Thursday, November 17, 2011

A project totally out of left field...

... and totally not from the 1950s, but its still sewing, and exciting, so I thought I'd talk about it here.

This coming weekend Steve and I have been invited to a fancy dress cocktail party with a moulin rouge theme. We won't know ANYONE at this party (long story) so I thought I would go all out with my outfit... like I wouldn't have gone all out anyway!

So, I have this corset that I wore at Miss Pinup Australia NSW Finals last week:

(I had no idea they were taking this photo by the way)

I thought the custom made corset by Jill's Corsets would be a great foundation for a moulin rouge inspired cancan outfit. To that I imagined adding a cancan skirt, and a big feathered head piece. Due to the NSW Finals of Miss Pinup Australia being the weekend before, I really wasn't going to have a lot of time to make this all happen. I looked around at buying a skirt and I couldnt get anything in the colours I wanted, or the look I wanted. The head piece was much easier - Feathers custom make showgirl head pieces in whatever colours you want! Done!!

Back to the skirt - I realised I was going to have to make it, so I started looking around for a pattern, and of course I couldnt find what I wanted. I did find this which gave me a huge hint on ruffles, but more on that later.

So, for the first time, I was going to have to make it up as I was going along!!!! This might scare a lot of people, but not me - chuck me in at the deep end and watch me swim!

I started with the outer skirt, which after a bit of draping and pining, looks like this:

Remind me not to attempt to put zippers in satin again - it wasn't fun, but I will live with the fact that its not perfect because it will be hiding under my corset.

Next step was to make the inner skirt (from bemsilk lining). Its the exact same size as the long bits of the outer skirt. The inner skirt is the bit I was going to attach all the ruffles to.

To make the ruffles, I cut 10 strips of fabric (more bemsilk lining) from selvedge to selvedge, then overlocked the selvedge edges together to make one LOOOONG strip, then I overlocked down both sides of the strip to stop it from fraying. Here is where the ruffling hint comes in.

Did you know that if you make your stitch length and tension maximum on your machine (and maybe give the top thread a bit of a hand by holding it tighter) your sewing machine will create gathers for you!!!!!!!

I didnt!

It goes in like this:

and comes out like this:

And at 1am I also discovered that your overlocker can do exactly the same thing!!!! Its amazing how brave and creative you can be at 1 o'clock in the morning!

So then I stitched the ruffles on in alternate colours. This took a while...

Once all the ruffles were on, I stitched the inner skirt into the outer skirt. This was when something happened that I hadn't anticipated. Even thought the inner skirt and the outer skirt were exactly the same size, the inner skirt hung lower because it had extra weight on it from all the ruffles. This meant that I had to break out the overlocker again and make a satin ruffle to sew to the bottom hem of the outer skirt to make it longer. Phew - almost there! By this point Stella was looking at me wondering if we were ever going to go to bed. She had given up sleeping on my petticoats and had decided to just stare at me instead. Yes Stella, Mummy is mad.

So I sewed the satin ruffle on and VOILA!!!!! THE CAN CAN SKIRT WAS FINISHED!!!!!

Looks pretty doesn't it? You will have to use your imagination and put the whole outfit together because by the time I finished (1.30am) I did not feel like parading around the house in the outfit just to see what it looked like. I'm sure you will understand.

I found this project a wonderful creative outlet and a good test of my sewing skills and ingenuity. Now I need someone else to have a moulin rouge themed fancy dress party so I can bring the whole ensemble out again, as I'm sure it will be a hit on Saturday night!

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

A new hat! Plus an update on the Green and Pink dress

Well look what arrived yesterday!

By some amazing coincidence I actually wore the Sheet Dress to work yesterday, and this hat was intended to be worn with that dress! The colour of the hat works perfectly with the flowers on the dress don't you think? I can't wait to wear the whole ensemble somewhere! All I need now are pink shoes and a pink bag. Pink shoes seem to be the more difficult bit at the moment... all the shoes I see are just not quite the right shade!

Also, I finished the Green and Pink dress on the weekend too, and wore it out to dinner on Sunday night. I don't have a picture of me wearing the dress yet, but I'll get that taken care of soon enough. Here is a photo of it on my dressmakers dummy:

I'm pretty happy with the end result, although I must tell you there were times when I wanted to throw it out the window, or set fire to it. The sheer green fabric with holes in it was a NIGHTMARE to sew for a beginner seamstress, but I perservered and we got there in the end. I also have a lovely vintage hat to match this dress so now I need to find two events to which I can wear a hat!

Have a great day everyone, thanks for reading


Monday, October 24, 2011

I was thinking of keeping this project top secret...

