Tag Archives: Jacque Goldsmith class

Inspired – Nancy’s takes on the runway!

Our anniversary sale has come to an end, but I am excited to share with you all of the runway-inspired looks that were created by Nancy’s talented staff.

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Every year, the staff is given opportunity to make model garments to display during the anniversary sale. In past years, we have followed different themes: one year, everyone used the same jacket pattern and altered it to create completely different looks; another year, everyone made a frock. For the last few years, we have been inspired by the amazing fashions that walk down the runway – and attempted to recreate looks for fractions of their retail prices!

This year, the designers that inspired us are Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana, Dries Van Noten, Marc Jacobs, The Row, and Tibi. Let’s take a look at the original inspirations, talk about the fabrics and patterns used to create our own looks, and see the finished garments!


Marilyn was inspired by this Dries Van Noten jacket, shown here styled by Barneys New York.

To create her version of this jacket, Marilyn started with KwikSew 3764, which is the pattern used in the Motorcycle Jacket class taught by Jacque Goldsmith. She altered the pattern to add length, make the collar bigger, and create a two-piece sleeve.

For fabric, Marilyn used a 100% polyester jacquard for the body and African Mongolian faux fur for the collar. She underlined the jacquard with 100% cotton flannel and lined the jacket using a warm back winter lining.

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The original Dries Van Noten jacket retails for $1,745. Marilyn made hers for $103!


Jeannie wanted to make a ‘tribute’ dress based on Dolce & Gabbana’s “Viva la Mamma!” collection.

She used McCalls 5927, a now out-of-print pattern, which features a fitted bodice and skirt with pleat detail, similar to the silhouettes shown on the D&G runway.

Jeannie selected a silk & wool blend suiting in a subtle brown/grey plaid for the dress and fully lined it with rayon Bemberg lining.

To really pay tribute to “Viva la Mamma!” Jeannie embroidered a rose motif on the front of her dress. After sketching out a rose design, she drew it directly on her fabric using a metallic pen. She then embroidered over the design, embellishing it with copper colored sequins and iridescent blue beads.

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The Dolce & Gabbana dress shown above retails for $6,995. Jeannie’s version cost just $75!


Chris loved this jacket by The Row, with its cropped sleeve, longer body length, narrow lapel in contrast tweed, and one red buttonhole.

Using Burda 6842, Chris was able to capture the essence of the original style. She worked with Jacque Goldsmith to alter the pattern, shortening the sleeve and updating the lapel, ultimately creating a garment that is flattering to her figure.

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The original jacket is made of double-faced wool and silk; to achieve a similar look, Chris paired dense felted wool with lighter-weight wool tweed. For the single red buttonhole, she used silk thread.

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The Row jacket retails for $4,090. Chris made her version for $176!


Prompted by the prevalence of the ‘match set’, Ellen was inspired to make her own version of this Tibi ensemble.

For the top, Ellen used Butterick 6134, altering the pattern for a straighter fit. She selected Butterick 6178 for the pant.

Ellen chose lovely wool suiting in slate blue with a pale stone woven motif for her match set. While neither of her selected patterns includes linings, she opted to add them to each garment. She underlined her top and created a regular lining for the pant.

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The original Tibi ensemble retails for $1,300. Ellen’s version was made for $150!


Two of the Nancy’s employees were inspired by the styles with black lace overlays shown at Bottega Veneta.

Izzie liked the idea of a dress with sleeves and was intrigued by the shaping created by the seams of this dress.

To create her version of the look, Izzie made two separate dresses, using two patterns. She used Vogue 8944 for her overdress, altering the shape of the waistline. For the underdress, she used McCalls 7014, adjusting the neckline to better work with the overdress.

She selected printed cotton broadcloth for her underdress and a sheer patterned fabric for the overdress.

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Jessica loved the simplicity of this dress silhouette and the effect of layering a delicate fabric over sporty stripes.

To recreate this look, Jessica used Burda 6914, which features the same rounded silhouette as the runway look. She lengthened the pattern and adjusted for size.

