November 23, 2014

True Bais Hudson Pants #2

True Bias Hudson Pants #2

Hey all of you lovelies! Thanks so much for all the comments on my dress. I was on vacation last week so I wasn't able to keep up with comments as much without phone service.

Speaking of vacation I wore my first pair of Hudsons nearly the entire trip. Comfy *and* warm!

True Bias Hudson Pants #2

I made this second pair the day before I left but only wore them a couple times (no cool nature pics with these pants, sorry).

The Goal: I needed more pants for my trip! And since I liked my first pair so much I decided to make a more "fancy" pair.

True Bias Hudson Pants #2

The Pattern: True Bias' Hudson Pant. I cut one size smaller than last time. The fabric I used was about as stretchy as my original version but I wanted a slimmer fit.

True Bias Hudson Pants #2

The Fabric: This is a weird waffle-like textured knit from Joann Fabrics. It's strange because it has a thin, mesh layer on the inside where the waffle indention points are attached. I think the outer layer is cotton and that mesh is poly. I haven't seen anything like it before but I liked the damask look to the fabric.

True Bias Hudson Pants #2

The Changes: I shaved off a little from the inner back thigh pieces. These are more like thick leggings than the "lounge" pants my first version was.

Also, no drawstring and no top stitching on the waist band. I was in a hurry to finish and didn't bother.

True Bias Hudson Pants #2

The Results: Honestly, I don't often wear printed pants. Justin's first response was "whoa" but he said he liked them. The lady at the hotel desk said she liked them, too, so I think they're a win. I really like the fit. I think it makes the fancy style of them look even more sleek. As sleek as you can for knit pants.

November 9, 2014

"Breathless" Dress

Breathless Dress

A film by Jean-Luc Godard. A dress by Dixie DIY.

Let me begin this post with a bit of history. "Breathless" or "A Bout de Souffle" is a 1959 movie by French director Jean-Luc Godard and is arguably one of the most important films of all time. If that sounds a little pretentious, don't worry, it's also just a plain good movie.

If you haven't seen it here's the basic run down: Michel(Jean-Paul Belmondo), a car thief, who, frankly, doesn't seem very bright 'cause he shoots a cop for a dumb reason, is on the lamb and runs up to Paris to hide out with his aloof American journalist girlfriend, Patricia (Jean Seberg). He then tries to convince her to run away with him to Italy and she's kinda like, "meh" about the whole thing.

It's a love story and it isn't. The characters are modern and likeable but also self indulgent. The movie is sweet but at the same time it doesn't romanticize love. Unlike Hollywood movies of the time (and many still being produced now) Breathless doesn't treat its couple like they're "meant to be" with dramatic kisses set to a string overture. It's much more ambivalent and the characters often struggle to emotionally connect to each other.

But the plot isn't the main reason Breathless is so appreciated as a great film. Godard, himself a huge cinephile, used his directorial debut to turn filmmaking convention on its head. Everything was shot on location, no lighting, guerrilla style with no real "script." It is self referential with plenty of references to Hollywood movie making styles without adhering to any of its rules. If you watch Breathless today it might just seem like a kind of quirky "indie" flick but at the time it was ground breaking.

Watch a handful of popular Hollywood movies from the late 50s, then watch Breathless, then watch some of the best movies of 1967: Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, Cool Hand Luke and notice the differences. It's all because of Breathless and movies like it.

So what about this dress?

The Goal: Regardless about how you feel about the movie or its message, politics, conventions, whatever, that Patricia had style! And this dress, worn toward the end of the film, was lovely so I decided to re-create it... like two years ago. Yes, this dress has been in the making for a long, long time.

Breathless Dress

The Pattern: Self drafted based on a bodice block. The skirt is just a gathered rectangle (the original dress has a series of tiny knife pleats). I tried half a dozen versions of the collar in an attempt to get it right.

However I began this dress so long ago that I think I must be smaller now than my original block because it's a little loose in the bodice.

Breathless Dress

The Fabric: A pima cotton from, I believe, Mood. But since I bought it more than a year and a half ago I know they won't still have it in stock.

The movie is in black and white so I just assumed that the stripe was blue.

Breathless Dress

The stripes in Seberg's dress are wider than mine but I think the weight of the fabric I bought is pretty spot on.

I bought the belt-buckle kit off Etsy. Sadly, they don't make those anymore. You'd have to track down a vintage one if you really want a matching belt.

