Saturday, September 14, 2019

40 Adventures for My 40's in 1940s Style: Adventure #5 Croatia

I'm really glad I set out my bucket list of places I want to see in my 40s.
Croatia has always been high on my list and I've just never had an occasion to travel there. Truth be told, I travel so much (and far) for work that I really haven't taken advantage of all the beautiful places so close to me in Europe.  When I turned 40, I vowed that I would start taking my leisure time as seriously as I take my work (and try not to be such a workaholic). 

Well, it was fabulous that I posted my 40 adventures list because then my dear friend from grad school who blogs over at No Apathy Allowed mentioned that she would be going to a conference in Croatia and wanted to spend some time vacationing afterwards and if I wanted to join her! YES! YES!

We decided to meet up in Split and explore some of the northern coastline.  Split was such a nice city. I hear it's the second largest one in Croatia.

Like most of the towns, Split has an 'old town' centre. And when they say 'old', they mean really, really old! There's some beautiful architecture which tells the story of Native Croatians, Greeks, Italians, Austrians and others being weaved throughout Croatian history.

After a day in Split, we headed to our main destination – Korcula Island.  A pleasant ferry journey from Split.

Korcula Island
Wow, wow...Korcula is amazing. Much, much smaller than Split and like most of Croatia, surrounded by water.
The main purpose of the holiday was to UNWIND. So we did a bit of sightseeing but lots of lounging by the water. It was so divine.

I spent a lot of time in my swimsuits--something that NEVER happens in Scotland. lol.

I got this swimsuit on Amazon (the brand is called CocoShip) and I just love it! It was super affordable...I'm going to buy more.  I'm not sure if it's actually swimming friend--but it's certainly lounging friendly!

As is this suit from Forluna. This was my first time ever in a hammock! I could get used to this!!

There were some spectacular views around the island.  On one of the days we decided to take a wine tasting tour.

That was amazing--I had no idea Croatian wine was so delicious. They are really known for their white wines from the Dalmatian Coast and this particular wine was made on the island! I love learning and trying new things– especially when they are so yummy!

Old Town, Korcula Island
 We also spent some time wandering around the much smaller Old Town in Korcula.

Like the Old Town in Split, there are lots of little alley ways and things to discover. I just love this style of architecture.  Even when it's busy with tourists, you feel like you can slip away down a small alleyway and fall back into another time!  And I got the opportunity to take lots of my me-made summer dresses.  The one above was made with a 1940 McCall pattern (see blog post here).

I made this dress from a pattern in Tilly and the Buttons book 'Love at First Stitch'. I was actually a pattern tester and I just adore it the design. (Check out my blog post here).

 Look at these alleyways...I'm in love. They are so romantic...

Vrnik Island

I also had the chance to take a motorboat to Vrnik Island--which is right next door to Korcula. It takes maybe 15 minutes by small boat.

It's a super small island but you can also stay on this island. It's absolutely adorable. I could totally spend all summer here if I had that luxury (telecommuting perhaps?)

So, so happy that I saved up and was able to do a couple of my adventures this summer.  One more blog post to come on another adventure and then plotting and planning for the future!!!  What should I do next?  Here's my list with the ones I've completed in pink:

The 40 Adventures for my 40s Dream List (in no particular order...)

Places to Travel:
1. Namibia and Botswana
2. Cuba
3. Bali and the Pacific
4. Jordan 
5. Myanmar
6. Greek Islands
7. Morocco
8. Egypt
9. Bolivia
10. Argentina and Patagonia
11. Easter Island
12. LA/Hollywood/Disneyland/Dapper Day
13. Hebrides Islands
14. Mongolia
15. Japan
16. Croatia
17. Sri Lanka

18. Alaskan Cruise (coming to blog soon!)
19. Ice hotel + northern lights + reindeer
20. Multi-day steam train journey
21. Tall ship sailing
22. Steam ship sailing
23.  Tiger Moth or Spitfire experience
24. Hot air balloon in either Cappadocia or Bagan
25. Floating in the Dead Sea
26. Cruise on the Nile
27. Touring the UK in a vintage car
28. Route 66 road trip
29. Learning to ride a motorcycle

30. Up Helly Aa
31. Attending an international film festival (either Cannes or Sundance)
32. Vienna Opera Ball
33. Celebrating Carnival 
34. Attending Gertie's Sewing Retreat in NY
35. Lantern Festival in Thailand
36. Attending Viva Las Vegas
37. Goodwood Festival
38. Attending a swing dance camp
39. Seeing Wagner's Ring Cycle at the Bayreuth Festival

40. Freebie (to be decided later)

Friday, September 13, 2019

McCall 3729: The 'Seaside Dress'

 I'm really trying to cram in the last of my summer sewing! haha.

I started this dress about a year and a half ago and I finished it quite quickly...except for the hem and facings. Then it sat for approximately 14 months waiting to be hemmed and finished! Why do I do this? It's just those last finishing steps which I drag my feet on...other projects are always so much more interesting. But the good news is that occasionally I get in the mood to just FINISH things already! Then I go crazy with the finishing steps that have piled up.

I used McCall 3729 for this dress. It has an adorable tie front element. I made the dress in a very lightweight cotton. It will be fantastic for wearing to really hot climates for some of my work travel (and anywhere outside of Scotland. lol)

The great thing is that there are lots of customizable options with the dress. The little front tie can be changed up. So I could change the colours to give it more a pop. I'm wearing it above with my me-made jacket from McCall 3580 (check out the blog post here). 

