31 May 2011

7 Tops: Number 2

Here they are, the photos of Simplicity 2364. They're not the best shots, but by the time I got home today the light wasn't particularly good.
Pattern: Simplicity 2364 $.99
Fabric: Polyester? sweater knit (Walmart), cotton knit jersey (JoAnns). Both were from my stash. $0
Notions: None
Time: 3 hours
Cost: $.99 
Notes: This will definitely be made again. It took almost no time to make and it was plenty cool to wear today. It was already in the mid 80s yesterday. I paired it with this skirt, which had wallowed, unworn in my sister's closet for a few years. Best of all, no hemming required with the knits!

Soon, I Promise!

I literally finished my second top a half an hour ago, and now I have to run off to work (yes, I am wearing newly-made top). Therefore I have not yet had time to take any photos! I do love it though, I hope to make a second one. I made view C, the two-tone version. I will get photos today, I promise!

29 May 2011

Seven Tops in Seven Days or Why I Won't Sew the Perfect Summer Dress

My sister rather rudely awakened me to the fact that MMJune starts on WEDNESDAY! I thought it at least didn't start until the weekend. Of course, I also wrote that it was 2008 on a bank deposit slip last week. Just saying. I'm not really on top of things like dates. Anyways, I  realized I have a large problem. The SW challenge this week is to make "The Perfect Summer Dress". I have my perfect summer dress pattern, from 1935. I don't have fabric for it and I really don't need another dress for MMJune.
But I do need tops. Badly. I have 5, but one is flannel and one is a little too much on the vintage side to wear to work. So I decided to do a 7/7 challenge, like Mena did on the SW, only I would do it with tops instead of dresses. I kicked it off with Colette Patterns new free pattern, "Sorbetto". This is actually also my first time sewing with a Colette Pattern!
Can you tell I'm in love with it? It is reminiscent of a simple late edwardian/early flapper shirtwaist with the center pleat detail.
Pattern: Colette Patterns' "Sorbetto" $0
Fabric: Silver sparkly linen, leftover from the "Meh" mock-Calvin-Klein dress. I didn't even really have a yardage, just scraps from my scrap box. $0
Notions: Bias tape (JoAnns $1.25), blue braid trim (Lorraine Fabrics $.99), crochet trim (JoAnns, purchased for another project).
Time: Approximately 6 hours...all that trim meant a LOT of pinning!
Cost: $3
This pattern was delightful to sew! I can see why the Colette Patterns are so popular. I did, however, alter it slightly. I had to take it in at the armpits and up a smidge in the back shoulder seams but those are my usual alterations. I also added some darts to the back to give it more shape.
I think I am going to make it again as a pajama top, with their free bloomer pattern, only out of white batiste which would very much give it an Edwardian feel
On another note, I went swimming today, to celebrate the holiday weekend! Then my sister and I got lost in the trails for about an hour and came out in someone's back yard.
But back to the sewing...
How am I planning on accomplishing my seven tops? Well, JoAnns is conveniently having a 5 for $5 Simplicity sale at the moment, so I snagged up several patterns, including a full price New Look. I did my PatternReview.com research before going. After, my sister and I headed off to Lorraine Fabrics to the $1.99/yd bargain loft for sufficient top making fabric. I would have loved to stashbust, but back when I was buying up my stash I had little knowledge of what is appropriate for garment construction, so most of it isn't. Approximately $40 spent and hopefully well invested!

26 May 2011

SW: Embellish This!

I was not as adventurous in my embellishment as I could have been, but even this was going outside my comfort zone. For me, embellishment is frequently an afterthought that generally ends badly.
I had just received this pattern in the mail and knew it would be perfect...minimal time to sew the garment and then I could expend my energy on embellishment.

Pattern: Butterick 4022 (est. 1974) $4.24
Fabric: Navy knit, 100%cotton, from an old sheet left at our beach house.
Notions: Ribbon from RTW garment, felt from old craft projects, piping from old sewing projects.
Time: Approx. 4 hours
Cost: $4.24, for the pattern.
I really like this pattern. It is flattering and it feels like a "Sew and Go" pattern. After all, this might be the first SW challenge where I wasn't finishing on Sunday! I obviously omitted the hood this time 'round but I do want to make a hooded version as well. Possibly in red!
I had a few snags, of course. I cut one of the front pieces (there is a front center seam) on the wrong side of the fabric and had just enough to cut a second. I also managed the sew the piping on so that it joined in the front. Brilliant. That was the most frustrating of my mistakes but it was still minimal. The flowers were easy enough...I used a Martha Stewart tutorial I saw in an old magazine. They are teal, light blue and grey. The best part is that it is flattering, comfortable AND work wearable. A total winner!

