Monday, June 28, 2010

The Light & Lovely Attire of the Women from The Sound Of Music

The Sound Of Music... such a classic. Not only is the music great and the story an admired (and timeless) one, but the clothing design for the era is very attractive. I've seen the film probably ten times or more.. and have only recently begun to really pay attention to the clothing.

I set up a viewing for myself last night - with the purpose of clothing research and careful detail notation.. taking (sorrily not the best quality) screen shots of the attire in order to make sketches to help me visualize how these garments can be remade.

The clothing choices I decided to highlight are more of the late 1930s era Austrian formal wear. This film has a variety of styles in it, some with very rough wool textures (like those in the VonTrapp's traveling attire and in Maria's poor-out-of-convent clothing), but I decided to highlight the more elegant pieces (click image to see up closer) :

Maria Gets The Attention of the Captain Dress

Maria wears a gorgeous light teal colored dress during the puppet show with the children and during her flirtations with Captain VonTrapp. How do you say "oo la la!" in Austrian? What a great and flattering (yet modest) dress, likely made of organza or georgette in a layered fashion. The sleeves are loose and billowy without being poofy, and there's a very nice triangular area of smocking at the neck and under the belt line. The belt is very slimming on a loose silhouette - thicker and arched at the front and V-shaped in the back where it fastens over the zipper.

Maria's Ländler Dress

This playful dress appears in the scene at the VonTrapp party where Maria teaches Kurt an Austrian folk dance called the Ländler. I've always loved that scene and the dance. Again we see very light pastel colors in the material on this dress and a simple organic design on the white sleeves and skirt. The bodice has a shape very indicative of it's era and nation, with buttons up the front, a scooping neckline and a corset-like fit.

Leisl's Party Dress

This dress appears in the Ländler scene as well, before Maria cuts in. It's also the one in which Liesl requests "her first champagne?" of her father. Declined for champagne, but she wears this party dress with much poise. It too has a very Austrian styled bodice, like a corset with puckered under-blouse built into itself. The sleeves are interesting as though the bodice has low-shoulder slung sleeves, with the under-blouse puckering out from underneath. The color combination of this dress was what caught my attention initially. I love the pale lavender skirt with a light goldenrod sash tied around the waist with a little edelweiss at the bow. Very lovely.

16 Going on 17

Another great, elegant and pale-toned dress in pink on Leisl. The gathered bodice is very interesting, with sections separated by a thin ribbon and small bow. The neckline is square and made of a sheer material, as are the loosely fitting sleeves. It looks like the cuffs are elastic, although I don't know that elastic would have been used in this era, so perhaps not. The layered pink organza gives a very romantic silhouette to the entire piece... perfect for adventures in a gazebo out of the rain with your favorite telegram messenger boy!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I Must Commend My Foot...

I've discovered a sewing machine foot attachment that can greatly improve your sewing techniques, whether you're a beginner or an advanced seamstress.. or seamster - guys can sew too if they care to :•)

Creative Sewing Solutions has a small variety of useful sewing machine foot attachments, carried by Hancock Fabric stores, including the 1/8" hemmer foot I discovered to be a definite must-have. It's about $15 and they come in slant and short shanks, to which I learned that most newer machines use the short shank, like this one:

The curled end of the foot automatically rolls the under edge of your fabric perfectly! I can't tell you how excited I was to find this foot. It makes hemming SO much easier and less frustrating.

Here's how it works:

Loosen the screw holding your regular foot in place on the shaft, and pull off the regular foot.
Slide the hemmer foot under the shaft. Secure with the screw and slide the threads toward the back.

Roll under a small portion of your fabric 1/8" (roll it up once, and then a second time, to encase the fringey edge inside the roll) and stick that under the foot:

Sew a few stitches, and slide the fabric slowly toward the front, curled part of the foot, keeping the fabric rolled over as it feeds through the curl.

