Hello everyone! Well, nothing sewing related to post at the moment. I've finished a few things I need to take photos of, and a few things that are almost finished, but it'll be a while for them. Why? Well, work of course, but then also NEW CATS! We adopted a new cat for my resident cat Bubbles, Annabel Lee and Bubs are getting along smashingly. While we were looking for a new cat though, my mother fell in love with another cat, Augustus, which she also decided to get.
...A bit of a problem child. The first day he was SO freaked out that he attacked everyone that went into the room. My dad had to go to the hospital with an infected bite. My bite is healing nicely :P His introduction is going slowly. We keep him in the room and I go in a few times a day to feed, pet, and play with him (now. It was days before I went in there after his psycho moment). He's calmer, but still a bit wild. Super wants love though, so I have faith. UNFORTUNATELY, this room that he has taken over.....is my sewing room. My productivity has SEVERELY taken a hit. I may try locking him out of the room so I can actually do things. I had to buy baby gates so that I could let him out but still keep him separated from the rest of the house. It's been a process and it's going to be slow. I hope these cats know all the trouble we go through for them! Maybe I'll get some knitting done in the meantime.
So, sorry for the delays in sewing stuff yet again! I'm almost done with one of my new Decades of Style patterns. It's hanging on my dress form...in my sewing room....hoping that the crazy cat doesn't shred it ;)
Wow. It's been 5 months since my last post!! I've certainly been sewing since then, but very obviously not taking pictures of anything. Laziness, mostly. Since my last post I've guess I've mostly just been working. But I sewed up a few things to take with me to Portugal, where I went September/October. And right before that I was in Texas visiting my sister. Two days after I got back I started working again and have been busy with work almost up until Christmas 'break'. I'm hoping for a slow winter to get some sewing done. Or work to travel and buy more fabric. Life is so hard ;) These last few weeks without work have been glorious! Maybe I'll get some photos of the dozens of things I haven't posted yet :P Or post pictures of Portugal. Or finish Scotland before I head back there in the spring!
We went out to lunch so I had quickly done my hair and had lipstick on, so I figured it was as good a time as any to take pictures. I didn't actually wear this to lunch, I put it on and thought it was too Christmasy to wear on New Years. Oh well. I took pictures though. Probably should have waited for some better light, the pictures are super grainy and I couldn't find the camera attachment piece for my tripod. Oh, the horrors.
Once again I made a season-specific piece of clothing that I never got the chance to wear. Why I continue making Christmas dresses when I never go anywhere during the Christmas season, I have no idea. I got this piece of fabric in a batch of stuff my aunt was getting rid of (she obviously gave me all the fabrics!) and I knew instantly that it was going to be a Christmas circle skirt. I love this fabric. I had a stretch velvet shirt that I was going to make to go with it, but as time got closer and I knew I would never wear the outfit, I decided to wait until next year and not rush it. So the pictures are with a sweater that I've had since high school. That was a good investment, lol.
Just a circle skirt, so no pattern. I've gotten super into lipsticks the past few months, this one is Besame Victory Red. I LOVE their vintage inspired colours. Huge fan. Well, I'm a huge fan of basically anything vintage, so no surprise there. I have 4 colours so far, they will make appearances, I'm sure. I also received a Sculpture Pin Curl Tool for Christmas which is super useful. I threw up my hair in some pincurls this morning with just a few sprays of water/setting lotion and just left it in for 45 minutes. Not as great as a wet set, but it was SO quick! And it lasted through lunch, which is all I needed.
So, I feel like for next year I need to make more clothes that are more 'wearing' clothes rather than 'look nice in the closet' clothes. Maybe that'll be my resolution for next year. Along with not buying anymore patterns or fabric. Ha! Don't hold me to that one.
Wow, it's been a while. I'm not sure how many new things I've finished, work has been hectic and I haven't had much time. These pictures are from months ago, the same time as that vintage repro dress. Yikes! I'm lazy at blogging.
I don't have a toss pile. I've never thrown away a piece of fabric in my life. I will always remake something, or at least store it for eternity with the potential to be reborn.
