Tag Archives: vintage

Completed: Vogue 1610

26 Feb

Good morning, everyone! Sorry, I took the last few days off of blogging… to be honest, I’d spent the entire weekend in my sewing room futzing with ONE fitting adjustment for ONE pattern, and six muslins later (yeah, just typing that makes me die a little inside), I was done. Not done with the fitting adjustment – I wish! – but rather, done with sewing. I took some time away to do more important, non-sewy things (specifically: binge-watching infomericals from the comfort of my velvet couch and drinking bourbon with ginger beer… yum.), and I gotta say – I feel like a new woman now. Ready to go tackle that god-forsaken fitting adjustment and get back on the ~swagon~.

Speaking of swagon (which is like a sewing wagon, except way funnier), check out my new threads- baby’s first DVF!

Vogue 1610

OKKKKK, it’s not a ~real~ Diane von Furstenberg, obviously, but it *is* a Vogue Designer Pattern, which is close enough in my book. This is Vogue 1610, a classic DVF wrap dress with sleeve and length options. I found this dude at an estate sale a few years ago – in my size, and for $1, no less! – and this is the first chance I’ve had to make it up.

Vogue 1610

Sewing this wrap was an experience, albeit a fairly easy one. Although the pattern came in my size, a quick tissue fit (and by tissue fit, I mean I held it up to my chest and looked in the mirror, ha!) showed that the bodice front was big enough for complete coverage – which, when one is sewing a stretch knit, that is TOO big! You need the pieces to be a little smaller than you are, so they stretch into shape and give you that lovely silhouette that only negative ease can do. Further, this pattern was drafted for stable knits – i.e., pontes and double knits and all those goodies – and the fabric I had was an extremely fluid, extremely drapey rayon jersey. Fortunately, both the style of this dress + knit fabrics in general are pretty forgiving, so I sized down with some experimental hacking and I think it came out pretty good!

Vogue 1610

At the cutting stage, I took 1″ off the center back seam and the front side seam. I didn’t bother changing the pattern tissue itself (have you seen how much this pattern sells for on Etsy? Holy shit.), just folded over the edges to size and pinned them down. When cutting a piece on the fold, I just extended the pattern piece so it hung over the fabric edge by 1″. I also shortened the skirt by, um, a lot. I think 7″ the first time, and then another 2-3″ after I sewed it up (and immediately regretted that decision, because YIKES SHORT AIEEE). I don’t really recommend this type of size hacking unless you are very familiar with sewing and manipulating knits, because you can definitely end up with a surprise outcome, but it all worked out for me.

Vogue 1610

I chose not to follow the instructions that came with the pattern – I’m sure they were fine, but they were also written for stable knits and included things like facings and pockets. I hate pockets on knits, by the way! They always come out lumpy and can’t hold anything heavier than a cell phone. I also hate facings on knits because, whyyyy. Why would you put yourself through that kind of torture.

Vogue 1610

Construction-wise, I sewed everything up on my serger, except where I used my twin needle to topstitch the hems. The hems are stabilized with Stitch Witchery, which seemed like a brilliant idea at the time, but in retrospect, my hems are weird and stiff and lumpy. Not a good look! I also can’t trim any more length off that skirt for fear of indecent exposure. I’ve used Stitch Witchery in the past to stabilize hems, and I stand behind it, but for something as drapey as this rayon, it just didn’t work. Next time, I will probably just steam the heck out of it and sew very slowly to get my hems.

Vogue 1610

I applied my neck binding in the flat (starting at the center back and stretching down each side of the front individually), so I could get it as stretched as possible and cut off the excess. I think I ended up cutting a couple of inches off each end! The final result is a binding that stays in place and does NOT gape – which is important for this wrap style. I like my clothing to stay in place while I’m wearing it, thanks.

Vogue 1610
Vogue 1610

I was a little concerned that the gathered skirt would look stupid in a knit, but I actually think it’s quite lovely. I think the key here is to go with something lightweight and drapey – bulky fabrics will add, well, bulk!

Vogue 1610

Isn’t this fabric fun, though? It’s the Arc Deco rayon jersey from Mood Fabrics. I snapped up three yards of it while it was on 50% off sale (do y’all get those sale emails? Oh man. Those are dangerous.), specifically with this pattern in mind. It sewed up like a dream, wears like a dream, feels like a dream… just don’t use Stitch Witchery with it ;)

Vogue 1610

Next time I make this, I’ll shorten the bodice a bit – whoever owned this pattern before me had lengthened it about 1″… I left it because it definitely hits my waist, but I think it looks a little long and unbalanced in these pictures. I also promise not to get too scissor-happy with the skirt length on the next go ;) But yeah, I’ll definitely be making this again – I want one in silk jersey, like a proper DVF! Yum!

