Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Morrissey Handbag

Ok, I am a Morrissey lover and have been since 1987. So I made a purse IN HIS IMAGE because he is the only man I love other than my husband:

I made it from Simplicity 4751 -- a 1954 purse pattern. The fabric I bought at Spoonflower. I really didn't think they would actually have "Morrissey fabric", but lo and behold....

Already been asked if it was an "Elvis" bag. Ugh. Lol.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

2014 Round--Up!

It's the beginning of December and I don't think I'll be making anything else in 2014. I'm making bags for friends so that will keep me busy. In 2014 I made a total of 33 clothing items. Some were huge hits! Other were serious misses! But that's what sewing is all about. These were the hits! My favorites:

Simplicity 1609

I made this dress in four different renditions, but this one was doubtlessly my favorite. I wore it a LOT in the spring/summer with my beehive hairdo and knee socks. It fit like a goddamn glove!

Simplicity 4044

I wore this one out quite a bit. It's vintage-y, but still within the realm of what society would deem acceptable for those days I just didn't feel like looking costumey.

Butterick 6055

I've never worn this one out, but I am kinda proud of of it. It was my "Honey Nielsen" dress (google) and it was fun to make. I would wear it if the occasion called, like a costume party.

Simplicity 4019 (1942)

A VAST improvement over the version I made in 2009. I wore this out with my Judy Garland braids. It's a bit costumey, but just enough to be eye-catching and not "WTF"-worthy. Yes, sometimes I just don't want to look costumey in public, but still want to stand out.

Hollywood 1391 (1937)

Never worn out, but so darn 30s I just love it. My fabric choice was spot on! It was fun to make and I really did rip it apart several times just to get it "just right."

Butterick 3138 (ca. 1974)

I was so in love with this after I made it!!! Having made it heading into fall, I haven't had the chance to wear it out -- but once spring hits this baby will be worn to my favorite places. Again, excellent fabric choice and I somehow managed to make it look more 30s than it did on the envelope art.

Vintage Vogue 9000

I LOVED making this. The pattern was rated as Average so it was a bit out of my skill zone, but I learned so much from it, took my time, and came out with an amazing dress that I actually do wear out! My fabric choice, the details, the fit -- I love it! It's not too "out there", but kinda is a little ;)

Ok. Those were my favorites from 2014. Now onto the ones that didn't work at all. Some of them I've already deconstructed for parts:

McCall's 7731 (1965)

The fabric was much uglier when made up (looked cool on the bolt!). The fit was kinda weird, too, even after I fixed it. It became more of a pencil dress on me than a bell-shaped shift dress. I put it on once and then designated it to the "I might need this zipper for something else" pile.

Simplicity 1598 (1945)

Bad fabric choice (I can't NOT see a baseball shirt!) and the fit was really bad. The skirt was fine, but the bodice was abnormally huge. Like, I really think they put the wrong size in the package (it was still factory folded). I know it was supposed to have some bagginess to it, but this was just wrong. I bought the sides in 2.5 inches on each side just to get a nice fit. Still, I think it's somewhat unattractive. I don't like raglan sleeves.

New York "Hollywood" pattern 4141 (ca. 1934)

I think this might be the worst one I made all year. I had such hopes for it, but it just does not look good at all. The gathers on the wrists just look terrible and the fit is all twisty. This is the second "New York" brand pattern I've made from the mid-30s and they both did not turn out well. Neither were difficult patterns, either. But now I know to stay away from that particular brand.

And that is it. I guess that's good that only 3 out of 33 were complete duds.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Dress #33 -- Butterick 5880 (1951 reproduction) and Simplicity 4751 (1954)

This dress is not one of my favorites. I thought it would be a challenge to make, but it was really easy and quick. The rundown:

I lined the bodice, but decided to not line the skirt and it is just fine. I'm glad I didn't -- the hem on this dress is so narrow I can't take full strides and it squishes my boobs when putting it on! I couldn't imagine adding more bulk to that. A slip is just fine.

I hand sewed the bunches at the side. The pattern has you do it by machine, but I found hand to be easier and looks better.

As I knew it would, the neckline gapes on me. I have narrow shoulders and collarbone area, but large boobs (36D). If it fits the bust, it ain't gonna fit the shoulders and my skills aren't good enough to fix this yet.

