I haven't had much time for sewing much less blogging lately but a couple of weekends ago I threw myself in a chair with a cup of tea and started perusing vintage patterns online. I came across a nice 70's skirt that I liked the seams on (can't find it again to show you). The pattern wasn't my size and cost more than I cared for when it occurred to me I had seen a more modern version. A quick check and yep:
Simplicity 2185. The skirt seaming was exactly the same as the 70's version. A quick trip while I was out one day into the pattern sale and it was mine for 99 cents. I already had some brown cotton lawn I and a zipper to make it. A little note: There are so many versions of this skirt in the same pattern because it can be made of knits with an elastic waist or wovens with a zipper on the left side.
I wanted those front curved seams to show a little more than they did, so I thought about topstitching but that seemed dull - then I thought of the hemstitching I had been playing with a few weeks ago. So before I sewed the front to the back I pressed each one out, put stabilizer behind the seams, put a 120/19 needle in my Brother sewing machine (a wing needle would have worked too), and used the Parisian stitch to give it a hemstitched look. I practiced on a scrap first to see how those curves would do and it worked fine.
When I was half way done I realized I probably shouldn't have decreased the length and width of my Parisian stitch so much but it was too late to do anything about it. I didn't use the hemstitch on the side seams --especially since I had to let the right one out a little extra! Although my extra work on the detail ended up so subtle it's not very noticeable I'm still very pleased with this skirt. I wore it yesterday and loved it.
I promised myself no more bad photos but that isn't happening right now. Instead you get these two headless shots of me wearing it with a t shirt -- I have some shirts I thought would be nice with this but it was laundry day. The skirt looks a little wrinkled around the hemstitching on the right so I pressed it later and it looks much better. Neither photo shows the hemstitch detail well but it's there!
When I bought the brown lawn I knew I wanted a longer skirt out of it so I bought enough to make a self lining which I did out of a TNT a-line skirt pattern which I broadened near the bottom for more width for walking. It's a soft swishy skirt perfect for this time of the year when I'm ready for a bit of Fall but the temperature is still in the 90's. I also like having different skirt lengths for whatever mood I'm in -knee length or maxi. And the maxi skirt covers the bruise on my leg where I hit it on the car door!
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Butterick 7227. This dress looks like it would be a cinch to sew. Nothing difficult at all, yet it has those simple elegant lines typical of 30's style. This is, again, a dress I would love to see made up but have no intention of making myself (at least right now).
Monday, August 15, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
Before it was even fully light out this morning I had my old enamel pan ready with soap and water to wash my scarves.
I put them on the drying rack in the corner of the kitchen where the ceiling fan had them dry in minutes. I don't hang them outside in case there's a breeze to send them scattering across the lawn. Even the ceiling fan blew a couple of them off the rack.
Although I keep my hair short I can't stand it getting in my face so I tie a scarf around my head. I like the slightly oversized squares which I fold in half and then fold over but my favorites are the long rectangular ones.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I was so excited in the mid 1980's when I noticed people wearing 20's inspired dresses! The 20's was and still is one of my favorite fashion decades (even though it's hard if not impossible to fit into everyday life without it looking costume-y). Here are the patterns I bought for myself at the time.
The top one I loved and intended to make but never did. It's...uhmm...busy. And big.
This next one I made...
...twice The short sleeve one in an oyster color with black lace inset. Terrible color on me in retrospect, but I got compliments from some older women. I made the navy one exactly like on the envelope except mine was forest green with cream colored English lace around the collar and on the cuffs.
Another one I intended to make and didn't:
This skirt has the honor of being my first wadder. I remember it was a bad fabric choice and a pattern that ran small on me:
Shoulder pads in a rectangular dress with big hair! Wow! At the time I didn't think anything about it -- it was all a lot of fun. (Also I rarely put the shoulder pads in my clothes and often took the store bought ones out. I felt like a fool in them since I didn't want to look like a linebacker.)
When 20's styles started falling out of fashion was when I first began sewing more vintage styles, especially those from the 1940's. I found that having a waist was more flattering than covering my curves in a rectangle. And those were, of course, pre-baby days when I had a teeny tiny waist! I don't think I'll revisit 20's fashions for myself (other than bobbed hair and cloches) -- been there, done that, in the worst sort of way.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Simplicity 7431 -- the tent dress. This 60's style I won't wear! It covers everything! -- in either a good or bad way depending on your point of view! Yet I do like the style. I've seen it on other people that it looks good on. Even though I won't wear it, this pattern stays in my collection. I can't seem to part with it. I think it's that fourth one over from the left -- mini length, bell sleeves, in a wild print. What's not to like? (other than it's a tent?)
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
As with many fellow sewists who've blogs I've read, I too have been hit with the summer heat blahs and inability to sew anything. While sitting in my sewing chair spinning slowly back and forth and doing nothing, I spotted the leftovers of one of my summer dresses. I originally bought 3 yards of this fabric but ended up using only a little over 2 for the dress. So I opened up the drawer where I keep modern skirt patterns and pulled one out that I wanted to try.
As the post title says: It fit! With no alterations! When was the last time this happened? (I can't remember.) The waist fits, the hips fit -- the perfect amount of ease for me. I've marked it as a TNT now.
There was one little issue I made note of -- there isn't a back vent or pleat in this skirt. I didn't notice it until I was walking up the front steps of my house which has a steep step at one point. I felt the skirt pull then. No problem though; that's an easy fix.
Also since I was using leftover fabric to try out a pattern I wasn't sure was even going to fit I didn't care that it matched a dress I made. The skirt fits so well, I'll have to make sure I don't wear it to the same places I wear that dress...that print is a little distinct!
Monday, August 1, 2011
Strangely I have very few patterns from the 1970's. But after making dresses from late 60's patterns over the summer I find myself drifting to more fitted styles this week - as in they actually have a defined waistline. I was looking at some early 60's patterns and then came across this 70's wrap dress one. Maybe a wrap dress for the transition season...maybe.