Tuesday, April 28, 2015

• Simplicity 1587, Version I •

Although I made this dress back in October, we just got around to photographing it yesterday! We meant to take pictures of it when we were on vacation last fall, but it was much too cold not to be bundled up in winter coats constantly!

Since then I've made three more renditions of this pattern, the second of which I have posted about here. The others should be up here soon!

I like this pattern quite well (as evidenced by my desire to make it again and again); the details are so cute! I just love the bow and the soft pleats at the neckline.

I found this fabric (polyester crepe) for $1 a yard at our local fabric shop. I bought 5 yards, which turned out to be a very good thing! When I made the dress, I cut the skirt and yoke like the pattern, but due to the "crispness" of the fabric, the gathers did not look well at all. As such, I had to cut a new skirt using Vogue 8767.

Aside from those issues with the fabric, it drapes beautifully in this pattern.

My mom found this lovely belt at a thrift store, and it happened to be the perfect color to match my dress!

I was having trouble sewing in the elastic on the sleeves, so instead I simply gathered them and sewed them down.

I had been having issues sewing this dress from the start; first I carefully marked the pleats on the yoke front pieces with a water-soluble marker and then used a damp press cloth and a steamy iron to press the pieces before I sewed them, causing all of the marks to disappear completely. 

There were some other minor foibles as well, but the other main one was that unbeknownst to me, my needle was terribly dull and snaggy, so it kept pulling threads in the fabric as I sewed the sleeves and hem. It's always great when you discover such things after the damage is done, isn't it?

In any case, ever since then this pattern has gone perfectly smooth for me, I'm glad to report!

The old train station wall served as a nice backdrop once again! 
Thanks to my mom for the lovely photographs!

P.S. Don't forget to enter Emily's Spring 1940s Photo Contest over at Emily's Vintage Visions! Thursday the 30th is the last day to enter.
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Monday, April 27, 2015

• Of Busy Schedules •

Due to a rather busy schedule, I'm pushing back my regular post to tomorrow. See you then!! 

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Excerpts From the Past • Clarks O.N.T. Fashions

As per request from Brigid, I'm sharing the 1930s Clarks Fashions book today! We picked up this magazine at an antique store for just a dollar or two, and it's an absolute gold mine! Pattern after pattern for nothing but lovely styles of hats, sweaters, dresses, gloves, and even purses!

There is a sad part of this story, however; (insert weeping violins) when we got home and looked at it, we discovered that there are a couple of pattern pages missing. It is very sad, but there is still plenty of goodness left in the magazine to make me happy.

Ironically enough, the lady who originally owned this magazine was named Esther! That's a fun coincidence, don't you think?

The patterns for the projects are towards the bottom of this post.

Unfortunately the pattern is missing for this gorgeous blouse. If you felt adventurous, you could probably make this blouse with no pattern! It looks simple enough.

Yes!! There is a pattern for this dress! Somehow I can't imagine crocheting a whole dress, but it's actually a rather neat idea. It's so beautiful!

(no pattern for blouse)
That jaunty hat looks fun to crochet, don't you think?

I'm starting to think I might want to make this "Russian Turban." It looks quite cute on the model!
Don't you just love that little coin purse?

Another lovely ensemble.

(no pattern for blouse)
Oh, how I wish I had the pattern for this blouse! It's such a beautiful, feminine design.

The first part of the pattern for this blouse is missing, but the second half is on the first pattern page that I have. It could perhaps be invented based on that!

Ah-ha! A knitted dress! Brigid, I expect to see you wearing this next week. 
It's not like she couldn't do it. 
I also love that beret. Someday I will conquer knitting in the round, and when I do, this will be the first thing I make.
First I need to conquer just plain knitting...

I used this pattern for my crocheted collar. I stopped after the 13th round (omitting that extra front part) because I thought it would interfere with the design of my dress. It would be fun to make it as the pattern says, however, to go with a simple 1930s blouse.

More lovely accessories.

Ahh. This cape. I'm going to make it. It's just the thing to keep me warm without crushing my puffy '30s sleeves!

Now for the patterns! The partial pattern on the left is for the Striped Yoke Blouse.

I hope you enjoy using these patterns! Be sure to comment if you make any of them so I can see your lovely creations! :)

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Monday, April 20, 2015

• Adventures in the 1930s •

Back in 1988, my mom bought a 1930s reproduction Simplicity pattern. Little did she know that almost three decades later, she and her future daughter would be sewing nothing but vintage repro patterns! :) Unfortunately, we couldn't find a single photo of her dress, but I do have a piece of the fabric in a scrap quilt of mine. At least I can envision how pretty it was!

Image c/o Vintage Patterns Wikia

The pattern features a gathered bodice with a yoke, flutter sleeves, an eight-gore skirt and an elasticized waist. I ended up making quite a few changes to the pattern; first of all, since I didn't want to use elastic, I cut the skirt much narrower at the waist in order to omit the 10" (!) of ease at the waist and added a side zipper. 

I also did not want flutter sleeves, so I gathered them onto a band and turned it under. It makes for the perfect amount of "puff!"

I originally intended this fabric for another dress, but upon laying out that pattern, I found that I didn't have enough material! I went back to JoAnn and found the precious 1 3/4 yards that I had left on the previous trip! I snatched it up immediately, of course!

As it turns out, the intended pattern for this fabric did not work out for me, so I eventually got the notion to try it in this pattern! It worked out quite well, as I am delighted with my new dress!!

I crocheted a collar from a 1930s pattern book to match. It was very easy to make, and the shape ended up being perfect with the shape of the yoke. I'll share that pattern book in Excerpts From the Past next if you would like! :)

The collar is held onto the dress by the keyhole button. Much easier than sewing on buttons and loops! 

All in all, I'm very excited to finally have a quintessentially 1930s dress! 
The pattern was an absolute cinch, and I love the design! That flounced skirt...is my favorite.

There hasn't been much action in the sewing room this past week due to gardening, potato-planting and machine-knitting, but I'm looking forward to diving in again this week!!

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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

....it 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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