What dress to make.. that is the question…

So they’re not ALL dresses but.. the point is that I need something to wear.

Either to the 10-year high school reunion that I’m attending in a couple of weeks, or the holiday parties. So something like a cocktail dress or something to go OVER the cocktail dress.

I pulled some patterns out of my pattern stash box….

1) Anise by Colette Patterns

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I bought this from Sew L.A. when Colette Patterns had their party there back September. I saw two samples made with this pattern and they both looked very “me”. It has that school girl look flair but depending on what fabric you use it could look really upscale. And I just bought some awesome beige-white wool boucle suiting fabric on Black Friday…

 

2) Butterick 5824 Long Coat by GertieDSC02022

I joined the sew-along at Gertie’s blog, but with my crazy travel schedule in October, then the intensive knitwear construction class this semester, I have yet to even pick out the fabric for this project. I think it’ll look great over whatever dress I’d wear for the parties. I get cold really easily, and yes I know I live in Southern California but I don’t care! I get cold! I still own and wear a down jacket on a regular basis!

 

3) Simplicity 1873 shantung dress by Cynthia Rowley

 

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I love Cynthia Rowley’s line at Simplicity Patterns. But while this is a gorgeous dress, I don’t know if I wanna wear it for winter holiday parties…. I get cold just looking at the photos.

 

4) Vogue 1302 Kay Unger Dress

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This is a strong contender dress. I have challis fabric that almost looks like this one, in different colors. I might actually make it. We’ll see. I’ve always admired Kay Unger dresses. It’s about time I own one, even if it’s not made by her factory.

 

5) New Look Workroom “Project Runway” 6070

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I already made this dress in black faux leather fabric and love it. I’ve already worn it a couple of times and I get compliments on it all the time even from people who have no idea that it’s handmade. I might make it again in a fancier fabric, or just get lazy and wear the one I already have and then try to match a jacket with it.

 

I have a lot to think about! And then make a decision! Then fabric shopping! :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yesterday was the American Thanksgiving day and my husband and I had a lovely time hanging out with friends. This is kind of time of the year that we wish our family members were nearby instead of across the ocean.

My sister just uploaded this wonderful video of her singing on Youtube. She’s a professionally trained singer, at one point she had a record deal before college but she decided that getting education was a bit more important so she declined. I’ve always been proud of my sister but this humble video of her singing on a humble stage at UCSD, her alma mater, made me thankful for such a talented one in my family.

So today is BLACK FRIDAY, y’all!!! Has anyone gone shopping early today morning? I saw my Facebook friend’s status around 6 AM that he’s just done with shopping and finally going to bed. :D My shopping hasn’t really begun, but I found some great deals online so I’m tempted to just stay home and sip hot chocolate since the morning fog is absolutely beautiful outside right now.

 

Colette Patterns Thanksgiving Sales

COLETTE PATTERNS is having a 30% off all patterns just for 24 hours! I’ve made a lot of stuff from Colette Patterns designs and love all of them for clear instructions and great fit. I already put a couple of patterns in my shopping cart.

 

Shoemint.com

 

I’m a huge fan of all the mint sites (Shoemint, Intimint, Jewelmint, Stylemint) for their prices and styles. If you sign up today, the new members will get a huge discount! Check them out, especially these stunning studded heels from Shoemint.com

 

Fabric.com

For sewing enthusiasts, I love Fabric.com. You can’t beat “Free shipping all orders over $35″ deal, the usual. And for Black Friday, they’re offering tiered discount deals, so the more you buy, the more you save. It ends tonight as well so hurry up!

 

Black Friday really marks the beginning of holiday shopping season so I’m gonna try and get some gifts as well!

 

 

Sewing Sunday: Macaron Dress & Colette Patterns Party at SewLA!

Last Friday, I drove up to LA to attend a pattern release party for Colette Patterns, at a local sewing/fabric shop “Sew LA.” I got to the studio at around 6:30 and it was still pretty chill. I got to say hello to Sarai Mitnick, the designer and owner behind Colette Patterns. There were food and drinks, a lot of patterns, fabrics, and notions to browse through. People started showing up after me, and I got to meet other sewists and KNITTERS! By the way, SewLA is located within Atwater Village and it’s few shops away from The Little Knitterie. It looked like a fun neighborhood and I wanna go back someday to check it out more.

I even got Sarai’s autograph in my copy of the Colette Sewing Handbook! Sarai is a knitter too, and we ended up talking a lot about pattern designing, fitting, working with knit fabrics, etc. Considering this was my first sewing event ever, I think it was very successful!

Macaron Dress made by Jean Chung

I took a quick photo before I headed out. I literally finished the dress the morning OF the party. I started this last week but working with silk wasn’t as easy as I thought. Well. I did expected to be a little harder, and I took my time cutting each piece separately instead of layering them but they MOVE. I think I’ll stay away from silk chiffon for a while until I get my hopes up again =P

but as you can see, the result was quite satisfying. Yes, I did rush and messed up the zipper, and the fit was a bit tighter (mixing in silk fabric that moves around a lot messed up the fit I think) but overall, I was proud to wear it to the party. When I picked out the fabric in Downtown LA, I was a bit skeptical about the color and was worried that it was way too blushy-peachy-offwhite color for me but I’m so glad it worked out well!

Fabric: Main fabric – Dressweight cotton blend woven fabric; Shell fabric – 1–% silk chiffon.. both purchased at Michael Levine

Pattern: Macaron by Colette Patterns

Difficulty Level: The pattern says “Intermediate”

As always, Colette Patterns is awesome about giving clear instructions in the pattern. This isn’t my first time sewing a dress so I went ahead and skipped some instructions when I felt really rushed but even if this were my first time, I don’t think I’d had trouble understanding how each piece goes.

