Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Oregon Coast

Here are some more photos from the Oregon Coast!

'Yum 101' is right! We started out the day at the Tillamook Cheese Factory!  The Tillamook Cheese Factory is a century old, family owned cheese (and ice cream) business in the town of Tillamook on the Oregon Coast.  We've been coming to the Cheese Factory for ice cream on every trip to the beach as far back as I can remember--it is always a highlight.  They've just added this great 'baby loaf' vehicle for photo making fun.  Of course, my sister and I had to jump in and take it for a spin!

I think we got one of the last days of warm sunshine at the coast! It was a very warm 75 degrees (that is practically unheard of on the Oregon Coast). It was perfect weather to wear my hooded 1940's dress. It was also a great day for a stroll with my family and our beloved dog, Nikki.  Awwww...I love you guys! What a great photo!  But wait...there is someone missing.....

Who is that in the bushes??  We were ambushed by my sister! hahahahha.

We were practically the only ones on the beach.  We decided to hang around and watch the sunset and this lovely little baby seagull sat right next to us the whole time!

It was such a lovely sunset! There is something about being near the ocean that I find very calming and rejuvenating.  What about you?  Where are your favourite family holiday spots?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

My 'Going Green' Trousers

Happy second day of Autumn!!! (or Spring for those on the other side of the equator!!) I seriously cannot believe how quickly time has flown by!  I really love Autumn--especially September and October. It always feels like everything is kicking into gear.  One of my staple items for the cooler Autumn months are trousers.  Inspired by Karen I decided I need to make a second pair of trousers from my Tried-n-True (TNT) pattern, Simplicity 3688 (a reproduction pattern for 1941 trousers, blouse and skirt suit). 

You can see my first pair of trousers here and the blouse from this pattern here...

I am wearing my new trousers with my very first me-made garment--a blouse made from a 1943 pattern. 

These trousers will fit perfectly in my 'pink meadow' colour palette!  The trousers were easy to put together.  The high waisted design goes perfectly with 40's styled blouses (those really short ones with pleats on the bottom).  I really enjoy this pattern and I hope to make many more this Autumn/Winter.

I am also super excited to have used Gertie's method (from her bombshell dress online class) for putting in a lapped zipper. I really like it and it's great to be able to watch the video at any time (don't know why but I always forget how to do it!)

I'm super happy with these trousers and I hope to get lots of wear out of them this Autumn.  It's a pretty lightweight fabric so I'll probably have to wear tights or thermals under them--but then I think they'll work lovely for spring as well. 

What do you think?  Do you have any TNT pattterns that you hope to make up this season?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gatsby Dress Pattern Winner

I'm super happy to announce the winner of McCall 7403 is...

Tasha from By Gum, By Golly!  YAY Tasha! I absolutely adore your creations and can't wait to see what you make with this!! Get in touch with me at: myhappysewingplace{at}googlemail{dot}com.

My Autumn Colour Palettes

Color palette 2
 Image sources: 1. Some of my fabrics, 2. Me-made 'Angels Culottes', 3. Ness 'meadow' tartan, 4. pink meadow colour palette--my own creation.
I absolutely love the colour palette challenges that Colette patterns hosts every season!

I used the colourlovers website that Sarai from Colette patterns suggested. It's great because you can actually upload photos and it takes a sample of the colours in the photo! 

I actually have three colour palettes for Autumn.  I just couldn't decide which I liked best--so I'm going to use all these colours and create three different streams for my sewing!  The first one is composed of greens and pinks.  These are often associated with Spring but I think these would look lovely for Autumn as well.
If you've been following my sewing for awhile, you know that cerise or a hotter shade of pink is a bit of a staple. 
Color palette 1
Image sources: 1. Teal colour palette--my own creation, 2. me-made 'Mrs Peacock' outfit, 3. Ness Dotty jacket in 'Crush', 4. Gucci 2011 RTW collection, 5. Gucci 2011 RTW collection (I LOVE the colours in this collection), 6. Alexander McQueen 2006 collection, 7. Ness 'Northern Lights' tartan, 8. Chocolate and wine colour palette--my own creation.
My next set of colours incorporates teal--a colour I hope to be sewing a lot of this Autumn.  I want to use my 'Mrs Peacock' teal tweed skirt as a basis for several outfits.  

The third set of colours is inspired by reds, pinks and chocolate browns.  I call this my 'chocolate and wine' colour palette. I love it (almost as I love chocolates and wine)!  It incorporates a lot of red tartan as inspiration.

What about you?  What are your Autumn sewing colours? Are any of these colours in your plans?

Monday, September 19, 2011

San Francisco Fabric Shopping Part 2

The last trip on the San Francisco shopping excursion deserves its own post! Mena took me to the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles.  I remember when Mena did a review of this amazing place on her blog and thinking how great it would be to eventually visit it!

