Monday, October 24, 2011

Du Barry in the works. The shirt is coming along wonderfully! Everything is finished with a French seam too. And look at the stripes, everything lines up!!

Ugh, winter!

Well, my kids are sick so consequently I am sick. No sewing unfortunately. I am going to try to get more done today since I need my sewing fix but I'm just so exhausted form taking care of my poor sick babies. The weather is getting colder every day and I need to get hopping or I"ll be stuck wearing too many RTW clothes this year!

Friday, October 21, 2011

I fixed it! of course the stripes are like 1/8 inch off but honestly I will be the only person to notice. It's a very fluid fabric and when worn no one will see it.

No, you are not seeing double. I DID IT AGAIN! I did it *bleeping* again! I am going to try to save this one.

The Shredded Shirt and Other Fun

Du Barry 5172 is still in the works. The shirt is a mess; literally. I made a slight boo boo of sewing the yoke on backwards (duh! I should not be sewing while sleep deprived). I tried to very gently rip the seam (each stitch no less!!) and it shredded like taco lettuce. So big surprise here, I have to re-cut the yoke and one side front bodice.I also have to do very super tiny French seams on everything or else the shirt will be totally unwearable and certainly not washable. Then while working on my wool vest I found that the head hole is too small. Will wonders never cease! I had to rip out the facing on that one too. So I was half way done and now am I not.

I know not everyone lives up in the Great White North. I wanted to add more vintage inspired clothes to my winter wardrobe but, seriously, women in the 1940s-50s couldn't not have worn dresses all year. I mean, when it's -2 outside without windchill, wearing a dress is insanity. What the heck did women wear? Or maybe they didn't leave the house? Either way, I'll probably supplement bottoms with jeans like usual. I did wear a pair of black long leggings with my Swirl dress on what was most likely the last warmish day of the year. It was 55 degrees but I suffered in the name of Swirl.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I have already ripped out the facing once. the head hole is impossible small. I don't have a big head either, idk what the problem is. I think I am just stalling.

Working on Du Barry 5172. One of these things does not look like the other, one of these things isn't the same.... I have to fix the right piece, it is on backwards! And this material shreds if I even look at it funny!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I was missing a small strip of fabric along the SA so I finally got to try out a joining stitch. It worked beautifully.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I am using this for the shirt in the short sleeve version. This may have been a curtain in a past life but it doesn't feel like a curtain and has both bound edges so mayhaps it's shirting. I think it is has a bit of a Victorian vibe but it'll do.

Aaahhh the cutting room floor. I'm about to start Du Barry 5172 with a light weight wool chooped up chunk of thrifted awesomeness. If I cut verrrrrrry carefully I won't have to seam the back.

Simplicity 4044 - Rehash

I'm upset. Even though I used a strong interfacing on the waistband and double stitched it in, the waistband stretched out like 2 inches. Now I have to un-attach the facing, somehow make a few tucks and use twill tape to keep it from happening again. Ugh, it was very disappointing. I scored some weird stiff and very thin facing at that estate sale. I'm not sure what it is but it seems like it would be something used in collars or belts to keep them ultra stiff. Maybe I'll use that.

On a happy note I got several compliments on the pants at work tonight. I paired it with a cream silk cardigan with embroidered and beaded flowers and a bright pink tank underneath. Very retro glam. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I finished covering the ugly plaid Haywood Wakefield chair. I got the fabric for $1 at an estate sale.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

From a recovered 60s dreary to current cheery! The plaid was cool but it was realistically just too much. It's going to go back onto a 1930s Haywood Wakefield lounge chair. I know right.... a HW Essex Maple chair! Castoff gift from my gramma who never liked it.

My estate sale score. She had more squirreled away than I thought possible. It was epic! All this, plus a vintage bow tie, vintage clothes pin holder and pins, a slip and sweater for $17! The big floral print is a crepe rayon in 6 yrds, the blue flowers is home dec at 2 yrd, pink cotton 6 yrds, and remaining at 2-4 yrds apiece!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Finished pants! Simplicity 4044 done in a super drapey khaki herringbone with a shadow stripe.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I did a quick try on and they fit like $80 Express Editor Fit pants! This is an amazing pattern! I should be able to finish them tonight after work.

This is the way I do a middle lapped zipper. You install before the facings too.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I am an impulse sewer. Meet Simplicity 4044 pants. There are only 4 seams, a hem and a facing. I can crank these babies out sometime between Fresh Beat Band and Little Bear.

This is the icky filling inside the layers of the lining. Its smells and looks like a dead rabbit. There is this black burlap stuff in stuck to the lining too and its sticky! smells awful!

Traced the lining and marked where the original lining was placed inside the bag.

Trying to save an awesome purse! Updates and pictures to come.

This message has been sent using the picture and Video service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, Quicktime@ 6.5 or higher is required.

Simplicity 1924 - Review

 I was so inspired by Handmade Jane's super awesome pants that I wanted to make something in a blue knit and sailor-y. So, I brought out good old Simplicity 1924 from 1947.

I have never made this one before and was worried it would look like a paper bag on me. I don't have much of a waist (or bust or hips for that matter), I have what one would call a Lego body; it's all arms and legs. I had this feeling that it would literally look like someone cut a hole in a tube of fabric and tossed it over my head. I was wrong. It is a great pattern, a lovely pattern, it makes me look like I have half a figure! There were only 4 main pieces and I made it out of thrifted grey and navy striped cotton t-shirt knit (top) and navy blue poly-something knit (bottom). I have never sewn knits before but always wanted to and thought this was the perfect time.

