Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fabric Shopping

The only way the olive color photographed properly
was to have it in a group shot with other colors.  When
photographed alone, it was a washed out green.  Weird!
Yesterday was a nice bit of fabric shopping in the Fabric District with friends.  I explored some new stores as well as hitting up my favorite haunts.  I like fabric shopping with friends as I have found that I don't pig out spend as much as I do when fabric shopping by myself.  I think it is like secret eating (which I don't do) but when fabric shopping by myself I tend to overindulge because no one is looking!

I was rather restrained and only made 2 purchases.

I bought the olive cotton at the Loft - 5 yards.

Then at another shop which is apparently in a former furniture store (since the only word on the outside of the shop name was Furniture) was 5 yards of white cotton and a lace collar.  Plan to use the collar on my civil war dress if I ever finish it.  The white cotton should be made into a chemise.

Not a bad haul for $10.13.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Double Take

I didnt want to post the work in progress pictures which is all I have right now.  Sooooo I thought I would share some modern sewing I did recently.  Two Vogue 1247 - the Rachel Comey skirt that a gazillion bloggers have already made.

I am beyond late to this party!

That dress form is a lot
smaller than I am
The first is a brown double plaid.  There was a blue cloud above my head from all the swearing that occurred while trying to match up the plaids.  All seams were hand basted first.

But didnt I do a good job!  I think it is a tad short but my colleague thinks it is great length for me.

The next is a black and grey teeny tiny houndstooth of indeterminate fabric that wrinkles like crazy.  I pressed it prior to taking the picture but by the time the skirt went on the dress form it was wrinkled again.

I added just 2 inches to the length and I think this is a better length on me.  Though truth be told I do keep pulling it down while wearing it.

Stupid wrinkles
Both are lined.  You will notice that each has a different width waistband.  Hahahaha ... not on purpose but because I always "wing" the waistband.  That is I cut out a waistband with whatever fabric is left over which will determine the width.  Yeah, that is my idea of winging it!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Something New

I am a pattern- a- holic.  I obsessively buy them though I have boxes and boxes of patterns.

Some new ones:

I only have one other original 1920s pattern so when I saw this on Ebay with no bids I grabbed it.  I do have an a 1920s themed event that I go to in September so maybe I can make this up instead of wearing the same dress again.

A new late 30s pattern.  Isn't it yummy?  I have traced this one off already but have not yet started on a muslin.

What about the 80s?

I with my little sewing boo-boo, the sewing mojo has been wiped completely out of me.  In answer to the question, my only fix for that mistake is to cut out a new sleeve.  Ugh.... Fortunately, I have enough fabric left AND I saw in the store last Saturday that they still have some of this fabric left there as well.

Amy - Oh now about the sleeves in your nightgown!  Boo on your husband for bringing it up.  It is always the man of the house who asks me "are you sure its supposed to be that way?" and then follows it up with "but it looks really professional."

Jennilee - How inventive to turn a mistake into something wearable!!!  I am impressed.  I have a tendency to forget about grainlines and now have a little stickie over my sewing table to remind me to at least think about them.

So the 1980s....yup.  I DO NOT consider the 1980s vintage but the very early 80s had some nice skirt patterns out there.  No shoulder pads necessary.  I used this pattern...the C or D view.

However, I really shortened the length to make it more modern.

Well what I did was make a "wearable muslin" out of a remnant of unknown fabric.  It feels a little like corduroy but it isn't.  No idea what it was except cheap and I didn't have a lot of it.  In fact, when I was done, the left over scraps amounted to nothing usable for any purpose.  Yeah for no waste.  I knew going in that this fabric was not of a type recommended for the pattern as it had a rather stiff hand.

The pattern has a 25 inch waist.  Really?  I need to meet some of these lucky people with 25 inch waists because I dont have one.  So I had to grade up the pattern and I made it a little too big.  The waist turned out ok but surprisingly the hips were a little big.  The whole thing is acres too big for the dress form!

It is cute.  It has been worn.  It still needs to be taken in.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Stupid Mistakes Vol 1

Do you make stupid mistakes as you sew?  I mean really stupid bang your head against the wall mistakes?  Because I do - more often than I would like.

For me it happens when I am tired or not in the sewing mood but feel the need to push on and finish a step or project.  Then I screw up royally.

Case in point.

See that?

Do you?


Stupid screw up.  My seam finishing for the 1940s blouse is french seams - even on the sleeves.  On the second sleeve, it went in fast and easy with no puckers.  So off I go with the big scary scissors to grade down the seam for the next step.  Ugh, even though I was being careful ...slice...right through the sleeve.  Then there was some yelling and agonizing that I knew I wasnt in the mood but felt the need to finish up the sleeve.  Stupid stupid stupid.

I need to learn to read my own cues!!  What stupid mistakes have you made that could have been prevented?

Myra -  I love that little blouse too!! In fact, I have muslined it and cut out my fashion fabric but placed it on hold until I finished the 40's blouse.  Maybe a post on that top tomorrow - it has been more challenging than you might think.

