Project ‘Project Runway’

I know every one is probably tired of Project Runway by now.  It’s overloaded with product placement, drama, some silly challenges, but truth is I never get tired of it.  I wish I could see more of the designer’s creative processes and techniques, but that stuff just does not make for good TV.  No matter how unbearable it gets I will still tune in just to see the creative things people can dream up in just a few hours.

So that I can let it live on while it’s in the off season, I’ve taken on a project inspired by the show: Revisiting past challenges and attempting to recreate or re-image my favorites (or not so favorite) using a half-scale model.  I’m so product oriented I don’t take enough time to practice draping, pattern-making, and just plain ole’ playing with fabrics and design.

I am no match compared to those skillful designers and because of that I don’t even know how far I can take this project, but I hope to learn a little more about clothing construction in the process.  Everything is always a learning process.

Instagram is my new best friend since I can keep it short and sweet and that is where I shared my first go at this.  Now I understand a lot more about hiding darts in seams.  Is it wrong that I want this in my size?

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Project ‘Project Runway’

Egg-Shaped Dress

My last project completed in 2014 was an egg-shaped dress (BurdaStyle 10/2014 #127B).

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Most of the time, I am drawn to the oddest (but still kind of practical) garment the magazine has to offer, but this shape isn’t as unusual as I originally thought. It’s actually a nod to style from the 1960s, it appeared in several styles in 2006/2007 and again on the runway in 2013/2014.

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Balenciaga Coat (Photo credit: Pinterest via Balenciaga.com)

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Jil Sander Dress (Photo credit: farfetch.com)

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ASOS Dress (Photo credit: asosrp2010.cloudapp.net)

It’s definitely one of those shapes that few people wear really well, but that never stops me from attempting the impossible.

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The original pattern has only a slight egg shape and made in a wonderfully bright striped jacquard.  The fabric selection is probably the real reason I love the dress so much.  That and I needed a shape to hide those few pounds I knew I was going to gain during the cookie holiday season.  No need to walk around holding my breath and sucking in my belly!

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I was unable to find any fabric like it that wasn’t heavy upholstery fabric, so I settled on a lightweight jacquard that still kept the horizontal striped layout. The pattern did not call for lining so I took some time (okay, quite a bit of time) to Hong Kong finish all the seams, make my own piping, install my first exposed zip.

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Of course there was the usual full bust adjustment, but I made no other alterations.  There is enough fullness to add another me into this dress.  I wanted to pair it with a black mock turtleneck as similarly styled in the magazine and a simple wedge shoe or a tall boot, but I don’t own either.

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I will probably never sew this pattern again, but it was fun to make and a very easy, cozy dress to wear.  Best of all, I got to try techniques I haven’t done before.

-Nizzy

Egg-Shaped Dress

Happy New Year!

2014 wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be in terms of crafting.  I did spend a lot of time thinking too hard about how to keep up with the Crafting Jones’ which made me lose my way a bit.  However, I refuse to give that any more energy and I plan to move forward.   I don’t know what 2015 is going be since I don’t have a complete plan yet, but I know what it cannot be.  It cannot be a year of:

– stockpiling materials to excess

– an overabundance of unfinished projects

– forcing myself to finish projects that I fall out of love with half-way through

– being too much of a perfectionist that leaves a project unfinished

– letting what others do distract me from my process

– letting fear hold me back from attempting new challenges

I just need to get out of my head.  So, Onward and Upward!

-Nizzy

Happy New Year!

Self-Discovery Art Journal Project

I’ve always kept a journal.   I would say the earliest ones I still have are from elementary school.  What was going in my life in those early moments that I needed to work out through keeping a diary?  Well, plenty, of course! There were the boys, who got on my nerves that week, what I thought mom did to ruin my life, cute boys, escapades with friends, dreams I had, my latest music group obsession, and did I mention BOYS?

I periodically wrote through middle school, high school, and some college years, but I had to stop for a while because I found that I only used it to vent all of my angry moments.  I didn’t want remember just the angry parts of my life.

In recent years I’ve returned to the journal, changing its format a few times to more of a daily log.  And as you see, if you’re reading this, I’ve reached out to embrace “the virtual journal” to document my creative goings on.   I guess journaling will always be a part of my life in some format.