The only downfall with using the knit was that the gathers are not very apparent. I did find it difficult to match the stripes too. Somehow the stripes were off on the fabric itself b/c they just wouldn't even line up before I cut the top. I really need more practice sewing knits (I didn't have the right needle and I have no idea how to finish the seams), but for a first attempt this turned out wearable and cute. I did French seams on part of the dress and they really didn't work. It is almost like they are too heavy or something, they didn't lay like I wanted them to. The front just sags at the seam. Next time I'll eliminate the seam and cut both the back and from on the fold. Any advice? I also could not figure out the back facing. I initially thought the facing was not needed, I did the top and realized it wasn't really a facing but a piece that oddly finishes the back neck (these old patterns.... sigh). Then I proceeded to sew it in wrong no less than four (!!!) times. The 'instructional' picture was horrible and I swear that it just can't be done the way they want.

I couldn't get a good picture... I just wasn't feeling it and I couldn't keep the Little Lady out of it. I may try again later after some makeup and a hairbrush...

The very best part about this dress what that once I had everything assembled I took a good long look at it and thought, "I don't need a zipper!". It's totally pullover!. I sewed up the side, added a belt and loved it! It's my new go to pattern for a completely comfy yet vintage classic outfit. I hemmed it to the thinnest part of my knee and finished the belt with 2 small covered buttons (my new obsession). It took me approximately 5ish hours to complete; it's hard to say b/c I stop and start so much with the kids.. I will most assuredly make it again in a knit. The bottom blue knit was a bit too thin, and very hard to hem. I'll probably use a bottom weight knit or another t-shirt knit next time.

Preview! Simplicity 1924 - The t-shirt dress

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Oh Ebay, how I love and hate you.

I love ebay, I hate that I shop so much for patterns that I won't make right away. That being said... look what I just won!! Both patterns were a total steal too, $0.99 for the housecoat/dress and $2.67 for the coat. I have been looking for that housecoat/dress pattern in my size forever and I had been looking for a raglan sleeve 50s coat pattern in a small or 10/12 for-ev-er! Now for some tough decisions; should I make the 40s swing coat or the raglan 50s coat for this winter?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Those are the directions, lots of words and not enough pictures!

Rule #24, you are not smarter than the directions. Don't try to outwit them.

This message has been sent using the picture and Video service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, Quicktime@ 6.5 or higher is required.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

It's a disease, it must be. Who else decides to start a dress at 9pm to wear the next day with a pattern they havent ever made before AND in jersey knit which is totally new and scary. Who does this?!! So far it does look cute though.

How to keep a little girl busy for 30 minutes while you attempt to sew.

This message has been sent using the picture and Video service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, Quicktime@ 6.5 or higher is required.

Doesn't look any different than it did before with the exception of it being 2 inches bigger at the waist. The waistband stitching is a bit crooked but considering I had a kid on my it turned out well and I don't think anyone notices it but me.

This message has been sent using the picture and Video service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, Quicktime@ 6.5 or higher is required.

Vogue 3200, late 1940s. To wool or not to wool? I'm afraid of wool, it tricky!!

My $5 haul. That's right people, $5 for everything! The yelloe, peach, and blue knits are all sample cuts (62x3 yards) and little jacket pattern... did you see the turned up cuffs! The bird fabric is oilcloth too!

This message has been sent using the picture and Video service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, Quicktime@ 6.5 or higher is required.

Antique hunting teaser!!

I just got home from work (Ick! 2am!) but I'm heading out with a couple girlfriends at 7am and we are doing the barn sale and breakfast. Stay tuned for my amazing finds.... and there will be some too, you can't go to the barn sale and not get amazing stuff! 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Return of the skirt

I'm back onto enlarging my 40s day suit (first mentioned here). I think I finally figured out which pieces go where too. Remember that once I took the panels apart I realized they were all slightly different? Well, I pinned it together and it seems right; for now anyway. Right now I'm working on making the waistband bigger. I took the hidden lapped zipper piece off and undid the stitching. I think she (the original owner) must have used this so she wouldn't create snags in her slips but I can just make a new one out of a different fabric. I re-steamed the creases and just turned up the lapped piece to match the waistband. Then I sewed the two pieces together. At first I had it set up to attach them like you would when joining a bias strip but it would have been too bulky and I would have lost too much wool. I just did a straight seam and will live with it. I'm hoping that when I lap the waistband I'll be able to cover that piece with the other tail of the waistband. To be continued... 

Making the new waistband

Intermission on my "make and mend" 40s day suit!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Next project!! Ann Adams 4901 and Du Barry 5172

Here it is! I'm thinking of doing the test jumper in the green and pink twill fabric I used on the last jumper.

Finished!! The 1940s style jumper in review

Once I ditched the green check version, here, it was smooth sailing. Besides the thinness of the sheet I think the fabric was just off putting and the gathered skirt made me look pregnant. Overall I am really proud of this jumper. I'm going to wear it to work tonight and junk/thrift shopping on Saturday (baring some insane cold temperatures). And let me introduce you to Ilene, my dress form (hehehe get it, I-Lean b/c she is so crooked) Without further ado....