Amy - Oh you are a good person to want to give away vintage patterns.  I tend horde the little lovelies so I can look at them and think about all the outfits I could make with them if I only had the time!  Most of my vintage patterns are 50s and 60s with a spattering of 40's.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A New Obsession

I am making the blouse
For some reason I am utterly and totally obsessed with patterns from the 1970s.

No, don't say ew.  Some are fabulous and completely modern.  Okay, maybe you need to trim down a collar or two.

Otherwise, there are some great patterns from the 70's.

A few I am digging on right now:

Mail order from 1974

Sunday, August 11, 2013

New Teens Dress

I love clothes from the late teens era, that time during WW1 but nearing the end .  Not sure why.  I like the hats one wears, the shoes and the dresses.  Some of my favorite outfits to both make and wear have been late teens

So summer whites picnic came up and I was tired of making and wearing 40s dresses so decided to give a new teens pattern a try.  These patterns can be challenging as there are little to no instructions included.   In this case, the challenge was merely time and color.  I was unexpectedly required to go out of town for family reasons so I really had less than a week from the time I crazily decided to make a new dress to pull it off - a dress I was going to tea dye.

There is also a sash which
is missing from this photo
White looks bad on me.  Cream does not.  For the past couple of years I have been a good girl and mostly followed the rules of this outing by wearing white or white with black polka dots.  This year I said no to white and yes to cream.  The problem was my fabric was white.

What to do??  Dye it  with tea of course!  Not that I have ever successfully dyed anything before this.

I had waaaayyy to much fabric to dye the fabric first and wasn't sure I wanted to dye all 5 yards so I made the dress first and figured if I ran out of time I would at least have a white dress that made me look like death warmed over.

Due to the lack of time, I went for it.  It was a 38 bust pattern which I knew would be big but time to worry.  The top is oddly patterned and I am not sure why.  The back and front is in one piece with an insert of sorts.  Weird and a little difficult to sew.

I added some tucks of course.  Love tucks and so correct for this time period.

My trip out of town was on a 6 am flight Thursday morning.  I finished the dress Wednesday night and tea dyed it at midnight Wednesday night/ Thursday morning.

Difference between original white fabric and tea dyed fabric ...... a nice cream color.

My tea dye recipe was 4 chamomile tea bags with one english breakfast bag.  I had read that black tea left an orangish hue and chamomile resulted in a  more yellow hue.  I knew I wanted some warmth from orange but not a lot.  I also left it in the bath for not more than 1/2 hour.    I really was making this up as I went.

By 2 am it was out of the dryer (the neighbors must love me!) and I had to pack for my flight.

I added the trim Saturday night upon my return.

There are no pictures of me wearing the dress as I was so sick whilst at the picnic that I wanted to crawl under our silly "period correct" table and die.

Though I do rather love the dress and cannot wait to find another reason to wear it!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Regency Dress

Amy - here are the details on the Regency dress.

Back View
It doesnt fit the dress form
What I wore under the dress is a corset/petticoat all in one thing.  No idea what to call it.  It really isnt a corset - maybe regency bra top would best describe it.  The bra portion is made from coutil and the bottom is linen.  One day I will finish the corded Regency corset I started years ago and just never bothered to finish...ugh.

Before drawstrings are
pulled and tied
Drawstrings pulled tight

Still love my little tucks which I used to shorten the skirt portion.  So sweet.  The bra portion does a fantastic job of giving you a regency look through.  You just pull those drawstrings tight and viola...

It works even on my dress form so you can imagine how it works on malleable flesh. .. Wonderfully!!

Because I am well endowed and I did NOT want to be one of those women you see at regency dances falling out of their dress, I went with a crossover style bodice.  Totally period correct but for some reason unusual.  I was the only woman at the dance I attended with this type of bodice.
There are 2 pleats on each
side to help stop the
maternity look as well as
drawstring to pull in the bodice

Love the sleeves but they are a little long on me.  Thought this style was less twee than puff sleeves.  When you get to be a certain age, puff sleeves can look a little silly.  Also, I think at the dance I attended, I was the only woman without puff sleeves.

This is a better view of my velvet trim.  I wanted the the triangles to go down the front but shocker....I ran out of time!  So, a couple of rows at the hen had to suffice.  These were a quick fixed and merely eyeballed whilst sewing.  I did have some tucks but the the skirt was soooooo long even with 5 tucks in place and time was running out, I just folded them up into the hem for a quick fix.  Not surprising, I haven't returned to fix the problem.  Ugh....the dress has sat on a dress form mocking me for months daring me to rip it apart and fix it.  The dress wins, I haven't felt like it.
Back view
You can see the
full pleated back

All in all, a good first foray into Regency.  I wore it again last Saturday with success.  This is just such an easy time period to wear which makes it so much fun.

I have two Regency events in October and would like to make a day dress perhaps with the more conventional bodice.  I have the fabric and trim for a new Regency ball gown but not sure I want to dive into that right now.