Saturday, January 16, 2016

What I made to wear to the French Laundry

Spoiler alert: I didn't wear this outfit (insert sad face).

When I found out we had gotten highly-sought after reservations to the French Laundry, I immediately knew I wanted to wear something me-made.  After all, I was so proud of having worn a complete handmade outfit to Quince for my birthday.  But other than men having to wear a jacket, there isn't a lot of guidelines for what to wear to a 3-Michelin star restaurant.  So, I decided to try my hand at sequins...sequins are always fancy, right?

The fabric I selected online wasn't what I expected in person, and holding the length up to my body, I immediately saw the 70s (and not in a good way).  So my uncertainty of the taste-level of the fabric planted the seed of doubt into my mind.  My initial style plan was a simple A-line type dress.  Well, the dress length only accentuated the 70s-ishness of the outfit, so I scraped that idea and went with a simple top and navy slim pant outfit idea.
Sewing sequined fabric sucks.  We all know you have to remove the paillettes from the seam allowance, but you really do actually have to remove all the paillettes from the seam allowances. That took significantly longer than sewing the top.  The linear arrangement of square paillettes made matters so much worse (diagonal seams and darts were impossible).  I couldn't take it anymore, so I finished the neck, sleeve, and hem allowance with shimmery gold HugSnug.  I felt like this was a good solution, but the seed in my mind was growing and growing ("my garment is slap together!", kept running through my mind).  But, I figured with the right accessories, it might still be okay.  On to the pants!
I used the Amazing Fit slim pant pattern (Simplicity 1696) and this fabric from Mood for a pair of chic slim pants.  They turned out okay--not perfect.  But hey, I have these fab velvet heels to fancy it all up!
Our dinner reservations were at 5:30, and we were staying a 5 minute walk to the restaurant.  I dressed in my outfit but at 5:17, I got too nervous to wear a "handmade pants outfit" to the French Laundry and I quickly threw on my Plan B.  Plan B is NOT homemade, but designed by one of my favorites, Byron Lars (with the same awesome shoes):  

Between my uncertainty of the outfit, the grandeur of the restaurant's reputation, and the fact that I feel much more confident, stylish, and myself in a dress, I chickened out!  However, after seeing what other folks were wearing, I felt sad and disappointed that I didn't wear my own outfit.  It would have been perfectly appropriate, and even pretty cute, I think.  And much more comfortable.   By the end of the 8 course meal (and 7 desserts), I felt (and probably looked) like a stuffed sausage.  

So...unfortunately, the memory of our lovely experience at the amazing French Laundry now has a tinge of disappointment in myself for being a wuss.  Ugh.  We'll just have to go back again so I can supplant that memory with a new one (in which I proudly wear something homemade and tell the server that I don't like lamb!).  

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Undocumented Garments of 2015

I don't need to review my year to recognize that I didn't blog a lot this year!   I sewed a lot less and had a lot less time to take photos and write posts, just in general.  But I sewed more than I reported, so instead of reviewing my "hits and misses" of 2015, I decided to post a photo or two of each garment I didn't blog about when I made it.  I just spent an hour digging through my wardrobe and photographing them all.  So, ladies and gentlemen, here are my Undocumented Garments of 2015.

Blouse and pants (made in June, worn to my birthday dinner at Quince in SF)

Blouse pattern: Myrtle, cropped by Colette Patterns
Blouse fabric: Britex Fabrics (not available online)
Pant pattern: self drafted
Pants fabric: Mood Fabrics (no longer available)

Summer top (made in July, first worn during our vacation in upstate NY)
Blouse pattern: self drafted
Blouse fabric: Britex Fabrics (no longer available)

Spotty blouse (made in August, first worn to my son's birthday party)
Blouse pattern: Alma blouse (with sleeve alteration) by Sewaholic
Blouse fabric: purchased in person at Hart's Fabric

Chambray shirt-dress (made in October, first worn to travel back to NY for my 20 year high school reunion!)

Dress pattern: elongated Granville button down, by Sewaholic
Dress fabric: Harts Fabric

Flannel PJ bottoms (made in October, I think)
Pants pattern: self drafted
Pants fabric: Harts Fabric (no longer available)

Funnel-neck dress (made in the fall sometime--maybe November?)

Dress pattern: vintage McCalls 2506
Dress fabric: Mood Fabrics

Lace-front top (made in December, to look "fancy" while spending way too much time outside on the playground with the kids)
Top pattern: Linden top, by Grainline
Top fabric: Mood fabrics (French terry and lace)

Silk peplum blouse (made in Nov/Dec as a muslin)
Blouse pattern: self drafted
Blouse fabric: vintage silk, purchased on Etsy

I didn't just sew garments that weren't documented!  Here are two Christmas gifts:

Jewelry roll (made in December, for my mother)

Roll pattern: Modkid 
Roll fabric: Tweed from FabMo, with some scraps from my stash

Waxed canvas shaving bag (made in December, for my husband)
Bag pattern: adapted from Thread Theory tutorial
Bag fabric and notions: Thread Theory kit

In 2016, I've already sewn a few garments.  I'll try to post photos before 2017 :)  Happy New(ish) Year!