Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lisbon Costume Museum

It was really fun to read all the comments on the first Lisbon post! It's great to see how many of you have connections to Lisbon (or those that have it on their list of 'must see' places).  I really love it!

One evening I was able to go to the Costume Museum in the north of the city.  It was a bit tricky to find but wow, what a treasure! The building itself is absolutely amazing--I think it was once a large mansion or some sort of cathedral!  They had a great exhibit starting in the 1700's and ending in modern day with some contemporary Lisbon designers.  Here's a few of my favourite things (in order of time period--starting for the oldest)...

 The examples of 19th century embroidery were absolutely fantastic!!

The museum itself was in such an amazing building and the layout was stunning:

David, our friend Dave and I were the only ones in the museum--we had it all to ourselves!!

 This is in the Costume Museum...which makes me think it was once a palace or a church...

I fell in love with this coat/jacket from the turn of the century:

Look at the amazing button details:

They had the most amazing 1920's beaded dresses...

There were also lot of contemporary design displays:

Next to the Costume Museum is the city's botanical garden! Wow--absolutely beautiful!  David and I really enjoyed it (and I got to wear my new purple halter top and skirt!!)


Lisbon holiday

Earlier this month I had a work-related conference in Lisbon, Portugal.  Luckily, David was able to come along and we did a bit of exploring.  I think I am in love with Lisbon (or Lisboa as the locals call it).  Here are a few of the amazing photos.  It seems like every time we turned a corner, we stumbled upon some amazing art deco feature or breathtaking landscape!

 Across the city, the sidewalks are covered with amazing tile designs:

We looked through the front of a building to see this site...what looked like amazing art deco details:

Wow! Look at the entrance to this amazing apartment building:

Lisbon is absolutely enchanting at night! We walked through this amazing park (after a fantastic dinner at a vegetarian restaurant):

The trees in this park were absolutely enchanting:

More pictures to come of my visit to the National Costume Museum and the local crafts flea market!

Have you ever been to Portugal?  I definitely think it is a hidden gem!

Friday, July 29, 2011

1941 sailor dress pattern giveaway and fabric book winner

Here it is! The fabulous pattern from this week's sewing project.  I really like this pattern and I must say it is in excellent condition and most of the pieces are still uncut.  It is a size 15 or a bust 33 (a half size pattern!) from 1941.  I found the instructions very easy to follow.

To enter:

Leave a comment on this post by noon GMT Sunday, please also leave a way for me to contact you.

If you are technologically savvy and connected then post about the giveaway on 1. your blog, 2. twitter or 3. facebook for an additional entry for each method (so you can have a total of up to four sure to leave a comment and let me know if you've done any of these extra things).

I'll announce the winner on Monday and I'll ship anywhere in the world. Just a note that shipping can be a bit slow.

If you win a pattern, you can't win again for another six months. And again, the only caveat is that you don't sell the pattern. Keep the pattern for yourself as long as you want and when you are done, pass it on to someone else!

Winner of the Simplicity Fabric Guide Book Giveaway:

The winner is....
 is Owlette's Chirps.  Yay! Another new-to-me blog! You must check it out--written by 'owlette' a 17 year-old who knows how to knit, crochet, sew, spin, etc.! How amazing is that?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

'Harbour Lights' -my 1941 sailor dress

YAY! My 1940's sailor dress is complete and I love it!!  This is based on McCall 4114 (check back tomorrow for the giveaway).  I made it up in a bright blue linen with white velvet trim.  The dress features a traditional 'sailor' top collar and gathers in the bodice front and back and the skirt front.  This was my first time making a gather stay for the skirt--really helpful to prevent it from stretching!

I used three adorable buttons that were part of a vintage pound of buttons gift from Sofia (best gift EVER).  They are really beautiful and are the perfect colour! 

The trim on the sailor collar is done before the collar is faced and applied to the bodice.  Thank goodness!!  I am really proud of my trim--and there were no major mishaps!

I made the belt out of the matching fabric using a belt kit from A Fashionable Stitch.  These kits are great because it includes the flexible belt backing (that you can sew through) but also a buckle with instructions on self covering.  I always omit the prongs (I prefer slide belts--and these are very secure).

