SEWING DILEMNA? Ask Londa's FREE advice!!! a sewing educator for over 35 years, designer, and author with experience as a sewing machine dealer/fabric shop owner, custom dressmaker and more...I'm most happy to answer ANY and all questions to the best of my ability. Just contact me HERE with your question.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Batik Combo Contest

I've created a new CONTEST using my Batik Combos... 

Contest Rules are all found HERE.  

Limited Quantity of Batik Combos - 2 yards each of 3 different, coordinated Batiks for just
$__ found HERE

You can add 2 solid fabrics to these fabrics in your project. 
Deadline:  November 15, 2011.
PRIZE:  $250 to spend at Londa's Creative Threads  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Londa's Comments on THREADS Magaizne #157

I LOVE THREADS Magazine!  I hoard it when it comes - keeping it 'saved' for 'me time'.  This week, I finally stole some time to thoroughly digest this most recent issue - November 2011.
WHY do magazines dated November arrive in August?????

Anyway - here I go, straight through from beginning to end - just MY thoughts, my experience, my opinions for what it's worth.

page 15.  Well - I just ordered myself Couture Sewing Techniques - and put it up on my website for sale.If you click on the link above, for a limited time, you'll save 15%!!!
Claire Schaeffer was the last celebrity I had at my retail sewing store in 2003 - so she is extra special to me.  She is a dynamo little lady who really knows her stuff!  An investment in this book would be a treat to yourself for many pleasant 'vicarious' sewing hours, as well as a great resource for techniques for years to come.

page 23.  Shirred Velvet jacket - beautiful!!!!  However, I think it would be even prettier if it had been created with 3 sections of  tucks rather than 4 sections. If I were to do it, I'd certainly use a very strong 100% polyester thread so that it wouldn't break when pulling up to gather.   Honestly, as beautiful as it is, having sewn on velvet more than enough in my 45+ years of sewing, I really don't think this project will go on my 'to do' list.  Sure fun reading and admiring it though.

page 31.  Personally, I don't care for the sleeves on Marfy blouse 2314.  Guess I'm old enough to remember the leg-o-mutton silhouette on sleeves and I just don't want to 'go there' again.  Pretty colors though.  But heh - don't think I'd carry that brown purse with this ensemble!

page 32. New Look 6028.  My French Loop or Italian Trim would either look beautiful on this Chanel style jacket.   
              Vogue 1220 - I just went to look up more about it at Vogue  and decided quickly that IF I needed a 'business' dress, the lines on this one are very interesting, but that I CERTAINLY would NOT make that wide belt - much less tie it in a bow on my tummy!   I think a self-fabric or skinny leather or metal belt at the natural waist would 'fit' much better with the tailored look of this dress.

page 33.  Colette Beignet 1005 - a new pattern line for me- I'd never heard of it anyway.  I like the skirt, but have NEVER liked a buttonhole that close to the hemline  I'd quickly eliminate that lowermost buttonhole and button. 

               Butterick 5575  looked intriguing, so I looked it up online.  As made up with the black ides and print center fronts and back, I do NOT like it.  My opinion is that it looks clowny.  Just mu humble opinion.  I also don't understand why put a tapered let on the women's size pant.  My feeling is that pegged pants make the hips look larger.  I prefer to balance a wide hip with a boot leg silhouette.

The Cover Stitch - pages 34-39.  Pam Leggett obviously knows her topic, and this is a great article if you're trying to decide if you need this feature in your sewing equipment.  Honestly, I have it on my Elna 744 serger and have NEVER used it!  Give me my twin needles and fusible stay tape - and I'm set to go.  Wanna race?  I can guarantee you it wouldn't take me 10 minutes to 'set the machine'. I know many have the cover stitch and love it - that's great.  Just not me, thanks.
#6 - page 37 - I would bury the threads rather than knotting and sealing.

#7 - page 37 - I would certainly use an applique scissors to trim - they help alot but do not INSURE that you don't nick through the outside of the garment.
page 38 - I LOVE that bias trim on the skirt!   The hints in the Basic Guidelines for Cover Stitching are all VERY important.  -especially starting with the needles in the fabric.  THAT I remember well from selling sergers with the cover hem.

page 39.  The scarf looks quite bulky to me.  If I did this technique, it would have to be on something very very lightweight and drapey...ala silk charmeuse.

page 40-47  Season Fashion Forecast
In a nutshell:
1. Think 'outfits' - 'ensembles'
2. hip emphasis (be careful here if you're hippy in the first place - for example, SKIP those fur cuffs as on page 41 photo at the top!)  So perhaps REAL defined waists are back as in the diagram ono page 41!?!  THAT will be hard to teach any 30 and under gal - WHERE her waist is!!!
3.  Shoulder emphasis - YEA - shoulder pads are back - jut natural - not huge.  IMHO if you have slanted shoulder, shoulder pads should ALWAYS be 'in'!
4.  Higher necklines - YEA - tell the female newscasters that 'decollette' -revealing tops and dresses are OUT and in bad taste, would ya PLEASE?!

