Saturday, February 28, 2009


I've been sewing a camisole in Liberty fabric - another piece for the $15 wardrobe. Unfortunately I tripped over the foot control for my sewing machine and broke it (the control, not my foot) just as I was finishing this camisole. A sign, my husband says, that I may need a dedicated sewing room.

But this accident gives me an opportunity to show you what's inspiring me now, while I wait for a new foot control to arrive in the mail.

London Fashion Week is always a great source of ideas. You can see details of the shows on the Guardian (UK newspaper) website. Christopher Kane is a 26-year old British designer who attracted a lot of attention at fashion week with strong, elegant looks for Fall 2009. Here are two dresses he created based on black marker scribbles on white paper.

Black on net (or chiffon?)
simultaneously strong and delicate

Vertical lines ending in a froth of ruffles:
thrilling sense of movement

These skirts would be challenging to sew, but they show what can be done even without color, using binding to define shapes and create rhythm and movement. 

Sadly, as much as I admire these looks they don't fit into my current life as parent to a kindergartener. I don't get as many opportunities as I'd like to wear chiffon. But here are some appealing designs from Missoni that are flexible enough to wear in many ways. They could be made from genuine Missoni fabric (try Emma One Sock) or from a similar knit.

Very wearable Missoni kimono top

A basic wrap dress 
interesting play of fabric on the neckline and belt

I'm making a top from Onion 5015, which doesn't have the same drapey sleeves but does have a similar shape. There's also a tutorial for a top like this on the Sewing Divas website. 

I'm thinking about sewing more tee shirts, too. Sonia Rykiel also offers some sophisticated and playful options.

A long stripey t-shirt or sweater
with hot pink details

Another stripey top
This with multi-color details

I'm starting these tee shirts with with a striped knit from Lucy's Fabrics. I found colored rib knits from a children's fabric supplier. I lengthened a Jalie pattern to get this longer, sleeker look. I'll show some photos of this project in a follow-up post. 

And here is a style from Alexis Mabille. I'm a bit afraid to work with lace, but this is a terrific blouse with a polo-style collar in satin. This blouse would suit women of all ages and it could be worn across seasons. The collar updates the look, but it's a classic that wouldn't go out of style: a smart use of expensive lace fabric. 

Alexis Mabille lace blouse from 2008

It seems as though everyone's making their designer looks at home. If you're up for a challenge, Paul Smith offers a pattern and instructions for how to turn an old shirt into a Paul Smith shirt - find it on the Guardian (UK newspaper) website.

1 comment:

AMJ said...

Please write in your comments - I would love to hear from you!