Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ms. February

She did not want to come out until the weather was warmer...and I'm afraid it's not much warmer than February here....but I convinced her!  Please say hello to Ms. February.  For those of you following my blog,  you will know that I am doing a monthly accessory challenge a la Ms. Talbot's 1943 "Complete Book of Sewing".  At the beginning of the year I developed my own accessory calendar following Ms. Talbot's advice.

Ms. February's accessory challenge: With a warm suit, carry a tweed or plaid bag and line one side of your hat with matching tweed or plaid.  Oh how I love tweeds and plaids and I'm definitely in the right country to get it!

 Jacket, shoes and purse: presents from my sweetiepie from Ness
Trousers: me-made with Simplicity #3688
Blouse: thrifted
Hat: Top Tottie Vintage (fab UK based etsy store)

And the hat from the front--see the matching fabric?

 Ness doesn't sell their fabric, so I had to get a bit crafty to get that piece of fabric for the hat.  I bought one of their bucket hats for cheap on ebay and took out the stitching to get the fabric:

Actually, I should say David helped me take my idea and make it a reality.  He was able to visualize how the bucket hat could be used to get the fabric to fit the tilt hat--and made it happen.  Isn't he great?  Check out the detail on the back:

Here's some more pictures of the outfit:

Oh, and this is Ms. February's mansion.  Nevermind that she is on the outside of the wall...it's only because she's just been inspecting the outer wall.....everything looks good...

love my new trousers:

Doesn't this look like a much older (older than 1941) silhouette?  What year does this look like??

I have a feeling Ms. February will be out and about a lot this spring!

Now I am completely caught up with my accessory calendar.  Check out Ms. January and Ms. March and don't forget to accessorize!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Yipppeee.... 1941 trousers are finished!!

I've been working on the trousers from Simplicity #3688.  The original pattern was from 1941:

I made it out of some amazing navy blue, English lightweight wool that I found in a charity shop (only in the UK can you find lots of wool and tweed fabric in charity shops!!)

I am really happy with how it turned out!  They are super comfortable:

And the back:

I did a tissue fitting and then another fitting with all the pieces pinned together and I didn't need any alterations.  I love that they are high-waisted and very comfortable.  You'll recognize the blouse as the DuBarry pattern from 1942 that I put together a couple of months ago.

These pants were really quick to sew up.  I did learn, however, that I am not a visual person.  It took me 3 hours, I kid you not, to figure out how to pin the four pant legs together to get the trousers!!!  I'd end up with two legs together or one inside out or backwards--I think I did every possible combination....hehehe...maybe it was just that night I was working on it because the next day it was super easy to figure out!  Thank god I am not an engineer!! :-)  Once I figured out what was attached to what, it was easy peasy to sew!

I also did my first lapped zipper:

I'm working now on a couple of blouses to go with my new trousers! YAY!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The sweetest present...

I got a surprise package in the mail today from my best friend Manju.  She sent me a bunch of fabric from India!  How sweet is that?

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this sheer blue fabric she sent me:

It's actually more of a navy blue than it looks in the picture.  It has amazing embroidery and sequins on it.  I am so excited to make a fabulous dress out of this fabric!

She also sent me this great purple fabric:

I'm thinking a blouse for this one. I love this shade of lilac!

She also sent me this stripey fabric which would make a great mod dress:

It's more of a vibrant yellow than it's showing in the picture...I love the stripes on it too!

She also sent me this gorgeous kelly green scarf:

Thank you Manju for the very thoughtful surprise!  You're such a sweetie!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

And the winners are...

Happy first day of spring.  I've randomly chosen the winners for the pattern giveaway.

 The first pattern, Style #2198, is a fantastic housecoat pattern:

This pattern winner is.... Lo. Lo says this pattern reminds her of "a housecoat that I saw January Jones wear on Mad Men. The fabric it was made in quilted gold jaquard. Yikes!" But Lo plans to make this up in a clean crisp white quilted fabric.  Sounds so lovely.  I can't wait to see it!

The second pattern is Butterick # 4997:

And the winner of this patterns is.....Kel.  YAY!  Kel just started sewing and would like some suggestions for fabrics for this dress pattern.  Any thoughts?  I just found on sew retro that Lathelize had made this pattern in a khaki corduroy.

Congrats to Lo and Kel!  I can't wait to see what you create.  Don't forget to send me photos or a link to your blog once you've sewn up the pattern.

Also, thank you to everyone who entered!  It was really fun reading your responses....and I hope to do more pattern giveaways soon.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

No real kittens were harmed in the making...

Ok, if your name is Michelle and we are related...then look away now and DO NOT keep reading!!

For the rest of you, I am super happy to share my latest project that I made for my sister Michelle for her birthday.  It's already a week late...ahem...but it's fabulous so I don't feel so bad.

My sister just bought a house so I thought I would send her something she could use in her new place.  Like me, she is also a cat-lover.  I found this A-DOR-ABLE cat fabric on ebay (the woman also sells on etsy: just google 'umbrella cat fabric' and you'll find it):

And I decided to make reversible placemats...with the cute cat fabric on one side and black linen on the back.  I interfaced the placemats (2 with cotton batting and 2 with fusible interfacing--only because I ran out of the cotten batting...though I think I like the fusible interfacing better!).  I stiched it all inside out, flipped it and then ironed under the seam allowance at the small opening and ran two rows of stitching on top:

Originally I was going to make the napkins out of the same black linen but thought it would be nice to have some color...I found some great pastel napkins and figured that was perfect for the start of spring.  Plus, Michelle has a great balcony outside with table and chairs...so this would be perfect for entertaining outside!

