Holly: November 2011 Archives
Third up in our "From Film to Closet" series, we're borrowing inspiration from the television screen instead of the silver screen. How in love with "Pan Am" am I? DEEPLY. The show is so incredibly stylish, so beautiful and so smart. And boy, oh, boy, do I loooove those darling little Pan Am carry-on bags all the gals have.
So, enough with the envy! Time to make my own version!
For this project, I used solid vinyl (I made one in hot pink and one in medium blue). This vinyl has a fabric backing, which makes it super easy to sew and gives it a little extra strength.
Here are the pieces I cut:
1 rectangle 18"x 37.5" -- This is the main body of the bag. I wanted rounded top edges, so I used a saucer as a guide to shape the corners of the rectangle into smooth curves. The bottom of the bag is the center area of this rectangle.
2 rectangles 23"x3.5" -- These will be used for the zipper inset of the bag.
2 rectangles 12.5"x7" -- These will join with the completed zipper assembly to form the sides of the bag.
1 rectangle 4"x60" -- This piece will be used to make your straps.
You'll also need a 22" zipper.
On to assembly!
First, I inset the zipper. I first stitched each side of the zipper to a 23"x3.5" piece, right sides together.
Once both sides of the zipper are attached to the vinyl pieces, I top stitched the folded edge of the vinyl from the right side, catching in the raw edge underneath to create a smooth fold. This is what the zipper inset piece looks like:
Next, the 12.5"x7" pieces attach to each end of the zipper assembly. I used the same topstitching method with these seams that I did with the zipper.
One the top and side pieces are all joined together, that assembly is set into the 18"x37.5" piece. I made a really technical drawing of how these fit together. Basically, if you think of your large rectangle with rounded corners as a taco shell, your zipper assembly will run along the raw edges of the taco shape to form an enclosed space.
My trick to match my edges up is a little unorthodox here. I mark the centers of each piece, and then I start sewing from what would be the bag's center top edge. This means that I sew each side of the zipper assembly in two sections, each running from the center, across the top and down the side. This ensures that my zipper assembly ends at the span of the larger rectangle that forms the bottom of the bag. Once I get both sides in place, I make any adjustments necessary, and then stitch the short bottom side edges, ending up with a box.
1. When applying a straight edge to a curve, clip your straight edge to ease things along.
2. Every time you stitch vinyl, you make a hole in it, so stitch carefully!
Time to make straps!
Fold your long strip the same way you would bias tape. You can't apply heat to vinyl unless you want a melty mess, but if you fold it and run your finger along the fold, it does have some crease memory.
Once you have your fabric folded, you want to sandwich it between two pieces of tissue paper, or one piece folded around your stitching area, and stitch along the long edge where the folds come together. The tissue will keep the vinyl from sticking to your foot or your stitching plate, and the tissue tears away from the stitching easily when you're done. (So, save that gift tissue! It can be recycled!)
Once you have your strap piece stitched closed, stitch down the other side so you have symmetrical stitching.
Once all stitching is complete, cut your strap in two so you have two pieces, each 30" long.
Next, you'll mark the positioning of your straps on the outside of the bag. Mine are 4.5" from the side of the bag, and 2 1/4" from the top. I made tiny marks in each position with a ballpoint pen.
Here, you can see my positioning mark (you want to make sure marks won't be seen when you're finished), my strap and a scrap of tissue paper all sandwiched together.
Next, I folded the strap up to conceal the raw edge, and topstitched the strap into place. Complete that step with your other three strap points, and you're done!
This is a very basic bag, but the sky's the limit (pardon the pun) when it comes to all the ways you can customize it. You can line it, add pockets, add piping -- whatever your heart desires! How fun would it be to make one using glitter vinyl, or contrasting colors? Or, you could use a stencil to paint your own personal logo on it. I can name a dozen things you could do, but what's more interesting is what you come up with! Bon voyage!
For the second installment of my From Film to the Closet series, I've got "Mad Men" on the brain. I super love the swell of popularity that retro looks are experiencing. It's crazy fun to walk through the mall and see all the shop windows styled to look like a previous era.
I fell in love with this Kwik Sew pattern quite a while back, but I've never really loved the lower half of it.
I'm hippy, so I like skirts with a little
more swing. It didn't occur to me until recently to use the skirt from this
Kwik Sew pattern to make a dress with a silhouette more to my liking. Pattern mashup time!
The only real trick here is figuring out where to cut the bodice to attach the skirt. For me, this meant cutting the bodice pieces a little long, and then trimming them once the bodice section was together and fitted to me.
Here are the bodice pieces being cut using the full-length pattern pieces -- I opted for a pink Duchess Satin.