Vogue 1610

I guess that’s it! Some housekeeping before I dip outta here-

- Clare and I have already started planning the meet-up while we’re in NYC, and emails have been sent! I tried to get everyone who expressed interest, but inevitably I’m sure I missed someone. If you’d like in on the action for Saturday March 15th, holler at me and I’ll get that email out to you! I’m really excited about this trip, can you tell? :)

- Oh, right, giveaway winner! Let’s see, random number generator says…

Ok, for whatever reason, Flickr won’t give me the html code to show the number box (and I don’t have time to futz with it this morning because I need to leave for work in… 5 minutes haha), but you can click this link if you want to see the screenshot. Btw, fuck you, Flickr.

winnerstevie

Congratulations, Stevie Nicole! Watch for my email so we can get your Georgia out to you :)

Everyone who asked – I don’t care if you copy my Georgia! Remember, I copied that lace+emerald combo from someone else. Plus, who doesn’t need a gorgeous sexy lace dress in their life, yeah? :)

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Giveaway: Vintage Patterns from She’ll Make You Flip

26 Dec

First up, a big thanks for all your comments on my last post. The outpouring of support I received was much-needed and absolutely appreciated. The good news: Dad made it home for Christmas! That alone was by far the best part of the day :) so thanks again, everyone, for your prayers and positive thoughts. Love you all!

Dad's finally home! Best Christmas present ever

Now, I don’t know about y’all, but for me, the day after Christmas means I’m doing two things:
1. Laying on the middle of the floor, basking in the glow of all my gifts surrounding me in a circle; and/or
2. Sitting at the computer, trying to frantically spend my Christmas money before it burns a hole through my wallet

While I can’t help you with #1 (I mean, if you were bad, that’s totally your fault and no one is feeling sorry for you today), I can help you with #2. Or, rather, She’ll Make You Flip sure can!

She’ll Make You Flip is a shop that specializes in sewing patterns – vintage patterns from the 20s-70s, and modern out of print patterns. They will also occasionally offer a smattering of sewing magazines, embroidery and needlework transfers, fabrics, laces and trims as they become available. Honestly, I probably have enough vintage patterns in my stash to bury myself in should I need to, but that doesn’t stop me from browsing the offerings in this shop and playing pick-the-best, which is my favorite game by the way.

m4118
McCall 4118

m4115
McCall 4115
Like these two WWII era shirtwaist dresses. GET IN MY LIFE, Y’ALL.

m4448
McCall 4448
Two piece 1940s dress? Check.

m7646
McCall 7646
Late 40s classy lady dress with fancy detailing at the bodice? You got it!

v5630
Vogue 5630
Ok, I’ll drag myself out of the 40s but first get a load of this – ! That zig-zag colorblocking is amazing.

m3151
McCall 3151
I love love love the strong shoulders on this 30s career jacket. I don’t say this too often, but that shit is smart as fuck.

s3708
Simplicity 3708
1950s more your bag? No worries, I got ya! Check out this shirtwaist – quite a bit different from the 1940s models above, yeah?

m8484
McCall 8484
This little collared dress is just asking to be made up in a fun striped cotton.

m8646
McCall 8646
This swing coat is just killing me – look at the lady on the right with the popped collar. She’s so smug, and yet I don’t blame her one bit.

b5655
Butterick 5655
I think this casual little 60s dress looks like the comfiest thing ever.

m5603
McCall 5603
Or one could be the opposite of comfy in this, but look fierce as all get out.

s5900
Simplicity 5900
I’m suddenly dying to channel my inner Elizabeth Taylor with this incredible caftan.

m3246
McCall 3246
Or just go all-out hippy with this fabulous maxi dress. Look at that thing! That’s a dress that’s begging to be lived in all summer long.

m4182
McCall 4182
But what I’m honestly, REALLY loving most are these 70s FOOTIE PAJAMAS. YOU GUYS. I WANT THESE SO BAD I CAN’T BREATHE.

Now that I’ve gotten you all excited, I have a present for one of you! She’ll Make You Flip has generously offered a $25 store credit to one lucky winner! Yay! To enter, all you need to do is visit the shop and leave a comment letting me know what pattern you’d choose if you’re the winner. That’s it! This giveaway is open WORLDWIDE and I will close the entries at Wednesday, 1/1/14 at 8AM CST.
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

If you’ve already found your dream pattern and can’t bear the thought of it becoming the One That Got Away, you can use the coupon code LLADYBIRD20 to get 20% off your purchase through the end of 2013. Yes! Go spend that Christmas money before it sets itself on fire!

Good luck!

