Colette Patterns “Lily” dress

Image

Introducing.. Colette Patterns Lily dress!

This took just ONE day to make it. I loved the pattern and I”m glad I decided to do contrasting side panels instead of contrasting flaps.

Image

Fabric: (solid) light gray cotton/poly poplin, 1.5yds; (print) cotton quilting fabric “Asian” print, 1.5 yds

Last Saturday, I made a trip out to downtown LA and did a little fabric shopping in the Fashion District. One of my usual stops is of course, Michael Levine store. I came to know the store because they also carry a decent selection of yarns. But since I started sewing, this has been one of the first stops I make in Fashion District. Yes, the fabrics here aren’t as cheap as other places but they have really good selection and they’re all labeled, priced, and organized. And there are cutters everywhere. you pay a little premium for the service. If you know exactly what you need, try exploring other places but if you’re looking to be inspired or you’re in a hurry, go here!

 

Image

 

Image

as always, Colette Patterns offer really great instructions and clever way of sewing things. I loved the flap detail on this dress. It’s a small bit of retro in a otherwise very functional dress. I can definitely see myself wear this to work on Casual Fridays with a cardigan or to someone’s wedding (OMG I think all my friends decided to get married or engaged this year! Happy for them, but I need outfits!)

 

 

My 29th birthday with Diana Vishneva!!

Well not exactly. I went to SEE Diana Vishneva’s performance which was DEDICATED TO ME by my wonderful husband. :D

For months, my husband was telling me that he bought a BIG birthday present for me, so big that it should cover Valentine’s Day, my Birthday, Thanksgiving (do people give presents for Thanksgiving?! haha), and Christmas for 2 years. And that he doesn’t even really know what it is. I was confused but didn’t press it so that I can be properly surprised.

And surprised, I was.

After a modest but delicious sushi dinner, we went to the Center, and upon entering my husband just points to a nearby poster without words.

And it said:

20131107_184231 20131107_184254

My heart skipped a beat. For a second, I thought wait, how did they know it’s my birthday? And then I thought, Oh do they do this to everyone who has birthdays this month? So I looked around but every poster around the entire Segerstrom Hall had MY name only.

Not only that, after the preview talk, my husband led me to the upper level, I was still focused on the blue posters, when a lady greeted us. At the private donor’s lounge!

We hung out in the lounge, took some photos, and met wonderful people from the Center.

 

20131107_190542

20131107_190708

 

Side Note! Can you see what I’m wearing? My handmade faux leather dress and handknit shawl!

 

20131107_201444

 

 

 

 

Diana Vishneva was wonderful. Modern ballet pieces are always difficult for me but even if I didn’t understand 100% of the material, I didn’t really have to. Diana’s movement was the art. For each of the 30-something minute act, I was totally mesmerized in her movement, couldn’t even breath big. I can’t believe I’ll be getting her autograph soon!


20131107_223102

and the Center sent us home with this goodness.

This morning, I woke up with a smile on my face. I felt like I was waking up from a really sweet dream. It was such a special day. I dreamed about seeing Diana Vishneva since I heard that she was coming to OC. It was on my birthday, and to top it off, my husband made the whole experience extra special for me.

You win, husband.

 

My First Handmade Leotard!

Instant gratification #2 — Sewing leotard.

Image

Fabric: 4-way stretch fabric from FIDM Scholarship Store.

Pattern: Jalie 3136 View A, with cap sleeves.

I got this fabric few months ago, from FIDM scholarship store. FIDM is a famous fashion school based in LA and SF, and I happen to work very close to the LA campus. They have the scholarship store, where they sell clothes, fabric, shoes… to help fund the school’s scholarship program, and to employ students who need that extra financial help.

So I got this lilac 4-way stretch fabric for $1 a yard, thinking I would make either swimsuit or comfy dress. At that time, I wasn’t back in ballet class so I had no intention of making this into a leotard.

Few weeks ago, my in-laws came to visit from Taiwan, so we cleaned out our guest room. In the process, I found this fabric under my stash!

Image

Image

it was pretty easy to make. If I didn’t get sick, it wouldn’t have taken me 3 days to make it. if you’re more an experienced sewist, you can probably make this in a day.

I finished the hems of the sleeves and neckline with a twin needle in my Janome sewing machine. I also attached the elastics on the leg opening with my regular sewing machine. The other seams (shoulders, sides, and attaching bodice to the yoke) were done on my Brother serger.

leotard3

leotard2

Attaching the sleeves — I followed the directions, but I think if I made this again, I would do my regular method, which is to seam the sides of the body and the sleeve, and then insert the sleeve into the body on the wrong side, pin and stitch. Because when I followed the direction the first time, the fabric slipped and I ended up skipping a small section on the serger. I had to pick the stitches again and re-do that section.

There’s also an instructional YouTube video for this pattern: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BQzOR-WCgE

I watched it briefly for the elastic directions. I think after this project, I can go back to my first swimsuit I made for that Knit Construction class. I totally winged it that time, because I was mainly graded on the design, not the sewing.

Image

As you can see, I have to re-do the leg openings and the arms/neckline. FIrst.. I have to find it again. =D

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

DSC02023

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

 

DSC02021

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

DSC02019

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

DSC02018

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! :)