The store and museum are beautifully laid out! There are so many different types of ribbons, trims, hat supplies, lace, patterns and books!

You can also buy all sorts of vintage and new lace and see how lace is made!  I really love the antique feeling of the store.

Aren't the lace umbrellas in the photo above beautiful?  Mena and I were ooohing and ahhing over them!

So, what did I decide to take back to Scotland with me?  I was practically reduced to hysterics when I saw the appliques they had! I decided to get these two lovely dark purple appliques which I want to use on a 1940's style dress!

Another 40's inspired piece is this adorable sequined bow that closes in the centre with hooks and eyes! Wouldn't this be a fantastic closure on the back of a dress?  Or a cape?  soooo cute!

I also found this adorable pattern for sequin designs for only $2! Great deal!

What a fun place!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

San Francisco Fabric Shopping Part 1

I got all of this for $5!!!! I was super excited to go fabric shopping with Mena while I was in San Francisco. If you follow Mena's blog, you know she always finds super amazing fabric (often vintage) and sewing notion deals.

Our first stop (and the source of all the booty above) was Scrap.  Scrap is an AMAZING space.  It's in an old warehouse building and doesn't look like much from the outside but you walk in and lo-and-behold it is a crafter's haven!  There are literally bins of zippers for 5 cents, two large filing cabinets full of patterns for a quarter, row upon row of fabric scraps and a whole aisle of buttons and notions!!

What's even better?  Scrap is a non-profit organisation or what they call a 'creative reuse centre and materials depot'.  It's been around since 1976 and it relies on donations of re-usable materials (often 'scraps' or in bulk) and diverts them from landfills into classrooms and to home seamstresses like me :)  

I got loads of buttons, fabrics, zippers, lace, corded piping, belt buckles and a few patterns! Mena was really good at spotting the fabulous fabrics like the two colourful prints above (about 1.5 yards and 2 yards each).

I highly recommend visiting scraps if you are ever in the bay area.  It is amazing.  I wish we had something like that in Scotland!!

Next up on the shopping tour was Stonemountain and Daughter fabric store.  I remembered reading about this fabric store on Mena's blog and it was lovely to visit them.  They have a great range of reproduction cotton prints, a lovely collection of wool crepes and tons of colour cottons.

I credit Mena with finding this lovely fabric!  I walked away with 4.5 yards enough for a dress or separates and a dress.  I am planning to make something from it for our upcoming picnic in New York City at the end of the month!  Isn't it lovely??

Stay tuned tomorrow for more of my fabric shopping adventures! It was so much fun to hang out with Mena and to go to some of her favourite places!  

FO: The Great Gatsby Affair Dress

I had the best weekend EVER!  This last Sunday was the Gatsby Summer Afternoon event in Oakland, California.  This annual event is put on by the Art Deco Society of California.  Everyone dresses in late 1920's/early 1930's outfits and sets up fabulous picnics!  There are also tons of great vintage automobiles! The highlight of the trip was being able to meet I was so happy to finally get to meet Mena, Christine, Shannon and Xandra!!   I am super happy I was able to coordinate this event with going back to the West Coast to visit my family.  

In August, I had a poll on my blog for which dress I should make for the event.  McCall 7403 was the clear winner (scroll to the bottom for the giveaway for this pattern). Despite having planned for this dress so early on...I didn't (ahem) start sewing until the day before the event!  EEP!  Part of the reason was that I was hit with a lot of work the week before I left in preparation for my vacation and was super exhausted in the evenings.   

Luckily, I had contacted the Sewing Workshop in San Francisco and I was able to get in to use their sewing machines for part of the day.  Karine, the owner, was so lovely and accommodating! I got up on Saturday at 4:30am to cut out my fabric and grade the pattern, then I went to the studio and sewed up every seam I could for the next 6 hours.  The next day, which was the day of the picnic, I got up really early to hand finish the remaining parts of the dress which included hemming and attaching the collar, attaching the buttons, putting in the zipper and hemming the dress.  I finished exactly 30 minutes before Mena came to pick me up for the picnic!!! Phew!

Mena organised an amazing picnic spread for us!  Do you recognise that plaid fabric?  Mena used it recently for one of her dresses!  I am super happy Mena brought parasols as it was really sunny and warm and they helped keep us cool!

The picnic was so much fun. I felt completely in my element.  The photo above is of Mena, Christine and myself all in our handmade dresses. 

Here I am with Xandra from EvaDress patterns.  Her dress is made from ribbons! It is so stunning.  It was really fantastic to be able to meet everyone at the picnic!  

I absolutely ADORE this pattern.  It was very easy to grade and put together.  Like most early 30's McCall patterns, I found that it was brilliantly drafted.  I really loved the interesting details of the yoke and matching hip v-line.  The back closure, the great collar and sleeves also have really unique details.  I chose to make the neck yoke in red and white gingham and the rest of the dress in pure white.  It seemed the perfect combination for a summer picnic.  I actually decided on these fabric choices to match the red buttons I already had in my stash.

