Monday, September 28, 2020

Turquoise Ribbon


I found this wonderful quilting cotton at JoAnn Fabrics about a year ago.  For some reason I cannot recall, I was up north, and went to the Rohnert Park location instead of San Rafael.  And boy, oh, boy, is it more organized up north!  If it was more convenient, I would certainly be going to that location every time I needed something from JoAnn Fabrics.  But that's a story for another day . . .

I couldn't resist the quirky illustrations on this cotton, and I purchased it, along with a few other vintage themed novelty prints.  When Vogue released their latest vintage reproduction, I was looking for a four yard length of fabric in my stash, and I came upon the print, which seemed to me to be a perfect pairing.

The pattern gives the option of using a length of ribbon or self-fabric to feed through a casing on the front and back bodice which creates straps and a dramatic fall at center back.

And guess what I found in my ribbon stash?!? - the perfect turquoise grosgrain ribbon; and I even had more than the four yards necessary.  Looking at the pattern illustration on the right, I think I was a bit influenced by the artwork!

I decided that I would try using the grosgrain as a pseudo-piping for the waistband.  I was a bit concerned that the poly grosgrain might be difficult to work with, but it didn't fight me as much as expected, and the extra effort was certainly worth it!

My other addition to the design was a waist stay.  This pattern has a whole bunch of extra fabric in the bodice and the skirt.  The one area that is close-fitting is the waist, and I thought it would be nice to have some extra stability at that point.  Really, the only measurement you should worry about is the waist circumference when choosing your size for this dress.

I found a roll of ecru colored petersham at an estate sale a couple of years back, and I thought the color worked nicely with my zipper choice and the interior shade of the fabric.

And I am sure you spy my bound seams.  I don't have the heart not to use my rayon seam binding in some manner on any given project!

But you might think, the dress doesn't look exactly like the stylized drawings on the pattern envelope.  It needs an assist.  So I brought this petticoat out of retirement.  She was slightly too long as she was made for this dress, so I hand tacked the lower layers of netting up.

And as you can see, the silhouette is completely changed by the addition.

That's a lot of extra fluff, and I love it!

And yes, I have already worn her out of the house, petticoat included.  It's the most "me" I have felt in months, which is definitely a good thing.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Discovering an old outfit that's perfect for Fall

One benefit of going through old photos is that it reminds me of clothing that has been buried in the back of the closet and ignored for no good reason.

Which was certainly the case with this outfit.

I have worn the skirt a few times, but the blouse has not had much attention in the three years since it was stitched up.

It was a wearable muslin using some cotton that I picked up at a fabric swap.  The cotton was probably a little heavy for the design and I wasn't initially expecting to make a top out of it, but I wanted to try the reproduction pattern, and there it was.

I decided not to take a wedge out of the back bodice (which is a standard alteration for me) because the back of the blouse was meant to be blousy.  Turns out, I probably should have removed some of that extra length because it is really, really blousy back there.

The other thing that I was not quite sure of once I finished the garment was that collar.  It looks rather 1970s to me.  I realize that the 70s stole the 50s silhouette, but that exaggerated collar seemed a little over the top to me.

Now that I've had some time to consider the outfit as a whole, I rather like it.

As far as the skirt goes, I was pretty sure that I could cut a skirt out with my remaining yardage so that I would have a complete outfit.  

As I was writing this post, it took me a minute to remember what pattern I used.  (I used to be really good about putting information along with fabric swatches of all of my sewing projects in a sketchbook, but I have fallen way behind on that.  I definitely need to be better about keeping that record more up to date!)  

But I am 99% sure that I used  Simplicity 4070 and added a narrow waistband to make the skirt.

The buttons were from the stash, so this outfit was one of those projects that made excellent use of materials on hand.  I love it when that happens!  And since wearing these pieces last week, and studying these photos, I have decided there is no reason to ignore the blouse.  I rather like it.  Is it something I will be making up in every color of the rainbow?  No.  But it definitely has a place in my wardrobe.


