Thursday, July 29, 2010

One Step Forward

The Green 1918 skirt is now cut. It took hours to piece that skirt together. The skirt is supposed to be 2 panels 36 inches wide and for me 47 ½ inches long. I was able to cut one panel with this dimension. I then had to create 2 panels approximately 18 inches wide. I actually think I will like this set up better. The pattern, with the 2 panels, means that there is a seam down the front. With the gathers it does not look horrible. But on this dress, the seams will be on either side and in the back for the opening. I kinda like this. Went through hell to get here but it is good. I think I may put in pockets; I like pockets and always forget to put them in my dresses

The panels are cut and the gathering stitches in. So, just need to sew them together with pockes, gather, hem and tuck. I CAN DO THIS! Of course, I need to throw together a corset over the weekend as well. Maybe I need to rethink that one.

I am bummed that I cant just stay home and sew this up. I have the time sucking class tonight so I will not be able to sew until tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Huge Fail

This is why I do not like to sew hurriedly. I screw up and this time I have screwed up big time. Everything I have done on this new 1918 dress has gone horribly wrong. This is why there are no pictures. Last night was the kicker. I have barely enough fabric to maybe finish this outfit but it will require some fiddling and piecing.

Why…because I fail.

I ruined one piece with an iron. Really…how the hell did I do that? The last thing I burned with an iron was in 2000. Granted my iron sucks and is difficult to control. Usually it is not hot enough and then everyone once in a while it gets way too hot. I have been thinking about buying a new iron but just did not get around to it.

The one bit was mis-cut. Again, all me. I cannot blame a bad pattern. I was trying to do it fast and lets just call it a huge cock up. I then spent an hour last night trying to figure out how to save this project. I think I have a way, but no time to bring it about. A week to Costume College…what’s a girl to do?

Monday, July 26, 2010

What Time? What Sewing?

Time was at a premium this weekend. That does not mean that sewing did not occur. A little bit occurred. In fact,, because I knew that time would be at a premium I did not create a to do list because I knew I could not keep up.

What did I do you might ask? Well, I ripped out the cream color zipper on McCalls 5150. I will replace it with the almost matching one. It bugged me. I did get the hem measured, so I can sew that up sometime soon. I also want to lower the bust darts a tad. I don’t think I need to get into that one in detail.

The new 1918 dress got some action as well. One sleeve was set in but then I forgot about the fichu. So out came the sleeve. Tonight I am going to hem the fichu and start put it in and re-do the sleeve. That was a silly mistake.

All I can say, is that I have a lot to do in the next 2 weeks and I know I cannot finish everything I would like to finish. I do not know what I will want to wear. I am getting a little wishy washy. The Teal 1918 dress will be worn. That is the only “for sure” I have at this point.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer Weight

Here is the summer weight wool I bought on Saturday.  It is very yummy and soft and the most expensive fabric I have ever bought.  Even more expensive per yard than the silk taffeta I bought a couple of years ago.  Even though it was the most expensive fabric it was on super discount because it was a remnant.  That means I purchased 1 3/4 of a yard only.

I cant stop running my hands over it.  And I love this little houndstooth.


Now, only if real life was not getting in the way of my sewing life I would be happy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Saturday Purchases

So what if it was 100 degrees outside, I was shopping for fall/winter fabrics.

Well mostly.   The navy gauze I also purchased does not really fall into that category.  The navy color does remind me of fall but maybe that is just because of all those years in that dreadful uniform.  No picture because in the pictures the navy looked like a medium blue.  Why is it so very hard to photograph blues?

These are yummy fall fabrics perfect for a Chanel type jacket.  What shall I do with these?  They are nice for skirts.  Hmmm the possiblities

Maybe tomorrow a picture of my favorite from Saturday.

Monday, July 19, 2010

What I Did? and Other Thoughts

Not as much as I had hoped to accomplish for 2 reasons (yes, they are merely excuses) but here they are:

1.  Spent too much time shopping on Saturday
2.  It was too hot.  When the sweat started dripping off my arm and onto the fabric it was time to STOP sewing and sit somewhere cool.

What I did accomplish:
1.  Facing has been sewed down to the bodice and the waist tape installed on the McCall's 5150.
2.  I completed putting the stays back to the way they were.  I started to move forward with the stays when the sweat fest hit and I decided to stop sewing.  I also messed it up....I didnt read the fault.
3.  I cut out the 1918 dress view 2.  The fabric is a silk blend per my many burn tests and it was slippery hell to cut out.  I started marking the pieces so I can start sewing.

