Friday, April 17, 2015

• The Profoundly Loved Blog Party •

A few weeks back, lovely Jessica of Chronically Vintage nominated me to take part in the Profoundly Loved Blog Party! It has taken a little bit of time to get around to writing this post, but it has been quite thought-provoking and fun to answer the questions!

1. Tell me about something you love and why?
Photography! Although I don't do it that much, and I am by no means an expert on the subject, I deeply enjoy taking pictures, whether it be flowers, people, scenery or sewing projects!

2. What is one thing you do that makes you feel like "I could do this forever"? 
I'm going to give a very predictable answer to this question; sewing!! It is one of my very favorite things to do. There's just nothing like creating a garment to your exact preferences! I am so thankful for my amazing mom who taught me how!

3. What do you love about yourself? 
I'm not much of one to talk about my positive attributes, but since you're asking, I love that I am a giving person. I enjoy giving things to people, whether it is something I have made or just a gift. It makes me happy to do things for others, and it's always rewarding to see how much they enjoy receiving them!

4. What advice would you give to someone who doesn’t believe he/she is beautiful? 
I struggled with this for a long time, but finally was able to overcome it through realizing that beauty is not just looking like "everyone else." There is an unspoken law in this world that defines beauty as looking like "every" other person your age. That's not the truth at all! The only definition of beauty that I would give you is having a clean, pure heart. Psalm 45 says "The king's daughter is all glorious within." As far as outward looks go, God made you and I the way we look. He was content to make us the way we are; we are beautiful in His sight, and so we should be in our own sight! Be confident, find "your style," and you will realize just how beautiful you really are.

5. What is the best piece of advice you've ever received about confidence? 
A few years back, I was struggling with decisions in my life, and I happened to be reading through the book of Psalm at the time. I came across Psalm 27:14, which says, "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." That gave me such confidence to trust in God and to follow the way that I felt He was leading me. That is one of my favorite verses!

6. If you were your own daughter/son, what important things would you tell yourself/them? 

Learn how to play an instrument!! I am so thankful that my parents had me take piano lessons; I have never regretted it for a moment! There were a few hurdles at first, but I soon learned to love playing. I wish I had learned to play more instruments when I was younger!

7. A verse, poem, sonnet, ancient-old proverb that inspires you to love yourself and others?

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Photo credit: my mom

I am nominating these lovely ladies:
 Kaitlyn of Kaitlyn's Simply Vintage
Theresa of The Tmarie Blog
Brigid of The Boyer Family Singers Blog
Emily of Emily's Vintage Visions
If any of you don't have the time or inclination to participate, I completely understand. I look forward to your answers if you do take part in it, however! :)
Many thanks to Jessica for sharing this fun Q&A!!

All photos excluding the last copyright © Esther Grace Photography

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Monday, April 13, 2015

When It Rains • 1940s Blouse pours.
It has been quite the momentous week, between having sewing sessions with friends, kitchen appliances breaking down, and some other very interesting happenings. I was intending to wear and photograph my new 1930s dress yesterday, but I did not end up finishing it in time. I did manage to get this blouse finished, however, and I just love it!

My mom and I have been wanting and needing a nice vintage-style button-front blouse pattern for a very long time. We finally discovered one - Simplicity 3847 - and after searching multiple stores, found it in the right size. We weren't sure how it was actually going to look, considering the dreadful pattern cover art, but last week I decided to go ahead and give it a whirl.

As it turns out, it's one of the easiest to make, most comfortable blouses I have ever made! I like it very much, and can't wait to make some more renditions of it.

I was on the hunt last week for a suitable blouse fabric, and when I saw this cute umbrella-laden material, I just couldn't resist. Every girl needs an whimsical umbrella blouse, right?!

It pairs quite well with my trusty 1940s skirt, and my favorite red hat!

I found these lovely red rose buttons at an antique shop months ago, and they happened to match this fabric quite well! The bonus is that I still have 9 of them left to use for something else!

Oh, and I made bound buttonholes...again. They're so addictive! Whether I am getting better at making them or not is a whole different matter. ;)

I lengthened the sleeves 2 inches, but other than that there were no alterations. Yay! 

As you may have guessed, these photos were not taken by my lovely mom. I tried my hand at taking some self-portraits with the tripod, and they just aren't up to the mark.

