Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Matching Bolero

What was my eyelet dress missing?  A matching coverup, of course!

With very limited leftovers, I decided that I wanted to make myself a little bolero.

Butterick 6354 was easy to find (especially important these days since I have not completely recovered from my move) and even better, did not require much yardage.

I decided that I would not underline this piece with the cotton voile, which left me a dilemma . . . how to finish those raw edges.

And, once again, Hug Snug came to my rescue!

I did not have a perfect color match, but I think these tones work together nicely, and if anyone notices, they are way too close, anyway.

I just love it when a plan comes together!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

An Eyelet Dress

Here is yet another version of Butterick 6453.  As soon as I made the first version, I knew I wanted to make another.

I had a different plan for this blue eyelet when I purchased it many years ago, but then I decided I wanted to make a full length version of this sundress, and it was one of the first fabrics that came to mind.

Of course, I wanted to underline it with a pretty green color.  I did have a beautiful mint green bemberg rayon in the sewing room, but there was not quite enough.  And since I had a bit of white cotton voile from Dharma Trading on hand, I decided that dying was the way to go.  Because I just love making things more complicated for myself!

The pattern pieces of the bodice were cut out of the voile, and then placed on the wrong side of the eyelet fabric in order to cut that second layer.

A little hand basting and my pieces were ready to go.

The construction of this design is very straight forward, and since I had already made another version, this was a piece of cake.

At this point I was a little concerned that the green underling was not bright enough to show through . . . but I kept going anyway.

Instead of the piping I added to my first dress, I went for an extra wide bias cut piece that was folded and added to the waistline.  My hope was that it would make an interesting design feature (including a little bow at the center back seam).

Unfortunately, there was one really irritating portion of this project.

Namely, turning the straps right side out.  The holes in the eyelet were making it impossible, along with the added bulk of the embroidery.  I tried every technique I could think of before giving up, pressing the raw edges under, and hand stitching into place.

Bulk was also a bit of an issue when it came to gathering up the skirt.  The added embroidery really does make eyelet much more of a heavy weight fabric than you might think!

But I got fought those gathers into submission eventually - although I will admit to being stabbed by multiple pins along the way.

From there out it was smooth sailing.

I used the neckline facing pieces to cut out a layer of muslin to stabilize that area before adding a full bodice lining to the dress.  I had just enough of my green voile to cut out a duplicate bodice!

And, once again, sew in bra cups were added . . .

before hand stitching the lining into place.

From the moment I received this fabric, I knew that I wanted to use a scalloped edge.  Many eyelet laces have been manufactured so that the selvedge is actually finished with the embroidery.  Unfortunately, this one had a very boring and plain edge.  I was hoping it would be possible to remove that!

I tested my idea on a scrap of the fabric, and then went to town on the actual hem.

One of the final steps was adding a small bow to the center back waist seam.  One end of the bow is permanently stitched in place, and the other has a snap so I can get to the center back zipper.

The final bit was stitching the straps to the back bodice.  The original design has a bra-like adjustable feature that I do not like, so I went ahead and changed that.

And so ends the second version of Butterick 6453.  I actually have already made a third (with a straight skirt) because this is such an easy to wear dress - just step in, zip up, and go!

Friday, October 20, 2017

A Sassy New Serger

Yesterday, this little girl arrived!

I entered a contest with this dress (someday I will post finished pictures) and I won the grand prize - which means I am adding a new toy to my sewing arsenal!  And it sounds like this particular model is a goodie!!

If anyone has any suggestions on threads to avoid or use I would love to hear.  I avoid the cheap stuff for my sewing machine, but generally do not purchase the super expensive stuff, either, and I assume the same applies to a serger?  Is wooly nylon really as fantastic as people say?

Any advice would be welcome because I am a complete newbie to this whole serging thing . . . the last time I recall using one was in college in the theatre costume department.

Time to stop fearing all the knits . . .

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Cherry Picking

Another rayon dress added to the collection!

This one got a lot of wear this Summer, probably because it is so very comfortable to wear.

I always dread cutting into lightweight rayon fabric, and yet I always end up super pleased with the result, so I should just get over myself and stop avoiding the stuff!  

After all, it really isn't that much of an issue.  The fabric just likes to slide around and right off the sewing table every once in a while.  It just can't help itself.

But in return, it is amazingly lightweight and lovely to wear.

If I did not have hundreds of other patterns calling my name, I just might make myself another.

Just as a note on the actual pattern fit, this one is slightly wide through the shoulders and narrow through the hips.  I did not end up adding extra length through the torso (a standard alteration for me) which could be why the skirt seems slightly narrow to me, but I think it is also the drafting.

The yoked shoulders also tend to sit wide on the shoulders.  If I make this up again, I think I will make sure to keep the shoulder edge of those yoke pieces from stretching; maybe even use a strip of organza as an interior stay.

But even without those small modifications, I am very, very happy with how this project turned out.  Too bad I am going to have to say goodbye to the lightweight rayon for a few months . . . but the change of season means I get to pull out some of my hand knit sweaters, so all is not lost!

