Designers: March 2012 Archives
Back before I had my little one, I snagged a sweet deal on a glider on craigslist. I had big plans to recover it into the ultimate nursery chair. Well, my baby is 3 now and no longer uses the chair for anything other than pretending to surf. Thus it has been removed from her room and found new residence in my studio. While it was being spit up on I was able to justify putting off recovering but now that it sits in the corner of my room all day I can no longer bear the sight of it's early 90's baby blue velour (that has seen better days, mind you). So I set about recovering. No problem, I thought I can just trace some new covers, add a zipper and done! Ahh, not so much. This was possible for the back cushion since it had a weird tufted shell pattern on it that meant I had to trace and sew (the glider is similar but not exact to the one below- be glad I did not take a before picture, it would have burned your eyes). But the bottom and arm cushions involved some tricky pleating and gussets that meant I had to rip off the old cover and use them as templates. Here's how it went down.
This picture is the back cushion. You can see how the tufting makes it impossible to remove the cover for tracing. I traced the cushion and added an inch all around. I left the bottom open for a zipper so I can remove it for washing.
I was able to remove and bottom cushion and after some heavy ironing, I traced it without adding a seam allowance (just using the ½ in. seam allowance already on the cover piece). You can see the weird T shape at the top. This is pleating and a gusset that fits around the arms of the frame. When you remove the cover, leave one side (top or bottom cover) pleated and with the gusset in place and use the other side for ironing and tracing. Then when it comes time to recreate this intricate pleating you have a model to go by. I didn't do this and it took a good 30 min. with the seam ripper to finally figure it out. Also, you can see where all the pleating clips are, transfer these marks onto your new fabric. This cushion would also look great with some piping added. I inserted a zipper in the back for washing as well.
Here is the arm rest cover completely dismantles and ironed. I learned my lesson from the bottom cushion and left the other arm rest cover intact to use as a model for assembly. This one was almost as tricky as the bottom cushion but took me 1/3 the time to assemble.
Overall, I didn't like this glider to begin with but it was comfy and useful. I really wish I had updated it soon! We spray painted the frame and with the new cover (which covers the 90's styling) it is a whole new and great looking chair. It is now worthy of my studio!
All the ladies should be jumping for joy this season because the trend is structured shapes and details, slimming silhouettes and feminine accents that are placed to hide or enhance the figure. I was very excited to see a heavy emphasize on 50's era style hitting the catwalk Spring 2012. The shapes are fitted but not clingy so opt for a heavier fabric or add some interfacing so your pattern will just drape your frame and not hug. I am also a huge fan of the wide, deep V-neck that was especially prevalent at Elie Saab. This shape can work on a number of figures- deemphasizing full chests when paired with a simple fabric and amping up a smaller chest when accented with added details: sequins, ruffles, or embroidery. This shape also narrows and drops the visual line of the waist and when paired with a full skirt can create hips or when worn with an A-line skirt can minimize hips. Try creating your own top using Kwik Sew's Kimono Tunic Pattern. Adjust the sleeve length to create a cocktail top like Ms. Saab's.
Structured jackets were huge Armani Prive but the structure was not limited to the drape of the fabric but also the sleeves and the cropped silhouette. These jackets were not boxy in the least but very feminine in shape despite the rigid form. Try this on a blazer style but shortened to your natural waist. Reduce the scale of all the details (like sleeve length and collar). Keep the accents and embellishment simple or minimal and choose a classic, or even a very pale color. Try making your own using Kwik Sew's jacket pattern. It is basic structured jacket ready to be modified.
Another big craze at Armani Prive was pencil skirts with movement. I know this sounds like an oxymoron but the shape of the skirt paired with a light, delicate fabric such as gossamer or silk can create if not movement then the illusion of movement. I loved the well placed pleats and the effect they gave while walking. This detail was not overpowering and was definitely had a "gotta-have-it" effect on me. Start with Collette's beignet skirt, or HotPatterns pencil skirt pattern to create your own.
Try these patterns out to expand your Spring Couture wardrobe. I selected them based on their feminine, structured 50's inspired shapes. You will love them.
