Monday, April 28, 2014

Finished: Ulyana Sergeenko Inspired Separates

See, I HAVE been sewing!

When I first discovered designer Ulyana Sergeenko, I was smitten. I posed lots of inspiration pictures and posted a challenge, mostly to myself, to make dresses and separates inspired by her designs. I was hoping to make 3 different looks before today, but unfortunately I've only completed one.

Fortunately, that also means that two more are on the way. I have the second outfit about 70% completed and the third one, alas, is still just an idea in my mind. Maybe I'll get it up before the end of summer? ;-)

Anyway, I used this photo as my inspiration. Because I'm supposed to only be sewing from my overflowing stash, I found some incredible gray jersey for the top and some floral rayon to use for the skirt.

I was really nervous about the skirt. I used the circle skirt calculator, and it told me that for my waist measurement and the length I wanted, it couldn't be done. Ha! Cut out the circle skirt from two yards and suddenly it's quite possible.

I've always been afraid of this length because I hate my calves. Or rather, I love that they're strong and muscular, but because they're so muscular, they look rather large. I tend to wear only shorter dresses as a result, but this month I decided, screw it, I was going to go for the longer length. I figured as long as I cut it BELOW the fattest part of my calf, it would look fine, though perhaps a bit dowdy. But dowdy was fine.

And so was the length! It's perfect. Kind of. Most of the time I feel really amazing in this outfit, but every so often I feel like I look like a transplant from Soviet Russia circa the early 20th century. 

This also affects how people see me. No one complimented me on my outfit when I wore it out, which was a bit unusual. The younger guys completely ignored me, which I consider a feat in and of itself. HOWEVER everyone over the age of 50 was insanely nice to me. My sister (aka my lovely photographer of the day) and I went to a restaurant where it was standing room only. A man immediately offered me his table, and another man offered an extra chair so we could both sit. 

No cat calls, just incredible politeness? Yes, please.

Oh, and I put in a pocket. I was going to put in two pockets and a zipper in the back, but the second pocket had some... issues. It was all weird and lopsided and generally very ugly so I ripped it out and put the zipper on the other side.

Oh, the top! So I saw a photo of Simplicity 4538 from the 1950s and I figured it would be easy enough to recreate to match the inspiration photo and it was! I think it took me a total of 10 minutes to figure everything out. I didn't even finish the seams because you can't see them around all the folds.

It's a little hard to get the top to stay on it's own (obviously) so I tucked it into my leggings. Yes, I'm wearing leggings because even though the calendar says it's spring and even though the weather forecast claims it's 65 (aka 18 degrees C), it is freezing. So leggings and a cardigan made this outfit just acceptable.

So once it becomes too warm to wear leggings, I'm not sure what to do. I thought about adding a hook and eye, but I really prefer the crossed-over look, rather than the pulled look if that makes sense. An obvious option would be to use double sided tape, but that could be wasteful.

I was thinking about creating something that just goes around my waist... like Spanx without the crotch? Then I could just tuck it into a waistband. Does something like that already exist? Anyone know?

Anyway, let me know if you created a Ulyana Sergeenko dress. I'd love to see!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

We All Knit Here

Hey guys, remember when I used to sew clothes? I know one of my New Year's Resolutions was to slow down, but I really didn't anticipate slowing down THIS much. That said, I am still working on and finishing up sewing projects and, unlike last year, I am much happier with the finished product. I can't wait to show you - though you'll probably have to wait until next week because I need to find time to take pictures.

I have other fun news to share! Remember when I told you I was starting a blog and couldn't tell you anything about it? I'm sure you forgot because cryptic news is anything but exciting, but I can finally share! I've been working on a new website/blog that's designed specifically for people who want to learn to knit.

I know a lot of you have been knitting since you were 12 and learned from your mother and grandmother and have wonderful stories and memories (which is amazing and makes me so jealous!) - however I tried to teaching myself to knit via the internet and it was awful. When I finally went and got proper lessons, I had a lot of bad teachers as well.

I've been giving knitting lessons in the NYC area and I really love it so I decided to make a set of knitting videos for people who know absolutely nothing about knitting and want to learn from home (or wherever). Here's the link to my first 3 videos that teach the absolute basics. I'm editing another video currently, and I'm filming 2 classes this weekend so beginners can start making projects. Yay!

I tried to make the videos really fun and friendly, like we were just hanging out and I was teaching you to knit. That said, when you have a lot of lights on you and a camera pointed at your face, you tend to freeze up! I mean, I worked in the film/tv industry for years so I thought it would be easy, but nope, it was really hard to get started.

While I'm generally happy with my first 3 videos, I was a little obsessed with my mistakes. I suppose a normal person would learn from them, but I made a blooper reel.

Let me know what you guys think. I know it's not perfect - my editing skills were honed over the last two weeks (after watching a couple youtube tutorials) - but I'm pretty happy with everything and I can't wait to actually get classes up. If you want to learn to knit, check out my website and maybe follow my blog for updates; I'm going to publish articles and/or videos once a week.

So yeah, that's my news. Hope you guys have had a great April so far!