02 July 2009

153. More giveaway news, the Pollyanna Dress, etc.

There are so many short items to cover that I will number them:

1. What fun responses to the honesty meme from my last post! Keep 'em coming. If you're getting a kick out of it, too, please consider yourself tagged and let's read your honest truth. :)

2. Columbia Lily Designs is hosting a giveaway, too! Found out about it after my last post, but do visit her blog for giveaway info.

3. I still have one dress from my Las Vegas trip last month that I didn't blog about. I'd wanted to use the immaculately-fit bodice from New Look 6723/ Sid & Nancy dress and add a short circle skirt at the natural waist. I wore this to my niece's graduation, and apparently it was a good choice for visibility from the graduation floor (my niece said that as she searched the audience for us, her nearby friend said, "Your parents are near the lady in the yellow dress.").

The bodice is self-lined and I have finally settled into a preferred method for hemming circle skirts: Serge the bottom edge in a thread color close to the fabric, press a hem the width of the serging (in my case, 1/4"), and sew this very narrow hem. So easy. Yes, it requires a serger, and yes, it's worth it.

Clementine clearly ate too many Cheetos when I was in Vegas. There was a little struggle to get the back zipper zipped up. OK, just kidding. She can't eat; she's a dress form. The dress is actually comfy for me to wear -- it's got just enough ease -- and at times like this I'm reminded of what that one inch difference between our busts can really mean for fit.

And Carmen... she always has to do the rabbit ears when there's a shot she's not in. Such a camera hog. Photobomber.

4. I've been struggling a little with how to respond to comments on my blog. I've in the past only responded via email to those who leave their email addresses, or I've responded with my own comment if someone has asked a question but didn't leave their email address. Without an email address, at times I would seek out the commenter's blog and leave a message there but it felt awkward to answer a question they asked on my blog in the comments of their blog!

I'll respond with my own comment from now on -- just FYI in case you would like to start checking the box in the comment form saying you want to get follow-up comments emailed to you. I've been doing this on Facebook and it works aaaaaaalright.

5. I've been a sewing and patternmaking maniac. I haven't posted several of the most intensive projects because they are leading up to debuting that new independent clothing label I mentioned a few months back. I think I'll be ready to "open shop" in the next couple of weeks so I can reveal a few projects I've been working on and what I've been learning along the way.

6. Our Favorite Swedish Sewist (tm), Johanna Lu, just published a very considered (and because I totally agree with her, a very accurate) review of The Fashion Show. Coincidentally, about a week ago, I sounded off about it again via email to Kyle, who suggested another blog post about it. Rather than hijack Johanna Lu's comments, I figured I'd jot down a couple other thoughts about Our Favorite Substitute for Project Runway (tm):
  • TFS needs to find its voice, which is ironically the same advice they have given to their contestants. They kind of rush through the show, like a few designers rush through making their garments, and by the end of the hour I'm trying to find the "point of view" of the show just as the judges are struggling to see their designers' points of view.
  • There is very little focus on the creative process, which I'd like to see more of.
  • TFS gives their contestants equal screen time, but democratic coverage simply isn't as interesting as getting to know a few of their folks better.
  • They've moved away from showing judges' comments during the runway shows and saving them for the judging, which I prefer.
  • When choosing to eliminate a designer who is not impressive nearly every week vs. a designer who's pretty strong but had a very bad week, they eliminate the weaker (overall) designer. This is much more crowd-pleasing but also much more predictable.
And again, having said all of that... I keep watching. :)


  1. you can just imagine how I adore your new dress so cute! I better it looks as good on you as clementine! I need to get myself a clementine! Any source that you recommend?

  2. obviously I meant bet not better...I am tired!

  3. Great dress Antoinette. I've not seen The Fashion Show - I'll look for it on youtube. But I've got to say that I really don't like Project Runway. While the show attracts great designers who make inspiring things, the focus is so much on the outcome as opposed to the process. The cutting and construction techniques are rarely shown, except when the contestants are so rushed that they resort to glue!

  4. Cute! Perfectly summery, I want one! Hehe. Love seeing what you come up with. I really need to tackle dresses next. There's just so many more fit issues to consider, but yours always come out great.

    Happy fourth!

  5. I love that dress. I can't believe you accomplished it on vacation! One day I will be good enough to sew something like it and one day I'll no longer have the baby belly so I'll want to wear it HAHA!