... but I'm not very good at keeping secrets!

For those that don't know I entered a competition called Miss Pinup Australia, and I am a NSW finalist for Miss Classic Pinup. This competition has required me to buy a lot of vintage clothes and things for each of the categories I have to participate in - Day wear, Swim wear, Lingerie, and Evening wear as well as a talent. Luckily I already had this ballgown

This gorgeous confection was made by Emma Domb and it dates back to the 1950s and it was in pristine condition when I got it. It had a bit of an odd smell, but no rips or tears in the skirt that I could find. It now has a couple though after the outing it had to a ball where the above photo was taken. Going up and down stairs in this thing is a nightmare let me tell you!


I realised that for Miss Pinup Australia I really wanted to have a reveal moment for this beautiful, special gown and because its a difficult colour to match (much more orange than shown above) I figured I had no chance of finding a vintage one the right colour. So I thought I would put my sewing skills to good use and make one!

My mum had an early 1960's pattern for a long coat with a decent size sweep at the bottom which I thought would do if I changed the button arrangement, and shortened the sleeves to bracelet length. Here it is, almost complete

See how much more orange the dress looks in natural light!

I found some lovely pale gold curtain fabric, and some lovely slightly darker gold heavy satin to line it with. This will work well with the other accessories I have (pale gold shoes, and pale gold elbow length vintage gloves). Althought it doesn't look awesome together in this photo its not so bad in person.

I also had to put more fullness in the 'skirt' of the coat. It looked like it had plenty of sweep on the pattern envelope, but I had to add about 1.5 metres to make it big enough to fit the dress. It now has a bottom hem of over 3 metres (120 inches).

I haven't put the buttons on yet. I'm going to do self covered buttons, one on each side up near the neck with a loop closure. The dress will show a little bit when I walk, but you won't see the whole thing until I take the coat off, which I have to work out how to do elegantly. Did I mention how heavy the coat is!

All in all I'm pretty happy with the way it came out. At times its been a difficult journey and if I hadn't needed it for the competition in three weeks I would not have finished it. Lets hope it does the job on the night!

Thanks for reading.

Beccie xx

Monday, October 17, 2011

And the Sheet Dress makes its debut...

... at a Vintage Fair no less!

And it got a very good response I must say! I overheard several people talk about my outfit as I shopped, and I even had a lovely couple of ladies stop me to ask about my outfit. The conversation when something like this:

Ladies : Wow, thats a lovely outfit, where did you buy that from?
Me : Oh, thank you, I made it actually.... from a sheet
Ladies : From a what? Really?? Wow, you did a great job, you must be a really good seamstress!
Me : Well, no, I've only been sewing for about 6 months...
Ladies : hahaha are you serious, the fit is impeccable, you've done a great job! Can we take your photo?
Me : Sure! (poses in a pinupy way)
Ladies : Well, you might not have been sewing long, but you are obviously very creative. What do you do for a living?
Me : I'm an accountant...
Ladies : No! - thats hilarious! hahahahaha
Me : I know, I'm very left brain, right brain conflicted.
Ladies : You are! I can't believe you made that from a sheet! I will never look at the sheets at St Vinnies in the same way again!

A few more pleasantries were exchanged, but that was about it, very funny I thought, but it left me feeling really good about myself, my outfit, and my sewing ability - thanks random ladies!!!

Now, I was sewing another dress at the same time as this one, and I have yet to finish the pink and green dress... its almost there but I have to put it aside to finish a VERY IMPORTANT and VERY URGENT job... but I promise I will finish it, because its very pretty.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Is this Heaven???

For anyone (like me) who likes to sew AND likes to rummage around in bargain stores, thrift stores, and yard sales, this place has to be heaven.

On Tuesday I had a day out with Mum. She had heard about this place a couple of hours drive away that bought up stock from fabric shops that have gone bust, and sold it at bargain discount prices. So we thought we'd go! And I tell you, it was UNBELIEVABLE!

I love rummaging through things, and there was a lot of things to rummage through! Imagine a big shed like an aircraft hangar FILLED with rows and rows of fabric! There was some crap, but you get that anywhere. There was also some unbelieveable bargains! Take this for example:

Isn't this the most amazing retro print EVER!!! Its on a silky microfibre type fabric which will be lovely in summer. I bought 5 metres at $5/metre. I have bought this pattern to turn it into a dress:

I also bought a lovely teal blue/green curtain fabric (no rubber backing though!) to make into a dress or maybe a coat... I'll worry about that later... and it was $7.50/metre. I also bought some white sheeting to make mock-ups of patterns from and it was $3/metre.

