Saturday, November 28, 2009

Changing my mind Part 2

Back when I was in NYC, I was very eager and cut out fabric for a bunch of different patterns.  Now that I have actually started sewing, I look at patterns differently.  For example, I cut out fabric to make the following skirt and matching bolero with a plain cotton purple halter top and matching cuffs on the bolero:

I've cut out some beautiful bright fabric for this:

But now that I am looking at the pattern again, I'm not so keen on it.  The skirt has way too many gathers at the top.  With this 'busy' fabric, it may be too much.  Plus, I don't really like how short the bolero is and the halter top looks a bit odd.  I am thinking of using the fabric for a similar, yet different outfit.  I am hoping I can salvage the already cut out material to make the skirt from this pattern (view 1 on the right):


With the bolero from this pattern:

And the high-collared top from this pattern (the top will be in a plain purple fabric):

So, I'm not sure if it will work....but I will let you know!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

From the Pattern Stash

I've managed to accumulate lots of great vintage patterns that I absolutely adore.  One of the most recent additions is this fabulous Hollywood 1521 pattern from the 1940's:

I can see making this in lots of different combinations!  I recently also got some vintage fabric for £2 that is a great diamond pattern that might look nice as the top from this pattern (and I could get some matching green fabric for the skirt and jacket):


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Changing my mind...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I was very excited to take today off of work--especially after all the travel I have been doing for work.  And I woke up today feeling sick....arrrrggghhh!  So annoying!  Well, I did manage to use part of the day on sewing related projects.

First, I am reassessing my next project.  After I relooked at the instructions for the 1930's silk teal dress I want to make, I recoiled in horror:

Wow, no step by step guidelines....they really did expect a certain level of existing knowledge related to dressmaking in the 1930's!!!  So, I unearthed another project for a blouse that says 'easily made'.  It is also an unprinted patttern but it is from the 1940's.  I want to make the one on the right, view 2A (still deciding if I want the pocket or not):


The directions are much more manageable:

I am making it from a lovely fabric I bought on the Oregon Coast about two years ago--I wish I had gotten more of it!

You can see I am just starting to mark the tucks that are on the bottom front of the blouse.  Since this is an unmarked pattern, there are only small circles cut out in the pattern that tell you where tucks, darts, seams, etc match up or should be put.  The first thing you have to do is mark all of those on the fabric.  My vintage dressmaking book shows how to make tailor's tacks:

That leaves little pieces of thread in the spots that are to be marked for tucks or darts.  You can see the little pieces of thread in the fabric I am using:

I'll see how much I can get done on this today--I have a feeling I will be mostly marking and basting (appropriately on Thanksgiving!!).  Basting is running a seam that has really long stitches first so you can see how it looks and adjust without having to rip out really tight seams.  When you are happy with seam, then you can do the proper tighter seam and just take out the basting.  I just love the term :-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Next Sewing Project: the 1930's Silk Dress

hmmm...I have lots of projects lined up and almost ready to go, one of which is a dress pattern from the 1930's (DuBarry 1494B).   I want to make the one on the right (though with the current weather, I should probably make the long sleeved one!)

I bought some amazing teal silk fabric in NYC to make it with.  I, unfortunately, already cut out the fabric before fitting the pattern (or making a muslin).  I am hoping to still make a test run dress out of some lining silk I have since I have never sewn with silk before (and well, let's just say that I ended up taking out lots of stitches in the other dress).  That way it will fit me and I can try everything out before sewing on the nice fabric.

I've also been checking out one of my favorite stores here in Scotland and found this amazing jacket that may just go with the dress (I need to take a swatch into the store to see if the colors match...but they look pretty close to me).  The jacket is my incentive to finish the dress soon (before the jackets are all sold out).  They have great clothes with contemporary Scottish plaids, check out their website at:

Carina AW09 : £69.95
Carina AW09 : £69.95
Carina AW09 : £69.95

This Week's Fashion Inspiration

A couple of weekends ago, we watched two great movies.  The first one was Pin Up Girl from 1944 with Betty Grable.  I absolutely loved her yellow outfit and matching purse here:

The other movie was 'The Gay Divorcee' with Fred and Ginger (and a very young Betty Grable).  Two outfits I absolutely adored included a suit that Ginger wore in the lawyers office (can't find a picture of it)

And this amazing jumpsuit that a young Betty Grable wore (you can't see but it has amazing shoulder details):

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

My First EVER vintage sewing project

I am super happy to start sewing from vintage patterns. I have never really done any sewing before but I LOVE vintage clothing and patterns. Anything from the early 1900's (and even earlier, I love Edwardian and Regency clothing as well) to the 1970's.

I decided to start with a pattern that said "simple to make". It is for Simplicity pattern 2756 for a one piece dress. I chose the version that has a detachable collar and cuff (the one on the right).

I decided to make 4 different collar and cuff combinations (I know, I just jump right in...). I am very happy to say that I just finished (well, almost...I still need to do the hem) the first version which has a mustard colour collar and cuff.

I originally started a muslin test run of this dress back in NYC. So this project has followed me to my new home in Scotland. It has gone through a couple of teachers and two sewing machines.

I am super happy about how the dress turned out. I just need to do the hem (not sure what length I want) and I think I am going to shorten the sleeves because they are a bit too long. Here's a picture of me wearing it (I tacked up the sleeves a bit and it's still not hemmed yet...):

So, despite it being a 'detachable' collar and cuff, I still had to sew them in! I guess every time you want to change the collar or cuff, you just do a quick sew (no last minute decisions!) I am wondering if there is an easier way to attach them rather than slipstiching to the facing? In the meantime, I think I am going to change the collars/cuffs up according to seasons. Here's what the other ones will look like (they aren't sewn on yet....just draped over).

YAY! I learned so much doing this dress! It was the first time I ever did anything--put in a zipper, sew seams or darts, put in seam binding, use interfacing and sew a hem!!!

I have some GREAT shoes to wear with this dress. I just need to get a yellow belt and purse and I'm all set to go out on the town! Maybe I should wear this dress dancing?
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