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Burda 7123 First Fitting

trulyclaire

I was not happy at all with cutting the size 12. This after I carefully measured the pattern. My deduction is that Burda doesn't cut for curvy body types as a default. This of course is always a possibility as the average body type pattern companies cut for is not curvy. No reflection on actual bodies in society but there it is. Next time I sew a Burda pant I'll cut the 14. It will be easier to fit that way.

So what I'm going to do is undo the side seams and sew them a little smaller, maybe leave a quarter inch behind. I think that's all I need, but if that doesn't work then I'll just re-cut the pattern right around the hips because surprisingly I'm satisfied with the fit around my thighs. The center back seam should be reshaped but I think the crotch depth is fine. Hopefully, I'll have time this week to do all this and crossing fingers that next week I can cut and sew these in the fashion fabric. If I can get these done sooner I'll be shocked. Shocked I tell you.

Truly,
Claire

Barren Studio

trulyclaire

I haven't done any of this in nearly three weeks

I knew my schedule was about to go into overdrive but I had no idea that it would take me away from my creative space for so long. Though I've been busy with lots of really wonderful things like baby baptisms and new jobs and spending much needed time with friends, I have been hankering to get back into my studio. I've barely had time to blink let alone work on my current projects and start developing new ones. I managed to sew a muslin of the Burda pants and be really, really unhappy with the fit before everything went full throttle. I should have cut a size 14, but I'll put all of that in another post. I won't apologize for leaving my blog for so long because my non-virtual life will always come first, but I am so very sorry for myself that I haven't been creating. Very soon I'll be back at it and will be posting my updates more regularly once again

Truly,
Claire.

New Hair | Breeze

trulyclaire

In the studio taking pictures instead of working. I got as as far as doing my eyes and then gave up. Let's be happy I got this far. Let's be happy I had the wig on inside the house because that wouldn't have happened if it weren't for the blog.

I wear wigs from time to time to give myself a break from my hair and give my hair a break from myself. We're both grateful for the time away. This particular wig is by Motown Tress and it is called "Breeze". I'll be wearing it throughout the summer. It will be this or a bandana because my Summer should be spent being carefree and not fussing and primping over my hair. The humidity where I live will wreck any style I try to do  anyway.

I've worn it off an on for about a week and a quick review is that: it tangles like a beast, is a little snug on my slightly large head, but wears delightfully well. For thirty dollars I'm okay with all of that.  It's a bit wiggy of course being that the damn thing is smoothly extruded plastic so it shines like a disco ball in a hall of mirrors even with a generous helping of dry shampoo (cornstarch). Also, I don't bother much to keep my hair underneath very flat. I like it wigginess and all. I'm not trying to convince anyone it's my hair only that I cared enough not to wear a bandana that day.

Truly,

Claire

Goodwill Navy Knock-Off

trulyclaire

Joann Sew Classic "Lime" Bottomweight Stretch Sateen. 97/3% cotton/poly. 

Joann Sew Classic "Lime" Bottomweight Stretch Sateen. 97/3% cotton/poly. 

I'm efficient (lazy) and only drafted one pattern piece for both the front and back.

I first mentioned this dress here. I drafted the pattern using a direct tracing method and cut out and sewed up a muslin. The fit, not surprisingly, is the same. My original plan was to make it in a reasonable versatile white or red fabric, but then I saw this incredible bright chartreuse sateen fabric and I had to. I just HAD to. What's more it was the end of the bolt so I got 75% off since Joann's rolls that way. It's not for sale online but as of this post they have a few boring colors to choose from. Just search for bottomweight cotton sateen and a selection should pop up. It runs for $9.99/yd USD.

I usually don't finish the hems on muslins unless I absolutely must. This case was not one of those. 

Today I'm laundering the fabric and that's about it. I probably won't sew a stitch on this project until next Sunday. It's no rush for me, but if I get a hankering to do it sooner I just might. I have to finish the pattern though. I usually hold off making facings and what not until I'm sure of the fit and even now I think I may alter the neckline to be a bit less puritanical. Though how conservative can it be in this quasi-highlighter shade of loveliness? The jury is still out and so are the facings until I make up my mind.  In the meant time I'll be working on sewing up Burda 7123 which are being done up in muslin today. Exciting!

