Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Heyday giveaway!

Oh my, I'm in love! I would buy the Olivia blouse in white and the 40s trousers in medium blue. Heck, if I don't win I have a pants pattern I could try and figure out a top, or just buy a new pattern... like a need to be buying a new pattern....

Costumes galore

I have spend in inordinate amount of time this week sewing costumes for my kids. Stevie has been home sick for almost a week. I made him a Superman cape and when he put it on he said he felt better. Then today I made him a complete Robin Hood accessory set. He loves shooting. My dad is teaching him how on a little child size bow. So I emailed my dad some pics of Stevie wearing it and asked him if he would wear a hat too. He said of course and said he will add a turkey feather to both hats. How cute! So now I have to make an adult Robin Hood hat. Sigh, dress is still on hold I suppose.

The Robin Hood set is made from felt and an old tshirt and the cape is an old Xmas tablecloth with a few food stains. I haven't ever appliqu├ęd anything before but I think it turned out very well for a first shot.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Omg, I need this pattern!

The classic shirtwaist dress. Advance 8436

My precious...... I have had this pattern a while and have been wanting to make it forever. It's a bit of a fabric hog even with a shortened hem. I want to do version 2 with the buttons all the way down. I'm really excited about the pockets; even the boob pockets look cute. Seeing her cute hair makes me want to chop mine off too. But as much as I would love short hair it would be disastrous. It's far to wavy, I would look like bozo the clown. Anyway, I went to cut this dress last night but it's in factory folds. While the thought of being the first one to open this pattern in 60 some odd years is nice, I do like the fact that most vintage patterns have been used and cut. Looks like I'll be spending nap time cutting tissue instead of a dress.

I'll also have to make a bodice muslin for this one. I usually don't do a muslin since I try to make patterns in sizes I know already fits. The bust is a size too large which means for vintage ease its probably 2 sizes to big. The waist is a wretched 26 inches. I think with the wearing ease this will fit. It also has double bust darts. That will be new.

I don't want to get my hopes up but this may be the shirtwaist I've been looking for.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Progress again!

Finally! The bodice is a little long but better too long than too short. After seeing another fellow bloggers dress ( (heeeeeeey!) I am thinking of introducing a waistband. I may top stitch McCalls 8378 waistband right over the top. This is the pattern from the barn sale. Its untested but it may work. Eliminating all the bust and all back darts did seem to improve the fit. I have some under bust darts pinned now and I'll baste them. If they work I'll restitch right over the basting. Ta ta for now.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Weekly Barn Sale adventure

This week at the barn sale I totally scored. The woman who owns the barn knows me on sight and always makes sure to tell me if she got new sewing stuff and the like. I am very excited about several patterns in particular. The McCall 5645 peasant top from 1944, the very cool McCalls 8379 skirt (the 80s does 40s) and the 1940s pajamas with slippers. Slippers!!!

The baby pattern is actually a 20" doll pattern, which is what American Girl dolls are I think. The transfer pattern is from 1941 and never used. The fabric is some synthetic, feels like rayon. There isn't too much of it, maybe enough for a skirt but I have to clean it well and get one stain out. It may end up being a tank top if I can't get the spot out.

The dishes are my favorite kind of mid-century snack set. They had a set of 8 but I really only needed the set of four. I'm starting to run into a storage problem for all my stuff. They are in perfect condition, no nicks or marks. I do use them too. I also picked up a wood Bluebird house. The little yellow baby bonnet is in great condition too and will be a gift for a friend who just had a sweet baby girl.

All in all a vey successful and cheap day. I only paid $20 for everything.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fashion show

Here goes...... This is Mail Order #9116 from the Milwaukee Post (I think). Dated mid 1950s by the stamped post mark. I certainly don't look as fetching at the model cover does but it ain't bad. I used navy broadcloth and new buttons. The collar is my favorite part, I love how it's split in the back. The boobage is too big but alas, an all too often problem that I didn't realize till I cut it. I am on the lookout for a bigger bra. Unfortunately the one I'm wearing is false bc it isn't that "wonderful".

Next is Simplicity 4640. Also made from an amazing blue broadcloth with vintage ric rac and vintage buttons. I didn't change anything about the patter except excluding the side zip. I realize afterward that I wouldn't be able to get it on and have it sit without gaping a lot so I added snaps to the bottom bodice. Had I to do it again I would suck it up and add the zip. The bodice is top stitched down so there was a bit of fudging and huffing to get it to do what I wanted it to do. I do absolutely love it though.

This one is Advance 8574 from the 50s. I had to shorten the skirt to utilize the fabric I had but I still like it. It's shorter than I would normally feel good with but it's not bad. In fact I wore it to dinner at Dinosaur BBQ with my mom tonight. It looked awesome. I omitted the pockets since I wasn't sure I was even going to like it. The print is crazy when really stared at. The micro polka dots are arranged in little triangles. I also tried snaps for the first time too. They ended up being different distances apart despite my "careful" measuring. I really don't think anyone will notice though.

Last is good old Advance 5410 from the 40s. The fabric was bought for $1 at my favorite barn sale. It's actually a very soft home dec fabric from 1983. I'm pretty sure it was scotch guarded too bc it's has a great sheen to it, like it's been polished but it's still so soft.

