Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thrift Store Score!

I think I am going to have to make thrift store shopping a priority.  Because this is the result. 

Now, do I NEED any more clothes?  Absolutely not!  My closets are full.  

I take that back - if I choose to take up rock climbing, I will not have any appropriate clothing and will have to go on a major shopping spree.  But I will admit that the chances of that happening are pretty slim.  Just in case, does anyone know where to find crampons that would fit a cute peep toe pump?  

So why are there days when I stare at my stuffed to the gills closet and see absolutely nothing that I want to wear!?  Does anyone else have this problem?

So, in honor of my resolution to attempt some projects using knit fabrics this year, I decided to give this dress a try.  That, and it reminds me of Donna Karan’s “cold shoulder” dresses (after the release of the new Vogue patterns she is very much on my mind).  Does that woman know how drape fabric or what!  

Donna Karan

Donna Karan, Pre-Fall 2011

Donna Karan, Pre-Fall 2011

My one complaint is that it is made of polyester – something I try to avoid at all costs.  If only this new dress was made of silk or rayon jersey . . .  However, I just could not resist the style.

So there you have it, another treasure from Goodwill.  If only I did not have a pesky job and could explore thrift stores and estate sales all day long!  

Dress: via Goodwill
Shoes:  Seychelles “Little Owls” in Navy
Earrings:  Nordstrom

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Stripes, Chevrons, and Crinolines, oh my!

Images from Timeless Vixen Vintage

As soon as I saw this lovely vintage dress, I just had to have my own.  And thanks to “Make this Look” via The Sew Weekly, now I do!

And does anyone else remember this dress?  I did not think of the connection until after I completed my dress, but clearly, it was in my memory banks.

The lovely Solanah of Vixen Vintage

I wanted to copy the rainbow stripe look of the original, but with less than a week, I was stuck with whatever fabric I could find at JoAnn Fabrics.

I started with the clearance section, but nothing was suitable.  Next, I headed to the quilting cottons.  While I would have preferred a crisp silk taffeta, I realize that was next to impossible.  Besides, I needed seven yards of 45” fabric to ensure that stripe matching was possible, and silk taffeta is a little too expensive for a project that I am not sure will work out!

After pulling every striped fabric off the shelves that was not completely hideous, I decided on this one.

The stripes are directional because of the thin navy line running through each stripe, which made my cutting layout a bit of a bother.  But I stuck with it. 

To keep myself from going crazy, I marked the turquoise stripes in chalk on each pattern piece for a frame of reference when cutting the second piece.

Well, I was so careful with my stripe matching, I forgot to flip one skirt piece over while cutting out my duplicate piece.  Whoops!  It’s been awhile since I made that mistake!  Good thing I purchased a little extra fabric!

The original inspiration uses a lengthwise stripe and a gathered dirndl skirt.  When I purchased Vogue 1172, I did not look very closely at the line drawing, and assumed that it was a basic circle skirt.  However, the wide hem is created by inserting four godets between front, back, and side skirt pieces.  So, the question was, do I go for an easy rectangle, basic circle, or hope for the best and go for the godets?

Before cutting, I drew some very rough sketches of the dress with crazy grainlines going every which way.  Most girls are told to avoid horizontal stripes at all costs, and I would normally fall into this category.  However, when multiple crinolines are involved, anything goes.

And since I was messing with grainline, I decided that lining the bodice with pieces cut on the suggested grain was a good idea.  Being in a colorful mindset, I went with a bit of color-blocking.  Actually, the navy colored cotton was out of stock, or at least, not to be found, and since I could not decide between the two colors, I went ahead and used both.

On my fabric searching expedition, I wandered up the button aisle, and found this lovely button.  It was the last of its kind, and I decided to rescue it.  I decided I would make a little brooch for my dress, which I had planned to place at the center front v-neck.  But it just did not look right with my red buckle (pulled from the stash) which worked to break up the stripes a bit.  That, and it was easier than using a kit to make a self-fabric one.

I cannot decide if I look like lawn chair furniture, or 1950s does nautical . . . but whatever it may be, I am very pleased with the outcome.

And for your twirling pleasure – this is what seven yards of fabric looks like!

Dress:  Made by me, Vogue 1172
Sweater:  Made by me, Lipstick Cabled Cardi
Shoes:  Seychelles “Babydoll” in Off White
Fishnets:  Hue
Crinolines:  Made by me + tea length crinoline purchased on ebay
Earrings:  Rummage sale.  (I really loves these earrings, but they have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that clip-ons are EVIL.  One of these days I will get around to swapping out the devil’s clip with a post.)
Ring:  Gift from mom, my Grandfather’s class ring
Purse:  Harveys Seatbelt Bag "Bow Tide Blue"

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Vogue Patterns for Spring 2012!

