Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi

If there was one word to describe this book it would be "interesting". This is not really a book for clothes that most would actually wear. In fact Ms. Nakamichi makes the garments to fit little scaled fashion dolls. But all of the designs are very thought provoking. Sculptural in form, with inspiration from nature and geometric shapes.
Love those sleeves

    This is evident even in the cover. This book would be a lot of fun for those that love puzzles and those who enjoyed the book The Art of Manipulating fabric. What I also loved this book, is that it really shows garments as 3 dimensional objects. When I realized this, it made my understanding of sewing really expand.
It is in soft cover, and the garments are either black or white as well as the instructions.  There are not a ton of instructions, it is mostly pictures. Its a 104 pages and you and the photo quality is great and you can see the textures of the fabric.
    Personally for me, the book is a little above my skill level. There are some that I could maybe do, but this is definitely for advanced pattern makers who have mastered slopers already. If you are in that category this book has projects that would be a fun challenge for you.
This is one of my favorite projects, I really want to make it.

I would say this book is a must have for advanced pattern makers, as well as those who enjoy fashion as art and would enjoy the thought provoking designs.

You can download this book Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi in pdf form online, but it is in Japanese. Here http://community.livejournal.com/jmagazinescans/530169.html Scroll down in the comments and you will see it.
So just use it for previewing purposes, and buy the version you can actually read lol.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Simplicity 6435 Review ,First Time with Plaid!

This spring I really lucked out, I got a big box of patterns at Goodwill. Though listed 1$ each I got the whole box for a dollar! One of my favorites was this:

A 1960's simplicity 6435 pattern. I love it! Its very "Oxford Chic". I sort of feel like a privileged English student in it. I got some fabric on sale, but I was a little worried because I had never used plaid before. But when the concept was explained to me I found it was a lot easier than I had expected. Though I not say I would love working with it again. I was so afraid of it not matching up right. But with a lot of careful patience, I managed to make it match up quite well. 
What I did was found a stripe on the fabric(a white one)  and set my seam allowance on it. I made sure my centers were even. and I matched up the bottoms so they ended at the right part of the fabric. I used a rotary mat and it was very helpful for measuring everything up right. I won't go to in depth because it would be confusing without pictures.Speaking of pictures I tried to have my brother take him. Big mistake! I found all the pictures were taken at unflattering angles, as well as unflattering closeups of my butt and face. So I seem a little ticked off in the pictures because I am. Hahaha(well it does sort of go with the look doesn't it?)

Pattern Description:
Dress with high round neckline, collar and back zipper. Has simulated front button closing, purchased belt, top-stitching and an A-line skirt. Roll up set in sleeves.
Pattern Sizing:
 Vintage sizing 10, 31 bust
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Exactly, probably one of the closest I have seen with a vintage pattern.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes they were very easy
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved this pattern but it was a little old that it sort if disintegrated while I was using it. I liked that it had different options, no sleeves, pin tucks. Sleeves were a nice size as well.
Fabric Used:
A gray, blue, and black plaid. I can't remember the exact fabric but I will go out on a limb and its probably some sort of cotton wool blend.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
None, but I sort of wish I had increased the bust a little(which is something I would never think I would have to do in a million years!, in fact the pulling at the bust makes me a little happy heehee)
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would absolutely sew it again! I'm actually thinking of making the version with the pin tucks.
If you see this at a thrift store, Etsy, ext I would pick it up immediately before it gets snatched up! I feel it is a very versatile garment. I can wear it pretty much everywhere. Its such a classic style to that it can be made again, and again especially with the variations it offers.

The only good picture he took!


So what do you think? Oh and one tip! If you have smaller natural waist line, try getting belts in the little girls sections. They are only 5 dollars usually(much cheaper than adult belts) I have found they are great since many of my vintage patterns call for belts.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Kalosca Embroidery

Today I wanted to take the time to talk about the beautiful embroidery from the kalosca region of Hungary.
Its quite utterly beautiful, and fascinating. Much of my embroidery fascination lately has come from finding it.
I love all the bright colors!

These kaloscai garments are not as old as people think. It started as blue and black embroidery. But by the 1930's colors were added. The designs became more complex and basically revolved around ornate flower motifs. Then they implemented the aprons which allowed for more embroidery goodness!
This is one of my favorite pictures! I love the over skirts. It is traditional for them to be very pleated, and be over a fluffy petticoat. I wish I would've been dancing there when I was little. My mom just kind of threw overalls at me.
Little girls would wear those lacy ribbon head dresses. They are a bit funny, but still adorable. Notice the similar designs on the wall.
Married women where embroidered bonnets instead of the headband. I'm totally digging the long bows.
Think of all the hours, upon hours it took to do all that!
Here is my most favorite dress, the one with the burgandy underskirt. I think it is a little more balanced than some of the others. Also notice the neat knubby socks, I reallly want some of those. Hopefully some eccentric designer will like them to and make them available to the masses haha.
I'm not sure if these are technical kaloscai gaments, but they are so beautiful I felt they were worth mentioning.
Also check it out! More of those awesome textured socks. I love texture, maybe thats why I love embroidery so much.
Close up of the awesome socks. I may be getting a little obsessed aren't I?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Domestic Diva Apron Review

When ever I'm at Joanns I always look at the domestic diva aprons because I think they are pretty. But they were rather expensive, $14.99. But I finally broke down and got one("The Jessie").
A big thing that had been keeping me back from buying them, was that I thought they were really cool because of all the little details and "notions". But I wasn't sure if they were real. (yes I know I'm stupid and couldn't figure this out before hand)I tried checking it in the store, but it would have felt weird for me to open it up there.
On the cover, at least to me, the lace looked pretty real. Well its not unfortunately.
It is very easy to put together. All the pieces are printed onto one piece of fabric and you cut them out. To me the directions were very vague and could be confusing to a beginner. Even with that being said I still think this would be a great first project for someone learning to sew, or to use to teach someone to sew. Because it will more than likely, look good and be functional.