Love Love Love the fabric and the matching colors. I bought both fabric at Michael Levine in the Fashion District. I walked all the way from the Renegade Fair (at Dodger’s Stadium area) to the Fashion District but this was totally worth it.

If I make it again, I might try with something easier to work with. I might still go with sheer fabric for the shell, but probably something more stable.

I made size 2, and it is a bit tight on me but I think it has to do with the fact that I probably messed up the cutting while working with the silk….

So instead of an invisible zipper, I used a regular all-purpose zipper and gave 1/4″ seam allowance. on both sides of the bodice to give myself a little bit of room.

Macaron Dress made by Jean Chung

I’m just glad I lasted through the party without ripping it. haha!

I will go back and finish the raw edges, maybe fix the zipper again, etc. But yay! I have a beautiful dress now.

I left the party with two of Colette Patterns — one of which was a new jacket pattern “Anise.”  I also got the Lily dress pattern, because Sarai was wearing hers and it looked really polished and gorgeous.

Can’t wait to make them!

Sewing Sunday: Colette “Clover” pants

Colette “Clover” pants by Jean Chung

Colette “Clover” pants by Jean Chung

 

 

Fabric: Stretch Crepe fabric (97% Wool 3% Spandex) By B. Black & Sons; purchased from M&L Fabrics in Anaheim, CA

Pattern: Colette Patterns “Clover”

Others: Necklace – David Aubrey Jewelry; Top – Mystree; Shoes – Nine West

 

Like many other sewists/tailors, I am a fan of Colette Patterns. I made Marty’s Maui Shirt based on their only men’s pattern, Negroni, and I have other dress patterns as well as The Colette Sewing Handbook. Love the designs! In preparation for the designer and CEO behind Colette Patterns, Sarai Mitnick visiting LA next Friday, I decided to make this pair as well as a Macaron dress.

Colette Patterns coming to LA

I am almost done with the Macaron Dress and will be blogging about it soon! But in the meantime, these pants were really quick. I mean, I cut and sewed through 80% of the pants in one night. I always trace my patterns and then cut really slowly so this means alot. Usually cutting alone takes all of Day 1 for me (I don’t sew full time so this usually means 2~4 hours I have in the evenings).

Then Day 2 was a disaster. I took out the invisible zipper I bought from M&L Fabrics, and noticed that the staple was actually IN the zipper teeth. I didn’t think much of it and just took it out carefully. Then I used my invisible zipper foot for the first time (I usually use a regular zipper foot and just go slow), but it ended up making me sew through the teeth. I had to pick out the thread really carefully since it was black thread against black crepe fabric AND a black zipper and I couldn’t see well. I read someone else’s blog about how she loves to sew with crepe fabric because the thread just melts into the fabric, so nice, etc etc. Well, yah that was exactly the problem. The fabric was ultra nice but it was totally impossible to pick the thread.

It’s okay, I’m a patient person, EXCEPT this happened 4 times.

GRRR. And then, I finally succeeded working with the invisible zipper foot and made sure the thread didn’t get into the teeth. I turned it inside out and tried to zip it up, YOU KNOW, SO I KNOW I PUT IT IN RIGHT AND STUFF?!?!??!?!?!

Well, the zipper pull just came RIGHT out of the zipper. HEAD TO DESK. Three times.

At this point, I hated my zipper and the invisible zipper foot. Both went straight to the trash can.

Instead I grabbed a YELLOW regular zipper from my stash and sewed it into the pants, with a regular zipper foot. There. Who cares about the zipper showing. It’s yellow and cute.

Will I wear them again? YES YES and YES! These fit perfectly. Don’t hate me but I didn’t make a full muslin (I made ONE leg with some flannel with stable stretch to see how it’ll drape and fit around my thighs) and I didn’t make ANY adjustments because I liked the muslin as is. The wool crepe is definitely one of the nicest fabric I’ve ever worked with so that helps and I am  short so the length was perfect and not awkward. I love many of Colette Patterns designs but the pants length in the sample photos looked a bit awkward for me.

Will I make them again? This one is also YES YES YES! I bought enough lightweight corduroy fabric enough for two pairs already. :)

 

Sewing Sunday: Marty’s Maui Shirt

Marty’s Maui Shirt – Made by Jean Chung


I got this polynesian print fabric from Michael Levine, Inc to make my husband a hawaiian shirt. We’re heading off to Maui in less than a month to attend a friend’s destination wedding and because neither of us has ever been to Hawaii, we’re very much excited! I have a lot of dresses to sew in the next 3~4 weeks, but to start off my Hawaiian trip sewing, I finished Marty’s Maui Shirt first.

The pattern I used is “Negroni” from Colette Patterns, an extremely popular men’s shirt pattern in the sewing world. I love Colette Patterns and everything the line offered in the past so I had no doubt in my mind that this pattern will totally fit my husband. Marty usually wears Medium and likes slim-fit in all his clothing, including suits. Some of the work shirts he wears, including his Valentino shirts are really loose and he’s waiting for me to take tailoring or alteration class so I can fix them. But I think I like this pattern enough so I’ll try the long sleeve version next time. I already bought beautiful shirting fabrics including ones from Burberry and Marc Jacobs.

Anyhow, as usual, Colette provided excellent instructions for the pattern and overall, I’m very pleased with the result. Marty really loves how it fits, and has worn this shirt a number of times already.

Marty’s Maui Shirt – Made by Jean Chung

Marty’s Maui Shirt – Made by Jean Chung

I’m looking forward to making this shirt again in those nice Italian shirting fabrics I bought because while this polynesian fabric is pretty good quality for a Hawaiian shirt, I’m not in love with how it feels.

If I make it in small, I think it’ll be also perfect for women’s shirt.