Thursday, October 06, 2011

Gasp.....I Sewed AND .............

It is not vintage!!!

Who knew I could sew something from a modern pattern.  Not I!

I had seen all the lovely versions of the Sobretto pattern on a number of blogs.  Having no time and not a lot of energy, one night I decided that I wanted to make one as well.  It looked simple, the pattern was free but a non-vintage pattern was really stepping outside my comfort zone.  I had never used a pattern that was downloaded and you put all the pages together.  What is next?  Am I going to be tracing out patterns from that Burda magazine I have read about.

Without further ado, here you go..........

The front and the back.  I opted to go with the non-pleated front and the scalloped edges.  It turned out very nice;  the fit was spot on without having to do a FBA.....YAY!  Of course, it took me about a week and a half to complete this tank top.

The fabric used was some black cotton blend I had in my stash.  It is a little stiff and I would like to make another in a fabric with more drape.  I think next time I will not have the bias binding show.  I am not sure that I am a fan of the exposed bias binding with this type of top.  Or maybe it is the fabric.

I am super happy with this top and would like the opportunity to wear it.  Last weekend, the temperature was in the 90s.   Yesterday it rained and today it is in the 50s.....ugh ....evil .....cold.  So, it may be a while before I get to wear this top but at least I sewed!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Something for Self Stitched September or …Or Falling in Love Again

Last night I decided I wanted to wear something new to work.  I realized that with “Self Stitched September” I had worn nothing I made to work.  August was full of me made clothes but not September. 

But what could I do?  I am not a fast sewer so no whipping up something in an evening.  I have tried and failed miserably.  I looked around and the pile of UFOs caught my eye; I looked away quickly lest I be turned to stone.  Looking at the UFO pile is a no-no in this house, best to just ignore the pile and maybe the clothing faeries will appear and finish them for me.  They are mostly simple finishes needing a zipper or a hem.  Surely the sewing faeries can take care of it for me?

Alas, the sewing faeries have never popped in to help.  But hope does burn eternal, so I wait and ignore the pile.  Until last night.

I knew if I was taking on an UFO it had to be this skirt.  I have been “meaning” to finish it since November.  It only needed a hem on the lining.  Yup you heard me, all that was unfinished was the lining hem which I would sew by machine.  I had dragged this skirt to many a sewing days thinking I would sew up that hem.  It never happened.  I have been dragging that skirt with me for months.

The whole hemming process took no more than 10 minutes!  Done, finished, wore to work and I love the skirt.  I loved that it swishes when I walk.  I love the long length, the color, and how I styled it.

Ok, old picture.  I did
not get a new one.  The skirt
has been pressed.
So….how did it become achieve UFO status?  In December, I thought the skirt made me look fat.  Ok, maybe not fat but the fabric seemed to emphasize my pouchy tummy and I did not like it.  When I looked in the mirror it was a case of “its not you, its me” so why bother finishing it.

The irony is that the skirt is now too big.  But then I do not like tight fitting clothes so I am happy.  

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Didn’t Need An Assistant

Not to get too excited but some sewing happened.  I cut out a skirt for something which should become a 1920s style dress.  Also a waistband was cut.  I dug right in and was powering away.

However, because I am using a border print….my first time, I was going very slowly with the cutting.  Turns out I made the skirt much too long.  But of course I did not realize it until I put on the waistband.  This is what happens when I power away and do not take my time!

The furry assistant getting
involved in the sewing process
So after sewing on the waistband ( it really isn’t a waistband but I do not know what to call it; it is the lowered waist of the 20s and will sit around my hips) with double stitching…..I had to undo the whole thing and re-gather the skirt portion lower down.  That’s when my furry assistant jumped in or I should say laid down on the job halting all progress.  He was not to be moved!  He apparently likes the fabric I chose.
A better picture of the fabric.  Notice the
gathering!  Notice the pins!
I was actually sewing!!

You can see my furry assistant plopped down in the middle of the fabric but you can also make out the pins for where the new gathering is going to go.

Some not cat related details.  The skirt is going to be slightly gathered.  This is going to be a simple dress with the fabric as the star!  The waistband thing has been interfaced to give it some structure.  The dress will be sleeveless and I think with a “v” neck.  

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Labor Day Catch Up

I tried.  

