Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Finished 1940s Housecoat, a New Project, and what I do when I'm not sewing!

So it is done! My 1940s housecoat is finished and ready to wear! Good thing too, because it has started to rain here again, and a flannel housecoat sounds oh-so-nice. Since my last post I covered the shoulder pads, sewed them in, and hemmed the housecoat.

Here's a picture of the completed garment:

You probably can't tell that the shoulder pads are in there, but trust me, when worn they make all the difference, especially if you don't have broad shoulders.

I had to take a good 8 inches off the bottom so the housecoat doesn't drag when I wear it. I'm a little on the petite side, but oddly enough, not in the torso, which makes making garments a bit tricky.

Now the housecoat just brushes the ground, exactly what I wanted! How often does that happen?

Well that's a wrap on that project, here's what's next:

Butterick 5748

This pattern is rated easy, which is kinda what I'm thinking. The patterned view has a bow on the front and the back, the other views has no bows. I'm thinking of making the dress with a bow on the front, but not on the back, it just seems strange to me to have one on the front and back. I'm going to use a basic cotton, nothing fancy. I want this dress to be light and wearable for summer. 

Here's the fabric:

Yeah, it was actually ironed before I clumped it all together and put in in the chair, lol. Oh well. 

Aside from that, I thought I'd let you guys into what I do when I'm not sewing. Well, I knit, a lot. Right now I'm knitting a cowl and developing its pattern to sell on Etsy as a digital download. Look for it soon! I also knit items (sans pattern) that I sell on Etsy. Here's a link to my shop if you're interested: 

Yay for shameless self promotion!

Well that's all I have today folks!

Ta ta for now!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

1940s Housecoat Nearing Completion

I've been a bad blogger. I'm almost done with my 1940s Butterick housecoat and at my last post I hadn't even attached the sleeves! My bad! All I have left to do is cover and sew in the shoulder pads and hem it. But let me try and walk you through what I've accomplished:

I attached the sleeves to the bodice and was surprised at how easily it went. No unseemly bunching! The cuffs were a bit confusing. After applying the fusible interfacing, I had a bit of trouble interpreting the section of the instructions pertaining to attaching the cuffs to the gathered edge of the sleeves. For a while I couldn't figure out how to attach them in the way that prevents any seams from showing. So I took a few days break from this project, came back to it, and figured it out pretty easily. Funny how that works. 

Next I had to sew the pockets to the skirt pieces, not too hard. Oddly enough, the hard part was attaching each skirt piece to the other correct piece. I don't know why, maybe I was having an extended brain fart. 

Next I sewed the skirt to the bodice. Not too bad overall, but I kind of fudged the gathers on the bodice, some probably don't look fantastic under close scrutiny. Oh well, its a housecoat. I don't plan on wearing it outside. After that I hemmed the waist tie, super easy.

That's what I've done this last week, should have it finished this week.

Happy Sewing folks!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

1940s housecoat, so far

I've done quite a bit of work on this, my one and only housecoat project to date. I feel like there's not much to show for it, but let me explain!

Here's a teaser:

First the preliminaries:
I chose plaid flannel. Warm, all-cotton, and well, not terribly expensive. You may remember the pattern from my last post, no? here's a link:

As you can see there are two views for Butterick, neither of which by themselves suited my fancy. So I'm going with something of an A/B combo. As you can see, I'm doing the trim of view A, but I will be going with view B's longer sleeves. Since I'm adding the trim of view A I'm not doing the contrast fabric on the yoke of view B. I couldn't really think of any contrast fabric that goes with flannel.

So after cutting everything out, I had to attach the pre-gathered trim to the yoke. It turned out to be less harder than I thought.

(as you can see, I'm not even trying to match the plaid lines, hey, its a housecoat)

The only tough part was getting the corners to look even and well-rounded. When attaching the bodice front and back to the yoke, you really have to make sure you aren't sewing onto the trim (fyi). 
There's also a bit of gathering on the bodice back, and front, not bad though. 

hey, those lines kinda match!

There is also (not pictured) a facing yoke inside. This makes three layers of fabric on the yoke total, which I like because it gives the yoke a bit of structure without going full-hog and sewing in some interfacing. 

