Candy + Bagel

Responsibly Handmade Fashion by Jean Chung

tailoring

Wellmade clothing

Jean ChungComment

image This top was a gift from my aunt about 7 years ago. I wore this at least 200 times since then and I still wear it almost once every week. It's lace, has ribbons and sparkles. And it is holding up. Still looks like I bought it last week.

Well-made clothing is hard to find these days. Even expensive labels, when you actually look closely, their seams and fit aren't like they used to be.

Trust me, I just spent a lot of money on my new work clothes and shoes last week. At least I was satisfied with the quality of the things I bought.

But it's true, when there are shops in every corner that advertise "blouse for $15! Denim $30!" it's hard to resist deals like that.

I've been guilty of buying clothes from those type of shops too. Quantify over quality, eh?

Every time I wear this top, or other things I bought over the years that I came to treasure, I am reminded of how, as a person who loves fashion, I should be more mindful of shopping habits. And be an advocate of fine clothing. :)

I'm not trying to sound snobbish or look down on those shops. If anything, I think most of their practices are unethical. But aside from their business practices, just looking at fashion alone, if you truly love fashion (and not just trends), you have to see that that $10 top with stitch ends still hanging out and off-grain tshirts (not on purpose) don't have any "fashion value."

I think fashion walks a fine line between art and function. That's why when I design my knitwear, I don't automatically turn to the most expensive yarn available or sacrifice wearability over interesting fashion details. You have to find that balance. I could make a really interesting pullover with 3 headholes and 4 armholes, but who's gonna put in the time to KNIT it and then WEAR it in public? I could also make a really well-fitted sweater with all over St st but who's gonna be able to finish that piece without getting bored?

In preparation for the TNNA this weekend, I am inspired and also have many thoughts on my designs...

Sewing Sunday: Colette "Clover" pants

SewingJean Chung1 Comment

 

 

Fabric: Stretch Crepe fabric (97% Wool 3% Spandex) By B. Black & Sons; purchased from M&L Fabrics in Anaheim, CA

Pattern: Colette Patterns "Clover"

Others: Necklace - David Aubrey Jewelry; Top - Mystree; Shoes - Nine West

 

Like many other sewists/tailors, I am a fan of Colette Patterns. I made Marty's Maui Shirt based on their only men's pattern, Negroni, and I have other dress patterns as well as The Colette Sewing Handbook. Love the designs! In preparation for the designer and CEO behind Colette Patterns, Sarai Mitnick visiting LA next Friday, I decided to make this pair as well as a Macaron dress.

I am almost done with the Macaron Dress and will be blogging about it soon! But in the meantime, these pants were really quick. I mean, I cut and sewed through 80% of the pants in one night. I always trace my patterns and then cut really slowly so this means alot. Usually cutting alone takes all of Day 1 for me (I don't sew full time so this usually means 2~4 hours I have in the evenings).

Then Day 2 was a disaster. I took out the invisible zipper I bought from M&L Fabrics, and noticed that the staple was actually IN the zipper teeth. I didn't think much of it and just took it out carefully. Then I used my invisible zipper foot for the first time (I usually use a regular zipper foot and just go slow), but it ended up making me sew through the teeth. I had to pick out the thread really carefully since it was black thread against black crepe fabric AND a black zipper and I couldn't see well. I read someone else's blog about how she loves to sew with crepe fabric because the thread just melts into the fabric, so nice, etc etc. Well, yah that was exactly the problem. The fabric was ultra nice but it was totally impossible to pick the thread.

It's okay, I'm a patient person, EXCEPT this happened 4 times.

GRRR. And then, I finally succeeded working with the invisible zipper foot and made sure the thread didn't get into the teeth. I turned it inside out and tried to zip it up, YOU KNOW, SO I KNOW I PUT IT IN RIGHT AND STUFF?!?!??!?!?!

Well, the zipper pull just came RIGHT out of the zipper. HEAD TO DESK. Three times.

At this point, I hated my zipper and the invisible zipper foot. Both went straight to the trash can.

Instead I grabbed a YELLOW regular zipper from my stash and sewed it into the pants, with a regular zipper foot. There. Who cares about the zipper showing. It's yellow and cute.

Will I wear them again? YES YES and YES! These fit perfectly. Don't hate me but I didn't make a full muslin (I made ONE leg with some flannel with stable stretch to see how it'll drape and fit around my thighs) and I didn't make ANY adjustments because I liked the muslin as is. The wool crepe is definitely one of the nicest fabric I've ever worked with so that helps and I am  short so the length was perfect and not awkward. I love many of Colette Patterns designs but the pants length in the sample photos looked a bit awkward for me.

Will I make them again? This one is also YES YES YES! I bought enough lightweight corduroy fabric enough for two pairs already. :)