Completed: Advance 8511 in Gingham

19 Jun

In an attempt to catch up on all the stuff I’ve finished that I haven’t posted yet (I just counted and there are 8… yikes), here’s a gingham top I made using Advance 8511, which is a vintage pattern.

Untitled

Gingham Top

I also forgot to mention that the pictures are REALLY bad; this is what happens when you don’t wait for it to finish raining (hence, me standing on the porch) and then position yourself so that the sunlight is directly behind you, and then try to lighten the pictures and when they turn out grainy and grey, you say, “Eh, fuck it.” and post them anyway.

Not that I know anything about that.

Anyway, I’m sorry.

Gingham Top

This was a fun little pattern to make! It would have gone together a lot more quickly if I didn’t have so many fit issues. I don’t think the fit of the pattern was too bad – the size was a little big, but nothing too tragic – but rather, my fabric was a terrible choice for this pattern. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

This pattern only has 4 pieces – a front, a back, a back neck facing (the front facing is all attached to the front as one piece) and the collar (no undercollar). The armholes are bound with self-made bias tape and it only uses 4 buttons. So economical!

Gingham Top

The fabric, again, is from Mood Fabrics in New York. It’s really lovely stuff – a cotton gingham seersucker with lots of texture and LOTS of stretch – but that damn stretch was nearly my undoing. I kept taking in the side seams over and over to get this shirt to fit (I know slightly-loose button-ups can look good, but not this shape/style with a woven stretch. Just… no), and I think I ended up removing a good 2″ from each side, possibly more. I don’t think stretch wovens are inherently bad (take a look at my fabric stash if you don’t believe me), but they really should not be used for a pattern that is already a little big to start.

Gingham Top

You can’t see too well (because the pictures are so bad, again, SORRY), but there are tucks at the front and back waist, and soft pleats at the neckline under the collar. I had to extend the front tucks to be longer (originally they were only about 1″ long) because they ended up giving me this weird fullness in an area where it wasn’t needed. I don’t know how I feel about the neckline pleats – they are beautiful in theory, but in this fabric I think it kind of looks like I messed something up and hid it under the collar. Oh well.

Gingham Top

Hey look, Dolly went on a diet and now she can actually model my clothes again! And they BUTTON UP. Holy shit!

Gingham Top

Gingham Top

I had to add a pleat to the center back because it was MASSIVE compared to the collar. Seriously, the width of that pleat is how much bigger the back was than the collar. I double checked my pattern pieces and they don’t match either, so I’m assuming someone was hitting the bottle hard at the Advance pattern drafting headquarters that day.

Gingham Top

Despite the fitting issues, I do love my little shirt! Navy gingham goes with everything, surprisingly.

By the way… check out my new back porch!

Back Porch

I wish you could have seen what it looked like before (if you think it looks trashy now, let me tell you… this is an improvement). The previous renters laid this horrible fake hardwood all over the porch – you know, the kind that is supposed to go INSIDE a house – and didn’t even cover the whole flooring area. There were bare spots of concrete by the stairs. It was just drab and ugly and sad and we mostly ignored it for the past year. A couple weekends ago, we tore up the flooring (yes, we are renters, but I’m pretty sure my landlord dgaf), bought and painted the screen door, as well as hung the curtains and that tapestry. Now I am on the lurk for a tiny bistro table to fit back there.

Back Porch

Here’s another view – and there’s the old shed! I reckon you can guess where at least one of those chairs went ;)

Back Porch

Now we are actually inclined to hang on the back porch, IMAGINE THAT. If only I could figure out a way to permanently fend off the ‘skeeters…

Completed: My Easter Outfit

12 Apr

Remember that wool crepe I bought while I was in NYC? Remember how I was afraid it was going to be too winter-y for a climate that’s already rapidly approaching summer weather?

WELL, CHECK THIS SHIT OUT:

Easter Outfit

I made me a fancy lady flouncy pencil skirt! Totally banking on Carolyn’s reassurance that wool is a lovely fabric to wear during the summer, I decided to test that theory by making it into a skirt. I really wanted a whole ladysuit – or even a dress – but unfortunately, this kind of saturated yellow doesn’t do favors for my coloring. I went with a skirt so there would be plenty of space between my face and the yellow.

Easter Outfit

I felt pretty silly making a wool pencil skirt just as we’re creeping into 75* days – I mean, I’ve always thought of wool as a winter fabric (and I’d guess that a lot of people feel the same way). The best coats are wool – why would I wear wool in the summer heat? Isn’t that just asking for a sweaty disaster?

Easter Outfit

So here’s my little wool crepe pencil skirt for spring – in the kind of bright yellow that would almost be embarrassing if it wasn’t so awesome. But sit back down for a spell, there’s a lil’ surprise in the back…

Easter Outfit

… a circular flounce insert! I call it a party in the back, Landon calls it my tail. Either way, it’s a fun little addition to jazz up an otherwise plain pencil skirt (well, as plain as a *bright yellow* wool crepe pencil skirt can be, I suppose!).