 

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Jessica selected a rayon quality with a reflected digital print for the under layer and opted for a lace with metallic motif for the outer layer. For the trims, she found a piece of geometric black lace. She used the rayon as an underlining, sewing both layers as one. Because the pattern features a pleated detail at the neck, she opted not to add a lace collar per the inspiration.

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These two dresses look pretty great together!

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The Bottega Veneta dress that inspired Izzie’s dress retails for $7,600. Her version cost less than $100 for both dresses!

The dress that inspired Jessica’s version retails for $11,000. Including pattern & thread, her dress cost just $112!


Kitrina’s ensemble was inspired by many elements from the Marc Jacobs collection, including mixes of fabrics, like the use of sheer fabrics combined with opaque, tailored silhouettes, luxurious textures, and beading & sequins. Ultimately, Kitrina chose to make a box-pleat skirt that explores the opaque/sheer concept, a tailored double-breasted jacket, and a blouse with a band of sequins.

For her jacket, Kitrina used McCalls 8346, lengthening the jacket body and letting out the waist slightly. The blouse was made using KwikSew 3601; Kitrina altered the neckline and shortened the tunic body. Kitrina based the skirt on Burda 8155 (this is the pattern used for our Pencil Skirt Secrets class), reworking the shape to allow for the box pleats.

Kitrina selected burnout velvet in a purple/grey wild cat motif for her blouse and black sequined mesh for the band at the hemline. For her skirt, Kitrina used an olive/brown/navy plaid wool suiting for the outer pleat and black mesh with metallic dot for the inner pleat. Her jacket was made from a wool suiting – navy  pinstriped in brown – using black mohair for the contrast collar and faux pocket flaps.

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A similar ensemble from Marc Jacobs retails at $7,500. Kitrina was able to make her version for about $493!


I hope you enjoyed this look at our runway-inspired garments! Have questions about any of the looks? Leave them in the comments below!

Bettie Bomber class – week four

Marilyn returns this week to share her experience with the final Bettie Bomber class session! New to this class series? Catch up on week one and weeks two & three!

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Unfortunately, I missed the last week of class, but the rest of the students got a lot done! They learned how to modify their jacket fronts for snaps and how to use our big snap press at Nancy’s. The attached their ribbed waistband and tab and ribbed collar.

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Here is June, another student in the class, in her completed Bettie Bomber!

Jacque always sews garments along with the class, as a way to demonstrate techniques. This session she sewed two beautiful, and very different bomber jackets. She started sewing a jacket of a cotton knit in an open leaf pattern with an underlining of cotton voile.

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The kangaroo pocket that she taught the class looks great on this lacy knit.

NSB - wk 4 Jacque knit pocket

Jacque also made an elegant black bomber out of silk and embossed lambskin. She was inspired by the beautiful geometric silk jacquard that was given to Nancy’s by Sharon Henry, an amazing Seattle area seamstress and long time customer who recently had to give up sewing. We’re happy that her gift can keep inspiring students in Jacque’s classes.

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I ran into Jacque later in the week and got an update on how the class finished up as well as some tips for finishing my own jacket. We quickly went through the order of construction for my jacket. Jacque provides a thoughtful, efficient sequence of steps for every garment class that she teaches. Her order of construction always makes a lot more sense to me than the instructions that come with the pattern.  Armed with her construction sequence and what I learned in the first three classes I felt ready to start sewing my own jacket.

Now, my own bomber jacket is underway. The Italian cotton is a dream to sew & presses beautifully. So far my plaids are matching and my topstitching is even.  Like many sewers, I dread making welt pockets and was looking forward to learning Jacque’s method for making welt pockets. Since I missed the last class – I didn’t get any tips from Jacque and had to use my tried and true method for welt pockets.

I have managed to make nice welt pockets several times by using a method that I read about in Threads Magazine. The article is No Fear Welt Pockets, by Ann Steeves in the January 2006 issue. If you don’t have access to old Threads magazines, the author has a good description on her blog. I have modified Steeves’s techniques and made my pockets a little differently than the article describes. I used ¾ inch drafting tape to mark my pockets instead of marking on the pocket interfacing; it makes a good guide and pulls off the fabric without causing damage. You can see a pocket opening ready to be sewn on the left and the back of a finished pocket opening on the right in this picture.