Thoughts:  It has just occurred to me that with the sewing that I have done, I have never sewed up a Simplicity pattern.  I have a bunch of these but always gravitate to other patterns when making a selection.  Odd.  I have read about problems that a lot of vintage sewists have with Simplicity patterns, is my subconscious at work?  Who knows, this is too much thinking for a Monday morning.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

It Figures

So.... today while downtown picking up the eyelet trim needed for my class, I stopped by one of my favorite zipper shops: a shop where one can but a 14 inch invisible zipper for less than $1 which is why I always balk at the price of zippers at JoAnns.

So, I am looking and there right in front of me is the perfect color zipper for McCalls 5150.  All that aggravation of not being able to find the correct color zipper.  I knew this store of another one downtown would have a zipper but I was too lazy to make the trek.  So, do I pull out the cream zipper and put in the correct color zipper?  I probably will do that at some point in time, not today and not right now.  I of course bought the zipper.  I am thinking that I should just buy a selection of zippers in a bunch of different colors given how cheap they are so that this problem does not arise again.

And yes, I was bad and bought fabric.  It was about 100 degrees and almost all the fabric I bought was wool or wool blends.  Just looking at the fabric made me hot!  I also got some thread and few other items.  This may be the last time shopping for anything but thread for a while.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Since it worked well last weekend, I want to set another agenda. 

So, McCall’s 5150 needs the facing sewed down, the waist stay put in and hemmed.  I will have no problem with the facing and the waist stay but I may need help with hemming it.  I think it will be much to hot to wear.  But I might as well finish it since it is so close to completion.  I may not bother with the facing stitching I wanted to put around the neckline and cuffs.  I can always add this another time but if I finish the dress, it can at least be worn in the meantime.

The stays I want to put back to the place where I tore them apart.  That is essentially 6 seams.  That should not take too long if I can find the correct needle.  I seem to be out of denim needles.   Though I may have some hidden away somewhere.

I think I can almost complete a dress to go with the hat this weekend if I put my mind to it.  I have decided to go with the already muslined pattern, if you call this a muslin!  I will be doing this view.  The only time consuming bit about the other dress was the hours spent sewing on the trim.  No trim planned for this one: a plain jane but flashier material.  Oh no, now I do have to pull out the bottom tub to dig out the fabric.

I was going to put a couple of other items on the list; but think this is sufficient…for now.  I also have to go to a fabric store…horrors I have been so good and have not bought fabric since June.  Need to get eyelet ruffle material for the class and will need thread to match the material.  Ah..that could take up most of Saturday.

I guess I better get cracking on something!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On a Roll

I finished my homework early!  So I have some free time tonight.  What a concept.  If only I could find one of my 5 seam rippers.  I do want to work on those stays and to do so, I have to rip some seams.

This extra free time has me thinking up more projects – like I need another idea rolling around in my head.  I already have enough fabric and project ideas to keep me busy until the end of the year.
One thing I pulled out this evening for inspiration, is this hat.  

I think it is perfect for a late teens/ very early 20’s dress. 

I think this fabric will be perfect with the hat.

I would show you what it looks like together but the fabric, of course, is in the bottom tub and I would have to take everything out of the closet to get to it.  So it is staying put for now.

Now a pattern: I can do a different view of the 1918 dress which would be easy for me to whip up as long as I don’t have to hand sew acres of trim.  Or should I try something different.

Decisions, decisions. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The 20’s

How about some eyecandy because I am tired of the refrain about homework taking up my sewing time.   So after a “discussion” with Lisa, ( who has an awesome blog for you to check out),  about the 1 hour dress, I have been thinking about my foray into 20’s outfits.

I love the clothes from the 20’s but they do not love my hourglass figure.  I know that women in the 20’s had hourglass figures, but the styles make me look more than a tad dumpy.  Of course, that wont stop me from loving and wearing the styles.  In fact, I have a 20’s dress brewing in my imagination.

This 20’s dress, I adapted from a 1926 pattern, is one of the first dresses I ever completed.  Note, I said completed not started.  I finished it last August.

It is loosely based on a 1920’s pattern I own.  I changed up the sleeves, they were supposed to be cap sleeves but I like bell sleeves so there I go.  Also, there was no waist band, so added that in because I thought it worked with the stripes.  The front bodice of the pattern was a lapped front which I though would be lost with the stripes.  I am sure there were more changes I made but I am blanking right now. Oh yeah, how about matching the stripes up....sheesh.

Now, almost a year later, there is so much I would do differently.  The sleeves have pleats in them because I could not figure out how to set in a sleeve and get rid of the ease.  Also, I would finish the neckline differently. I would still use bias binding but have it hidden rather than as an element.  I think I will increase the darts.