5.  Jacket - wide lapels or NO lapels.  Then why didn't they sketch a wider lapel on the diagram??
6.  page 42 - I don't see how a 'slouchy pocket' can be slimming on anyone.....
7.  page 43 - LOVE that asymmetric burgundy sketched top!  I'm ready to LEAP into embellishment options for T's and TOPS after my fall show circuit - STAY TUNED!!!  I can't sleep for all the ideas I have, and my 'box' of design stuff in my studio is overflowing.....
So - that grey slouchy look at the top left is 'feminine' looking?  That's a new definition of 'feminine look to me - I call that 'sloppy'!
That orchid blouse with the full bishop sleeves, gathered shoulder and tie neckline looks like straight out of the 70's...I made MANY of these for myself and dress-making clients.  A very 'lady' look!
8.  Love all the textures - ala pages 44-45.  However, that Oscar de la Renta combo is a bit much for me...I'd skip all that jewelry - the top and skirt 'talk' enough, thank you.  AND - I do NOTget that green top underneath - and those too long slouchy sleeves sticking out - but heh, what do I know?!?/?
9.  page 46 - Black is NEVER gone - so how can it be 'back'???  Again - love the textures.  10.  Color palette - KNOW your colors!  Yellows are HARD to wear well.  KNOW your best pink and red - is it 'cool' - mauve-y, 'berry'  or 'warm - 'tomato-y'???  Better find out!

page 48.  Hand-Embroidered Understitching   - in my DREAMS I'd have time to do this - but if I had the time- Yea, I could enjoy it!

pages 52-55 Love that Bias Half Lining.  The old tailoring and dressmaking techniques are always worth a second look.  THANKS for this, THREADS and Louise Cutting!

pages 56-61.  I LOVE this all -lace red dress.  THIS may be my direction for New Year's Eve Ballroom Dancing gown this year!  I used many of these techniques with lace on my daughter's wedding dress(es!)

page 62-65.  INGENIOUS!!!!  WHY didn't I think of that??????????????  Very smart construction order - VERYsmart!   Way to go, Susan Pottage!

page 66-73 - interesting reading.  LOTS of effort for entertainment in my book.

page 73 - COATS  I looked up each of the patterns in the 'try thee Patterns' box...
Butterick 5297 - seems to be a VERY good basic, but UNLINED- which, in most cases, I would prefer lined personally
Classics 104 - Cecelia Podolak - seems she is designing for the larger woman - and pattern sizing reflects that.  Basics.
Elements 013 - Linda Kubik - LOVE the collar on 013.  009 with yoke and slot buttonhole in front yoke seam is also TRULY wonderful.  On my 'list' for when I need a new coat - either of these.
McCalls 4975 - basic, raglan sleeve nothing special imho
McCall's 9576 - basic, shawl collar, set-in sleeve, nothing special imho
Vogue 1145 - that's a BIG collar - too big unless you're at least 5'9'' or more! imho...
Vogue 8695 - cut-on Kimono sleeves - more of a 'jacket' than a coat I think, or a very lightweight coat.
Vogue 8539 - nice - fits that 'cocoon wrap styling from the style forecast article - but beware of the collar depth - if you don't have a long neck, you probably will want to decrease the depth of the collar or you'll feel strangled. 
page 74 - Preshrinking wool technique - never heard of turning off steam and re-pressing with a dry iron.  Sounds like it makes sense.  Always learning - always!

I'll never forget making a wool melton coat.  Melton is HEAVY.  I did a fantastic job, but then my machine could NOT make buttonholes!  I took it all over town looking for a tailor to make hand-worked or good machine buttonholes.  I honestly don't remember the end of the story - but it mustn't have been positive, because I don't remember wearing that coat!  lesson - if you are going to make a coat of HEAVY fabric - and your pattern requires a buttonhole, buy an eighth of a yard and play with buttonhole solutions FIRST! ;)

page 75 - Shows use of the duckbill applique scissors very well - middle right hand side.  I LOVE mine - and think every seamstress needs one.  HERE is a link to buy the applique scissors at my site.  

page 76 - It's Sew Easy new PBS series!  Little ole' me was on the 2nd program of this first series.  Read about my experience taping HERE.

Agree COMPLETELY with the Style Tips for length of skirts, and proportions with the longer skirts.  And I'd just decided to shorten some of my skirt - guess NOT!

page 77 - 'Measure of a Man" trivia - very interesting! Love things like this...tidbits of trivia along sewing lines!

page 78 - a Good Color Forecast - a good visual summary.  Now choose what is good for YOU.