Easter Outfit

This pattern is Vogue 8317, which I received during a sewing swap (also while I was in New York – thanks, Oona!). Just based on the envelope art, the pattern is a bit dated looking (I originally thought it was from the earlyl 90s, but the copyright date is 2006 wut), but the line art showed promise. I made a 10, although I probably should have done a smaller size as I needed to take in quite a bit at the waist. I also shortened the skirt by about 2″ before cutting into my crepe.

Easter Outfit

Easter Outfit

Easter Outfit

Easter Outfit

The skirt is fully lined with Bemberg Rayon. I originally wanted a bright yellow like the crepe, but there wasn’t any in the store when I was there (nor was there any white – at least not in rayon!), so I ended up getting a light peach that is very close to my skin tone. Surprisingly, it picks up quite a bit of the hue of the wool and almost looks like the exact yellow I was trying to obtain. Love it when that happens!

Easter Outfit

Easter Outfit

I also made my bow-neck blouse, using polka dot cotton batiste (from Mood, of course) and Simplicity 4676, a vintage pattern. The batiste is quite sheer, so I underlined the body with white batiste. I love this stuff – it’s incredibly soft and lightweight, and the black and white pin dots go with EVERYTHING. Seriously. I will probably end up wearing this top all summer, it’s so good!

Easter Outfit

Easter Outfit

Easter Outfit

I made this outfit to wear for Easter dinner with my family, but I can definitely see myself wearing it all throughout summer, as well as pairing up the individual pieces with different tops and bottoms. Oh, and to answer my own question at the beginning of the post- wool crepe gets two thumbs up from me when it comes to summer wear. Just make sure you pair it with a lightweight, breathable lining, and you can wear this amazing fabric year-round.

Easter Outfit

Do I sound like an advertisement, yet? :) WOOLCREPEWOOLCREPEWOOLCREPE

Completed: Red Thurlows & McCall’s 4488

22 Feb

I know it’s only February, but try telling that to my spring fever! GAH can it go ahead and get warm here already!? Since I can’t control the weather (something I’m still waiting patiently for, as well as for my own Hoverboard and Jaws 19), I can at least get a head start on pulling my warm-weather wardrobe together, yeah?

Red & Seafoam
I said I wanted red pants… and I got my red pants! This is my second incarnation of the Thinlows, btw. Those are totally Thurlows hiding within those skinny legs.

Red & Seafoam
Since the red cotton twill I used does not have any stretch, I was very careful about how much I tapered down these legs. As much as I love the super-duper skinny legs, I think I’d need a little bit of stretch to get my foot in there!

Red & Seafoam
Thinning these down was… interesting. I scrapped my original pattern mash-up and properly retraced each pattern piece. Then, I straightened the line of the flare with a long ruler. I made a quick muslin using some thick denim I had lurking in my stash – I wanted to make sure these would be wearable, as I’ve only made Thurlows with fabric that had some give. I was also able to pin out a little more excess from the sides, and transfer that to my pattern pieces. Sewed them up, and everything fits. Yay!

Red & Seafoam
There’s a bit of pulling at the crotch, as you can see – the pants themselves feel fine (not too tight, not too loose), so I’m not sure if many this has something to do with the lack of stretch? Hm.

Red & Seafoam
The only other pattern adjustment I made was to shift the pockets about 1″ toward the side seams. I noticed in my muslin that I needed to sew inside the back extension line to prevent gappage, and this was making the pockets come close to touching. Now they sit in the right place, however, I think next time I need to shorten them. The proportions look a little off. Not that you can tell from this picture at all, but eh.

Red & Seafoam
I’ve also got a little wrinkling under the butt. Not too bad, but it’s there.

Red & Seafoam
To complete my ~come hither spring~ outfit, I used this amazing seafoam rayon jersey to make McCall’s 4488 (a pattern from the 70s). It’s hard to capture this exact color in my photos (look at the picture Mood has on the site, it’s much more accurate), but I LOVE IT. Pretty sure this shade of seafoam goes with every color I own.
Also, that top was a bitch to make. I have no idea why – I made the crop top before and it turned out fine (and BEFORE YOU SAY ANYTHING, they use the same pattern pieces up top, ok!) – but this lil shit was out to get me from the get-go. After a lot of cutting and cussing, I think I fixed it. I just have to be careful about those gathers over the boobs. If I’m not careful, things can get a bit… nipply.

Red Thurlows

Red Thurlows
Check out that floral cotton print lining! Oooh, fancy!

Red Thurlows
God, I just want to take my pants off and show everyone. The lining, I mean.

