The purpose of this blog is to chronicle the next 9(ish) months of my life until I present my senior project. The project I have chosen is an 18 outfit, 38 piece fashion line, which will be entirely designed and made by me.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

So...It's Been Over A Month...

I've been back in school now for three weeks. I was planning to post again once I got here and settled and everything, but I guess this semester started off more quickly than I doesn't help that I never really got a break to rest in between working on my garments and being in classes either!

So, here's a quick breakdown of everything that's happened since I last posted.
  • Out of 38 individual pieces, I have 36 officially done (maybe not decorated, but done and wearable). I have no more zippers to put in, hems to sew up, or buttonholes to make. All of the necessary gruntwork that comes with making a wearable sewn garment is over. The only things that aren't fully finished are three shirts and two dresses that are waiting for beads/sequins.
  • I still have three knitted pieces to finish. The Gold Hand Knitted Fluted Collar Cardigan is nearly finished (I had some pain in the muscles on the tops of my hands yesterday, so I finished earlier than I planned to). The Black Hand Knitted V-neck Sweater shouldn't take too long (I hope) and will be my next project. The Silver Hand Knitted Cardigan is a little more tricky, though. I still have to write the pattern for it before I can start to work on it. I'm hoping to write the pattern sometime this week.
  • In more pressing news, I've scheduled the photo shoot! It's Saturday. It's in 6 days. Sadly, I've had to accept that this means that not everything will be done for the photo shoot. I'm planning on leaving the Silver Hand Knitted Cardigan out and making that after, but I definitely want to make sure that the Black Hand Knitted V-neck Sweater is ready. As far as the 5 garments that are waiting for decorations, I'm going to focus on only two. The Gold Satin Taffeta A-line Gown is getting a large amount of beading (easily the most time consuming task), and the Blue Cotton Long Sleeve V-neck Top is getting a small amount near the neckline. Other than this, I wanted more decorations on the Blue Cotton Half Sleeve V-neck Top, the Copper Chiffon Arch-Neck Dress, and the Gold Chiffon 4 Square Top. The decorations on these are most likely not going to be too noticeable, so I don't mind not having them ready for the photo shoot.
I know I should have photos and descriptions ready for this post and everything that I haven't discussed yet, but documentation takes time, and to be honest, I really don't have any time. I've been having troubles getting my project work done while also remembering to get my class work finished (and I only have 4 classes! I guess that's what you get when three of them are studio art classes...). On top of class and the project, it definitely doesn't help that last week and this week are Phi Sigma Pi's Rush weeks. I'm still the Initiate Advisor, so I'm still in charge of planning Rush and making sure it all works out. I have to admit I'm really exhausted. I've got to keep going, though. At least until Saturday. Once the photo shoot is over and Rush is finished, I feel like I'll finally be able to breathe (of course, that's not true at all, since after that comes Initiation and working on the designs for the show and then getting everything else set up, but if I don't tell myself I only have to go for one more week, I'm not sure I'd be able to make it.).

It seems weird, doesn't it? That I relish stressful situations like this so much? I guess it just comes natural to me. I work best and most efficiently when I know that I don't have the option to put anything off. I do wish I didn't need to be under so much pressure to get things done, though.

Anyways, enough typing. I have to get back to work. Not sure if my hands are up to knitting today yet, but if not I'll just get some beading done. I'll try to post some pictures soon.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Piece #25 Finished!

This post is for the Grey Suiting Princess Cut A-line Dress. This is one that I added last minute after I took out the Wedding Dress. It's taken from the princess cut jacket pattern I created, but I adapted it for a side zipper and lengthened it a bit. As I was sewing it, I realized that I hadn't cut out a lining or allotted for a facing. To solve the problem, I decided to just use some double fold bias tape to edge the neckline and armholes. I think it worked out well, but I still don't know why I didn't plan facings.

Anyway, the dress is plain and nice, but I'm not convinced that I like it yet. I'll hang it up with all the rest and decide later if it belongs with the rest of the show.

