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Puyallup Sewing Expo Fashion Show


My dear friend
Sandra Betzina and I put together a fashion show at Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington (known as the biggest sewing party in the world), where more and more garment sewists are showing up each year.

This is a big project to organize. The fashion show garments come from prototypes for the pattern envelopes of our Vogue patterns, from our own closets, from garments made especially for the show, and this year, from a few creative friends. Shown here, are all the garments from my segment of fashion show along with the pattern #'s and a few comments. Because the garments have been made over the past year/s not all the fabrics are available on the website, but I am always searching for exceptional fabrics for our expanding audience of passionate garment sewists.
Katherine and I put together & fine tune each outfit, then she and I sew up pieces to fill in missing elements. This year we had fun with color, but also got the importance of having a 'little black T'.....for ourselves and for the show.

We also make sure we each have sewn up something to wear each day, so the smoke has been coming out of our sewing machines!!

Sandra and I kibitz and share sewing stories in our off the cuff commentary of the show. Here are photos I took of the outfits in the Marcy portion of the fashion show.

Page 2 shows what Katherine and I made to wear and includes 4 chic and creative outfits beautifully made by Nancy Murakami in her own enviable style. Enjoy!

Not all the fabrics shown are currently available on our website. New fabrics will be posted in upcoming weeks.






Vogue 8620 in bling-y embroidered silk dupioni made by Margy Houtz.

I'm a fan of her personal style and love her
blog, called fool4fabric....great name too! A jacket this distinctive calls for simple background pieces. We paired it with pant V8637, in our black Parisian microfiber, a purchased little black double mesh T, and the little quilted bag is V8173 which uses metallic foil on silk with a silk organza overlay, and then the bag is padded and quilted before the bag is assembled.





Vogue 8778, asymmetrical fleece jacket by Katherine Tilton worn with Christine Jonsoné─˘s leggings in German rayon/lycra and a version of the é─˛little black Té─˘, in nylon/lycra knits in a modification of V8636 and scarf V8703.

Katherine cut a sheer/opaque stripe on the diagonal and double (with a fold at the hem), to create the overlapping effect. Cutting double and on the diagonal works well here because the fabric is stable enough and the subtle effect works well with the raglan sleeve.
The Little Black T is a wardrobe basic. For this season's skinny leggings and narrow pants, we used V8636 and modified it by lengthening to a tunic length, adding a flare and side shaping, opening up the neck and using a twisted band instead of the band used on the pattern. The knit fabrics used on the sleeve and body are nylon/lycra...a 'new' interpretation of a synthetic fiber that is showing up in designer ready to wear.







Truly fabulous and made for travel by Joan Krebs. V875 jacket in cotton hand stitched Kantha cloth worn with pants V8712 in Parisian microfiber. She lengthened the jacket 3é─¨, and added clever secret pockets in the bottom panel of the pant. Underneath: V8582 modified pieced T, in Parisian microfiber. We saw similar Kantha cloth jackets in an upscale Santa Fe shop selling for $1300-$2000.
Joan made the size 14 'straight out of the pattern envelope', adding 3" to the hem. She used the finished edges and border on the Kantha cloth, and finished off the hems on the inside so everything is clean and beautiful inside and out.

LOVE Joan's version of the bag, V8761 made in Tyvek.


....and the secret pockets.....
Finished pocket with invisible zipper
Line drawing of the pattern shows the slanted seam at the bottom of the front, where Joan inserted the secret pocket
She made a pocket on each pant leg, says it is the perfect solution for travel, credit cards and passport are hidden and easy to access. Pickpocket proof and a good idea for long haul overnight international flights.
Inside story.







Vogue 8707 made by Nancy Murakami, modified into a dress (lengthen the peplum), in our é─˛NANCYé─˘ stretch cotton stripe, worn over basic black leggings and bag V8783. Marcy recommends Christine Jonsoné─˘s legging pattern.


Vogue 8752, the pocket jacket in Italian wool flannel, worn over Katherineé─˘s new pattern, the knit zipper-neck T, V8793, and pant V8712 in our Graphite Finesse stretch denim and handbag V8761 in embossed lamb leather.




Vogue 8430 interpreted as a vest by Lynn Elliott-Harding in palest yellow felted wool jersey, worn over rayon/lycra print T in a modified version of V8636 and pant V8397 in our black Parisian microfiber knit.

Lynn was in Paris with me in November, and I followed her around all day admiring this vest. When I asked her where she got it....she laughed and told me it is my pattern, V8430 which she tweaked (darts in the back neck, lengthened). It is really beautiful in this pale yellow. What you can't see, is that there is a row of edge stitching close to the edge on all the raw edges, and the armhole edge is turned and stitched. I added the Paris pin.

Love the mix/blend of the print on the top with the bag.
Vogue 8636 in our Mesa rayon/lycra knit modified by Katherine: deepen/lengthen the armholes 1/2", then lengthen the entire top, adding shaping at the side seams....she followed the shaping and hemline in a favorite purchased top.




Vogue 8779, in magenta designer ponte worn over orange T-shirt, V8497 in cotton/lycra and the skinny é─˛jeané─˘ V8774 in washed/intentionally crinkled acid green linen blend, and accented with double travel bag V8590 in silk brocades.

Why not make your casual 'jean' spring look in colors? Here we've used complementary colors, but this spring, anything goes and you can have fun playing in the crayon box. One secret is to keep the tones harmonious, at a similar level of intensity. Pick up any current fashion magazine or take a look at designers like Eileen Fisher for cues and clues.

