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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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

• Fall Teacup Exchange •

Today I'm sharing the gifts I received and sent out for The Enchanting Rose teacup exchange.  Stephanie hosts this lovely event twice a year, and it is always a joy to participate.  She does such an amazing job of arranging it all, for which I am so thankful!  :)  

I was absolutely thrilled when I got the mail one day and found a package from Emily!  She blogs over at Emily's Vintage Visions, and has such great vintage (and historical) style.  It was so exciting to get a package from her!!

She sent this gorgeous Franciscan Desert Rose tea cup.  I have admired this pattern for a long time, but did not have any in my collection.  I really hadn't realized how beautiful it was until now; I just love it!!  :)  It's also so neat how every tea cup I own has a rose pattern.  Too fun!!!  :D

Along with the tea cup she sent a couple of gorgeous vintage hankies, one with a rose pattern (yay!!), and another with a white-on-white floral and scalloped edges.  I just love them both!

She also included this stunning brooch, which I am dying to wear!

Thank you so, so much for the lovely gifts, Emily!!!  I enjoyed each and every one of them.  :)  


I sent my package to the lovely Delvalina, who blogs over at Falling in Love with Jesus.  

It was so fun how the things I sent tended to be in the same color scheme, without me even planning it!  I love this color of blue, and I'm so glad Delvalina did as well.  I included two skeins of Downton Abbey yarn, as well as a cute little notepad. 

The tea cup is from an antique shop.  The floral pattern caught my eye right away, and I had to get it.  I can't remember the name, but I know it was an English company.

Do check out Delvalina's blog, if you haven't already done so; she makes the loveliest crafts, including really gorgeous cards!  The one she sent for a thank you was just stunning.

And a big shoutout to Stephanie for hosting the exchange once again!!  Thank you so much, dear lady!!  :)

Also, my Etsy shop is on sale, now through Thursday, November 2nd.  Use coupon code FLASHSALE to take 20% off of your purchase.  Happy shopping!  :)

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

• 1940s Utility Dress •

The warmer weather we've had off and on over the last few days has been nice for photographing a few summer dresses!  Maybe for once I won't be modeling summer frocks in the snowbanks, like I did last year.  ;)

I made this dress a few months ago for a vacation, and it turned out to be quite perfect for travel!  It is made of poly-cotton fabric (from Hancock Fabrics, just before they closed.....), and therefore doesn't wrinkle one little bit.  What could be better for cramming into a suitcase?  ;)

I always *loved* the pattern illustration from Butterick 6282, and when I found a solid-colored gray fabric, I knew exactly what I would use it for.  

Overall, this was a very easy pattern to sew; I did a few things differently than the pattern instructed, and altered the fit a bit here and there (lengthening the skirt 7 inches...that has to be the record for me), but that is all pretty standard.

The back bodice extends over the shoulder to form a small yoke in front.  The front bodice is gathered onto that yoke, and also gathered onto the skirt below the bust on each side.  A band extends from the front around the neck for added interest, and features a double row of topstitching, true to '40s fashion.

For the buttons, I wanted something that wouldn't distract from the overall design, so I opted for simple dark grey ones.

As is typical with a lot of vintage repro patterns, the finished waist measurement allowed for way too much ease, so I took in the skirt quite a bit at the side seams, and the bodice a bit as well.  I don't remember if I took the bust in at all, but I think I did, as the fit was just too roomy as it was.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I came across red, white and blue striped ribbon at the fabric store, just exactly like I needed to match the pattern illustration!!!  I couldn't find a gold buckle like the picture showed, so I settled for tying the belt. 

A couple of things I did differently than the pattern instructed had to do with the front pleat and the pockets.  The pattern says to simply iron over the pleats, bring them to the center line, and topstitch them 1/4" away from the edge on each side.  Obviously, that would not hold the pleats down in the center, and the edges of the fabric sticking up would look terrible.  Instead, I sewed the pleat from the inside, pressed it, and then topstitched, making a nice, flat seam.

The other variation (somewhat unintentional, but it ended up being much better this way!) is that I sewed my pockets on flat with the skirt fabric, rather than leaving them to gape on the top, as the pattern directed.  While doing that would make them more useable, I don't picture it looking very nice, and it would have to catch on everything rather badly.  I also moved the pockets down on the skirt over an inch, as the pattern wanted them to be awfully close to the waistline.

The sleeves are hemmed in the niftiest fashion; first you press under the bottom edge 2-1/4" and baste it to hold it in place, then you turn it under again, this time 2-3/8".  Next you stitch 1/4" away from the bottom (folded over) edge, all the way around, forming a tuck.  Turn the tuck toward the sleeve cap (causing the hem of the sleeve to fold down), and press.  The raw edge is encased in that tuck from inside, so the sleeve looks flawless, inside and out.  It was so fun to sew, and especially to see that it actually came out right!!  ;)

The sleeve cap has 5 darts, and a long, slender, crescent-shaped sleeve head that supports it.  The directions want you to stitch the head on by hand, but it works quite well to machine-stitch it on, and saves time as well.  The sleeve heads are just the right size, so you can not even detect them while wearing the dress.

Another of my favorite features from this pattern is the deep hem!  Perfect for a slightly lighter-weight fabric, no snagging the thread on everything you walk past, as well as being more vintage-appropriate.

All in all, this was a fun dress to make, and it has turned out to be quite fun to wear as well.  Do let me know if you make this pattern - I would love to see your rendition of it!

Thanks for stopping by!  :)

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