Thursday, March 16, 2017

• 1950s Projects •

Today I thought I'd share a few projects that I made towards the end of last year for different folks!  This first one was a custom order in my Etsy shop for a lady who was going on a vacation to Europe, and wanted a vintage-style formal gown to wear to a performance of Swan Lake that she was attending in Paris, on Christmas Eve!  The dress has been referred to as "The Swan Lake Dress" ever since.  ;)

I was halfway scared out of my wits to make such a dress, out of satin, in what appeared to be a complex pattern (Vogue 8850), for someone else, just based on their measurements, but it ended up being a pretty easy task!  The pattern is actually quite fun to make, and the satin was not nearly as difficult to work with as I expected.

My customer chose this gorgeous seafoam green crepe-backed satin for her dress, and I *love* the color.  Positively gorgeous!

The only major change I made to the dress was the sleeves; the ones that come with the pattern are very fitted in the upper arm as-is, so I believe I cut the sleeve on a larger size, and then tapered the seams down to the appropriate measurement at the forearm.

Hand-picked zipper!  This picture makes it look all bunchy, but it really was not in person. 

A really fun aspect of this dress is the skirt overlay, which actually hangs about 2" below the skirt hem!

It is a quarter circle, gathered on top, and ideally rolled-hemmed by hand all the way around (nope, didn't do it - just ironed under the edge twice and slip-stitched), and then tacked to itself on the underside so it lays just right.  It's so nifty!!

The top gathers are part of the right bodice piece, but the gathers on the lower part of the bodice are a separate piece that is gathered on both ends and blind-stitched down on the edges.  The button tab is also cut in one with the right bodice piece.

Next up is this cute '50s blouse that I made for a friend last summer.  I had gotten the fabric on sale shortly beforehand, and it seemed like just the right print for her.  I used a vintage blouse pattern in my stash, and whipped it up in no time.

I love the details of the blouse, especially the neckline with bow!!  It was a bit of a trick to do that narrow of binding around the neck, and then to turn the ties afterwards, but it came out good, thankfully.

Can I just say, YAY for pattern-matching?  ;)

Covered buttons are always a good thing.  ;)  I also made a vintage-style tie scarf to go with the blouse out of the green polka dot fabric.

Another *yay* for armhole facings!!  So much easier than bias, and it lays much more smoothly when it's finished.

This dress was for the same lady, also from an original 1950s pattern.  My mom cut out the dress, seeing as she is the pattern-matching master in the house, and I did the sewing.  ;)  She did a smashing job of it too!

I love the style of this dress - it's such a classic style of vintage housedress.  The front just closes with a zipper that extends below the waist, so it's easy on-and-off!

And that's all for today, except to say that there is a SALE going on in my Etsy shop right now!  Use the coupon code WINTERSEND to save 20% off your purchase, now through Monday, March 20th.  Check out the shop now!

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

• Spring 1950s Separates •

Whew, it has been a crazy couple of months, or weeks, or whatever it has been since I last blogged!  :-O  Time is flying by, life is somewhat crazy, sorrows and emotions come on at the strangest moments, but all in all the Lord is good.  He continues to uphold us and carry us through in a miraculous way.

Now for today's post; we have had downright glorious weather here of late, so the other day we finally broke down and went out for some photos!  It was wonderful to be in short sleeves and *sandals* and be just the right temperature!  And I can't say I was unhappy about the clouds - they prevented me from having to be clothed in sunglasses the whole time.  ;P

I made this outfit almost a year ago, but it never found its way into a photo shoot until just this past week.  The skirt is made from some glorious fabric we bought at Hancock ages ago - it is a perfect weight for skirts, and doesn't wrinkle much at all.  I used Vogue 9000 to make it, this time making it as full as the pattern showed, unlike my polka dot dress.  I really like that pattern for a skirt, and when you have 60" wide fabric, it doesn't eat it up quite so viciously like it definitely does on 45" fabric.

As for the blouse, well, it was quite an experience!  I started out wanting to do a wacky '50s stand-up collar like this, only with the "V" in front instead of back.  So, basically, making it backwards.  Needless to say, that plan didn't work out so all, so I was left to come up with a new plan for my freshly cut-up blouse.  Finally I decided to try drafting my own collar - I don't really know where I came up with the idea for the shape, but I followed this tutorial for how to draft it, and found it to be extremely helpful!  I did the partial roll version, and it lays quite nicely.

I used a '30s Playtime print for the bodice of the blouse, and some pink polka dot from the Windham McCall's collection, I believe it was, for the contrast.

If the truth were known, almost every '50s garment would probably be better with winged cuffs, so I had lots of fun putting them on this blouse.  ;)  I used the cuff from Butterick 6018 as a guide, altering the shape a little bit.

  I really like these particular cuffs because they actually stay stiff and pointed on their own, even after repeated washings, without having to be tacked together.

I can't remember for sure which pattern I used for the bodice of the blouse, but I believe it may have been Simplicity 2154, with added kimono sleeves and a different neckline, of course.  

Since the greenery outside is not exactly green these days, and we found our favorite wall at the train station turned into a parking lot for the day, we decided to try a good old-fashioned train track photo shoot.  ;)  No trains came by while we were at it (thankfully....haha!), so I think we can call it a success.

