October 23, 2012

maybe I could be twitter for halloween.


Do you work on one project at a time? Several birthday weeks ago, ruggy gave me, among other things, three days of sewing all day. I was so excited I couldn't decide what to work on. So I worked on EVERYTHING. I had a "rack" of five dresses, two skirts, and several refashions hanging from our reading lamp. After a few hours on princess seams, I'd switch to jersey, then to vintage seam ripping, I never got bored or frustrated with what I was doing, it was genius, I tell you. Every fifteen minutes or so I'd yell across the room: I AM SO HAPPY THIS IS GENIUS. Since then I've always had myriad things going on at once. It keeps me from wanting to tear a project apart when it's not going well, or rush through an intricate step because I want to get it done and play with something else. So it should come as little surprise that I've moved on to feathers in the midst of boucle.

These sketches were done in Hell A, oh I'm sorry, I mean L.A. My brilliant idea to pair an Anna Sui silk print with bird hair was met with a lackluster response from ruggy and crew, so I used my croquis to visualize it mo' bettah..


I actually thought this was the version I wanted. At least, in my mind it was... once it was on paper, it was an INSTANT no. Hoe down, anyone?

But I was determined to get them in that dress. Another friend cautioned against creating the effect of "vagina feathers". This gave me serious pause, and I went vertical at that point...


EGADS.

I finally settled on something completely different from my original plan, which would have made pathetic use of the silk print...


And that's when I stomped off to my machine and draped a dress sans feathers. 

But it seems their time has come again. With all the Halloween sewing going on, I feel like making something dramatic. Where will I wear this? No earthly idea. You would think the end of October would be the perfect opportunity, but in a nice tidy incident of Post Coming Full Circle, ruggy's birthday week falls on Halloween, and we haven't dressed up in centuries. I AM NOT EXAGGERATING. We're either still celebrating or recovering from celebrating, which is just fine by be. I kind of play dress up all year long anyway.

October 20, 2012

boooooooooooo ucle


It is, after all, the scariest month of the year. Accordingly, I have chosen a fabric that is scaring me to death. And what's more, I'll tell ya, this sewing with a plan is killing me like Michael Myers. Already?! YES.  

That there's some exquisite boucle I picked up for my next mood make. It's thick and soft and wonderful and I hugged it like a box of kittens all throughout the store. I got every last bit of it, there were about three yards left on the bolt, it was absolutely too bratty to pass up. As I tromped through the aisles, everyone stopped to fondle it, saying: Ah! How beautiful! You're going to make a jacket?

No, I replied, I'm going to make a wiggle dress.

(insert looks of confusion and trepidation here.) 



Since then I've been carting a small swatch of it everywhere, pulling it out every fifteen minutes to ask a fellow sewist, a Mood employee, the mailman, DO YOU THINK THIS WILL MAKE A GOOD WIGGLE DRESS I WANNA MAKE A WIGGLE DRESS IT'LL TOTALLY WORK RIGHT

Honestly, my friends and family are going break into a run when they see me coming.  

May I present the contestants vying for first place...



First up: an entry from Daughter Fish, who not only did not run when I informed her of my desire (although she might have scrunched her face a little), she actually took me to her pad so's I could borrow a vintage pattern or two. Holla for sewists in the 'hood!

We both thought this number would be stunning, with leather bias edges on the pockets and lapels... I'd make the buttons fakearoo, as buttonholes on this boucle are so not happening.  But, too much bulk on the fancy bits? I'm also wondering if it'll come off too mature... I love the details but I want this to be edgy. For some reason I think this pattern in a "print" could evoke ladies who lunch. Mais, only days ago I was completely sold...




I like the look of this jammie, middle view, no collar, no pockets, lengthen the sleeves. Though i'm a little meh about it now.  You know what forget this one. 




Okay please ignore that crazyface tulip. Hard to do, as that crazyface tulip is actually PRINTED ON THE PATTERN PIECE. This is actually not the dress i want to make. But it does give the boucle and myself room to breathe. I'd draft three quarter length sleeves (she said blithely). And this could save me from Carolyn's prediction upon seeing my wiggle dress swatch: Ooooh, you're gonna look like Winnie The Pooh.

That Carolyn is a hoot.