So, I finished this dress up at 9:30pm last night!  We raced down to the harbour (well, actually, we took the bus :).  We were able to catch a stunning sunset (those are always so hard to capture on film!)

We also wanted to take some pictures by the Royal Yacht Brittania (in the background)--a royal residence.  We managed to get near the water before we were escorted out by two security guards.  Ah, well.  We'll have to go back when they are open!  Hence the big fence in the pictures!

The dress also features faux pockets with white topstitching.  It's actually topstitching over a pleat! Such an interesting detail.

I just love the way the lights play on the water at that time of night! So enchanting!  I like this dress more than I thought I would.  I have a feeling I'll be wearing it A LOT this summer.  It's such a fun 40's style. 

What do you think?  Would you ever wear a 40's style sailor dress?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What's on the sewing table... a sneaky peek

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments on yesterday's post!  It's great to hear from those that have been to the Isle of Skye!!

Instead of announcing this week's pattern giveaway today--I am going to wait until Friday so that I can catch up on mailing the patterns :)

I do want to give you a bit of a sneaky peek of what I'm working on! You may even be able to guess the pattern that will be in the giveaway as I've blogged about it before:

Hopefully I will finish it up tonight!!!  Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, July 25, 2011

{Ness Lovelies} The PERFECT 1940's Fair Isle Sweater + Pattern Giveaway Winner

Fair Isle sweaters (jumpers) have been on my mind recently.  It will take quite some time before I am actually good enough at knitting to make one of these lovelies.  Luckily, Ness has THE perfect vintage inspired Fair Isle sweater!  The style is called 'Brooke' and it's part of their 60% off summer sale.

So I'd thought I'd show you some photos of my new love and some photos of the other 'fair isle'--the Isle of Skye.  When my sister came to visit, we were lucky enough to make out to the Isle of Skye and have fantastic weather!  This is a photo at a viewing point over the island:

I'm wearing my Ness jumper with my 1940 Navy wool skirt.

Here's a more 40's styled photo of the sweater:
It goes perfectly with my 1941 high-waisted trousers!!!

I love this photo so much! You can see the pleated sleevecaps--which is a beautiful 1940's inspired feature. 

This is definitley going to be a wardrobe staple as it's perfect for all seasons!

To give the sweater a more 40's style look, I added shoulder pads.  I bought shoulder pads at my local fabric store but used one of my 1940's patterns to cut it into a more 1940's shape.  You can see the 40's style shoulder pad on top and the store-bought shape below it.  I then covered the shoulder pads in a cream crepe-back satin fabric and attached them to the sweater.

It's actually a very subtle difference but I like how it looks (to get an idea of how it looks without shoulder pads, the photos on the Isle of Skye are without shoulder pads).

The Fair Isle design on this sweater is absolutely divine and in my favourite colours!!  There's cerise (or hot pink), purple, light blue and a slate blue colour:

This sweater is also available in mauve and hot pink.  Hmm...I may have to get this one! It fits in with both my summer and autumn/winter sewing plans as the colour mauve features prominantly.  I find that I wear sweaters quite regularly with my me-made clothes--especially cardigans!

This last photo was taken in an enchanted location on the Isle of Skye called 'Faerie Glen'.  Probably one of my favourite place in all of Scotland! It is absolutely stunning!!

There's loads of other goodies on sale--definitately worth checking out!

Giveaway Winner:
And now for more exciting news!  The winner of the 1937 McCall pattern is...

Jane from Handmade Jane!!!  Jane just wrote a great post about how sewing has changed her life (as part of Tilly's research).  YAY! Congrats Jane!!!  Can't wait to see what you do with this pattern!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Simplicity Fabric Guide Book Review + Giveaway!

I feel like Frodo and Sam at the start of the third movie...We've been here before...  Unlike Frodo and Sam, I am delighted to revisit this particular place :)  I was quite happy to receive a complementary copy of Simplicity Fabric Guide: The Ultimate Fiber Resource.  This resource is available this month and you can find it on Amazon UK for pretty cheap.

This has already been reviewed extensively by Peter over at Male Pattern Boldness and Debbie at Stitches and Seams.  Like Peter and Debbie, I love the comprehensiveness of the book, it's spiral-bound (and easy to keep open when sewing) design, and the lovely pictures. 

