Dear friends, I hope you'll excuse my silence while I finish my dress for my brother's wedding (which is in two mere days- I better hurry!). Watch this space for new posts, including a new interview series, called Designer Coffee- can you guess what it will be?
The last weeks have been hard on my sewing, and creativity in general. The work heaped on my (metaphorical) desk, along with the unbearable heat and humidity and Chanoch's new day school, which ends hours earlier than his previous school - all those aren't easy on me. You wouldn't believe the number of unfinished projects I have going on, and on top of that - I have one more dream waiting to be realized, but that too shall wait till I have time to sit, sketch and make it a reality (sorry for being vague; I'm not trying to be mysterious, not at all.)
I also have almost nothing to wear, and my clothing-shopping mojo (if such a thing, indeed, exists) has flown out the window as well, while all I want to sew (if I had the time) is either trench coats and wool pencil skirts or flowing chiffon/charmeuse silk evening wear (which I don't have where to wear to).
Thankfully, my workout mojo has gained from the loss of all others, and the gym has been seeing my face (and my thighs) a lot lately. A good thing, considering the amounts of cooking that were going on here this passing week.
So, this AM, I'll just indulge in some Prada prettiness, and some much-needed Glee kitch to blow the Monday Blues far, far away, and hopefully bring back my mojo, at least my work mojo, which is the most urgent right now.
Ah, the Chanel suit- what hasn't be said about it? Is it the lush fabric, the impeccable sewing, the timeless style - or maybe the price tag?
This week my Outfit With A Past (drum rolls, you know the drill...) is a Chanel knockoff my mother bought me as for an after-wedding party (we had seven of those as is our custom, each requiring a separate outfit of course [being sarcastic here]). For a knockoff this suit was wildly expensive, as well as gorgeously well-made. The fabric is from the same manufacturer of the original.
For sewing aficionados and couture obsessed, making a Chanel inspired suit (or even just the jacket) is a dream, which I clearly aspire to, but it probably won't be size 6 ever again... Sigh...
I wore this suit only a couple of times, one of them to my best friend's wedding. It was her birthday this week, so it's just appropriate to feature it now. I wore it with a pair of gold croc-heels from Nine West which were the most uncomfortable shoes I ever owned, but alas, they were beautiful (I have no idea where they are now).
What do you think? Are you a suit-wearer? And do you love all things tweed and boucle as I do?
P.S. I'm now accepting submissions for the Outfit With A Past series. If you'd like to tell the story of a special garment close to your heart (or maybe the opposite! Who knows?), just shoot me an email at chedvakl [at] gmail [dot] com.
(images: Coco Before Chanel movie still via Gertie's New Blog For Better Sewing; Original Chanel suits via deepglamour.net; Me, Me.)
I'm thrilled to be doing a guest post here on Belly's Button. Thank you Chedva!
Chedva asked me to post about something sewing related and so I thought I would write what I know best and that is why I love sewing. I love sewing, I really really do and I'm always surprised by it! I don't actually have a really long history in the art of stitching, but it seems that the women in my family have always done something extraordinary with their hands. Whenever I think about sewing, my grandmother always comes to mind. She's a master quilter and also dabbles in dressmaking here and there. She's always been such a stylish woman and I distinctly remember when I was younger, always admiring the way she looked and wore her clothes. I remember asking her about a skirt she was wearing once, and she remarked with her usual disquieted energy that she had made the skirt and that it would never have fit otherwise, nor would she have been able to afford it, at least not at the high quality standard she always set for herself.
