Tuesday, December 29, 2015

• 2015 in Retrospect •

I hope you all had a blessed Christmas! We had a fun time of relaxation, baking and making (way too many) cookies and sweets, watching movies, and playing games.

I made gingerbread cookies for the first time ever, and loved them! I used Lily's recipe and found it to be easy to make and very tasty.

I also made my traditional Christmas-time toffee! I was thrilled that it turned out good this year!

My dad has been making fudge for...well...longer than I've been alive, I think. So it's a definite tradition in this family to always have Dad's fresh black walnut fudge at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is just about the most delicious thing you'll ever taste. :)

And lastly, we made our traditional Christmas sugar cookies!
The recipe originally came from my great-grandma, and it is a keeper! We made....only about 150 cookies. Just a few. ;)
They freeze very well, so they're fun to pull out throughout the year and enjoy.


Meanwhile, it's time to look back at 2015! It's hard to believe another year has gone by already!
It's been a good year overall; when trials come, you feel like it's been the one of the longest and worst years ever, and you're ready for next year to be a very good one (which is still always nice thought!). But once the trials are over, you realize that there was a purpose in them, and that they were actually for your benefit and learning.

But it's been especially good on the seamstress-y side of things!
I made quite a few garments, while of course at the same time making plenty of messes, plenty of mistakes, plenty of UFOs, but also plenty of memories. The Lord has been very bountiful! :)

first row: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
second row: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
third row: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
fourth row: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

To celebrate the new year, my Etsy shop is on sale through January 1st! Use coupon code WELCOME2016 to receive 16% off your purchase.

May you all have a Happy New Year! I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for the coming year. 

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

• 1940s Christmas Plaid Dress •

And now for Christmas Dress #2!!! :)

Maeberry Vintage was having a sale several weeks ago, and when I saw this adorable dress, I just couldn't resist it. 1940s. Right size. Right length (!!!!). And the only issue was a couple of teeny stains on the third scallop from the top. Thankfully, they washed out so well that they are hard to even locate. The fun part is, the brand name is Fruit of the Loom! I have a feeling they don't make dresses like this anymore. 

I was definitely born in the wrong era.

The design of the dress is fairly simple, but SO cute!! I love the little bias-bound scallops, and the black buttons are the perfect touch.

The neckline is quite fun too!

I was able to let the hem down around an inch, which made it the perfect length. (And I sewed on rayon seam binding....I LOVE that stuff!!)

The waist length of the bodice is a tad short, but I borrowed the green belt from my Kerrybrooke 1950s dress to hide that fact. :)

And in case you were wondering, yes, it is made of diagonal plaid fabric! My mom is planning to make a dress just like this out of some diagonal plaid fabric that she bought, so we were very curious to see if this dress was bias or straight-grain.

I wasn't intending to make yet another Christmas dress, but it sort of happened anyway! :) I pulled out the leftover plaid fabric from my Pleated 1900s Skirt and managed to squeeze a dress out of it! So now I'm all set in the Christmas dress department. No shortage of things to wear this season!! ;)

The side opening on this dress is absolutely ingenious. The buttons on the front are just decorative; they don't unbutton, so there has to be a way to get in the dress, right? Well, I naturally assumed that the dress had a zipper, but I was definitely mistaken! Instead it has one of the niftiest side openings I've ever seen!

The dress has a pocket on the right side, so when you look at the left side, you think that it just has a buttoned pocket. Wrong! It's actually a gusset-like opening that unbuttons and gives you enough room to take the dress on and off.

This has got to be the niftiest thing I've ever seen! I can't wait to try it on one of my dresses!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6
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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

• 1950s Peppermint Dot Christmas Dress •

Last week I said I hoped I would be posting “Christmas dress progress” because I never thought I’d have this dress done so soon! But I do! Yay!!! It's always nice to be able to wear a Christmas dress during the Christmas season, right? ;)

And I'm happy to say that Christmas dress #2 (a vintage 1940s dress that is, well, gorgeous!) just arrived in the mail yesterday, so that should be up on the blog next week!

I have always loved this fabric, so when it went on sale a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t resist it. Novelty prints always seem to me like they belong in 1950s dresses, so I knew I would have to make a ‘50s dress out of it. However, I only ordered 3 yards of the fabric, so having an all-peppermint dot dress was not going to happen. I had planned on pairing the peppermint fabric with some solid red fabric, but didn’t end up having enough of the solid red either! I happened to take a peek in the fabric cabinet and randomly pulled out this red polka dot fabric, never expecting that it would actually match. Wasn't I excited when I saw that it actually did!!! :)

 I had originally planned on making a pleated skirt, but after experimenting around and finding that not only a pleated skirt, but also just about every skirt I could think of would not fit on that amount of fabric! Or if something did, it wasn’t nearly as full as I wanted it to be. I finally pulled out Simplicity 1250, and it actually fit on the fabric *just barely*! I did end up narrowing it down just a tad, but it only amounted to a couple of inches less fullness. And I LOVE this skirt! It’s full enough to look lovely with a petticoat, but still looks nice without one. Bonus! :)