I honestly tried to sew a lot over the long weekend.  Does draping count??  Well the tedious handsewing, has to count, doesn’t it? 

Borrowed from
On Saturday, I did a couple of hours of the aforementioned tedious handsewing.  Lines of running stitches.  Why…well to finish the calash I started in a class in July.  I have now sewn 5 channels for the bamboo.  Go me…….I do not even have a clue why I am doing this.  I don’t need a calash.  It was peer pressure I tell you.

A calash is a type of bonnet. Though what I need with a bonnet is beyond me!

It was super hot weekend.  So motivation was at an all time low.  Plus, I was being handed glasses of wine…..yes almost as if they appeared out of thin air straight into my hand……so what could I do but imbibe.  Wine and sewing are not a good combination for me.  So, after spending 45 minutes ironing my fabric for a different project, all I could muster up was draping it over a dress form to get ideas.  Some pins were used in the draping but, alas, no fabric was cut over the weekend.
I wanted to sew last night but it was so hot I just couldn’t.  The problem was that I was supposed to throw together a dress for a picnic this weekend and that has not even motivated me to take action!

Friday, September 02, 2011

A Coloring Book for Grown Ups

I have been spending some time thumbing through my Originator Smart Fashion books.  Every time I open a page, I want to take out my pens and colored pencils and start colouring in the fantastic outfits.  Of course, I could never deface these books this way but hey….that’s what copy machines are for!

I wanted to share a few more of the sketches with you.  Are these dresses not lovely?  Don't you want to run home and incorporate some tucks onto a drapey skirt to emulate this look?  I know I do!

The next one is scanning rather oddly, I have no idea why it is not getting the entire page or why it is skewed sideways..  But look at the bishop sleeves and that low waist.  Looking at this, my creative juices are flowing.  Could I be getting over my sewing slump?

What do you look at for inspiration?  What are you sewing for National Sewing Month??

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Silence is Deafening

Did you think I disappeared completely?  I would not have blamed you if you did!  To say my sewing mojo bit the dust is an understatement.  Other than some repairs, I did no sewing during August.  Oh, I had good intentions.  Every day at work I would think about sewing projects I needed to start.  I even washed some fabric.  By the time I had finished dinner all those ideas of sewing and projects had vanished.
Oh wait…..I lie.  I did sew up a fast, down and dirty full 50’s crinoline petticoat.  It took about 10 minutes once I got the serger to do what I wanted and it is a big full petticoat with no need to spend hours gathering.  Anyone interested in the secret??

But….alas….that was as far as I got.  Was it the heat?  The summer?  Who knows.  For weeks I would walk past my machines trying not to look at them so I did not have to the see the accusations of neglect. 
I have made a pact with myself to work on a sewing project over the long weekend.  I guess this is my version of the me made September.  Need to do something to kick start the sewing.

While not sewing, I had the opportunity to do a bit of cleaning of the sewing area.  I had forgotten about all the monthly Originator Smart Fashion booklets I had inherited with the dress forms.  Boy are they amazing.  Wanna peak??  I think you all deserve a look for sticking with my silence.

I love these shirt; especially
the striped one.  What
a great way to emphasize
the stripes

Is this dress just to die for?

Now, I noticed online people are selling CD copies of these for 10$ a pop.  Wow!!  I never thought anyone would ever pay for these.  I have a bunch.  I would have to believe it would be a copyright violation.  Wonder how people get away with this.  I guess they could be old enough to escape the copyright.
I would rather share these out to my readers………….

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fantasy Outfit

Oh it seemed like such a great idea when I thought it up!  But, I admit it….this outfit has sucked the life right out of me.  Sewing mojo? What is that?  Any mojo I had was sucked out of me.  The outfit has been finished for 2 weeks and nary a post.  Why you might inquire….is she unhappy with the outfit? Was it a big fail?  Nope, it turned out wonderfully but blech I cannot seem to recover.

Pictures.  I hear you asking for pictures.  Hmmmm yup there are some and I will post one at the end.  The one where you can see the outfit is silly and a tad embarrassing.