My grandparents - a photo taken last year
I'm always reminded of her when I think about when I picked up a needle and thread again. I started sewing when I was young and took a few classes in high school. After college, I was very poor and feeling the pinch of those precious pennies while still yearning for a beautiful frock every now and then. My parents gave me a sewing machine for Christmas one year and I was completely inspired to start a handmade wardrobe. My first few garments were definitely nothing to rave about and as I was a little disappointed in my sewing skill, I took my quest for how to improve it to the internet. I was blown away by how much information, inspiration and incredible seamstresses there were online. I dabbled in crafting and home stitching, but my real love has come through garment construction. I love the energy I feel when an idea for a some type of clothing item dawns on me. From there its nothing but excitement as I gather the supplies, test the muslin, cut the fabric and sew up a garment. Interestingly enough the thrill doesn't lessen with the wearing of the garment either, as I can't help from blurting out that I made it and I get the oohs! and ahhs from fellow passersby!
A purple dress I finished last year and it still continues to be one of my favorite outfits to wear
I'm surprised by how much one can learn about themselves and their personal tastes from sewing and by how vast the art of sewing really is. I haven't always known what I liked and disliked when it came to clothes and sewing them. I've learned the hard way that sometimes crazy prints only create a chaotic and "homemade" look and that it's OK if I need something basic, like a navy blue pencil skirt which is on my docket next. I've learned that real beauty in a garment shows itself through the construction and finishing details rather than just by the fabric choice. And there are so many techniques out there that can really give life to a garment and that mastering them comes only with time, patience and more patience.
Triangular Bound Buttonholes - from a dress I stitched earlier this year
Being the vain and facetious, although rather good at sharing, person that I am, I love hearing about others and their sewing adventures, the reasons they sew and what they like to sew. What are some of the reasons you sew and what area of sewing really strikes your fancy? What have you discovered along your sewing journey? What have you discovered about yourself?
Thanks for the great post, Sunni. Readers, you have to check out Sunni's lovely blog, The Cupcake Goddess, for more of her awesomeness.
Hello and TGIF (picture me sighing in relief), dear friends!
Today in outfits with a past (drumroll, I'm always drumrolling in my head after these words) I'd like to revisit a great find I wore way too little: my Gianfranco Ferre coat. As you may know, winter in Israel is scarce to none-existent, especially in the last two years. This fact makes me very sad because:
A. It's my favorite season.
B. My birthday is in February, and I like feeling that it's my birthday, not thinking we accidentally landed in July.
C. The best clothes are winter clothes!
I found this coat for 200$ (which is a joke, for a designer of this caliber) in a boutique that imports designer fashion (and especially shoes) from past seasons. Its tailoring is impeccable, inside and out, and I'm just in love with it.
The pictures don't do this coat justice. Yeah, it's all prim-and-proper, but with a little pencil skirt beneath and the right shoes and jewelry, it's a wardrobe milestone.
I'm at awe of the tailoring job and of the out of this world fabric. I'm actually contemplating a similar coat in these boucle fabrics from Gorgeous Fabrics:
But that shall wait till it's not so friggin' hot, because right now I sweat even from thinking about sewing wool.
What about you? Have any favorite coat you're dreaming of? And does dreaming about winter fashion make you sweat and curse or brings back cooler, saner times?
...And the coral inspiration board is finally here!
I actually mixed in other hues of pinks and oranges, and even a touch of seamist, because my fabric turned out to be more of a bubble gum pink than coral, and I was enjoying those vibrant images so much. I decided to go for a blouse with a tie collar with my silk stretch charmeuse, but I'm confident that I'll use this moodboard for other sewing projects as well. What do you think? What would you make?
Now that you took a second to browse it, I have some 'splaining to do. I talked about a coral inspiration board some time ago, and the reason I didn't post it up until now is simple and quite embarrassing: I didn't know how to make a collage. So after my initial shock at my own incompetence I tried a few different routes, and I'm happy to list them for those of you who are novices like me:
Pinterest: I first found out about Pinterest thanks to a project a lot of my favoritebloggers participated in, called pin it forward, where each created a moodboard, or a pinboard if you will, on "what home means to me". Pinterest's strength (which is also its weakness) is that you can pin anything from any site you visit, thus gathering inspiration effortlessly while surfing the www (I feel so 1999 all of a sudden...) but you cannot (to the best of my knowledge) upload images from your computer. This was a bit of a nuisance, as I already had dozens of images stored in my documents which I wanted to include in the moodboard. Also, the moodboard is page on the site, not a single image - which is great but makes it harder for an amateur like me to share all at once on this here blog :)
Olioboard: When Holly of Decor8wrote about Olioboard I hurried to check it out. Olioboard is simpler than Pinterest, which means it's less fun than the latter but also more well-suited for my purpose. Basically, it's Polyvore for decor aficionados. Each new member gets a certain number of "items" (furniture, textile etc) they can add to their moodboards and they can also upload items of their own.