Total Hours Logged: 5

Fabric: Denim-Look Grey Suiting about 2 yards

Notions: 18 inch zipper cut to about 14 inches, 1 packet of black double fold bias tape

Cost (not including time): about $12

Pieces #22, 23, and 24 Finished!

Again, this post is a compilation because these pieces are so similar. These are the last pairs of pants that I had to do, and, quite honestly, I'm glad to have them all finished. I really like the fact that I finally tackled the project of sewing my own pants, but deciding to make 8 pairs was a lot. I don't especially want to sew another pair of jeans or trousers for a while. I'm really proud of what I have accomplished thus far, though, and I'm pleased that they've all turned out so well despite a few mistakes (see below).

Bootcut Grey Suiting Pants

Total Hours Logged: 5

Fabric: Denim-Look Grey Suiting about 2 1/2 yards

Notions: 7 inch zipper cut to about 5 inches, trouser hook and eye

Cost (not including time): about $15

Wideleg Black Suiting Trousers

There was a bit of a problem with the black suiting fabric. Since this is really my first experience with some of the fabrics I chose, I was pretty inexperienced when planning how to create some of my garments. My biggest downfall was probably in the cutting of this suiting fabric. When I bought it, I was unaware that it is a one way stretch. Anyone who knows about this kind of fabric would have known to set the stretch horizontal, to give the garment some stretch widthwise. I cut out the pieces with the stretch going lengthwise, which has really made it difficult to work with. Both pairs of pants are far too tight at the top, a problem which I hope to fix with both letting out the seams and working off a few extra pounds. Hopefully I can make them work. If I had enough fabric and time to make them over, I would. I might choose to do so later, but at the moment I'll do my best to deal with them as they are.

Total Hours Logged: 5

Fabric: Caviar Bengaline Suiting about 2 1/2 yards

Notions: 7 inch zipper cut to about 5 inches, trouser hook and eye, soon to be 2 buttons

Cost (not including time): about $15

Bootcut Black Suiting Trousers

Total Hours Logged: 5

Fabric: Caviar Bengaline Suiting about 2 1/2 yards

Notions: 7 inch zipper cut to about 5 inches, trouser hook and eye, soon to be 2 buttons

Cost (not including time): about $15

Pieces #20 and 21 Finished!

I'm not even going to discuss how long it's been since I posted, I'm just going to get right down to it. There are a lot of pieces that I've finished that I haven't posted about yet. Prepare for a heap of victory posts.

These two pieces are essentially exactly the same. Both are bootcut jeans with traditional "jean" pockets. The only difference is the wash of the denim I used. With that being said, there isn't really too much more to say about them. They would fit, had I not gained a bit of weight this past semester. I'm planning on going to the gym more this final semester, though, so there shouldn't be a problem with that for too much longer.

Bootcut Lightwash Denim Jeans

Total Hours Logged: 5

Fabric: 6oz crosshatch denim, about 2 1/2 yards

Notions: 7 inch zipper cut to about 5 inches

Cost (not including time): about $35

Bootcut Darkwash Denim Jeans

Total Hours Logged: 5

Fabric: 6 oz indigo denim, about 2 1/2 yards

Notions: 7 inch zipper cut to about 5 inches

Cost (not including time): about $35

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Piece #19 and Outfit #5 Finished!

This piece is the Darkwash Denim Dress. It's the newest one that I added, because I always wanted a cute little denim dress, and I had enough fabric left over to make one. It was a really quick piece as far as the designing and patternmaking went.

I don't have an official drawing ready yet, because I only decided to add the dress a week ago, but I did do a small sketch before I chose the pattern. It's a little hard to tell from the pictures, but the dress turned out really well and pretty much looks just like the sketch.

I used the top of the Gold Satin Taffeta A-line Gown and then improvised a square skirt for the bottom. It's a very cute dress and I really like how I feel in it.

