Monday, January 20, 2014

McCall 3560: The 'Birthday Dress'

Here is my first 1940 McCall project of 2014!  Except it's from 1939! SHOCK! HORROR! hahaha.  Yup, this pattern is nestled amongst 1940 McCall patterns but the copyright date is 1939.  This has happened before (but with a pattern that should have been from 1941 according to the pattern number but was copyrighted in 1940).  This was most likely produced at the end of 1939 and then the release was delayed for 1940.  Despite that, it is happily taking a treasured place among my other 1940 McCall Project makes!

Isn't it beautiful?  I just love the simplicity of the bodice and the fullness of the skirt:

This pattern is featured in the February issue of McCall's Magazine:
The magazine describes the pattern as such:
A twelve-gore skirt is a thing of beauty and joy for a long time. The yellow dress has this skirt. It hangs slimly in deep deceiving ripples, but when you move it goes into a lively dance. Neck and shoulder pieces in one. No. 3560.
And here is my version:

I made the dress from a brown viscose fabric, which works beautifully with the drape of the twelve-gored skirt!

I've been wanting to get my hair cut for a while now and there is an amazing vintage salon in Edinburgh called Miss DixieBelle.  So, I made an appointment for my birthday (what better way to celebrate than with a little pampering?)  I always get a cut and style (because Ariana, the stylist does so many amazing vintage hairdos)...I simply cannot resist getting it styled!

The salon has a fun retro vibe.  Check out the leopard print cover-up:

Here is the finished style!  Oh how I LOVE it!  I would love to wear my hair like this every day of the week!!

Right, now back to the dress....which features pleated sleeve caps, a stand-up collar and two zippers (one at the neck back and one on the side):

The back of the dress is very simple but elegant. I left the hemline on this dress a bit longer than I normally do because it fit well with the flare in the skirt.

We took these pictures at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.  There's something about these gardens that make them nice all year 'round (even in January!)

I am very happy with my new dress! I think it will be a fantastic wardrobe staple.  I can also have fun adding accessories to get a pop of colour!

Oh, here goes the dress into a lively dance:

Later that evening, David surprised me by inviting some of my best girlfriends over for cake and wine.  Check out the pirate candles:

Such a lovely day, and a great way to ring in another year!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Guestpost at Tilly and the Buttons

I'm so excited! The lovely Tilly from Tilly and the Buttons interviewed me about Weaving Destination.  Check it out here.  Thank you so much, Tilly!

And Weaving Destination was also featured in the latest issue of Threads magazine.  We feel so blessed!  Thank you for all your support!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Scotland Sundays: St. Giles' Cathedral

On New Year's Eve (or Hogmanay as they call it here in Scotland), David and I had the chance to attend a candlelit concert in St Giles' Cathedral.  If you've ever visited Edinburgh, you can't miss St Giles' Cathedral.  It's the church right on the Royal Mile between the castle and Holyrood Palace.  It also has a spire that looks like a crown.  It's an appropriate name for the church since St Giles is the patron saint of Edinburgh.

The cathedral is absolutely stunning inside.  Beautiful stained glass windows and stonework.  The oldest part of the cathedral are the four main pillars which date from the early 1100s!

It has a wonderful large organ in the cathedral.  While we didn't get the hear the organ at this concert, I can testify that the cathedral has amazing acoustics!  The concert was of several Bach and Hadyn numbers and included the St. Giles' Choral group and a very impressive soprano named Carine Tinney. There is something very special about hearing classical music in such an impressive and old building!

We were facing the large window pictured above and since Edinburgh lets off fireworks hourly on Hogmanay, we actually got to see fireworks light up the sky through the stained glass window.  That's something I will never forget--it was almost surreal!

I took the opportunity to wear my 1937 gown and matching bolero:

And like the smoke from the candles, the feelings of the cathedral and sounds of the music still linger in my mind and bring a smile to my face!  Such a wonderful way to bring in the New Year!

