Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Vintage Playsuit Summer Sew-Along 2014

 Contrary to my posting habits, I have indeed been sewing! I have a few art projects that need some work, so I've been unable to take pictures. Okay, it's that, and the fact it's allergy season in Northern California. This is the time of the year where the grass begins to dry up and leaving my home only happens out of necessity to avoid a miserable congested, sneezing, eye-watering existence! 

       Are any of you participating in Stephanie's Vintage Playsuit Sew-Along over at The Girl with the Star-Spangled Heart? I'm so excited for it! I've always wanted to make a playsuit, and had been planning on making one this summer anyways! Perfect opportunity to join in on my first sew-along.

          I've decided to make a 1950's style playsuit (shocker, I know.), and also get in on making the dirndl skirt as well. The only thing is I don't actually own any vintage patterns for a playsuit. In fact, I only own two vintage patterns in all. I do, however, own a 1950's playsuit. Here is a photo of the top:

               I bought it at Moon Zoom, a vintage store in Santa Cruz, last June. I've always wanted a bra top playsuit and practically squealed when I found this treasure hidden among the tops. It's made from a soft cotton chambray and came with a matching pair of high waisted shorts. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of me wearing the set as the shorts don't fit well, and I don't have the heart to alter them.

I was thinking, if using the Simplicity 1426 isn't okay (because its a vintage pattern repro), I could use this ensemble as my pattern pieces instead.

These are a few styles I'm considering making

I love the open skirt, and the wrapped top. Although, being bustier than her, I'd need a lower neckline. This pattern is actually up for sale now on eBay. Click here.

I think this is a 1940's pattern, the shoulders still have the military look to them. But. I really love the neckline on the two tops, and the shorter skirts are so flirtatious!

The shorts in this pattern were more along the lines of what I was contemplating. I like the gathering at the waist and the drawstrings on the leg holes. Little cutie pie bloomers.

           This photo was too cute not to post! I adore the girl in the middle, her hair is amazing, and her playsuit is adorable to boot! Again, her shorts are almost identical to what I am envisioning. While she's not wearing a bra top, I love the peasant blouse style and the way it ties in the front. I would be very interested in recreating this outfit and love the idea of wearing an open dirndl skirt with it.  

            By the end of writing this lengthy post, I've pretty much decided to recreate the center playsuit in the last photo. It's too perfect! Now, I must decide on the fabric to make it from and how to make the top..

Which is your favorite style? And let me know if you're part of the sew-along too!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Simplicity 1459 Muslin

Hi there! So, I've been a little down in the dumps in regards to my sewing. Not because I felt like I couldn't sew, I've actually felt good about my abilities and have enjoyed taking my time on my current project.
What I'm really upset about is my weight gain. It's silly, to be so upset  over it to the point that I've actually been turned off to sewing anything because I keep telling myself I'll be losing weight in the next few months. 

I began the muslin for my Easter dress at a size 14. I've never sewn anything with a collar or placket, I wanted to do a practice run first. The last dress I made was a Simplicity, so I figured I'd follow suit and make this one in a 14 also. Well, That one didn't even close over my bust. No big deal, so I started a 16 with a sun-streaked quilting cotton from my stash. Long story short, this one is still a bit small in the bust and I got discouraged and had run out of time to make the dress for Easter.
Here's my progress, I'm thinking about turning this one into a a sleeveless peplum top. I need more blouses anyways.

Any tips on keeping the collar down a little flatter around the back of the neck? I'm wondering if I increase the seam allowance on the collar piece that it would lay flatter.

Check out that edge stitching! Pretty good, if I do say so myself...I ran out of interfacing, so it's unlined, but for the muslin, I think it will be fine. I was playing with the idea of using frog enclosures on it so I wouldn't have to worry about the buttons being too tight over the bust. 

I've been doing some lurking lately, and there as some really inspiring projects being posted! As soon as my boyfriend and I are finished reorganizing the house, I'm going to get going on another one.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Kimono Style II

I changed the blog up a little! How do you like it?

Sad news! The fabric store two blocks from my house is closing after 50 years of business...
The shop owner, Norma, is in her 90's and is ready to say goodbye. It's definitely the end of an era. While I was in last week, the women working gave me some cardboard to store my fabric on, I love the way it looks! I'm feeling much more organized, so I decided to whip out a dress!

