Saturday, February 23, 2013

Kate Spade Knock Off: New Look 6910

     If there is one designer whose clothing I love to knock off, it is Kate Spade.  See hereherehere, here and here.   I love her pieces of clothing so much I just want to hug them. If I was a rich person, I would probably spend all my extra money on Kate Spade clothing.   When patternreview announced their RTW contest last month, it was the motivation I needed to participate.  Here is the pattern review.
  The basic construction of the dress was very simple.  However, the changes I  made were a bit more involved.  I spent several nights sleeping on how I would do the cut outs on the bodice.  I finally decided to just shape some 1/4" double fold bias tape into teardrops, sew them onto the bodice, and then cut out the fabric from the center.  The neck and armholes are also bound with the bias tape.
     Back in 1999 when I learned to sew, I started with children's clothing.  I did lots of smocking and lace shaping.  I just used a similar technique for cutting out fabric from behind lace to cut out these shapes.  There are also two cut outs in the back.

The New Look pattern calls for only lining the bodice, but I chose to line the entire dress in black polyester lining like the Kate Spade dress.
The dress fabric is Shantung Sateen from in the color Pride.  I absolutely love this fabric and have bought it in several colors.  I have plans for a future Kate Spade knockoff from some more of it.  My plans are to wear this dress to church on Easter, if it is not too cold.    Here is a better view of the front.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Two Faux Fur Vests: S2285

   I have been seeing fur vests everywhere for quite sometime.  I decided I needed one so I began to look for some fabric.  I spotted this beautiful leopard print fur on and ordered it to make my vest.  I like the fact that this fur is low pile.


Having never worked with faux fur worried me a little, but I found lots of tips online.  Here is an excellent tutorial. One of the tips was to use a razor blade for cutting out the pieces.  I tried doing that, but it just did not work for me.  I don't know if I just didn't know how or if it was my impatience--probably the latter. I just got out the scissors and cut it like I do normal fabric.  I figured it really didn't matter since those edges would be sewn in a seam anyway.  Once I got it all cut out I took the pieces out on my front porch and shook them out really well.  There was fur flying everywhere.

To construct the vest I used a heavy needle and just treated the fabric like I would any other fabric.  It was not the most physically easy sewing experience I have ever had, but I persevered.   The lining I used was from my stash--my ever growing stash.  I followed the instructions for the pattern exactly and it was really easy to understand.  The lining is brown polyester.


     In the process of my research on faux fur vests, I saw this fabulous fur vest that Kathryn, one of my favorite bloggers, had made.  You have to arrow down to December 10, 2012 on her blog to see it.  I can't seem to link directly to it.  She used a stunning faux fur fabric from Hancock Fabrics.  I usually don't care for long pile fur, but this one is so pretty that I had to have it.  It reminds me of a peacock and I love fabric that is peacock-themed .

  I used the same vest pattern and made it out of this lovely fur except that  I omitted the collar.  I used the same process as on the previous vest.  I found that with this longer pile fur, I had to be very careful to keep in to the side as much as possible of my needle when sewing so that I did not end up with a mess in my seam.  The lining is a blue polyester.

   Unfortunately, I have not been able to wear these vests as much as I would like because we have had an  extremely warm winter.  There have been a few cold days here and there, but it has mostly been in the middle 60's.  I thought last year's winter was warm, but this one is taking the cake.  I really don't like it but there is nothing I can do about it.  Maybe we will have a little more cold weather before Easter.

The jeans I have on in this pic are peacock print skinny jeans from Target that I got off the sale rack.  I thought they went well with my peacock-y vest.

Happy Sewing!!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

V8815: Sweater Knit Peplum Top

   First of all, thank you for your supportive comments about my hair situation.  I am going to contact her and talk with her about my hair.
    Last year during one of's clearance sales, I bought a very pretty bubblegum pink sweater  knit.  I had originally intended to make a cardigan from it, but after seeing a couple of reviews on PR with V8815 made from a knit, I decided to use it for my fabric.

    I normally cut a size 12 for tops, but since V8815 is for a woven, I knew I needed to go down a size.  I cut a size 10 and used some ick-y (is that even a word?) knit that I decided I didn't like for the muslin.  I never muslin a knit, but since this pattern was not originally intended for a knit, I thought it would be a good idea.  After that, I cut into my sweater knit.