Thankfully this dress was salvaged from the forgotten depths of the attic. After being lovingly rescued from the terrors of Brimfield antiques market (which has a shameful lack of vintage fabrics and patterns, fyi), it was brought forth into the light as Simplicity 1612. I managed to completely finish the entire dress before I realised how terrible it looked on me. I almost wish I had taken pictures. But I didn't. It got stuffed into a bag, along with my sadness. The pattern has such good reviews that maybe I just made the wrong size or something. This was done a long time ago, probably before I knew what size to use. Who am I kidding? I still make the wrong size on occasion :P
During a lull in creativity, I take out my things-gone-wrong pile to try and fix them. I tore apart the dress, used some scraps I had the foresight to save, and behold, another rendition of Simplicity 1801. Which may actually be the first pattern I've ever made more than one of, despite my intentions on other patterns! I might make more of them, I love this pattern.
The fabric is a super polyester type jersey that I picked up at Brimfield eons ago. I decided to redo it because I was going through some books on textile prints that a coworker let me borrow and this piece of fabric really reminded me of the designs in those books -->Artists Textiles 1940-1976
This version of the Simplicity pattern didn't turn out as well as the first. The fabric is actually very low quality and I didn't do I double layer on the waist-band, which makes it look floppy and loose. The pattern wasn't actually meant for knit fabrics, but I did my best. The only real changes I made were to reinforce seams with clear elastic and change the shape of the skirt based on what the previous incarnation of the dress had been.
I haven't actually worn the dress yet, aside from taking these pictures. But that isn't entirely unusual, I have a huge number of clothes, and they only get worn when I'm not working. Which seems to be rarely, but probably isn't as rare as I think.
Hopefully it won't be as long to my next creation!
This dress got moved up in the posting queue because I like how my hair turned out :) Check out those waves! I still need a bit of practice, but it's fun. This is a bit of a mash up, the bodice is a 1920's reproduction gown, and the skirt is modern, but reminiscent of 1920's flapper dresses.
It's a lovely dress, but this is another one of those reproductions where no one at the company actually got to look at the original pattern. I have no doubt that the original pattern was massively simpler than this one was. Constructing a dress based on the original drawing in my head I've already come up with 5 different ways they could have simplified the pattern, it is really absurd. I haven't read a single review that hasn't mentioned how fiddly and overly complicated it is. But, at the time, I wanted something 'simple', which means not having to draft up my own pattern. Which, as you may have figured out through past posts, never ends up being simpler.
I used some sort of rayon from Joann's. The purple is a super crappy fabric, but it had mostly the right drape, it was the colour I wanted, and it was already in my stash. Albeit as a lining, and it isn't really the quality you want as a main fabric, but whatever.
This wasn't 'hard' per say. Fairly easy, but ended up being somewhat of a hack job, sewing the neck band to the dress and all that. Which isn't in the instructions, btw. Also, the illustrations for the instructions aren't correct on the last step. Proof readers anyone?
I started out with a SBA of the underbodice and took out a bit of the front over bodice, so it wasn't overly billowy. And, as ever, the back didn't really fit well, which is super hard to fix with the way it is constructed. There were better ways to make that dress than a zipper up the center back. Just sayin. I ended up taking over an inch off of the back at the shoulder seam. Probably could have done more. We are going to leave it as is though. You can see in the picture that the back isn't quite at the highest standards of sewing. The neck band wasn't the right shape to lay quite right and the points of the neckband don't line up perfectly. I have a hook and eye holding them in mostly the right place.
Obviously, I didn't use the skirt portion of the dress. I wish I lived a life where I needed gowns, but alas.
A while back I tried to adjust the skirt from the McCall pattern to make it shorter, but it was too difficult with the bands and the drapes and everything. I still wanted to keep some of the bands, drapes, and semi-structure of the original pattern, so I found this skirt pattern in my stash that I thought would work. After making it, I was wandering around the internet looking at vintage patterns and saw a few flapper dresses that had almost the exact same curved insets in the side of the dress. I'm sure that deep down I knew this and it is why I decided on that pattern ;)
Probably could have made it fit a little better, but I wasn't about to try and line up those seams again. With the different fabrics, it was very obvious when they weren't perfect. I also underlined the yoke portions. The skirt is also unlined. It comes that way and I have so many slips that it seems sort of a waste to line things now!
Great pattern, no complaints. It'll take the absolutely perfect fabric for me to make it again though, that curved seam was most unpleasant.