I fell in love with this pattern at first sight but felt overwhelmed by the amount of cutting and interfacing called for so I put it off- for a good long while. But when Spring Break came around I knew it was time to stop procrastinating and get to sewing up what is the perfect bag for a week-long break of school, work or life in general. I'm glad I did. The Sophia Carry-All is not small but not quite medium; it falls into the happy Goldilocks category of "Just Right". I am not a big lining pocket person because the pockets are typically not integrated well but in this bag they are simple and again just right. I can see what is in there but they are just stiff enough to keep it all in. The inside is ROOMY. Much more than the outside lets on. It is the perfect size for toiletries plus hair care tools plus jewelry or knitting or it makes a great Grandma's weekend bag for the kids.
Here are my modifications since I just can't help it.
1) I did not add the fleece but upgraded the stiffness of the interfacing. It is not all full-on Peltex but I used the heavy weight sew in just like the Sophia's sister bag, The Weekender. I wanted the bag to really look like the weekender and didn't care for the puffy, pillow-like look on the pattern front.
2) I eliminated the piping. The main reason I did this is because I thought the piping used in the pattern pictures looks too big for the bag and I didn't have any smaller piping. I really like the clean look that came out. Does this pattern really need the competition?!
3) I constructed the lining, especially the top panels, just like I did the exterior. This means that when I sewed the top panels together, I sewed to the marks and then lengthened my stitch, basted to the next mark, shortened my stitch and then stitched to the end (I backed stitch at the beginning, end and at the marks). This really helped shave some time and make for a clean look. It was easier to sew in the lining and I knew my seam was straight all the way.
4) I used a regular one tab zipper instead of the 2 tab called for. I did this because I don't think I will be using this bag much for travel. I don't travel as much as I used to (My toddler is not a fan) and I have really been eyeing this as my diaper bag to real purse transition bag. It can fit all my essentials (phone, keys, headphones, wallet) plus any just potty trained paraphernalia (i.e. panties, pants, socks) plus snack and sippy with room left over for my brochure collecting habit.
5) I used the recommended interfacing on the lining pieces to make it easier to sew in later. Granted the main panels are not interfaced in the lining but the others were and sewing so many thick layers was a beast with the exterior.
Overall I am as pleased as I expected with an Amy Butler Pattern. They are superbly written and well illustrated. The Sophia bag actually went together in less time than I had budgeted and the outcome is beautiful.
Whether you prefer to trek to the zoo/aquarium/museum with a tiny digital camera or have your smart phone handy, a cute way to tote your precious pictures is a must. I hate to be burdened with a huge purse (a slave to style has its drawbacks) while enjoying a day of culture so if this camera tote can carry my entrance ticket, some cash and a few cards all the better. I created this easy wristlet style bag to serve all of the above. The diminutive gussets allow you to easily access your camera and other goodies inside without creating a bulky heavy weight on your wrist. Let's get started!
1 fat quarter of quilting cotton for exterior
1 fat quarter of quilting cotton for lining
1 spool of
Measure the length and width of your camera or smart phone and add 1 in to both measurements (i.e. smart phone measures 5'' by ½'' than your cutting measurements are 6'' by 1.5'')
Using these measurements cut 2 from your exterior and 2 from your lining. Use Holly's Instructions here to insert your zipper centering it on the fabric if your fabric is smaller than 7 in.
Cut out a 10in. by 4 in. piece for the wristlet strap.
Prepare the strap but folding it in half lengthwise and pressing a crease. Fold raw edges toward the center crease and press. Fold in half again, leaving the raw edges tucked inside and press a final time. Pin and edge stitch down the strap lengthwise along each edge. Set aside.
After topstitching, fold the exterior pieces together, RS facing and pin together. Do the same with the lining. Pin the strap to the exterior on one short side edge, matching raw edges, ½ in. down from the zipper. I prefer to have my strap on the same side as the zipper when it is closed. Stitch around the exterior pieces using a ¼ in. seam allowance. On the lining, start stitching down one side, pivoting at the corner and stitching the long side for 1- 2, Leave a gap of 2-3 in. for turning and take up 1-2 in. from the second corner and continue back to the zipper. Add a 1 in. gusset at each corner using Holly's instructions here. Turn the wristlet right side out and press lightly. Slip stitch the turning gap closed. Enjoy your Go Camera Wristlet. It will free up your hands for hand holding, child catching or just to rest at your sides as your enjoy you day!