This hat is a favorite of mine, even if it isn't in the greatest condition - we found it at a local antique shop last year for a song, and it is just a lot of fun to wear!  Plus it stayed on all day long on a windy day, so now I like it even more!  ;)

Thanks for stopping by and putting up with my irregular blogging schedule!  ;)  Have a lovely weekend!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

• Fall in the Wintertime •

Back in mid-September or so, when fall was beginning to make its appearance, I happily started getting my fall/winter garments out.  One of the ones I was most excited about wearing was my fall dress, made two years ago.  I ironed it up with glee and hung it up to wear for the next day, only to try it on then and remember just how much I didn't like it.  There was something about the fit/style that just never agreed with me; the fact that I made the sleeves far too big probably didn't help that at all, but in any case, I just didn't like my dress anymore.  I thought of making it into a skirt, but never got around to doing so until I saw Lily's post in which she did just that with her fall dress!  :)  Hers was so gorgeous that it inspired me to finally remake my version!

One of the things that also inspired me to get it done was my gorgeous '50s sweater from Paper Luna Vintage.  I never get tired of wearing it!

Last year I made this long-sleeved cream blouse out of some rayon-blend fabric.  The sleeve pattern I used was dreadfully tight in the forearm though, so I could hardly wear the blouse as it was.  I finally snipped off the sleeves and hemmed them up into short ones at the same time as I made the skirt so I could finally wear it.  I actually like the silhouette better with short sleeves!  It has quickly become a staple in my wardrobe what with the versatile color and style.

Naturally I had to pair it with my ever-versatile Victoria Carriage boots.  :)  I just love those things!!

Since I hadn't liked the gathered skirt on my fall dress, and also have a deep love for pleated '50s skirts, I decided to do just that; pleat it.  What was fun was having the pleats come out the perfect size on the very first try.  :D  That is always fun!!!

I used a big cream-colored vintage button from my stash for the waistband. 

I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever wear another hat again other than this wondrous gray beret.  It has become somewhat of a landmark atop my head these days.  ;)

I love brooches, but never remember to wear them!  I was so excited to wear this pretty one from Emily with this outfit, and I just love how it looks!  :)  Thanks, Emily!!

I really like the skirt from Simplicity 1459; it had been so long since I used it that I was remembering it being fairly straight-cut, but it is in fact quite flared!  It gives a really nice shape, and offers marvelous twirliness, which is downright vital.  ;)

Thanks for stopping by!!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

1950s • Winter Woolens

First off, thank you all so very much for your overwhelmingly kind comments from last week's post.  You don't know how much that meant to my mom and I!!  You all are the best, and I'll never forget your kindness.  <3


Last year I had a total of 2 winter-friendly garments, those being a wool dress and a flannel skirt.  This year, although I'm not exactly rolling in woolen garments, there has been a great increase in them, which makes me soooo happy!  I have been planning a fall/winter wardrobe for ages, but in the past, whenever the time came to actually sew it up, I either got busy, catastrophe struck, or I just felt like making fruit-covered sundresses.  ;)

I found this grey fabric at JoAnn a couple of months ago in their Famous Maker line.  I ended up getting it for something like $3 per yard because of the coupons we had, and it is not only 100% wool, but also made in Japan and 60" wide!!  Can't beat that!!

I used Simplicity 8250 for the skirt, but simply cut the front on the fold and omitted that extra seaming/foldover/topstitching business.  Somehow it seemed like that would have been terribly bulky in a heavier-weight fabric like this.  I also omitted the gigantic circuitous pockets....and skipped that wacky waistband.  So I guess you could say I based it off of S8250.  ;)

This sweater is so much fun.  I purchased it from Paper Luna Vintage at the same time as my mustard sweater, but this one had numerous moth chews on it, so I got it for an extra-good deal.  I set it aside when it arrived, though, because I really had no idea how to mend the holes.  I finally buckled down and decided to tackle it one day (the same day as I remade my fall skirt and cream blouse, incidentally; that was one awfully productive day in the mending realm!), using some cream colored yarn I found in our stash, a small embroidery needle, and our needle felter.  First I weaved the yarn in and out, catching the loose stitches, and kind of weaving it closed, and then I took that mended spot, laid it on the needle-felting pad, and felted it a bit, just to kind of blend the stitches and secure it together.  It worked quite amazingly well, and the spots are not really even noticeable anymore!!

This spot on the arm was the worst one; it was literally a gaping hole with a good 1/2"-5/8" of knit missing.  I weaved it shut and felted it though, and it came out pret-ty good!  ;)

The beading details on this thing are downright incredible.  I just can't imagine having the patience to do all that!!  The brand is "Broadway, Suburbanite Sportswear," dating from the 1950s.  The fun part is, while working on it I found a paper tag sewn inside the lining with the original price of $2.98 on it.  Hahaha!  Hard to even imagine such a thing these days!!