In any case, I am looking forward to finishing up my 1930s dress and photographing it! It came out even better than expected, so I am quite excited! :)

Also, I am a little behind in the comment-responding department, but that will be remedied very soon. Thanks for bearing with me!!
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Friday, April 10, 2015

VSFLO • Little Red Baby Dress

I am enjoying sewing these little garments so much, I have to admit! This little dress was no exception. It's always hard to decide which baby project to make next, but I finally decided on making this baby dress from the scraps of my christmas gown.

I did not have very much fabric left, so it was quite the squeeze to fit it all in. And by squeeze I mean piecing. Piecing the skirt, and even the ties! You can barely see the seams in the picture above, but there are quite a few;

All I had left was about a 12" strip of fabric maybe a yard long, plus what I had cut off from hemming, and a few other odds and ends. It was such fun to "make do" with what I had and get the little dress made in spite of it!

The design of this dress is just adorable; the little puffed sleeves, the teeny little collar. Such cuteness!!
(I know....that selvedge is awfully distracting. It won't be visible once the dress is hemmed, but until I am ready to use the dress, I'm just leaving the bottom edge serged and unhemmed.)

I am so happy with how easy the dress came together!
These adorable little heart buttons were in the stash, and they seemed to be the perfect accent.

The front bodice has little decorative points that overlay the skirt pleats.
As with many vintage patterns, the bodice edge is turned under and topstitched onto the skirt.
The sleeves have bands which are turned up to form an adorable little cuff.
(Maybe I overuse that word. But really, it is adorable.)

As you may have guessed, I'm rather pleased with this little frock, and can't wait to make some more renditions of it! :)
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Monday, April 6, 2015

• The Caramel Apple Dress •

This post could also be entitled "The Dress of Doom" or "An Unhappy Ending."
I know. It sounds dramatic, and for good reason! It all started a few months ago when I got the notion to make a dress out of this little 3 1/2 yard piece of fabric. I have always had a tremendous desire to make Simplicity 1777, and this seemed to be just the time to make it.

I made a mockup long ago, and it just did not look good. After making my gumdrop dress, I got the idea of gathering this bodice rather than pleating it. It ended up looking much better than the pleats.

I started cutting out the bodice and sleeves, and then went to measure another '40s dress to see how much I needed to lengthen this skirt. The dress that I happened to be measuring was Simplicity 1587, which has a skirt yoke. 

You can guess what comes next; I measured the length from the bottom of the yoke seam, rather than the waist seam. What. a. genius. That resulted in a skirt that was absolutely, positively too short! My only comfort was that I remembered there being a little more of this fabric at the store. We went there the following week, and it was still there! There were only about 1 3/4 yards left, however, and when I laid the skirt pieces out, that was not enough to lengthen them sufficiently. I wasn't extremely jubilant at that point, but through some helpful suggestions from my mom, I decided to try laying out the Simplicity 1587 skirt. It fit onto the fabric. I had a notion to make the skirt a little different, so I narrowed it down in order to omit the gathering in the center front. 

I sewed up the dress and tried it on before installing the zipper, and it seemed to look great! But the next time I tried it on after the zipper was in, it looked shockingly bad. The combination of the bodice seam angles and skirt seams made for an absolutely dreadful dress. The skirt hung limply and had no shape whatsoever. I gave up on it at that point. There was no hope for the awful thing, and there was no way I would ever try to remake it!!

 Last week, however, I finally worked up the ambition to try tweaking it so that it would hang properly. I ended up sewing the waist seam differently here and there, which made it palatable in the end. It's still not my favorite dress, at all, but at least it is wearable.

The conclusion which I have come to is that I no longer have an insatiable desire to make Simplicity 1777. At all.

Aside from the doom and gloom, there are some parts of the dress that I do like. The elasticized ruching on the sleeves is quite fun!

My most marvelous ungathered skirt and yoke. I do like the design, but this experience hasn't exactly boosted my confidence to make it again any time soon.

I also really like this hat. My mom finds the most amazing hats ever. 

These buttons are another highly redeeming aspect of this dress. Don't they just look like butterscotch candies? For some reason this fabric just looked "caramel apple-y" to all of us, hence the slightly fall-like name.

I was glad to see that my lovely beaded purse matched this outfit as well. I just love it!

I am glad, at least, that I finished the dress. It's always a good feeling when you complete a UFO!
My current project is a 1930s dress, and I'm so excited! The bonus (on top of the fact that it will be my first really 1930s-style dress) is that it has a keyhole opening, perfect for photographing for my tutorial! That will be up within the next couple of weeks.

• Photography by my mom •

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