So construction.  It was a journey.  Ideas came and went.  Starting with the bodice: I originally bought a pattern that I thought I could translate into the bodice.  2 muslins later and still not getting coverage over my boobs ( I was going for a g rating not an xxx rating with this outfit) and I realized ….nope not going to work.  But then, when cutting out muslin number 2 I had a flash of genius, the old light bulb went off…..why not use a bodice pattern that I knew fit.  You know, one of those TNT patterns that so many bloggers who I respect talk about.  That aha moment meant that muslin #3 was a winner.  It worked on the first go!  So bodice sorted, just need to find fabric.

That right, you heard me, I worked out the kinks of the bodice before spending a couple of weeks finding the fabric.  I eventually went with the ultra suede mentioned here.  But really, what in the world was I thinking.  Let’s use an unbreatheable fabric for an outfit to be worn in the middle of summer.  Hindsight is 20/20 and that thought did not enter my mind. 

Next up the skirt.  I muslined that one and it was too big.  I made it smaller for the final version.  Guess what?  Still too big.  I fussed and fretted over making it smaller.  It never seemed to get smaller.  Finally, I gave up.  Yup, you heard me, I just figured what the hell, so its big.  So, the skirt won’t stay up on my waist with out some serious fold over and pinning of the waistband.  The safety pin is my friend!

With the skirt done, it is trim time.  I spent an entire day in the fabric district shopping for trim.  Naturally, what I wanted I couldn’t find and had to do an about face with the plan.  This meant me running blocks to return to stores just as they were closing.  During the day of trim shopping, I found some feather boas that matched the blue in my outfit to a “T.”  So, I complicated my plan further by determining that I needed to add feathers to the sleeves but did not bother buying the boas at that time. (Cue frantic last minute trip downtown to pick the boas up at a later date….yeah that was smart!)

Now we are heading towards the home stretch which means a sleep reduction and an increase in nightly sewing.  From years of practice, before I changed professions, I would routinely live off of no more than 4 hours or less sleep at night (granted I was younger then, but as I discovered I can still do it).  Thus, started the final couple of weeks push to get this done on time.

Recall, I did  not find the type of trim I wanted.   So making lemonade out of lemons, I spent 2 nights creating my own trim.  I sewed various different trims together, by hand to create the look I wanted.  Great idea ….right?  Nope….wrong.  Utter waste of time.  Plus I used invisible thread on this part.  Have you used invisible thread?  Its evil I tell you…pure and unadulterated evil.  So evil it deserves its own post!

After wasting 2 sewing nights of 6 hours each (yes I was keeping track) I had to start over on the trim. By now, handsewing was no longer an option.  Machine stitching time.  Also my plan was not working, needed to use different trim….luckily I had bought so much and such a wide variety of trim this was possible.  The next 6 days were spent sewing on trim.  Trim on the bodice, trim on the sleeves, and trim on the tabs.  Meanwhile, there was the frantic trip to buy the boas I should have purchased a couple of weeks before. ( I haven’t even mentioned creating the tabs and all the bias binding that went on the tabs and the bodice.)  And now the sewing is taking up more time; I am not just sewing all night but in the morning before work….byebye running….and I am not going to mention the all nighters….nope bad memories of feathers and almost crying…nope best forgotten.

Home stretch and I have not even started the obi/cumberbund thing.  I mean how hard is a rectangle to come up with.  Well, after a couple of hours muslining it…I cut one out and yup you guessed it….too big!  Not a little too big….A LOT TOO BIG.  Not a big deal except I did not notice until after all the embellishment was added to it.  A variety of trims were added as embellishments but I ran out of time to completely cover the obi/cumberbund.  The day before leaving for the convention, I was up all night finishing it up and finally added the hook and eye tape at about 5 am.  I finished sewing at 6:45 am the morning I left.  Whew…… about cutting it close

Enough with the words you are saying…don’t you know blog posts are all about the pictures.  Yes, I know……so without further ado…viola….me in the outfit looking rather silly.

Me in my best anime kid pose.
There are better pictures but you cannot
see the outfit as well
I feel better to get this finished and off my shoulders.  Now that I have written this maybe I can go back to my normal sewing.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Dress of Doom Revisited

Demure and ladylike with
only a bit of squinty eyes

I have been sewing non-stop for the past couple of weeks.  By non-stop, I mean getting up early just to get some sewing in before going to work.  Ugh, I was getting 3-4 hours of sleep max.  With all that sewing, there was just no time to write about the sewing.