Like my other projects, I'm using a novelty printed cotton. This one in particular is from the Miss Liss Kimono Style II collection. It was on super sale at Hancock, so I bought all that they had left.

The pattern I chose for this project was Simplicity's 3823. I thought I would be on the simple side, I, of course, was slightly mistaken. I chose to make view E because I liked the length of the skirt, just below the knee is flattering for my body type. I also liked the button option for the halter, it's more comfortable on my neck.

When I had first finished this dress, I wasn't so sure I liked the print anymore. Now, looking at these photos, I do like it. If the light pink background were any lighter, this wouldn't have been a good shade to be wearing right out of winter!

When I began this pattern, I didn't realize it called for boning. I'm glad I didn't because it forced me to learn a new skill! Luckily, I had some on hand. I LOVE it, the back and left side seam lays nicely against my body.

I couldn't decide which back view was best, so you get two!

I made this dress in a 14, and while the bust fits well, the waist could stand to be taken in a little. I plan on doing that behind the zipper. It will also give me the chance to redo the lapped zipper.  All in all, I do think this style suits me well.

This is what happens when I sew till midnight, my bodice front doesn't match up with the bodice back..
I chose not to line the skirt of this dress, so when I take it in tomorrow I'm going to run some bias tape around the waist so it's nice and clean on the inside.

I'm very proud of this hem, I rolled it as I sewed and it turned out very well, no bubbles! I also chose to pink my seam allowance instead of using a zigzag stitch to finish. I'm not too picky about that right now. 
Always with the coffee...

Overall, I will definitely be making this dress again. Let's call this one my "wearable muslin" of sorts. I will probably make the bodice in a 12, and the skirt in a 14 (I like mine on the fuller side). I want to try this is a cotton lawn...maybe I can splurge on a nice one soon!

New Skills Acquired: 
*Boned bodice back/sewing boning channels
*Pleated halter bodice

Thanks for reading, and happy sewing!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Silver Bows

I just wish I made it a little longer.

By this time I thought I'd have a pair of high waisted shorts to show you, but alas, life has other plans. I've set down the shorts in exchange for a simple circle skirt. I've been lusting for a new addition to the wardrobe and when I saw this organza on sale, I couldn't help myself.

I'm pretty much crazy for circle skirts, I love the way they hang off the body and gracefully glide with your movements. I especially love their versatility for any occasion. Okay, and they don't usually give you a headache to make!

I ordered the Doris Top top from Pinup Girl Clothing to specifically go with this skirt until I get to making the top I intend to pair it with.

This skirt wasn't without its hiccups. To start, I was being vain and decided that a 28" waist was my size (it was over summer and into fall!), when in reality, it's a 30 at the moment. So, in one of the photos below, you can see where I had to add a few extra inches to the waistband.

Here, I tried out a new technique, I stitched in the ditch in order to finish off the waistband cleanly on the inside of the skirt. You can see a little hiccup just to the left, but other than that I think it turned out nicely and am happy to check that skill off on my list.

This is the most embarrassing part of the skirt..aside from the small tear that needs mending, but there was no way I could leave it out of this post. I was so concerned with the top lining up perfectly, the I completely neglected the bottom of the waistband. It's off by sooo much! GAH!! 
The zipper is something I'm pretty proud of, I ironed the teeth down in order to get my stitches as close as possible to the zipper teeth. It looks pretty good to me!

To hem the skirt, I just rolled it as it went through the machine. Next time, I think I'm going to use this method Sarai posted on The Coletterie.
Do you use a similar hemming method? Which is your favorite?

Overall, I can check off two techniques, a properly inserted invisible zipper, and a waistband finished off cleanly inside the skirt. The next thing I want to do is have the zipper properly hidden between the outer and lining fabric, but because the outer was sheer on this project, I didn't think it was necessary.

My momma bought me that dress form for Christmas, it's come in handy!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Photo by Lori Sparkia

I just wanted to share a little love today in my section of the universe. Like an addict, the first social media outlet I looked at was Instagram. And while the posts ensuing are unsurprising, I found myself a little blue just scrolling through them!

Maybe it's just me, but Valentine's Day has never been about me and one other person. The holiday is actually my mother's favorite and growing up our house was always decorated and we had the best time creating valentines for all of our friends. My dad would cook and serve us dinner over a beautifully decorated table complete with candles. We shared our love for each other and everyone else, and had a fun time doing so! 

