I have somehow managed to fit in small creative projects in the coupla' weeks. Two Sundays ago I made a brush holder for my water color brushes. I started this water color class on a whim with a friend and am hoping to continue taking it next semester (the intermediate section). This is the first-ever formal watercolor training I have had, and I am loving it. So, though it is half-way through this semester's classes, I did finally get my brush holder made (an item which was recommended by our teacher). I built it as a pillow cover (which structure @legally_aud so cleverly noted). The process looked something like the following (although I forgot to take the pic of how I sewed the sides and then flipped it right side out):
It's working quite well to date. I just need a few more watercolor brushes!
I can't even tell you how drama-fied it was. I will start first, however, with notes about the vest I was making for dapper Misha to wear to the opera. If you will recall, we had picked out the fabric, two prints actually, and I was ready to do the first fitting.
Next up came the welt pockets. I was so excited to make such a gorgeous vest with functional welt pockets that I commented to my sister that I had never made a one before. Then I realized what a dumb statement that was, since I have made literally hundreds of vests in my work at Utah Opera (USUO); I have just never made one out of my own studio. I did experience a few trying moments of "OMG! How come when Mili cuts that, it's so much better!" (Mili is the tailor I worked for at USUO.) I did manage though, somehow, to come out with a decent product.
I also grommetted (can grommet be a verb do you think? I certainly use it as such) the back fastners so they would have a lace-up effect rather than using the traditional buckle (the lace-up back on a vest is more period than current fashion, and I think way more posh looking). The grommetting process is always fun, but a bit nerve-wracking since you want the grommets to set properly and not pop out at a random moment.
There is also a real science to pressing the fabric also after you have sewn in the welt pockets or the lining or added grommets. It's a sort of steam and pull approach in order to get the seams to relax a little and lay exactly how you want them to. Alas, this fabric was a bit more difficult to work with than I had expected, but still turned out pretty beautifully (I thought).
And finally, the events leading up to the actual evening were pretty crazy. They involved a deflated me due to dress trauma, a damaged tire (seeing Mindi standing in the Firestone lobby in her sky-hi shoes and formal dress getting a new tire was somewhat memorable), glacial service at our pre-performance dinner, and rather haphazard parking arrangements due to extreme lateness. We did manage, however, to take our own photos on the red carpet (we were too late to join the official photo-shoot line) in the two minutes before we rushed to our seats in the opera house. And the opera was a bit of a tear jerker, so I was really glad my mascara seemed to be waterproof. Nothing really went as planned (and this has been a month in the planning), but, it was certainly an evening to remember.
So, there were some successes for this occasion and a wee failure, but you must pick your battles. Right? We still managed to look fairly good and have an interesting evening. After all, there is always next season to begin planning for!
Elixir of Love by Utah Opera) I met a new friend. He has a marvelously dapper figure and a flare for the dramatic, so his date, Mindi, and I decided to surprise him with a custom made vest for the upcoming opera.
Here is our process and tentative schedule to date:
April 14 - Picked out fabric and pattern and took measurements
Week of April 15–21 - Cut vest according to basic measurements for first fitting
Design Company Fashions and Fabrics. The pattern is a basic McCalls. I prefer to start with a base pattern and alter from there rather than draft my own completely from scratch.
The purple (though the color isn't quite as vivid in the pic as in real life), raised velvet satin is the vest front, the pinstriped fabric the contrasting shawl collar, and the silver the back and lining. I'm quite excited to see the mixed prints together as I plan on cutting the pinstripe shawl collar on the bias/at a diagonal.
Next up: fit, add welt pockets, lining, buttons, and back lace up
The evening of March 10 was an excellent outing. Though I have sewn since I was 12 and made things for many, many people, I have rarely sewed for myself. Thus, though it was odd, I decided I finally needed some fancy things here and there to call my own. I determined to create a skirt out of some copper-colored fabric I had in my collection to wear to Utah Opera's spring production, Elixir of Love, and actually got it done in time. Shocking!
I didn't use a pattern at all for this, just drew one up according to my hip measurements. Now that I have that basic pattern (called a sloper), I will use it to draft other skirts from. I did have to do some finegaling (technical term) to get the darts right (the back of the skirt has elastic in it and the front is flat with darts; also there is a side zip). Fitting things on yourself is not the best method. But, I ended up with something I was reasonably pleased with and, more importantly, that would not fall apart if I wore it. All in all, the evening was a great time.