Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Umbrella Season


I spotted this fabric at JoAnn Fabrics last year.  I love the print, but the white background was rather sheer so I put the bolt back.  But after it made it to the clearance section and remained there for some time, I decided to grab it.  It's not the best quality cotton, but I though it would come in handy for some future project.


Vogue 9345 was my pick for a vintage cut of cotton gingham that I found at an estate sale.  However, the major issue with this particular design is that it is a total fabric hog if you want the full skirt version (which I did!).  So the vintage textile was out.


Then I spotted this yardage in my sewing room, and thought I might as well try the pattern out and see how I like it.


Of course, that's no reason not to go all out with bound buttonholes, especially when you don't trust the machined version!


I did my best to line up the front bodice pieces with the pattern repeat.


And with all of my stashed buttons, these were the only red ones in my collection.  They aren't my absolute favorite, but they work.


The hemline didn't drop that much, but I did trim a little from the bias portions of the skirt.


And with the button placement, I though it was a good idea to add a hook & bar at the waistline.


I also added a snap between the two buttons on the bodice.  The top button is placed at the fullest part of the bust as it should be, but I think that a snap placed between two buttons keeps the bodice opening closed a little better.


Here is the finished look.  It's no longer seasonally appropriate, but I did manage to wear it once during the Summer months.  I suspect I will be using the pattern again in the future.  It's classic, it has a nice fit, and I do love a good shirt dress!



Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Finishing the 1960s Jacket


No matter how "simple" the project, there are always a bunch of finishing steps that need to be done.  This is probably one of the reasons why I always underestimate how much time a project will actually take.


Once again, this vintage pattern goes above and beyond most or perhaps any contemporary pattern I have come across.  They suggest reinforcing the sleeve with interfacing.  So, I did.  I have a roll of this bias tailoring canvas stuff that I thought would be perfect for the task.


After some pinning and catch-stitching, and everything was ready to go.


I had some old shoulder pads (actually removed from my eighth grade graduation dress - mid-90s Gunne Sax, anyone?) that were perfect for the job.  They look much better in a jacket than a dress, I must say!


Seam binding was applied to the bottom edge of the jacket as if it were seam tape.  A lining will cover it, but because the upholstery fabric likes to shred at the cut edges, this seemed like a good solution.


And then, of course, I needed a lining.  This rayon satin is much heavier than bemberg and I wish I had purchased a bunch more when it was available at fabric.com some ten years ago.  The problem with ordering online is that by the time I figure out what a treasure any particular item is, it is most likely sold out.


I am hoarding it in a couple of pastel colors, but this jacket deserved most of the ivory yardage that I have left!


The lining was then stitched to the shell by hand.


It's a process that I love!


And the sleeves also needed the same treatment.


Did I mention how much I love hand sewing?!


The final touch, of course, was to add a personalized label to the front facing.


And that means this project is complete!


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

A Casual Outfit


A few years back I decided that I needed more separates in my wardrobe.  


They are definitely not the first patterns or designs that come to mind when I want to start sewing, but having items that can be mixed and matched are really nice to have around.  And I am going to pat myself on the back and say that I have actually made quite a few in the past couple of years.


This blouse was my "wearable muslin" of the Smooth Sailing Blouse from Wearing History.


As with most of the finished garments I have posted recently, this one has been finished for quite some time.  If Instagram is to be believed, it was in June of last year.


Now, I cannot recall exactly when I made the skirt.  I can't even say whether or not I made my green version before or after this one (time to get back to blogging on schedule, methinks!).


It really is amazing how often a jean skirt comes in handy.  Which reminds me, I should probably make another for the Fall weather.


Simplicity 8019 is a great vintage reproduction.  I suspect I will make another out of something drapey like rayon in the future.


I even made machine buttonholes.  It was a pain, and it renewed my love of bound buttonholes, but I got through it!  And I can say with confidence that these two pieces have been great additions to my separates wardrobe.



Blouse:  Made by me, Wearing History "Smooth Sailing Blouse"
Skirt:  Made by me, Simplicity 8019
Shoes:  Royal Vintage Shoes "Dolores"

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Upholstery Construction


Many years ago, I started working on Simplicity 3856.  I decided that I would make View 1 with a lovely quilted velveteen.  Problem was, those welt pockets were never going to be easy in such a puffy fabric, and I was never really motivated to getting going with the project.  Also, the pink color combined with the knee length jacket looked decidedly robe-esque or too house coaty.


That wasn't the look I was going for, so I put the project aside.


I did keep the muslin pieces, and a couple of months ago, I put the whole thing back together (just to make sure that I still liked the fit and style).


Because I was convinced that the leftover upholstery fabric from this dress would make a fabulous vintage jacket.


And I did have enough fabric!


Like so many other vintage patterns, I am always impressed that even with a fairly basic design, they include things like an under collar.  And they suggest pad-stitching said under collar!  I cannot recall ever seeing that suggestion in contemporary pattern instructions.  Sure, you can take a tailoring class, or pull out a book about tailoring a jacket or coat, but to have the instructions suggest such a thing is one of the many reasons why I love vintage patterns.


Yes, it takes a bit of extra time, but the finished product is so much better!


Not to mention the fact that I do love hand sewing.


I did cheat on the vintage construction a bit with a fusible interfacing to stabilize the welt pocket opening.


I was concerned that the loosely woven yet very thick textile might fray while I was clipping into the corners.


I also added a strip of silk organza thinking that it might further stabilize things.  Whether or not this was the case remains to be seen, but it certainly didn't do any harm.


I cut the interior pocket bag out of my lining fabric to avoid extra bulk.


I do find it a bit fiddly attaching an extremely drapey fabric like this rayon lining to a super stable one like the upholstery fabric.  In these cases, I find it very helpful to hand baste things together.


Another suggestion included in the instructions was to stabilize the neck and armholes with seam binding.  You could also use twill tape for this, but I always have my seam binding handy, so that is what I grabbed.


And sleeves on the coat means that this garment is beginning to look like a jacket!


I interfaced the front opening edges with a piece of muslin.  This was probably not entirely necessary as this upholstery fabric is incredibly stable, but I thought I might as well not skip any steps.


Which means there is some seam grading to be done, and a lining, of course.


But that definitely looks like a jacket to me, raw edges and all!