Saturday, February 22, 2020

• Very Overdue, Very Random Post •

Well now, it's only been about half a year since I last blogged.  That's not very long, is it?

It's been a whirlwind of a fall and winter, with plenty of drama, plenty of fun, and plenty of blessings.  I'm thankful for where the Lord has brought us in past months, and wouldn't change a thing.  This year is going to be a good one!

I apologize in advance for the extremely varying sizes and shapes of these photos you're about to see - they are all gathered from my phone from varying sources.  Enjoy!  :)

Back in August, we were able to attend and participate in D-Day Ohio, and that was just an amazing experience.  We sewed up day dresses for day one, and went in uniform the other two days.


Mom was an American Red Cross Gray Lady, and I was a Pharmacist's Mate in the USN WAVES.  Emily Stringham of Emily's Vintage Visions has done an amazing job gathering a (growing) group of ladies to represent WAVES at D-Day, and her WAVES display as well as her leadership of the group is amazing.  I am so excited for this year's reenactment!

Can't forget to add this -- we welcomed two little kittens into our family in October.  They are mischievous little rascals but we love them so <3 

A dear friend had a western-themed graduation party, so I planned to make a western shirt to wear to that.  I decided to procrastinate until the night before to finish it, so I sewed the last button on at 2:30 in the morning.  Sure was fun to wear though!  :)

We attended Mississinewa 1812 once again this year, and per usual I was dying of the worst cold ever.  I felt just exactly like death, and literally that entire basket you see in the picture was filled with Kleenexes.  But we went, and we conquered.

There is a really amazing antique market that has sales once each month, and one of the amazing things we found there was this box full of vintage fabric pieces and quilt blocks.  I could sit and look at them for hours!!!

In December, we were blessed to be able to participate in a choir society's production of Handel's Messiah.  The practice sessions each week beforehand and the nights of singing were some of my favorite moments of the year.  Such wonderful fellowship and the words - the beautiful, Biblical, Christ-honoring words were and are so moving.  Lord willing, we'll be participating again later this year!  

We needed black and white outfits to wear for the concerts, so......

....I made a 1930s and a 1950s ensemble, one for each night.  Once again, I had planned to make these outfits far in advance, but ended up waiting until less than 2 weeks before the concert.  Lots of evening sewing after work, and I got them both done!  And I sewed a blouse from rayon....everyone congratulate me.  That experience once again confirmed what I already knew, which is that I really, deeply detest sewing with rayon.

1930s for me, 1940s for Mom.

1950s ensembles.

At the concert!

Here you can see both of the adorable fluffballs :)

We took a trip to Minnesota also in early winter, seeing dear loved ones along the way.  This picture was taken in my grandma's very wallpapered bathroom, wearing a blouse with a very complicated history......

It was a UFO for quite some time, and I finally decided to finish it for our MN trip.  I had just finished sewing the last button on and went downstairs to iron it so it was ready to go.  We had purchased some cheapy iron in the summer, and we knew it always ran a little on the hot side.  I turned it on to an extremely low setting, lower even than normal, and proceeded to iron the blouse.  Right as I am ironing the front of the blouse, I notice that the fabric is strangely scorched-looking.  To my horror, I realize that the iron has literally scorched two large spots on the center front of my brand-new blouse, and not just minor scorch marks, but orange-y, horrible, awful scorching.

In my great distress and anguish, I took the little old iron upstairs, informed my mother of what I was about to do, at which time she proclaimed that the garbage man was coming the next morning, but I insisted that that was not good enough.  I marched outside in my jammies in the moonlight and chucked that iron over a 15' cliff at the back of our property.

That is what happens to naughty irons at our house.

End of story.

Mom got this beautiful coat from Stephanie <3, and it looks amazing on her.  Soft, fuzzy green 1950s loveliness!  We had just arrived in our favorite place (Duluth), and were marching out to watch a ship come in the harbor.