Though as i'm spellchecking this post, this one is starting to look like the winner. It could be swingy and fun. Seriously? This was dead last fifteen minutes ago. You see my flip flopping dilemma. 


Alright hell's bells, here's what I REALLY want to do. Gertie's wiggle dress. But the teeny seam allowance on those underarm gussets will most certainly be the death of this material. 

What say you?  Which strikes your fancy? The tulip dress is really on my brain now.  And while you're at it, if you haven't already, throw an opine in there about my recent discovery of the Shift Key.  Ruggy and I have a bet going.

October 19, 2012

ruggy's mood: THWARTED.


Oh Ruggy. Will I ever sew you anything?

This plaid flannel was truly meant for my husband. I had all the best intentions of making him a cozy fall shirt, partially egged on by Amy's rage inducing make for her soul mate. WHATEVER AMY. As I pored over Mood's online site, bookmarking fabrics to my portfolio (I love that wee feature, I can see all my wants right on one page), my mind quickly wandered back to myself, and I let out a little gasp when I saw this chenille. Unfortunately, Mind Reading Ruggy heard my gasp, looked at my screen, and asked when I might be making something with my Mood allowance for my loving husband.


Must learn to keep emotions hidden.

I promised I would pick up something for him the very next time I was in the store, and indeed I did... after spending an hour and a half poring over boucle for myself. By the time I got to shirtings I think the fuzz from wools had coated my brain. Aided by Nate, I dug into the racks, looking for something that wouldn't bore me half to death. When the strapping Nate yanked this bolt off the shelf, he deemed it edgy without being Oona crazy, and I was sold. But I was too precoccupied with the boucle in my arms to actually touch it.

Arriving home, I was still too enamored of my own find to lay hands on it, shoving it in for a pre wash so I could get back to fondling wool. Later, as I ironed it, I patted myself on the back for the sheer magnitude of my kindness in making my husband the second shirt of my five year sewing career, trumpeting to the general public of cats and man that it would be killer, with pearl snaps and a contrasting back yoke made out of thick olive green jersey.  


Then I noticed the plaid wasn't quite matching up... had it gone off grain in the wash? I asked Ruggy to pull opposite corners with me. After all, it was destined for his closet, he could do a little work. So we pulled... and realized I had purchased a flannel that was surely meant for the likes of Stretch Armstrong. I'm talking trampoline worthy.  

Now, my Ruggy is picky man. He eyed that lycra stretch, and I knew it wasn't for him. Sweat glands like a delicate flower, that one. No matter! I happily chirped. I'll just make something for myself and I'll get you some nice 100% cotton next time for sure kaythxbye!!! And I was off to my pattern stash.


I chose Simplicity 2337 of the Project Runway line, my favorite of the big 4 for sure. Seriously, if I'm near a chain store with a sale, I just open up the drawers and pull out every blue envelope that doesn't have a child on it. I love the variations in these patterns, but rather than try one of their infinite perfectly drafted options, I was moved to sketch my own: a dolman sleeve. Which I royally fuka'ted. See how that seam curves down to the front of my arm? Yeah, I TOTALLY meant to do that, it's a design element, thankyaverymuch.  

The rest of the pattern went together like a charm, princess seams on the front, two darts in the back, vent.  


Oooooh and my current trick for dealing with the excess fabric around my back shoulder section: cut the offending excess out! HA. I call it the Posture du Dancer's Adjustment. I love a good PDA. 


The neck and hem are finished off with bias trim (can I just say I hate facings? I HATE FACINGS. I said as much to Carolyn the other day. I love it when someone who really knows what they're doing tells me it okay to do whatever hairbrain thing I might be doing at the time). The neckline is actually sandwiched in trim, and since I had to rip out the very last bit by the zipper head so many times it was a holy mess I just decided for the fun of it to add this little ribbon & pearl embellishment at the top.

Ruggy snapped these photos for me. Wearing an old Gap sweatshirt. Oh, the humanity. A police van was parked next to us. A female officer leaned out the window: Okay, I gotta ax. You took like a hundred pictures already, whaddayouDOIN. After some shouting about sewing and Mood, I informed the officers that the plaid was meant for the man behind the camera, and that sent me and the male officer into gales of laughter. He seemed to understand completely. My Ruggy grinned acceptingly like the wonderful guy he is. 