Breathless Dress

The belting came from The Common Thread. The belt eyelets are regular old Dritz. And thanks to Susan and Miss Lulu for helping me cover those buttons. They look great but I can never get them to work for me.

Breathless Dress

I also bought a vintage zip with that buckle kit. Might as well keep the vintage theme going. I did a lapped zip in the side seam.

Breathless Dress

The Results: If only I had some white heels and gloves, a sweet pair of cat eye glasses, and the ovaries to cut my hair that short and I'd complete the look.

Breathless Dress

Mostly, I'm just glad this project is finally finished!

If you'd like to learn move about Breathless here are a few articles:

Breathless on New Wave Film - lots of info on the making of the movie
"Why Breathless?" on Thought Catalog - Why Breathless is still important 50 years later
Breathless on Cinemalogue
You can rent the movie on iTunes or Amazon or on disc from Netflix. There are plenty of clips on YouTube but I can't find the whole movie with English subtitles.

November 5, 2014

Blog Hopping!

Normally I don't do these sorts of things but my good friend Nicole nominated me. And I feel like I owe her an apology because it took me so long to get around to doing this. :( I had plans on taking fun pics to go with my questions but, as you can probably guess, that didn't happen.

But Nicole's other nominee, my friend Susan, already did her post so now I feel like I gotta get off my bum and do this thing. Motivation!

Thanks so much for the nomination, Nicole! You're awesome and I'm glad I've gotten to hang out with you so much lately with the meet ups and sewing parties.

So, questions...

How does my blog differ from others of its genre? 
Hmm, I guess I have a few themes on my blog like sewing clothes that will actually be worn rather than pure frosting.

But on the other end I've been going through a phase where I want to be challenged by my sewing whether that means learning new techniques, trying my hand at costuming or just making and wearing clothes that are out of my comfort zone.

Why do I create, and why do I write?
Creating is in my nature and I blog to document what I make. You never know if in the future you or your grandkids will want to look back on what you made years ago. I would love it if I had a 5 year log of everything my grandmother made way back when. This blog is a historical document.

Having a blog is also a good reference if I want to re-make a pattern and cant remember the changes I made to my original version.

(A dress I made in 2010 and a more recent make from this year)

Oh, and I think it's kind of cool that I have continuous catalog of pictures of myself (posed "photoshoot" style, as opposed to selfies) from at least once a week for the past several years. Sometimes it's interesting to go back and see how much (or how little) I've changed.

How does my creative process work? 
Lots of procrastinating in between naps - just kidding (mostly).

Usually I find a pattern design or inspirational photo online of a garment or style I love and start from there. I don't have much of a fabric stash but it's growing. After I find a good fabric then the fun begins.

The actual work is when I sit down for marathon sessions of sewing and whatever I'm watching on Netflix (right now I'm catching up on Doctor Who). I've found that I can sew for much longer if I'm being entertained (MUST. FINISH. EPISODE.).

Once I've finished I show off my new make to Justin who then proceeds to make unnecessary comments ("You look like a flight attendant/girl scout/50s housewife/librarian.") and I grumpliy trudge back into my sewing room.

After I get over that I then take pics and blog about it.

I can tell you one thing my creative process doesn't involve - cleaning.

What am I currently working on?

You mean what am I NOT working on? Hehehe, well, I made myself laugh...

I usually have several projects on the table at once. I know some people are adamant supporters of the "one project at a time" philosophy but that just slows me down. If I have several garments I'm working on then I can switch between them as I go.

Sure, juggling many makes does bring a UFO risk, but so does getting so frustrated with a persnikity project that you shove it into the black hole of shame a drawer. If I can take a break from a dress that's giving me trouble and work on a simple shirt then that success will fuel my desire to finish that other project.

A garment is most likely to become a UFO if it never makes it to the sewing machine. Most of my "UFO bags" are filled with cut out fabric pieces that probably aren't even pinned together.

But for real: I'm slowly working on a dress inspired by one of my favorite movies, a cosplay that I need to have finished by January, a 1840s romantic era dress, a Regency era bonnet, a Nettie Bodysuit, and a shirt dress are in the pipeline.

Ok, now for nomination(s)!

I'm nominating Lauren from Rosie Wednesday (I know I didn't ask ahead of time, but too bad, you gotta do it now). Not only is Lauren a great friend but her love of all things vintage is inspiring. She rocks the vintage look like no one's business from hair to glasses to her sassy and adorable handmade wardrobe. Seriously, this lady has a great blog (and she obviously loves candy as much as I do!) so you really ought to check it out.