And that's a wrap. More to come soon.

And the pictures will undoubtedly come up all out of order. Damn you blogger app!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

McCalls 5512

Here we go!

Something to finally share: Simplicity 4200

Here it is! And I took a picture of a completed project, albeit I threw it on this morning with my hair all slept on and crazy but it's done. I like it, I don't love it yet. The print is a bit blah but it's a great example of something a woman would wear at home. The bust gathers are not attractive. It seems to make my small bust look droopy. It does look better if I squish the gathers together so I'm going to tack them before I wear it again. There are 18 buttons. Sigh, idk what I was thinking but I love these almost white vintage plastic buttons. I did machine holes and machine stitched the buttons on. It doesn't take that long, but besides hemming, these buttons are my least favorite finish up activity. I didn't change anything about the pattern however it doesn't look like I thought it would. It must be the fabric. I did add a little bit of green lace to the edge of the sleeves to spice it up.

When I got home from work last night at midnight I decided to cut another dress. Insomnia what?! So I cut McCalls 5512 from 1977. Disco was hot baby. I cut it out of a cantaloupe colored bed sheet with big daisy bouquets all over it. I have mixed feelings about the sheet but I'll be crafty and call it a muslin.

One a side note, as much as I love my iPad it takes cruddy pictures.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Too 'Little House on the Prairie'?

The fabric is interesting. I initially thought I looked like Carol Ingalls but it turns out its kinda nice. I have to make the belt a couple inches longer. The waist size was for 26.5 inches and I'm 27 so I figured it would fit. Well, it's surprisingly a bit snug. I fear I would pull at the waist. It's much more of a utilitarian day dress than I usually make. The pattern cover looks like a garden party day dress but when it's seen up it looks much more house dress. It's probably just the fabric though. The construction was very interesting. I did indeed read the directions this time too. After you make the bodice and skirt you attach the belt to the skirt then the bodice to the belt. It's kind of odd but once you pin it it falls into place. Because of the gathers, I don't think it could have been done any other way. Anywho, here is a snippet without the buttons and a sleeves.

Oh dear, Simplicity 4200

It seems a bit short, but I think the inset belt is supposed to add some length and structure. The notched collar looks very good if I do say so myself.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cut, sew, repeat.

I am still working on the Swirl knockoff. In fact I will be attaching the bodice to the skirt this afternoon while my little lady naps. In the mean time, I'm cutting another dress. It's totally unwarranted; I have two cut for Lorna and another cut for me besides the current Swirl. But alas, one more wont hurt I suppose.

This beauty is unmarked Simplicity 4200 from the 40s. I'm cutting view 2 with the short sleeves and no weird boob pocket. The fabric is vintage and given to me from a friend. It's a natural color cotton with tiny rose buds on it. I have pink piping I'm going to use to liven up the fleshy tone of the background. I think pink covered buttons would work too.

Friday, March 16, 2012

No progress

Well, it's too small. Damn it! It needs a couple inches longer in the waist, the armpits were a bit high and narrow-ish, and I needed a longer shoulder extension. Idk, it's the part on top of the shoulder next to the neck.... Ugh, my skills stink. Otherwise it's not bad. I realized I wanted the overlap a bit more, well, overlapping, so that's getting fixed too. The skirt is okay and the sleeves work. Now I have to figure out if I want to start over or rip the skirt off. Sigh, I'll prolly just rip the skirt off...

I should not be so grumpy; it was a valiant first attempt. I think I'll eliminate the back darts too. I don't think they were doing much of anything. I have plenty of sheet left so at least it will match. The key hole was pretty sweet too.

I also found that using xmas wrapping paper to make patterns is so more efficient than taping together wax paper or tissue paper. My 'duh' moment.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


So far so good. The armpits may need to be dropped but it's still seemingly wearable. We shall see once I put the skirt on. The sleeves are stinkin' cute too. I could take or leave the keyhole. The binding is sticking out but that's probably my fault. I've never done a keyhole before and I just attacked it. I'll most likely tack it down at the end.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The improvised Swirl dress

I love vintage Swirl dresses. A lot. I happen to own one but it's a bit big and I have always wanted the perfect wrap dress done in the iconic Swirl style. There are basically zero Swirl sewing patterns. I found one, just one, Simplicity 6341. However it's for short women with more curves than I've got. There are tons of back wrap dresses but they generally have a v back or something of the like.

I decided after much complaining to try my hand at drafting a pattern. I'm not really good, however, my dress form proved a helpful model. I stole a Sew Easy 70s wrap skirt with a good twirl to it and attached it to a traced and hopefully modified version of my original Swirl bodice. It had a funny little sleeve so I nixed that and stole a cap sleeve from a contemporary Very Easy Vogue pattern. I'm using an old (but awesome!!) sheet as my test pilot. Oh man, I really hope this works!

BTW there is no progress of my taking pics of my completed stuff. Lame.

My guilt is getting the better of me

Ok, no actual post but here are a couple bad pics of my last project to date. It's actually finished too, not in these pics, but that should make me post soon about its done-ness and take some real pics. Spring has come to upstate NY finally and I'm having a hard time keeping up. I have two dresses and a top to blog about, and I just can't get to it. I do hate taking my picture, let's blame it on that.