I would say I'd make it up to him soon... but I don't like to lie.

(But! Notice anything different about this post?  Apparently my ee cummings style of lowercase typing confuses the hell out of the Rugster.  So I'm throwing him a bone. Whaddaya think?  Shall I stick to it?)

October 16, 2012

i say never too much...and "never" too much.


holy hell i appear to be sewing with a plan. what has caused this completely out of character move?  possibly i didn't eat enough red meat last night.  in fact, it was quite the vegetarian day, i don't know what hit me.  cray-cray vegetables and their mind altering powers. 

this morning, i awoke with an urge to finish a beautiful and possibly extremely tacky neon green lace dress hanging over our iron staircase railing (read: garment rack), but had run out of the olive green silk i'm using for interlining.  (or underlining.  which is it?  is it both?) i ran out of it because i bought it without any plans for it.  so back to the district i go tomorrow.  this is slightly frustrating.

don't get me wrong, i like sewing without a plan.  i'm not sure i could completely sew with one, since it's really the fabric that inspires me 90% of the time.  but the tomato soup on my brain and the lace on my staircase inspired this fruity thought: maybe i could look at my stash and pair some stuff together... then collect the rest of the things i'd need if i'm lacking... so i could start and finish a project.

ground breaking, i know.  never been done before in the history of sewists, i'm sure.


so i dove into my stash and started mixing.  

you might remember some chatter about feathers and the entire ruggian clan putting the kibosh on adding them to my anna sui dress.  well, these feathers from mood are destined for a bombshell dress.  and surprisingly, i have most everything i need for it.


LOOK AT THE BOW!!! how have i not recognized the awesomeness of this pattern yet?  i found this silk print at paron's new location (i am so happy to see those lovely peeps in their new joint.  way better lighting, and nothing says fabric like window dressings of paper mache rocket ships and working toy trains).  of course i bought it without a hint of an idea why.  i kind of think i'm going to look like david bowie circa velvet underground.  or maybe hunky dory.  hell, looking like david bowie circa anytime works for me.

the first photo is destined to be a vest, oscar de la renta wool & turquoise silk remnants from the mood LA store i snagged this summer during two separate meetups with clio and tigress.  those remnant boxes have magical bottomless holes in them leading straight to some couture house in france. hopefully i'll pair this vest avec shirt, which will REALLY make my david bowie dreams come true.  

will you look at that... i now realize i'm going to need a pair of pants to go with that... maybe i'll need to make another plan...

October 12, 2012

fugitive no more!


WOW.  thank y'all so much for the awesomesauce words!  i've been laughing out loud and grinning like a fool back-and-forth-and-in work this week, and there are questions to be answered and replies to be made and cocktails to be drunk (always, cocktails to be drunk) but in honor of comic con, and my escape from the law, i thought i'd quickly share a wee gem i found in ruggy's storage loot the other day...

while in LA, i was fond of saying fuck you, i'm batman.  spied it on a shirt made by the peeps behind this superior tom selleck art, and thought it a perfect slogan for going into auditions.  unfortunately it was pretty slow out there, and i ended up directing said slogan at the machine, the cat, the rugster.  still, a delicious grouping of words. 


but did you know, back in the day, batman was not so much the dark knight?  no, our wholesome hero was quite worried about the state of your brotherhood quotient.  GET A LOAD OF THAT LIST.  long hair music! jews! cabbage!

complete with emoticons.  DC, even then, you were ahead of your time.


of course, batman had a li'l prodding from several government agencies.  SERIOUSLY.   it is all so very right and so very wrong at the same time.  were they leading the witness with that list?  or is it just that we don't use certain terms today?  were baptists as a group a hot button?  were they the hipsters of the past?  

the mind boggles.