Blouse:  Made by me, Simplicity 8445
Skirt:  Made by me, Simplicity 4070
Earrings:  Banana Republic

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Blue Damask

If there is a gap in my wardrobe, it would be lightweight coats.  I have plenty of warm wool coats (although I always want to make more), but the transitional pieces that work in Spring and Fall are lacking in my coat closet.

This garment was an attempt to remedy that.

And while a solid color would probably have been more useful, the remaining yardage from this dress was just to wonderful to ignore.  And I think the fabric suits the 1960s silhouette beautifully.

I almost have a mind to make another version of this pattern.


And I definitely need the shorter version in my life.

The only question would be, what fabric to use?


But first I should find a few appropriate dresses in my closet and figure out my best color options.

I have a bad habit of charging ahead with outerwear in a fabric I like, only to realize that I don't have a whole lot of clothing to match.

Of course, that means I get to make more things to match my new coat, but I am trying to create more pieces that work with things I already have in my closet.

And I am definitely still doing my best to work from the stash.  It feels incredibly satisfying to use leftovers instead of purchasing more fabric that I am going to have a difficult time finding room for in my home!

I have a few more Summer appropriate projects I hope to finish before the weather changes, but I have a bad habit of waiting to make Fall things until the season is almost finished.  So maybe I should find some fabric for a short little jacket that will be perfect for chilly autumnal mornings and evenings.

Dress: Made by me, Simplicity 1197
Coat: Made by me, Simplicity 3856
Shoes: Liz Claiborne "Leigh"

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Grandmother's Hat


I mistakenly typed the title of this post in a google search, and what pops up?  A variety of rose that looks very similar to the fabric roses on my head!  How awesome is that!!


I have been going through old photos, and I came across these.  Seeing them again made me bemoan the fact that there are so few opportunities to wear a lovely chapeau in this post-COVID19 world.


These photos were taken almost three years ago at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco; I find a museum is always a wonderful opportunity to wear a hat.


But I may just have to dust off the old hat box and pick something to wear, just because it's a Thursday.


Jacket:  Made by me, Vogue 9082
Skirt:  Made by me, McCall 2698
Hat:  Grandmother's
Earrings:  Vintage
Shoes:  Anne Klein "Foxie"

Monday, July 13, 2020

Pink & Turquoise Funfetti


Well, I thought I was on a roll there, getting nice and caught up with the blogging situation, but I lost my forward momentum.


So, while the colors of this dress are quite suitable for the Summer season, I actually completed this dress last Fall.  I even got around to taking timely photos (you may notice some Fall foliage in some of the pictures).  Then the images sat around and new sewing projects beckoned, and the folder got buried on the computer and I forgot about them.  But I never forgot the dress!


As I mentioned in this post, I finally got around to playing with one of those multi-sleeve patterns.  


I have long bemoaned the fact that sleeves are so very boring these days, and those wonderful patterns from the Thirties and Forties with five or six different and scrumptious sleeve options in one pattern envelope have intrigued me for years.


Well, Simplicity reissued two of them.  And while I hope to someday tackle each and every one of them, I had to start somewhere.  This tied wrist sleeve option is far from the most interesting, but I felt it worked nicely with Simplicity 8248 and my choice of fabric.


The starting point of this entire project, however, was my shoes.  The Cora Sandals were purchased without a thought as to what I would pair them with - I just had to have them.  It turns out they go with a whole bunch of things in my closet, but while rummaging through my rayon stash, I happened upon this confetti fabric which was a perfect match!  The only question was which pattern to use.


There are a few silhouettes which I am repeatedly drawn to, usually from the 1950s and 1940s.  I have branched out into a 1960s silhouette in the last few years and found that I really love that petticoat floof that comes right out of the waistband and mushrooms into a very full skirt.  But I also have a made a few dresses with a 1930s silhouette and the streamlined look is pretty great, too.  And I do love tea length!


And that is the story of this frock.


I happen to have a few other pairs of shoes that deserve a dress made especially for them, so I should get to work on that!



Dress & Belt:  Made by me, Simplicity 8248 & Simplicity 8695
Shoes:  Royal Vintage "Cora" Sandals