NSB - wk 4 inside jacket front

I also used wonder tape instead of hand basting to place my welts into the opening. My pockets turned out pretty well!

NSB - wk 4 welt pockets I will post a picture of my jacket when it is complete, but that may take a while. I took the beginning embroidery class at Nancy’s and I now see opportunities for embroidery everywhere. I have decided add an embroidered nosegay to the front of my jacket so construction is on hold until I get that done.

Thanks so much Marilyn! I look forward to seeing your finished jacket, especially the embroidery!

Rolling down my stockings and rouging my knees – part 1

Jessica here! Welcome to our newest multi-post series, where I talk all about creating a 1920s costume and accessories. I am excited to share with you all the details and planning that went into making a fabulous ensemble for my friend’s Roaring ‘20s themed birthday bash! NSB - 1920s costume header pt 1 As a plus size woman, I knew that it might be difficult to find a 1920s costume off the rack. Because I love costumes and making fun ensembles, I figured I might as well make something fabulous for this party!

Today I will go over pattern and fabric selection and share a lot of the beautiful inspiration I found. The 1920s: such a fabulous era for gorgeous clothing, accessories, and details!

After receiving the party invitation, I started looking at possible patterns. I don’t have the ‘ideal’ twenties figure and I’ve never really worn drop waist silhouettes, so I looked for a style that I would be comfortable in, that could accommodate my full hips and, hopefully, be flattering. I primarily searched the independent historical pattern lines we carry at Nancy’s, Folkwear and Decades of Style, and found some great options.

NSB - Folkwear 1920s patterns

Folkwear patterns, clockwise from top left: #237 Tango Dress, #214 1927 Tea Frock, #264 Monte Carlo Dress, #261 Paris Promenade Dress

NSB - Decades of Style 1920s patterns

Decades of Style patterns, clockwise from top left: #2502 1925 Zig Zag Dress, #2501 1925 Fringe Front Dress, #2003 1920s Hazel’s Frock, #2004 1920s Tier-rific Ensemble

From there, I looked at pattern sizing and styling. Unfortunately, the Folkwear pattern I loved most, the Tango Dress, does not run large enough for me, and I wasn’t as interested in their other silhouettes for this particular occasion. Looking at all the options from Decades of Style, I was most interested in the 1920s Hazel’s Frock and the 1925 Zig Zag Dress. After reviewing the construction details and finished measurements, I landed on (drum roll, please)…

Decades of Style 1920s Hazels Frock

Hazel’s Frock!

Once I knew what I was going to make, I had to select fabrics! This is my favorite part of any sewing project and choosing fabric for this costume was no exception! At this point, I turned to Pinterest for the never-ending visual inspiration it offers. I’m going to share a few of my very favorite 1920s dresses I found there, but know there are so many other incredible examples.

After gathering ideas for materials and colors, I set out looking for my fabrics. I did a quick search through my own stash and found a potential candidate for the main body of the dress. When I couldn’t find a suitable coordinate for the neck and hem scarves, I browsed the special occasion section at Nancy’s and came up with several new, fantastic combinations.

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Purple/black/white harlequin print silk chiffon featuring silver & gold lamé with metallic print poly chiffon for the scarves

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Art Deco print on silk/cotton with silk/metallic organza for the scarves

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Black & gold raschel chevron knit with sparkly poly organza for the scarves

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Multi-colored novelty print silk crêpe-de-chine with three coordinating silks for the scarves

And then I saw it: the perfect fabric. It was vibrant and fun! Sheer and opaque! It sparkled! And best of all: it was already embellished, so most of the work had been done for me! I wouldn’t even have to hem it!

Realizing the addition of scarves around the hemline would detract from the incredible embellishment, I decided I would make only the neck scarf from the original pattern, using a simple black poly organza, similar to the basecloth.

