Tag Archives: simplicity

Completed: The Tacky Shirtwaist Dress

2 Apr

shirtdress
I actually don’t think this dress is tacky at all – I think it’s kind of kitschy & cute! Landon however, hates the fabric – “that looks like a set of curtains my mother had” – which means that I’ll be wearing this dress a lot around him, just because. I’m a terrible person.

ANYWHO let’s talk about this pattern for a minute. This is Simplicity 2458, a sweet little 1958 shirtwaist pattern that includes a few different options. I went with option 2, but I cut the sleeves & hem significantly shorter than indicated by the pattern – the original hem came down to my ankles. Total frumpsville! I tried to take a picture for lols, but I couldn’t get the tripod far enough away to capture the true essence… so just trust me on this one. Anyway, the pattern was lovely to work with, although some of the instructions were a little dicey. A dress like this uses a LOT of fabric – I think I used close to 5 yards! Fortunately for meeee, this fabric was part of one of my ‘fill several giant bags full of fabric and pay $5 for all of it’ flea market finds, so this dress ended up being cheap :) I’m actually surprised at how well the pattern fit straight out of the envelope – the only sizing adjustment I made was to add about 1/2″ at the side seam under the bust dart. Everything else fits great! There are 10 darts in just the top of this dress – 4 vertical bust darts, 2 horizontal bust darts, and 2 vertical neck darts in the back. There are actually 2 darts in the skirt as well, but you can’t see them for all the ~soft pleats~ hovering at the waistline. Also, I think this dress really needs pockets. I’m not the kind of girl who things pockets belong in all dresses or anything like that, but I feel like this dress would have benefited from some deep side seam pockets. Maybe next time!

I actually really hate the buttons on this thing – I think they are tacky as hell & they make the dress look really cheap. I really need to find some nice turquoise buttons, but these’ll do for now – they were what I had in my stash (and I actually went to the store in search of buttons but WTF why are buttons so expensive?! It was like $3 for two buttons – and now I’m seriously regretting that I passed up all those pretty antique Czech glass buttons at the flea market last month. Dude wanted $1 a piece & I thought that was way too high, but looks like I was wrong. Ok enough with the button tangent.) The off-white belt is my attempt to pretend like the buttons were on purpose. That is all.

Dress with belt:
Shirtwaist Dress
Oh, do you see where the button placket on the skirt is kind of sinking into the folds? I clearly used much too heavy of an interfacing down there, and it is weighed down as a result. It’s a fairly sturdy, mediumweight sew-in interfacing – worked beautifully on the collar (so crisp!) – but it really doesn’t belong on the skirt. Especially since I’ll probably never unbutton those buttons.

Shirtwaist Dress

Shirtwaist Dress

Shirtwaist Dress

Dress without belt:
Shirtwaist Dress - no belt

Shirtwaist Dress

Shirtwaist Dress

this is me running back into my house to lock the door
This is me running back into my house because I realized it might be a good idea to lock the door.

Shirtwaist Dress - with petticoat
Came back with a petticoat!

Shirtwaist Dress - with petticoat
The skirt looked a lot more full in real life, argh.

Look, I made a new friend :)
Also, I found a caterpillar :D
(sidenote: someone made a snide comment about my septum ring a couple of posts ago… good for you, lady, I hope this picture grosses you out lol)

Shirtwaist Dress

Shirtwaist Dress
Instead of a button at the waistline, there are hooks & eyes. This keeps everything nice & flat without gaping! Sorry about the yellow smudges – I tried to edit them out best I could. This is my tip for getting hooks & eyes positioned so they actually latch closed – sew on the eye, and then rub chalk all over it until it has a layer of powder covering it. Close the garment and press down slightly where the hook should go… when you pull the garment open, there should be a little dot of powder that is exactly where you need to sew the hook. So helpful!

Shirtwaist Dress
Lace at the hem :)

That’ll be all, folks! :)

Shirtwaist Dress - no belt

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Completed: Embroidered Silk Shell Top

22 Mar

shell top

And another one down!

I don’t remember if I mentioned this or not, but I picked up this silk turquoise skirt at my favorite thrift store about a month ago – at half off, it was $2. And it was plus size, and long, which meant lots of fabric for me to play with. Silk for $2? I’ll take it! I was able to salvage some giant pieces of fabric, plus the lining. And the zipper, for about 5 minutes (until I forgot that there wasn’t a zipper stop and I immediately pulled the zipper off the teeth. DERP.). I know the tag says ‘dry clean only,’ but I washed a little swatch of the fabric in the sink & it didn’t seem to be an issue at all – no water spotting, no weird shrinkage. Anyway, I had enough fabric to make the little top in Simplicity 4400 (which, I might point out, is the very first vintage pattern I ever bought – at the same thrift store, no less!). I was even able to finagle the pieces so that I kept the original skirt hem intact. Yeah!

