Monday, December 2, 2019

An Autumnal Palette

Ever since I was given some fabulous beaded trims, I have been trying to think of a project where I can put them to good use!  The most obvious choice is a 1960s silhouette, so I dug around in my stash of vintage patterns and found this one.

But before I started cutting into my precious trim, making up a wearable muslin was a must.  And I am glad I did.

I really didn't have enough of this directional print to cut everything out, but I managed by piecing the sleeves.  With the busy print, it's not very noticeable.

And, it turns out, I probably did have enough yardage since the pattern has massive seam allowances included.  That, or this dress was drafted for something over six feet tall!  I took about 3 inches off of the sleeves and almost as much off the skirt hem. 

Which is crazy!

The design is obviously meant to sit above the knee, and it is not possible to hem a flared skirt with such a deep hem, so I cannot figure out why there was so much extra length in both the sleeves and body of the dress.  I also usually cut a 34 bust, so this dress came out a little large through the shoulders.  The body of the dress was also oversized, but that probably has more to do with the silhouette than the sizing.

I took in the shoulders slightly which made the dress fit a little better, but I am still not in love with the dress.  It is incredibly comfortable to wear, but I don't think I have found something I will be making again (especially not with my fabulous beaded trim!).

So I have a new style of dress to add to my closet, but I am still on the lookout for a fabulous 1960s dress worthy of bedazzling.  I know she's out there . . . I just have to keep looking!

Dress:  Made by me, McCalls 8766
Shoes:  Royal Vintage Shoes "Alice Oxfords"
Necklace & Bracelet:  Vintage, from Mom

Friday, November 29, 2019

The Further Adventures of Knit Fabric in the Sewing Room

It feels good to finally make this pattern!  I must have pulled Vogue 8685 out a dozen times or more because I just love those style lines, but I never felt like I had the proper fabric to do it justice.  When I recently discovered Joann's "refined ponte" fabric, I thought it would be a good match.  The rayon/nylon/spandex fabric is very heavy weight but has a lovely feel to it, unlike so many of the other polyester knits they carry.  You have to dig a little, and I was disappointed to find that some of the refined ponte has less rayon and more nylon content which doesn't look or feel nearly as nice.  But this cranberry color is beautiful.  I am very curious to see how it holds up over time.  The thinner rayon knits that I have purchased at Joanns pill terribly, and I hope that is not the case with this particular textile.

As far as knits go, I know that ponte is extremely stable, but it still pushes me out of my comfort zone.  Top-stitching is a little stressful, especially over the bulky seams.  But I made it work!

And my serger got a tiny workout.

I still can't believe how quickly knits sew up.  Even with having to take in the sleeves (they are massively oversized), and messing with the side hip/yoke join to make it smooth, this project only took me a few days to complete.  Which feels crazy to me.

I guess all that seam binding really does take time to apply; not that I am going to give it up, or my woven fabrics any time soon.

But I do have to say I enjoyed stitching this dress together, and I rather like the result!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Rayon Confetti

As soon as I saw the Simplicity multi sleeve patterns that were released as vintage reproductions, I knew that I would have to come up with a project to utilize them.  It took me some time, but I finally decided to pair one lovely sleeve option with another recent vintage reproduction, Simplicity 8248.

I should have taken more pictures of the process of grafting in the alternate sleeve, but I was distracted and forgot to document that portion of the project.  Basically, the multi sleeve pattern includes a generic bodice front and back which fit with the sleeve draft.  And while the armscye of the dress pattern (taking into account the yoke and bodice seam allowances) did not match the sleeve pattern bodice piece, it was close.  I was not going to be bothered with redrafting the small differences on my dress pattern, and I figured that the drapey rayon would be forgiving.

And luckily, I was correct.  The pieces went together quite smoothly.  If they do not match up, you would have to alter your bodice armscye to match the generic bodice pieces that go with the sleeve pattern.  It's not difficult, but it does add an extra step of tracing pattern pieces and melding them together.

The rayon was a purchase from Craftsy a few years back.  It was more lightweight than expected once I got it in my hands, but it works nicely for this dress.  And I just love the color palette!

I decided that I wanted to use the pattern envelope styling and have a contrasting fabric for the collar edge, pocket edges, and belt to break up that crazy color explosion.