Because I chose a sheer fabric for my dress, I elected to make a coordinating slip to wear under. I used the fabulous Intimacies pattern from Folkwear, which includes a bias cut slip or teddy, tap pants, and camisole, all perfect foundations for 1920s and ‘30s style clothing. For fabric, I selected our rayon/acetate blend satin faille, which has a great hand and works incredibly well on the bias.Folkwear Intimacies pattern cover I had help fitting the dress pattern from our excellent sewing instructor, Jacque Goldsmith. (side note: Did you know Jacque offers 15 minutes of free advice on the first Thursday of every month? It’s perfect for quickly fitting a muslin!) We moved the french dart up about an inch and added fish-eye darts to the back, to help reduce bulk and better fit my shape.

From there, construction of both the dress and slip was straightforward. The majority of my efforts were spent removing sequins and appliqués from seam allowances and the darts and hand sewing them back in after the construction was complete. I am so pleased with how this dress turned out!

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Dress front

NSB - Hazels Frock back

Dress back – I love the elegance and simplicity of the neck scarf. I cleverly hid my back darts under two of the appliqués.

Join me for the next installment as I make a 1920s headpiece to coordinate with my dress! I have a lot more inspiration to share. And stay tuned for the full, final look; it’s the cat’s pyjamas!

Bettie Bomber jacket – weeks two & three

Marilyn is back this week to share more about the Bettie Bomber class! Miss out on the first class? Check it out here.

NSB - Bettie header pt 2 Because we were missing one person, week two was spent helping students alter their patterns and cut out their fabric. I had already cut out my fabric at home on my dining room table, so I worked on marking my fabric, talking over seam finishes and doing my stay stitching. So what are my tips on cutting out your jacket? If you are like me and don’t have a real cutting table, it is worth purchasing some bed risers and lifting your table up to a comfortable height. I like to cut with weights and a 28 mm rotary cutter, but Jacque cuts out with pins and scissors. I have a tiny sewing space and I really appreciate my set of three Olfa mats that clamp together to cover my table. The clamps can get in the way now and then, but I don’t mind because they are so much easier to store than the big mat I had before. I also really appreciate the self-healing quality of the Olfa mats. I don’t know what you call a non-self-healing mat, a tortured mat maybe? Mine old one was so sliced up that it was hard to cut on and it certainly caused me pain. My fabric is a very dark plaid and I tried to match plaids under the arms, and at the shoulders. I think it should match up well, because there are lots of straight seams in this jacket and the only seam with ease is the back sleeve around the elbows. When I am cutting plaid fabric, I cut each piece individually. It also helps to draw on the seam allowances, so that you match the plaid where it will actually join – not on the cut edge. NSB - Bomber2-1 With week three we were back to work. Some students were still getting some pattern alteration advice, but we moved on to discuss garment construction, zippers, snaps and pockets. Jacque showed us how to shorten a zipper and we all gave it a try. There is definitely a knack to cleanly pulling off zipper teeth, so I was glad to have some pointers and practice. NSB - shiny gunmetal zipper I decided not to shorten a zipper myself and instead I am ordering a custom length of our nice zippers from California. For an additional dollar, they will cut the zipper of your choice to the length that you specify. I chose a black zipper with shiny gunmetal teeth and pull. NSB - Bomber2-2 Along with zippers and snaps, we worked on different pockets for the bomber jacket. Jacque gave us a pattern piece for kangaroo pockets and sample kangaroo pockets to finish & apply. We learned to finish the curved top edge of the kangaroo pocket, one method for a turned hem and one for a bound edge. I liked the turned hem technique and it looked great the first time I tried it. It was a bit trickier to use a knit or ribbing to bind the kangaroo pocket’s curved edge – but the nice thing about this style of pocket is that you can try making a few pockets, then apply the pockets that turn out best! NSB - Bomber2-3 Thanks so much Marilyn! Looking forward to the next installment!

Bettie Bomber jacket class – week one

Remember our post about the Bettie Bomber jacket? I am very excited because Marilyn, one of our Nancy’s employees, is taking the class with Jacque Goldsmith and will be sharing her experiences with us! Take it away, Marilyn!

