Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thrusday night excitement

Over at Project Rungay, they always post a picture of an uberhip bar on Thursdays, in anticipation for the night's viewing.
In honor of them, and their fine tradition, I will post a picture of a bar too. Tonight, I am going to watch the show

at the Lone Star.

And if all goes well, I'll let you know the whole story tomorrow.
For now I'll just show you this 'clue':

(I am so excited!)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Race to the Finish: Week 9

Our Challenge this week was to do a haute couture look, and then – surprise - a companion Ready-to-wear look. (is anyone surprised anymore? Designers, when you get selected for PR, go watch all the past seasons. The fans are not surprised.)

L’oreal eye shadows provided the inspiration for the fabric/color choices. My looks were based on the “velvet” pallet, because of the colors and the finish of the duos, not because I literally used velvet fabric. (this part got a little murky on the show – no? )

For the Couture look, I was channeling Rami, and attempted some draping. The skirt has a kind of textured velvet top, and raw silk bottom. (I have to say here, that I have been gifted some high high end fabric samples from a friend who knows about our project. They are discontinued, and they come in 5 or 8 inch swatches. Sometimes that is just enough, and sometimes, they throw an interesting element into the challenge. But they are such beautiful fabrics. And they are repurposed, and that makes me excited. )

This week I was buoyed by our floods of new visitors, and media attention, and really put in an effort. I wanted this week’s outfits to be able to be worn again. So I did not sew or glue or pin Barbie into her outfit. !!! I really embraced my model, and her structural limitations. Instead of being annoyed by her wild proportions. I attached Velcro closures in the back, just like the original outfit that Barbie came in. I don’t think the dresses will hold up to hard core ‘play time’ but they were gracefully removed, and are going in the back of the work room. Yeah!

Here is my funny little joke:

It doesn't really add to the look, does it? Nope.

My RTW look is also silk, and has an added color block element. I thought about flowers. Or Trim. Or other embellishments… but they really only ruined the simplicity of the dress, and pulled attention from the brown plaid. I thought the fabric itself was enough. I showed this with a low brown shoe.

It is simple, but stylish. And hey, didn’t we see some simple things on the runway for the companion look?

Kat’s entries this week are stunning. Really amazing craftsmanship is on display here. And her hand work elevates the look to truly ‘couture’ in the strictest sense! Lovely.

Remember at the start of the season when it was 103 in NY and everyone was melting? That is our weather here now. (Tim was melting)
It is normally 60 and misting, and this week we have had some crazy dry heat! Welcome to our San Francisco Summer.

Here is an out take from the photo shoot. Enjoy.
Two tall skinny beautiful models.

Have a great week. See you in the work room for the Fabric Challenge.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Welcome Project Runway Fans

A big welcome to all our new visitors! Thanks for stopping by.

Today is a peek into the workroom for the Advertorial Challenge.
I am working with a dusty teal raw silk.

I'm including the pin cushion as an homage to Laura Bennett. And, Kat has the same one too.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jackie O Classic American Sportswear

Week 8 brought us to "Classic American Sportswear". (What is that? Tennis outfits? Does this just mean 'Friday casual?' Or "clothes that you buy at Macy's", This is a term that the Fashion world has defined to suit them.)

I will tell you I hit a wall this week. Fabrics do not 'scale down' or drape the way they would on a full size adult. I made several outfits. I originally thought of a trench coat. But that became out of the question. Too many little sewing details that would not be practical in miniature. Sleeves are problematic at best. I believe all future looks will be halter or strapless/sleeveless. Knitwear is easier to work with. MUCH easier. "crisp white cotton" is out of the question.

I made a khaki green top with a modified shawl collar. (and SLEEVES!) And paired this with black pants.

On the show, the challenge was presented as: one day to make a sportswear outfit. And then, they were surprised by the addition of an outer wear piece, and given another day.

I used this "leather" to make a long vest, with an Asian influence in the shoulders and the collar.

In the end, it was fun, and the look is much different than the others in my collection.

Be sure to go and check out what Kat sent to the runway. Regal! Well done!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Resort Wear Challenge

Week 7: What's Mine Is Yours
This week's challenge was to design a resort wear look for Michael Kors.
On the show, the desgners were paired together and they sewed each others look. (we did not incorporate that aspect into our challenge. But suffice it to say, there were many modifications to my look along the way!)

I did a simple two piece bathing suit.

And then added a wonderful lavender silk wrap.

Tim came into the work room and said the bottom of the suit was WAY to big and 'grandma'. But really, for how iconic Barbie's figure is (and it is 'iconically beautiful') she really does have some constraints as to how to work with her figure.

Her leg joints are not flattering and they should not be shown. I think this is the same as Michael Kors coming in and saying "make sure the butt is covered" to April. I wanted to do a kind of 50's, high waist suit - very Ester Williams. And then a modern, luxury wrap.
I paired it with a flat metallic shoe, and a black stone necklace.

And for extra fun I had lots of "help" from little hands. And I had some illness in the workroom, and lost time with that. I would not share any of that on the runway. But you would have seen it all in the 90 minute extended play format. We are all healthy now, for the moment.

