Monday, December 22, 2014

· Make Do and Mend · Baby Dress ·

*Note: I will have the 1860s gown pictures up here tomorrow. Thanks for bearing with me!*
A friend of mine who has a little 3-4 month old gave me the sunshade off of her baby carrier because it had broken. Naturally, I had to make something for the baby out of it!! I had a couple of fat quarters in the stash that matched quite nicely, so I combined them with the ruffle to make a pint-sized pillowcase dress. I have yet to make something out of the pink chevron from the sunshade, but I'm sure I'll find something to turn it into. 

The body of the dress is from just one fat quarter, and I used part of the other one for the facings and the ties. 

I wished I could have turned the fabric into something vintage-y, but between the lack of material and the chevron pattern, it wasn't really possible. I was able to practice my pattern-matching skills on the side seams, however. I only wish it would be so successful on other garments! :)

I'll be back tomorrow with the 1860s pictures!
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Monday, December 15, 2014

· 1930s Jabot Dress ·

It seems like forever ago that I made this dress, but I just got around to photographing it last week! When I realized that it was not windy out for a change, and not too cold [30 degrees isn't too cold?!], I decided to take up the opportunity to get some dress pictures. Believe it or not, the only part of me that was cold was my hands! They were rather frozen however, which rendered piano-playing a little difficult afterwards.
 This fabric was intended for my Emma Timmins ensemble, but its fate changed when, in a moment of frustration, I declared that I simply *must* have a 1930s wintry dress. Enter Vogue 8767. Although this fabric would have made a beautiful 1890s dress, I really love it in this pattern.

I have also made this jacket in pink paisley. I have rather a love-hate relationship with it for some reason, but today, at least, I do like it. I had to alter it slightly (which I also did with the pink one post-photo session). The fit of the jacket was terrible around the waist, so I took three 1-inch tucks in the back. It was somewhat of a gamble because of the design; I didn't really know what it was going to look like, but it ended up working famously! Although the next size down might work without adding tucks, I think that they actually make the jacket look better.

I finally got brave enough to wear my blue hat! It is affectionately known as the Barney Fife hat around here...

....ahem. I love my hat, but I can't help thinking about Barn when I wear it.
"Don't tell my daughter-in-law!"

I unfortunately didn't have any vintage buckles when I made the dress, so I had to settle for a pretty store-bought one. It coordinates quite nicely with the jacket buttons!
These lovely gloves came from our favorite antique store for just a couple dollars. Vintage gloves that fit are a rare find!

Although this is a 1930s pattern, I feel like it is a transitional dress; not too 1930s, but not really 1940s either. It doesn't really look very 1930s, other than in the skirt design. I like it a lot though, in fact, it is one of a very few things I've made which I actually have no complaints about! That is extremely rare for me since I'm always scrutinizing my projects.

The front of the dress has a slit opening that closes with two hooks and eyes. That design seemed a little goofy when I was making it, but it stays closed all the time.

I got these lovely shoes at Modcloth while they were on sale. They're moderately comfortable and match quite a few different outfits! 

I promise that I will have the 1860s photos up here next week! I've been waiting for a nice snowy day, and as of yet, that hasn't happened. Whether it comes or not, however, I'm going picture-taking!!

We're in the midst of a major sewing room reorganization, but as soon as that is done, I am diving into a flowery, gorgeous, quintessentially 1940s dress. I am so excited to make it that I can't even see straight!!

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Monday, December 8, 2014

• 1860s Christmas Gown • Sneak Peek •

It's done. At last!! I finished my Christmas gown after weeks of dreaming, planning, and sewing. We haven't had a chance to take pictures of it on yet, so hopefully these will tide you over until then. 9 yards of fabric, 20 yards of ribbon, and 13 pearl buttons all rolled into one fabulous, ruffly, fluffy, festive dress!

And if that's not exciting enough, how about this; guess who got new American Duchess Renoirs?

They are AMAZING!! So comfortable, so gorgeous, and so 1860s! I can't wait to do our photo shoot!

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Monday, December 1, 2014

• Regency Calico Gown •

Amidst the stress and involvement of my 1860s Christmas dress, I was starting to get a little overwhelmed, so I decided to save this half-done regency gown from the terrors of UFO-land. I had started this dress months ago, but decided part way through the assembly of the bodice that I wanted to do something a little different.

When our local fabric store got this beautiful print in, I bought a yard of it for an apron, but realized soon after that it would make a gorgeous dress. I went back the very next week, and the basically-full-bolt had shrunk down to five yards. I snapped those up instantly, as you might imagine. It is one of those tiny-print fabrics that is irresistible to me.

I used the Simplicity 4055 pattern, like my last regency dress, but I cut the neckline three inches lower so that it would be compatible with a chemisette. The bodice closes with a drawstring at the neck and the waist. This dress screams for undersleeves, which I have partially made, but they are dangerously close to UFO-land at the moment. I sewed the buttons on too close to the top of the undersleeves, apparently, because they gape dreadfully between each button. *sigh* Does anyone have an amazing way to make undersleeves fit right?

I am always in a pinch when it comes to hairstyles, so I was glad to try my hand at a turban. I didn't have much luck at first, but then I read what Lily said about tying a turban; willy-nilly. It worked! Whether I can ever do it again or not.....who knows.

I found the lace for this dress at our favorite antique store, never realizing that it matched so well until this past weekend. That was truly a thrilling moment!

Well, now it is back to work on the ol' 1860s gown! I still have to bind the neck, put in buttons, finish the cuffs, sew in hook-and-eye tape (cheater...), and sew on the ruffles. (And sew a belt). But I'm coming right along, and the hardest part is out of the way.

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