This is a dress to slip over the head: no closures whatsoever (which may be why I did finish it).  It is sewn entirely with French seams as is the accompanying slip made of china silk.  However, I have no clue where that slip might be!

It is nice to know that I have advanced as a sewist.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Weekend Accomplishments?

Not a whole lot but not a big fail.   Zipper went in McCall’s 5150 and bias binding went on the Mint Chip dress (perhaps if I didn’t keep messing up sewing the bias binding on, I would have gotten further this weekend).  I did not put the buttons on the Mint Chip dress but I could right now before bed, I mean how long does it take to sew on 3 buttons? 

Just now before sitting down to write this, I cut out the need piece for my stays.  The only reason I did this was because I knew I had this to do list hanging over my head.  Wow pulling out the stays, I see I have a lot of unpicking to do to remove that one piece.  Too bad it was one of the center front pieces.

Overcasting facings did not happen…at all…on anything.  Actually, I fail because I totally forgot that this task was on my list.  However, I did get some substantial cleaning and laundry done so that’s probably better than doing the overcastting.  Ah…yes…justifications.. are raising their evil little heads.

Then there is homework and no it wasn’t on my list but no it did not get done.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Zipper … What Zipper? Or That's Why It's Called an Invisible Zipper

Ok, put the cream invisible zipper in McCall’s 5150.  I am very happy with it. 

I hand based the zipper in and then hand sewed using a backstitch closer to the zipper coils.  It turned out nice.  Only one place where the waist is does a little cream show. I can fix that later but it still looks nice.  I am happy with the way the waist seam lines up.  I cannot be this precise on the machine so even though I am down on handsewing lately it really is the only way to get this type of precision.

So to Kelli, Susan and Lisa….thanks for the input the neutral zipper WAS the way to go.  No worries about matching.

Lisa….about the magic bias slip:  I have that on the agenda but it keeps on getting pushed back which is silly really since I need to wear this dress in September for an event.  So I guess I need to get off my backside and do more sewing!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

To Do List

All the sewing I am doing is homework which is rather unsatisfying.  Trying out different stitche on 10 pieces of muslin....blah.  Yes, it is nice that I am learning these skilss but exciting not so much.

Last night I spent almost 5 hours on homework, the night before 4 hours.  Because this homework is overtaking my sewing life I need to be proactive and make a list of what I want to do Friday,Saturday and Sunday:

1.  Put the zipper in McCall's 5150.  Kelli, do not worry about sending me in the wrong direction.  The consenus is a non-descript cream/beige zipper.  I just agree with what you and everyone else who chimed in said.  And if I hate, but I know I wont, its just a zipper and easy to rip out.

2.  Put bias binding trim on the sleeves of the Mint Chip dress.  Then put the buttons on.

3.  Cut out the one piece of the 18th century stays that I mesed up the first time.  Sew as much of the stays as possible.  One side is done, just need to do the other side.  I havent blogged about this because it seems to be outside the scope of the blog but if anyone is interested, just let me know.

4.  Overcast the facings in McCall's 5150 and the 1918 dress. 

Ok, this does not seem overwhelming.  Let see how much I can get through!  I cant even think about next week's homework....add that in somewhere because it is my company's monthly event which means a killer couple of long days next week.  Maybe having this list out there in the universe will help me focus.  Normally, I dont care but I have some deadlines looming.

I am trying to stop another weekend from passing by with no work done....darn vacations!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

What happened

Well to start no sewing happened other than some homework assignements.

No blogging.  What's up with that?  I just didnt find the time.

What did happen?  Fun for the 4th!  Bbq and fireworks.  Plus work of a volunteer nature that took a big chunk of time.   

I am disappointed about the lack of sewing.  I did pop out to get a zipper for the McCall's 5150 dress. 

Kelli and Susan:  I took both of your advice and went with a cream/beige invisible zipper.  I do think you both are spot on that trying to match a blue (or a green) is insane.  Of course, I still need to put in the zipper...maybe tonight?  Make that a BIG Question mark.

Here ends the old bullet point post.

Thursday, July 01, 2010


So what do I do?

McCalls 5150 is ready for a zipper.  I have been unable to find a zipper even in the same blue tone as this turquoise.

So...Do I use a blue zipper the closest match I can find?


Do I use a neutral white, cream or beige?

I was going to try a lap zipper but think I will wait until there is not such a glaring color differential.  With an invisible zipper, not much will be seen, just the zip pull really.

Any thoughts???

I am tempted to go with a cream or a deeper beige simply because the blues seemed to be an in the face mismatch.