Thankfully, I found a pink rayon satin stashed away that worked.  It is not an exact match to the pink in the print, but the two different fabrics compliment each other very well (and not having to purchase anything new for a project is always nice).  And I just may have re-discovered my love of a 1930s silhouette!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A Summer Set

This outfit was completed and worn last Summer, so I am back to playing catch up on the blog.  But somehow my projects never seem quite finished until they are posted, so it feels good to finally share them here.

This particular outfit has been on my mind recently because I knit up a sweater that is a perfect match for the skirt.  

Hooray for separates that play well with others!

I have paired this particular combination of bustier and skirt with a cardigan to make it work appropriate, which also creates a slightly different look.

And I definitely love pieces that have range!

Overall, I am very pleased with this outfit.

The skirt certainly gets more wear than the top, but like my other bustier/skirt set, I really love how the finished look turned out.

Do I need a third combo in my closet?  Perhaps not.

But I suspect that this skirt pattern is going to come in handy in the future.  The silhouette is lovely, and it certainly isn't the fabric hog that a circle skirt is, which is always appreciated!

Bustier:  Made by me, Simplicity 1426
Skirt:  Made by me, Simplicity 8458
Shoes:  Remix "Babydoll"
Earrings:  Banana Republic

Saturday, November 16, 2019

A Bold Rose Print

There are some projects that come together with minimal effort.  This was one of them.  And I have even managed to post the finished dress on my blog within two months of my initial wearing of the outfit.  Miracles do happen!  

I knew immediately that I would pair the bold floral estate sale fabric find with this Claire McCardell design.

During the process of cutting the fabric, I was reminded just how much extra fabric a large scale print requires to attempt matching of any kind!

I wasn't even planning on print matching . . . just making sure that none of the obvious seamlines at center front and back did not look terrible with duplicate roses directly across from one another.  I achieved my goal, but I did have to piece one of the sashes.

Which is not a huge problem, especially since that join gets lost in the bow that gets tied at center back.

I ended up lining that sash because the wrong side of this cotton print is not especially pretty.  Also, since I pieced one of them, the extra seam needed to be covered up.

The directions call for a single layer that gets narrow hemmed along the edges, and even though I was slightly concerned that the double thickness of the cotton might prove too much for a tied bow, I moved ahead with my plan.

It's a bit trickier than a single layer would have been, but the bow ties up nicely.

And I will definitely be making use of this pattern in the future.  

It's definitely a keeper!  My love of oversized florals is not likely to go away any time soon.  If I look like I'm wearing an old sofa cover, I don't mind.  I just love those flowers!

I suspected that I would like this design from the start, but you never know until you put on the finished garment.  And this one is a winner!

Dress:  Made by me, Eva Dress Claire McCardell reproduction
Hair Rose: Made by me
Bag:  Made by me, Vogue 625
Necklace:  Vintage, from Mom
Earrings & Bracelet:  Vintage, gift
Shoes:  Kristin Cavallari "Copertina"

Monday, November 11, 2019

A Pastoral Scene

And here I am, still playing catch-up.

This is yet another 2018 project that is finally making it to the blog.

And I am sad to say that I have only worn this garment once.  Mostly because I somehow forgot to make my standard erect upper back adjustment when I was cutting out the project, and the fabric bunching at the center back zipper drives me crazy.

I suspect that very few people would be able to tell that anything is wrong with the fit of this dress, but it is all that I see.

Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do about the fitting issue, so I have to live with it.

I am hoping that a little distance from the dress will help me like it a little more, so it is currently buried in the back of the closet.

My original intention was to make another version out of a much more drapey fabric, but I haven't had the heart to do it since I am not a huge fan of my first version.

There is also something funny about the shoulder drafting.  The shaping is done with a dart, and taking up more fabric at the neckline would probably help things, but for now, I am going to focus on other projects.  

I do love a drop-waist, though, so I may be back to this pattern sooner than I think.  It just bothers me that I made such a basic mistake on an otherwise lovely dress.  I suppose it's a reminder to slow down and think before cutting into fabric, and that no matter how many times I have done something before it is possible to forget the most obvious of alterations.

Dress:  Made by me, Butterick 6484
Fascinator:  Made by me
Shoes:  Remix "Babydoll"