Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wedding Dress Initial Sketches



Getting some initial sketches on paper, and presenting them with inspiration images really helped guide the conversation to what the goal was and helped (I'm hoping) the bride to be visualize the dress.


Putting my ideas to paper has always been a struggle for me, but every time I have better sketches, the smoother the process goes.


-Man

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Holy S#!t I'm Making A Wedding Dress

Some CRAZY LADY! asked me to make her wedding dress, I know right!? Drawing and concepting stage is done and over, a shape has been agreed upon, I'm thrilled with what she chose.

The next step is pattern-making. I've scrounged up some muslin to build out the dress and make sure shaping and my measurements are correct. Since I'm a fan of measure once, screw up horribly and start over, this time around I'll try and not waste generous amounts of lovely silk and lace.

Check back for updates, screw-ups and alcohol consumption. This will be a long haul, with a party bus in tow.


-Man



holy s#!t I'm about to make a wedding dress

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Finished Neoprene Avenger Suit


The second jacket, ya'know, the one with the Neoprene lining that was intentionally for the yellow shell... I finally finished. I think I said it would be done a few days ago, ugh, things always take longer than I assume. I spent some extra time making sure seams lined up and diamonds were where they were supposed to be, and I'm very happy I did.

The jacket seams are PUFFY, the neoprene is so thick and it doesn't press, so around the collar and hood I decided to topstitch it down and have a nice seam. The upside to the stitch is it made the edge a lot firmer so it holds its shape better. I ended up not stitching around the rest, I like the way it muffin-tops around the zipper.


It's the exact same shape as the yellow version, just that I had to add extra seam allowance to give room for the thick lining. This jacket is WARM, dang; I could only spend a few minutes moving around indoors to take pictures before I really started to heat up. It is so fitted, and with an insulating fabric things get toasty in a hurry.


I'll finish off here with another glamour shot; as I mentioned after finishing the yellow jacket, I'm not super happy with my pattern so I'll be re-fashioning one until I'm satisfied and can make it a permanent pattern for my collection. I need to re-work the sleeve caps, and I prefer to not have the side panel, instead, a solid front with darts and pleats, and it needs a horizontal seam on the back between the shoulders.



Thanks for checking in. Any fellas out there sewing their Valentines a gift this year?

-Man


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Life Lessons, and Sewing Neoprene


For those of you who remember, my last jacket turned out pretty good (unexpectedly); what most of you don't know is that I had much different outcome for it originally. I had picked up this pretty stellar Neoprene, scuba-suit-esque, material for the liner. Well, folks, that stuff is thick; and with the lining inside my fitted jacket shell, I looked more like the Michelin Man than the Masked Avenger of Home-Made Goods (gosh, what a lame character).


So instead of one, I will have two jackets, one with the original lining, and the one I've already finished, with the original shell. Lucky for me that meant fabric shopping, because even though it might not look like it, I'm running out of good fabrics.

In the opening shot, is me going cross-eyed trying to line up some diagonal pockets with two conflicting geometric grid patterns and a zipper, wonk! I should have this baby all sewn up soon and post the finished product in a day or two.



Check in for the final fitting.

-Man

Friday, January 20, 2012

New Jacket Pattern Equals New Jacket



It must have been a Month ago that I started in on a new jacket sloper (what you call a basic pattern in the Biz, just sayin...) and I have finally gotten around to putting it to good use.

Due to some recent fabric organizing, I've been able to find new hope and lust for fabrics I thought once gone and lost. Like a bold yellow plaid and a docile fuchsia ripstop I have no idea why I bought in the first place. I made some piping with the ripstop using, I think, 1/8th" cord and cutting on the bias so it would move better when sewn around corners.