DAT HEM! Jesus! It's so narrow! I can't take full strides and I feel like I'm wearing a hobble skirt...lol. Maybe this dress would be better made out of a stretchy material. The skirt is really, really narrow. I know it gives it that "look", but I just don't find it practical -- even for dressing up and going out (I walk with long, fast strides!)

First bag I ever made. It was very easy. The only thing that needs changing is the interfacing. I used apparel interfacing (all I had!), but it really should be nice, stiff craft interfacing! I'm going to buy a whole bunch after this shopping weekend madness! I will be obnoxious with my bag-matching!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dress of the Century: 1960-1969

I haven't been sewing the past couple weeks. I have fabric, but no pattern that I feel corresponds with what I have, lol. So instead, let's do the next segment in the Dress of the Century series. The sixties!! I made a 60s fashion time line in this post, but I'll use different pictures for this post. So....double the sixties!!!

1960

1961

1962

1963

1964

1965

1966

1967

1968

1969

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dress #32 -- Wearing History 4001 (1940s Sailor Girl Skirt)

Hola. This was a quick project I wanted to whip up before I decide on a bigger one:

Funny story about this pattern -- I've had it for YEARS (when it first came out I bought it) and I never realized it was a skirt, too. It only says it right there. DOH! I thought the picture was long, weird shorts..lol. Oh, I am so unobservant! Anyway, I finished the skirt in two days, but it did have some issues. Now, I bought this when it FIRST came out so I don't know if this issue has been corrected in newer versions, but the waistband did not match up with the skirt pieces. I cut out size 38 for all pieces! It was about 3-4 inches too short -- it seemed like the overlap in the front wasn't accounted for. Since I don't measure and I trust patterns too much, I found out when I was sewing it on! To fix it I cut the back of the waistband and added the extra 4 inches on material. I didn't want to rip out the entire waistband when a small panel of fabric in the back is just fine.

I also didn't have 10 buttons, only 8! The two on the bottom left are slightly larger but I loosely sewed them on as "placeholders" because I will want to wear this skirt out soon and I won't be making it to Jo-ann's for another week or so. So, slightly off placeholders it is. Doubt anyone will notice!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Dress #31 -- Vintage Vogue 9000 (1951 Reproduction)

And there's my vanity show for today. As for the pattern, I loved working on it. It was a little bit more involved than what I am used to, but it's good to expand your skills. There isn't a single Ooopsie hidden inside and I took my time making the pointed cuffs and hand sewing the collar (which the old me would have machine sewn and "hidden"!) No changes to the pattern were made and I fit perfectly into a size 14 right out of the package. I'm also rocking my new crinoline. I didn't realize how much of a difference it made.

With this project I learned to take my time because it pays off in the end. I am very pleased with this dress.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fashion Things I Don't Like

I've sewn my fair share of things to know what works on me and what doesn't. These are those fashion details I either look really bad in, or I just don't find them aesthetically pleasing. Let's start...

1920s drop-waist dresses. Not flattering on big boobs and hips, although I do have a few patterns I want to make up. This includes the "One Hour Dress" whenever I can find fabric for it.

Extreme gathering, pleating, and draping from 1936. Nothing about this would flatter me. I just feel like there is too much going on and it will always make me think of curtains. '36 was a transitional year for fashion. The long, slim silhouette was finally changing up a bit. By '37 the a-line skirt and puff sleeve look came in.

These sleeves. Not even sure what they are called. Kimono? I think they are ugly. Not only that, they make my bust look huge and my arms look fat! I usually think any pattern with these sleeves is ugly so I don't buy them, but I do have 2 or 3 lurking in my collection somewhere.... Longer kimono sleeves, though, I can work with :)

This neckline. Boat neck? Always feels like it's never in place and usually ends up either stabbing my throat or gaping wide open. And the super-highness never looks good on my bust!

Early 60s fashion. I'm not a huge fan of 1958-1964ish fashion. I just find it uninteresting. I don't like the shorter full skirts, the boxy cuts, and the collarless bodices of this time period. To me, this is also a transitional period; the full 50s circle skirt was falling out of vogue and something new needed to break (the mini in '65!) So, I don't sew much from this era.

1970s "Pants Outfit" long tunic/pants combo. I hate this look. It looks like too much is going on (are you a mini-dress or a maternity top?) I have a pattern for this outfit, but there is also an option to make a dress -- which is why I bought it!