The linen blend fabric I used for the pants wants to be wrinkled, so I twist the legs (separately) and body so the wrinkles are more vertical than horizontal...and are intentional rather than messy.

TIP: Fit linen jeans with a bit more ease.
V8497, the T-shirt is one of my older patterns, but it is a good basic, has an all in one sleeve....shown here is the short sleeved version. I use this pattern both as-is, and as a template shape. For instance, you can eliminate the piecing (make new pattern pieces) and have a good basic Donna Karan-esque T. Or, make it bigger (deeper armholes, longer, slightly larger) to transform it into a cardi.



V8636 (top) and V8777 (Vest), in our Roman Holiday Missoni knit. Worn with V8637 pant in Parisian microfiber , and handbag V8761 in silk screened canvas.

I just learned how to tell a bona fide Missoni fabric: look at the selvedge, and if it is shaped, that is the Missoni signature. This is a quietly lovely twist on the twin-set. Katherine made both pieces and used the selvedge edges on the neck and hem of the lengthened T and the front edge of the vest. We choose V8636 because the raglan sleeve works so well when worn with a vest.




We love this dress! Beth has made several renditions. It is on my list for Spring/Summer. A few tips on choosing the fabric. The pattern calls for 2 way stable (as in not too stretchy) stretch knits. If you use a 4 way stretch (like some of our German rayon/lycra blends from Westonwear), the weight of the fabric can stretch and cause the dress to grow. Make your first rendition of this dress following the pattern guidelines so you are familiar with how it fits you. Then, if you want to make it in a more stretchy fabric, shorten the dress above the geometric shapes to allow for the stretch.

....how much, you ask? There is no magic bullet formula, so use your fabric and the experience of making the dress at least once as a guide.

Getting the right length on YOUR figure is crucial. Adjust the neckline so it flatters your figure and face (I'd go for a lower neckline on my version)....and adjust the sleeve so it flatters your figure. My version will have a 3/4 sleeve.

This dress has so many great possibilities that it is worth experimenting with. I can also see it adapted as a skirt worn with a simple T top. It could also be a jumper (adjust the armholes and neck for this rendition).

And, it would make a marvelous little black dress.
Vogue 1234 Sandra Betzina dress done by Jana MacGinnes in ponte, shown with bag V8590 and scarf V8703.



Vogue 8779 in a collage of Marc Jacobs wool sweater knits. I modified the pattern (and collar) to incorporate the collar from V8709.

EASY TIP: Just do the math....the collar and the neck should measure the same. I make new pattern pieces, then lay them out as they will be sewn and compare the pattern pieces with the actual measurement of the GARMENT along the seam line to make it all fit.

This is such a practical little sweater-jacket...someone with a sense of humor told me it reminds her of a chic '50's gas station attendant's jacket. The shape makes it easy to throw on over other tops, and flatters many different figures. If you are tall, make it longer. In this version, I cut the back longer than the front and used selvedge edges along all the hems.

Worn over Sandra Betzina knit top, V1109 made in 7 different stripes, and pant, V8712 in ponte, and with bag V8761 in felted wool. Not in the phot, but in the fashion show, worn with wool jersey gauntlet V8703.









Nothing like a family wedding that requests 'cocktail' attire to strike terror in my heart. Malibu. Outdoors. Sunny/hot afternoon into cool foggy evening. My nephew Brian's wedding to Rhada was over-the-top, romantic and gorgeous.

I whipped up Vogue 8707, peplum shirt (neckline modified) in German nylon taffeta (one of the é─˛newé─˘ fabrics) , worn with pant, V8397 and bag V8590. The pant is at least 5 years old, and used an inexpensive polyester jacquard fabric which was pretty bright on the 'right' side, but black and faintly coral/pink on the wrong side. Turned up the cuff for a flash of color. I packed the bag with a shawl, camera and my stuff. Perfect, now I'm ready for more dress-up events!

In the photo with Katherine and my brother Bill.
This turned out to be my favorite kind of fly by the seat of my pants sewing. During construction I lowered the front neck. The fabric had such a great selvedge, I decided to use that as a detail, so I took the longest scrap, trimmed it to an even width and (starting at center back), put in random pleats....would be crazy making to try to get them even.

It worked.

I am in love with the new nylon fabrics like this one, am seeing these in Paris in upscale ready to wear. Similar to silk taffeta, they are crisp as well as softly malleable. Totally comfortable, and









Vogue 8795, asymmetrical zip front jacket in a black and white wild cat cotton blend ponte, over V8793, Katherine Tiltoné─˘s zipper embellished T in a collage of knit stripes and dots and Black Cord stretch cotton pant, V8712







Vogue 8752, Marcyé─˘s pocket jacket in silk dupioni stripe worn over the seasoné─˘s skinny jean, V8774 in washed dupioni and Katherine Tiltoné─˘s knit top, V8710 in Parisian Microfiber knit, and handbag V8590 in hand dyed hemp.







Straight from the pages of Vogue Pattern Magazine: this springé─˘s colorful melange of prints in silk charmeuse. The tank is V2779, pant is Marcyé─˘s V8639, the bag is V8741 in silver metallic linen, and topping it all, THE coat for spring, a spin on the trench coat is McCalls 5525 in silvery gray nylon.

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