Truly,

Claire


Simplicity 1696 and Burda 7123

trulyclaire

Simplicity 1696 that I made for my birthday in 2014. Sewn up in poplin, no stretch.

I've made Simplicity 1696 before and found it to be mostly enjoyable. Lengthening the inseam on the pattern was the only tweak it really needed which is fine since I have to do that on all commercial patterns. Sewing up a few pairs of pants in this pattern would be fast and give me some workhorses right away, but I like variety...

The pattern envelops and the blue gabardine laid out on my cutting/drafting table.

The pattern envelops and the blue gabardine laid out on my cutting/drafting table.

I picked up this Burda 7123 pattern a while back and I've never cut it. So the first thing I'll do is make a muslin for it (View A) and decide if I want to go any further with it for now. I have an idea to sew it up in the blue fabric pictured. I was saving it for sewing up in my own design, but it was so similar to the Burda one I found I decided against reinventing the wheel this time. If the Burda sews up to look anything close to the image on the envelope I'll take it in three pairs: white, grey, and blue to start. My only concern is that it looks a little baggy around the lower leg which isn't quite the look I'm going for but is an easy enough alteration.

I figure if I have around 6 pairs of pants in different colors and slightly different cuts that should be more than enough to satisfy my need. I'll have to go fabric sourcing this weekend and see what my options are. It'd be great to burn down some yardage from my stash but I just don't have anything beyond the blue gabardine that'd work.

New Job = New Clothes

trulyclaire

It's incredible how much traveling internationally threw me off schedule. I bounced back after about two weeks but then went headlong into a busy week of helping friends move house, working on projects for offcultured, and getting ready for a new full time job. I feel like I'm just now catching my breath and am able to turn my focus back on designing and creating.

Some of my finds from my last visit to Goodwill. Left to right: Blazer, Forever 21; Blazer, Etro; Shirt, Ann Taylor Loft; Shirt, Liz Claiborne

I have a bunch of new projects to work on to help me get ready for this new job. I'll be working in an office and though they have a relaxed vibe it's still business casual. My wardrobe is fine as it is but I've hit up the Goodwill looking for more pieces to round it out so it can transition more easily into an office environment. Along with the thrift store finds I want to make a few basic pieces that can be the bones of what I wear to work. The only rule in all of this is that whatever I find or make must be something that I would wear even when I'm not at work. I don't like having "work clothes" but I like when I have versatile clothes I can wear to work. 

My first project is to knock off this $4.oo dress (sans label) from the Goodwill. When I first bought it I wanted it in every color because it's very chic and so easy to wear. I even wore it to my interview that landed me the new job. Belted, it is phenomenal which is really the only way I wear it, but it also works with a sweater over it  to become a great layering piece in cooler weather.

I'll add this one and a few other pieces I want to do to the current projects list so you can follow along.

Truly,
Claire

P.S
I'll share detail photos in another post for the Wedding Guest Dress. I still want to put in a lining and I also want to recut a facing for it. Overall, it was a great success and the bride adored it. I can't wait until it's officially finished. 

Traveling Girl Checking In: New Zealand

trulyclaire

A view of the Lake Region of the South Island. Much more beautiful than imaged here.

A view of the Lake Region of the South Island. Much more beautiful than imaged here.

From New Zealand, Hello everyone! I wanted to check in with you and let you know that I am having a great time on this lovely vacation. Though I regret I only have two more nights here before heading home I am excited to see the faces of everyone else I love and be back in my own bed. I wish I could have sent more updates but my internet here is spotty. If you want to see more of my travels I've been posting them on Instagram @offcultured. This country is breathtaking and its people generous and kind. I will come back one day so that I can experience more of it.

Until I'm back Stateside take care!

