Tuesday, September 15, 2020

'Where the Fox At?" Cambie Dress

Welcome to my fantasy airstream home. This is what dreams are made of....

I'm excited to introduce you to my new dress, it has super cute yellow foxes on it:

I've been wanting to sew up the Cambie pattern since Tasia and Sewaholic released it many, many moons ago. It has such a fantastic design including a heart shaped neckline, gathered wide shoulders with capped sleeves and either a pencil or gathered skirt:

I knew it was the perfect pattern to show off my super adorable Japanese cotton that I got on a work trip to Japan (alas I didn't really see anything of Japan except the conference centre BUT I did make it to a fabric store in the evening. YAY!). I picked up and have been hoarding this fabric for the perfect project. I knew I wanted a pattern that had a straight up and down design that would really show off the foxes (without two many pieces or darts so as to distort my wee foxes). And the Cambie pattern is perfect for such a fabric!

I knew I had to take pictures of such a special dress in a special location. Enter the Notel in Melbourne which consists of six airstream trailers on a rooftop right in the heart of Melbourne city centre. I was lucky enough to make it to Melbourne before the pandemic really took hold.  The ambiance of the hotel is really neat with the building behind the airstream painted in pink hues and a little patio area for each airstream:

There's a tennis court in the middle and each airstream is pretty comfortable. There's no one on site but you can order food in advance from local restaurants and you can order that your mini fridge be stocked up (though they provide some nice free goodies).

From the rooftop you can see the skyline of Melbourne and one of the airstreams even has it's own hot tub.

I'm definitely going to come back next time I'm in Melbourne...it's such a cool and funky location and fulfilled all my vintage airstream trailer fantasies :)

I paired this dress with a me-made jacket I made from a 1940 McCall pattern (check out the blog post here). 

Overall, the instructions on the Sewaholic patterns are impeccable and this dress didn't require any major fitting alterations. Though I do notice that the front bodice gapes ever so slightly, so in future iterations I will probably just take some width out of the bodice top front. I love that the pattern includes instructions for lining the bodice...it makes it look really pretty on the inside too.

I'll definitely have to try the pencil skirt version at some point as well. It's such a flattering design.

So I'm curious if there are any unique or unusual hotels/accommodation that are on your travel bucket list (for when we get to travel again....)...I like to dream of new locations and would love to hear where you really want to go and stay!

Friday, September 11, 2020

McCall 3823: The Perfect Staple Dress

I'm absolutely in love with the design of this dress. And the plain navy fabric means this will be a staple in my 1940s wardrobe.

This dress was made using McCall 3823, a pattern from the year 1940. I made an exact copy of view B on the pattern envelope in navy blue.

The dress features a lovely shaped neckline (almost a heart shape but a small one) and a button down bodice. Both the bodice and the skirt are pleated to match each other. This dress has 3/4 length sleeves --or bracelet sleeves as the pattern calls them.

I made this dress from a very lightweight wool that I picked up on holiday in Florence many moons ago. It's so lightweight that it's silky and buttery smooth and a dream to work with. 

The fabric held the pleats beautifully. I first pinned down the bodice pleats and sewed them.

The back has pleats as well and I just love having a plain yoke and then having the pleats. The skirt matches this design as the top part of the skirt is smooth and then it goes into an inset skirt piece with the pleats.

Here is the bodice top coming together:
Sewing the yoke to the pleated section using a lapped seam takes some slow sewing but the fabric helped immensely as it was easy to iron in place prior to sewing:

Yay!!! I paired the dress with some light pink details -- a small light pink belt, vintage navy gloves with little light pink flowers on them and some light pink/nude1940s style shoes from Bait Footwear.

We took these photos in Falkland,-- a small village in the Kingdom of Fife area of Scotland. Some of you may recall that when I first moved to Scotland, I lived for a short time in this picturesque village.

It was so lovely being back. This village is such a gem. It has some incredibly nature walks, a historic palace, cobblestone streets and a proper village square and lots of little nooks and crannies that are so beautiful. And it's small--only about 1,200 residents.

The amazing Darja Bilyk and a lovely friend of mine took these photos and I'm so in love with them. She captured the beauty and mystery of Falkland.

I also had my dear friend Ariana from Vanity Thrills style my hair before this shoot--I just love her 1940s styles: 

This is right on the corner where Vintage Quine is--a lovely vintage store in Falkland. 

This is Falkland Palace in the background...where Mary Queen of Scots and her parents would come for their summer holidays:

Yay! I can't wait to try different ways of styling this dress. 

I might also make another version in a lighter colour so that the details really stand out. What colour do you think I should make?


Saturday, July 18, 2020

The Art Deco Gem of the Skies

YAY! My second 1920s make --which I made for the perfect occasion, the Napier Art Deco Festival.

Back before everything went a little crazy with the world, I managed to get out (just in time) for my FIRST trip to New Zealand. I've been planning this trip for some time and I'm really lucky that it took place in February because not more than two weeks after returning, the UK went into lockdown and we are just now emerging from that! I feel so so lucky as I know many people had holidays disrupted.  

The Art Deco Festival is the most amazing vintage festival--set in the completely preserved Art Deco town of Napier with lots and lots of activities over the course of the long weekend. I'll be doing a separate post about the festival--I'm hoping to go back in the future, it was so much fun!

One of those events was the opportunity to ride in a DC-3 vintage airplane. These planes were the Art Deco gems of the skies and continued to be made up until the 1960s and there are about 200 still flying across the globe. I was so so excited to get a chance to flow in one of these low flying vintage planes. 

