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!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Modish Dress

I've made progress on Simplicity 1609! Its really an easy pattern, a "jiffy" one in fact. I chose a double knit (at least I think it is a double knit) fabric I picked up at Joanns a while back. Its black with felt polka dots. I wanted a warmer fabric for this one since its so cold here. I've had fun pinning it to my new dressform as I go, making sure everything is fitting together. I chose view B. I like the bow on the front.

All the pattern pieces ready to cut:
See the largest piece? That is the front of the dress. The weird slit you see where the fabric peaks through is closed and sewn together. Its kind of like a big dart, but the top slopes down more towards it. This gives the dress slightly more structured even though the dress itself is very mod, i.e. little structure. 

The other pieces:

The back and front pieces of the dress have several darts. These very pretty easy even though I'm working with a knit fabric. After cutting out and sewing the darts, I sewed the shoulder seams together. Here are a few pictures of the dress so far pinned to the dressform:

Before I started this dress I played around a little with draping (with this fabric) on my dressform. I was going for a sort-of Victorian (maybe overskirt on a bustle gown?) effect:

See what I mean with the front drapes?

Well anyways, Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Christmas Loot!

Happy New Year! Since we're back from our Christmas vacation, I thought I'd share some of the Christmas sewing loot I received. Aside from the books I'll be highlighting, I got a gift certificate to buy patterns on Etsy, a dressform (yes!), and a neat little sewing kit that organizes all my bobbins, thread, needles, etc.! Now, on to the books! I got 7, yes 7, sewing books all containing grided patterns!


From left to right: Authentic Victorian Fashion Patterns by Kristina Harris, Corsets: Historical Patterns and Techniques by Jill Salen, The Voice of Fashion: 79 Turn-of-the-Century Patterns with Instructions and Fashion Plates by Frances Gimble, Women's Wear of the 1920s: With Complete Patterns by Ruth S. Countryman, Pattern Making: Drafting 1930s Lingerie, Blouses, Skirts, and Sportswear Fashion by Gertrude Mason, The Edwardian Modiste: 85 Authentic Patterns with Instructions, Fashion Plates, and Period Sewing Techniques by Frances Grimble, 59 Authentic Turn-of-the-Century Fashion Patterns by Kristina Harris.


Each book is a gem! I've looked through the 1920s one the most. Its great! Remember how I said Vol. 2 of Patterns of Fashion is lacking in good, iconic, 1920s patterns? Well this book more than makes up for it! So many great patterns, including underthings. The 30s book is quite methodical. The instructions contained really help one to understand how to make a nicely-fitted pattern/garment. There are four different methods detailed for making 1930s clothing. The Victorian and Edwardian books, have sooooo many patterns, underthings included, excluding corsets. The corset book has patterns for corsets dating from the 1750s to 1918 I believe. Can not wait to make one of these patterns. Of course these patterns are taken from actual museum pieces so I'll have to adjust them to fit my more modern, ahem, shape :)

In other news, I'll be starting to sew a new dress. 1960s this time, from a Simplicity reproduction pattern:


Happy Sewing!