Monday, September 8, 2014

Dress #27 -- Hollywood 1322 (1937)

Hola! So happy with this dress! After my last failed 30s dress, this one is always a pleasure to make (my third version!) I made it in two days, everything goes together perfectly, and it fits perfectly! You can see my second version at the end of this old post! But here is the September 2014 version:

I swear I ironed it...lol. But....I don't care about such things as made evident in my last post ;) I can't rave enough about this pattern! I'm pretty sure it's my favorite in my entire stash. This time, I decided to do the neck inset and it came out marvelously! The back upper neck has a slash and a button:

According to the directions, you can either face the entire neckline OR you can put in the inset and put bias around the slash. Well, I managed to FACE the back!! I thought the bias looked weak and unclean. I caught the back of the inset into the facing and it came out perfectly. I tacked the rest of it down into the shoulder seam. The button I used is totally wrong, but I didn't have a white one in my stash. One day I might fix it. If not, my hair will cover it!

So that's my "Satisfying Sewing" project. I think whenever I make a boring dud I should make this directly after to get my sewing swing back in gear. The last dress I made kinda took it out of me. Bleh. And just for fun, here is a little peak into my closet:

Thursday, September 4, 2014

"Vintage Lifestyle" Things I Don't Do

Hey! Today I'm just going to compile a short list of "vintage" things I don't really do or like. I know "vintage" can get a bad rap because people can be too purist and snobby about it, but not this gal! Nope. Here's why:

I'm inspired more by "regular" people than by Hollywood glamour.

I do love me some Hollywood glamour, but when I look at candid photos of your average, everyday woman from the 1930s I get more inspired. More often than not she will be wearing an ill-fitting cotton dress (possibly a hand-me-down), socks that don't seem to "go" with her dress, and sensible shoes with small heels. Her hair will probably be frizzy or windblown. She won't have an "ideal" figure and she'll totally bust the myth that all women in the "Golden Era" were tiny. Her posture will be less than perfect, too. I love these Depression-era Janes more than the Harlows and Crawfords. Examples:

Looking at and collecting photos of "everyday" people has allowed me to not be so fussy if my hair doesn't want to curl right or if my skirt gets a wrinkle in it. I'm secure in the fact that women in 1939 didn't have perfect hair and often wore second-hand clothing that did not fit them properly!

I don't swing dance.

Yep, I can't do any of the old dances -- only my special versions of them, lol. I prefer Madonna Dancing at 80s night. Modern swing dancing, dare I say it, is cheesy (ducks tomatoes!) LOL -- but I don't look down on anyone who does it! If you love it that's all that matters! I can only respect it fully when it's done fast and properly -- not by awkward white people in a church basement (wink!)

I don't wear real vintage.

...beacuse I prefer to make my own. Again, nothing against those who wear real vintage head to toe or those who like repro. I just love to sew all kinds of dresses from the 1910s to now. Sewing is so therapeutic for me and helps control my anxiety. I also like the fact that the garment is new, sturdy, and can take a bit of a drunken beating when I wear it out ;) If I wore real vintage out I think I would be uptight all night. I also like that I can make it look exactly as I choose -- no limited options. And this ties in with the next one...

I don't do the vintage look 24/7.

Yup. I used to. When I first learned to sew I wore it to work, the grocery store, everywhere, lol. Now, I realize there is a time and place for it. I always have a "vintage-y" flair to me -- it's just such a huge part of my life that people comment on my "old-fashioned" look even when I am in t-shirt and jeans. It comes from within me, I guess, and an all-out "look" isn't necessary. Again, don't care if you like to go pump gas and stop at CVS in your 1938 ball gown, but I'll save mine for when the appropriate occasion calls. After looking at "normal" women (above) they liked comfort, too, when they had nothing special to do.

I have quite a few tattoos!

This one gets me from time to time! People have actually said that "no respectable girl" in the old days got tattoos. Well, no shit, sherlock. Let me just say I don't give a shit about historical vintage accuracy, I realize it's 2014, I love my ink and want more, and I never said I was a respectable girl! ;) Actually, all my ink is 1920s and 1930s based. I think most "purists" would dig the actual art.

