Over my winter break I saw these great episodes of a French documentary on Youtube about the making of a Chanel couture collection from start to finish (I posted the first episode below). I love how the focus is not on Karl Lagerfeld, but on the teams of women who actually create the garments. Their skills are incredible. It's interesting watching them trouble shoot as they try to transform a ten second sketch into a decadent piece of clothing.
I think the videos are a large part of why I started a few sewing projects over break. I have been trying to find an above the knee, office appropriate tweed skirt for a long time. I will try to post a picture when my camera is done charging, but I was specifically trying to match the feel of the skirt paired with the Tyrolean Cardigan by Sarah Dallas in Rowan Vintage Knits. One of my Christmas presents from my parents was the supplies for a sewing project, and at the last minute I decided to take a trip to Banksville Fabric in Norwalk, CT. If you are closer to Norwalk than NYC, it is definitely worth a trip. I have a feeling that there are probably a few similar places in the city, but they have a great selection of fabric. At first I was worried that there were too many colors in the fabric; it seemed very busy, but I realized that it goes with pretty much my entire wardrobe. Seriously.
The fabric was a little thick for my mom's sewing machine, so I ended up doing many of the seams by hand. This was my first invisible zipper, and while I didn't do a fantastic job of making it truly invisible, I think it looks pretty respectable. It was a lot less scary than it had been made out to be. It's funny but coming to sewing with the perspective of a knitter made everything seem really fast. For one thing, you don't have to make the fabric, and all you're thinking about is how to make the darn thing fit right.
For my pattern I used M3830, view D. I should have posted earlier when I still remembered how it was following the pattern. I don't have any books on sewing, and I didn't check any out from the library, so I just kind of made up how to put in a lining, but it ended up working out fine. One mistake that I did make was not following the grainlines for the lining; I had just been trying to put the pieces down in the most economical way possible. Since I ended up attaching the lining to the skirt inside the bottom hem I don't think it will be too much of a problem, it isn't like it's going to hang below the bottom if it stretches out unevenly.
I have a few more sewing projects in the wings, some finished and some waiting for me to spontaneously realize I know how to sew buttonholes. I know, that one could be a while.