Total Hours Logged: probably 8

Fabric: 6 oz indigo denim, 2 1/2 yards

Notions: 18" metal zipper

Cost: around $30

Ugh, I Think I'm Getting Worse at This...

Oh well, I guess there's no use denying it; I'm terrible at regular blogging. Too late now, though.

I've gotten a lot done since I last blogged, though. I did a lot of overcasting, and only have one more garment to do in that respect. If you can believe it, I overcasted the pieces for 6 garments in one day! Even I can barely believe that happened, and I did it! I did that on Monday, so I was ready to start sewing on Tuesday.

Once I got the overcasting done, everything else has been going really quickly. I finished my last two pairs of jeans on Tuesday, two more pairs of trousers on Wednesday, and a dress today. Each of these pieces will be displayed in victory posts, as usual. Adding my Red Hand Knitted Sweater (which I finished last week but never told you about) to all of these pieces, I've now finished three more outfits! Again, I'll show you that later.
I went to JoAnn's for hopefully the last time in relation to this project yesterday and finally got all the buttons I'll need. I don't even want to talk about how much I spent on them. Buttons are way too expensive, especially because the pretty ones are the most expensive. I think I ended up with 5 different button designs, (not including the jean style buttons) and I'm really happy with them. I think they all really reflect the intricate detail in gothic architecture. Pictures later!

At this point, I'm at least 4 days ahead of where I originally planned to be, which makes me feel a lot more comfortable with where I am than I otherwise would be. I might get a day or two to actually have a break before I have to start packing to go back to school!

In other fun news, I got myself a new full size ironing board! I've been working with a half size one forever, which is okay, but I've always wanted a bigger one. I got a gift card for Target for Christmas and decided to treat myself to a nice new board. I'll probably still take my smaller one to school with me, but it's nice to have the big one for the actual construction time.

Okay, enough for descriptions today; on to other important posts.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Bit Late...

I know, I know; the first of the year was yesterday, but that doesn't mean that I can just ignore the obligatory New Year's resolution blog post! A lot of my resolutions are based on what's going to be happening in my life quite soon (final semester and then graduation), but I'll still put it on the list anyways. It makes me feel so accomplished when I get to cross things off!

First, what TO DO:
1. Finish my line. Obviously this is going to happen whether I want it to or not. I have three weeks left at home to finish 16 more garments (and 3 knitted pieces, but I can do those at school if I need to), and so far I've added 4 days to my sewing time than I originally planned. I might actually get a few days to be on break!

2. Make some more workout clothes. I found a pattern for workout pants that I really like last year, but never got any further than making one pair. I'd like to whip up a pair or two before I go back to school so I have something I'm not ashamed to wear out of my room when I go to the gym (I have a really open schedule this semester, so I'm planning some exercise time).

3. Become friends with prints. I don't know what it is about printed fabric, but I find myself avoiding it a lot. Even that brown metallic plaid weave that I got at JoAnn's intimidates me because I can't think of a thing to make with it (Any suggestions?).

4. Use up some of the fabric in my stash. I don't have a very large stash, but since moving to a new (smaller) house, it's become a lot more than I want hanging around. I'd much rather have fun new clothes than a big pile of fabric that I have to lug around everywhere.

With those in mind, let's talk about what NOT TO DO:
1. I can't keep making dresses just because they're pretty. I have to face it; I live in Pennsylvania. It's usually too cold to wear dresses, and it's just too casual here to wear them all the time anyway. I do have one more formal dance before I graduate, so I'll probably make a dress for that, but I don't want to keep making stuff if I know I won't be able to wear it.

2. Staying up until 2:30 am when I have to be awake by 7. Although I'm sure I'll break this rule at some point, it's still something I need to work on, so I decided to write it down.

Well, that's it for rules. They're not too specific because I know life will change my needs anyway. I wish you all well on your resolutions, too! Don't try to change too much too quickly!