Monday, April 27, 2015

Pattern Review Weekend LA 2015 wrapup

action drama....
Like an early 80's action drama set in downtown LA....with fabric....

I just returned from PR Weekend in downtown LA, near the Fashion District.

(Tip:  Take the day after PR weekend off from work so you can write your recap and recover from the weekend.)

Antoinette (ATP) and I flew in a day early for some pre-conference fun.

FIDM Scholarship Store was our first stop.   There is some great fabric here at $1 and $2 a yard and  fun necklaces for $4 and $6.  I love this place! They have sample garments too that we tried on.  We ran into fellow PR members Jeanette and Jo while we were there.
ATP on the hunt
We then went to the FIDM Museum for the 2014 movie costume exhibit

And we took a detour from fabric shopping and fashion to attend the Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum


Tons of HK merchandise was on display, including this Janome HK sewing machine
and this HK sewing kit
Follow the bows!
How tall are you?
Hello Kitty themed artwork

The HK bow crowns were given to each person visiting the exhibit; not everyone wore theirs.

Thursday night at the hotel lobby ATP spotted Rod Stewart and made eye contact; I only saw the back of his head as he meandered out onto the street...

The conference got into full swing with the shopping day as ~70 of us were unleashed in the Fashion District.  We broke off into many groups so we had flexibility as far as which stores to go to.

Tip:  Wear comfy shoes or sneakers; you're on your feet all day!

ATP and Anne
Shopping at Michael Levine Loft ($3 a pound fabric--really really good fabric too--yes, by the pound not by the yard).  
More of the scene at Michael Levine Loft.  Paw through boxes of fabric.  You don't have to take the whole piece; you can cut it down yourself if you wish, or ask the cashier to cut it for you.    There are also rolls of fabric on the sides of the store that are sorted by color.  All of it is $3 a pound usually but because we were there for PR weekend we got 20% off of that!  Thanks Michael Levine Loft!
Love the random thread stuck to my pants.
Also love the cashier; he was there in 2013 and is super super nice.

I bought exactly 7 pounds of fabric.
More of the scene at Michael Levine Loft

Next we headed across the street to the main Michael Levine store
Michael Levine welcomes PR weekend sign
Me, Anne, and the Wall of Locked Up Liberty  (I understand why it is locked up ($$$$), but it's ironic that fabric named Liberty is under lock and key.)

Me and Jacqui--we first met at PR weekend in 2010 in Philly and have shopped together ever since.  Love her contrast trim on her red shirt--her binding was absolutely perfect!!
atp and
ATP was next to Michael from Project Runway in the checkout line

On the street.  This gives you a sense of what the Fashion District shopping looks like-- fabric stores on street level with some of their fabrics on display outside (multiply this picture by, say, 100).  Having been to NYC Garment District many times and LA Fashion District twice, I'd say that it feels like there are more fabric and trim stores in LA, though I don't know if that is true.

I have my Jalie shrug on upside down it the above picture, ha ha ha ha ha

Lunch at Pattern Bar (a bar with sewing machines!)

You like big polka dots?  Now THAT'S a big polka dot.
Zippers at Zip Up Zipper

There were buses to take us to Mood and a fabric store appropriately called The Fabric Store about 8 miles away from the Fashion District, but streets were blocked off for a commemoration event all day so we wound up having only 30 minutes to shop at Mood LA, not enough time for me to buy fabric.
Unlike the NYC branch of Mood, the Mood LA store is all on one level.  Above is one half of the Mood LA store.

Bernina sponsored a party Friday night that included the pattern swap (so.many.patterns.) and the handbag contest.   I entered the handbag contest with my V6072 backpack.  I wish I took a picture of the winning backpack; it was the Vogue frog backpack and her prize was a Bernina serger.
Kossiwa and her amazing striped designer knockoff dress

Deepika, me and dots
PR Founder Deepika and I wore our dots for Saturday morning.

Saturday was the learning day with Lynda Maynard.  Roseana and Theresa were totally brave to stand in their foundation garments for about an hour each while Lynda and her volunteers sliced and diced their respective sheath dress and jacket muslins to get a perfect fit.  I found it quite interesting because it's a totally different way to fit a garment compared to Joi Mahon's method, but it appears to achieve the same results.

The room felt like a movie set.
Here's the view from the back of the room while Lynda shows how to make the changes to the flat pattern, post fitting the muslin.  Some of the leftover patterns are shown...there were a LOT of leftover patterns!

In the afternoon, ATP, Anne and I skipped couture techniques to return to the Fashion District to buy elastic at Button and Trim Expo, only to find out that it is closed on Saturdays, massive heaving sigh!
(Tip:  Always always always check store days and hours!!!)

I don't know for sure but I felt that this store, which I visited in Nov 2013 with Rachel and Jeanette, would have wide elastic in many colors that I could use for my exposed waistband on the Mimi G pants.

So we went to three other trim stores instead and the last one, Target Trim, had the BEST selection of elastic I was looking for, but I like the layout of Button and Trim Expo better.

It started raining on the way back, so we took shelter in the FIDM Scholarship Store, where we ran into Jacqui.
Tip:  Bring your shopping bag so you can consolidate your purchases; Jacqui's has hers from an earlier PR weekend.

Dinner was at a nearby Mexican restaurant but I didn't take pictures.

Some folks stayed on Sunday for brunch and more fabric shopping, but I left to return back to NJ.

