plenty of fabric stalls with actual stores behind them. I went into a few of the main stores, and they were tightly stacked floor to ceiling with fabric.

I really wish that I had taken more photos.