A word about this pattern (and every other vintage pattern I’ve ever sewn up) – there is still ease in vintage patterns. Lot and lots of ease. Notice the size on that pattern is for a 32″ bust? My bust is actually 36″ – and the top fits me perfectly. I have noticed this a lot with vintage patterns, so do what you will & make a muslin (or tissue fit, like lazy me :3).

To keep this top from being *too* simple, I embroidered a rose by the right shoulder:
Silk Shell Top - embroidery
I got the design from Hoop Love Vintage Transfers on Flickr – a GREAT embroidery pattern resource! To transfer the design, I laid it over a sheet of wax transfer paper and traced with a pencil. The stitches here are split stitch (on the rose) and back stitch (on the leaves & stems). Oh, and if you are apt to try this – make sure you staystitch those curved seams before you start! It’ll keep them from stretching out with all that extra handling :) I probably should have serged my edges too, since this silk frays like nobodies business, but you know me… livin’ on the edge & shit.

As a side note, can we discuss these wtf directions?
Silk Shell Top
I’ve never seen this before – it’s a dart, but without the dart legs. I have to make my own dart legs. How intriguing!

Ok, anyway, back to my top.

Construction was fairly simple & straight forward. I opted to hand-pick a center zipper (instead of the machine-stitched lapped zip in the directions) and did not topstitch the facings, as I wanted the top to be simple so the focus would be on that embroidery. The top sewn as-is ended up being too billowy for my tastes, so I added vertical darts below the bust for a little shape. I originally planned to wear it tucked but I think I prefer it untucked now! Unfortunately, the arm holes are a little on the tight side but, eh, I think I can deal.

Silk Shell Top
(huh, I really need to re-press those dart tips!)

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top

BONUS: Tucked!

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top

Silk Shell Top - handpicked zipper
Hand picked zipper – I got a little obsessive & tried to match the stitches up on both sides hahaha

Silk Shell Top
Remember when I said I broke the zipper that came with the skirt? Well I found this one in my stash – and it matches perfectly! Talk about a happy accident!

Pretty pleased with this little top – I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of it this summer. The silk is so deliciously soft, and I just love the color!

Silk Shell Top

Completed: Simplicity 8345; the Daisy Sundress

20 Mar

Hi everyone! Apologies for my bout of silence all week – I found myself feeling ill early in the week, and regulated myself to crafts that involved sitting on the couch with little to no concentration (paint-by-numbers, if you’re curious. HOLY SHIT I love those things!). Despite my best efforts, I spent the entire weekend sick :( I did drag myself out of bed long enough to catch as estate sale on the other side of town:
Estate sale finds!
$5.50 for the whole box! There’s about 2 yards of fabric in there (it’s very sheer – almost like cheesecloth – so it’ll need to be underlined), plus the book has lots of sewing-related newspaper clippings :) The house was totally awesome – unchanged since 1961. Beautiful pink bathroom, original kitchen appliances, knotty pine dining room, and orange & green shag carpet!

Anyway, THAT took all my energy – seriously! I got home, crawled into bed, and slept for the rest of the weekend. Being sick sucks, yo.

Then I woke up on Monday morning with a migraine. LOVELY. So I called out of work, slept the migraine off, and tried to make some use of my day later in the afternoon.

So here’s my meager project after a weekend of sick – the daisy sundress!
sundress
Also totally approps for the first day of spring, amirite? :)

Daisy Sundress
I used Simplicity 8345, a simple sundress with princess seams & a scalloped neckline. This dress was seriously easy to sew up, albeit with a strange order of assembly – you put in the zipper first, then sew the shoulder seams, then insert the neckline facing, then sew the side seams together, then put the sleeves on the side seams, then sew that whole mess to the front/back mess. Kind of interesting!

I did make a few small changes – my first princess-seamed FBA, which was sort of a disaster. Oops. Blame it on poor ol’ sick me :( Everything fits fine, but I should have divided my addition of width to both the front & side front panels, not just the side front. My seams are WAY too front & center, and I feel this dress now has the magical ability to make me look both flat-chested & wide on top. Oh well, live & learn I guess. lol.