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This time I am embracing my interpretation of the art journal.   There are some amazing examples out there.  I can’t guarantee that my journal will be as beautiful and art filled, but I

It will be serious, silly, embellished, written in, quoted up, doodled on, colored, painted, etc. The plan is to make some use of the 92 bazillion unused scrap-booking paper and materials I have from a craft long abandoned.  I have no plan, no format, no layout, no rules to follow, no set topics…just self-discovery and creativity one topic at a time, one moment at a time

 

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All of my random thoughts, favorite quotes, creative writings, photos, likes, dislikes, dreams, and things that I learn about myself through this project will be condensed to several 8 and 1/2 x 11 sheets of colored paper.

– Nizzy

Self-Discovery Art Journal Project

Finally Sold on Dresses…and Capes

It took a while, but I finally came around.  I’m officially sold on wearing dresses.  I’m not planning on replacing my whole wardrobe with them, but let’s say I now appreciate the femininity and ease that a dress offers.

When you are short on time and can’t decide on separates, a dress is simple solution.

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Unfortunately, I did not get to make all of those lovely dresses for the summer as I had planned, but I managed to squeeze out this just before “Fall” showed up.

Now that I”m all for wearing dresses, am I brave enough to bear them in the winter?

Now, for capes (Simplicity 5794), this one I made was purely for costuming purposes, but I’m kind of diggin’ the effortlessness a cape/cloak presents: Just throw it on! No fiddling with buttons, belts, or buckles..just one hook on the neck to encase your body in warmth.

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I added some trim to this basic cape to give it a little somethin’ somethin’.

I might consider making a fashion cape for this season.  If I do, I better get on it now, because it’s already cold.

-Nizzy

Finally Sold on Dresses…and Capes

What’s My Grade?

September seemed to pass by so quickly however, I managed to squeeze in several simple pairs of earrings.  I’ve tried to stay true to my personal challenge in that no new materials would be used (except notions and findings like thread, jump rings, etc.) and all but one pair of these follow the rule of using what I have in the stash instead of stockpiling beads and fabric like I’m waiting for a Craftpocolypse to begin. 

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Wait…A Craftpocolypse?   I like the sound of that!

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September also was the month I finished the Fashion Studies class.   The instructor was super knowledgable and has further sparked my interest in keeping up with the goings on of the fashion industry.  I’ve learned names of designers (and I never keep up names!), turned my nose up at some fast fashion news stories, learned to appreciate the work that goes into clothing and textile manufacturing, and ogled more 2014 runway shows than ever before.   That last night, my classmates and I brought in and discussed our final projects (mood board (below), illustration (below), technical drawings and swatches), received a gentle critique of or work, and went on our way!  There are only two regrets I have about taking the class:

1. Taking the class for audit.  You haven’t a clue of how well (or how bad) you’ve done.  Although I’m pretty sure compared to others in that industry I would have a lot more to “show and prove”.  On the other hand, learning is ‘spensive!

2. Not trying to “design” a little more.  I froze at the thought of drawing collars, draping, layering, texture, dimension, etc.  I wanted to avoid a complete illustration disaster so I kept it simple enough for my limited drawing skills.

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I was inspired by mathematics, optial illusions, geometry and crisp folds.

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Friends are asking me if I have any plans to make these clothes.  I’ve entertained the idea, but don’t think I will.  At least not yet.  Let’s see what happens in the next class: Patternmaking and Construction.  Maybe these ideas above are simple enough for me practice what I learn.

-Nizzy

What’s My Grade?

Where It All Goes Down

I certainly do have craft room/studio envy when I see some of the lovely spaces on the blogs I encounter, but I try not to get caught up in that because I have a pretty decent space to work in and I’m very thankful for that!  Let’s take a look! 

First, I will introduce you to the latest addition to the space: my cutting table.  My husband built this for me after much of my begging, whining, and complaining about how I needed it to save my back.  He isn’t entirely happy with the result and wants to do it again (hence why it’s not painted), but I’m just glad I don’t have to go into super hunchback mode just to cut and pin some fabric.

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Because that table is so huge in this small room I had to move my bookshelf to a different spot.  Yeah, that’s quite a collection.  Even Debbie strikes a pose for the photo!

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Just a simple table is where I get my sewing and crafting done. 

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Beading and Yarn corner, my stone age tv and stand that houses paper and card supplies.

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Embellishment corner with some jewelry waiting for its photo shoot.

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And that is where it all goes down folks.

– Nizzy

Where It All Goes Down