Monday, November 19, 2012

back at it...

Such a long time since my last post. It is time for an update. So I am making 50s dresses for myself, daughter and mom in law. MIL is visiting for Thanksgiving and for hubbie's retirement. I sadly missed the 18th cent. picnic with my super cool group of DFW costumers between the holiday, the kitchen renovation, and the price of gas I just had to pass on this one. I will be shooting for the event in January a Titanic artifact exhibit. Until then, I just have to make my own costuming opportunity. We are going out to luch at a 50s diner just for the fun of it. Without futher is the daughter's dress.
We are using some of the new reprint retro patterns from Butterick. I thought this pattern worked up well and with the exception of the odd instructions for the neck detail I had no problems with it. Daughter's dress is in a cotton print. The bodice section is lined in cotton muslin and the skirt is lined in taffeta. The hem is a narrow handrolled hem and the dress closes on the side with a zipper and a hook and eye.
To get the fit closer to the close ease of the 50s (thank you Lauren for the great class at Costumers Lost 2012!) I decided to make the dress up one size smaller than called for on the pattern. This took out the large amount of modern ease and I did not need to make any other changes. The fit turned out just right.
Charming little bow detail
invisible zipper in the side seam, I am going to hand stitch the zipper at the hip a bit to fix the slight pulling, for my first zipper in easily a decade, not too bad!
We added a loose taffeta skirt lining for added swish. It also acts as a slip, something every 50s girl would have owned and sadly we modern girls often don't.
close up of my hand sewing, a hand rolled hem. This worked well with this skirt which is practically a circle. A wide hem on a skirt like this one would be difficult without a pucker or pleat somewhere.
And there you have it. The dress took about two afternoons to sew, I liked the pattern and did not run into any major hiccups. One down and two to go! Next up the Butterick 5813 in a brown mico-dot cotton print.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

It lives!

Once more into the breach... We decided to take the opportunity to take some photos and visit the Botanical gardens while on our trip next week to Boise. My mom in law wanted to wear her red white and blue late 80's suit again and so I thought I would wear my flag dress. Then I got it out and alas...increase will happen. The last time I wore this dress I had a 28 inch waist and now I don't. So off came the sleeves and I whipped up a new body to the bodice. I also added some new lace on the skirt and washed the entire mess. So now all it needs is a good pressing and the lovely new hat my friend Gina has most generously agreed to decorate for me and this project is done.

once again you can see a few more images on ye' ole' Flickr page. Next up completing those picnic dresses and an S-curve.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A little patriotism...

More catch up posts...while the Gatsby picnic dresses are still being put together in the backround. I recently finished a 4th of july dress for a friend. So I thought I would share some photos...
Here is a expertly colored (hee hee!) Inspiration fashion plare for the dress. There is something very americana about this dress to my eye. Here is the back, I made my version with no train.
and the dress ...
the entire dress is made from cotton fabric, and a net lace and grosgrain ribbon trim. You can view some more images on my Flickr page. I shall leave you dear friends with the image of the helpful sewing assistant testing the tension of the matching parasol lining for me. So very needful, cats.
With that I am off. I have six days to get ready for my (squeeeeeeee) trip to Boise to visit with family and my very dear friend Gina for a Gatsby picnic and a patriotic day at the botanical garden.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A little Lanvin love.

Well I have not been keeping up with my blog, but I have been sewing and keeping very busy. So lets continue with the Gatsby picnic dress saga shall we?
I had decided to make a "robe de style" in the Lanvin style but not a specific reproduction. This is also my first dress if this era so...I have to say, even though the lines are super lines are less so. I do not have a slim flat figure and the idea of a rectangle of a bodice makes me just shudder.

Recently my local fabric store had Vogue pattern in sale and Huzzah...I found this one. V8020 It is a simple drop waist dress with the proper seam lines and three happy neck line choices to boot. For $3.99 I went home feeling much more confident about this new frontier.

The neck and arm holes are faced  and the closure is at the side (right were it should be historically.) So happiness all around!
The pattern works up beautifully as every Vogue pattern I have ever touched does. The sizing is spot on and no major roadblocks got in my way. Here is where I am so far. I made up the bodice with the V-neck and instead of using the skirt portion of the pattern I used two lengths of fabric with seams at the sides that measures a total of four times the raw edge of the waist.
I could not be happier with it so far. I still need to either put in hooks and eyes or go modern and add a side zipper (I Know... but I have another to make before the 26th) Next I will be working on the red flowers that I indicated in my drawing. For these I want to attempt to shirr the silk to make a dimensial the textured effect for the petals. Than since my dear friend Gina had to go out and step it up with beading...I think I shall join her and bead the centers of the flowers.

Its not all sunshine and roses, I am desperatly seeking shoes, and need to make a decision on that in the naxt week to allow time for shipping. I also need to make some jewlery decisions, buy some 20's colors for make-up and make a short slip petti to add some fluff. Oh and lest I forget, I have mini panniers to make to go at the side waist...but if you have ever seen one of my little bustle brass bags...well I got that covered. LOL!

