Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Early Fall Simplicity Patterns means more lovely sleeves!!

Another pattern catalog, and another 1930s multi sleeve pattern from Simplicity!!  Hooray!  I have yet to cut into my copy of the previous reproduction sleeve pattern, but I may have to push a 1930s frock to the front of the queue in order to play with these fabulous design features.  Love it!!

The styling of Simplicity 8686 is less than ideal, but look past the scraggly hair, the poor fit, and the boring fabric, there is a wonderful dress with great style lines.  For real inspiration, just take a look at the original illustration - this is a really cute garment.  I am curious why Simplicity chose an invisible zipper in the side seam which would not be original to the design.  Seems like an odd choice to me.  But it does look like they have improved the length of these vintage reproductions.  [One of my main complaints with Simplicity vintage reproductions was that they were drafted at or above the knee with tiny seam allowances when the originals would never have been that short.  I may have chalked it up to one bad pattern, but it happened with Simplicity 1777 and Simplicity 1587.  Happy to say this dress does not appear to have that issue.]

This dress is probably familiar to vintage pattern enthusiasts.  The short sleeved version is the Sew Chic "Tia Dress" pattern.  If I remember correctly, the red and yellow print version is the original sample; the three-quarter sleeve is an addition to the pattern which I really like.  I have been tempted by this one for years, and now that it should be available at my local JoAnn Fabrics sometime soon, you better believe I will be picking this one up for my collection.

Here we have another basic blouse.  The v-neck with the dickey is sweet, but I am not loving the sample in the shiny fabric that is too big on the model.  You wouldn't know it from looking at the sample, but this is a somewhat fitted top that has a zipper - and again, Simplicity uses the invisible option.  I have metal invisible zippers on cotton twill tape from the 1960s if the color choices are anything to go by, so they probably existed when this pattern was first released in the 1950s, but I would guess that a home sewing pattern would not use a fairly new invention that might not be available to a home sewer.  I would definitely be interested in hearing from Simplicity about why they are substituting something like zipper type on reproduction patterns.  Anyone know why?

I do love that Simplicity is releasing original patterns, but I am not sure why they keep choosing overly simplistic designs for these "authentic" reproductions.  At first I thought this was a poncho.  I guess it is actually a caftan, but how many of those does the catalog need?  They must be big sellers, I guess.

The other original pattern is this lovely 1970s tie/tux accessories offering.  Anyone need a super wide paisley tie?  I would love to try my hand at making a tie one day - I believe they are rather tricky to get right and make that point nice and sharp.  But that's a challenge for another day . . . too many dress pattern to tempt me.   

The only other design that grabbed me was the Mimi G Style dress.  It looks very 9 to 5 chic to me; it's not exactly the right silhouette for the movie, but that was my first impression of the style.  In the right fabric, I think this could be fabulous.  I would lengthen the hem by an inch or so, and definitely choose a fabric with a significant amount of drape.  The floral jacquard does not work all that well, in my opinion.  But I see possibilities . . .

Do you have any new favorites?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Crocheted Edges

Along with my hexi quilt, my rag rugs, and a couple of knitted rugs, I have been busy making this crocheted throw.  I am definitely one of those people who prefer knitting to crochet, but I thought a change of pace would be a good thing. 

After searching the Ravelry database for something suitable, I settled on this pattern.

I liked the idea that this particular design requires that the squares be connected as you work through the pattern.  That meant that there would be less joining to do at the end, and that appealed to me.

One of my favorite things is that, along with instructions written in prose, there is also this lovely diagram.  Without one of these, I tend to get lost in all the sc and dc in 3rd ch of turning ch, and ch-space, etc.  Whoever came up with this diagraming is a genius - it even looks like the finished product!

With such a clear set of instructions, it was a fairly quick project to make up.

The most tedious part was weaving all those ends in (which I anticipated, and was dreading).  In the end it wasn't all that bad.

And all that work was definitely worth it in the end.

I even find myself wanting to start hooking a new crochet project in the near future!  But for now, I am concentrating on that quilt.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Guest at a Wedding

Okay, so technically, I was not a guest at a wedding.  This was, in fact, my entry in The McCall Pattern Company's "Royal Wedding Sew Along."

The contest was exactly the motivation I needed to dive right into Butterick 6556 using a lovely upholstery fabric.

I ended up adding the belt + buckle, and I used the other rhinestone buckle to make myself a hair accessory.

Note to self:  hand sewing multiple layers of upholstery fabric is not a good idea, especially when a person has an aversion to using a thimble.

I am beginning to think that I am an old dog who cannot learn a new trick when it comes to thimbles. Perhaps one of these days I will spend a few hours trying to figure out just how to use one, but there are just so many more interesting things to do in the sewing room . . . and so many more interesting things to learn when it comes to sewing, right?!

It is also incredibly frustrating to have something that is second nature to me (like hand sewing) become awkward and clunky.  I do expect to do some hand quilting in the near future, so that may be the final push I need.

But back to this dress.  Yes, I love the pattern as much as I expected I would.

There is nothing earth shattering about the design, but it is classic, and very flattering.  I just adore a square neckline.

And no, I didn't win the contest.

But that's okay - because I have a new dress that I love!  And I suspect that I will be using this pattern again.  I have been meaning to make myself a pleated skirt, and this is high on the list of possibilities . . .

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Cheerful Daisies

Last year, I decided I needed to try out View B of Butterick 6453.  And I actually managed to make myself a dress from said pattern.  Of course, I didn’t manage to blog about it in a timely fashion, but this warm weather reminded me that I should get through the photos of the finished dress.  (Seems much more appropriate than posting pictures of a wool skirt, right?!)  

As with the full skirted versions in my closet, this was a successful project, and this design continues to be a favorite.  But the main difference is actually one of the best parts, which is just how little fabric the straight skipped version requires!

So I cut into a small amount of cotton I picked up from a fabric swap, expecting this to be a wearable muslin.  Turns out, I really liked the dress.

So I finished edges, and added bra cups to the bodice lining.

And I hate a back slit, so I added a vent instead.

A hook and eye, and a couple of ribbon hangers later, and I had a new dress.

And now that warm weather has returned, you had better believe I will be pulling this dress out to wear!  I may even have to find that black and white cotton gingham that was going to be another version of this very dress.  How many is too many of the same dress in one closet, do you think?!