Daisy Sundress

I also sewed my sleeves up a little differently – they are supposed to be faced. LOLWUT. Who faces sleeves in a sundress? Well, I’m sure people do, but not me! I just hemmed them as normal and omitted the facings. Boring facings! The sleeves are a little tight, I might add. Not a lot of room for movement there, oh well.

I also cut like 6″ off the hem. Knee-length, my ass!

Daisy Sundress

Daisy Sundress
I do like the scalloped neckline. So pretty!

Daisy Sundress

Daisy Sundress

Wanna know the best part about this dress?

troll
The fabric was a BEDSHEET! trololololol

Daisy Sundress - scallops

Daisy Sundress - zipper

Daisy Sundress - unzipped!
I didn’t have a matching zipper, so I used dark green. Again – stash-bustin’ :D

Daisy Sundress

I guess there’s not much else to say about this. It’s a sundress. I’ll wear it in the sun. Or something.

Spring :)
And look – spring is already making an early start here in Tennessee :) SO GREEN. SO BLOOMY.

Daisy Sundress
Happy first day of spring, y’all!

Completed: Cheetah (mock)Wrap Dress

13 Mar

TIME FOR A CONFESSION.

wrap dress

The Leopard Wrap Dress? Well, first of all – it’s cheetah, not leopard. Oops! I still like the fabric, though! :) Secondly, it would appear that my wrap dress is actually a mock wrap dress – double oops! And wouldn’t you know, I didn’t even realize it until I got about halfway through the directions and saw that there was a zipper in there. Yep, even with cutting the pattern, I did not figure out that this wasn’t a true wrap dress! Oh well, I find wrap dresses kind of hard to keep closed, especially with slinky fabric like this – so let’s consider this a blessing in disguise :)

That being said, check out my cheetah print mock wrap dress, guys!

Cheetah Wrap Dress

I used Simplicity 6268, which I can’t seem to find anywhere on the internet, sry2say. I picked this up a couple of years ago at the flea market – in a bag full of sewing supplies for something like $5. The fabric was given to me by my best friend – her grandmother was cleaning out her sewing room so I ended up with a LOT of this fabric (5 1/4 yards, if you’re curious. And yes, I have leftovers! Lots of leftovers!). It’s not something I would typically buy for myself, as it’s some class of poly and pretty drapey, but I LOVE how the finished dress turned out and it seriously does not wrinkle at ALL. I think this dress would be great for traveling – very wash & wear!

Since my pattern is for a 33.5″ bust, I was afraid I’d have to do some adjusting, but a quick tissue fit showed that everything fit fairly well. I’ve noticed a lot of patterns put extra (excess) ease in their garments – which is awesome for me, because that means I get to snap up all those cute little 32″ bust patterns and they fit fine! HA HA! Like I said, this one fit with no alterations, other than the length. See how short the skirt is? This is after I added 1.5″ to the hem & I used a 5/8″ hem (instead of the suggested 1.5″ hem). This baby was supposed to be SHORT! I don’t mind short, usually, but not with a flowy dress. Especially not a dress I plan on wearing to work. So, if you get this pattern, consider the length.

On a side note, I just have to share this because I felt pretty freaking brilliant:
Cheetah Wrap Dress
I ran out of tape, so I sewed the tissue pieces together! I got the idea from Liz haha. And no, I still haven’t bought more tape. Need to get on that.

Cheetah Wrap Dress

The tie belt is actually supposed to be sewn to the sides & tie at the back – I ended up sewing my pieces together to make a long belt, and it is not attached to the dress. I think tying it in the front makes it look more like a wrap dress, plus now I can wear different belts if I feel so inclined :) I think cheetah (and leopard!) go with all kinds of colors, so it makes the dress much more versatile.

And can I just point out that I took these pictures after I got home from work – at 5:30! Daylight Savings, I looove you! Plz to stay with me forever, thnx.

Cheetah Wrap Dress

Cheetah Wrap Dress
I just love the shape… I think it is super flattering. I want to make more of these!

Cheetah Wrap Dress
See? The zipper :)

Cheetah Wrap Dress

Cheetah Wrap Dress

Cheetah Wrap Dress
The zipper also came from my stash – I think I ripped it out of something I used for the fabric. So basically, this dress was free. Yay free dresses!

Cheetah Wrap Dress
I love the little tulip sleeves.