The bodice is based off of Simplicity 1459 (we call it the “fall dress bodice” because that’s the first dress we made with that pattern. I suppose if we wanted to get all technical, we’d call it our “bodice sloper.”). The neckline is from Simplicity 2154, and the sleeves are from the 1459 pattern. Confusing enough? I thought so. ;)

I made the collar (Simplicity 2154) 1/2" bigger on three sides; it needed to be bigger to accommodate the lack of a bow-and-knot in the middle, of course. Plus, I wanted it to be a bigger collar in general, so I made it 1/2" bigger on the outside (round) edge. And lastly, since I was making it larger in circumference, I figured it would need to be bigger on the bottom (outside) edge in order to lay right, so I cut it 1/2" bigger on the back bottom edge, tapering to no extra at the neck edge. It was somewhat of a guess about how much to add, but it ended up being the perfect amount. Hurrah! :) And I love the size of the collar; it somehow feels a little bit more '50s fabulous!

I really really wanted winged cuffs on the sleeves, but I also really really wanted to be able to wear a sweater with it since it *is* a Christmas dress, so I had to forego them. *tear*
So instead, I made band-like "cuffs" that were simply sewn on right-side-to-wrong-side and then topstiched in place. It worked quite well, and now it's not only fun but also sweater-friendly!

This fabric is just so cute. I really do love it. And my favorite part about it is, even though it's very Christmas-y, it also can pass as just a very candy-themed dress, so I can actually wear it year-round! Yesssss! :D

This green buckle from our last antique haul adds a pop of accent color.

These buttons.
I love them.
And they were actually my own idea!! :)
At some point in time while thinking about buttons, I realized that covered buttons made out of the fabric itself would be just right! They really do add even more peppermint-y fabulousness to the dress, which was pretty much the whole idea! They were quite fun to make, although a little tricky to get centered just so. If I had it to do over again I would eliminate the red-on-red buttons because they just don't show up as good as the others do. But that's a pretty small complaint for a whole dress, right? ;) 

If only there was snow to go with how cold it felt outside yesterday! I'm sure it will come as soon as we have all our Christmas dress picture-taking out of the way. ;)

Have a lovely week, and thanks for visiting!
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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

• Brown & Cream 1940s Separates •

Believe it or not, I didn't forget about the fact that I have a blog! It just seems that way! ;)
I've been so busy ever since Thanksgiving (and before!) that I kept putting blogg-y things off until later, which translated into them not happening at all! Oops!

I am glad to be back into it though, and I can't wait to share my upcoming projects with you! A couple of Christmas dresses are in order, but I had better hurry up or I'll miss getting to wear them for Christmas entirely!

Last week our church had a Christmas banquet, so I whipped up a blouse (and a skirt) to wear to that. Unfortunately for me, the skirt didn't end up fitting, but fortunately for you, it's now for sale in the shop! :) Check it out here. I ended up wearing my '30s flannel skirt with it for the banquet, but the blouse matches pretty much all of my skirts, including Grandma's wedding skirt! I realize I did sort of break my vow not to wear it until I had the jacket made, but...you know...who can help wearing a pretty skirt that's just hanging there in their closet?!

I made the blouse out of the same fabric as Grandma's wedding blouse, which is a poly-rayon blend. It is very soft and comfortable, but not so fun to deal with! It does not take kindly to any stress on the seams, so I'm going to have to do a little fixing-up on a couple of them. :( GRR. Rayon is on my hate list right now.

But aside from that lovely little fact, I still really do love this blouse!!

I used Simplicity 2154 for the bodice, using Simplicity 3847 as a guide for the armhole and shoulder areas in order to accommodate sleeves. The sleeves are from Butterick 5846 (like my green and cream 1940s dresses).
I made the bow on the blouse quite a bit longer, and a little wider so that it would be "deliciously drapey." Ahem. ;)
I also cut the collar rounded on the front edges rather than pointed for a more 1930s-40s look.

Although Simplicity 2154 is technically a 1960s pattern (oh dear! 1960s!), it is very handy for making a variety of blouses and bodices from the '30s-50s. And the bonus is, it's as easy as pie to make! :)

I'm also a big fan of this skirt! It too was exceedingly easy to make, and fits quite well. Just for the record, I have worn it with Grandma's wedding blouse...just not for pictures yet. Maybe I'll reserve that honor for when I get the suit made.

I was going to entitle this post, "Of Dead Monkeys," but I thought it might throw everyone off a little bit. ;)

A few weeks back when I wore this fur piece to church, one of the little girls there saw me and said, "That looks like a dead monkey!" Another little girl piped in, "It does look like a dead monkey!"
I proceeded to explain to them that it was a mink, and a vintage one from the 1940s at that, to which they replied, "What's a mink?"

So now we have a name for these little fellas; Dead Monkeys. Very endearing, don't you think?

I'll be back next week with (hopefully!) progress on my peppermint-y Christmas dress! See you then!

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