Red Thurlows
This is only slightly related, but check out the gorgeous button hole my machine makes! FUCK.

Red Thurlows
I think this might be the best-looking welt pocket I’ve ever made.

Seafoam top

Seafoam top
I really love that I got to dig into my stash of weird colors when it came time for serging everything. True happiness is having seafoam green thread, guys.

Red & Seafoam

Come on, spring!

Completed: A Very Purple Simplicity 3178

16 Jan

Y’all. Can we talk about wool crepe for a minute? I just love this shit to tiny threadbare pieces and I wish everything I made had a wool crepe option. I love the spongy texture, the glorious drape, the magical body-temperature-regularity (yay, wool!), and the COLORS. Truly, everyone should have at least one experience rolling around in a uncut length of wool crepe. Especially if it is a jewel-toned wool crepe. Ooh la la.

For my first Mood Sewing Network project, I wanted that experience to include wool crepe. I have a beautiful 1940s Simplicity pattern that I knew would look amazing done up in such a fabric. And since we’re talking about ~my first time~, I decided to go all out with my bad self and splurge on silk crepe de chine lining and satin bias tape as well. The end result is very… purple.

Simplicity 3178
The pattern I used is Simplicity 3178, which is undated but looks to be from the late 30s/early 40s. I love vintage patterns because they always have sweet little details, like the darts on the elbows that provide gentle shaping for the sleeves and the shoulder yokes that are actually pockets (!!).

Simplicity 3178
The skirt is bias cut, so I finished the hem with 1″ horsehair braid to give it a nice flare.

Simplicity 3178
The pattern gives a couple of options for finishing the neckline – I went with the double collar (self fabric on top and ivory wool crepe at the bottom) and a giant bow!

Simplicity 3178
I didn’t have to make too many changes to the pattern to get a good fit. I took in the side seams by 1/2″, tapering up to the underarm. I also removed a whopping 9″ of length from the skirt – the original pattern pieces came all the way down to my ankles! Yeech!

Simplicity 3178
I reckon the pockets are totally unnecessary, but ughhh I love those little fuckers!

Simplicity 3178

Simplicity 3178
This baby is also lined! Wool crepe really begs for a nice lining to give it some additional structure, and although the pattern doesn’t include pieces or instructions for adding a lining, it wasn’t too difficult to figure out. Unfortunately, I didn’t correctly calculate my yardages, so I didn’t have enough lining for the entire dress – which means the sleeves are not lined. I’ve noticed a distinct lack of lining in lots of dress sleeves, so this doesn’t bug me too much. Bonus plus: now you can see the pretty bias tape at the sleeve hems!
Also: lol at this hideously unflattering photo of me. IT WAS WINDY WHEN I TOOK THESE PICTURES, OK.

Simplicity 3178
The instructions do call for the sleeve slit and hems to be finished with bias tape, and then closed with a series of snaps. After trying the dress on during one of many fittings, I decided to flip the hems back to show the bias tape since the dress really needed a bit of color breakup. I pressed the cuff (wool crepe really does press so beautifully) and tacked down each side with a couple of hand stitches to keep everything in place. The neck bow is the same bias tape, just pressed completely open.

Simplicity 3178
I think the shoulders are my favorite part of the dress! Instead of using shoulder pads, I made a small stiff rectangle with horsehair interfacing and tacked that to the armholes like a sleeve head. It keeps the pleats from dropping too much and gives the dress those badass strong shoulders that were so fashionable in the 40s.

Simplicity 3178
Here you can better see the yoke pockets. I just think they are the coolest little detail! I wish they were big enough to hold my phone, but they’re just baarely too small. Hm, what do you think I could use them for? My seam ripper seems to fit :)

Simplicity 3178
Simplicity 3178
I worked hard to make the inside of this dress just as pretty as the outside. The yoke pockets and neck facings are lightly interfaced with silk organza, the facings are finished with satin bias tape, and I even rolled the hem lining and used tiny hand stitches to secure it. The collar is detachable – it’s current state of attachment involves basting stitches.

Simplicity 3178
Overall, I’m very happy with my dress – I love it’s snuggly wool warmth and did I mention purple? Because purple.

IN OTHER NEWS:
- Brittany of Viva Bang Bang, one of the MANY local Nashville bloggers who I’m just obsessed with (check out my sidebar; there are tons of us! WE ARE EVERYWHERE, YO), came to my house over the weekend and took a bunch of pictures of my sewing room. If you thought it looked cool before, definitely go check it out now because she made it look fucking amazing. Yay! Thank you so much, Brittany!!
- I’m sure some of y’all are into Project Runway, yes? Even if you’re not (that would be me, haha. Guilty!), you should totally watch this season because my homegirl Amanda Valentine is one of the designers and she is super rad and you should support her. I mean, they called her a bitch in the season preview. How sweet is that?! Haha!

