Sunday, September 25, 2022

Picnic Ready

This was one of my favorite projects of the Summer.

The fabric and pattern combination was a happy coincidence which led me to work with a recently released pattern instead of letting it languish in the stash and eventually be forgotten (I have to remember to work with new to me patterns more expeditiously in the future).

And while there was a bit of frustration with the bulk of my chosen fabric and the corners of those fabulous pockets, overall, this project came together without too much frustration.

And I managed to sneak in a second project with my leftover fabric, which is one of my favorite things to do.  It makes me feel as though I am getting away with something.  

I used to wear bolero sweaters/jackets all of the time, and I cannot recall why I stopped.  I feel more cropped jackets and sweaters being added to the project queue sometime soon.

The fact that I had the perfect vintage buckle already on hand was just frosting on the cake.

I did have plans to make another version of this dress in a more novelty themed fabric, and I may get to that next year, but I am glad that this dress had her moment to shine during the warmer months.  

It has also confirmed my love of textured fabrics.  It's difficult to tell in these photos, but this is a checkered print that was applied to a cotton piqué. 

I may have purchased a few other piqué prints from Mood Fabrics when I picked this up, and I am quite certain that they will be put to good use in the near future.

Why is it so difficult to find textured fabrics, by the way?  Where are they hiding?

The urge to knit hasn't kicked in just yet, and I am temped to start another lightweight frock, but I feel like my next sewing project should be Fall appropriate.  And I am determined to complete a coat or jacket of some kind this year (or maybe I will give myself until February to complete that task!).  But it's hard to beat a cotton sundress and bolero jacket combo, and it won't be long before I am making another.

Dress & Belt: Made by me, Simplicity 9536
Bolero:  Made by me, "Dorothy" Bolero

Monday, September 19, 2022

A Matching Bolero

After I finished this dress, I decided that it needed a matching bolero.  There was a small amount of yardage left after cutting out the dress, and I hoped that it would be possible to squeeze a Dorothy Bolero out of the remnants.  The pattern itself comes with its own bolero, but the front lapped pieces are quite oversized and there was no way to cut the pattern out of my remaining fabric.  I contemplated purchasing an extra yard, but soon decided that was just ridiculous.

Turns out, I didn't have enough to cut everything out, even with the smaller pattern pieces from the Dorothy Bolero, but I still wasn't going to give up.  The turned back wing collared version of the pattern was my preferred silhouette, but there was no way to make that work.  I dug around in my stash and found scraps of eyelet from a very old project.  Using that eyelet for the facing pieces, I could just manage to cut out the band collar view of the pattern.

But I thought that the squared off edges might look strange paired with all of the curved edges of the pockets and neckline of the dress.

My solution was to curve those squared off edges, both on the cuffs and the center front collar.

It was a simple change and I think that it really helps bring both of the designs together.

I was slightly concerned that the contrasting facing would be noticeable and look cobbled together.

In the end, it ended up a being happy coincidence and looks much better than I had imagined it would.

I did interface the facing pieces because the eyelet fabric was somewhat flimsy compared with the piqué.

The contrast serves to break up all of those checks when it is worn with the dress.  The fabric is a cotton/poly blend, and while it isn't my favorite textile to work with, in this case, the finished product almost makes me forget that I hate working with and/or wearing polyester.

There was also a question as to which size I should choose with this pattern.  I went with the larger of the two, which definitely works, but I would also be curious to see how a slightly smaller silhouette would look.

But I am sure there will be opportunities in the future to test that theory.  And with this dress, I think that the bigger sizing works quite nicely.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with this outfit.

Both the dress and the bolero turned out even better than I had hoped, which is always a wonderful outcome.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Patterned Piqué

It doesn't happen very often, but sometimes I actually manage to cut into a new pattern within a few months of the design being released.  Obviously, this is a reproduction, so the design was initially created back in the 1950s, but Simplicity just re-released it this Summer!

And, as you may have noticed, I was a teeny bit influenced by the pattern illustrations.  Earlier this year, I had an urge to work with cotton piqué.  It all began with a search for a solid colored fabric that I liked enough to use for another circle skirt.  Texture is so much more interesting than plain weave, in my opinion, especially in a solid color.  I like twill weaves, but I was reminded of piqué when I stumbled on an old project.  So off I went, searching for cotton piqué online.  And while this isn't a solid color, when I found this print I couldn't resist purchasing some of it.  The pairing with this pattern actually came later, although I would like to think the two were always meant to be.