I hope you all had lovely New Year's celebrations.  I'm really excited for all the potential that lies in 2014!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Top 5 of 2013

Happy New Year, everyone!  I thought before delving into what I've got planned for 2014, that it would be good to pause and reflect on my sewing from 2013.  I've loved reading everyone's round up posts so I thought I would follow suit and do my own in the style set out by Gillean of Crafting a Rainbow.  2013 was a busy year for me including a promotion at work, the launch of our social enterprise, Weaving Destination, and of course, sewing!  Overall, I made 19 garments (13 dresses, 1 gown, 1 children's outfit, 1 nightgown, 2 blouses/tops and 1 halloween costume).

Here are some of my favourites from 2013. I had such a hard time choosing that actually all of these could be my number 1 favourite outfit!  I wear all me-mades on a regular basis (at least daily) so they definitely get lots of rotation in my wardrobe.

Tied for 5th place is…

McCall 3865: The 'Bright Side' Dress

and McCall 3686: The 'Fall for Cotton' Dress

Both of these dresses represent the process of transforming a vision into a finished garment.  I had dreamed up these outfits the moment I saw the patterns.  I then just waited to find the perfect fabric for each of them.  I am especially proud of the yoke on the 'Fall for Cotton' dress--a very unique use of a border print fabric!!  The fabric is part of the Weaving Destination social enterprise and is available from our Etsy store.

4th place goes to….McCall 3980: The 'Wish Upon A Star' Nightgown

Since making this nightgown, I wear it a lot!  I wear it at least every other day for sleeping and just love it!!  I definitely need to make more lounging outfits and pyjamas.

Coming in third place is McCall 3574 and 741: The 'Scottish Christmas' Outfit

I can tell my most recent make is going to be an all-time favourite.  I love tartan. I love 1940s shirtwaist dresses. I love pleats and I love cute Scottish hats.  I plan on making a matching jacket--perhaps in dark green so that I can wear the dress year-round.

In second place is McCall 3939: The 'Hiatus' Dress

This is definitely my most worn make from 2013 (tied with the nightgown).  I wear it at least once a week to work and I love it.  It goes perfectly with jackets and I can mix and match lots of colours nicely with it.  The viscose fabric is very comfortable and the design is unique and fun.

Tied for first place is McCall 9777: 'THE Awards' Gown

and Advance 4143: The 'Aviator' Dress

Funny that my two top outfits from the year are not from 1940 and are both a bit of 'frosting'!  I just LOVE the gown I made and I have already worn it twice.  It's so comfortable and classy.  And my Aviator dress makes me all giddy inside. I love the inspiration dress, the amazing collaboration with B Millinery and the striking colour combination. It also gets lots of wear and is super comfortable (viscose again!)

Some misses from 2013:

McCall 764: The 'Birdie' Blouse

I really love this blouse but the shoulders are a bit too wide for me.  I need to unpick the sleeves and reinsert them (while trying not to mess up the neat pin tucked shoulder design).  I just haven't been able to get around to it yet.  The blouse is fine under jackets but it's a bit too wide to wear on its own.  I will definitely try to get around to fixing it before spring!

McCall 3908: The 'First Crepe of Summer' Dress

Oh, this is such a sad story.  I adore this dress.  My first attempt at sewing with wool crepe.  Well, it accidentally got mixed in with other clothes and washed…and since it's wool crepe, it shrank quite a bit.  David and I are going to try and see if we can salvage it but I'm afraid it will never be the same. So sad but a good excuse to get some more wool crepe and sew up another one!

McCall 3662: The 'Sew Bossy' Top:

Another top that I love that's just a tad bit too big.  I got this amazing feedsack print fabric as a gift from one of my favourite bloggers, Cassie Stephens.  I decided to use it as a wearable muslin for this cute little top pattern that I needed to grade up by 4 inches.  Well, I definitely graded it up-- a bit too much.  It's still super cute and wearable and I plan to bring it out on those warm and sunny days.  I also plan to sew up a few more now that I know the construction process.

Overall, I'm very happy with my 2013 makes.  I'm definitely getting better at making things that I love to wear.  I've enjoyed delving into one particular year and pattern company (1940 McCall)--it's been so much fun and I can't wait to make more!!

I'm curious, which outfit is your favourite?
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