Sunday, September 30, 2012

American Sewing Expo

I am fortunate to live only about 30 minutes from where the American Sewing Expo (ASE) is held each year. I missed it last year, as I was knee deep in buying a condo, but this year I made it!
I went to the blogger meetup first thing in the morning, and met some of the lovely ladies behind blogs I read regularly!

First was Kyle of Vacuuming the Lawn. I've always admired the garments Kyle makes and the amount of time and dedication she puts into her pieces.

SECOND! Was Gertie, of Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing! Her book was just released and she was in town doing a signing and teaching some classes. And she was so nice! She told me she is coming to Ann Arbor in January to do a book signing at the public library. I will be there for sure!!

Lastly, a picture of all four of us (Gertie, Sunni from A Fashionable Stitch, Kyle and Myself)

Sunni's pencil skirt is made of the exact wool I NEED for my couture dress making class. I shopped the expo for some similar wool, but came up empty handed on that front. I did, however, find some other fabrics to take home.

From Vogue Fabrics, I got three pieces. Two yards of a pretty flowery pattern, which I plan to use to make a blouse, 2.5 yards of a berry colored garbardine, which I will probably use to make a dress or skirt, and 2 yards of a pink/red/yellow/black pattern which will also be used for a blouse.

At Haberman's, I got 2.5 yards of a geometric border print ponte knit, and 2 yards of a leafy pattern knit. I am going to make a dress out of the border print, probably my favorite Simplicity 2648. For the leafy print I am planning to use the new Angela Wolf pattern that I also picked up at the expo.

I got the new Angela Wolf ruched tee pattern. I've seen this pattern on a couple other blogs and was interested in trying it. I am also after the Sewaholic Renfrew top but wonder if maybe this pattern can substitute? Anyone have thoughts on that?

Overall, my experience at the American Sewing Expo was great! I am excited for next year and taking advantage of the classes (which I didn't do this steps). I'm also excited to use the fabrics I found!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Couture Dressmaking Class!!

There is a sewing studio in Ann Arbor called Nonpareil that I've been to on occasion.  The lady that runs it, Michelle, used to host "Crafts and Cocktails" once a month- a chance to see her studio, work on your project on her machines and of course get her expert advice on your project. Some of the projects shes helped me finish are the best projects I've completed! 

I was very excited to see that she was offering a Couture Dressmaking Techniques class this fall, but then saw that it was to be Monday nights, and I have other commitments on Mondays. I tried to forget about it, until YESTERDAY, I got an email from her studio saying among other things, that the class had been changed to Thursday nights! I registered immediately and now have started daydreaming about how awesome this is going to be.

Here's the description of the class from her website:
Know the basics of sewing, and have made yourself a few (or many) garments? Ready to take your skills to the next level? Learn couture techniques like underlining, stabilizing edges, easing fullness and hand finishing a zipper to make your garments fit well, and look beautiful. 8 sessions. Must purchase Vogue 8828, 8648, 8280, or 8667 (only one), lightweight wool and lining  of the appropriate yardage, and matching thread. I will give suggestions, and help locate fabric, if needed.

So I have to pick a pattern and fabric! I'm hoping to get some insight from my readers about which pattern to chose. Here are the options and my thoughts.

First, Vogue 8828
The description says " Lined dress has princess seams, fitted bodice, raised waist, semi- or loose-fitting skirt, back zipper and top stitching  Narrow hem. A,B: flaps. F: button trim and sleeve bands. C,F: collar. D,E,F: back slit. E,F: welts. A,B,C,D cup sizes." I think I would probably make view D, as that would be the most versatile for me and my wardrobe. However, I like the buttons shown on view F. I could easily add that detailing to my version of view D. 

The second option is Vogue 8280:
The description says " Fitted dress, lined bodice, back zipper closing with front flange. A, B, E, F: back slit opening. C, D: pleated lower section. Armhole and sleeve variations. A: sash with hook and eye closing." While I don't really love the sleeve options for this dress, I do like that it has a v-neck and I think that it might be most flattering for me.

Vogue 8648 confuses me the most. The line drawings make the dress look a little wacky in my opinion, especially the versions with a fuller skirt. I think I would go for view A for this pattern. Despite my being unsure about this pattern, Sarah at Goodbye Valentino made a gorgeous version of view A using a bright pattern. 

Finally, Vogue 8667:
From the Vogue Website: "Lined, mid-knee length dresses A, B, C, D, E, F have fitted bodice, princess seams, A-line or straight skirt and back zipper. A, B, C: front pleated skirt. E: contrast skirt. B, C, E: cap sleeves. D, E, F: back hemline slit. A, B, D, E: collar."
I already own this pattern, but I haven't made it yet. I like all the views with the straight skirt, but probably like view D best.

So those are my options. Opinions? Anyone made one of these patterns and have pictures of their finished project?