A Day at the Flea – October 2012

30 Oct

Lord have mercy, the flea market was GOOD to me this month. I’m almost embarrassed by the excess, although I keep telling myself I’m saving money & keeping trash out of landfills. Right? Right!? Humor me here.

Anyway, I went on Saturday with my best-flea-market-buddy-ever, Lauren (and you should definitely go lurk her blog if you enjoy being jealous of beautiful white crocheted lace dresses, because, hot damn). My first mistake was forgetting that October was the “big” month for this flea market. I don’t know what people have against November & December, but for whatever reason, they choose October as their month go to Christmas shopping. The place was PACKED – lots of slow-moving old folks with their dogs in covered baby strollers (sidenote: why? Why wouldn’t you just leave your dog at home? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND). On the flip side, it meant that all the sellers brought out their big guns this month… and we made out like bandits.

Today's flea market haul
Here’s a shitty Instagram pictures of my haul, minus the clothes I bought (oh yes… there are clothes).

40s velvet party dress
This is the very first thing I bought – like, within 15 minutes of getting there. Isn’t she a beaut! I’m pretty sure this is from the 40s/early 50s. I (unsuccessfully)tried to lighten the image; it’s a lovely forest green velvet. The buttons are mother-of-pearl with gold edges. This will definitely be my Christmas dress :)

40s rayon day dress
The second dress is a navy day dress from the 40s. I’m not totally sure of the fabric content, but I’m thinking rayon. Sidenote- the seller & I bickered over the age of this dress. She said it was late 30s, I said early 40s. She said she knew her vintage, I said I know my sewing patterns. Later when I was hemming it up (don’t worry – the original hem is still there, I didn’t cut anything off :)), I found a tag on the inside of the skirt that dates it to 1940. I guess that’s kind of a compromise, huh?
Ps – I know it looks totally ugly on the hanger, here’s an action shot of it on me :)

Butterick 2153
Simplicity 1999
I also got some patterns. Aren’t these darling? The seller remembered me from last month & saved me a box!

I came across that giant box of zippers right before we left. As in, “Let’s lurk this last shed and then go home, I’m cold.” The seller and I haggled a bit on the price, then settled on $15 for the whole box, plus whatever else I wanted to stuff in there. I added a few scraps of fabric, giant covered buttons, and a purse pattern that Lauren was eyeballing. I wasn’t sure if I got a good deal or not, I just grabbed the box & hi-tailed it home.

Zippers!
I know it doesn’t look like much, but there are 83 zippers here! Almost all of them are 22″ (some longer), and they are about 50/50 nylon and metal. Every color of the rainbow! That comes out to about $.18 per zipper, so yeah, I reckon I got a good deal ;) Add that to the giant bag of metal zippers I scored a few months ago; I’m pretty sure I’ll never need to buy another zipper again trololol

You’re probably wondering what my second mistake was.
My second mistake was going back the next day.

with my mom & niece :)
This time, I went with my parents & niece Caroline, who is the sassiest little sass that ever sassed.

true
I would have bought this if it wasn’t $10.

OMG
I discovered that I was a designer in a past life.

haul #2
And here’s haul #2, combined with some stuff my parents bought. Aren’t those side tables amazing?

I missed one of my regular sellers the first go-round, so I was interested to see if he still had anything for me (I usually get my patterns from him):
Vogue Couturier pattern
OH! Ok!

Simplicity 5016

Modes Royale 1415

Sewing Booklets

Pres Kloth !!
(yes, the “kloth” is in there and yes I plan on using it)

Zipper patterns!
Change purse gloves!? DED.

Sewing books via Dept of Agriculture
I actually have no need for these (you should see my collection of fitting books), I was just amused that they were from the US Department of Agriculture. So randumb haha!

Hollywood 1482
I found this pattern at a different booth. I was really excited about it – it was only $1 – until I realized that some idiot piece of shit waste of life SEALED THE ENTIRE THING UP IN CONTACT PAPER. S/he had arranged it in some weird cardboard shadow box with a bunch of sewing notions (not cool vintage sewing notions… like, shit from Joann’s) and plastic-wrapped the whole thing closed. I only wanted the pattern, so the seller punched the front out and gave it to me lol. I was able to rip the top open very carefully with a razorblade, and the envelope contains one pattern piece & the instructions. So boo :( Oh well, at least the artwork is pretty enough to display.

I also bought more clothes!
blanket skirt
50s wool skirt that feels like a blanket.