Dress:  Made by me, Butterick 6320
Shoes:  Nine West

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

♪ ♫ There's no place like [Vintage] Vogue for the Holidays ♪ ♫

Oh my goodness!!  Would you look at this glorious Vintage Vogue design!

Vogue generally does not include any vintage reproductions in their Holiday/Winter catalog, and then they go and release this gem.  Definitely need to add this coat dress to my pattern collection, and I really hope that I can find a suitable fabric in my stash, because I don't think I can make it through the season without this in my closet!

I have used a link button closure before on this dress, and I am wondering if there is some kind of placket behind the opening on this dress since it opens all the way to the waist?  Never mind, I will make it work!  (I think I am also going to need the hat pictured in the illustration . . . )

Of course, there are plenty of new designer patterns.  Not surprisingly, many of them are an easy pass for me.  This Paco Peralta skirt is a little too modern for my taste, but I am strangely drawn to the dolman sleeved top - love that back neckline.

And while there are a whole lot of princess seamed peplum tops in the pattern world, I am strangely drawn to this Zandra Rhodes outfit - I think it must be the fabric.  I need some textured brocade in my life!

I used to skip right on by the Very Easy Vogue section, but there are some really lovely designs to be found there.  And while I would not wear this as a top, I think it has possibilities as a dress.
If there was any question that the 1990s have returned to the fashion world, here is proof:  the trend has made it all the way to the Vogue pattern catalog.  Slip dress with shirt underneath . . . what is that saying about skipping a trend that you caught the first time it came around?  This has multiple cup sizes included, so it has that going for it . . . and it might make a nice slip if the center back zipper was removed . . . but I already have plenty of those patterns stashed away.  Yes, I think I am going to skip it.
I have had some issues with the recent accessory patterns.  For instance, why are there pattern for multiple rectangular scarves and nothing else?  So if I am being honest, I did not have much hope for Vogue 9291, but this wrap top does have some nice lines.  I could probably find something comparable in my stashed patterns, though, so I may pass on this one.

But that Vintage Vogue is definitely coming home with me!!

[Click on image for source]

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Simplicity and a Vintage Set of Sleeves

Simplicity has done it again with their latest pattern collection.  It would seem that they really are listening to their customers.  And to prove it, we finally have a vintage multi-sleeve pattern!  How fabulous is this?!?  Definitely hoping they will continue to release these wonderful patterns because there are so many glorious 1930s sleeves to choose from.  Contemporary fashion may think they have created the "statement sleeve," but they've got nothing on sleeves from this period.

They also have re-printed one of those elusive 1930s lingerie patterns that sell on e-bay for crazy amounts of money.  And I have recently been thinking about making myself a pair of tap pants . . . now I guess I don't have any excuse.

But even more exciting than that . . . would you look at this 1930s reproduction dress.  I am in love!

The sleeves are fabulous, of course.  Smocked sleeves?  Sign me up, please!  But the style lines are pretty darn fabulous, as well.  And should you think those puffed bits are over the top, just look at the more tailored version.  Still pretty gorgeous, right?!

To top it all off, you really can't go wrong with a 1950s swing coat.  I have promised myself not to purchase new fabric until I get through more of my stash (no room for more fabric), so I am going to have to think about what to do with this one.  Because I need this coat in my life immediately!!  Just look at those dramatic cuffs!  The illustration shows a checked print, or perhaps a plaid, but the only plaid coating I have is probably too over the top and heavy for this particular design - but I may have to make it work.

There is also another lovely suit to add to the collection!  This looks late 1940s to me, so I would probably throw that swing coat over my shoulders in extra chilly weather.  And that vintage purse the model is holding is pretty great, too.  How about adding more vintage bags to the catalog, and maybe some hats as well, Simplicity?

This design probably looks best in a magazine editorial paired with dramatic posing.  I think it would be difficult to pull off in everyday life, but I do like that they chose something slightly different from the expected vintage look.  And the skirt is not another basic pencil, it has some lovely pleating through the back; but are those loops used to corral the stole may look slightly odd without that accessory.  I also wish that illustrated blouse was included because I really like the looks of it. 

I love the idea of this Sew Chic design, but I think it needs a few tweeks.  First, I believe the addition of a gusset would greatly improve the fit of those sleeves.  Part of that issue may be that the fit is not very good on this particular model.  The other thing I am not sure I like is the addition of the shoulder piece and the back closure.  Without that piece, the line drawing looks just like a Ceil Chapman design, which I love.  The drape also looks a bit clumsy in the silk dupioni, but that is easily fixed with a different fabric choice - perhaps a multi-layered chiffon drape to contrast with the structured silk and add a pleated overlay of the chiffon to the waistband to tie it all together?

And while I have no need for stuffed animal patterns, look at how adorable these vintage Disney characters are!

Totally fabulous.  Can I come up with a need for one of these?  Probably not, but I still think they are a lovely addition to the catalog.

So much for not adding to my pattern stash this season . . . .