I copied the hood from a favorite comfy sweatshirt I had lying around and mounted it in place of a collar. after stitching the piping around the zippered edge I sewed in the lining, checked for fit, and sewed up the cuffs. Simple, really; except for the part about lining up the back piped seams with the sleeve piped seams, that was a bear.
First the outside fabric, then the piping, finally the zipper.
Love the curve around the edge of the hood.
It took a few tries to get the fit just right, but I'm very happy with the final results. I had experimented with some fuchsia patch pockets on the front, but it made the jacket look like a 4th grade class project, so I removed them and stitched a nice off center squarish thingy on the top, above the chest. I'm glad I spent the time to line up the piped seams as well, bring some nice contrast to the overwhelming pattern.



In the end, the pattern isn't the best I've made, and will most likely have a few more rounds of styles before I'm happy with a consistent sloper (see above) to add to my permanent collection.

-Man

Friday, January 13, 2012

Organize, organize

It has been a while since I've posted, and part of that is due to my overwhelming mountain of fabric that seems to build daily.

The mound has become a weak link in my creativity path; it hinders my ability to think of the individual parts, the different fabrics, and makes me focus on the whole, a scary pile.

I've recently set out to organize and catalog this disaster in hopes of improving my recognition of what's available, as well as purge the mound of things I've never used, or thought of using in many years. As you can see, with the tornado escaping into the hallway, I've definitely got some work cut out for me.


The only thing organized is my thread...

So far I've managed to purge quite a few things I had grand, ornate ideas for; luckily, and with a bit of curating, those designs never came to fruition.


So now that I've begun to catalog and establish what I have, with ideas of WHAT it is I plan to do with them, the creativity will flow a little smoother as I prepare for the next creation... hopefully.

How big is your fabric pile?

-Man

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Stealing?, I Mean, Copying a Pattern

Jackets are a good place to start in my opinion, because they can be a simple or as extravagant as you want. It can be as little as 5 pattern pieces for a basic pattern.

Find a good fitting jacket, and one that's un-lined will work the best. so you can see the seams on the inside.


For me the most difficult part of pattern making for jackets is shaping of the sleeve cap and arm hole. I prefer the fit of a two part sleeve so I went with a jacket that had such.

With the paper underneath, stretch and manipulate the jacket to lay flat for the sections you are tracing, taking into consideration the need for seam allowance. I like to make dashes as I go along feeling where the seams are with a pencil.



Then once your done, enjoy the fruits of your labor--sew it up! Keep in mind there might be a lot off about your new pattern so don't use nice fabric, stick to muslim or similar that doesn't stretch so it gives you a good idea of fit.


Pay no mind to the whiskey, I had a good 'ol time getting through this one.

Questions? Bring it.

-Man

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bow-Tie, Men


I set out to create a bow-tie recently, and it did not come without some challenges, and some insight.

I have a few bow-ties already, and I love the straight shaped ones, so I used one I have and created a simple pattern from it. Just adding 3/8 of an inch to all the sides and making it long and straight was all there is to it. When cutting the fabric, cut on a BIAS! this is very important to the final product, a tie that ties well and stays tied through the night (tie, once more for posterity, tie).


then attach some interfacing, this is where trial and error came in. I found it very difficult to use fusible interfacing, it made the final product rough and ugly on the outside, so for round two I went with the sew in kind; like before cut it out on the BIAS, and only one piece of interfacing is needed if its the sew-in kind.


sew it together, and turn it right side out with a chopstick or similar, give it a really good press with lots of steam, and instead of finding hardware to make it adjustable, I just tacked the ends together with the sewing machine.

Now cut a rug and make girls (or boys) dream of you (or just pretend they are to boost self-confidence on said rug)



-Man


Friday, August 26, 2011

Dressing the Irish

hey Shorty, comin back at ya with the dress done. I'll get some pics up soon of it in use, but it was quite the ordeal finishing late last night, "make it work" the lady told me.






Not much time for Jibber jabber (ya, I said it) but I will put some pictures up of the finished dress SOON! (and don't be hatin on my 873 box of crayons, that's a lot of love)

-Man