Thursday, February 25, 2010

Navy Skirt

This pattern again, with the same navy blue sueded twill that I used for the trousers.

The skirt has more wearing ease than the trousers did and it came out a little big. Even so, it's comfortable and great for dancing in. I think it will make good work-wear too. If I ever find a job!!

I liked this pattern a lot. I was afraid of all the gores at first but it was very easy. I wasn't as careful as usual in making sure that my seams were absolutely straight so its a little more "home-made" looking than I would like.

Please forgive the rumpled-ness of the pictures. I probably should have re-ironed before I snapped these.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cheap Pantyhose Fix

It's really hard to find beige-on-beige back-seam pantyhose. Beige-on-beige back seam stockings are easier to find, but the good ones are expensive and I am cheap. I tend to be pretty rough on hose so I hate to spend too much on them. Besides I really like pantyhose, especially when its cold out, and it's cold quite frequently here in Fogville.

A few months ago, I bought five pair of beige-on-beige back seam pantyhose from Amazon because they were really cheap. Unfortunately, they were the crappy Leg Avenue ones. I've worn Leg Avenue hose before so I should have known better but I got over-excited by the price. I regretted it as soon as I tried them on.

They fit pretty well (which is rare with Leg Avenue hose) but the yarn is horribly fuzzy. They have no sheen and look sort of...I don't know...chalky? Plus, it's like wearing Velcro on your legs. They cling to your skirts and make them climb up, even if you are wearing a slippery fabric, because they generate static like crazy. Also they rub together and pull when you walk and your seams end up all crooked. Ugh.

Last week I bought a pair of plain old Hanes pantyhose from Target. They were supposed to be top-to-toe extra support so I expected them to be a little squeezey. Instead, they fit perfectly. I think the only difference is they are made with a stronger yarn than usual. They are a slightly darker shade of beige and they have a light sheen so they are very vintage-looking hose, except for the lack of back seam.

This gave me a crazy idea.

When we went out dancing the other night, I put the new pair on over the crappy back seam tights. It was really easy to pull the good pair over the crappy ones and together they were still very sheer. I didn't feel like I was being over-squeezed and the two pairs of hose didn't make it difficult to visit the ladies room. You can't even tell I'm wearing two pairs and the seams stayed in place all night.

Another plus is that two pairs together will provide camouflage if you happen to run your hose. I somehow managed to shove a thumbnail through the Leg Avenue ones during a bathroom break...and you couldn't see the run at all through the top pair. Hahahahaha! I feel like an evil genius. I don't have to throw out all those Leg Avenue hose after all and neither do YOU! :) I don't know how much this will help, but here are pictures.

Before (Just Leg Ave)

After (With Hanes over the top.)

I think this would work with any brand of pantyhose over the Leg Avenue ones, as long as the top pair are made with a better quality slippery yarn. Has anyone else out there tried this?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Maple Play Suit

Remember this pair of overalls? After I was done, I had quite a bit of fabric left over. Because of the nap, I wasn't able to cut out anything with too many big pieces. I definitely wanted to try and make another garment, because I love the maple-syrup color. I decided to try making a two-piece (30s?) 40s-style swim/play suit using pieces from a few different patterns.

I used Simplicity 2425 to make the shorts and they came out exactly right. I made pleats in the front again, instead of gathers, and used the waistband from this skirt pattern. I think the shorts are just perfect.

I really really love Simplicity 2425! I found it in the envelope for Simplicity 1975 when I made this shorts jumper. I'm still on the hunt for a complete copy, although I'd settle for an image of the pattern envelope. I’ve searched in Pattern Rescue, the Vintage Pattern Wiki, and Google, but nothing comes up. If you happen to run across it out there somewhere, please let me know!

I only wish I liked the top better. For the top I used the bodice from this pattern, View C. I should have known that it would be a pain.

I didn’t care for this top when I made it the first time (as a dress bodice) and it wasn't any easier or flattering this time around, either. I had to do SO much fiddling to get it to work. The lower half of the bodice is just incredibly baggy.

I don’t understand if the front piece is simply too flat for a big-chested girl or if I’m doing something wrong. I think I need to stop using this bodice and find a halter top pattern that works on my body type.

I tried so many different things to get it to fit properly that I won't bore you with all the details. I will say that the only thing that really made any difference was making the front darts REALLY wide at the bottom. I think that the bottom end of each dart ended up being about 4 inches wide.

Deciding how to fasten the top was interesting. I originally intended to put in a side zipper but then I decided I wanted buttons up the back. Since the top was originally designed for a dress with a back zipper, I didn't have quite enough length to put in proper button holes. I put in some fabric loops but they didn't look right so I ripped them out and put in a placket for button holes instead.

My local fabric store didn't have any brown buttons that I liked so I got some cute art deco looking red ones instead. They came in packs of two so there are three on the top and one on the shorts. Win! They are true red, although its hard to tell from this picture. (Don't look to closely at the buttonholes. They are all different sizes and very scary!!)

The top is STILL a bit big under my boobs and it STILL droops in the back. I have un-stitched it and taken it in a zillion times and it just keeps drooping. I have heard that linen tends to "grow" as you wear it, unless it is lined with a tightly woven fabric. I am assuming that this is the problem, but it could also be that I am just a crap seamstress. Sigh.

Despite a less than perfect fit, the top and shorts look pretty good as a set. I think it will be just fine for an afternoon pool-side at Viva Las Vegas.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Friends Continue to Be Awesome

I am again the beneficiary of my wonderful friends' generosity! Miss Kate Dana (who blogs at Kukaru) sent me a box full of vintage recipe pamphlets and ephemera from the 40's thru the 60's.

They are all wonderful! I've scanned a few of my favorites to share with you.

Ready to lose some of those holiday pounds? How's about the Knox eat and reduce plan? "No drug...No hunger." Just fill up before meals with a low calorie gel beverage!

On a gelatin-free vegetarian diet? No problem! How about a little Choplet-Burger in a can?

If that doesn't appeal to you, you can always Keep Slim and Trim with Domino Sugar menus. This illustration is just amazing. I love that swimsuit!

Here are some more vintage 50's swimsuits from the Scenic South - Florida travel guides. Those of us in colder climes could use a little sunshine right about now, don't you agree?

Thank you Kate Dana for sharing these with me!