Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring Fling with Mister Janome

I loved this pink coat from Black Swan. It got me thinking about taking the covers off Mr. Janome again for some new sewing projects.

I went a googling for some coat sewing inspiration and found a few bloggers that I have added to my must read list. Gigi Sews is one of them. My jaw hit the keyboard when I saw her version of this jacket :: Simplicity 2508
It gave me fever.

I have my body form ready and waiting for fittings for my version but, Ivy's grad is looming on the horizon.

I decided to have a crack at making her gown for the big event. A fun project we could work on together. I can teach her what I know and my sister can pitch in if things go awry.

Ivy had already sketched the dress she wants and then we went shopping to try on different prêt à porter styles to see what looks and feels good on her.

There is nothing like an afternoon in the shops to give me loads of inspiration. I turned things inside out to glean finishing techniques. Some of it was shockingly poorly done. The price tags add the extra kick to get the ball rolling. 235$ is a lot of money for 2 yards of tulle and some lining....

I spent last Monday drafting the bustier pattern using a vintage 1980s pattern from my good old days. I am sooo glad I kept this! I knew I would need it again. Thanks Madonna!

I set out with View C and copied the pieces onto tracing paper.
I made the muslin with leftover coton I had in my stash. It was ready to fit on Ivy after school that same day.
I spent weeks doing research on YouTube for fitting a muslin and it was really fun pinching away the extra fabric and pinning out the new seam lines. Fun to do on someone else. I learned that you sew the wrong sides together on a muslin which I would have never thought of on my own. That explains why I always had trouble fitting patterns. I did not learn this in all the classes I've taken...!
front view of bustier
side view
The fitted muslin will now be my official bustier pattern. I identified each piece with ink. Marked the pattern pieces and waist line.

I marked the new seam lines and had a Coco Chanel moment when I took out my scissors to trim away the extra fabric.

I have been reading the life story of Coco Chanel and one of my favorite parts in the book is of her Russian Ballet Costume making. It describes Coco fitting the costumes on her knees backstage always with scissors in her hand.

I love the mental image I have of that scene. Coco and ballerinas. I ponder how she used scissors to fit dresses. I know there is more to it than remains an intriguing mystery. I read on...

I am so excited to go fabric shopping this afternoon! I hope to find some boning when I am there. If not, I found a Canadian on line shop to order it. I can't wait to add the bones to the bodice. I am also thinking of having a built-in bra. I hate wearing strapless bras in the summer so I think it would be more comfortable for the molded cups to be part of the dress. Oh and then the best part of all is the crinoline. The skirt will be full and supported by a thick crinoline slip. So pretty!!

The whole thing is TOP SECRET. Another reason not to buy in the shops...god forbid two gals turn up in the same dress on the big night!!! We did buy special shoes for the occasion. I can't make shoes so that was the big splurge. More money to spend on fabulous shoes is nice.

HD made a few sad comments about the dress making taking over the Hockey Sweater knitting time... I am running out of time for the playoffs so I put Shalom on hold and now that my bookkeeping is up to date, I am back at the big red thing knitting both at home and at work. It goes with me everywhere.

What's your Spring fling?


Clamille said...

Oooohhhhh!!! Tu mettras des photos quand elle sera terminée???
Clamille xoxo

Susan said...

I wish I could sew half as well as you! Are you self-taught?

Hilary said...

Ooooh, yes, I just watched Black Swan and LOVED Natalie's pink coat (not to mention the amazing ballet costumes, from their warm-up gear to the swan tutus). And how great that you are making a gown for Ivy's graduation. My mom made my prom dress my last year in high school -- I had fallen in love with what Helena Bonham Carter wore to the Oscars that year and she recreated it. It felt so special, both working on it together (not that I did much but be present for fittings) and then wearing it to the dance. This will certainly be something Ivy will remember with fondness forever.

Jean said...

So talented! Bustiers, that incredible coat, can't wait to see your final products.