Another check mark on the Vintage Pattern Pledge 2016! I'd say that with the different skirt and modern fabric that it comes across as more of a sundress and less of a costume, so I'm putting it under 'wearable vintage' category. I think I should have been more ambitious in my pledges, being obsessed with vintage patterns, I haven't really challenged myself yet! I guess making something that resembles 20's fashions is a bit of a stretch for me, I don't generally like that era on me, so I'm branching out a teeny bit.
I'd say, even with the fiddliness of the pattern for the bodice, I really like the look and how it turned out, so for that reason, I would recommend it, as long as you are comfortable with fitting patterns to yourself. Next time I'm going to close up the back and probably have it close with snaps on the side. I'm going to say that that is more likely how it was originally as well.
Not me! Well, once I finish the outfit, I'll totally take it to the beach. I think I'll do a photo shoot there. I've become obsessed with 20's-30's beach/lounge pyjamas lately. I don't know why, I don't usually do wide leg pants, and I've never even been into 20's styles. But beach pyjamas. I want a million of them. In every colour. And I have to admit, even though I'm never big on 20's styles, next to Agent Carter, Miss Fisher is my next style icon. She is completely fabulous. Plus, her and Jack are the cutest thing since baby pandas.
I made these from one of my vintage patterns, the oldest pattern in my collection. After some researching, my guess for the date is 1929. I read up and beach pyjamas were created by Coco Chanel in the early 20's as something to wear on yachts and eventually moved into resort and beach wear and became very popular in the 1930's. Scandalous in the days before women in pants were the norm, no doubt. And the beginnings of 'casual' wear.
I drastically redrafted the yoke of the pants, I'm certainly not the ideal 20's body type, but it ended up being slightly too small (I think the lining shrank actually). I fixed this by doing button loops on the side instead of button holes. Easy fix. The yoke is lined with muslin, just because the fabric is so thin, I thought it needed some body. Maybe that is what you are meant to do? There weren't any instructions with it, so I was just winging it. I also don't really know how the sides are supposed to close, but it all works out, so I'll just go with this way!
They are epically comfortable, the fabric is super soft. Some sort of challis maybe? Very lightweight. The pattern is a little intense and doesn't really photograph well, but I love it. And check out that pattern matching on the side seams!!! LOOK AT THEM. Can't even see the seam. Super proud of that.
I need to make a shirt to go with it. I could try the one from the pattern, but I can't even figure out what pattern pieces go to which piece of clothing. I've seen plenty of pictures with halter tops and whatnot as well. I kept the scraps of fabric so I can do something with a matching accent. We will see. Maybe the next one will be a jump suit one! The pattern also came with ANOTHER pattern traced out on a 1938 newspaper, which was a fascinating read, but also another pattern! Maybe I'll muslin up those.
Or just a white jacket. Hmmmm.....that could totally work.
I think I need a white pair!
I've been having a great time just sewing and playing for the past few weeks, but the dream must end. I've got some work starting Monday, and hopefully this is the start to a slightly busier season, because while there is no doubt that I prefer to not work (not to commute 4 hours a day to be more precise), a girl has to get the means travel somehow. Especially now that I'm thinking about Portugal in the fall!
So, this is the Camas blouse by Thread Theory. I made it last fall, so I don't remember much about the construction. I made this out of a cheap knit I had in my stash to make a wearable muslin. Everything worked out pretty well, so I need to make some more! I LOVE this pattern! This is a shirt I could live in. I hope Thread Theory continues to put out women's patterns! I bought one of the men's for my brother in law, but I don't sew for enough guys.
There is no need for actual buttons, I'm sure everyone can pull it over their head. I just sewed the buttons through both plackets. I can't even begin to imagine what sewing a buttonhole on that fabric would have been like *shudder*
I also used a woven for the yokes, single layer or it would have been too thick. I cut the same size as the rest of the blouse, but I think I'll up the size a bit for a non-stretch fabric across the upper back in the future, it seems tighter than the rest of the shirt.
I may have changed the neckline on this, I don't really remember. It seems fine on this, so I think I must have raised it.