Lot's of people complain it's a "Hallmark Holiday", and just want to buck the system by being negative and not buying anything. Then again, who said you had to buy anything? I spent $2 on stickers and the rest of my supplies are in my art stuff. It's not about spending money, getting presents, heck! It's not even about giving or receiving little paper valentines. It's about spending time with the ones you love. Life is fleeting, why not take a day to all get together, pop open a bottle of champagne and enjoy each other's company?

Happy Valentine's Day friends! I sincerly appreciate those of you who take the time to check my blog, even comment! It's nice to be a part of such a friendly and supportive little community here on the interwebs 
Just my thoughts for today, I'll update soon with some sewin' ;)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I'm Back!

Hey there!
If there is anyone there! I'm back after my long hiatus. School last semester was grueling. I entered my college's business plan competition, and the preparation for that sucked the life out of me. I didn't even have time to sew anything new for my presentation, so I didn't have anything to update on here either as a result. The competition was worth it, I ended up winning 1st place! I've never given a presentation, let alone written a business plan. The experience was invaluable, and learning that I'm more capable than I tend to admit was very much needed.

I hope everyone's holidays were swell. Mine were! My family had something going on practically every night of December, so with finals, the competition, my birthday, and family holiday obligations, I only feel like I'm just now catching my breath!

In November I was looking for a fab dress to wear for Thanksgiving at my boyfriends house. I found this ADORABLE 1950's dress that has a sequined bodice and made of this lovely synthetic seersucker plaid material. Well, that puppy ended up needing a little more work than I anticipated so I wore a Stop Staring dress instead. Point being, I used some of that 50's dress for what I'm about to show you! If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably already seen it.

I started out with the hem from a 1950's dress & floral yardage from the 1970's

 For my current project, I used scrap fabric from the pink plaid 1950's dress to create a ruffle and attached it to the bottom of the bodice to create a little peplum. I only wish I had enough to make the peplum longer, I don't really feel like it deserves to be called a peplum because it's more of a ruffle, really.

It just needs a zipper now!
 I knew I wanted to make bottoms that matched, but I couldn't decide if I wanted to make a sassy little skirt, or a pair of short-shorts. I decided that I needed to work on pattern drafting again, so I'm in the middle of creating a pair of high waisted short-shorts.
I decided that I wanted to try my hand at shorts, on top of that
I decided to try my hand at DRAFTING them myself
In other news, I'm working on a wedding dress! I'd show photos, but I haven't asked the bride for permission yet. We are using her soon-to-be Mother in-law's wedding dress and redesigning it to be a darling, and modern take on the classic 1950's strapless sweetheart dresses.

My best friend is engaged! We went to San Francisco last month to seek out bridal laces/get the heck out of dodge!

Nadine and I walking around Union Square

We had to stop and enjoy the view, I don't get out to the city very often!

Daiso Japan is my new favorite discovery!
 P.s. that facial cleanser is heaven sent at $1.50!

I can't wait to get the shorts done, and the wedding dress so I can show you all! I promise I'll be updating much more regularly this year. Is anyone working on something they are particularly excited over? I know Nicole over at ManicPop is working on her first dress pattern release, I'm super excited about it!!
Thanks for the read! xo

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Butterick 5813 Trouble

Hey there Friends :)

So, when I should be finishing up one project I decide to pick up another!
I've been dyyyyyyying to make Butterick 5813 in version C. Now, I wonder what I chose that style.... ;)
Photo from wesewretro.com

I can't wait to make this style!
photo from wesewretro.com
Anyways, I spent forever and a day obsessively cutting out the pieces and adding my tailors tacks all over the place. This afternoon, I decided it's time to start stitching. Except, I only made it a few steps before I ran into a little bump. Normally, I'd be too embarrassed to admit that I'm struggling (it's the noob in me), but today I'm in the mood to learn, so I thought I'd come to you guys.

In version C (full skirt), you'll notice the verticle pieces on the side of the bodice front. I've basted them in place, but, at the pivot point, I'm bunching pretty badly.

Pivot point is suuuuper bunchy :/

Another view
But on a side note....isn't this fabric awesome? I'm totally on a daisy kick, aren't I?

Basting stitches
In the photo directly above, it's hard to see, but dead center is the pivot point...it looks like crud! :(
Anyways, I was wondering if you have any tips for little things like this, or maybe my fingers are just spaghetti. In the mean time I'm just going to do some homework. Sometimes I just need to set it down and reset my approach.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions & tips :)