Friday, October 28, 2022

• An Etsy Update •

 Hello there folks!!  It’s been quite a long time, as usual!  I hope you are all well and enjoying the beautiful fall season that has arrived.  

I wanted to give a little update on my Etsy shop - Northern Shore Vintage, specifically.  My husband and I have reopened the shop and are busy stocking it with vintage clothing, home goods, and best of all, quilt coats! I recently started making quilt coats out of well loved antique quilts (1940s and earlier), and am happy to be able to share them with you!  Check out the shop and let me know what you think!  

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Monday, March 14, 2022

• Mama Life •

 Hello folks!  Time for my bi-yearly blog post, I suppose.  ;)  Our sweet baby girl was born in November, and she has become this gal's primary focus ever since (as she should be).  She has had quite a few struggles, so the hurdles of being a new mama have been even harder to overcome than expected, but thankfully things are beginning to level out as she gets older.

Needless to say, there has been little to no sewing in the last almost 5 months!  I did manage to knock out a couple of much needed projects, and now I am starting to have a bit more time to add in a few projects.  I am working on a little spring flannel dress for Baby Girl now, then I'll be moving on to some down pillows, and matching mother-daughter dresses for Mother's Day.  <3

I hope you all are doing well, and enjoying the dawn of spring!  The beautiful sunshine and birdsong I witnessed while hanging clothes on the line this morning reminded me of this truth about our Lord - His mercies are new every morning!  Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.

Until next time <3

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Thursday, August 19, 2021

• Sewing Update •

 Hello dear folks!!  It has been a little while, so I thought I'd share a little sewing (and life) update.......

So, what have I been working on??

Maternity dresses!!!!  Hubby and I are thrilled to be welcoming our baby girl in early November <3.  We're so thankful for the gift of life, and are so excited to meet our girl after what has been a whirlwind of a year!

Oh, about the dress....Butterick 6485, modified rather heavily to adapt it to maternity wear.  So comfy, adjustable with ties, and nursing friendly for post-pregnancy wear! 

A little less vintage but the most comfortable style, my favorite jumper, pattern courtesy of my best sis Sarah!!  I would honestly just make nothing but these jumpers for maternity wear; they're effortlessly comfy, and I love that they are layered with a tee or blouse beneath, as it allows you to get a couple of days' wear between washings.  This one is made from one of my favorite vintage repro prints, and I'm very happy there is enough leftover to make Baby Girl a dress in the spring!!

I've been working on Baby's sewing since getting some maternity clothes made, and it is so much fun!!!  Shown here, a 40s style dress made of vintage flannel, with a coordinating flannel blanket.  I also have been knitting on a couple of bonnets for her and I can't handle the cuteness!  :)

This little number was made from scraps from a 40s blouse I have, so Baby and I can match early on....

Detail of the dresses....

I've also been working on burp cloths, bibs, paci clips, a quilt for Baby, a quilt for my hubby, and an assortment of different projects.  I've almost finished the baby sewing for the time being, and am looking forward to starting on Christmas sewing soon!! 

I hope you are all having a lovely summer!  Thanks for stopping by!!

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Thursday, February 18, 2021

• My 1940s Wedding Dress •


Thought I'd share a bit about making my wedding dress today! Unfortunately, we had very few photos taken at our wedding, so there are no stunning, stylized bridal photos. But that's okay! Instead, you get the nitty-gritty of the designing process.  

I always knew I wanted a 1940s wedding dress. Long before my husband and I were together, I knew what dress I wanted to get married in one day. It was this dreamy chiffon number with the best details. 

I was going to edge the hem in satin, raise the lining neckline and change it to a more modest sleeve or at least standard sleeveless bodice underneath, and pair it with this veil. 

I looked and looked for a pattern to use as a base for the dress, and the closest thing I found was a pattern 4 sizes too small for a ridiculous amount of money that was somewhat similar. Also, the more I thought about working with chiffon, the less I liked the idea!! It is probably my most hated fabric to deal with, so....I really began to have second thoughts on that dress. 

Then my mind went to a dress I'd seen at an antique shop a few weeks before my man and I started dating - a satin, princess line dress with dramatic sleeves.

Gorgeous, right? But as I thought about the design, I realized how unlikely it was to be flattering on me with the focal point being at the empire waistline. 

Then....*then* I found THE dress. Full, amazing skirt, delicious satin, full yet fitted bodice, details but simplicity - it was just perfect. I loved the train, but knew I would forgo that since we were having an outdoor ceremony. 