I scored this Dale of Norway sweater on Ebay in the late fall, and it has definitely gotten plenty of wear.  It's very heavy and warm, so it was perfect for traipsing through Duluth in the chilly gales!

No visit to Duluth is complete without a picture "next to" Split Rock Lighthouse :D

While we were visiting with my grandpa, I knitted up my first rendition of this "pixie hood," based on this picture from the '40s.

I didn't do a swatch, so it came out a little bigger than intended, so I just cuffed the front edge and went with it.  It made for very good elf-walks-on-waterfall pictures.

Mom looking amazing in her '40s lumberjack-vibes ensemble.

I didn't end up making most of the planned vacation outfits, but I did get this dreamy '50s skirt done.  Back when I first got into vintage sewing, I found this fabric on Etsy and saved it for just the right project.  I pleated it up, put pockets in the side seams (they're invisible!!), and finally got it finished!  I didn't have time to make the blouse I wanted, so my amazing mom made me this beautiful red '50s number.  It is one of my favorite patterns, and you might recognize it as the same style as my "Messiah" blouse.

Since it was practically balmy on Christmas Day, we dressed accordingly......
(minus one cat that didn't want her photo taken, apparently)

We added a whole bunch of Pendleton skirts to our wardrobes this year, and I am not sorry about it!  This Christmassy number is one of my absolute favorites, and it pairs very well with my favorite red 49er.

I also found this to-die-for collegiate sweater on Ebay, and it is just tooooo perfect.

We took our usual weekend down to southern Indiana in early January, touring gorgeous Madison, IN with its beautiful historic homes and doing plenty of antiquing, as you'll see here in a minute.

We had matching sweaters here, but no one will ever know....haha!

Matching Pendleton skirts as we trekked through what I'm quite sure is THE largest antique store anywhere in the world.  It is so enormous that you become quite fatigued only a quarter of the way through it, but it's worth it.  Ohio River Valley Antiques or some such.

The haul.  Or at least, part of it.  There was more than would fit in one picture.  :D

Another Pendleton skirt, paired with my favorite new RVS boots.

We've been enjoying beautiful concerts with the FW Phil this winter, the highlight of which has been Valentina Lisitsa playing her "Love Story" themes.  I never get tired of her playing!

One of my most recent (and favorite) projects is this 1940s housecoat!  I joined the Sew A Dress Each Month challenge for 2020, so this was my January project.  It is a literal dream and I put it on pretty much every evening when I come home from work, and some mornings as well.  It's got the dreamiest ruffles on the pockets, and it is soooo comfortable yet elegant to wear.

We also started working on a feedsack repro quilt in recent weeks.  It has gotten put on the back burner recently with preparations for a reenactment, but we're still so excited to work on it.

Just living the dream in my housecoat and mom-made ruffly apron.

This is version 2 of my Pixie Hood, this one fitting much better than the first!  Now that I completed it, we're not getting any cold weather, but maybe there's still hope before Spring comes marching in....

We did get a few flakes of snow, however, so I grabbed the opportunity to get pictures of my amaaaaazzzzzing new 1940s coat.  I still can't believe I have a piece like this!  It's in absolutely perfect condition - the best blue wool with a quilted lining and fur for days.

I also wanted pictures of my freshly-completed snowflake hood!  I started to knit one by hand, but not only am I not cut out for fairisle knitting (ugh), but I also was using much too large of yarn for the size it needed.  (No swatch again, naughty naughty...)  I decided to give it a whirl on the knitting machine, which I did, and it came out fairly decently! 

I did the body of it on the knitting machine and ribbed it by hand, which went fairly quickly.

I'm hoping to knit up a bunch of these and offer them for sale this coming fall and winter....

Another one of those projects that just makes you feel good....only 8 years after remodelling my bathroom, I finally made curtains to match.  Slightly overdue, but VERY satisfying.  Found a home for this gorgeous antique pitcher, too.

Lastly....just me being "me" with my loopy braids.  Growing my hair out again, and enjoying the benefits of that!