Outfit roundup:
My me-made clothing closet at the Hotel Figueroa. 

Thursday:  Teal PR Linda shirt and gray Simplicity 1283 Mimi G pants.  

Friday: Black PR Linda shirt and black Simplicity 1283 Mimi G pants.
Friday night: Vogue 8571 red dress

Saturday:  McCalls 6559 polka dot dress.
Saturday night:  Teal Vogue 1351

Backpack:  Butterick 6072 view D backpack
Gray Jalie 3426 shrug (not blogged yet)

Wrapping up
Thank you to Kathi R who organized the entire weekend and all the PR volunteers, and of course to Deepika who founded PR.    PR is such an amazing resource for sewists.  I've made many friends because of PR.

Next year PR weekend will be in....Chicago!

Be well!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Second PR Linda Top, in Teal and Knotted

PR Linda Top in Teal
I was really surprised to find myself caught with an affliction that has never happened to me before--the desire to sew a lot of new items to be worn at PR Weekend LA.  Symptoms include:  constant wardrobe planning, delaying mealtimes to "just finish this step" that turns into "sew everything but the hem", sewing at 6:30am, and a sewing room that looks like it's been ransacked.   In past years I have seen other PR members succumb to this affliction but this is my first case of it after a long run of 5 years.

I generally make a bag to bring to PR weekend. I sewed up this year's in March (here).
But the affliction really started with the success of the free for Members of PR Linda PR top in black (here).
Well, I "needed" some pants to wear with it.
Enter the MimiG pants (here and here).
Since I made two pairs of MimiGs, I also "needed" another shirt.

Hence, the reprise of the Linda PR top, but this time in teal and with shorter "ties" to make a knot instead of a bow.  Bonus is this fabric came from EmBe in LA in Nov 2013.  So it's about to make a homecoming.

You may recall from the last time I wrote about the Linda top, that I learned that the word "ruching" has no "o" in it; I thought it was "rouching".  Trumbelina suggested that I think of the spelling with "o" like it's the Canadian or British spelling of the word.  I like that idea (and your sense of humour!)

I made the ties 10.5" shorter by removing one "page" worth of the tie.
Instead of untaping that page, I just folded it out.

PR Linda Top in Teal
I bound the armhole, then topstitched.  One of the armholes came out comically much larger than the other one, oops.  I think that's a side effect of continuous sewing.

PR Linda Top in Teal
By serging the raw edge of the binding, then folding over and topstitching, it looks nicely finished inside and out.  Even if there is the comically larger armhole.

The knot reminds me of French clothing, flight attendants, and Cub Scouts.  
PR Linda Top in Teal

I took the outdoor photos yesterday, after it had rained much of the day.  The lawn is basically clay so there is not much drainage.
PR Linda Top in Teal
Here I'm wishing I had a remote for taking pictures instead of mucking through the mud to reset the 10 second timer.
PR Linda Top in Teal
Here I'm sinking into the mud.
PR Linda Top in Teal
Help! Someone rescue me!!

I sewed one more item this morning.  And depending on my stamina, I might finish another item tonight.  But I really need to pack.  I think the only cure for the "sewing for PR Weekend" affliction is to get on the plane, which I'm doing tmw.

Be well!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Now in Sunlight: Two pairs of Mimi G Simplicity 1283 pants

Gray Simplicity 1283 view C Mimi G pants in Gray
Gray pair, sewn today and photographed  in daylight!

Thanks for all your comments from yesterday's post!!

(To recap:  S1283 is the Holy Grail of knit pants patterns for pears; front crotch is amazing; all hail MimiG. I used exterior elastic instead of the recommended waistband and removed 5" at the knee.  No crying, no frustration.  I just sewed and they fit great!).

I loved the black pair so much that I cut and sewed a dark gray pair today, and did a photo shoot in the side yard before there were too many shadows so that you can see the fit better.

The gray pair

Gray Simplicity 1283 view C Mimi G pants in Gray
Yes, there are some wrinkles back there.  I'm not interested in doing a bunch of muslins to try to remove them, though.  Releasing some of my perfectionism and all that.
Gray Simplicity 1283 view C Mimi G pants in Gray
This pair is made from some really delightful gray ponte from Joann's, of all places.  It must have a lot of lycra in it.  Feels very beefy, substantial and comfy.  It is also slightly sparkly in sunlight which is unexpected and fun, though you can't tell from the photos.  It's fabric with personality.
Gray Simplicity 1283 View C Mimi G pants in gray

For this pair I used some fancy elastic from Pacific Trimming that I had in stash.  Looks more decorative than the elastic I used yesterday.  When I sew the crop top, I would lengthen it to hit just at this elastic.

The hem is not straight across; it's curved.
For this pair I used my twin needle to hem instead of blind hemming it.

The black pair
Simplicity 1283 View C Mimi G pants in black ponte
Simplicity 1283 View C Mimi G pants in black ponte
Simplicity 1283 View C Mimi G pants in black ponte
Simplicity 1283 View C Mimi G pants in black ponte
Simplicity 1283 View C Mimi G pants in black ponte

PR Linda Top
Butterick 6072 backpack

Today's photo shoot brought to you by my dying old point and shoot + 10 second timer + gorillapod + Rose of Sharon.

Let me know if you're a pear and make these pants--I'd love to compare notes!  I'm looking forward to wearing both pairs at work this week as a test drive.

Thanks again MimiG!!!

Be well!