I will share what I was up to in a few days.

For now, I want to revisit the Dress of Doom: here, here, here and here.  As you may recall, I made up the Dress of Doom a year ago for the conference.  I did not get the chance to wear it.  So, when I came home it was put in the closet with no further thoughts.  Packing this year, I thought I should bring the DOD with me again as an alternative outfit.

I did end up putting it on because I wanted a picture of me in the dress, which I thought I would share with you.  I ended up wearing it for about 4 hours.  It went over quite well and I received a lot of lovely comments.  I also noticed that the buttons are sewn on in a wonderfully wavy line.  I really need to take those off and make them straight.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Really Big Sleeves

Lined sleeves with some ribbon
just pinned on.

Working away on the fantasy outfit and moving at a snail’s pace.  The ginormous sleeves are sewn and lined.  The trim is still not completely put on.  In fact, not all of it has even been purchased!
I love the sleeves.  They are so big they seem decadent.  The sleeves are longer than the skirt!!

Monday, July 11, 2011


Makes you think of the 70’s doesn’t it?  It is the fabric I choose for my fantasy outfit.  I have never sewn with such a beast before and let me tell you I will take slippery old silk over this any day of the week.
Mmmm yummy pretty mossy green

It is difficult to iron, impossible to mark and almost invincible when it comes to pins.  Sewing is ok due to the heavy duty denim needle I am using.  However, I am not looking forward to the miles of hand sewing which is coming my way!  I wonder where I put my thimble?

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Body Issues

Apparently I have them.

I spent hours going through my patterns to find a skirt pattern that I thought would fit.  I tossed aside many smaller patterns and a few larger. 

Last weekend, having a sewing day with friends, I made up Advance 9689.  It went together quickly if one disregards my inability to decipher pleats.  This is a known issue and I am discarding this problem.

I try on the skirt and my friends laugh….hard….rolling on the floor type of laughing.  Then came the comments that I clearly do not know what size I am on my lower half.  (I seem to have the upper half under control.)  Of course, some of this may be payback for me advising one of my friends was basing her pattern choice on a pattern that was at least 2 sizes too big.  Payback or not, it was well deserved laughing, I looked comical!

I was swimming in the skirt.  It was HUGE.  All I could say to the laughing is that I thought it would fit.  Then pleaded for help to try and make it fit.  I ended up increasing the darts and pleats which, of course, worked.

But seriously, this is the second skirt that I have had the issue that it was just too darned big!

Haven't yet removed
the hand basting from
the waistband.
Oh, I suppose you would like to see a picture of the skirt.  There is no picture of any kind of it falling off of me.   Here’s where it is now:  waistband on but no zipper and no hem.  My place has been like the surface of the sun so sewing has been out of the question.  I just cannot sew when sweat is pouring off of me.  If only I had air conditioning.

Friday, July 01, 2011

A Perfect Opportunity

Since, I need a pencil skirt for the fantasy outfit, I might as well muslin one that can possibly be a wearable muslin.  So, I just spent the past couple of hours wading through my vast pattern collection to find what I was looking for.  Meanwhile, I popped some khaki fabric into the washing machine.
I found the pattern I wanted and found an entire box of patterns I forgot I owned!  I really do not need to buy any patterns for a very long long while.  I just wish patterns would stop tempting me!

The chosen pattern is Advance 9689.  I did dither quite a bit over the pencil skirt patterns I own.  Pencil skirts, on the whole, scare the bejebbers out of me!  My athletic thighs are not meant to be paired with pencil skirts. This pattern looks to be from the early 60's based on the model's hat.

I hope to be able to throw this one together except for the zipper rather quickly.  I will not have access to my 25 cent zipper store over the weekend and I can no longer pay more than 25 cents for a skirt zipper!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

You Wouldn’t Know It!!

I have been sewing up a storm and have nothing to show for it!  Basically, I have been making muslins trying to get a pattern for a fantasy type outfit.  It has been slow going and really nothing picture worthy. 

What am I trying to make?

This is a sketch of the basic idea.  It is for a costumed event.  I thought putting this rather simple outfit would be easier than it is.  The sleeves have been a nightmare.  Gee even finding fabric was a process.  I did decide on fabric last week and it was not cheap….at least for me!

