22 March 2012

Simplicity Summer 2012 Patterns

"They're here!" That's what I shouted this morning at breakfast, to the surprise of my mother and sister. "THE SUMMER PATTTERNS ARE HERE!"
They only had two costume patterns, this and a civil war pattern, and you know how I dislike civil war era. I think this lacks the intricacy of their other "steampunk" patterns and ends up looking on the cheap and cheesy side, but I think the bolero is really spiffy. The skirt on the right wouldn't be terrible either with a better top.
 Barring the skirts, I think the top is interesting. The star trek-ish keyhole has been popping up in lots of patterns.
 I really would like more maxi dresses for this summer. I'm not usually big on bohemian style, I tend to fall more into classic, but they are really so comfortable.
 The stark trek keyhole! There it is again!
This method of added fullness to a skirt is so incredibly flattering. I'm really glad someone incorporated it into a pattern finally. I just wish her designs didn't have such high necklines.
A maxi dress pattern with cup sizes! Hooray!

21 March 2012

SW: Mad Men Challenge

Choosing a pattern for the Sew Weekly Mad Men challenge this week was nearly impossible. I had way too many too choose from, and all of them had fiddly details. I'm still fearing doing sleeves after having to take them off my Macaron (which still needs to be hemmed).

Who should be my inspiration? Joan would be an obvious choice, but I seldom wear anything with a pencil skirt silhouette. I hate the way I look in it. Peggy is great, but I lacked anything in my fabric stash that would be Peggyish. I really love Sally's outfits, but I didn't want to sew yet ANOTHER shift dress. Trudy is usually too outlandish and fancy. I wanted something I could wear "everyday". That left me with Betty.

I'm not blonde, I'm only just learning to like pink and overall I only like about half her outfits, but I did have 3 yards of pepto bismol pastel pink linen in my stash, a recent thrift find for $4. I also had this pattern which I have had on my to-do list. I was really tempted to do a full skirt season 1 or 2 style dress but I wanted to stick with the current season (1966) and this pattern is 1965. It is also something I can picture myself wearing in public. Big plus.
View 3 is my choice. I think the closest actual inspiration would be this dress, which is one of my few favorites of hers and was already inspiration for a different dress I've made.
She also has worn a lot of shirtdresses, which this is. That's something I've not yet tackled!
Betty Draper images from this blog.

18 March 2012

Costume Vocabulary: Ulster Coat

Last night, while reading a pre-1960s Nancy's Mysterious Letter it mentions that George wears an ulster [coat], hat and muffler. I had no idea what an ulster coat was and looked it up. According to wikipedia it originally looked something like this...it's the Sherlock Holmes coat!
It later lost the cape, so the one George would have had would be capeless, like in the image below from this blog.
I could find no pictures of a woman in an ulster. Oh George...But I did find this great ad from the '30s featuring one with a fur collar. I endorse mens coats with fur collars. From here.

16 March 2012

Basketball and Bloomers: First Skirt Done!

I tested out all my alterations to Simplicity 2660 that transformed it into something that looked more like a 1912 Girl Scout uniform (think a first season Downton Abbey skirt silhouette).
 It had to be made out of duck, and I had to alter it to be a wrap skirt in three different lengths fitting girls age 7-18. My very tiny sister is modeling the 7 year old size below.
 And here it is unfolded! I've got another sewing session tomorrow where I'll be walking a group of volunteers through making 15 of these.

13 March 2012

When Kitties Draft Patterns

Today is my last day apartment sitting so hopefully after this I will get to do some sewing. I got a few seams done on my third go round of this pattern. This time I'm using a sheet I thrifted with a great mod feel. This will be both a stash-bust and a UFO!
What else have I been up to? I took an unexpected trip to New Hampshire, where I got to spend time with this cutie.
I considered buying an antique Volvo recommended to me by another member of the Flickr group Volvo Divas. I decided against it, but I did spot this beauty on the highway. You can see the front of my own Volvo in the foreground.
My only other sewing related activity was doing some alterations to a pattern for the other half of the Girl Scout costuming project. Janice, the kitty at the apartment, decided to "help" me. This meant running across the paper at top speed and making paw-sized holes in it.
Lastly, I got bored being cooped up (the neighborhood isn't very nice, so I don't really dare take walks) and gave myself a haircut. I'm not sure if I love it - I didn't realize how much I had cut off. I used this video...
At first it didn't look at all like it was supposed to, so I kept on cutting. And cutting. And cutting. Now it definitely looks like it, but it is a lot shorter than I realized. I'm also wondering if it will look dumb if I don't straighten it, since that was a big plus side to my last haircut - no work involved.

08 March 2012

John Carter of Barsoom, Mars

Probably a lot of you have seen this trailer for John Carter a new movie by Disney and thought, "Huh?" It doesn't have princesses (EDIT: the cutesy, marketable to 4 year old kind), the aliens don't feel particularly futuristic and overall, it doesn't look very Disney either. The minute I saw the trailer I jumped up and down and nearly wet myself with EXCITEMENT.
John Carter is the main character in a series of sci-fi books my dad gave me back in high school. I only got through two of them but they were excellent. It was originally published in 1940 but my copies are from the 1970s/1980s.
The nub and gist of what I'm saying is go see it. It will be good (I hope).

Folks Serv