The most onerous part so far is that I have sewed the seam where the yoke and the bodice meets three times to accommodate the layers.

Next up are the sleeves.

Well that's all for today folks!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Finally, I'm back!

Hello all,

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth! We just finished moving out-of-state. We're still unpacking. I have yet to find my sewing machine (although I've managed to track done a lot of my fabric!). Suffice to say I haven't done much sewing. But that isn't to say I've been totally absent from the vintage fashion world!

Before we moved I managed to visit Endless Indulgence,  a retro clothing shop in Utah. The shop is located in old town Ogden. They don't sell actual vintage pieces, but reproduction brands like Bettie Page. Unfortunately I went right before they got their spring line in, so the selection wasn't what I would have wanted. But I still managed to walk away with this beauty from Pinup Couture:

(image courtesy of pinupgirlclothing,com)

I'm still waiting for the weather to warm up for I can wear this.

Although I have yet to unpack my sewing machine, I have been thinking about what I'll sew next. Drumroll please...

Butterick 5152

I've been heming and hawing over this one for quite some time. I really wanted to make this one out of velvet, but velvet is kinda spendy, that and this pattern uses almost seven yards! Ouch. So I finally decided to just make it out of a tartan flannel. Glamourous? Not really. But still pretty in a Scottish, Professor McGonagall sort of way. So far I haven't decided between view A or B. View B is tempting, but will it be too hot for the summer?

Well that's all I have for today, maybe I'll track down my sewing machine. Or maybe I'll take a nap!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Incense and Peppermints

It is finished! My mod dress is complete. I figured out how to make the bow that goes on the front. I did, however, alter the bow. The pattern calls for a bow whose tails hang down a bit. This didn't really work well with the double knit fabric I chose. So, I made more of a bow-tie than a bow with tails. I think this actually looks better than the bow the pattern called for. After that, all the was left to do was to attach the bow. I had to do this by hand to get it to sit straight. I don't really like sewing by hand, but oh well, its on now. Hemming the dress was actually easier than I excepted considering the fabric I chose.

Pictures! :

Overall, I like this dress. The pattern was easy and versatile. I would make this dress again, maybe next time with a lighter cotton for summer!

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Spring 2014 Vintage Reproductions!

If you're like me, when January rolls around (or as in the case of fall, late summer) you start scanning the big pattern companies' websites (Simplicity, Butterick, Vogue, Burda etc.) for the new vintage patterns. Well, they're finally up! Ladies and gentlemen, behold Spring 2014:


love all three views, the cummerbund band on B is beautiful!

oh la la, must find a nice stretchy satin to make this!

So many pretty ones! I didn't include Burda because this season they went with some truly horrible 70s designs. Seriously, they did not choose well, too bad since their patterns from the 50s and 60s are superb.

I'll definitely be looking for all these patterns to go on sale!

Tomorrow (hopefully) look for a post on my finished Simplicity 1609!

(all images courtesy of, Vogue, and Butterick)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Almost there with Simplicity 1609

I've got in a fair amount of sewing on Simplicity 1609. All that's left is the front bow and the hem. I hope the bow isn't hard, I've never made one before. The knit fabric I'm working with probably won't help matters, oh well. I tried the dress on today and it fits! And its very comfortable, definitely a much needed everyday piece. I think I'll wear it with a simple, long-sleeved shirt underneath, nothing with a bow! Want some pictures? Sure you do, here they are:

The mannequin is definitely a smaller cup than I am, the bust darts are quite, ahem...prominent when I tried the dress on. Looks better on, I swear!

not a bad side view for a mod dress, the side slit (sewn) is just barely visible in the middle
not visible, but there are three seams on the back

this was the most time consuming part of the dress so far: the interfacing around the neck and arms holes. I used a light-weight which worked just fine.

So far I've followed than pattern without making many alterations. The only thing I've done differently is omitting the zipper down the back. Its not at all necessary with the knit I'm using. (Plus I hate getting that bump around the butt that a zipper down the back can make).

Happy Sewing!