Cheetah Wrap Dress
I did end up putting a small snap at the overlap on the bodice, for a little extra modesty. The dress is not immodest by any means – I don’t think the lack of snap would cause a wardrobe malfunction or anything – but the extra security is nice. You know, so I can splay myself across the couch & eat Italian Ice & not worry about the girls getting a sneak peak. Not that I was doing that last night or anything.

Cheetah Wrap Dress
Also, it was WINDY outside yesterday! See? WINDY!

So happy with my new dress, even if it’s not really cheetah or a wrap :)

Cheetah Wrap Dress

this post has nothing to do with anything

7 Oct

well well well, blogland – it’s been a while, hasn’t it? wanna see what i’ve been up to?

well, firsties… i cut my hair off. and then i dyed it black-brown (clearly, i wanted it to match my soul):
Photobucket
i must say, the partial lack of hair in my life has been awesome. it definitely has more bounce to it and my pincurls actually last all day now. and headbands are pretty much the cutest thing ever on this coif. yay short(er) hair!

my s10 pick-up bit the bullet – hard – and i had to scrap it (the timing belt broke & ripped through the engine, if you’re curious). but it’s ok, because i bought a new truck. meet ruby:
Photobucket
and she has air conditioning! my first air conditioned vehicle in over 6 years yay!

i also made a halloween costume for a friend:
Photobucket
you can read my pattern review here, although there’s not much to say. i used simplicity 2853, with minor modifications. no, i didn’t make the hat. i might have my moments of crazy, but they don’t involve making hats!

Photobucket
i also made this wreath, to put on my front door. talk about a moment of crazy.

oh, wait, i’m supposed to talk about sewing here, huh?
let’s discuss simplicity’s new pattern line. actually, the whole line is really boring & yawn-inducing, let’s talk about 1947 & 1948 instead.
Photobucket
rather, i just want to talk about the guy with the purple hair. what is going on here? he looks like he wants us to believe he is going to beat somebody up (i personally think he would run away crying if you challenged him to a fight.

Photobucket
LOL WELL OK THEN.

completed: simplicity 3061

27 Jun

ah, simplicity 3061, the would-be wadder. i swear, i almost threw this in the don’t-ask-don’t-tell UFO pile at least a couple of times due to fitting issues, but decided to stick it out (mostly because of the time i spent on the buttonholes :B). i’m still not 100% sold on the fit, but it’s definitely passable. and comfortable! and the buttonholes look great! yeah!

Continue reading

bound buttonholes, revisited

21 Jun

time for a new sewing project!
Photobucket
simplicity 3061, in a soft/lightweight navy linen with a contrasting white linen collar.
i was going to make view 1 with the sleeves, but i followed the wrong pattern layout and now i don’t have enough linen for sleeves… oh well! sleeveless it is!

this post is actually kind of boring because i haven’t had a chance to make much real progress on the dress, save for cutting. fortunately, the muslin fit pretty well (with a few minor tweaks that can be adjusted while sewing up the actual garment) so that’s a win! man, i love me a good sewing pattern that fits straight out the envelope.

Continue reading

completed: simplicity 5110 red high-waisted shorts

10 Jun

just finished another piece for my summer wardrobe – yeah!!

shorts pattern

i’ve been meaning to make these forever – it’s almost embarrassing how long i’ve put this off.
Continue reading

completed: the white eyelet maxi dress

6 Jun

another weekend, another dress! ideally, i should have had this done much much sooner – it was pretty straightforward as far as construction & fitting goes. i feel like i never have enough time in the summer to work on my sewing, though, because i’m too busy running around, seeing friends & riding my bike & lounging on the front porch with a cup of coffee & my bff!

anyway, i finished this over the weekend, wore it over the weekend (ironically, to buy more fabric. haha!!), and even took some pictures so i could share with everyone :) this dress marks a couple firsts – my first maxi, my first underlining attempt, my first time working with soo much trim. it also marks the last time i am ever sewing so many tiered ruffles! haha! omg those ruffles were such a paaaain.

anyway, dress deets:
eyelet dress - patterns
i frankenpattered this one; the bodice & midriff is simplicity 9164 (without the contrast or trimming) and the skirt is mccall’s 5648.
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new(old) sewing patterns!

18 Apr

my birthday isn’t for another month (::ahem::) but my roommate/best friend/life partner, morgan, already gave me my gift because she is awesome :) – she went to an estate sale & bought me a big ol’ stack of vintage sewing patterns! yay sewing patterns!!

please come bask in their glory with me.
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