I've been a bad blogger lately. I wrote about it before, but I keep having the need to justify myself in front of you, my readers, and give you some insight of what my life looks like at the moment. I have been travelling a lot for work, and D. and I can't get to match our working times, so I haven't been able to snap photos of the garments that I made (oh, I've been sewing - I have six dresses, three shirts and two skirts to show you, and I have some tutorials for you on my PC). While I have been running to grab and use every spare minute of time, Stepalica has been suffering. I do hope I'll find a way to get back to old routine, as I've been feeling guilty for neglecting the blog.
Along with not writing about the new garments that I've made, I managed to skip posting about my articles that were published in Sew News. I owe you reviews of three of these articles - one for each of the issues published in August, October and December, Therefore this time I'll share with you a "3 in 1" retrospective of my articles.
The TR Skirt in August / September 2014
The August issue featured an article in which I described a technique for drafting a very interesting "spiral"skirt. I used the TR technique by Shingo Sato to draft the pattern. I designed the pattern a bit differently than Shingo, as I used a paper instead of fabric as a drafting tool.
What makes this skirt interesting is its shape, since it is cut as a classic pencil skirt from the waist to hips, but it heavily flares from there to the hemline, making almost a full circle. It consists of only three patterns pieces with strange shapes that twist and swirl around each other thus giving the skirt its shape and volume. The pattern has an unusual shape and the process of cutting the fabric and sewing is rather atypical. One doesn’t have to pay attention to the grainline while cutting the fabric, and sewing has to be as precise as possible so that the pattern pieces are perfectly fit one with another into a final shape.
The skirt is made of two types of fabric, which additionally enhances the unusual cut. The model would suit various body types.
This article is especially interesting because it doesn’t give precise instructions for making the pattern. It is more of a set of guidelines and ideas that each seamstress can use to make her own variation of the given model.
The Chanel – McQueen Jacket for October / November 2014
The October issue featured an article where I presented a very attractive jacket with a zipper closure. I was inspired by Chanel suits and a leather jacket by Alexander McQueen.
The pattern resembles a biker jacket with a hidden zipper closure. A short waist peplum enhances a feminine figure, while the semi-ranglan sleeves give the jacket some boldness. The zipper closer is laid diagonally over the front, going from waist towards the left shoulder, so that it forms rich lapels when the jacket is half closed or opened.
The fabric is a wool suiting with a basket weave, which makes the jacket look even more interesting. Chanel used an almost identical fabric in their collection few years ago, which inspired me to trim the jacket with a trim typical for this brand – I added a fringe detail made of the shell fabric.
The article gives detailed instructions on how to draft the pattern for this jacket, using a basic jacket pattern as a starting point. The illustrations guide you through the drafting process and the article contains brief sewing instructions as well.
To remind you, I wrote about this jacket last year, so I recommend reading the tutorials I published along with it.
The Mermaid Dress in December 2014 / January 2015
The newest issue contains an article about a dress with a very interesting origami-style pleated detail. The pleats are arranged in such manner that resembles the fish flake, so I named the dress “Mermaid”. I made the dress four years ago while staying at New York, and I was obviously inspired by the origami folding technique. It is interesting to note that my initial idea didn’t look like the dress you see on the pictures. I played with some paper for a while, folded it in various manners before I choose the pleating pattern. I still have that piece of paper saved somewhere, as it has given me more ideas for playing with fabric.
The base pattern for this dress is a pattern from Burda Style magazine, which I altered a lot. The article describes how to make the pattern, and how to pleat the fabric to get the same effect. The pleating procedure isn’t a really difficult one, but it requires patience and neatness.
The fabric is a wool suiting in gorgeous petrol green. The pleats shrink a fabric a lot, and the central panel should be made from a single piece of fabric, so I used a lot of fabric for this dress (I think I had a piece of 2.5m, but realized afterwards that 2m would have been sufficient). I recommend using fabrics that do not stretch on bias, and that crease the folds well. Beside wool, I think you could use shantung silk, taffeta, gabardine, stiff linen.