Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I <3 Burdastyle

I just got to go to an open studio/party at the Burdastyle office! The purpose for the party was to celebrate the site reaching the 100,000 member mark. in case you haven't heard of it, is a website that produces open source (=copyright free) sewing patterns and functions as am online sewing community. 

The founders Nora and Benedikta are very sweet and enthusiastic! They are basically running this site with a very small staff and a lot of creative energy so the open studio was an opportunity for them to meet some local members and talk about the site and our crafting habits, wants and needs. They even convinced me to talk on camera a bit... terrifying, huh? One of my favorite parts about the open studio was being able to look at all their samples up close to see the finishing techniques and feel the fabrics they used. I also got to see some of the new design ideas for the upcoming months... exciting stuff. 

In addition to meeting the Burdastyle staff, it was a good opportunity for me to meet and mingle with other members and indie craft types. One girl looked very familiar to me and I soon realized that it was lalalayla, whose projects I was admiring just yesterday.  Not so coincidentally, Burdastyle is in the same building in Brooklyn as Etsy so a lot of the Etsy staff was there. I met Anda and her adorable baby Sidonie (of dress and skirt fame!). Quite a few people there had garments named after them which was amusing.

Anyway, I had a lovely time and I got just the motivation I need to finish my 3 (yes, 3) Burdastyle WIPs so I can post pictures and be a more involved member of the online sewing community. Hopefully I'll be able to post something successful soon.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fall Knitting Ideas

I don't know about y'all, but I love me some Marc Jacobs.
Here's a pretty sweater from his Fall 2008 Ready to Wear collection.

Let's  have a closer look.... 
You know, Marc really is a genius, but I think I could come up with that sweater too...
Oh look, here is that honeycomb stitch pattern
Now, to find a suitable sweater pattern to hack... This could work
All one would have to do is eliminate the cables, add the honeycomb stitch pattern all over and change the collar & hem to have ribbing.
Here's another MJ sweater I like. Chunky & raglan, yum!  
I could really see myself making this one. I'm a sucker for chunky fast knits. 
Here's the pattern I'd hack for it.
*All the pics that are NOT Marc Jacobs are all from 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

She knits too!

Original Ann's new sweater
Originally uploaded by _rebekka
This gorgeous sweater was designed and knit by a very talented photographer in Iceland. You may have seen her amazing photos on flickr.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Paul Poiret Pattern Puzzle

Last summer the Costume Institute exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art featured an amazing collection of clothing by Paul Poiret.

I didn't know much about Poiret prior to seeing that exhibit and since I'm not very eloquent and this isn't an essay for credit I'll just say it was awesome and beautiful and I loved it. The illustrations and the colors and the silhouettes where amazing. The show made me want to go home and paint with my watercolors and drape myself in yards of silk charmeuse.

My favorite part of the exhibit was this wrap dress, which has stuck in my mind ever since. I think it is because I had a "one-peice pattern" project when I was a fashion student. My dress was similar in some ways... it was a wrap with a simple front closure and pleating across the waist, but Poiret's dress is far and away better than mine.... (giggle) I think I used a plaid!

At the exhibit, this dress was displayed behind a fancy shmancy screen and there was a hologram projection that showed how the piece was draped in 3-D. Very cool. Someday I might drape it for fits and giggles, but in the meantime my antsy left brain has been thinking about what the pattern should look like and I have come up with this:

There is a back and a front torso sloper in gray. The red lines represent slashing and spreading to close out the darts. The blue lines are my Poiret style lines. The dashed line across the back waist is meant to be cut and the lower back portion gathered (or pleated, I forget now - how sad) to create a bit of a bustle. The real thing was unlined silk so it had a very bohemian drape.

Now, Poiret didn't draft a pattern, he draped it... and voila, it was fabulous!.... but I like puzzles and if you didn't get a chance to see the exhibit's super cool hologram I think the flat pattern explains it pretty well.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Friday Night Knits

I rushed home on Friday to finish up my first Ravelympics project. 

Pattern: Twinkle Shopping Tunic
Yarn: 4 Skeins Lion Brand Thick & Quick; Color: Plum
Needles: Sz 17 Circulars
Team Hopelessly Over Committed, Event WIP Wrestling

I modified the Gauge to fit my yarn. After swatching and some damn math, I used a stitch multiplier of 1.25. That ended up meaning that I could follow the largest size as given in the VK Holiday 2005 version of this sweater. The VK pattern says to knit the first 4 rows in garter, which I did and I like because it doesn't curl at the bottom and you almost can't see it. I also omitted the pockets since I have enough bulk around the tummy (working on that). Other than that, I followed the directions as written in the book. 

So as soon as I finished the cowl and wove in all the ends I threw it on  (I don't look like a cow in it! JOY!) grabbed my camera and headed for the fire escape for some natural light and a self styled photo shoot. 

Everyone's a critic.

Then, I realized I was late for my date so I threw on a dress, inconveniently forgot a sweater and jumped on the N to Coney Island. My next Ravelympics project came with me, but more on that another time.

I met up with the Boy at Nathan's were my newest favorite guilty pleasure is the Lobster Sandwich. Seriously,  since they started listing the calories of everything it is incredibly easy to make the "healthy" choice. Besides, when was the last time I had a $6 lobster sandwich? Yum.
So while we were downing our extra large Killians (so much for healthy) we were pleasantly surprised by fireworks! I had no idea they are doing fireworks this year. It thought that all the development talk might have put an end to it and I haven't heard anything otherwise. The boy and I will definitely have to come back again before the end of the month for more. Next we played a round of Shoot-the-Star and then headed over to the Wonder Wheel (no pics - oops).

Should your future need divining. She's waiting by the Wonder Wheel. 
Incidentally, it's the Wonder Wheel's 88th birthday this year. 
Another Ravelympics project - my 2nd Spring Forward Sock. Team Hopelessly-Over- Committed, for Event Wip Wrestling. YES, I always carry 2 projects with me at all times. Variety is the spice of life.

And lastly, what's thrilling, costs a dollar, and "don't GITMO better" ??
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