I began looking for white rayon satin online, as I guessed that was what the original dress would have been made of. I finally found one site that sold it, and ordered a swatch. When it arrived, I was sorely disappointed; it was quite thin, and lacked body and that slippery, smooth feeling I wanted. A week or so later, my mom, future mom and sisters and I all went to the local fabric shop, where I was hoping to find just the right fabric. They didnt have an nice white satins at all, and I was quite disappointed. All they had was an ivory satin, which I didn't think I wanted, but the more I thought about it, the more the idea grew on me! It was actually a more pleasing color on me than a stark white, and the fabric had just the thick yet slippery, liquidy drape I wanted. I picked up tulle to match for my veil, some lace for trim, and walked away with it all for $99 and some change!! Can we just say yes to that dress price??! 

Meanwhile I was on the hunt for a pattern to base the dress off of, and found one very similar from EvaDress, so ordered it and a slip pattern to wear beneath! My plan was to make a wearable mockup of the dress in a day length out of emerald green satin to wear as we left the wedding. 

Just a month before the wedding, I started on the mockup. I made the multi-paneled skirt for the mockup dress, andnit was looking quite nice. As I gingerly pressed my seams one evening, suddenly I noticed these strange dark spots appearing in the fabric - it wasn't scorch marks, the iron wasn't leaking any water. We never could figure out what it was from, but nothing seemed to remove it. Thankfully I had extra fabric, so I quickly cut out my go-to bias skirt pattern that I knew would look lovely in satin. Then I began on the bodice, and got it partially assembled, only to find that it was one of the most ill-fitting things I'd ever tried on. In fact, it didn't fit at all!! The armholes were inches too high, the neckline was wide and gaped awkwardly, and the bodice lacked the fulness that the pattern illustration boasted. 

It looks somewhat nice all pinned onto poor Thelma Lou, but the fact that she lacks arms is part of that reason.....

I sat down very heavyhearted on the very hard floor of the sewing room until 2:30 AM that night, looking anywhere and everywhere for an idea, a pattern, anything that would inspire an idea of what to make. There was now less than a month until the wedding, and I had no dress and no idea of what sort to make. Eventually I gave up and went to bed, but the next morning my mom pulled several patterns from he stash that she thought I might like for a bodice. I was skeptical but picked one to try, as I really had no other options at that point. It was an elegant but simple 1940s blouse pattern from lady Marlowe. 

I started a mockup of it, and found I LOVED it!!!! It fit perfectly, and was so simple but had those subtle, elegant details. 

I was very happy to have found a pattern, but still didn't begin working on the actual dress until just 15 days before the wedding, thanks to a busy work schedule and trying to pack up my life's possessions....of which there were many (namely fabric and antiquities)! 

It was a scary moment, but I finally cut into the fabric and started sewing, and it turned out to be a very easy pattern and thankfully went together without any hitches! 

(I wondered why the needle didn't want to go through the fabric....usually tapestry needles don't like to pass through satin.....)

Initially I was going to add a peplum as the pattern depicts, but after making several different shapes of them, finally decided that it just didn't suit me. 

The skirt is comprised of four identical panels, cut to fit the waist at the top, flaring out to the width of the fabric at the hem, making the circumference right around 240"!! I loved the subtle fulness of it!

The neck opening was large enough that I didn't need a keyhole or other back closure, the sleeve hems were perfectly fitted without needing buttons, the bodice didn't need to be lined - all of which made my corner-cutting heart VERY happy. I added a hand-picked zipper at the side and called it a day! 

The dress was structurally finished about a week in advance, but true to form for any seamstress (although I was rather ahead of schedule, really!!), I hemmed the dress just two days before the wedding. I've cut it much closer than that before, so it wasn't too bad, really!! It is always nerve-wracking trying to hem something so long, but I was delighted to see the perfectly even hem just skimming above the ground in our wedding photos. 

I was very finicky about what veil I wanted, and didn't like most styles that I saw, but finally found I loved a basic drop veil. I had no clue what I was doing to design one, so the morning that I was supposed to go stitch it together at a friend's house, I draped a tablecloth over my head and with my mom's assistance, decided what length I liked and approximately how it should be cut. I cut it the length, folded it in fourths, and snipped off the corners until they were decently curved, and drove off - not to my friends house, but to the fabric store to *hopefully* find an appropriate lace to edge it with! Who plans this stuff out in advance, anyway?!! 

Miraculously, they had just the right lace, and enough of it, so I purchased it, and my friend and I had a blast sewing it together and making memories. 

So that, my friends, is the long and crazy story of how my wedding dress came to be!! I forgot to mention the slip I made...which I accidentally forgot to add the *optional* side opening to, so I had to pack a scissors for when I changed out of it after the ceremony.....RIP wedding slip.

It was a crazy journey, but I absolutely loved my dress, and even better than that - my dear husband was amazed and impressed when he saw me in it 😊. 

It was a frigid, blustery, crazy wedding day, but we got hitched, and we'll never forget all the memories we made!! 

Thanks for reading!! Have a lovely weekend!

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