23 May 2011

SW: Embellishment Ideas

In case you're looking for some inspiration for this week's SW challenge (like myself) I put together a list of ideas and tutorials.
My all-time favorite embellishment is probably embroidery, even though I'm not very good at it. My favorite source for free vintage transfers is floresita of "Feeling Stitchy"'s flickr photostream.
Grosgrain has a whole month's worth of embellishment tutorials.

Burdastyle is also a good source for inspiration and tutorials.
Fray Trim Tutorial
Threads is also a fount of embellishment tutorials. Tired of the same old rosettes? Make a chrysanthemum!
Fabric braid is fun, but this ribbon braid looks ten times more professional.
 Rock some studs, like on this 1940s cape.
 Weave some celtic knot trim, or form it into pockets!
Last, but not least, make some prairie points!
image from diaryofaquilter.com

22 May 2011

SW: RWB Conclusion

Even though I previously wrote a whole post about making a R/W/B skirt for this week's SW challenge, I went a completely different route (of course...will I ever stick to a sewing plan?) Being very pressed for time and trying really hard to stick to my fabric stash-busting, I went ahead and made Simplicity 2211, aka the Lisette "Market Dress".
 Fabric: Brick red and navy poplin print, called "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts" by Twins Seven Seven, Boston, MA ($0 - snatched it up when the costume shop de-stashed). Navy broadcloth ($2.24, JoAnn)
Pattern: Simplicity 2211, modern ($1.99).
Notions: Etched shell buttons ($4, JoAnn)
Time Duration: Est. 6 hours.
Total Cost: $8.23
Review on PatternReview.
Basically, I love this dress! Everyone should invest in copies of the Lisette patterns. The only reason that it was a bumpy ride was because I usually was working on it late at night, when I was quite tired.
The pros: it will be great for MMJune, the main fabric came from my stash, no closures and it got all that Gidget inspiration out of my system in a GOOD way - I watched every episode last week after renting it from the library. It is also actually very flattering for a shift dress.
The cons: I didn't realize that the fabric was a mirror image when I started cutting. So after cutting the front out I re-cut it in the middle of the fabric, and therefore had to cut the back in two pieces. This made me sad, but the print covers it up well enough. I used the original front piece for the sleeves. I also didn't really do alterations, so I can't lift my arms above my head!
Alterations: I cut a size 12, instead of my usual 14 because there is a lot of ease. I also didn't use the arm flounce pattern piece because I knew they would look oversized and cheesy oan me. I drafted my own out of 3" by 45" pieces of fabric, which I folded in half and gathered. This way the ruffles are more soft.

On a side note, I managed to finish knitting this headband last week for a friend as a thank you. It is called the Blue Leaf Headband and you can get it for free on Ravelry. This is the second one I've made and they're kind of addicting, since they only take about 2 days (maybe three hours total) to make. I made this one in Bamboo Ewe by Stitch Nation, which made a narrower band than my previous one.

What's next? Well, for the Sew Weekly we've got to embellish something! I just got two new patterns in the mail...Butterick 4022, a 1970s hooded knit dress and McCall 9480, pajamas from the 1960s. I've got my eye on the dress because I've already got the fabric and since it will be quick to whip up, I can spend my time on the embellishment aspect. On the other hand, I really need to make some summer PJs for MMJune. My flannel ones will probably be just too hot halfway through.

16 May 2011

SW: Red, White and Blue

From http://adventures-of-the-blackgang.tumblr.com/
The SW challenge for this week is to make something red, white and blue. Because, you know, just about everything I've ever made and even most of my RTW clothes are in that color scheme, you think this would be an easy-peasy challenge for me. In reality, I'm having a hard time coming up with a project! There are just too many possibilities. I originally wanted to make something out of some lovely nautical fabric I picked up at JoAnns but after going through my patterns about a bajillion times and not really finding anything I wanted to make it out of, that idea went out the window. 
 Then I thought of this pattern. I'm still trying to a)use patterns I already own b)use fabrics I already own c)make more separates and d)make things I can use for MMJune.
I would make the skirt and I'd love to make the jacket but I don't think I have the time this week for both.
I figure I can make the skirt from blue or red broadcloth and then make the contrasting wedge out of white and either red or blue to make it look like a nautical pennant. I know I have some scraps in all those colors, but I don't know if I have enough for the main body of the skirt (the back is solid color).
In an ideal world I would also make a Lisette market blouse out of white swiss dot (with yellow dots maybe?) and the view 1 jacket out of a light blue knit with the white rick rack "shark's teeth" trim.

