Tag Archives: vintage

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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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

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.

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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.
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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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