So, of course, I had to make a special outfit for the event. I have a small collection of late 1927 McCall patterns (I'm specifically collecting pattern numbers from 5000-5100) and one of them is this gem:

I love this pattern and it's been so fun to explore sewing 1920s patterns (this is my second). And if you've been following me for awhile, you won't at all be surprised that I didn't quite finish this dress before I got on my long haul flight to New Zealand. So I actually finished the collar by hand in various hotel rooms (hahaha).

I actually made the dress and chose the fabrics to match this awesome cloche hat that I got in Edinburgh at Fabhatrix:

I then found the feather boa and shoes in Napier and the outfit was complete!

The actual flight itself was amazing!  The plane was very small and was gorgeously preserved:

There were small square shaped windows with curtains! I remember curtains from the older airlines and it was so fun to see this again. The seats were quite large:

No air conditioning in the airplane--so it was quite warm. Luckily I had a matching fan that I also got in Napier. It was perfect!

And wow! The flight was amazing! It was loud and low-flying but the views were PHENOMENAL!

It was quite a windy day so we had to do an alternative route and you definitely felt the bumps of the wind. I don't mind that at all luckily!

I posted a short video of the ride on Instagram (unfortunately it's too big to post here) taken by the amazing photographer Robbie Cancian who also took these pictures.

Yipppeeee...what an amazing bucket list item to tick off. I will never forget this amazing adventure.

What about you? Ever sewn 1920's? Do you enjoy flying? Would you ever go on a vintage plane ride?


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

McCall 3658: The Stairway to Heaven Dress

Finally getting around to blogging about this dream dress pattern.

My creative process always starts with the fabric--never with the pattern. I find a fabric I love and then decide which pattern matches it best. This allows me to sew most frequently from my stash and gives me lots of creative freedom to play around with different vintage patterns and decades.  So when I purchased this AMAZING and lush Liberty of London print fabric, I knew instantly that I wanted a pattern that would show it off. I only purchased about a meter and a half so I knew it would have to be part of either a dress or made into separates. I've been less into separates lately and more focused on building my dress and suit wardrobe.

Enter McCall 3658, the most perfect pattern for showing off a fabulous print! The bodice of this dress is quite simple with a button down shirt front. The really unique detail is that there is a matching jacket but the jacket uses part of the bodice fabric ATTACHED at the back to the jacket to form the bow. It's really quite unique! You can see it in the line drawings on the pattern cover:

I made the rest of the dress--the skirt and the jacket from a great sturdy purple gabardine fabric:

I really adore the look of the jacket with the bow:

And because the bow is sewn onto the jacket back, it sits perfectly under the edges of the jacket, I really love that design feature. You can also see the vintage-like buttons that I found that match the olive green pattern in the fabric and blend in a bit more than a purple button might:

I can also wear the dress without the jacket and love how it looks like separates but isn't:

It's funny how most of my fabrics in my stash are already 'destined' for certain patterns...I have it all in my mind. So when I pick up the fabric say three years after I bought it, I know it's 'time' to match it with the pattern that I always had in mind for it. This is such the case with this fabric and I'm so happy to get to sew it to it's vintage pattern match!

We took these photos at a local garden just outside of Edinburgh--and we were the only ones there!  It was very beautiful! Thank you to my dear friend Darja for the taking these photos.

What about you? Do you start with the fabric? Or does your creative process start with the pattern? Or do you start by looking at inspiration pictures?

Friday, March 13, 2020

Simplicity 3364: Blue Springtime Blouse

Here's a gem of blouse. Made from vintage fabric and a 1940 pattern.

Instead of my usual 1940 McCall pattern, I broke out and tried a McCall competitor from the same year. Enter Simplicity 3365 also from the year 1940. It's a very interesting design. If you look closely the short sleeve blouse has these interesting tucks on the sleeve which give a great puffed shape. There's an overlapped seam onto gathers with a button down front bodice.

I've had this vintage fabric in my stash for quite some time. It's a cold rayon and absolutely gorgeous. I don't remember where I got it from but I do remember wanting to make it into a dress and I was preparing to cut out, I noticed that there were several stains on the fabric and right in the middle! So I turned to thinking about using the non-damaged parts of the fabric to make a blouse!

And I'm so glad I did! It's such a pretty blue and I love the pattern and feel of the crepe fabric.

It goes absolutely perfectly with my 1940 McCall suit make--which is probably one of my favourite makes in my wardrobe.  So now I can say this entire outfit is made from patterns from the year 1940!

Overall, the blouse itself was straightforward to make. The sleeves were a bit interesting as I had never done tucks before like that on the sleeves. And I must say they are a bit tricky to iron.

I wish I had taken more progress photos to show you but I was just so enamoured by the fabric and the pattern that I totally forgot!

I found some small buttons that are blue on the outside and white in the middle as I really struggled with buttons that wouldn't distract from the print. Hopefully I found some that blend in well! I like them!

It's funny because I would say that I make 80% dresses and then 20% other things--as I tend to not wear a lot of separates. But I forget how nice making blouses and skirts can be! Maybe I should try making some more for a more mix n' match wardrobe! What about you? What do you mostly sew?

Ph: top by Sally Sparrow Photography, bottom by Tigz Rice
MUAH: top by Bethany Jane Davies and bottom by Miss Honey Bare
shoes: Bait Footwear
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