Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Updated Amazing Ottobre Woman Magazine Index


It's time to start stalking the mailbox because the newest issue of the Finnish pattern magazine Ottobre Woman is due to arrive any day now!  It looks to be a great issue by the photos.



 Here are the line drawings for this issue:


 I really like this skirt and pullover combo:

And this hooded cardigan is gorgeous!


 A pretty knit wrap dress:



 A luxe color blocked coat:



And another knit cardigan/basic dress combo that is stunning in teal:




Back to the title of this post!  Alice Hall of Abilene, Texas has compiled all of the line drawings from 2006-2016 into an index by specific garment type, sleeve length and even knit and non-knit.  Here's an example of the coat section, so if you want to make a coat, you can compare all of the styles available over the last decade!  And this is done for every category-tops,dresses, skirts, pants, etc.



Isn't that cool?  Here is a link to Alice's Powerpoint file: Ottobre Woman 2016-2016 index
If you don't have all ten years, you can edit the powerpoint file and include only the ones that you have.   And if you don't have powerpoint, here it is in PDF format: Ottobre Woman 2016-2016 PDF.

Thanks, Alice!!!  Alice doesn't have her own blog yet, so if you'd like to thank her, just leave a comment here, and she can see it. 


And if you aren't a subscriber to Ottobre Woman, you can order here:  http://ottobredesign.fi/
The magazines are in English and usually just take a couple of weeks to arrive.

Happy Sewing!

Ann

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sedona Sunset Early Fall Capsule


I found this stunning striped silk jersey at Fashion Fabrics Club last month, and it has inspired me to start working on an early fall wardrobe capsule.  We have some friends who live in Sedona, Arizona, and this reminded me so much of the colors there, that I'm calling it my "Sedona Sunset" SWAP.  (SWAP stands for Sewing With A Plan.)  Not everything will be worn together, but it helps me set a general direction of where I want to go.  I love the planning process.

I have 6 yards of it, which should be enough to get at least 2 pieces, maybe three out of it just by itself, so it is definitely my centerpiece.  However, it is a narrow width, as silk jerseys often are.   I know that I for certain want to make a wrap style dress out of it.  Hopefully, I'll have enough left over for a sleeveless top or straight skirt.

I also had two sandwashed silks- a blue and a tomato red.  I've got about 5 yards of the blue, but just 2 of the red. Both will probably be tunic style tops, maybe some track type pants out of the blue if I can squeeze it out of what I've got left.



I got a coral linen/rayon sweater knit and a royal blue linen knit at the same time I bought the silk.  I've got about 3 yards to work with of the coral, and just one yard of the blue, so the coral will probably be a long cardigan and shell, and the blue a sleeveless top.



All of these are top or dress weight, and I needed something that I could pull in for skirts or pants. From my stash, I have 1 yard of a nice printed sateen with the same color palette for a skirt, and then  2 yards of a stretch dark blue denim for some pants.   I have white pants and skirts that I will use as well.




And last, but not least!  I found a Isaac Mizrahi leather purse in coral as the icing on the cake.  I got it at our local thrift store for $20.  Buying it meant I was now committed to the plan!


Next step, preshrinking- even the silks.  I don't like drycleaning, so better to shrink it now, than later.
Then- picking out the patterns, always the hardest part!!!  I'm hoping to get 10 pieces done from these by Labor Day which is 6 weeks away.  I've definitely got my work cut out for me!

Have you started thinking about Fall sewing yet?

Happy Sewing!

Ann




Monday, July 11, 2016

African Wax Print Dress


One of my daughter's best friends, Wen, went to Rwanda a couple of years ago, and brought back several beautiful pieces of fabric to give to us.  My daughter said that I could have one of them, so I chose the most subdued piece of the bunch which was this one.


I found the stickers interesting, and in researching African Wax Prints, I found that counterfeit fabrics are a problem, so that must be why it came with these markers. I had 3-1/2 yards of 44" wide fabric to work with.  It did have a very slight waxy coating on it, which washed off when I preshrunk it, but didn't effect the color in any way.  The remaining fabric was kind of a cross between a broadcloth and a canvas- lightweight, but crisp, with a slightly coarse texture.


I hung it on the dress form for a while trying to envision it in another form.  I went to the manufacturer's website and was surprised to see that the fabric actually was made in China.  Here is an excerpt from their About Us page:

"Our textile factory has a history of more than 10 years, and an area of 150,000 square meters. It has a personnel of 1,200 workers and employees, including some senior professional engineers. Our factory specializes in producing 100% cotton real wax, 100% cotton super wax, and 100%cotton kitenge, dyeing cloth, embroidery cloth etc… The majority of which are sold to underdeveloped regions, such as Africa. "
 
Wow!  Such a big factory- they must be producing a huge amount of fabric.  Very interesting!  Although they didn't have any examples of things that the fabric was made into, I had heard before about a company called Vlisco, which is a Dutch company, and went to their website. Oh boy- if you want to see some beautiful pictures, check out their fashion lookbook.  You can order all of these fabrics, and they are not too expensive, but you must order 6 yards at a time.  Here are some examples:




My quandry was how to make this fabric into something that would fit into my lifestyle.  I decided to make a simple dress that was work appropriate- I work in an elementary school, and although there is not an official dress code, I like to make sure that my shoulders are covered, and dresses are knee length.  I pulled out an out of print pattern Simplicity 4632 which checked all the right boxes.   I cut the shorter length, and tried to put the yellow flowers close to my face.


After making up the body and trying it on, I discovered that the fabric was just a little too coarse to wear without a lining.  I bought a lining bundle a few years ago from FabricMart that included 5 yards of this gold lining which never thought I would ever use- gold is just not in my color palette!  So, I was tickled pink to find something that it would work with!  I still have another 2 yards left, but hey, it just goes to show that if you wait long enough...!


The pattern didn't originally call for a lining, but I just cut another front and back, sewed them together, and then sewed the facing onto the lining. Here is is from the inside:

The entire armscye is encased in a bias binding, even though it has a cap sleeve.

And here it is from the back- there is a centerback seam which is nice for fitting.


Oh, and of course, I added pockets!


I'm really pleased with the end result- I think I'll get a lot of use out of this one.  Thanks, Wen, for bringing back this fabric with you!!!  My daughter who is in Madagascar is also on the lookout for some fabrics to bring back with her, so I'm looking forward to sewing more with this kind of fabric.

What about you- have you tried sewing with African wax print fabrics? 
 

Happy Sewing,
Ann
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