Why? Why? Why?

Is it everytime I try to post to blogger I cannot.  Nor can I save the post so I can post it remotely.  Also, sometimes, I cannot upload pictures.  This is driving me crazy!  Maybe it is time to more over to something else??

Now, when I checked again, it is working but I do not have the post or pictures handy.

Guess, I will see if this works later. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


DuBarry 5551 skirt completed.

The front and back pieces are the same.  Less than a yard of fabric was used.  It no complicated techniques required.

But never has such a simple pattern caused as much angst.  I think I spent as long sewing it as I did on the steampunk skirt with the flat felled seams.  Seriously, this should have been a breeze.

It wasn’t.

It was my fault that these problems occurred!

Let this be a lesson to all those out there reading this.  Make sure you have your most correct and up to date measurements before beginning any project.  Then make sure you review the pattern measurements before making changes to the pattern.  One should also review the pattern instructions to see what is necessary to put the pattern together before making adjustments to the pattern.  Also think seriously if the fabric you are chooising is, in fact, the best fabric for the pattern again before cutting into the fabric. Then, finally, if you make a mess of things feel free to throw the offending fabric across the room in anger… wait….make that put it to one side and  return to it when you have a clearer head.
Check out the grey patent leather shoes!
Ignore the bad hair....again.

 All in all, I now like the skirt.  It is still a skosh big but definitely wearable.  I love the cadet blue twill fabric.  I actually think that now this is complete, it might get a lot of wear.  So to paraphrase the Bard….alls well that ends well as long as you don’t end up with a bubble – butted skirt.

I wanted to try the top that goes with the skirt but I think I will wait a while before tackling that.

Friday, June 17, 2011

DuBarry Revisited

Remember this skirt? 

I tossed it aside sometime in April.  Well….I didn’t actually toss it aside.  What I did was pin it to one of my dressforms in the hope that if I had to look at it every day, I would be forced to deal with it.  As opposed, it putting it into a bag and forgetting about it.

Well, today was the day I tackled it!  I tried it on and thought….you know it doesn’t look that bad.  Why not finish it and say to heck with it?  So after some fiddling around with the gathers, I determined it was just too big.  I did increase the skirt to fit my hip which, at the time, were bigger than the skirt.  Not so now.  I ended up taking 3 inches off the width of the skirt, 1 1/2 inch each side!  It started to look a little better, so I cut out a waistband; a waistband 4 inches bigger than my waist.  I thought it would be sufficient.

While trying to attach the waistband I discovered yet another problem with the skirt….it was still too big.  The waistband was 2 inches too small for the waist of the skirt.  No wonder it looked odd on.  Recall, I already took out 3 inches and now another 2 need to go.

Next step was taking out the gathers.  I am re-doing the gathers so that more area is taken up.  I hope that this solves the problem and I am on my way to a new skirt!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another 1940’s Dress Finished

Gah, that hair is
out of control!

And about time, I might add!  The June gloom lifted a little so I thought it was time to take pictures and document this dress as done.  So I threw it on and found a belt went to take pictures.  The belt chosen does not work…at all.  Need to piece a self belt and find a buckle….but I really did not want the belt to be a stopping point on this dress.  It can be worn without a belt and I may have to do that.

With the neckline they way it is supposed to be according to Simplicity 3162.

Annoying neckline as patterned

Some thoughts:
  • No FBA needed.
  • The bodice was too long.  Note to self, check this before cutting out the next pattern regardless of whether an FBA is needed.
  • I found the neckline silly and annoying so I modified it.
  • Still am loving the sleeves
  • Need to figure out a belt.
  • Perfect summer dress if only the weather was summer like for more than an hour a day.

Nice static shot.
Love the buttons.
No belt.
Buttons on the dress:

So, there I was outside snapping these photos with all the people in the park across the street watching me set the timer on the camera and run.  I look up and what do I see?  My nosey cat trying to get in on the photo shoot action from inside the house!

If you let me out, I could help!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Have I Angered the Sewing Gods?

These buttons went
missing because I
put them in a safe place
 Things have been going swimmingly.  My last dress together simply and with no problems.  This dress was going down the same road.  I was a happy camper just naively enjoying the creative process we call sewing.