October 8, 2012

mystery job revealed

some of you have wondered what sends us all over the country. much to julia bobbin's dismay: no, we are not on the lam. (yeah, i'm a little bit disappointed too.) and if we are not criminals, our travels around the country can indeed point to only one other occupation: ACTORS.
 
yes, that's right, the second oldest profession in the world, right behind hooker. i believe for a time the words were synonymous. are you shocked? with the crazyface pictures i've thrown up here, i'd be surprised if you were. here and there peeps have thrown a shout out my way when spying me on the telly or even on the big screen, but i've been cryptic for the most part. why am i not all blithely spouting off about it on the regular? well. couldn't really tell you. i get kind of weirdly shy about it. yes, i am mouthy as hell around a bolt of fabric and a glass of gin, but ask for my resume and i'll clam up.
 
but screw that. i'd like very much to share this with our lovely corner of the interwebz. i'm hanging out at my new mysterious job, which i thought would remain mysterious for a bit longer...but a little birdie told me it's been announced this morning, on a muuuuuuuuch larger site than my bit of kalkatroona. as ruggy said: if it's on deadline hollywood, it's already out there. so, um, taadaaaaah! i'm at my first day of shooting on nurse jackie. awooohoooo!
 
 

October 6, 2012

MSN stands for Mucho Sangria & Nibbles


i am not actually as tall as either of these gorgeous ladies, although in my mind i'm taller than everyone in the WORLD.  i simply had the great luck of standing on the upper slope of this patch of new york sidewalk.  the chunk of the mood sewing network i happily dined with last night: carolyn, renee, and meg "gunn", all had a good six inches on me.  this is always shocking, not only to me, but to the person meeting me.  though, to be fair, my hair usually gets a good six inches on anyone else.

the pic is from renee, the only blogger to remember to bring a camera (bad, bad bloggers we), and she has gorgeous shots of the restaurant up on her blog already.  she beats us here, in many categories.

i never have such a good time with gangs of chicks than i do with sewistseamstressrexes.  i have a feeling this might be true for a lot of us.  these women were gorgeous, confident, sparkling, and funny as hell.  maybe it's the mystery business i'm in (which shall soon be revealed, oooh and aaah), but while a large portion of the women i know might indeed sport those wonderful qualities, they are not the kind you can share pitcher of sangria with. at least not without a side order of meow (and not the good walnut kind).  

but of course, and it's been said, it's not wholly the fault of the female persuasion in question.  there are so many mirrors society crafts for us; who has the better makeup / clothing / job / status / armcandy... that sort of immediate comparison we're programmed to have when it's a female pack.  sure, it still happens in our sewing culture, but i feel that it's the exception rather than the norm, online and off.  et vous?

i walked home on a cloud.  and upon exiting the subway, i spied a reminder of a certain virtual meetup...


HEY GIVE ME BACK MY PROMABALLOONA LIMO.

October 2, 2012

cinderella had glass slippers, why not.


i look out the window, and i think, what, are we living in seattle now?!  it's rained more in new york these past ten days than it did during the three weeks we just spent in that sunny coastal city.  but it's kind of nice, as if we're being allowed to use spare moments getting the house back together and create and not worry about the twelve million things that need to be done.  i'm not lying.  TWELVE MILLION.  what is it about september?

reminded of our seattle time, i shoved the twelve million in the corner and leafed through my camera.  these shots from the chihuly garden make me want to make a dress out of glass.  the mojo is back (yes, amy, ye olde phase weighs in at an ovulatory stage!), and i'm getting inspired by everything.  




i took so many pictures, i had to remind myself to Put Ze Canon Down and physically look at what was around me.

we began our stroll at six, had dinner in the cafe, and then walked through the whole shebang again to see it all lit up after sunset.  totally different experience.





while we were in the cafe, devouring some delicious burgers with an oregon cab, a museum photographer began to circle the joint, offering pictures to the patrons.  we hightailed it out of there like the new yorkers we are, expecting to be coerced into ten bucks for a crappy disneyland shot or some such.  

well, actually, i hightailed it out of there.  out in the gardens, ruggy took it in a southern way and ventured: i think she meant a free photograph.   i snickered at his naivete.

of course she meant for free, and i watched with a pout as happy tourists smiled in front of her stunning eighty pound camera.  so before we left, i marched up with a toothy grin and asked for a photograph.  for all of the posing and prancing i do on le blog, its actually pretty rare that i'm on the front side of the lens with the man i love.




but i digress.  i want to make a dress out of glass.  speed racers and sight see-ers (and love-givers, thank y'all so much for the lavender dress love!) do you think that's possible?