More soon! Exactly two weekes until we leave for Idaho!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ok so I got to some sewing today...between mind numbing college algebra and when I say mind numbing I mean it. So I needed some fabric therapy. Remember the blue coat? Well it really wanted to be a said so, and I have learned to always listen to the fabric.

The bodice is an antique that I will be re-draping in the gold silk of the skirt and I detached the lace lapes and washed them. The solution I used was to take a 1/2 gallon ball jar and add 1 cup of peroxide and 2 Tablespoons of castille soap (I like Dr. Bronners but I don't think the brand matters) Then add about a cup or so of filtered water (there should be room for the lace to slosh around) Then add the lace, slosh around gently and let it sit. My lace only sat for about an hour, then I rinsed in it cold water carefully laid it out on a hand towel and roll the towel up until the lace dries. I did not take paictures of this part but next time I need to clean some old lace I will.

Please excuse my wrinkles this fabric needs to be steamed and does not care for the touch of an iron and I was just being too lazy to drag out the steamer today. However I am super happy with the shape so far.

I may add a long looped ribbon of gold silk for some added intrest and I may add some lace to the bottom of the lace to set it off.

I was insprired by the buttons on this skirt

and the overall shape should end up something like these dresses. The year I am going for is 1911-1912.

Well thats all for today. With some luck I will cobble together some time this week to do all the hemming and finishing on the skirt...then I can tackle the bodice.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

So, I am putting together an outfit for a Great Gatsby will be my first, and also my first 1920's costume. The thing is... um... I don't have a 1920's figure. The drapey, falls straight from the shoulder stopped by a wide belt low on the hips with a full skirt to the knee makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up just thinking about it.

Happily there is the "other" dress, a robe de style by Lanvin to save the day. I am going to be making my version in a natural white silk accented with red flowers and black ribbon. Here is the inspiration style at FIDM, and here is my sketch of my version...please note drawing is not really a strong point, my sketches are just to help me record my thoughts. You have been warned...proceed with catuion

In addition to the FIDM dress here are some elements I like and hope to use in my version of a robe de style

Huge flower with long ribbon detail

Floaty pretty sheer bottom detail. Note: my silk is this same sort of natural white silk color. Well thats the plan...deadline June.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Well today I got out to do a little shopping, Hancocks was having a 5 for 5 on simplicity patterns and I really want to make a few fun things for myself for summer. Not historical but I am looking forward to some everyday projects. The patterns...

I love the lines of this dress and I like that the round gores give the skirt a swishy fullness. No fabric chosen for this as yet.

I am curious to try this "amazing fit" pattern, I will be leaving off the collar and the ruffles down the front but this is a basic princess line blouse and I prefer lawns and cottens in the summer to jersey knits which are so popular right now.

I am not sure exactly how I will use this pattern but I just had the feeling that if I passed on it I would be kicking myself later. Lots of options.

Ok this is a fun dress! I am going to be making the bottom left option shown here in green in this fun linen cotten blend print that screams summer, I know hot pink is not everyones color...but I like it for something like this. Here is the fabric.

If this seems bold, well it is, but you have to feel this to love it...linen blend is lovely.

Next pattern

Coolest summer pants ever...need I say more? This is the fabric that reached out and grabbed me to make them out of.

Its a sheer with a print in this lovely pale blue/green shade and the ladies and ships have a touch of pink to them. I am placing it over a very pale light blue drapey linen fabric that I recently got for $1.50 a yard and have enough to make the Edwardian jumper I bought it for with enough left over for this. Love it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Beautiful Underware

Well its time to do some updating! My dear friend at Beauty for Ashes has posted her beautiful undergarments so I thought I better stop holding out on her and share the corset to complete her foundations.

This corset was made from a pattern submitted in an article for Foundations Revealed by the lovely Festive Attyre. I am very happy to report that the pattern worked like a charm and her instructions for sizing were complete and easy to follow. Two thumbs up!

Madame Beauty for Ashes has impeccable taste for vintage finds and a keen eye for color so it is always a delight to put her bits and pieces to good use. The lace was provided along with the rose ribbon and I added a matching pink silk dupioni behind to show off the delicate pattern of the antique lace that you just can not get these days.

The bottom of the corset is bound in white silk and the four garters match and are detachable. The pink is so pretty I did not want the bottom to compete with the top.

The back with lots and lots of grommets has about a three inch gap for adjustment.The flossing is done in long x's on the sides and back and in what I call wedges on the front and that dear ones is one fun 1910's corset!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Teens era underbust corset

Well its been a busy two weeks, and I have finally gotten a few minutes to myself to pull this project together and post for you.

This corset is made from a single layer of coutil and decorated with two rows of cotten lace. The garters are also covered in gathered lengths of the same cotton lace.

I am pretty happy with the fit. This corset is underbust and the corset cover pictured is an antique that will work well with it until I have the chance to make the boned brassiere's worn with this style of corset. The black silk drawers are made from "past patterns" and are very wide and were fun to make.

I have placed a few extra photos of the project over at flickr...Now lets get back to that coat!

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