I wanted to incorporate the cats somehow onto the napkins....so, I painstakingly cut 4 little kitties out of the fabric:

Then I used an exacto blade to cut double-sided fusible web to match the kitty/umbrella shape and viola....matching kitty napkins:

I'm delighted with how they turned out!

I'm mailing the present out tomorrow, so hopefully she will get it by next weekend!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pattern Giveaway!

Thank you everyone for your lovely comments on my last two posts!!

In celebration of winning my very first blog giveaway and to revel in the fact that spring is ALMOST here, I am doing my very first pattern giveaway!!!

I'm giving away two patterns to two different people.  Both of the patterns are complete and in good vintage condition.

The first pattern is Style #2198 in a bust 34.

Misses' housecoat in two lengths:  The housecoat has front button closing, collar, pockets concealed in side front seams and long set-in sleeves.  View A & B have "stand-up" collar.  View A has embroidered braid trim.  View C & D have Peter-Pan collar.  View A & C are ankle length.  View B & D are regular-length.

The short version would make a lovely spring housecoat (or lightweight coat for that matter!)  And then you can save the pattern and make the longer version for the fall/winter.

The 2nd pattern is Butterick #4997 from 1968 in bust 38:

Misses' one-piece dress:  Full A-line skirt attached to semi-fitted bodice above waistline.  Button and tab trim.  Short sleeves or sleeveless.  Purchased scarf.

So, how do you enter?  Simple--just write a comment on this post and tell me which pattern you want and what fabric you would make it with.  You can enter for both patterns BUT will need to leave two separate comments (one for each).

I will choose two winners randomly on Sunday the 21st of March--the first day of spring!

Oh, and if you win, you agree to sew the pattern within 1 year (by next spring 2011) and give me a link to your blog post to share your lovely garment (or if you don't have a blog to send me a photo)!

Also leave a comment if you have already made up one of these patterns in the past!

YAY!  Can't wait to see these two beautiful patterns made into lovely spring garments!

Monday, March 15, 2010

My favorite hair set to date...

Yesterday's blog posting on Beauty is a Thing of the Past featured four different hairstyles for short hair.  I was so excited to see this that I tried the "for the woman in uniform" hairstyle.  But instead of doing the pincurl set, I used small to medium sized rollers and slept in those overnight.  I used rollers instead because: 1) my hair is already wavy and pincurls make them CRAZY curly and 2) pincurls take forever to do and I found I could do this with just 10 foam rollers and 3 pincurls to catch the stray hairs.

I positioned the rollers where I saw the curls in the photo.  Once I got up this morning, I did not brush the curls out (again crazy curly hair goes everywhere!) instead I sculpted the curls with my hands and bobby pinned them all in place.

I am very happy with how it turned out:

Here's the back....still hard to control some of the hairs ...

I love how it looks with the DuBarry blouse I made:


Sunday, March 14, 2010

spring comes a week early...

We had a glimmer of sunshine this morning so I decided to get all dolled up and go out to brunch with my sweetiepie.  Back in December I found this amazing 1960's dress and matching jacket at our local auction house for really cheap.  I decided to try it on and it fit perfectly!  I'm so excited to be able to wear it now as it's perfect for spring.

And I ended up buying the cute 'Ness' matching purse for my shoes.....oh, how I love it!!

I experimented with doing a 60's inspired hairdo (hello backcombing!) and like the way it turned out:

And there are the first signs that winter is almost over in our village...crocuses!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What I'm working on

I hope to make some progress today on a pair of 1941 trousers from the reprinted Simplicity 3688 pattern:

 You've probably seen this pattern around (I see it everywhere).  Here is a close-up of the original pattern sketch:
I'm making the trousers out of this amazing dark navy lightweight wool fabric that I got at a charity shop and am making the blouse out of a bright cerise colored satin.

Yay! I am very excited...hope I can get some other work done today so that I can start sewing!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ms. March

My accessories calendar challenge continues with Ms. March (um, Ms. February is still on the way, turns out she doesn't really like February after all and much prefers Spring).

I was very lucky to win a giveaway from one of my favorite bloggers, Boo Dogg and Me: A Sewing Journey.  I just got the lovely brooch that Rachel made in the mail yesterday!

And I wore it to work and around town today:

I absolutely adore it!  Thank you so much Rachel!  You've also inspired me to do a giveaway this week...so stay tuned!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My favorite Scottish company

My darling husband just got me a pair of wonderful wedges from Ness.  Ness is my favorite Scottish store. 

Founded in Edinburgh in 1996, Ness takes inspiration from the contemporary feel and flavour of its birthplace.  Here's what the founder says: "Scottish design doesn’t have to be all shortbread and country houses. We pay homage to custom through the use of tartan in a way that is more inclusive, stylish and we hope fun. Our look is chic and ageless – my aim is to give Ness pieces a free spirited, individual air, mindful of tradition but unrestricted by it."

And I LOVE it!  Ness recently introduced some great vintage inspired shoes including these wedges in a delicious tartan:

David got me these teal ones for Christmas!  The best thing for me is that they are all manmade (no leather!)  I have this horrible allergic reaction to chromium, which is a heavy metal they use to tan leather...so I can't wear any leather shoes!  Which has been slightly difficult when trying to get vintage shoes....so these are great.  Plus they have matching purses....and clothes that match the colors in their tartans (I can get in so much trouble at their store because I am sucker for things that match!!)
I'm visiting the store in St. Andrews on Saturday so I'll let you know if I pick up any other goodies :-)
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