The cheapness of the fabric makes it stretch and hang a bit weird off the placket, but I don't really care. I better knit probably wouldn't do that. I highly recommend this pattern and will be making many more in the future, no doubt. I love this muslin, the red is a gorgeous colour and the woven is one of my favourites, so it all worked out :)
What a rubbish review, lol. I don't remember anything about making it :P
I've had this one done for a while, but while I was taking pictures of it a few days ago, a little thing that had bothered me while making it bothered me enough for me to rip the thing apart and change it. While making it, I made the arrows on the front skirt insert go the same way as the rest of them. Now, on the pattern, 2 out of 3 of the dresses are solid colour, so that design feature wouldn't show much anyway (real seams on a black dress don't magically glow white to show up, Butterick). So, yesterday I decided to cut out another front piece and stick it in there. Luckily I had enough fabric since it was mega cheap at the warehouse in Dallas. I think it's a crepe.
I did a fair bit of research when starting this dress (Vintage Patterns Wikia). People complained about the pleats on the shoulder not falling the same as on the original pattern picture. I hoped giving it enough ease would fix that. I don't think ease was the problem, so I may change this yet again and make it a little smaller around the waist. Right now it has a waist stay inside to help it, but it is rather big. Or extra comfortable. However you want to look at it! I really think the lack of shoulder pads is the reason for the draping discrepancy.
Second, for some reason they have a two piece back skirt instead of a 3 piece skirt from the original pattern, which lines up nicely with the darts on the back bodice. I don't know why, so I changed it to a 3 piece skirt. So there. Seems like releasing the pattern with a 3 piece skirt would have been simple enough.
Third, the original pattern didn't have the weird front shoulder closure that makes the whole neckline lay funny (lie funny? Oh geez. I'm losing my English). Again, the drawing on the front of the original pattern clearly shows buttons on the back of the neckline, which is also more normal for the time period. So I did that as well.
Fourth, nothing to do with vintage, but I shortened it about 3 inches. To make it look more modern. Go figure.
I'm starting to make a McCalls archive pattern and noticed a lot of differences between the original and that re-release too. I read a blog on McCalls where some asked a question about it and one of the designers said that they basically had to design the dress based on just the drawing on the envelope, and figure out ways to make it work. Now, this McCall pattern I'm working on currently it seems like they just tried to figure out the most roundabout and difficult way to make what was probably a simple pattern work. But whatever. It'll probably be 20x harder than it has to be. But the original pattern went for almost $900 on ebay a while back, so I'll never get a chance to look at it :P McCalls probably can't afford one of their own patterns either!
Now Vogue! Vogue does it right. The vintage patterns Vogue releases are copied from patterns in people's private collections that they can lend to Vogue so they can copy them. I don't know what Butterick does, but I'm guessing it is more like McCalls. Vogues method definitely makes for more authentic patterns and probably none of this McCalls 7154 weirdness.
Technically can be considered part of the Vintage Pattern Pledge.
Although it wasn't from my actual vintage collection, it was still a reproduction! I say this counts for #3) a not costume-y pattern!
So, this didn't turn out quite like I wanted. But that fabric! So cute!! I've been on a kick of 'cute' fabrics lately. I don't know why, and I'm not complaining. After all, that's how you end up with seersucker with embroidered unicorns.
This was my first time working with double gauze, which may have contributed to my problems. It is light weight, but thicker than you would expect, it being two pieces of fabric stuck together and all.
I started with the Mila Shirt from Itch-to-Stitch. She did a great job drafting this pattern, she puts so much work into them! It's what all indie patterns should be like-better done than cheaper big 4 patterns. Different cup sizes, different layers to the pdf, just well done all around. I'm sad that the pattern didn't work for this shirt, but I'd try it again with different fabric. And I'd definitely buy another one of her patterns!
The problem came with the front placket. It was just too thick. The fabric doesn't have enough drape for the collar to fold down or fall open like you see on most relaxed collared shirts. It was stick straight and just a whole lotta shirt and fabric and zero skin showing. To the point that it looked really odd. Right after I sewed this shirt up I saw the Cheyenne Tunic pattern, which was exactly what I was looking for, with a shaped button placket so I wouldn't have to worry about how thick the fabric was. Oh well. Live and learn. I may buy it anyway, for the future. Or redraft some pieces of the mila shirt.
Nothing I did helped so what did I do? Just chopped off the whole collar area. I'm worried that this type of neckline makes it look homemade, but you know what? It was homemade. And it has foxes on it. So who cares?
