Wednesday, December 7, 2016

• 1940s in Mustard and Grey •

I never thought today's post would come to being!  I started this dress either last fall or winter, and it dwelt as a UFO for a terribly long time, being taken out only once in a while to be looked at disparagingly and then put back in its shameful heap.  Then in April of this year, I was going to finish it and wear it for a bridal shower, but ended up going with another of the three partially-made choices at the last minute.  In short, decisiveness did not reign that week.  ;)

I finally decided to finish the dress a few months back, only to try it on and find it much too big.  Enter the Overzealous Seamstress: I sewed it in at the sides the amount that I *thought* it needed to be taken in, and went so far as to serge it up that way, only to find that I had made it much too small.  Back into the UFO heap it went.

A few weeks or so later I finally pulled it out and finished it, thinking I could just wear it under a sweater to conceal the ill-fitting nature of it.  Got it all hemmed and ready, only to find that I didn't have a sweater that even remotely matched it!

This time it ended up in my Etsy shop, where it has been for the last few months.  No one bought it, which was good in this case, since when I tried it on a few days ago, it fit!

For my mom's birthday, I got her this original 1950s mustard-colored sweater from paperlunavintage.  Unfortunately it didn't fit, so I ended up inheriting it.  Sad for her, very sad(!!!), but good for me, on the other hand!  ;)  It matches a majority of my outfits, and has proved itself to be quite a staple, especially since my vintage sweater wardrobe is otherwise nonexistant.

Paired with it is my newest (and most loved) hat, which is this grey vintage beret!  I absolutely love berets, and gray is a top favorite color of mine, so it's a winner all the way around.

My parents got me this fabric a few years back, and from the first moment it just screamed "Vogue 8728" to me.  I have made that pattern once before, in blue tones, and it has been a frequently-worn staple in my closet.  I altered the pattern by raising the neckline around 1-1/2" higher, and also narrowing it down a bit, since it is utterly too wide when left unaltered.  Thankfully I remembered to cut it narrower this time, so the shoulder patches I had to add on the last dress were not necessary on this one.  ;)

I cut the skirt nice and long on this dress, and as such was able to get a 3-4" deep hem, which is always nice.  My narrower hems (the ones slip-stitched by hand, that is) tend to catch on things altogether too frequently, the main culprit being sharp edges of floor fans, while deeper hems like this one never catch.  It's definitely something I like to do whenever it is at all possible. 

My mom has this same fabric in blue tones, so I can't wait to see what she whips up with hers!  :)

Thanks to my lovely mom for the photographs, as always!  <3

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

1940s • Winter Tones

These photos were taken almost a year ago, but we never got around to posting them!  Typically when I go back to the archives for outfits to blog about, the background never matches the current season, but in this case, it does!  ;)

My mom made this dress last year from some gorgeous fabric purchased for her birthday by my dad.  :)  She used Simplicity 3847 for the bodice, and added a simple gathered skirt for a perfect '40s shirtwaist look.  This is a similar style to her Rose Chintz Dress.

I love how the dress can look dressy with furs and accessories as shown in these pictures, as well as being a practical housedress at other times!  It's not often you can balance those two looks with one garment, but this dress is very much up to the mark.  ;)

The famous "Dead Monkeys" (read more on that here) fur piece has been featured with quite a few different outfits on the blog: 

She used the sleeves from Butterick 5846, for a less fitted look.  She also added ease to the back shoulder seam for added comfort. 

The fabric this dress is made of is a lighter-weight variety, so she made a 3" or so hem, which makes it hang ever so nicely.

Bound buttonholes!!!!  :D

These niftiest of buttons are some that she purchased from Czechoslovakia.  They are made of glass, and feature the prettiest design!  She has as couple of other styles and colors that she's just itching to use.  :)  There's nothing like vintage buttons!!

It is hard to believe that December is here already; we just had one of those a few months ago!!  ;)  I am hard at work on a custom dress for an Etsy customer, but meanwhile am planning my winter wardrobe as well.  I already have a (very) few pieces made, but am excited to add some more!  There's also a new addition coming in the footwear department that makes all of this winter sewing muuuuch more delectable to think about.  ;)  More on that soon!

Thanks for stopping by, ladies!!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

• Happy Thanksgiving! •

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow!  Hope you all are able to spend time with family and friends, enjoying the bountiful blessings we have been given.  

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,

Count your many blessings, name them one by one,

And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
  • Count your blessings, name them one by one,
    Count your blessings, see what God has done!
    Count your blessings, name them one by one,
    Count your many blessings, see what God has done.


    In celebration of the Thanksgiving week (as well as Black Friday and Cyber Monday), Northern Shore Vintage is having a sale!