Being a "Proper Lady" isn't what I'm about.

People who love vintage often get stereotyped as "good two shoes." LOLOLOL. Not me. I can drink and curse like the best of them in my "ladylike" 1940s skirt and sweater set! If you like being ladylike, wonderful. I like being stupid!

I like the whole 20th century.

Even the 1990s! I have my favorite era of course -- the time between the two World Wars. A lot of "Golden Era" fans stop there. Others are hardcore into post-War stuff into the early 1960s. You'll hear lots of "vintage" people claiming the 1960s "ruined fashion." There's lots of dissing the 1970s and 1980s! Not me! I LOVE the later 1960s. And the 1970s were more than orange and brown polyester and disco. There were lots of interesting lines in the early 1970s that were very 1930s-influenced. Just look at these passable 1970s patterns I have:

So, I fully admit to loving stuff past the early 1960s. I admit to loving 1970s fashion. My least favorite era of the 20th century is probably post-War. Late 40s to the early 60s.

I have NEVER EVER said I was "born in the wrong era."

This saying makes me cringe a little. I don't think very many people today could hack it -- with all of our modern privileges. I like modern menstrual science, I like birth control, I like not fearing catching polio of TB when I go out, I like anti-anxiety meds, I like modern underwear, I like modern music, I like modern labor laws, I like civil/women's/gay rights, etc. Now, I'm not painting the past as all bad -- this is just the way it was back then, which can look "bad" through modern eyes (except the labor laws and civil rights things -- BAD.) But if I had to choose between a belted bulky pad and a cup you put up there for 12 hours, I'll go with "B." I like that we can be out of the closet now. Just think of all the unhappy people from the past who weren't allowed to love whom they wanted because of stupid social conventions. And YEAY GOD for anti-anxiety meds! If only these were available to Clara Bow her life may have turned out completely differently. People have said to me "I bet you feel you were born in the wrong era, don't you?" I hate it. I have to say "No. I like 2014." The saying is just so awful to me I can't even lie for the sake of small-talk!

And that is it. What "vintage lifestyle" stereotypes do you smash?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Dress #26 -- New York Pattern Co. "Hollywood" Pattern 4141 (ca. 1935)

Hiya! It took me a while to finish this one. I got bored toward the end and it is not a successful project:

I knew it was going to be trouble when I noticed all the gathering. I HATE gathers!!! Maybe I just don't know how to do them, but they always look twisted and sloppy when I do them. I do not like the cuffs on this dress. They are GATHERED down around the wrist, which makes the sleeves hang awkwardly. And for some reason, the one pleat won't hang correctly.

The seam allowances on this dress were weird, too: one inch around the edges, 5/8 everywhere else. Never saw that before. As a result, the zipper pokes the side seam out a bit. It won't lay flat no matter how much I iron it down!

This is the second 1930s pattern I've made from New York Patterns and I have to say I didn't like either of them. Had problems with both of them laying right. Both looked sloppy. I think from now on I'll stick to easy patterns, like REAL Hollywood patterns. They always turn out perfectly :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dress of the Century: 1930-1939

I am working on a real mid-1930s dress at the moment and it's time for the next installment of my series: the 1930s! Which also happens to be my favorite fashion decade! Enjoy:

1930

1931

1932

1933

1934

1935

1936

1937

1938

1939

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dress #25 -- McCall's 6993 (Archive Collection skirt)

Hey there! I made the skirt from McCall's 6993 "Archive Collection" pattern:

It turned out nicely once I overcame some of the poor drafting and silly instructions. Here's what I had to work with:

The Right Yoke piece is about an inch too short! I don't know if all of them are like this or if I just got a bum batch, but add an inch or so to the narrow end of piece #5. I had to sew mine on after the fact. This is the piece that is too short:

I also didn't really like the instructions for sewing on the yokes. Here's how they have you do it:

There's NO FLIPPING WAY I'm going to get nice clean points doing it that way! Lol. I actually did it this way at first and I just got a rounded, bunched-up mess. So I unpicked the entire thing, pressed under the yokes' seam allowances, and topstitched them on. The result was nice pointy points! I didn't line or interface mine, though, but if I did line it I would have hand sewn it on. The fabric I used was stiff enough to not need it.