Truly,
Claire

Traveling to New Zealand: Autumn Wardrobe

trulyclaire

It's Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere of our planet right now and I'll have to dress accordingly when I arrive in New Zealand this Friday/Saturday depending on which side of the international date line you reside. To prevent me turning into a Clarice-cicle as my friends would say in their 45°F average fall temps I went down to the Goodwill and picked out a bevy of sweaters. I have sweaters but not very many, certainly not enough for a twelve day trip where I may not be able to wash my clothes that often. I also found a nice winter coat and an infinity scarf that I was assured would be necessary both for warmth and comfort on the long plane ride over. I ordered boots from DSW but I'm not holding my breath that they'll get here on time (I ordered them on the 2nd of this month and they still haven't shipped yet...all that for another post perhaps.) and I pulled my winter clothing I do have out of storage. 

It's taken a long time for me to be able to pack in a spatially economical way for a trip of any duration. I think I've done okay this time around (save for the some 13 sweaters I've managed to shove in my suitcase) and I wanted to share with you some of the pieces I'll be bringing. Without further ado:

I'm not sure when I'll be able to update the blog but you can follow my trip with me on instagram @offcultured. I'll see you all again soon!

Truly,
Claire


 

Wedding Guest Dress Update V: Nearly There

trulyclaire

I'll be inserting side seam pockets later which is why you see a gap in the seam if you look closely at the right of the picture.

I'll be inserting side seam pockets later which is why you see a gap in the seam if you look closely at the right of the picture.

Over the weekend I was able to cut all the pieces for the dress out of the final fabric. Everything got sewed up except for attaching the skirt. In these pictures I have it pinned to the bodice. I allowed it to hang like this overnight to allow the bias in the skirt to fall and this evening I'll finish it up by attaching it and balancing and finishing the hem. The skirt was also a reminder to me not to cut fabric when I'm tired as I forgot to divide the front waist circumference in half while I was marking the fabric. I ended up with a front piece that was much too wide. Luckily, I cut it this way instead of too narrow and was able to correct it without wasting much fabric.

I decided to ditch the dressmaker bows at the neckline. I just think it looks much more elegant without them, but I think I may attach single bows at the sleeve hem. We'll see. I've been playing around with different size bows and think I've found one I like best. Tomorrow, I plan to sew the petticoat and hopefully by Wednesday I can show you a finished project.

Wishing everyone a happy Monday!

Truly,
Claire

Wedding Guest Dress Update IV: Second Mock Up

trulyclaire

Dropping the front neckline down to make it more alluring

Dropping the front neckline down to make it more alluring

I can already see the finish line. Just a little ways left to go. So, I decided to not add a gusset because widening the bicep and altering the armhole was enough to get the effect I wanted. I still feel that I could drop the neckline a bit more in the front. This last mock-up just finesses the smaller details. I'll have to:

  • take up the shoulder seams at the neck to have the back lie flat
  • let out the front darts just a bit to give a bit more ease at the waistline and possibly shorten them
  • take in a bit more from the back darts to smooth out fullness just under the shoulder blade
  • taper the sleeve from the under arm seam for a more refined look
Taking up the shoulder seam at the neckline to have the back neckline lie flat

Taking up the shoulder seam at the neckline to have the back neckline lie flat

It's really not a whole lot more to do and I won't have to re-cut the muslin to do it. I can make all the changes on the sewing machine for a test fit and mark the pattern accordingly. I expect to have this dress finished by Sunday evening at the latest. I'll draft the facings, pockets, and skirt tomorrow and cut out the pieces in the final fabric to sew up that evening.

Taking in the back darts and dropping back neckline. For test fits I don't worry about making the zipper perfect as long as the open seam measures 1"

Taking in the back darts and dropping back neckline. For test fits I don't worry about making the zipper perfect as long as the open seam measures 1"

Tulle fabric for the petticoat in a contrasting bright aubergine.

Tulle fabric for the petticoat in a contrasting bright aubergine.

Lastly, I had to change the color of the petticoat. It will be an aubergine color instead of a teal or navy. I just couldn't find a teal that I was satisfied with. I also need to pick up organza to line it with and ribbon to pretty up the edges but it's not a priority right now.

Overall I'm pleased with the progress and am eager to see the final result. Just so you know I fit these to myself and then put them on the dress form to mark and record. Though my measurements are close to the form we are shaped much differently.

I'll see you in the next post and hopefully will have a close to finished piece to share with you!

Truly,
Claire