This project was very easy and the instructions were great.  I bound the neckline in pink bias tape and turned it under.  I was a little concerned about binding in something with no stretch, but it worked out fine.  I also added an exposed zipper on the back.  After trying the sweater on and noting how see through it was, I bought a pink tank to wear under it.


Honestly, there is nothing more to say about  this pattern.  I know many of you have sewn it and it is really easy. I highly recommend it.    I have plans to make a non-knit orange lace version of this top very soon.

How I wore it:

Pants:  J Crew Wool bi-stretch Minnies  (on sale)
Burgundy booties: JCPenney
Necklace:  Forever 21

Happy Sewing!!

P.S.  The picture above was taken before my new hair color

Monday, February 4, 2013

Venting about Hair: A Non-Sewing Related Post

   This post is going to be about my hair color travails.  If you are not interested, I am just letting you know ahead of time.  I need to VENT!!! My first post on my hair color travails was here.  Well, here is round two.  After the first post on my hair color travails back in 2009 I just gave up.  I started letting my hair grow and just dyed it back my natural brown with some non-permanent hair color.   I still wanted to be a redhead, though. So now let's fast forward to Thanksgiving week of November.  My husband and I went to the Opryland Christmas at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN and saw the Rockettes.  One of the Rockettes had some of the most gorgeous red hair I had ever seen.  Well, the next day while we were sitting on a bench at the hotel eating ice cream, that same Rockette walked by.  She asked me if I would take a picture of her and her boyfriend, which I readily agreed to do.  While I had her attention, I asked her about her hair.  She told me that it was "totally fake" which I loved her for.  This renewed my desire for red hair again that I had tried to sweep under the rug.
       The very next weekend, one of my fellow church members walked into church with some of the most gorgeous red hair color I have ever seen.  I mean it was RED!!!   She changes her hair color as much as I do.  She told me who did her hair, but with my bad experience with hair colorists, I was skeptical.  I decided to go out and buy some over the counter red hair color.  I bought several different colors and did some strand testing.  It literally did nothing to my hair.  I suspect it is because color won't lift color and I already had color in my hair. I broke down and called her hair colorist and told her I wanted my  hair the same way.  I went in and she assured me that my hair would be the same color.   She did my hair and due to the low-lighting in the shop, I could not really tell if it was the same color.  When I got home, it was definitely  not the same color as my friend's.  Mine was red around the roots and became more brown toward the ends.  I was SO DISAPPOINTED.
      Now let's fast forward to a couple of weeks back.  I was talking to a co-worker and she suggested a colorist to me.  She strongly suggested I go see this woman because she was "excellent with color."  I went to see her and she consulted with me.  She actually snipped a strand of my hair to test it. At this point I was feeling pretty good.  She assured me that she had been doing hair for 40 years and she could definitely get it the color I wanted.  I was concerned about the health of my hair and not wanting to lose any, so she made me feel better about that too.  I made an appointment for this past Friday.  I was so excited and was counting down the days.  I was going to finally have the red hair I wanted.  I had showed her pictures and she had assured me it would be that color I wanted.
     Well, Friday finally arrived and I was SO EXCITED.  I plopped down in the chair and she got to work.  She told me she had been giving lots of thought to how she was going to approach my hair.  The first thing she did was remove the brown color already in it.  Then she put the red on my roots and pulled it through the rest of my hair.  After it processed, she looked at it, she said it had turned dark brown, but that the roots were perfect.  She went through a second round of removing my hair color and said it was PERFECT.  I looked in the mirror and it WAS pretty and in great condition, but not what I had asked for.  I actually got what I  did not want, which is strawberry blond hair  What I wanted was this:
Emily Blunt in "The Devil Wears Prada"
What I got was this:
Nicole Kidman

I wanted an INTENSE red.  I am happy that my hair is still long and in good condition, but it is not the color I paid $152 for.  I was so upset I was biting my lip when I left the shop.  I paid her, smiled, and left.  She thought it was perfect.
I ...GIVE... UP!!!!!   If you are still reading, bless you.  If you were in my position, would you just give up, or would you keep trying?  If you have any suggestions or have had a similar experience, I would so love to hear it.    Thanks for listening.  I just needed to vent.