The actual skirt when made up reminds me of a 30s/40s hybrid. It actually leans more toward 40s with the shorter length and the bell shape. The hem on mine is 5/8! That's it! So it's kind of too short to be "1933" (as the envelope proclaims!) If you want a classic, proper 1930s look, this pattern is not it! But -- I wore it out last night all done up 1940s-style and I got compliments on it. I like it. I'd make it again now that I know what to do.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dress #24 -- Simplicity 7583 (1976)

Hey! St. Anne has come down and put her blessing on me because I actually made another dress! I made it from leftover fabric in my stash so the fabric choice may not be "era appropriate", but this one I really just made for fun:

I've never made a dress this late in the 1970s -- the collar/facing instructions were rather different from anything I've ever done. I was a bit confused at first, but once I realized what was going on it was simple as a pimple! The back shoulders has a yoke and there is some gathering above and below the yoke, but besides that this dress is essentially a muumuu that is sewn straight up the sides -- armholes and all:

There's no zipper or buttons -- it pulls on over your head very easily. Belting it pulls it in and gives it that "dirndl"-style gathered waist that was popular in the late 70s and early 80s:

I really didn't think I was going to like it and I really did just make it as a bit of a joke in that fabric and all....but I really like it! It's actually flattering, it fits perfectly, and it's incredibly comfortable! I might make it again in safari kakhi ;)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Fall Patterns For 2014

I have been seriously lacking in the sewing department lately. Like, I went to Jo-Ann's last week and couldn't even be bothered to search through the fabric! I've got plenty to make, just no motivation lately. I'm sure it will come back soon, though. In the meantime, here are some new vintage and vintage-y Fall 2014 patterns from the big 4:

Butterick 6108 (1912)

Butterick 6093 (1912)

I am quite happy about these two!! I will certainly be buying them and I will more than likely make the skirt for 6108! I'm not too crazy about the featured version for number 6093 -- all those lacey ruffles just remind me of a nightgown and they may be totally out of my sewing league! Luckily, there is a very cute short-sleeved, collared version that can be made and I adore it! I've been needing a 1910s dress in my wardrobe and this one may just be perfect:

Butterick 6093

Butterick 6094 (Gertie)

Butterick 6105 (Gertie)

Gertie has a couple new Fall patterns. I might pick up 6094. It reminds me of the dresses I used to buy at Bettie Page Clothing (now Tatyana Boutique). Being me, I'd rather make my own and save about $50 instead of overpaying for stretch polyester...(shade!). The jacket (6105) can be made in two lengths, short and mid-thigh. I'm not much interested in jackets so I won't be buying or making it.

That's it for Butterick's vintage-y goodness! Overall, very happy. The 1912 patterns and the Gertie circle dress are impressive and I just can't wait to sew myself 6093! Let's see what Simplicity has to offer:

Simplicity 1319 (1950s)

This is it! Once again, Simplicity disappoints! I have a TON of REALLY AWESOME vintage Simplicity patterns so I KNOW they can do better than this -- even going by old look books! It's like they don't even try anymore. Like, how many toddler "retro" patterns do we need? NONE, that's how many we need. Simplicity, dig out those 1940s look books and get researching because your retro line has been AWFUL lately.

And the latest offering from Vintage Vogue:

Vintage Vogue 8999 (1954)

Meh. Another overdone circle skirt. Seems to be mostly what VV does. I might pick this up in a sale -- not sure if I would make it. I really truly am sick of 1950s/circle skirts taking over the vintage repro pattern market. I guess they sell the best, but I find them to be all the same sans slight bodice differences. *sigh* I would love more 10s, 20s, and 60s!! Get on it pattern companies!!!

And as for the last big company, McCall, you can see my previous post about their much-anticipated "Archive Collection" for Fall 2014. Enjoy.