It was too good to last.  The past few days have been rife with small sewing annoyances.  Pattern pieces going missing when you just laid them down.  The buttons which cost more than the fabric, missing as well.  Every time I try to put in a buttonhole, the thread breaks.  Seriously, am I going to have to make my buttonholes by hand?  Say it isn’t so!!  I measured the hook and eye tape, pin in the eye tape and the hook tape goes missing.  I spent hours looking for the measured hook tape with no success.

I know I have been enjoying my sewing too much lately.  The sewing gods had to keep me in line.  I must appease them before the really wreak havoc on a sewing project.

Where I am now.

Skirt and bodice joined.  All bias binding finishing is completed.  Side closing is finished.  The buttonholes, finally, are done.  I have to sew on the buttons and hem the skirt.  This is taking much tooo long! 

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

More Patterns

The other $1 patterns I picked up over the weekend. 

Anne Adams 2664
Anne Adams

Simplicity 2728.  I think this dress is so cute and my friend with whom I was shopping just turned up her nose at this one.  I do not get that!

Simplicity 2728

This is Simplicity 1184.  There is no envelope for this one.  My friend also did not like this pattern but I think it has a lot of potential.  Of course, the line drawing tends not to be as inspirational as the envelope art.
Simplicity 1184

You might also wonder what the heck is going on with Simplicity 3162.  I have been plugging away on this dress but only a few minutes at a time.  Seriously it has been, 5 minutes here and maybe 10 minutes there with the resulting very slow progress but constantly moving forward.  I have put in the plackets and am sewing in the hooks and eyes.  I am cheating again and using the hook and eye tape.  It really is so much simpler with the hook and eye tape.  Once the hooks and eyes are in, I only have the hem and buttons to finish up.  I am hoping that I will have the dress done tomorrow night……maybe.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Pattern Buying Moratorium Lifted

I have been so very good.  Incredibly good for me!  I have not bought a new pattern since January!  This is me!  No pattern….since the first week of January.

Well, I lost the plot over the weekend and bought a few patterns.  I was forced to go to a costumer’s yard sale.  Yes, forced to go….that is my story and I am sticking with it!  One of the sellers had bins of patterns.  One bin in particular had 30’s and 40’s patterns!  Upon asking how much for a pattern, I learned they were all 1$.  WHAT!!!  So I scrambled and picked up a few.  I only had $5 on me…..I really went without the intent to buy or I would have had more $$ on me.  So, I bought 5 patterns at $1 each.

The envelopes of the patterns are in shreds or, in one case, missing completely.  Didn’t care, for a $1 I was willing to give them a shot!

One of the patterns is Simplicity 4662.  Note, this picture is from the Vintage Pattern Wikia because the envelope is in such bad condition.
I love the coat.  I must give this coat a try!

Also, Hollywood Patterns 739.

This envelope is in the
best condition
Another 1940s dress but isn’t lovely???

But then my camera battery crapped out.  Will post the others tomorrow.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

The Narrow Hem

How do you make a narrow hem?

When needing a narrow hem in the past, I would merely pull out my rolled hem foot and use that to make a narrow hem. (This is not a rolled hem using a serger but what my sewing machine company calls a rolled hem foot.)  The rolled hem foot worked; however, my results varied…sometimes it would turn out quite nice and other times, it turned out quite wonky.   So, why not try something different?

I have read about a different technique and when my facing called for a narrow hem, I thought why not.  

I straight stitched quite close to the edge of the fabric.  Then, the fabric was turned twice and stitched again. 

I am quite happy with the results and may need to retire my rolled hem foot.  I cannot say that this technique is faster.  Quite the contrary, it really is slower.  What it is, is more precise resulting in a finish that does not have problems.  

Friday, June 03, 2011

Final Thoughts on Simplicity 3835

The pattern.  Those bows
are killers!  Stay away.

I thought I would share some pictures of the final dress.

No killer bows,
just buttons
You can see, I changed it up from the pattern envelope.  That bow looked silly and was strangling me.  No way I was keeping that.  I had already added the buttons to the dress because it was just toooooo white.  Yes, I know I made a white dress and how did I think it would look except white?  Well, I was still a little overwhelmed by the white so I added the buttons first on the bodice.  When the bow started strangling me, I added the buttons to the neckline to change up the look.