Perfect little hem! Perfect... and fast!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sunlight Sweetheart Dress

Sunlight Sweetheart Dress | made to order
see more about this item here

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Famous Clothing Item Re-Makes by •m•

I've been thinking about starting a line of famous clothing item remakes to sell in the shop. I've often found myself pining over wonderfully lovely fashions worn by actresses... and I'm sure a lot of other women do, too.. wishing they could wear such a delight to get all the heads turning.

So I'm planning to do some studies, prototypes and pattern-making for fashionable garments - some inspired by actresses and film, and others being as close a re-make as my little hands can manage.

I don't know about you, but I would certainly love to don Audrey Hepburn's black "Tiffany's" dress. Definitely something every girl would love to own and to show off at fancy occasions, and maybe a shorter-skirted option for less formal wearability.

Some of the clothing styles from Star Wars would also be a very interesting project to take on. I love the olive and lavender combination on this hooded piece worn by Natalie Portman as Padme. No one really wears cloaks these days, but a daily-wearable version of this would be quite interesting I think. The built-in brooch is a nice touch too.

- Oh!! -

I just remembered that I already made a sketch for a costume-inspired dress I'd like to test out! It's the dress "little Alice" wears in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.. the one the Mad Hatter makes for her when she shrinks to her smallest size. It took a lot of image researching to find good stills from the movie of her dress details, but after doing so and making sketches, I think this dress would be quite cute on a variety of body types:
(might need to click image to view up-close)

Yes, this needs to happen for sure.

I'm going to call the line Famous, But Yours! And I've already done up some logo versions.. I'd love to hear your input! I'm leaning toward the red since it matches the main logo, but I didn't want to ignore the option of looking at a different color:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Little Black Dress with a Little Pink Babe

Perfectly elegant for mommies-to-be | made to order
see more about this item here

Friday, June 4, 2010

Shopping for Clothing These Days!

Does anyone else have the problem I seem to be having while shopping at the mall and other clothing stores lately? The ones I used to go to rarely carry anything of interest anymore... maybe it's because I've aged, but I doubt it! I still wear the cute things I bought from those exact stores years ago, and they are still cute compared to what they sell now. Perhaps the bar I set for style is higher than it once was?

In my experience, there seems to be a cheapening of quality, and a sort of style blandness in stores like Forever21, Old Navy, Gap and Target even. I was shopping for a hoodie to replace one I lost (at the mall ironically) and found a cute one online at Old Navy - tried it on in-store and was disappointed to find it was way too long on me. True that I'm only 5', but looked like a sack!

I have to caption this with: The only person who could pull off a potato sack dress OF COURSE would be Marilyn Monroe, ha.

There is however the occasional rare and interesting find, if it even fits right. Usually I find interesting things online at Anthropologie and I do a lot of clothing project research at Modcloth, two stores that actually do have very cute selections sprinkled about uninteresting ones... but not for very cute prices! $278.00 for a simple dress that you have to dry clean?? Perhaps not.

Chain-store clothing seems less and less suitable to my individual style, and I wonder if other stylish people have also found this to be true. I'm curious about the buying habits of you clothing shoppers. I personally want to buy cheap and get great lasting quality in a style no one else has. That criteria is a very rare flower, it seems.

• How do you shop for clothing?
• Is style, price or quality most important and why?
• Do you find things in stores and say 'I love this but if only it had this or didn't have that on it?'
• Do you come up with ideas for the perfect garment, but can never find it in any store?
• What do you look for that doesn't seem to exist?

I'd love to hear your input :•)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Indian Fabrics

A visit with my twin sister this weekend reminded me how much I'd really love to work with fabrics from India. The colors are so bright and rich, with gorgeous detail work.

Amanda in my favorite green and gold silk sari.

Her wedding sari is maroon colored with gold designs.
The silk is very heavy, but looks so rich!

I snagged this one from her album of their Kolkata visit (Calcutta to Americans).

I'm sure that I could spend a stupid amount of hours in a shop like this. Colors!! Absolutely gorgeous, and apparently pretty affordable in US dollars.

Someday I will have to take her up on her India trip invitation.