 In the end it looked like this. I added a real button over the fake button because I felt the fake button looked tacky. Personally I think the notions should have been real and not printed, especially for the price. I, mean the bias tape could have been at  least real you know? More seasoned sewers would be inclined to buy it I think if this was the case also. All and all though, everyone loves this apron and wants me to make them one!

Monday, November 1, 2010

My First Embroidery/Scandinavian Needlecraft Book Review

I just got a new book called Scandinavian Needlecraft by Clare Youngs, because recently it is a new hobby that I would like to pursue. The book has tons of projects I especially like it because I am new to embroidery and it has step by step instructions on how to do the stitches in the back. Embroidery from Scandinavian regions of Europe really intrigues me, so this book was perfect. The projects range from baby hats to egg cozies. There are also a lot of seasonal projects like these.
You will need a sewing machine for many of the projects, its not just embroidery patterns. For a couple of the projects you don't even have to know how to embroider by hand because they use a machine zigzag stitch.]
Like this one

There are so many cute gift ideas in here too! There are a pair of slippers in here that I really want to make, but I decided to do a little test on a scrap pieces of linen first because I have never done embroidery before. I wouldn't want the slippers to be messed up you know?
If you click on it it will come up big and you can gloat on all my mistakes! The bouillon knots were the most difficult, and some of mine are awful.
This is a picture from the book that shows what they look like finished:
When I look it the finished pair, I don't think I did to bad. In fact I think I did pretty good for my first try! The step by step diagrams are easy to follow. I wonder if there stitch lines are purposefully a little wobbly, to encourage beginners....
 The only thing I don't like about this book is that it doesn't have enough bright projects like these.

The book itself is not huge, and is a paper back of good quality. I would say that this book is a must have for those that love the beauty simplicity. On top of that it seems that the whole "alpine, Scandinavian look" is going to be quite popular this season.I bought it off Amazon , it is much cheaper there than at the bookstore. (but of course you don't get the instant gratification, or previewing that you would get at a bookstore). I will be sure to post the slippers when I finish them!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bunny in a Cup!

OMG! Everyone needs a page of cuteness in their day, so here are some pictures and a video of bunnies in cups! :3.

yeah I know, technically drinking from a cup but still cute!

My Favorite!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Antique Photo Maker and Poladroid

In my last post I was looking through my photos and thought it would be cool if they had "vintage feel".  So I looked into some photomaker/enhancers. The first I used was Poladroid, at first I was a little afraid to use it(I never like to download free ware) but it is safe, albeit a little foreign but their misspellings can be funny.
The program is really cute. A little Polaroid camera pops up. Some may not like this, but you do have to wait
for the photos to "Develop". I thought this added to the fun of it, but to those who are impatient it may not like it.To add to the authenticity of the experience, you never know how each photo will come out, Just like a real Polaroid!Sometimes they are light, sometimes dark, green cast, blue cast, brown cast, ext. I like this, but I wish that perhaps you could control which one you would get(but I suppose that would take away from the "fun" of its spontaneity.)
Here's a picture of it on my desktop:
I like this its like a 70's model Polaroid

 Another I really like is the Bakumatsu Koshashin Generator. It makes your photos look "100 years old" Whats nice about this one is that you don't have to download anything.
Why it make my lips so scary big?

I have the snooty look in this one lol


The best thing about these 2 sites is that they are FREE!:D
I really wish I could get a polaroid camera, but since they stopped making the film it is riculously expensive for a pack of 10 photos...like 100$:( I guess Poladroid is a good alternative, I bet they would make alot of money if they allowed users the options to print them out.

Simplicity Pattern 3673 Review

This is probably one of my most favorite patterns of all time...It's so fabulous...
I forgot, I did not do the hem by machine because the fabric was heavy, I carefully hand stitched so it wouldn't be lumping, or have big lines. I also noticed that if I used the steam iron on to high a setting, the fabric would discolor a little and the seam would make an impression onto the outside of the garment. So I would use a lower heat if you use the same fabric as me.
Pattern Description:
1950's reproduction pattern, lots of darts, fitted, long, empire waisted
Pattern Sizing:
size 8
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
yes, but could be vague at times.Also I believe it did not say to under stitch the lining but it is very important you do so, especially if using a thick fabric like I did.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved this pattern! It was so awesome and fitted. Not to retro that its costume, I always get tons of compliments when I wear it.
Fabric Used:
Faux Suede, and I didn't have any problems with it what so ever.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would sew it again, 100 times again! Its awesome! I don't recommend it for beginners because there is lining and lots of darts.
Awesome pattern, but some construction details might be difficult for those just starting out.
Now for the fun part! Pictures!

Bow before my beautiful darts Muahaha! Joking aside this has probably been the best I've done with darts ever.

the back, different color because of flash
I look stupid faced in this one, but in case you wanted to see it from the side(or my shoes lol)

Bye! Until next time!
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