But there are three things that really got me excited:

1. A chapter on fabric sources...

Oh, did they say the magic word....wool???  You all know how much I am in love with our furry friends and their fabulous coats.  Perhaps it's that the UK still has a somewhat thriving wool industry, or perhaps it's that our weather is so variable that wool is a brilliant fabric choice, or perhaps it's that I still get excited to see little sheepies (and yes, I really call them sheepies), but wool makes me giddy with delight.

So you can imagine that I was thrilled to learn some new facts about wool.   Did you know that:
  • Wool fibers are very resilient.  They can be bent back on themselves 20,000 times without breaking?  Wool can stretch up to 50 percent when wet and 30 percent when dry and still bounce back to it's original shape.
  • Wool is a great temperature regulator--it can absorb 30 percent of its weight in moisture without feeling damp or clammy.
  • According to this fab fabric guide, there are only 40 different breeds of sheep that provide the more than 200 types of wool currently used for fabric.
  • I was a bit surprised that the UK wasn't in the top five list of wool producers--it's Australia, New Zealand, China, South Africa and Argentina.
So fascinating!!!

My second favourite thing about the book is the inspirational colour storyboards (see picture below and the one at the start of this post).  I love these so much!! I think I might try and do my summer and autumn/winter colour palettes using these as inspiration for layout!  I love how they've arranged the fabric with pins and thread...

My third favourite thing about the book appeals to my obsessive planning nature.  There is space in the back of the book for a fabric journal (brilliant idea!!) where you adher a fabric swatch and write down what it was like to sew with the fabric and details about fabric care.  I just might have to do this...I love organising things in this way!

So there you have it! A very Debi tour of the book :)  Oh yeah, it does have pictures of all the fabrics and guides to care...blah, blah, blah....

I was super impressed that the publisher thought of us sewers across the pond!!  In celebration of that I'd like to host this giveaway for one copy of the Simplicity Fabric Guide.  This giveaway will be open to those in the UK and Europe.  Just leave a comment on this post by midnight on Wednesday GMT time.  I'll announce the winner on Thursday!

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend! And thank you again for all the lovely comments on my 39 Steps inspired outfit (don't forget that giveaway for that pattern closes tonight!!  Enter here if you haven't already).

Friday, July 22, 2011

39 steps to the perfect dress...

You were all right! I used the 39 Steps as my inspiration for this week's Alfred Hitchcock challenge.  Now, I didn't make the traditional big yoked dress as seen in the movie--but used that as inspiration for a dress with a big collar and a traditional 30's type jacket!

I used McCall 9089 from 1937, which is also this week's pattern giveaway (enter before midnight on Sunday here...).  I really love this pattern!  I made the dress out of lightweight chocolate brown wool that has very light mauve pinstripes.

I really love the large collar on this dress! I found the perfect matching buttons too!  The big feature of the dress is the back--with a really neat slit design:

Oh, I love it so much!!!  The dress is super comfortable!! It closes with a side zip and then the button placket up the front of the dress.  The back yoke (which my hair is covering) is done with a lapped seam and the cutout sections are finished with narrow hems.  I carefully matched the pinstripes from the bodice to the skirt.

Don't know why this picture is all grainy--but is shows off the lines of the dress really well.  I think I am going to make a matching belt to break it up a bit!

I love the matching jacket and it was really quick to sew up (minus the sleeves which have tons of ease in the sleevecaps...arrrggg).  I made the jacket out of a poly-rayon/gabardine mix--which is a dream to sew! It's the exact same fabric as I used for my 1940's hooded dress.  I still have about 2 metres left in my stash--hmmm...will have to think of something fun to make with it because I absolutely adore the colour!!

David and I had a lot of fun re-creating a Hitchcock scene from 39 steps:

We found a close that was perfect on the Royal Mile:
Lots of people passing by LOVED what we were doing! I think a few of them must have gotten that it was inspired by 39 Steps because there were lots of people watching and chuckling--we definately made their evenings :)

Another Hitchcock inspired shot:

Super fun! This makes me want to see another Hitchcock movie!!! Which one is your favourite?
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