Saturday, October 24, 2015

Boston Fashion Week and what to do with your leftover coffee filters

I was pretty excited to learn that I now live within walking distance of a fashion week.

One Saturday afternoon some friends and I headed over to the Back Bay area to the big mall in Copley place to see an exhibit put on by the Massachusetts College of Art and Design called "Wearable Art."

It was straight out of a Project Runway unconventional challenge.

Forget recycling. "This garment was crafted out of cut and scrolled aluminum cans and wired to window screening. Designer: Jessica Soter". This looks like a treacherous dress to make--those aluminum strips are probably really sharp! Also, can we all take a moment to admire how adorable it is that she used a row of can tops on the back of the dress to mimic the look of sewn-on buttons and loops?

"This garment is made from woven raffia on a loom and sculpted by hand. The skirt is from brushed lambs wool and baby's breath. Designer: Elle Audra Mackey." I love the back!

Remember when you did that art project in like kindergarten where you microwaved scraps of plastic cups to make a pin or something for your mom? 

This person took that idea to a whole new level. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Prospects for the future, a new blog tagline, and a cake!

Just over a month ago, I moved 3000 miles across the country to a new city.

And got to move in to my dream school.

Clearly my selfie angles need work. 
It seemed only appropriate to ring in this new period of my life with an appropriately-themed cake. Which my mom got to with a knife before I could with the camera...but you get the idea! 
This change of scenery, of course, will necessitate some radical changes in sewing and cooking habits. Fortunately, I don't have to give up sewing and cooking entirely. Mainly because MIT is an awesome school. For these reasons.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Missoni Maxi Madness

This is an example of total fabric inspiration!

I would never have pictured myself making this project on my own.

Prior to making this dress, this was my mental picture of a maxi dress:

Pretty much a tube of fabric (which I don't mind, I love fabric!) except that maxi fabric is usually ugly and clingy and sometimes the stripes don't match up and really the only good reason I could think of for wearing one was if you forgot to shave (...actually, that's a pretty good reason).

And this was my mental picture of a Missoni dress:

....And I was like eeeeeeeegh I'll just wear jeans.

And then Elliot Bermann had a promotion, and among my mom's haul from the sale was this gorgeous swath of textile.

Disclaimer: I got permission from my mom to steal this fabric.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Aren't rompers super-cute? I think so. They're also in-style. I know because I went to a school-sponsored event the other day and a bunch of the girls were wearing them...which probably means they're already on the back-end of trendy... (I'm really out of touch with clothing that ironic?) 

My brother, who is not as fashion-oriented as I am, insists on misinterpreting the name of my newest garment. Whenever I'm wearing it, he makes sure to tell me to "break a leg" or "break out a dance move!" or "I know you have senioritis, but don't break out of graduation practice." In Spanish, you see, romper means to break. 

And actually, that's a pretty good metaphor for this article of clothing. Por ejemplo: 

One usage of "romper" is to describe waves breaking. Which is appropriate because SUMMER IS HERE and I am officially BEACH-BOUND!!!  Smiley

Celebration shot!

Romper can also be used to mean "take a break"...which I seriously need. High school is over...I know where I'm going to college (more on that in another post)...time to de-stress and kick back. 

Not intended to refer to acne, tears, or prison. Read below.
Because the future is bright, my friends! I'm on the verge of adulthood, and I'm ready to break out into the world! 

Thanks, WordReference!
And finally, if we want to talk about the most literal definition of breaking (and actual sewing, because that's what this blog is supposed to be about), this project was definitely a stash-buster

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Pretty Pictures of a Summer Apricot Tart

The other day, my family went to our awesome local grocery store. My dad likes to bring me with him when he goes because I used to play basketball, and buying produce there requires a lot of the same skills as grabbing a rebound.

"Boxing out"
Just as we were walking through the fruit aisle, a worker came by and unloaded a beautiful, mouth-watering, glowingly fresh batch of apricots on the stand. Chaos ensued.

Considering that several people were shoved out of the way in the name of these apricots, I figured I had better make something extra special out of them!

I didn't take pictures of all the steps that went into making the tart, but it turned out so pretty that I thought I would post some pictures and a link to the recipe I used.

This recipe is for an apricot tart with an almond-flavored custard made with mostly eggs, extracts, and cream. The filling and crust of the tart ended up being pretty sweet, while the apricots added a little sour kick. I followed the recipe pretty much exactly and it turned out beautiful!

Side note: my #1 favorite part about this tart was the crust. The tart slid out of the pan so easily, there was no weakness or sogginess in the bottom, and the crust was delightfully crunchy and even caramel-y.

