Saturday, April 26, 2014

Sew For Victory Dress-Complete!

I finally finished my dress for Sew for Victory! It took me a little longer than I'd anticipated. I know that one should make a muslin before using an untried pattern, but I didn't, and as a result, I ended up with a dress that was too large in the waist for a comfortable fit. After some quality time with my friend Jack (the ripper) and a little cutting  down to size, I re-seamed everything and am reasonably happy with the results. I do need to purchase or make a different belt, since the one in the photo is too small for me and so shows up all those lumps and bumps I'd rather have remain hidden. All in all, I think this will be a very serviceable dress for "Olga" to wear on the train.
                            Olga's Dress                                                                                    The reason it took me a little longer than anticipated:

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sew for Victory-Pattern and Fabric

So her is my first post on my Sew for Victory project! I love vintage/retro clothing and have more of it my closet than I will tell, so although I really wanted to make something for this sew-along, I had decided to do it without spending any extra money. And I had wondered just where a woman my age could wear a 1940s dress. If I were 20 years younger, I would probably dress retro every day, but since I haven't discovered the fountain of youth, or an abundant supply of bravery, I don't.....most of the time.  One of my real jobs is doing historical narration on the train. Part of this job is to dress the part of my character, so on train days, I have been seen in reproduction 19th  century attire. This year I have decided to add Olga Little, a character from the 1930s-40s, to the list of people I "am" on the train. Yay! Now my 1940s dress will be something Olga might have worn. I'd need an historically accurate fabric and pattern. Fortunately, I have a tub of old patterns from the '30s through the '50s which I acquired years ago. I found a Simplicity pattern for a nice little wrap dress from 1945 in my size, (or close enough,) and my fabric stash yielded a lovely rayon check with an interesting textural weave, which will be comfortable this summer, as well as accurate. I can't wit to cut it out!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

1912 Slip

I completed the ladies' slip challenge project this weekend! I am fortunate enough to have a friend who wears the exact pattern size, and who needed a slip for her lingerie dress, so the project with no alterations went together fairly quickly. I chose to stick with tradition and make the slip of cotton batiste with cotton lace trim, all of which are available from Newark Dressmaker's Supply.  I also opted to use modern machine heirloom sewing techniques to construct the slip, instead of following the given directions exactly. This involved making French seams, instead of the flat, clipped ones asked for, and inserting the lace, as instructed, but after cutting and pressing the fabric on the back side of the garment, using a narrow, close zigzag to topstitch the edges where the lace joins the fabric. After I'd finished zigzagging, I trimmed away the raw fabric edges on the wrong side of the slip. My last deviation to the given directions involved using flat lace edging , instead of gathered trim and an eyelet beading to thread a pale blue ribbon through at the neckline. Although the pleats on the flounce are not all perfectly uniform, I really like the look of the finished product. A good pressing with light spray starch finished the slip beautifully! I am pleased with this pattern and will probably use it to make another slip in my size.  

Sunday, March 11, 2012

1912 slip pattern

I received the pattern for the slip last week. Yeah! I am really looking forward to this challenge project. I have white cotton batiste an a lot of cotton lace, and plenty of enthusiasm! Currently, I am working on white outfits for the four beautiful children of a good friend. One is a first communion dress, one a christening outfit, and the other two are for Easter. There are two boys, one a year old and one 6, and two girls, ages 4 and 8. This has been a great incentive for me to get out my Sew Beautiful magazines and jump back into heirloom sewing, something I've loved for years! There is nothing quite as ethereal as a delicate, vintage confection of sheer white cotton and fine laces.
The girls' dresses are reproductions of an Edwardian dress featured in the magazine years ago. They consist of an underdress with fitted bodice and a loose over blouse, all with lots  of lace insertion and tucks, using the same batiste and laces I'll use on my slip later. The dresses are today's project. I'll post pictures of the garments when I've finished them.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Completed Wrap

The wrap is complete! The pattern was very simple to use.     


 I made only one alteration; I shortened the longer tie end by about 3 inches.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

1912 Ladies' Wrap

So I nearly completely changed the plan when I got the fabrics out and played with them! (These things take on a life of their own, you know.) Since I live in the hinterlands as far as fabric stores go, I am mining my own stash for the 1912 projects. The wrap ended up being made of the black net over the white tablecloth lace, instead of the other way around. I lined the garment with black rayon. I had a lovely piece of beaded sheer black and silver embroidered ribbon/braid which had been languishing in the trim box for years. It was perfect to use instead of the lace trim band called for on the pattern. The trim begged for black fringe instead of the white I'd originally planned to use, so that is placed exactly as suggested in the pattern. The only alteration I made to the pattern was to shorten the longer tie end by three inches to accommodate the length of embroidered trim I had. Now, I just need to add a lovely beaded medallion or flower at the top of the ties. Something nice to look for in the antique stores. In the meantime, I will photograph the wrap, perhaps with a brooch there, and post pictures here tomorrow.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ladies' Wrap, April 21, 1912

My wonderful friend has set up this blog for me, so here goes! I received the group 9 pattern for the ladies' wrap last week and have gathered together the materials I want to use. I have a lovely off white China silk shawl with fringe from Thai Silks, another piece of matching China silk, some back net and the center of a very old lace tablecloth, the edges of which I use years ago to make a 1912 wedding dress for a dear friend. So my wrap will be made of black net overlayed  with the tablecloth lace, and lined with china silk. I'll use some embroidered net lace from my stash and the fringe from the shawl to trim the wrap. I hope to get to the actual making this weekend, between work and a lovely tea dance we have planned for tomorrow afternoon.