Picnik: I liked both of these sites very, very much, but I still felt I actually need something much simpler. So, considering my lack of photoshop skills whatsoever, I went to my go-to image editor Picnik and found out there are two options: A good 'ole collage (posted above) or a slideshow (actually with pretty neat editing options).
All in all, I think each of these websites fits different needs and purposes, although I must say Pinterest has more of a social media network feel, and it's highly addictive, as you can see in my account. I hope this wasn't too long and that I helped somehow with this info. Of course, I'd love to hear about your favorite means of creating moodboards, especially for interior design and inspiration.
*side note: I have no affiliation with the sites mentioned above, though I wouldn't mind to have :)
Thank God it's Monday (Don't you hate Sundays?) and it's time for coffee and links. I had such a bad day yesterday, and I'm happy it's over and there's a new week ahead of me. Today I'm planning on some sewing (remember the power skirt?) and I also need to find handles for our kitchen cabinets. I plan to sew a muslin of my blouse sloper because I made some changes I need to test, and this week my teacher agreed to show us how to draft a bathing suit pattern - can't wait!
But first: A deep breath and some links
Nina Katchadourian is not your regular library organizer (cause we all have a library organizer, right?). She organizes books in all different ways and themes and creates new (clever, witty, thought-provoking) stories through her work. Truly inspirational. (Thanks go to Edna for the link.)
Threads published a helpful article on their site on using the right pins for different fabrics and purposes. I admit I don't do a great job matching the right pins to each project, but now I'll try to change that.
Style.com's Style File blog runs a series of interviews called The Future of Fashion and this time they featured fashion genius Alber Elbaz. Elbaz has been one of my favorite fashion designers for the last 3 or 4 years. I adore his work for Lanvin (though I don't love ALL of it anymore) and he seems so gracious and humble in all the interviews I've read with him.
I hope I'm not tiring you with my constant linking to Lisa Borgnes Giramonti's blog, A Bloomsbury Life, but I can't stop. I don't know what's better in this post about her office: the writing or the photos.
I'm re-watching The West Wing for the umpteenth time. Any other Aaron Sorkin / Bradley Whitford fans out there? I'd love to analyze every bit of this legendary series ad nauseum (I, like Jedd Bartlet, love Latin; Unlike him - I don't really know much of it).
That's all for now. How are you doing today? Found an interesting website? Had your coffee yet?
This beautiful coral silk charmeuse is on its way to me from Gorgeous Fabrics, and I don't need to dive for inspiration (hehe). Coral's been everywhere this season, from runways to flowers to interior design.
I'm working on a complete coral mood-board post, and in the meantime I'm enjoying the gracious Celeste's too-beautiful-for-words photography on Flickr.
By the way, Chanoch wore his macaron outfit yesterday and looked absolutely adorable, too bad I couldn't do a photo shoot...
And another PS: My dear, talented, gorgeous, hilarious friend is celebrating her birthday today. H, I'm the luckiest girl for having you as a friend. Thank you for being you. I wish you the most magnificent year.
There was falling asleep in one's sweaty clothes (no, there's no picture of that),
there were lots and lots of mess,
and there is satisfaction:
That's all, at Sunday I will just sew buttons and finish hand stitching the lining and the belt loops, and if there's any time left I'll sneak in a t shirt or two. Thank, Meg of elsie marley, for arranging this challenge. It was a fun experience and a learning curve all at once.