Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Finished: Vintage 1959 Jacket

It's done!

Definitely one of the more challenging things I've sewn, but I'm glad I made it and I think I'll get a lot of wear out of it. All the details are here on my blog. Thank you, Joanne, for coming up with the idea for this sewalong--it was fun!

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Everyone's projects are looking great. I fear I have lost a bit of momentum on my piece. I plan to do some more work on it this afternoon, but I know it won't be finished this month - soon, but not this weekend. Hopefully by early to mid March I'll be posting my finished frock.

As Tim Gunn would say, Carry On!

Finished! Patt-O-Rama Dress

Patt-O-Rama 8302 was printed in 1950-something, and is a princess seamed sundress with pockets.  I've always had a love affair with this decade, and this is a sundress that is appropriately cut for work wear, too.  I won this pattern in a free giveaway from Lisa at The Hem Line.  She has specializes in vintage patterns, and has an ebay store and an Etsy store.
It's an unmarked pattern, with small holes and notches for the important "landmark" points.  I was very, very intimidated to work with an unmarked pattern, but it was really very easy.  I used a batiste print from the stash, as this version was supposed to be a wearable muslin.  I lined it with a white cotton batiste, and it's the perfect weight for warmer weather (as I look outside to see more snow falling with 7" already on the ground).  The fit was very nearly spot on, just needs some small adjustments in the bust area, but nothing preventing me from actually wearing this "rough draft"!
Back View
The pattern was missing the neck and armhold facing pieces, but that wasn't a problem, since I had to line the whole dress anyway.  I skipped the buttons on the center front and the pockets, since I thought they would get lost in the print (and I didn't have 5 matching buttons in the right color anyway).
I have the fabric and supplies to make the final version, using white (with small red polka dots) cotton and more batiste lining. February was going by so quickly, and I knew that I had to get this one finished and posted before the month ended!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Walk Away Dress Finished!

 I finished sewing my Walk Away Dress this weekend!  I made all the adjustments and the fit is great!  I was so happy to be a part of this sew along as it was a first for me.  I want to thank Joanne M & Lindsay T for all their hard work of putting this together!  If you want to see more details & pics its blogged here

Thanks for all the helpful comments & I cant wait to see all the finished projects!

Progress (Butterick 4919)

I finally decided to cut out my fashion fabric -- and realized I didn't have enough! Five yards @ 50" wide just doesn't work with this pattern's full circle skirt.

I thought about using some other fabric, but I really wanted to use my cotton lawn print for a number of reasons. So I'm going to combine the bodice of 4919 with Butterick 4136 (which I've made before, so I know it fits):

I'll put use View A (a length somewhere between A and B) and cut the back piece in two pieces with a seam allowance so it will match up with the back seam of the bodice. I do have enough fabric for this, and I think it will give the same effect, especially in this soft fabric.

I will need to use some other fabric for the facings (they are really full linings of front and back bodice) -- maybe just some black broadcloth that I have on hand. It may actually look better than using the print as facings because there will be no show-through.

So I just cut out the bodice front and back using my altered pattern. I also decided to piece the ties rather than cut them in one piece with the back, as in the pattern, because it would have really used up a lot of fabric if I hadn't, and I don't think it will be obvious in the finished dress.

I suspect that home sewers in 1952 who made this dress may have economized on fabric in the same way (especially considering that wide fabric widths were not easily available then), so I don't feel too bad about it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

McCalls 4115

Ok, after some fits and starts, I finally decided on this pattern for my sewalong pattern:

It actually has similar bodice lines as my other sundress pattern, and the best part is I now have TWO vintage dress patterns fitted!  (I did fit my other pattern, I just got more interested in this one before I made the real thing!)  

Here is the finished dress:

And, if you'd like to read more about the process, it's all there on my blog!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Update on Velvet 1940s Dress

I wish that at this moment I was uploading pictures of my completed fabulous red velvet dress.  I started it with the intention of wearing it on Valentine's Day and well, Valentine's Day has come and gone, and still my dress is not completed.

Women who turn out dresses every week (ahem-- I know some of you do!) and even those who turn out dresses once a month are an inspiration to me.  You guys blow my mind.  I've spent hours working on this dress and yet, it's not finished.  On Sunday night I made a mad push to get the dressed finished, but after I passed two hours ruching and stitching up one sleeve-- and I haven't even set it in yet!-- I hung my head and realized that it simply would not get done that night.

So now I need the encouragement to press on with a red velvet dress now that spring is on its way-- a dress that I no longer have anywhere to wear it to:(

Tomorrow morning I embark on a cruise with my family to the Bahamas.  Chances are that this dress will not be complete before the end of February (I return on the Feb 26th), but hopefully I'll be able to post a picture of the completed dress sometime in early March.  Hopefully.

I'm excited to see what y'all have been doing-- keep 'em coming!

*I should add that the dress looks lovely so far.  I still need to attach the sleeves, make shoulder pads, install a side placket with snaps, hem, and make a fabric-covered belt.  That should be doable, right?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pink 60's Dress

This is the pattern I used to make my pink dress. The pattern has a round neck but on me it was way too tight, it felt constricting and way to much fabric across the chest so I converted it to a V-neck a much better look for those of us with fuller busts. Esmerelda, my dress form, doesn't quite fill out the dress the way I do hence the wrinkles on the front and the dress isn't hemmed yet which is why you can see tiny strands of thread hanging off the bottom of the dress.
The dress was underlined with a fine pink voile meaning I could stitch the dress pieces as one rather than worrying about a lining. The fabric has a lot of body to it, I actually think there may be some wool content.
I top-stitched all the seams and the V-neck including either side of the invisible zip on the back and used facings for the armholes and neck edge.
Overall I enjoyed the experience of sewing a vintage dress and will definitely be sewing some more.
I'm enjoying  seeing what other people are sewing from vintage patterns too and being able to post all our progress to one blog is an excellent idea.

