Sunday, April 25, 2010

CRAFTernoon recap

I realized I never did a recap on the CRAFTernoon event I did back in March. It was great. We had a modest turnout which actually worked out for the best because Di and I were able to give more individual attention. Everyone did a great job, and here are some images of final products:

Jess showing off yet another piece of Gator paraphernalia.

Diana's cute headband.

Hopefully we will do another one in the near future. If you have any skills you want to learn, let me know!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A scarf I made for my b

Also, a random photo I took that I like:
Too bad I'm good at so many other things, or I would be a photographer (kidding).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

How to make a wedding dress - Part 4 - 1st Fitting

Katrin was in town for a family friend's bat mitzvah, so she and her mom and a friend came up to my tiny apartment to do the fitting. Normally when I do custom work, I test the pattern in muslin, but one of my other clients had coincidentally given me a few yards of the exact fabric that Katrin had indicated was her favorite among the swatches her mom had picked out at a store, so I figured I might as well use it. As is often the case, I wasn't able to get as much done as I had planned, and when they arrived, the dress was only half finished. I frantically sewed the lining to the outer part of the dress while they waited patiently. I didn't even have a chance to sew the zipper on her left side seam, so you can see the fabric awkwardly sticking out on the side, and that the bodice doesn't fit as neatly as it should a result.

Nevertheless, for the most part, the garment fit her very well. She didn't like the amount of volume at the waist so we decided to take the gathers out of the skirt and the lining. I also didn't have a chance to sew on the overskirt you might recall in the sketch and drape that will be in the finished garment, but we played around with using the tulle that was for the overskirt as a veil, which you can see in the photos below - a sneak peek at the work in progress.

If you look closely you can see the tucks in the skirt (sorry, I really need to get a nicer camera), which I sewed by hand.

Katrin pretending to paint the painting on my wall.

The straps were a little too loose as well (if you look closely you can see where I've pinned them on her left shoulder) so those needed to be taken up about an inch on each side, and we decided to add tucks on the top tulle layer on the underskirt, which is tan (which you can't really see in my iPhone photos), so the peach one underneath could be seen. Katrin and her mother really happy with it, so I was happy and relieved. I am going to make the adjustments we discussed before our next fitting in June. You can't see the detail in the fabric either, which has this wrinkled look to it. Hopefully for June I will be able to get my photographer friend Ferris to take better shots of the dress.

On a side note, I was able to achieve the vintage effect on the photos using this Photoshop tutorial.

Friday, April 16, 2010

ACE 27

Just got back from the ACE 27 fashion show -- I'm about to turn in because I have to wake up early to finish Katrin's dress for her fitting tomorrow, but I wanted to post about it before I went to bed. After tonight I felt like I had come full circle, from producing my own fashion show with my friend Michelle in college (and soliciting clothes from other designers) to being asked by college students to lend clothes for their fashion show.

Here are a couple of photos from my iPhone:

In many ways, their show was more professional -- the A/V and lighting effects, set design, numerous sponsors, and gift bags for every member in the audience! Plus yummy snacks and beverages during the intermission. But maybe it's just nostalgia kicking in, I don't know, I'm inclined to say we had better models and MCs... :-) It's funny for me to watch amateur fashion shows after being involved in the industry for the past several years.

All in all, my friends and I had a great time. They gave us great seats in the front row and Lindy and Dave had me laughing the entire time as we provided each other with commentary on the show.

Thanks ACE 27!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How to make a wedding dress - Part 3 - draping

Based on the sketches, I started to drape the dress on the mannequin. Katrin's measurements were close enough to my mannequin's that I could just drape on the mannequin and add/subtract as necessary when I created the flat pattern from the drape later.

First, we started with the underskirt. Normally, when you drape, you only drape the mannequin's right half, since most patterns are symmetrical, which is why you only see half a skirt on the mannequin below. When you look at the photos, you'll notice that there are bits of fabric sticking out here and there -- that's because you leave an excess beyond the seam (which is marked in pencil) which you trim later. The drape of the dress is a far cry from the actual dress.

underskirt front

underskirt back

Next I draped the actual skirt of the dress. The underskirt will actually probably be doubled, so one layer of lining, and one layer of organza to give the skirt volume, over which is the actual skirt (which will be attached to the bodice). We had discussed tucks which, I put in the skirt. You can see the underskirt peeking out.

Next I draped the bodice of the dress. If you recall, Katrin wanted a sheer neckline. It might be difficult to see in this photo, but the bodice is separated along the neckline.

Finally, I draped an overskirt out of tulle. The color is not the one we'll use (and neither is this fabric, called muslin, the fabric we'll use for the actual dress!) but is good for seeing the sort of effect the tulle will have. She had mentioned she wanted the overskirt to look "accidental" so I draped the overskirt a little messily.

Now I will submit these photos to Katrin for review before transferring the drape to a paper pattern to make the "muslin," or prototype.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ray LaMontagne Rocks My World!

Whether it's a musician, designer, writer, or artist, I tend to either be totally obsessed or disinterested. If I like a particular artist, I will start manically googling him or her, trying to find interviews, bios on Wikipedia, experience the person's entire canon of work thus far, figure out when the next show is, and get totally immersed in it. Therefore, I'm often a little skeptical or hesitant to listen/see/read/try new things when they are recommended to me, because I invest so much energy into investigating the artists I like, I don't really want to waste time listening/seeing/reading things that don't excite me. I also don't like going to see a concert or a movie unless I think it will be awesome. As a result, I often don't really give things a chance until a while after they come on the scene, and I've heard about 10 people tell me I should check it out. I figure, why not let other people vet things for me, and if something is really awesome, I'll hear about it eventually.

Anyway, I recently became totally obsessed with Ray LaMontagne, who's been around for a while. I'd heard the name tossed around but I didn't really get into it until I started listening to Damien Rice several months ago (also been around for several years before I gave it a chance). I heard a cover Damien and Ray did together of the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody," and I was haunted by Ray's soulful, raspy voice. You'd think it would be then that I'd check him out, but fastforward a couple of months and he kept coming up on my Pandora so I finally checked him out. One song I especially like is "Let It Be Me," from his most recent album, Gossip in the Grain. I thought I loved Damien Rice, but I LOVE Ray.

Below is a YouTube video of a live recording of Let It Be Me.

Dude totally looks like a hillbilly with his huge beard, but he's really got soul. Makes me want to go up to Maine or Vermont or wherever he lives and hunt him down. Or maybe just go to his show in Long Island this summer...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Project Runway is casting again!

If you're a designer, Project Runway is now casting for season 8:

My dear friend B told me about it.

I have been less than impressed with the current season, but in many ways, it would be a great opportunity -- the $$$ and the exposure especially. The only thing that discourages me is that the fashion industry has largely disregarded the contestants on that show.

Who thinks I should try out?