  6. I love that dress!

    I have mixed feelings about The Fashion Show. I feel even a bad sewing/designer show is better than none at all. Of course, no one is as sweet and caring as Tim Gunn.

  7. I love the dress, though I don't really have enough of a waist to wear a similar design myself. I've kinda decided to only bother sewing stuff that will be fun to sew, and buy anything else I want or need - only because otherwise I'll just have a stockpile of unfinished projects and nothing to wear! Can't wait to see your new line.
    We don't get The Fashion Show, so have to make do with the Fashion TV channel which is only somewhat interesting.

  8. The Girl in the Yellow Dress!

    I bet you looked lovely in it too.

    You are SO right on about TFS. It's so bad, it's good. I just can't ignore it.

  9. I love that simple style of dress- they're so wearable and cute. :-) I've only made that style with Vogue patterns, but I might have to track down New Look 6723 since the vogue one has wonky armholes.

  10. Thanks, everyone!

    @Cindy - I got Clementine from Display Fashion, an Ebay seller. Link to the store here: http://stores.shop.ebay.com/displayfashion__W0QQ_armrsZ1QQ_fsubZ4354286. My original post with a few more details: http://www.clevergirl.org/2008/11/meet-clementine.html

    But let me know if you have more Q's. :)

    @Gail - If you think PR doesn't focus enough on construction, etc. then you will be amazed that TFS does less! Will be curious to hear what you think.

    @Jessica - There are so many dress styles... I'd start with the ones that are only semi-fitted, like the Simplicity Built by Wendy 3964, I think -- the one with the diamond-shaped inset. No zippers, either. :)

    @Sarah - I have sewn this bodice at least three times before this one, so it was quicker to put together than a new pattern would have been.

    @Pam - Most comments I've read on TFS share your perspective! I think we're all waiting for our dose of fresh Tim Gunn.

    @Violet - My rule of thumb is to only make things I couldn't easily buy in a store inexpensively. I buy very, very few clothes these days, which is the best news.

    @Geek Sewing - Can't. Stop. Watching. TFS.

    @Wendy - I love this pattern! Highly recommend. I should write up a review for PR.com now that I've sewn it a few times.

  11. I prefer Cheez Doodles myself. Now I only eat them between Thanksgiving and New Years.

    A quarter inch hem?? I'm in awe!!

  12. Love the little yellow dress. retro, yet relevant.

    I don't have a rule of thumb for responding to comments either, so I might copy your approach!

    I cannot WAIT for the reveal of your shop! cannot. wait.

    TFS is definitely still struggling to find its voice POV. Totally agreed. In their randomness though, they're actually behaving like the fashion industry, no?

    And yes, i'm still watching... Loved Anna's dress last week.

  13. Antoinette,
    Great post. SUPER Excited to see what you've been working on and "the new line". VERY cool.
    And I couldn't have stated the comments thing better. I hate that. that's an annoying about blogger (people not being required to put their email address in there). I love to respond to people. But if I have to seek them out on their blog? yes, kind of awkward responding on a random post they did.
    I'm curious to see how this goes for you.
    Good luck with everything!

  14. @Kyle - I don't think I've ever had Cheez Doodles! In fact, I don't think I've seen them in the stores before... The 1/4" hem is easy because the fabric presses like a dream right along the line of serging. You'll have to try it sometime!

    @Tina - Thanks for your support, always, my dear. Anna's dress was pretty cool! There have been some really neat garments made on TFS, but it's funny to look at the winner's designs for sale on the BravoTV site and note that almost all of them are black!

    @Dana - You're so sweet! It was pointed out to me a few days ago that I had not set up my own profile with my email address so that bloggers could respond to my comments directly! Oops! LOL Well, I fixed that right away. I'll keep you posted on the line. So many lessons learned.... Keep learning new ones every day.... :)

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  16. Love the yellow dress! And you're giving me yet another reason to look into buying a serger :)

  17. @The Tucker Family - Thanks for the info.

    @Kristy - Without getting into a long story (whew!), PatternReview.com has a whole section of the site with reader reviews of machines and sergers, which might be really helpful as you consider this purchase -- in case you didn't already know about it.

    For my needs, if I had it to do all over again, I'd get a very simple, inexpensive, but well-regarded model. All I need it to do is serge the edge of fabric. Like a fridge -- it can come with a million bells and whistles and have a built-in TV and signal me when to change the water filter, but in the end it needs to keep food cold and that's it.


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