P.S...I know I haven't posted in forever (shame on me. Life has been crazy lately.) That will (hopefully) be rectified shortly. I'm a few buttons away from finishing a sewing project!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Emergency Dress!

Today was the most important day of the school year, because it's the one day of the year we get to wear fancy clothes to school!!!

Our schoolwide celebration of Founder's Day is the one time we get to ditch our boring uniforms for dresses and suits! (Some of you might remember it from last year when I made a pair of sparkly separates.) Clearly, such an event warrants a new outfit!

This year, I intended to wear my new winter-white coat. Except that I had absolutely nothing to wear underneath it. (As in, true confession, I am actually wearing biker shorts underneath it in the pictures I took for my blog.) 

So it was time to whet my needle, thread up, and rise to the challenge of putting together a dress in time for the event!

(Let it be known, that this is the first time in three years of Founder's Days that I have not been up late frantically sewing the night before. Mission accomplished.)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Quick Post for a Quickie Top: Burda 130c

I took an inventory of my wardrobe recently, with disconcerting results: I have no clothes.

Ok, so maybe that's an overstatement. (I do write a sewing blog, after all ;) )

What I should say is that I have I have a lot of eveningwear, a lot of jeans and pajamas, and a bunch of school uniforms. But I'm missing interesting, casual garments for wearing around on a daily basis, which is problematic, since I'm going to college next year and that's all I'm going to be wearing.

So I'm making shirts!

This is the first time I've used a Burda pattern, and overall it was a pretty good experience. The actual pattern was easier to put together than the Lekala one I just tried. The instructions weren't as detailed as a Vogue pattern, but the shirt was simple enough that I didn't have trouble putting it together.


The pattern is #130c from the Burdastyle website published on 02/2014, "Long Sleeved Keyhole Top". (I'm not quite sure how to refer to Burda patterns by number. Do I use the edition date or the number next to it? Is there a convention?)

The fabric is a stretch jersey from the stash. It was originally navy blue, but my mom and dyed it (and by dying, I mean throwing it in a tub full of purple water and salt, crossing our fingers, and being delighted to realize it came out slightly purpler than it went in!).

The only alteration I made was on the strap (the piece that is attached to the back neckline and threads through the front piece). The pattern called for it to be gathered to 4 inches, but I gathered it down to 2-3 inches so that it would connect to the neckline farther to the back of the garment, making the cool neck detail more obvious. Oh, and the sleeves were WAY too long, but I decided to gather the bottom section instead of lopping them off.

So for about 2 half-days of sewing, I have a new shirt. Not too shabby!

Monday, February 23, 2015

A New Twist on the Turtleneck (and my first Lekala Pattern)

This started off with good intentions, I promise.

I wanted my next project to be something easy, simple, wearable. A top that I could actually put on on a daily basis.

But all that went down the drain as soon as I remembered about Lekala patterns.

I learned about Lekala only a little while ago when Anne from The Clothing Engineer made a really neat sweater from one of their patterns. Lekala is a Russian pattern company that--get this--generates customized, pre-fitted patterns based on the measurements that you input! Their patterns are bought and sold entirely online. You order in through their website and soon thereafter are emailed a PDF pattern that you print and assemble yourself.

The first time I went on the Lekala website to browse oggle, I was immediately drawn to this.

Lekala #5217, a draped wrap dress.

What a pattern! I love high necklines paired with big shoulders, and this dress takes it to the next level with horizontal pleating that creates a ribbed effect.

The thing is, I'm not in the market for another dress right now. What I did need, was a shirt. I decided to cut the pattern off at the waist and get rid of the pleated draping across the chest to create a seriously funky top.

Thus was conceived the most complicated black turtleneck anyone has ever aspired to!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My College Interview Dress

I finished my dress!

I am now ready and ravishingly-dressed for all college interviews. Which is pretty ironic considering I'm done with almost all my interviews...but at least now all of the ones I have left will have to accept me! ;)

The pattern that I used is V1265, a Pamella Roland suitdress pattern. I made it in a really cool black fabric with a purple pinstripe and iridescent purple silk dupioni for the lining. (In my last post, I discussed my inspiration for my dress, my fabric, and the alterations I made in greater detail.)

I really like the skirt of this dress. I love how the front panels hug the body as if it were a pencil skirt, even though there's a big puffy ruffle in the back! Bam!

Because the ruffle in the back is a little longer than the front, you can see the lining peeping through. Which I love because I used some AWESOME purple lining to match my purple-pinstripe fabric.