Be sure to check out what Kat has done.
It is remarkable how similar our original ideas were! (we are 2000 miles apart!)
I have to say, I was working on a black wrap with beads and sparkle, and I changed directions with the wrap portion when I 'saw her work in the workroom'. But the bathing suit was already done. I love the luxury of her look.

Enjoy the show!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Further Drama in the Work Room

Originally uploaded by craft room

Here is a gold lame Jump Suit in the works.
(Doing the same thing over and over, and getting the same result. That is the definition of insanity. I am officially insane.)
Please remember the shorts, and the pants attempts in 'hard to sew fabrics'.

What made me think "jumpsuit!"
But a cute cover, "Miami" "resort" was the idea. And I was constrained by my yardage, so I could not do palazzo pants. ... More excuses.
I did not need to wait to hear from Tim on this one. I showed him. We both laughed, and I started over.

See you on the runway!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mail Bag Madness

We have one income right now. My purchases are modest, bordering on austere. But somehow, I got on the mailing list for some luxury childrens' catalogs. They are exaggerated and over the top to say the least. But when you consider my budget and my aesthetic, they become even funnier.

This company is offering "voo doo" "bone collector" costumes for the whole family.

Clearly, they missed the memo. My Mom helped to make our Halloween visions come true every year, by hand. To me, Homemade Halloween is one of the biggest pleasures I have as a parent. Call me 'old skool' but fake fur, felt, and fairy tale princesses are just as close to heaven as you can get! and they have a holiday to celebrate that! A crafting Holiday! Hooray! Do we really need "sexy bone collector" "Mommy" costume? I don't think so. But if I get the urge, I am sure I can make it for less than $128.00.
(Did Bone Collector Mommy marry Crocodile Dundee? I'm just wondering.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

You could totally wear that again!

Week 6: “You can totally wear that again”
Bride’s Maids challenge
On the show, the models were real women, wearing their bridesmaids dresses.
For the at home challenge, the interpretation that I used was to get some ‘hard to use’ polyester, in one of the colors that was shown.
For my dress, I choose a silver thick polyester.
And holy SMOKES it was a beast from the get-go.
I hear the designers talk about how hard some fabric is to work with, and I have not had a lot of sympathy. Until now.
This fabric would unravel if you looked at it wrong. I took it, in the work room and literally BATHED it in ‘fray check’. I will tell you right now, that stuff does not work THAT well. If I were actually making this dress, I would need to burn the seams, to make sure that did not unravel.

(let me just say, don’t look too closely at the back. I do have better construction techniques than that. If I put this dress over her head for one more fitting, and adjustment, I would have just had to wrap the last shreds of fiber around her like a tumble weed. Michael Kors may call me out on ‘construction issues’. So be it.)
After several ‘unfortunate’ pants trials, I did modified boat neck dress, slightly off the shoulder.

I turned the silver inside out, so it is still silver, but it reads much more ‘gray with a sheen’.
I trimmed the piece with a black piping (that would have been much smaller if this were life size. But hey, how much smaller can you make ‘barbie piping’)
And I put a silver shoe with this.

Kat is out on a book tour in Europe this week. So we are down one designer on the runway. The show’s producers have made exceptions (just to keep talent like hers on the show.) So we will see her designs when she returns. !!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Work Room Drama

Sad Shorts
Originally uploaded by craft room
There are some SAD attempts going on in the work room. I am using some bad silver polyester that I found. And when we say 'it is hard to sew with' - holy COW. This stuff just frays before your very eyes. It is going to be hard to work in a 1/2 inch seam allowance into a barbie outfit.

I was trying to do shorts. That CLEARLY did not work out well.

Then I thought I would so some high wasted pants.

That was worse.
This little 'game' we are playing is not for the faint of heart!
I have to go "make it work" !!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Week 5 challenge "There is no 'i' in Team"

Week 5 challenge:
Teams, collections.
We had to pick off a note board from a series of styles, and then fabrics that are ‘trending big for ‘10’. (like my PR language? "Trending" as a verb?)
I chose “50’s /feminine styles” and “lace”.
(I need to say that if I were doing this for human size people, that I would have picked “men’s style” and “camel”. This was the loosing team’s choice. But wow this could have been SUCH a winning combination. Think Burberry, who have built a whole brand around camel luxury. I would have used crisp white shirting, and camel cashmere. I would have done slacks and a long coat. Lovely. But, we are working with Barbies here. So I regrouped. My second choice would have been 50’s and tweed. But it is really hard to find Tweed in a scale that will look good on Barbie. Most of it is so big, that it will look like a couch on a small figure. We are learning as we go!)
So I picked ‘50’s style, and “lace" fabric.

The lace part caused some problems too, because it is very hard to find lace in a small scale. For this challenge, I found lace trim that was smaller than the pattern on the bolts.

The skirt is a full circle skirt. But it is updated with a little splash of color out the side. 50's dresses were often layers of fabric and texture, so I tried to play that up. The lace is layered over a smoke gray for the top.
And then the waist is sheer wine pleating.

I paired the look with a simple wine colored shoe; slightly 50's, but updated.
I'll defend the look on the runway later.
(It was a hard week in the work room. I didn't melt down, like Cassinova, but we had a number of 'challenges' this week. Hopefully Heidi will say "Susi, you are safe, you can leave the runway" )

Be sure to check out Kat's amazing "military" look. She and her whole team did a great job!