Thursday, July 30, 2009

Crazy for Overhalls

At Viva this year I decided that I need a pair of Rosie the Riveter overalls. There were lots girls wandering around the casino in vintage-repro overalls during the day. They looked so very casual and comfortable without being slouchy or (GASP!) too modern. I neeeeed. Need!

McCalls 4616 (From selmalee.) seems like it would work well. I would lower the line in back to get rid of the high inverted V and lengthen the straps to that they criss-cross.

I think this pattern might also make a really cute pair of sailor pants. I could leave off the bib altogether, add a waistband, and sew the pocket line shut. Then I'd stitch decorative buttons over the pocket line (because I'm waaay too scared of that many buttonholes) and vi-ola! Sailorville! Of course, I'll have to narrow the legs a bit. The leg hem is 25.5 inches around! I'm a pretty short girl. I'm not sure I could carry off bells that wide, even in sailor pants.

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Now that I have Simplicity 6568 in my hand, I'm not sure about the bib. Its a little square. I definitely like the skirted version better than the overalls. I'm not sure I'd want it that short, though. I think it would be a bit muttony/lamby for me.

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I just couldn't decide on this one. I kept putting it in my Ebay watched items and then taking it out again. The photo on the pattern envelope is just so awful! Perm! Clogs! Ugh. Ultimately the side ties won me over. I think that it would be cute in a bright colored (or black) poplin with contrast ties.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mad Men Yourself

This is kind of off topic (not sewing related) but it was too fun not to share! Go here to Mad Men yourself!

Look! It's (almost) my new dress!

And here's my everyday-go-to-work look (if you substitute jeans for the skirt).

It really does look like me... Spooky!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Spotty Dotty Sky Blue

I have had quite a few weddings to go to this year. This outfit was made for a wedding in Santa Barbara. I used this fabric

and this pattern

This pattern was SO easy that it almost made itself. I just love the way it came out. I'm a little at a loss for what to say about it, it was just so easy! For those who appreciate details, I’ll use the pattern review template…

Pattern Description: From the envelope: Juniors' and Misses' one-piece dress with two skirts and reversible jacket - Sleeveless dress has lowered neckline, slightly extended shoulders and back zipper closing. V. 1 features a slim skirt with soft pleats at front waistline, back kick pleat and self tie belt. V. 2 has full gathered skirt with a soft pleat on each side of front. Reversible jacket V. 1 has kimono sleeves and flap trim.

Pattern Sizing: Size 14 (34/26/36) My measurements, these days, are closer to 34/29/38 but, since patterns of this era seem to have exactly the right amount of ease, this fit me perfectly without major alterations. I altered nothing in the dress and only made a few simple changes to the jacket.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow? To be honest, I didn’t do much more than glance at the instructions. I’m already pretty familiar with all of the techniques needed for this dress so I just sort of slapped it together in the way that seemed to make the most sense.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Super duper easy construction, great fit, looks like the pattern envelope.

Fabric Used: I used tutti-frutti seersucker from Joanne’s. I didn’t check the fabric content but the lady at the cutting counter said it was polyester. It must have some cotton in it somewhere. It feels and behaves just like a light cotton: slightly stiff but light, soft and only a little stretchy. It didn’t like being ironed all that much, the puckers fade right out of it. I don’t know if all seersucker does that or not..? Reducing the heat of the iron by about half made a huge difference.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: No alterations or changes made to the dress. I didn’t include any of the jacket facings, nor did I bother top-stitching the edges of the jacket. It doesn’t seem to have made any difference. Additionally, I increased the seam allowances on the lower jacket edges to a full inch in order to make it a little smaller/shorter. I reduced the underarm seam allowance to one quarter inch in order to give myself a little more room in the armpit. I know that’s not how you are really supposed to do alterations, but it works for me.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? ABSOFREAKINLUTLEY. I think this would be a great first dress/jacket for someone who is just learning to sew. It incorporates a lot of the basic techniques that you need to know, but there are minimal pattern pieces and it goes together quickly.

Love love love it. I adore how floaty the skirt is. All those gathers make it really puffy (in a good way) in back and adding a crinoline made the bell shape really stand out. I’m a short hourglass at the outer edge of my ideal weight so sometimes gathered skirts make me look a zillion times bigger than I am. This one didn’t make me look enormous. I think this was due to the flat panel in front. I was worried that the jacket would be too boxy for my figure but it is slim and short enough to allow my shape to show through.

Here 'tis!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Everything Old is New Again - Again.

70s does 30s! Hooray!

Doesn't this dress...

look an awful lot like this dress?

I thought so too. I bought Simplicity 6034 on eBay, but Simplicity 2777 can be yours from Fuzzy Lizzy at Bablyon Mall. She's got a zillion really gorgeous patterns for sale.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Vintage Repro Fabric

I found both of these vintage-looking prints on sale at

This lovely plaid is by Darlene Zimmerman for Robert Kaufmann. I would like to fill my stash with the Clothesline Club line of fabrics. The whole collection is adorable. I'd love to have dresses made from each and every print. I lurve lurve lurve it. I am 99% sure that this will be the fabric I'll use for my Gatsby dress this year. Unless 4 yards isn't enough to match the plaids. Fingers crossed.

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Could? You? Die? Isn't this mid/mod fabric just too much? I hope I have enough to make a 50s dress with a full skirt.

I don't know why I always buy 4 yards of everthing. It seems like it will be enough when I'm placing the order, but when I see how small it looks in the stash... 5 yards would be better.

More fabric is always better.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Suitable for Stripes

This fabric

This pattern

Despite being a modern pattern, and they always seem to give me trouble, this one was pretty darned easy to use. I purchased it in a 12 because modern patterns purchased in my own size/measurements (14) always end up being too large. This is despite the fact that according to the measurements on the envelope I should be a size 14. Oh well. At least I know.

I ignored the cutting directions because they didn’t include “with nap” and I needed to try and match the stripes (or at least have them all go in the same direction). I had reduce the skirt length by about 2 inches because my fabric wasn’t quite wide enough to cut out the skirt front on the fold.

I thought it was interesting that the instructions tell you to attach the bodice to the skirt before finishing the interfacing and straps. It made installing the zipper and straps pretty easy, but it was hard to tell how the dress would come out until it was basically finished. Again, if I had the patience/brainpower to figure out fit BEFORE cutting and stitching it wouldn’t be an issue.

I did some brief fittings of the bodice and skirt separately and increased/decreased the seam allowances as seemed appropriate. I was surprised that when I was finished, the dress actually fit pretty well. The length is perfect despite shortening it. My only complaint is that, I think because there are no side darts, the bodice is a bit baggy under my boobs. (The other modern sun-dress I made did the same thing.)

I had quite a bit of green fabric left over so I decided to make a little jacket to go with the dress. I used the bolero from this pattern.

It was super easy to whip up. I decided to make it reversible and, even though I've never made anything reversible before, it was pretty easy. I just made the jacket twice - once in a heavier white cotton, once in the green stripe. Then, instead of finishing the edges, I pinned both versions with the right sides together and stitched up the edges. I pulled it right side out through one of the sleeve holes...and it worked! Amazing! I wasn't sure how to finish the sleeves so I folded the raw edges back in on themselves and then top-stitched the ends together.

Here's the complete outfit with & without the jacket.

My only regret is that I didn't line the bodice. My bra shows through a bit more than I would like. I think at some point I may have to go back and line it.

Overall, I like the ensemble, although I do feel like a big piece of Fruit Stripe Gum.


Unrelated note: While searching for an image of Yipes, the Fruit Stripe Zebra, I found this. People love My Little Pony. Who knew?