While looking for a pattern number this evening on the Vogue website, I squealed aloud!  I have been eagerly anticipating the Spring Collection, and it is finally here.

After taking a quick look, here are a few of my favorites:  

Vogue 1281, Donna Karan

I am really going to have to attempt some knits this year – I am completely in love with these Donna Karan/DKNY designs.  (For those days when my vintage self must be incognito.)

Vogue 1280, Donna Karan

This DKNY reminds me of a Donna Karan from last year (Vogue 1220 - one of my favorite contemporary projects to date).

Vogue 1287, DKNY

And take a look at this!  One of the new Vintage Vogue looks even more like this vintage dress I just knocked-off!  

LOVE the styling.  I think I am going to have to start carrying around a straw basket filled with flowers!

Vogue 8789

Here is the other vintage selection, which is very similar in design to a Retro Butterick pattern.

Vogue 8788

If only the McCall Pattern Company would pull out those super complicated Vogue Special Couturier Designs for re-release . . . hint, hint!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sew Weekly Spotlight: January 25, 2012

This afternoon I was thrilled to find that my latest creation is featured as today’s Sew Weekly Spotlight!

I will have more pictures and information about the construction of this dress, just as soon as I recover from my excitement.

Thank you, Mena!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Out for a Stroll

Last week’s Sew Weekly Challenge was all about buttonholes. 

It is rather ridiculous, but buttonholes still scare me.  I abhor the idea of finishing a garment completely and then sticking it under a machine and hoping for the best.  Have you ever tried to unpick a machine made buttonhole?  And I have never been able to get my machine to make a perfectly balanced buttonhole, so unless they are invisible on the finished product, I avoid them at all costs. 

Besides, vintage-loving me has always preferred bound buttonholes.  However, each and every project that involves buttons always slows me way down because I would rather be doing just about anything else!  I know I am not alone in my fear, and somehow that helps.  Perhaps that was the idea behind Mena’s challenge this week.

Here is yet another Vintage Vogue reproduction.  Hope you aren’t getting bored with them because there will be many more to come!

Vogue 2444 was released in 2000, before I was consistently stalking the Vogue website for each and every new Vintage Vogue.  Luckily I found this one over on etsy last year.  I love the style lines!

I actually had my fabrics picked out and ready to go over the Christmas holiday, but I lost my sewing motivation for a couple of weeks.  This was somewhat concerning, seeing as I just signed up for The Sew Weekly!  Thankfully, I have returned to the sewing room with a bunch of new ideas – hopefully a few of them will get created this year!

As soon as I saw that this week’s challenge involved buttonholes, I was motivated to get back to the project. 

Thankfully, I had some Zeus lining in my stash in navy – it would seem that JoAnn Fabrics is no longer carrying it.  Aargh!  Every time I find a fabric in their stock that I actually like, they discontinue it.  Why?!  So I guess I am going to have to start rationing what remains in my stash.

I used some cotton for my sew-in interfacing.

For this particular pattern, because the fabric was a bit on the thick side, I used Gertie’s bound buttonhole tutorial.  And it worked beautifully.  I still have a bit of leftover silk organza from this project, and it really works great to create a bound buttonhole when the fabric is on the thick side.

The pattern was quite quick to sew up.  The swing jacket is not a silhouette I generally am drawn to, but the sleeves alone made the suit worth a try!  And I love the pockets (although they are not very utilitarian).

And, of course, my seams are bound with my favorite rayon binding.  The skirt seams are all covered, but because the swing jacket has plenty of ease built in, I did not feel that it was necessary to bind each and every one.  

I also decided to line the skirt, so I made a duplicate in my lining fabric, dropped it into the skirt, basted the waist edge, and then applied the facing (cut from my lining fabric to keep the thickness to a minimum) and invisibly sewed it to the lining.

My hat was made using Vogue 7657.  

I really must remember to look in my hat boxes more often – I have a tendency to forget about them – out of sight, out of mind, right?!  The hat was completed years ago, but I believe this is only the second time it has ventured beyond the walls of my apartment.  Accessories really do make a difference!

Suit:  Made by me, Vogue 2444
Blouse:  Banana Republic
Hat:  Made by me, Vogue 7657
Shoes:  Colin Stuart for Victoria’s Secret
Gloves:  Vintage
Silk Scarf:  Originally a belt, borrowed from a Gap dress
Earrings:  Gift