I also really love the style of belt for this dress.  It's actually looped through a buckle and buttoned on each side.  I used an old handmade belt I found in a vintage store for £1.00 and recovered it with the gingham fabric.  I cut the buckle off (which was a self-cover buckle) and took it apart.  I was going to try and recover it but it was too difficult without some sort of adhesive.  At the last minute I borrowed a beaded bracelet from my friend and twisted into a figure eight and used that as my 'buckle'.  It worked beautifully.  I'm so glad I had it because I think the belt really helps to break up the dress and add a bit more colour!

The house and grounds of the Dunsmuir Hellman Historical Estate were absolutely stunning! It was really fun to be at an event where every single person was dressed in styles from the late 1920's and early 1930's.  

It was great to enjoy a picnic surrounding by people that enjoyed the same time period and who put so much thought into the day.  It was so much fun to just walk around and see the various picnic settings, outfits, and vintage cars.

Thanks ladies for a fantastic day! 

Pattern Giveaway I LOVE this pattern! It is McCall 7403 in a size 14 or Bust 32.  The pattern is from 1933 and features two different sleeve styles for the dress.  All the pieces are present and the instructions are easy to follow!      
This giveaway is open to everyone.  Just leave a comment on this post by Monday midnight (Pacific Standard time) for one entry.  You can also do a blog post on this giveaway, tweet about it or put it on facebook for an additional entry for each method (up to four entries total).  Just come back and leave me a comment that you've done all those.  I'll randomly pick a winner next week.  It would be great if you could leave me some way of contacting you in your comment!
The only restriction of the giveaway is that you do not sell this pattern.  Keep it for as long as you want and once you are done--pass it along to someone else!

YAY!  Good luck.

Oh, please still comment even if you don't want to enter the pattern giveaway--I LOVE hearing from you!!!  Just let me know if you don't want to be entered in the giveaway! :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

FO: The 99 Luftballoons Dress

Wow! What a whirlwind week! I have a bit of catching up to do and the first thing I want to share is my dress that I finished last week.  The challenge over at the Sew Weekly was fabric painting and/or dyeing.

My inspiration this week was the song '99 luftballoons' by Nena.  I wanted to recreate the red balloons floating across a dress.  Once I had decided on this idea, I choose Simplicity 2180 as the dress pattern.  I really loved View A which was a knee length sleeveless dress, gathered at the waist with a fabulous cut-out back which closed with tied bow.
I made the dress out of 100% cotton material as I thought that would be the easiest to paint.  Simplicity 2180 was fairly easy to put together, though it did take some time.  I ended up not putting in the pockets but I followed all  the other directions to a T!  The directions were fairly clear except for the waistband facing--I found it a really bizarre way to put the dress together and it didn't become immediately clear until about 9 steps later.  At that point I had the 'aha' moment and figured out the reason they were having me do things a certain way.  Sometimes I wish they put little notes in the directions like the following..."I know this won't make sense...but trust me later when you attach the skirt to the bodice, having this bit the way it is will make it look all nice and pretty inside...."  That's all I really need.  Otherwise, my inclination to skip steps increases!!

The nuts and bolts of the dress is that it is one bodice front piece with two darts and two bodice back pieces with an attached bow tie.  Their method of constructing the bow tie is fabulous and worked really well.  The bodice is attached to the skirt via a waist yoke (with aforementioned tricky waist yoke).  Normally there would be pockets in the side seams but I was too impatient to put those in (seriously--there were 35 steps to constructing the dress and nearly 10 of them were for the pockets!!).

Here's what the dress looked like before the 'balloons':

The dress is actually designed so that the shoulders sit almost 'off the shoulder'.  I find this a bit annoying and keep wanting to pull my sleeves up to sit more on top of the shoulder.  I think if I were to make this pattern again I would adjust it so that it sits more properly on top of the shoulder.

This is another David n' Debi creation as David painted the balloons on the dress for me! YAY! It was a crazy week as I was getting ready to head to the States to visit my family and David wanted to help out.  He's also really good at freehand drawing and created the balloon template above.  What a wonderful partner :)

I absolutely LOVE this dress! The balloons float up the dress and down the back! It's so fabulous.  The black paint was a bit harder to work with than the red paint for some reason.  The balloons start out larger on the bottom of the dress and gradually get smaller.  We also decided to not paint the waistband or shoulder yokes.  I really love how it turned out!!!

I really love the back of the dress! It's so playful.  It does present a bit of a challenge in terms of picking the right undergarments--something with a low back band is best (or a clear back band--which is what I want to get!)


YAY! I love it so much! What do you think?
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