In the last few posts featuring '50s skirts, I've been wearing both my regular Malco Modes petticoat and a tiered flannel petticoat, and I'm really enjoying the fullness it lends!  On top of that fact is how wonderfully warm it is, as compared to nothing but a nylon net petticoat.  Big difference!!  I'll have to do a post on it sometime soon just so you can see the design of it and all.

Thanks for stopping by!  :)
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Thursday, January 12, 2017

2016 • Year in Review

To say "what a year" would be a very immense understatement.  The past month has been a whirlwind of stress, heartache, sorrow, and a bit of rejoicing.  On the 22nd of December, at about 2:30 AM, my father was taken to the hospital via ambulance, and would spend 16 days in the ICU as the sickest patient on the floor.  On January 6th, the day after my parents' 46th wedding anniversary, my dad passed away and went to be with the Lord, surrounded by his family and friends.  It was a long journey, but we never expected him to go so soon.  Much heartache and sorrowing has occurred, and will continue to occur, but we are rejoicing over the fact that he is in heaven and is pain-free, never to have another sorrow or pain.  Praise the Lord for that.

It has been such a short amount of time since it happened, and has been so incredibly busy and stressful that my mom and I really haven't had a chance for the truth of the situation to actually sink in yet.  It will soon though, I suppose, and that will not be an easy time.  In the mean time, we have enjoyed having family around us almost constantly, which has been such a huge blessing.  It has been a time of unification and closeness with my siblings, and that has been wonderful.  But nothing can or ever will fill the void that is so suddenly evident.

My dad worked from home for the past 30 years, up until he retired 3 years ago, and hence was always home (practically speaking).  My siblings and I were homeschooled, so those two facts combined made for a parent-child relationship like no other.  We were such a close family, and in the past years since my siblings left home, my parents and I were such a threesome, that it is going to be an unbelievable adjustment for Mom and I to suddenly find ourselves as a twosome.  God is so good and gives just the right amount of grace as we need it, but it is still an incredibly hard thing to realize and accept.

I'm so thankful that the Lord gave me the best dad I could ever imagine.  He was loving, supportive, thoughtful, encouraging, taught me how to work, how to write, and pretty much everything that I know.  I love him so much, and always will.  And I'm going to miss him so very much!!  <3  I love you, Dad!!!  I'll see you again someday.

(July 2016)

The rest of this post was written in early December, and I'll leave it as-is.

This year brought about the opening of a vintage shop, going to our first Civil War reenactment with Sarah (and all three of us winning awards for our outfits!), multiple weddings and bridal showers to work in/photograph, learning how to quilt, taking a couple of custom orders in my Etsy shop on top of good sales there this year, plus seeing the Lord work in marvelous ways in so many people's lives, including my own.  In short, the Lord is so good.  :)

Now on the blogging side of things; it seemed like I hadn't made very many things, and especially had not blogged about very many, but I was happily surprised when compiling my usual collage!  There are quite a few of them there!  The photos in the collage are of projects that I blogged about in 2016 (except for the last picture in row #3; that was a custom order in my Etsy shop).  All but 2 of them were made in 2016.  Shown in the collage are my mom's and Sarah's Civil War dresses; I did about 85% of the sewing on my mom's dress, and Sarah's was a joint effort between the three of us, so I went ahead and cobbed that for my picture too.  ;)

     first row: 1  2  3  4  5  6
second row: 1  2  3  4  5  6
    third row: 1  2  3  4  5  6
  fourth row: 1  2  3  4  5  6

Not shown in the collage are some aprons, baby and little girl's dresses, and 1860s undergarments
On top of all of these projects, I also made 7 dresses, 10 blouses, and 4 skirts that have not yet been photographed and/or blogged about, as well as 2 quilts, more UFOs than I would like to admit, and some other smaller projects.  So I guess it was quite a productive year after all!!  :) 

My mom sewed up a storm last year as well, but there is a sad lack of evidence thereof on my blog.  We are terrible about getting pictures of her outfits, so she doesn't appear on here as often as she should.  We'll have to remedy that in the coming year!!  :)

     first row:  1  2  3
second row:  1  2  3
    third row:  1  2  3

On top of these outfits, she made 7 dresses, 6 blouses, a quilt, aprons, various 1860s underpinnings, a few UFOs (she has a whole lot more perseverance than I, haha), as well as other random projects.

So all in all, it was a great year sewing-wise, and I can't wait to see where it goes in the next year.  There are already plenty of sewing plans in the works, and fabrics in the stash that are just *begging* to be made into just the right things, so there will be no lack of sewing around here.  ;)

Lastly, thank you all for your wonderful support and sweet comments on here!  You don't know what an encouragement and delight you all are!!  I look forward to another year of blogging, Lord willing!  It is so much fun, and I hope that it provides some good inspiration for all of you, and especially those who are learning to sew their own clothing.  My whole mission in having this blog has always been to encourage those who are new in the realm to see that they too can sew anything their heart desires, with a little time, a little fabric, and a little patience.  :)

And moreover, I appreciate your prayers and thoughts for my mom and I as we begin this perilous journey without our husband/dad.  It's a new experience, and not an enjoyable one, but we are of course so thankful to have each other.  We're a team, we have an amazing family, and we have the Lord, so I know we can get through this.

<3  Thanks for stopping by, folks.
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