The side closing was a bit of a cheat.  I used hook and eye tape!  What a time saver rather than dealing with individual hooks, eyes and snaps as the pattern recommended.  I am all about cutting some corners.
Wow a smile.

1940s style shoes....yum
These pictures were not taken on the day of the event.  Oh no, I forgot to do it that day.  My hair looked great for the event, here ….not so much.  I didn’t feel like investing hours on hair and make-up for this impromptu photo shoot.  But check out the shoes I wore with the dress.  Tres chic?  No??  Love these shoes! And perfect for 1940s wear.

I am totally making this dress again.  I have a navy voile that screams for this dress!  Plus, it was such a fun and comfortable dress to wear I need one in a more practical color!!!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Who Doesn't Enjoy Quick Sewing?

Another 1940's dress that is coming together quickly......such a pleasure.

Construction notes:

  • Did not do an FBA since it is a 34 inch bust.
  • There are pleats in the bodice and darts in the shoulder.
  • I did not like the pleats in the bodice and turned them into darts.
  • I made a huge cutting error on the skirt.  One piece is not wide enough through the hips.  It is my fault; I did not make sure the fabric was even before I started cutting.
  • I cut the sleeves on the bias.  Not sure why; the pattern is too subtle to really show up with a bias cut.
  • I love love love the pleats on the sleeves. So simple but pretty.
  • I had to stare at the instructions for a long time to figure out how the pleats in the front bodice worked and then after figuring them out I turned them into darts.  Blech.

Where I am:

Not sure I like those lapels

Pieces are sewn together…..kinda…

Bias cut sleeve with pretty pleats!

Yup, there is the back.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Another 1940s Dress

Whew…that was one busy Memorial Day Weekend.   Not a lot of resting going on here.

But I did decide on my next project….another 1940s dress, this one a shirtwaist style dress.

This pattern looks easy.

This is the summery fabric I plan to use.

I rather love this fabric.  So light and airy.  The dots look like poppy seeds, not a true black but a grey/black.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Apparently I Like This Style

Because I was pleased with the outcome of Simplicity 3835, I thought I would go through my pattern stash and find another 1940s pattern to work on.  As, I went through the boxes, I found this one:

Hmmmm…it looks familiar………

In fact, doesn’t it look rather like this one?

You know, the one I just finished?

Okay, so there are some slight differences but the effect is really the same:
            Butterick has a 4 gore skirt and Simplicity has a 2 gore skirt
            Simplicity has ties and the Butterick has a sash
            Butterick has a variety of neckline options, Simplicity does not  
           Simplicity has gathers at the bust, Butterick has gathers at  the shoulders
           Simplicity is a little shorter

I never looked at these two patterns together.  I had the Simplicity pattern for AGES!  The Butterick pattern I bought last year for a lot of money at a vintage show.  I saw it and HAD to have it.  Hmmmmm…..I guess I really like this style.  My first instinct was that I need to make up the Butterick pattern now.

However, I have decided not to make a clone but try something different.  Off to continue my search through the patterns. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Such A Lot of Plackets

The dress is complete except for the little things such as whether a bow or a button to close the top of the bodice.  The pattern suggests a bow; I think so buttons may be nicer.  Not sure, will decide tomorrow.

What can I do to spice this
So putting the last bits together were time consuming because there was such a lot of hand sewing.  The neck and sleeves are finished with bias binding facings.  I think the look is more finished than a regular facing and may have to incorporate this trick into other projects.  There are also plackets on both sides of the dress.  There is a small opening on the right, a couple of inches, and a larger on the left.  Both openings required 2 plackets for each side which results in even more hand sewing.
Mmm...puffy sleeve

The sleeves were a breeze.  Since they are supposed to be gathered, there was not the fussing over the excess ease that I normally engage in.  This dress requires shoulder pads…hey it was the 40s!  But I cheated, I used some shoulder pads I bought at a tailoring shop.  The pads are a little big but do give the correct silhouette. 

Now do I make a slip or use one I already own.  Hmmmm decisions decisions.  I have to wear this dress on Sunday so I need to decide fast.  Maybe tomorrow I can get a picture of the dress on,…depending on how the day goes.