I was ridiculously excited when I saw this fabric at Joann's. It isn't particularly soft or anything, but it is so dang cute! I'm glad I was able to squeeze pjs out of it, it wasn't a lot of yardage, but I managed. I've seen so many cute pyjamas on the sewing blog sphere that I knew I had to make some. Unfortunately, I'm too cheap to buy a bunch of indie patterns; fortunately, I was at Joann's and McCall's was on sale.
There are a lot of cute options on this pattern, I'm pretty happy with it. I chose the wide leg pants and short sleeve shirt. I changed up the waistband a bit, and it calls for lighter weight fabrics, but it all worked out in the end. And yes, I faced the bottom cuff with pink shiny satin. The piping is just seam binding I had around, I don't really like actual piping. Seams on the pants are top-stitched, which I always do on pjs.
I thought I had compared the pant pattern with a previous pj I made and liked, but I think I pulled out the wrong pj pattern. It still fits, but I need to do a vda next time, a voluptuous derriere adjustment. I just made that acronym up, but I know it's a thing and I now know what I should have done and will do it on all future pj makes. Live and learn!
I also made them quite a bit shorter. Which helped with the limited yardage. They probably could have been even shorter. These pants were made for Amazons.
Geez, I really need to stop buying fabric! The bookcase of fabric you see is only one of two. And a few boxes.... I just want it all! And I'm sure work is the reason I don't go through it faster :P
The dream must end. I'm heading back to work on Monday and so before my life turns back into nothing but work and commute, I'd thought I'd get this post up. I haven't worked in 2 months, so I can't really complain. It has been glorious, but I'm also ready for some more travel money to start pouring in. I've got one project done already for the pledge, so I think I'll be more successful than previous years. Also, it is my goal in life to look like Peggy Carter, so I'll be sewing up more 40's patterns!
My pledge this year is to 1) redraft a minimum of 5 of my vintage patterns so they are the right size for when I feel the inspiration, 2) make more outfits out of my rather large vintage pattern collection-once they are redrafted, 3) make at least 2 things that can actually be worn and not look like a costume. Peggy has also convinced me that I need a 40's style suit.
Let's check a few of those off! 1st redrafted pattern (it was an easy one!) and 1st finished vintage make of the year
A slip from 1944. I'm slightly old fashioned in that I will never wear a dress without a slip. Not ever. So it is nice when I get some lovely patterns for slips! Can never have too many! I wanted to make a muslin of the pattern to make sure it fit before I used some good fabric, so I used some left over material. Next time I'll make a muslin out of something that doesn't make me want to bang my head against the wall. It stretched (every piece being on the bias didn't help), it doesn't hold a crease when I iron it, and using self-made bias strips for the top was a nightmare. I basically just gave up towards the end.
I used a decent amount of Wondertape for the sewing. It is a double sided tape that you can sew through (without gumming up your needle) and it dissolves in water. This stuff is BRILLIANT.
This, and many other vintage patterns, are constructed by folding over the seam allowance and just topstitching it to the other piece. This makes all the points and dips and shapes you see in vintage outfits much easier, but I think it is hard for modern sewers to really accept, we try and make points by stitching, cutting, stretching, and trying to sew corners from nearly a straight line. I did that for the first seam and that was as far as that lasted! Topstitching it is! Made much easier by the use of wondertape.
I love the way it turned out (though I might lower the neckline next time) and it fits me better than the mannequin, so I'll definitely be using this pattern again! And definitely in some more solid fabrics so it can go under some of my sheer dresses. But a sheer slip is a lovely frivolity, isn't it? I'm also very excited about the french knickers/tap-pants, I've been hoping to grab a pattern of those for ages and you can better believe I'll be making some of those! I haven't redrafted them yet. The slip still counts as a redrafted pattern though, yea?
Next up in the pledge:
I have a 40's dress that I'm redrafting right now, making a muslin out of actual muslin (to tell you the stage I'm at), and some PJs from the 30's that I'm dying to make up. Redrafting those will be a blast. I traced all the original pieces out and it is like a puzzle. There aren't any instructions, some of the pieces were cut out of a 1938 newspaper (made for some interesting reading!) and some of the pieces that should be for the jacket look like they belong to the shirt and visa versa (just guessing by the picture on the pattern envelope-that's all I really have to work off of). Some I have no idea where they go or what on earth they are. One would think it would be obvious enough, with all the sewing I do.....but nope. It'll certainly be a challenge!