11 May 2011

The Vintage Pattern Wiki: Doing Your Part

I love the VPW and so do many vintage sewists. So I feel it is our duty to put up the projects we've completed on the wikipages  for other sewists to see. After all, how many times do we wish we could have seen a pattern made up before we had a go at it ourselves? So I beg of you, take the time this week to upload one or two of your creations.
Here are some of my favorite make-ups of vintage patterns that you can find on the VPW.
(All photos are from the VPW)
And I think this one takes the cake!

10 May 2011

Happy Birthday Shirt For Mom and SW Hat Dress

I've done it again! Made Simplicity 2418, that is. This is my fifth time around sewing it, and I've got a sixth on the way for myself only I lengthened it into a dress. 
I finished the seams a little differently...just whipstitched without picking into the shirt itself but other than that I constructed it the same as my own. She picked out the fabric at JoAnn's and it works great with the pattern because it is a tad stiffer than the two fabrics I've used in my own.
 On a more depressing note, I've done my right thumb in with all the handstitching and knitting I've been doing and so I probably won't be getting around to making my Sew Weekly Challenge project this week. Never mind that the sewing gods were pulling it all together for me! I was going to make the infamous Butterick 4790 (walk-away dress) and even found 6 yards of gorgeous quilter's cotton by M'Liss at Savers for $4.99...I had previously bought some fabric from the same collection a few years ago for about $9.99/yd from the JoAnns.
I've also got some Built By Wendy pants on the sewing table and a 1970s UFO that would also serve for the SW challenge if I really felt like it.
Also, for those of you not participating in the Sew Weekly Sewing Circle, I forgot to post this dress!


The challenge was to make a dress to match a hat we own! I was very excited for this one, especially as I had started the dress a few weeks before. It matches the pillbox that I also happen to have made! It is fully underlined in the bodice and has a free hanging lining in the skirt. I omitted the facings and opted to bias bind the edges since the underlining acted like a facing anyways.
Fabric: Thrifted sheet and scraps from another sheet for the lining ($2.99)
Pattern: Simplicity 2209, Lisette "Passport" Dress ($1.99)
Notions: Zipper, thrifted ($.69)
Time: Not sure, I basically drafted the bodice front from scratch using my own sloper, and that took ages!

06 May 2011

SW: Jean and Johnny Skirt

Ah, children's books. I still read them! That made this week's Sew Weekly challenge tough because we were supposed to use a kids book to inspire our project. For some reason I wasn't really feeling that inspired by anything on my own bookshelf, although I briefly considered something piratey because I loved Tenggren's
"Pirates, Ships and Sailors". Some other possible inspirations were "Jenny and the Cat Club", "Poppleton", "Blueberries for Sal" and of course, Nancy Drew herself. In the end I settled on what is really a young adult book, but my library has it in the kids room, so oh well!
I love the few teen books that Beverly Cleary wrote and I hadn't read this one until a few months ago. There is a great summary on the blog Daughter Number Three (the quote is from that post). When I read this book, it opens with Jean and her sister doing chores and Jean thinking about the skirt she is wearing. 

"The girls make all of their own clothes, while their mother works Saturdays at a fabric store (I'll bet in part to get a discount on fabric). The idea of buying a ready-made dress is a dream that finally comes true in the course of the story."

She is cranky because she didn't take time to match the plaid on the sides, whereas she admires her sisters thrift and creativity at having made a skirt out of bandanas.
That image really stuck with me, as I had made a baby quilt out of bandanas at one point and I loved the idea. I had been wanting to make this since then and now I had the opportunity to do so! I love it, even though I'm not usually big on dirndl skirts, and it will be perfect for MMJune!
Fabric: 5 bandanas from Wal-Mart - 4 for the skirt, 1 for the waistband ($5)
Pattern: None, self-drafted waistband
Notions: Sew-on snaps
Time Duration: Approx. 2 hours.
Total Cost: $5!

Folks Serv