Speaking of customizable options. This is a close-up of the fabric--look at all those colours. It looks subtle from a distance but with the right accents, I could pair this dress with lots of different colours from pint to blue to yellows and reds.

We took these amazing pictures at the Scottish seaside town of North Berwick. It's about a 40 minute train ride from Edinburgh and had been high on my places to visit.

Seriously, I can't believe it's taken me this long to get to this wee town. It's so picturesque and adorable. I could spend all day wandering the streets and also hanging out on the beach.

It was SERIOUSLY windy on the day I visited--though I think this is pretty normal. I'm super happy with how my dress held up in the wind! No major Marilyn moments! haha.

Overall, I really like this dress design. It would be fun to try and make the other version with the bishop sleeve options and in a sheer fabric.
North Berwick was the perfect place to showcase the dress as it is also a very colourful town. Look at these wee colourful doors.  I love places like this!

What about you? Are you still summer sewing? For those down under are you excited to start summer sewing?

Photos from: Darja Bilyk

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Bleeding Heart Skirt

This is a project that started with the fabric...

I had seen this IKEA fabric many moons ago when it was in the store and I fell in love with the dual heart design. When I saw it, I immediately thought it would make a great A-line or pencil skirt.

But I didn't buy it and then I forgot all about the fabric....
Until one day I was in my local vintage store -- Armstrong's --and lo and behold they had 1.5 metres of this fabric. I couldn't believe my luck. It's only sometimes that they have good fabric finds in the store and usually not fabrics that are modern.

I knew I wanted to make a simple skirt--so I turned to Tilly and the Buttons 'Love at First Stitch' book. I had made this skirt pattern before--ironically also with fabric that I found at Armstrong's (though it was vintage fabric)--Check out my previous make here (with the most awesome handpainted bird fabric).

The only change I made was to make this more of a pencil skirt--that was primarily because I didn't have a lot of fabric to play with. 

I also had to think whether I wanted the hearts to go across my body or down. I think I made the right decision--I think horizontal hearts would have looked strange. I kind of like how you can't really tell they are hearts unless you look closely at the fabric.

We took these amazing photos down at Edinburgh's little lighthouse.  Isn't it cute?

Especially with the moody Scottish sky.

Overall, super happy for my heart skirt--and now I have a ready-to-go valentine's day outfit for infinity! hahaha.  Have you ever fallen in love with a fabric and then have it miraculously appear later in your life?

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The 1940s Yellow Bow Blouse and Pattern Pyramid Giveaway

I'm in love with this blouse – cute little yellow bows on a subtle blue background and a classic 1940s style.

Meet Economy Design 157. I originally won this pattern in a pattern giveaway which I tracked around the world. Read the story of how the power of perseverance brought this pattern into my life!

It is still so graceful, beautiful and fragile as it was when it came into my life 7 years ago.

 There are so many options with this pattern including adding lace trim to the collar and sleeve details. I did that for this blouse with a very subtle yellow lace to make the fabric pattern really pop.  The sleeve has an awesome pleat (which is actually very hard to you can see in this photo).

The pattern can be made with just one yard of 36 inch fabric--which makes it perfect for feedsack or small amounts of precious fabric.This is because it does not have any side openings and the front placket is fake.  This pattern slips over the head with an extended front neck slit that closes with a small button at the neck:

I've made this blouse pattern before including in an awesome feedsack fabric (read the blog post here):

And in from this awesome midcentury pillowcase fabric (read the blog post here):

Overall, I am quite pleased with this lace trimmed version...a nice addition to many of the separates in my closet including this 1950s navy skirt:

Oh and the yellow petticoat:

The other thing that is really neat is that the collar is scalloped -- something I don't see a lot of in vintage patterns (blouses at least)...and I love how the lace looks on the collar:

The adorable fabric is from Gertie's previous fabric line. I actually have a Montgomery Ward fabric swatch sample book from 1943 and they have some very similar prints in that book--cute and subtle bow shapes in pastel colours on blues and other colourways. 

I, of course, had to show off this blouse in the beautiful Edinburgh landscape.  Many thanks to Vanity Thrills for creating a period perfect hairdo and to Darja for taking these fab photos (all except the yellow blouse photo which was taken in Myanmar by Shoot My Travel).

So given that I got this pattern in a massive giveaway, I think it's time to do another giveaway of my own.  So over the next couple of days, I'll be giving this pattern away over at my Instagram account @ms1940mccall.  You can also enter the giveaway here. I will be giving a bundle of patterns and the winner can take one pattern from the bundle and then promise to host their own giveaway with the remainders (you can also add patterns to the mix) in the spirit of the original pattern pyramid giveaways.  Leave a comment here or on the Instragram post by September 3rd to win.

The patterns in the giveaway include a 1920's girls coat, a 1939 gown pattern (bust size 38), the original Economy Design blouse (bust size 34), a 1940 McCall dress (bust size 32), a 1940s Mccall blouse (bust size 30), a 1950s Advance dress pattern (bust size 35), a 1960s coat, suit and blouse pattern (bust size 36) and a Tilly and the Buttons coco pattern (bust sizes 30-44).

YAY! Good luck and long live the Pattern Pyramid!!!

If you want to enter: 1. Follow this blog, 2.  leave a comment below or on my @ms1940mccall instagram account and tag two of your sewing friends and 3. let me know which pattern you want and what fabric/colours you would make it in! YAY! Good luck! I'll choose a random winner on the 3rd of September.

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