If you made it to this point, I'll be shocked, but if you did, thanks for reading, and I hope you are all doing well!  I post regularly on my Instagram account, so head over and follow me there if you'd like.  Have a fantastic weekend, friends!
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Saturday, September 21, 2019

1940s Blouses • Made to Order

I recently made this cute little quintessential 1940s blouse for a client, and I enjoyed it so much, I decided to open up commissions for more of them!  Let me know if you are interested in ordering a blouse like this!  They are so comfy and the perfect touch for your 1940s ensemble.

If you’re interested, shoot me an email at dollycreates(at)gmail(dot)com. 

Thanks ladies!  💗

(Detail photos below)

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

• Plaid 1940s Fall Frock •

Hello to all my dear blog-readers....if there are any of you left, that is!  ;)  I thought I'd take advantage of a evening home from church due to sickness and try to write up a little blog post.  Life has been hectic, as usual, and I do plenty of thinking about blogging, but that's usually as far as it gets.

This little dress is one that I whipped up last fall (nearly a year ago now!) and it fast became a favorite in my fall/winter wardrobe.  Made of a woven cotton, it isn't necessarily super thick and insulating, but renders itself just the perfect weight for comfortable cold weather wear.

Last October, a customer of mine where I work brought in a big bag of vintage patterns that had been her aunt's, which she "was sure weren't my size, and I probably wouldn't use them."  As it turned out, they were ALL but one in my (and my mom's) exact size range and were amazing, gorgeous, distinct 1930s-1950s patterns that I had not seen anywhere else.  It was SO sweet of her to bring them, and it really was the Lord's timing, as I was having a very hard day and she brightened it immensely with her sweet gift!

This dress was made from one of those patterns, a quintessential '40s frock with just enough nifty details to make it really fun to wear.

{{It has a POCKET....}}

The pattern called for strips of fabric cut on the straight grain and topstitched with 5-6 lines down them, but since I had a plaid to work with, I thought bias would be just the ticket.  It was a little tricky to work with since it became stretchy, being on the bias, but made for a pretty cute contrast!  It also allowed me to NOT have to match up some of the seams, which was very much to my liking!  I love plaid, you might even say I have an addiction to plaid fabrics, yet I really, deeply despise having to match the pattern.  ;P

The sleeves on this dress are some of my favorite '40s long sleeves, and I've used them in several projects since then.  The sleeve cap has three gentle darts, and the remainder of the sleeve is eased in with little or no visible gathering.  The cuffs are pointed just so, which adds another quiet detail. 

My mom bought me these awesome buttons at an antique shop a few years back, and they worked out perfectly for this dress!  Small buttons just didn't cut it, but the large, carved ones gave the dress just the "pop" of contrast needed.

One of the main reasons I love this dress so much is how comfortable it is!  The style of the collar is *perfectly* comfortable, and it fits very well around the neck area.

Oh yes....I hadn't done bound buttonholes in a little while, so I took the opportunity to throw in a little more fabric on the bias.  SO fun.

I paired the dress with my new-to-me Sam Edelman boots.  I hadn't heard of the brand before, but came across these western-inspired all-leather riding boots on Ebay, in my size, for a really great price, and couldn't resist.  I couldn't be happier with them; they are extremely comfortable, fun to wear, and feel great on my feet, even after standing/walking all day long at work.

Well, thus ends my humble little blog post!  I hope that you are all doing well!  I plan to do some more blogging as fall and winter approach, but only time will tell.  I do have great and wonderful plans for expanding my fall/winter wardrobe, so I'm very excited to work on that!  It is bound to be a busy fall with special meetings coming up at church, reenactments, a friend's wedding, concerts to attend, and practice for participating in a production of Handel's Messiah this winter.  Along with the busy work schedule, keeping up with household chores, and property maintenance.  Praise the Lord for a home to care for!

The Lord is so good, so bountiful in His blessings and care for us; we have SO much to be thankful for!  

"O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him."

"Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.  Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.  For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."

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