50s party dress
50s party dress that fits me perfectly (and yes… that is a bird shit stain on the collar lol. I need to clean it!)
This dress was only $5. Hold onto your hats – there is a significant amount of fading down one side of the dress, all the way to the hem. Those spots have been lightened to purple. Hence why it was so cheap. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it – the sun damage isn’t terribly noticeable when worn (the seller suggested I wear it in the dark haha), but you can still see it. I thought about dying it, but I really like the color as-is. So idk yet. But for $5 – I couldn’t leave it behind!

square dancing dress
This square dancing dress was also $5. I’m not sure of it’s age – it’s handmade, at any rate – but it fits and that skirt is super twirly. MINE.

70s wooden shoes
I also found these beat-up 70s wooden platform sandals for $5.

All in all, a good 2 day haul – and I spent way less than $100 total!

And just to keep this related to all things blog~
outfit!
I’m wearing the blanket skirt today – it goes perfectly with my Chuck sweater ;)

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

more flea market goodies

20 Dec

i have a personal rule that i don’t buy myself gifts right before christmas, but i broke it over the weekend because… well, it’s the flea market! how can i resist the beautiful siren song that calls to me on the 4th weekend of every month (3rd weekend in december)? no. i can’t.

but i can share my goodies with y’all. ooh! let’s talk fabric & patterns!

the first batch of patterns are, sadly, not my size. they’re not terribly off – i usually wear a 32 or 34 bust- and i figure i can use them to learn pattern (down)grading. or maybe save them for a giveaway? :) what do you think?

mccall's 9924

mccall's 2935
look at that awesome jacket with those sassy shorts!

mccall's 3750

simplicity 3272
i wish my hair did that.

vogue 5169
this one reminds me so much of new look 6000, no? or maybe it’s just that pretty blue color.
i’m sad the envelope is so torn :( it was in slightly better condition when i bought it, but i ripped all the way when i pulled it out of my bag. waaaaah!

so that lot was $4. yep! i love this particular guy – he always has patterns for me, and his booth is full of cool antiques & records. speaking of which, in the same general building, there was a guy selling a singer featherweight for $250. my dream machine! i was ready to drop all my cash right then & there (and subsequently spend the rest of the month bicycling to work & eating ramen – seriously!), but i tested it & it was having major stitching issues :( aaand he wouldn’t go down on price. so we will wait on the featherweight.

flea market fabrics:
shiny 80s fabric
idk what this is, some kind of stretchy sateen fabric from the 80s lol. it is actually 3 irregular pieces, but i think i can make some kind of cute little cycling top out of it.

plaid fabric
giant piece of plaid fabric that might morph into a jumper.

floral fabric
isn’t this one pretty?? there are about 2 yards, and it is sooo soft.

peter rabbit corduroy :3
haha this one is pretty indulgent – and very small – but how could i leave it behind? peter rabbit corduroy? COME ON.

sheer navy/white fabric
the colors are off in this one, it’s navy blue & white. it’s a sheer polyester something – i’m thinking either a chantilly or the peony with no sleeves.

plaid polyester fabric
my favorite – some class of terrifying plaid polyester fabric! i am seeing another pair of clovers already. of course, my boyfriend took one look at the fabric & said it looked like the kind of shit we used to buy at hot topic 10 years ago (you know, back when they sold velvet gothic dresses & vampire energy drinks lol), but i have decided to ignore him.

i think this is actually upholstry fabric
a couple big pieces of this creepy green fabric… after i got it home (and ew it smells like an old man), i realized it is obviously some kind of upholstery fabric.

bandana fabric!
a nice sized piece of bandana fabric, which is clearly destined to be some class of skanky halter top, amirite?

speckled linen fabric
there were several yards of this one… i think it’s a linen-blend? kind of 80s.
fun fact: serging the edges for prewashing looks like shaving a mustache lol

southwestern fabric, anyone?
hahha so southwestern! i think this fabric is sort of ugly (and, i quote my boyfriend, “that looks like an ugly set of curtains i ripped out of a house i was gutting”), but it also looks very 50s to me & i think it would make a great shirt dress! especially since there is a LOT of it. i didn’t measure, but at least 4-5 yards.

floral fabric
i LOVE this floral fabric. it is kind of stiff, but i think a wash will soften it up a little.

total for all the fabrics: $6.
they also all smell like a really really old man, so they’ll be getting a proper wash tonight. where? at my boyfriend’s house, of course. he can’t insult my flea market fabrics & get away with it.

i also tried to buy a singer spartan sewing machine for $25 at the last booth i visited, but the woman got all bullhurt at me because i wanted to test the machine (you know, to make sure it sews!) and then yelled at me for pulling off the throat plate to check that the bobbin was intact. she accused me of trying to break her sewing machine and wasting her time because i obviously had no intention of buying it. i will admit, i cried a little after that confrontation. kind of dampened my mood… i just went home. but you know what? at least i only had to deal with her for a few minutes. she has to put up with her bad attitude for the rest of her life.

