Monday, November 22, 2010

The Chanel Challenge: Part 3

I spent the better part of Saturday working on this jacket. Four days at quilt camp, three days spent on Miss Kayla. The Chanel jacket is finished. Not quite couture, but I think I came away with a Chanel feeling.

The jacket was fairly easy to construct. The difficult part was sewing down the lining at the sleeve head. The armhole opening is so small and it wasn't a neat process to trim down the excess lining in the sleeve. And since I ventured off the pattern path, I once again was making an outfit that I had no road map for. I hope that the jacket fits Kayla and that she can move in it.

When I purchased this fabric last year, I knew what I wanted to do but had no idea that I would be working on a new technique. I went looking for inspiration and found instruction. If any of you are interested in making your own Chanel jacket, here are some wonderful resources.

Go Chanel or Go Home fabulous sew-along blog. Very informative.
Great Sewn Clothes by Threads Magazine
Threads Magazine Issue #121 Inside Secrets of a Chanel Jacket Choosing Chanel-Style Jacket Trims
Threads Magazine Issue #23 Inside a Chanel Jacket
Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire Schaffer

Sunday, November 21, 2010

An Ugly Fabric Challenge

Last spring at work, a few of us decided to partake in an ugly fabric challenge. The challenge was pretty simple. You could make anything you wanted with the fabric, garment, purse, quilt. The rule was that the item had to be finished if it was a garment, purse, table runner. If you were making a quilt larger than a baby quilt, only the top had to be finished. Unfortunately, there were no winners because no one had finished their items.

I picked the fabric from my stash and the reason why I deemed it ugly was that it is a teal colored fabric. It is a more difficult color to work with.

I figured that I would make a garment and then decided at the last minute to use a Chelsea Anderson pattern from McCalls.

The Chanel Challenge: Part 2

The next step on my Chanel jacket is to create the trim. Here is your chance to be creative with trims. Heck, part of my trim wasn't even purchased. Chanel has been known to even use the bias of the fashion fabric as a trim.

I found this bright pink fabric at Joann's. I cut two inch bias strips. After looking at the strips, I decided that the two inch width was too big for the girl's jacket. I think an inch to an inch and a half is a more desirable width. So I take my scissors to trim down the trim. I want to keep the bias strips from unraveling all the way so I run two rows of straight stitching down the strips.

Next, I needed something to give the bias strips a little pizazz. I found the sparkly, gaudy, hot pink trim at Hancock Fabrics. Seems to be perfect for a six year old girl. I trim all the little chiffon strips that are coming off this trim. I then stitch the sparkly pink trim to the bias strips.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Traveling Quilter Goes to Houston

Isn't it handy that my daughter moved to Houston right after the wedding. If Jeff and I had to move Whitney's furniture and wedding gifts down there, I may as well go during the International Quilt Festival in Houston. If you really want to know, I haven't been much of a traveling quilter for over a year, more of the traveling garment maker. But why pass up an opportunity to fabric shop.

Jeff, Whitney and I arrived about an hour before the show opened up. For those of you who attended the Chicago show in the past, the Houston show is a luxury. No more standing on the cement floor in the cattle corrals. We were able to go upstairs and get a coffee and, gasp, sit. No, no sitting allowed in Chicago. Your feet and legs were wore out before the show ever began.
A few months ago when we were in discussions about going to Houston, I mentioned the quilt show to Jeff. He said I could go and he would probably go with me. Well as the day drew near, he was rethinking his commitment. After all, he's a manly man. The morning of, he decides that he would take a chance and bring his laptop. Lucky for him that the convention center had lot's of areas for him to work. We bought a ticket for him but he didn't go inside until lunch. After lunch, he headed back upstairs. He only ventured onto the convention floor when Whitney and I were finished with the vendors and we were ready to view the quilts on display. My husband's only comment was "I'm scared." What's there to be afraid of with a few quilters mulling around the space. I must say, he didn't mind looking at the quilts. And at the very back of the quilt display, we found a curtained off area that said Men's Lounge. I think they had a big screen tv set for the men to watch football. I'll remember that for the next time.
My first stop, to see Luc the lace guy. Luc is from the Netherlands. He used to travel to the Chicago show with his French laces. French heirloom sewing isn't big in the frozen tundra as it is down south. We can make anything out of polar fleece but we really don't know what to do with this lace. Well, upon arrival at Luc's booth, I think he asked which vendors we had been to. I told him he was on my list for the first stop. He was surprised. I then told him that it I didn't have a lot of choices where I lived. He then said, "oh you're the person from Wisconsin". Ummmm, did my face turn red. Yes, I meekly said. He said, "you email me every year to make sure I'm going to be at the shows". Whitney then proceeds to text Jeff and said "Should I be worried that the Dutch vendor knows mom?" Luc is such a nice guy. He has a following. Lot's of heirloom sewers purchase his lace even though it's shipped over from the Netherlands. For you heirloom enthusiasts, you can find him at Cotton Laces. He has the best prices around. I think Whitney was a tad embarrassed that I asked if I could take his picture.
Whitney and I had a good time roaming the isles, all twenty-two of them. We came, we saw, we spent. Then it was finally time to go pick up Jeff and look at the quilts. We found the one we came to see. Pat Bishop's "Walk of the Cranes". How lucky in life can you be when you hang with such a talented artist. One of these days, I may just venture over to the dark side and try my hand at an art quilt.

Some Wedding Pictures

Whitney and Joshua got their wedding pictures from the photographer this week. We
were really excited to see them.