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Inspirational samples made by Jacque Goldsmith

I have wanted to take this class for a long time! I like the look of bomber jackets, but I think they can be unflattering if the fit isn’t right.  One of the cool things about the classes Jacque teaches at Nancy’s is she makes up muslins in all the different sizes so students come away with a great fitting garment. Since Jacque has made up the jacket in every size, I can find the right size quickly and then alter my pattern for the best fit. It is a huge time-saver to work from her muslins and go straight to altering the pattern and cutting out your own customized version.

In the first class, Jacque talked about fabric selection and the difficulty of finding ribbing. She explained how to use different knits for ribbing and make adjustments to the waistband and cuffs to accommodate fabrics with more or less stretch. Jacque had lots of example jackets, ranging from lace to appliqued mesh to one made of repurposed embroidered leather with heavy wool knit sleeves.

I brought in a few fabrics to show Jacque, and together we decided on an Italian cotton bottom weight in a dark navy plaid. It is one of a group of Italian mill ends that Nancy’s purchased for Sew Expo in early March. There was only one piece of my fabric, but there are still lots of beautiful Italian cotton options  available; it is lovely fabric and only $12.50 per yard!

The Folkwear Varsity Jacket (the pattern used in this class) is a classic style. It is roomy and unisex, so Jacque definitely had some fitting to do for all of us. It is interesting to see how pinning out just an inch of excess fabric can transform the fit of a jacket, and how the same pattern alteration moves up or down, inward or outward, depending on the wearer.

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One of the students being fitted.

I shortened my jacket, made a forward shoulder adjustment and took out some of the width down the sleeves and across the back. Because I changed the length of my jacket, I will have to change my welt pockets as well. You can see how Jacque folded and pinned out the excess fabric on the muslin that I tried on.

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You can really tell this is a unisex style – the pinned fold on my jacket body accounts for nearly 3″ of length!

I measured all of the changes and transferred them to my pattern during class. It helps so much to have Jacque there to answer questions while you are altering your pattern.  Everyone’s changes are a little different and though I have altered a lot of patterns, I always learn something new and usually get stuck at some point!

Some students got a start on cutting out their jackets. Our jackets are going to to be a diverse group, from sequins to floral-print rayon to my Italian cotton – it is going to be fun to see how the pattern looks in such different materials. I cut mine out at home; you can see how my pattern has been folded and taped, ready for cutting out on my dining room table.

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Thank you Marilyn! I am looking forward to seeing how this class progresses!

Have a question for Marilyn? Leave it in a comment below!

The Finished Dressmaker’s Jacket!

And voila!  The finished product!  In this photo, you can see the beautiful paisley lining peeking out, and the bias trim that separates the lining from the facing.Dressmaker's Jacket Front View

As you can see, this is a very fitted jacket- so the time spent initially in class for fitting was pivotal to the finished product.  The bright navy is a great color to mix with the rest of my wardrobe.Dressmaker's Jacket Back View

Here’s a view of the FUNCTIONAL SLEEVE VENT!  Because we’re fancy like that.  You can also see the iridescent glass buttons, which I adore!Functional Sleeve Vent

As with any sewing project, I used this as a learning experience.   I think the most important thing I learned during this class was:

*It’s imperative to utilize tailoring equipment during the process; using the sleeve roll and tailor’s ham to thoroughly press my seams throughout would have resulted in a smoother finish, and is especially important for a project like this, where fabric really gets sculpted to the body.

*Also, don’t move in the middle of a project- your sewing room gets all jumbled and you can’t find where anything has gotten off to!   🙂

 

Pencil Skirt, Third Class: Walking Ease, Seam Binding, and The Finished Skirt!

The third and last class:

We learned even and uneven miters and a really smart trick to reduce the stress on the back vent, or slit. Having sewn for years, why didn’t I think of that? Again, a tip worth taking the class for.

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We talked about all different choices for walking ease, hems and we reviewed waistbands. We made samples and applied rayon seam binding.

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My skirt will be on display in the store very soon…..come in and check out the insides for all of the tips and methods I learned in class! I’ll do my very best sewing, knowing that people might be lifting up my skirt hem!

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