Project Walk Away Dress - Take 1

I finished the muslin for my Walk Away Dress!  I have worked out the problems with this pattern & have transferred the adjustments onto my fabric for my "real" walk away dress which I hope to have done by the end of this week!  If you want to read more I blogged it here

I like this pattern & I wore this dress all day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Is it procrastination or am I just having too much fun??

Probably a bit of both! I realized that I hadn't posted a photo of my fabric and pattern. So here you have it - my jacket and lining fabric and vintage-inspired pattern! And - I agree that the lining fabric may not be "period authentic" but I love it and it was in my stash and I love me a fiiiine lining POP!!

Making progress! I WILL finish it before the Ides of March!!!!!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Slow and steady

I have made some, but not much, progress on my 1970’s dress. Since my last post I have made a few tweaks to the muslin and I am now very happy with it. I am also satisfied that the riding up in the back was from me putting my hands on my hips and not smoothing the skirt down again, rather than a fit issue per se. The lime green lawn I’m using for the muslin is so light I think it clung to my underwear.
Over the next week or so I intend to transfer the markings from the muslin to the (traced) pattern, and then I will use the lime green lawn to underline my dress. Which brings me to my fashion fabric choice: I have decided to go with a cotton print featuring large green and blue flowers. Truth be told, I chose this fabric in part because I already had a long green dress zip in my stash, and also I want to be bolder and more daring in my sewing choices, and this will certainly be bold. I asked Ant Queen for her opinion, and she agreed that it will work in the sleeveless style, but if I had added sleeves it would be a bit over bearing. I am so pleased with this choice, I am already imagining other pieces to make that will go with it, as well as garments already in my wardrobe.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Finished - Sixties Shift Dress

I've finished my project too!  Here's the original pattern as a reminder:

I used embroidery floss for the decorative stitching:

which added another couple of hours to the project!

There's a bit more on my blog pattern~scissors~cloth

Thanks JoanneM and Lindsay T for hosting the sewalong!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

COMPLETED: 2011 VINTAGE SEW-ALONG... feels like I worked on this simple skirt FOREVER, but that was because I took about two weeks off from it to get my sewing room put back together.  But now it's finally finished!
  • I worked out removing the extra width from the back of the skirt pretty well.  By doing so, I changed the original design from A-line to a somewhat straight style.
  •  I graded the original pattern up two sizes.
  • Practiced my invisible zipper application (still needs some work).
  • and I completed  another sew along.
  • Now that the skirt is finished, I have another wool blend plaid skirt to add to my winter wardrobe.
I gave it a spin around the block yesterday, and it wore quite well.  Thanks for allowing me to tag along on this - it was fun, and I did learn a few things in the process.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Muslin for Walk-A-Way Dress

I am feeling great that I have got this far in this sew along!  I have had pattern problems before but so far this dress is easy for a novice like me!  I think I just jinxed myself!!  Anyways, after I got over my fear of how much fabric there was I got to cutting & I have sewn  my muslin to this point.  I had some length issues so I took off about 2" so it is not totally even.  The neckline was not looking great on me either so I cut it out in a sweetheart neckline using my own heart template as I do not have a pattern for a sweetheart neckline.  I also need to move the bust darts down a little for a better fit.

Looking at these picture the length is still too long and the dress seems to be off in the front.
The back seems O.K.   The arm hole edges seem to be gaping a little but maybe when I sew on the bias tape it will fit better?  Now to work on the front buttons and hems, & finishing!  Any suggestions?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I finally dyed my "vintage" velvet for Vogue dropped overlay Adele Simpson

According to the Guardian newspaper fashion gurus, we're going to be looking at dropped waists, a lot of beaded hems, long knotted pearls, and a rectangular silhouette in 2011 because of the influence of the new television series, Boardwalk Empire. So long, Mad Men. Great for vintage sewing, right!

This means that my retro vintage Vogue "Adele" in the cut velvet with the dropped waist tied overlay and possible beaded tassles will be very fashion forward in an unexpected way.

I finally dyed the Thai silks' cut velvet this morning, and you know how sometimes you think your life is going to be complicated, so you procrastinate? I nervously bought dye sachets of navy, royal blue and dark grey, only to find out that one sachet of royal gives me a gorgeous blue. I'm into blue, thanks to the success of the ruffled satin blouse the other night, a detailed on my blog last week. (Please no smart alecs remind me that this is "Our Lady's" colour, or they'll send me back to Catholic school days. I prefer to think of this as a true Renaissance colour. I have a wardrobe full of black evening wear. Enough. Nobody died.
In case you find my dyeing completely boring, you can gaze across our front yard for a glimpse over the fog covering Geneva and the lake of Leman at the Alps. In this photo, Mont Blanc, Europe's highest mountain, sits dead centre. It looks a little low to the ground because our farmhouse is already at 1300 metres.
For more photos, see my blog Chanel No. 6
Okay, I know I'm lagging on this sew along thing, but I've got husband's birthday pajamas under needle.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Du Barry 5766 - Finally Underway

Still being "iced in" today, I pulled out the vintage dress (that had been cut out for a week or more) to begin work.  The color in the photo (at least on my monitor) does not reflect the true color.  The color is a nice teal.  It's showing blue on my monitor.  At this point, one side seam is sewn and one is pinned.  When I sew the other side seam, I'll try on and see where the tweeks need to be.  The fabric feels like a  linen blend.  It sews well and feels nice.  I think the fabric drape will work well for this pattern.  Stay tuned!