    Be sure to stop by the shop and check it out; we have recently added some lovely new stock!  It's the perfect time to do some holiday shopping, so don't delay!  Coupon ends Monday, November 28th, 11:59 PM.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

• 1930s Day Dress in Plaid •

Life can get so hectic and stressful at times, and as such blogging gets put onto the back burner.  Thanks so much for bearing with my crazy and impromptu schedule though.  :)

Today I'm sharing another dress I made for my vacation back in August.  I wore this dress on the day I left, making it my airplane-travel dress.  It worked amazingly well for that purpose and was extremely comfortable, which is a huge bonus!  So yes, I was that gal trotting around the airport sporting milkmaid braids, a goofy dress covered with yellow bows, and hand-sewing a colonial corset for a doll.  What else would you expect from me?!!  ;)

This dress from Raleigh Vintage was always one of my favorites, so when I happened upon it again in a search for plaid dress styles, I knew that it was the one to make.  The fabric I used is from the Aunt Grace Ties One On collection by Judie Rothermel for Marcus.  It is an absolutely lovely fabric that is comfortable to wear, nice and thick, and doesn't wrinkle much at all!

For the front bodice, I used Simplicity 3688, cutting the neck a bit bigger (I think?), adding a center front seam on the yoke, and spreading the gathers out a bit more on the yoke front-bodice front seam.  I also took in the bodice quite a bit at the waist for a more fitted look.

The original dress actually just has a bias-bound keyhole opening in the front, but since I didn't want that much neck showing, I opted for a little zipper instead.  At a glance, the original dress actually looks like it has a zipper, so it works out just fine!  ;)

The back bodice is also (sort of) from S3688, modified to have a back yoke and a gathered back bodice.  In essence, the top of the bodice was cut wider in order to gather it onto the yoke, but the bottom was then cut narrower than the pattern in order to have it be fitted without darts.

Since I have always found the sleeves from S3688 to be terribly restrictive (I can't raise my arms without the whole garment shifting), I used the sleeves and armscyes from Simplicity 3847.  That worked really well, so much so that this dress features some of the most unrestricted arm movement of any of mine!   Hurrah!!! 

The skirt is comprised of two pieces, a front and a back.  The front features two large pleats that are topstitched down, and both the front and back pieces are flared.  I had to cut the skirt approximately 11" longer than the finished length (adding 4.5" for a 2.25" finished width tuck, plus 5" for the hem and 1.5" or so for seam allowance and hem adjustments).  From what I could tell, the original dress had a deep hem that extended up beyond the base of the tuck, thereby hiding the stitching line.  So I did the same with my dress!  I sewed my tuck all the way around, then used some gorgeous blue 1" rayon seam binding from my stash to hem up the skirt.  It worked famously, and I was able to machine-stitch the hem with no guilt whatsoever!  (Actually, I do sometimes machine-stitch hems that are going to be visible, and really don't feel guilty about it at all.)  ;) 

The skirt hangs so nicely with such a deep hem.  Too bad there isn't always enough fabric to do that!!

Sarah made me aware of the gorgeous Kona cottons at JoAnn to my attention, and I couldn't be any happier with them.  Great quality, nice and thick, and a far better price than one can purchase an equivalent for at a quilt shop!  I found some perfect yellow and white solids that were just what was needed for the accents on this dress. 

The bows are just tacked on so they can be easily removed for washing.  The upper one is tacked to the zipper pull, thereby disguising it.  ;)  The collar was a bit of a trick to draft, and I didn't quuuiiite get the shape right, but it's pretty close.  Close enough to be quite satisfied with!!!  ;)

Sometimes, like with this dress, you need a plain fabric tie-belt.  But I always hate wearing them because of the way that they scrunch up as soon as you start moving around.  So with this one, I was determined to figure a way to stiffen the thing in order to prevent that!  I finally came up with the solution, which was to sew wide grosgrain ribbon (exactly like what I am wearing for a belt in these pictures) to one half of the belt before sewing it together.  The ribbon only extends around to within about 2-3" of the knot on each side, so it doesn't interfere with the knot at all, but stabilizes the belt perfectly!!!  I couldn't be any happier with how it came out.  No fuss, no muss, no constant fiddling, yet it is just as comfortable (if not more so!) as a plain fabric belt.  I can't wait to use this trick again!!!  :D

An extra bonus?  The ribbon is yellow and polka-dotted, so it not only matches my belt, but makes it super fun to look at when taking it on and off.  ;)

This was such a fun dress to make, and I love having my own version of that pretty green one.  And it really brought home the point to me once more, that you can quite easily recreate a lot of dresses just by combining patterns that you already have.  It might take a little bit of finagling, but it's so worth it in the end.  Have you ever reproduced an original dress?  I would love to hear about it!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a lovely week!!  Enjoy these last weeks of fall!  :)
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