more patterns! i picked these up at the southern thrift store by my house. they have this terrible policy where they dump a bunch of “like” items in a plastic bag, staple it shut, and make you buy the whole bag. i convinced the cashier to let me open the bags & dig through, but she wouldn’t let me swap out patterns. there was something like 15-20 patterns per bag, and 4 bags of them, so you can imagine how much she hated me by the time i was done :) haha! i bought 2 of the bags… here are some of my favorites.
simplicity 5973

simplicity 7591
i don’t even like this pattern, but i LOVE THAT PONYTAIL

simplicity 5355

simplicity 4948
really really REALLY wish the envelope was intact :(

butterick 5946
lol i can’t even

butterick 9328
LOVE this one.

vogue 7384

simplicity 2458
welp, there’s the shirt dress!

simplicity 5927
and there’s the jumper!

mccall's 2185
this is totally ridiculous. the girl in the pink is my favorite.

vogue
is this a maternity pattern? it looks a lot like one of the dresses posted on liz’s blog (~new relaxed silhouettes~, third image).

simplicity 4276
i will confess that i end up with a lot of patterns just based on the illustration. helment-hair over here is no exception.

and look! a couple of men’s patterns!
simplicity 2081
mccall's 4866
too bad my boy is too small for these :(

the bags were priced at $5.99 each, and i bought 2. in addition to the pretties here (and many many more that i haven’t posted), i got some uglies too. not a bunch of really bad ones – most were just stuff that doesn’t look good on me, like 60s A-line dresses – but oooh here are a few of the worst.
butterick 4070

mccalls 8180

see & sew 3285
this is a bad picture of a picture, but i swear those pants…things are cut out of an actual fleece blanket.

mccall's 9330
yep.

there are quite a few more patterns that i didn’t post (48 photos in all!), so if you want to see the rest, check out the set!

completed: denim trousers

9 Dec

ahhh i’ve been looking for a pair of trousers like this – high-waisted, wide-legged denim trousers. you’d think this would be an easy thing to source at the thrift store – i recall many years of pushing past racks of high-waisted jeans – but i guess they’re back in style now, so they are getting snatched up at a rapid pace. meh.

anyway, i mentioned that i won a giveaway on molly‘s blog a couple of weeks ago… i got vogue 2925 and a really sweet vintage slip pattern. seriously, i made out like a bandit here. i mostly just wanted to make up that fabulous coat, but i didn’t realize until i received the pattern that there was also a pants pattern involved here. just the kind of pants i want, too!

i did have to make a few alterations to get the pattern to work for me – i folded out about 1″ of the crotch length (i am okay with my short crotch, and you should be too! huh, that came out all wrong) and eliminated the cuffs. the waist was a little too big, so i pulled that in on the sides (although, in retrospect, i may have pulled it in a little too much. they are kind of tight up there!). i ended up cutting quite a bit of the leg flare off the sides – something like 2″. they were dwarfing my poor little legs & making me look like a stump in 2 leg skirts.

i can’t really call these “jeans” because there’s not much about them that is like a traditional pair of jeans. there is minimal topstitching – and i went with denim colored thread because i wanted these to still be sleek – and no pockets. the seams are mock-flat felled. i did use a ~real~ jeans button & fly zipper (see my fly zipper tutorial if you’re like me & need hand-holding with this process!). the denim is… interesting. i picked it up at a yardsale over the summer… something insane like 4 yards for $2. and this is serious workman denim – it is very heavy and has no stretch. honestly, it’s probably as old as the pattern i used lol. this pants would probably benefit from a slight amount of stretch, especially considering how tight i made them. ah, live and learn!

denim trousers
obviously, i still need to work on my pattern fitting. there are smile lines & a little bit of bagginess at the bottom of the crotch.

denim trousers
the butt is a little tight, could have benefited from a small full butt adjustment.
(if you are wondering why my wall color keeps changing, blame the photo editing program i used :B)

denim trousers
they look good from the side, though!

denim trousers - flat

denim trousers - inside
the original pattern called for a folded over waistband… i felt like that was too much bulk with this denim, so i shaved an inch off the width & faced it with a bit of interfaced cotton. much more comfortable!

so, i feel pretty good about my trousers. there are definitely some fitting issues, but i approached these as a “wearable muslin” (hence the mock flat-felled seams), and i think i can get a better fit with the next pair. they are definitely wearable – and definitely perfect for those little boy’s sweaters i keep picking up that are too short to wear with regular-rise pants.

they would also probably look fabulous with a leopard print jacket. DAMMIT. i need to get cracking on that beast!

denim trousers

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