I didn't cut any length off the paper pattern -- I just used the cut end of the fabric as the bottom of my pieces. I also didn't worry about making the bodice pieces all perfectly match, length-wise. I just left enough on each that I felt comfortable that I wouldn't fall short, and then I was careful stitching to match up any notches. The bodice underlap piece on this dress cuts off close to the waistline. Taller gals than me might be able to use it as your waistline marker. I had to clip about 1.5 - 2" off of it.
I made a quick fabric belt out of the same satin I used for the rest of the dress, and tacked it into place along the waistline. If I were to make this dress again, I think I would incorporate the belt along the waist seam.
I think this is such a fun dress! I can so easily see an entire "Mad Men" style wedding party, or just a fun retro-themed soiree. Who wants to host?
This is the first in a new series, where I take inspiration
from film and television, and find ways to work silver screen style into my
day-to-day wardrobe. I hope we all have fun with it!
To kick things off, I'm starting with one of my very favorite movies of all time -- "Mary Poppins." I have had a crush on Dick Van Dyke ever since I first saw this movie as a kid. The DVD is on heavy rotation in my sewing room DVD player. I hum the songs nearly constantly. Hello, my name is Holly, I and I am addicted to "Mary Poppins."
I adore the jacket Bert wears during the Jolly Holiday fantasy sequence. The stripes are so fun, and the look is just joyous. I have been lucky enough to see the original piece -- it's on display in a shop in Disney's Hollywood Studios. Imagine my delight and surprise when I saw that the fabric pattern is actually customized with grosgrain ribbon stitched onto a striped base. Instant inspiration!
I decided to make a jacket for myself based on Bert's finery. I tweaked the colors slightly, thinking that I wanted to end up with something that had a look reminiscent of ribbon candy.
Here's what I used:
- A blazer pattern I drafted for myself about eight years ago. Almost any pattern you like will work just fine, though I'd recommend one without too many seams. The short style on this Indygo Junction pattern is a good candidate.
- 2 1/2 yards of striped fabric. I used a Premier Prints stripe as my base.
- 10 yards of yellow grosgrain ribbon
- 10 yards of orange striped grosgrain ribbon
- 2 1/2 yards of sunflower china silk lining
I cut all my pieces from my base fabric first, then I stitched down all my ribbon on the cut pieces. This was time consuming, but so totally worth it for a completely custom look. The key here is to mirror the look side to side if you want to achieve a symmetrical look. If you like to shake things up by not worrying about symmetry, that'll give your jacket a totally different edge. It's all about playing!
Once the ribbon was all stitched down (I used every bit of those 10 yards!), I assembled the jacket like normal, and ended up with some serious stripey fun!
Even though the colors on mine are springy, I plan on wearing it through winter while I wait for warmer weather. With the addition of a glittery pink mini poinsettia from the local garden and craft store, I am ready for holiday cheer! (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the trend in recent years of pastels being holiday colors? LOVE!) It'll be a jolly holiday indeed, and this look will carry me right through spring.
Imagine all the combinations you can use to make your own entirely custom look! I love the idea of making a project like this with my go-to color combo of black, pink and gray. And who says you have to start with a striped base? Applique ribbon stripes over a print base, and you can really create some amazing designs -- all uniquely you!
One of my many personal mantras is: Any excuse to make a dress. If there's any sort of social occasion on my calendar, I want a new outfit for it. That goes triple for holidays.
I adore coming up with froufy dresses for fancy parties, so normally, once Halloween is over, it's time to plan holiday attire. The problem is, the economy has downgraded a lot of parties to a more casual vibe. Whether it's the company Christmas shindig or a friend's house party, odds are, fancy dress is not going to be on the docket this year. But I still want a fun dress!
So, for a fun outfit that won't put me in overdressed territory, I opted to shop our holiday quilting cotton prints this year. Of course, I couldn't pick just one, so I ended up with two: this adorable candy cane print, and a sparkly poinsettia print from the Festive Elegance collection.
I opted for a fun silhouette, with a fitted bodice and
medium-full skirt. There's also a little bit of puff to the sleeves for a
little extra girlie flair.
I like how my candy cane dress feels a little more casual and the poinsettia version is just a little more grown up. I can't wait to start hunting for tights, accessories and the perfect nail polish to complete my outfits! Now I just need to make sure I have the right parties lined up to wear them at ...
If using a full-on holiday print is just too much for you, a damask print in a holiday color way is a perfect way to keep things a little more grown-up and classic. Get creative, have fun and relish all the compliments you get at every party you attend. Cheers to originality!