What initially had this pattern at the front of the queue, though, was the pockets!

I have mentioned in the past that I am not a huge fan of in-seam pockets.  I never end up using them since they pull the garment out of shape with anything substantial in them, and as someone with round hips, they can potentially keep a garment from hanging properly even when empty.  But a shaped patch pocket?  Sign me up!

These particular pockets have quite a few layers, what with that bias band underneath the pocket itself.

My choice of a rather spongey textile was on the thick side for such an application.  But it worked out okay in the end.  Hand basting is always a helpful part of the process!

The bodice is also gorgeous.  I just love it when a design plays around with dart placement.

And the way the bias band at the neckline mirrors the pocket detailing is perfection.

The instructions have the boning applied after the lining is in place, but I decided that I would rather have those channels sandwiched in-between the two layers.

The only white cotton that I had on hand is not as bright as the white in the printed fabric.  I was slightly annoyed about this, but I felt that it would be silly to go out and purchase another yard of fabric just for the lining.  I was also rather impatient to finish the dress, so I had to find something in the house that would work.

The zipper application on this pattern is something I have seen before in vintage clothing.  The dress is completed and the opening seam finished, all before the zipper is installed.

For this particular design, this makes it much easier to match the bias band portions at the top of the center back opening.  It would also make it quite convenient to swap out a zipper that had failed.  I know that nylon zippers were in existence in the 1950s, but I believe metal zippers were much more common, and once those guys are broken, they are almost impossible to fix.  The self-repairing nylon zippers are a lot more forgiving, so I do wonder if this construction technique has something to do with the possibility that a zipper might fail.

This skirt has quite a bit of bias to contend with, and the fabric drapes very nicely, which means I had to even out the hemline (NOT my favorite part of the process).

There was also some seam binding involved . . . which I am sure surprises no one who has been around these parts for any period of time!

Since I didn't want the weight of the garment hanging off of the straps, I also added two ribbon hangers.

The zipper I had in the stash was slightly long, so I cut and finished that end with a scrap of fabric.  And with that, the dress was complete!

The shape of that bodice is fabulous!

And I had the perfect buckle tucked away to finish the belt. 

This design is good one and I would recommend it - just make sure your fabric isn't too thick for those pockets.

And I am so pleased that I found this patterned piqué while I had this design sitting on my sewing table, waiting for the perfect fabric to appear.

This dress has already been worn quite a few times, which is a good sign, and a clear indication that I am happy with the way a project turned out.  But it's really hard to go wrong with a classic 1950s silhouette, isn't it?!

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Jacquard & Paisley

Here is something that I rarely manage to do . . . this blouse and skirt were made using the same vintage reproduction pattern (Simplicity 1166), and I am wearing them at the same time.  Funny how that ensures that both pieces are going to work together!  Most of my separates patterns end up solitary and alone in the closet.  And while I cannot recall whether or not my intention was to make both of these pieces when I purchased the pattern years ago, I am very pleased that this is the way it all turned out. 

When I put the outfit on that morning, I had intended to tuck the blouse in, but that pattern illustration stuck with me, and I decided to go for the tie.

I do that with button up shirts all the time, the difference being that they are not something that I made.  The act of tying the shirts has never damaged them, but for some reason, I have an aversion to knotting the tops that I have made.  I think it's time to get over that!

I mentioned in my post about the construction of this blouse that I was second guessing the over-sized collar.  And for some reason, I like the collar a whole lot better with the cropped silhouette created by the waist tie.  Go figure.

I am also happy to note that the slight puckering from the top-stitching on this drapey fabric is not very noticeable when it is being worn (or, at least, it looks that way to me!).

I have also been reminded that I need to make another version of this skirt . . . perhaps in a solid fabric.

I was unsure about the pleated front and flat back when I first cut out the fabric, but the silhouette has grown on me.

And I haven't made any bound buttonholes in a while, so maybe it's time to get back to this pattern.

And I definitely want to make another version of the blouse.  So I would have to say that this pattern is a definite winner!    

Blouse:  Made by me, Simplicity 1166
Skirt:  Made by me, Simplicity 1166
Necklace:  Vintage
Shoes:  Colin Stuart