It was a very worthwhile trip - much enjoyed by both of us! And I tell you, I will DEFINITELY be going back!

Thanks for reading


Monday, September 26, 2011

Can I sew two dresses at once???

Of course I can!!!

After the success of my Dusty Pink Dress I thought I would make two more dresses in the same pattern. I got so many compliments when I wore it - it was lovely to be told that something you made was beautiful :) Unfortunately I don't have any photos - I think I need to set up a photo shoot to have someone take photos of me in all the dresses I have made. Hey, thats a pretty good idea!!!

Anyway! The weather ended up being not the best on the weekend, so along with a few other things I worked on two new dresses - the first one being the long awaited (by me anyway) Sheet Dress!!!

I purchased the above original 1950/60s twin bed sheet in its original unopened packaging on etsy (of course) and as soon as I saw the listing my brain exploded with ideas! I love it when I am inspired by something like that - has that ever happened to you? See how the flowers are densely packed at the top and bottom and sparse in the middle? Well I imagined a dress with lots of flowers at the hem, fading up to virtually no flowers on the bodice, with a little pink self-covered belt, and a pink jacket!!! Just imagine the entire look - complete with pink gloves, pink hat, pink shoes, and a pink bag!!!!! I'm getting excited again just thinking about it!!!!!!

Here is a close-up of the sweet little flowers:

Its going to look so beautiful!!!

Because I wanted the flowers a particular way on the pattern pieces I had to lay the sheet on the floor. My 18mth old puppy Stella thought she might be able to help:

She couldn't, just got in the way really... but I appreciated the effort :)

For those of you who can't imagine what I mean about the flower placement, I have outlined the pattern pieces on this photo in yellow:

The pieces on the right are the front and back of the dress. See how there aren't many flowers on the bodice???

Stella gave up trying to help after a while and instead sat in her beanbag and supervised:

So - for my second dress that I will make at the same time as the Sheet Dress I chose this lovely fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics - a sheer-ish green with laser cut, white edged eyelets in a flowery pattern:

I'm going to line the dress in pink so I have a green dress with pink flowers, like this:

I will also wear this one with a pink belt and pink shoes :) I love matchie-matchie accessories!

This will be an interesting one to sew together for two reasons:
1. The green fabric is sheerish, with holes in it, so my seams are going to show. They have to be neat (or bound maybe...hmmm)
2. Both fabrics are slippery and like to move about. I may have to actually READ THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL that came with my new sewing machine to see how to best tackle slippery fabrics.

Still, I like a challenge, and sewing two dresses at the same time, one of them with difficult fabrics should make for a good challenge! I will keep you posted on how they come along.

Thanks for reading


Friday, September 23, 2011

Remember that dilema I was having...

... well in typical Beccie fashion I didn't do any of those things, I did something else!

I had ordered some fabric a little while ago from Gorgeous Fabrics and it arrived!!! This is one of the fabrics I ordered:

Its a beautiful heavy weight cotton of the most beautiful dusty pink colour! Its a bit paler in person, but this just could be my monitor :) So I had a bit of a wander through my vintage pattern collection and I decided on this one:

A sweet little swing dress with little tucks under the bust and a divine short cropped jacket!

I started out like I always do - by making a calico copy to see if it would fit. This pattern is a size 11 (31 inch bust) and therefore should be way to small for me (36 inch bust). However, it fitted perfectly. Either inches have gotten smaller or this dress pattern has a ridiculous amount of ease in it!

So I cut it out and sewed it up. It really was the easiest pattern - I thought the little tucks under the bust might give me some issues, but nup! The hardest bit was when I needed to bring it in a little smaller at the waist to fit me - re-doing that seam where the tucks are was a little fiddly.

So here is the dress (unhemmed):

I have my blue petticoat on my dressmakers dummy to give it that poufy look :) And I would wear it with the powder blue petticoat too I think - gives a nice contrast and brings out the hydrangeas.

And here is the little cropped jacket:

Obviously, it is also unfinished - it doesn't have its collar on and I'd done none of the hems. But you get the idea.

It really is the loveliest ensemble, and SO EASY to make, which is why I think I will make my next few dresses from this pattern - sheet dress here I come!!!

I have since finished the ensemble and all its hems (which I did with a nicely contrasting powder blue bias tape) and I am wearing it to work today!

Which leads me to a post I read here about costume vs clothing. You should read it, Peter's blog is great. He wanted to discuss how people feel about the costume/clothing boundary. I love my outfit. Yes I am also wearing stilletos, victory rolls in my hair, vintage style make-up, vintage jewellery, and carrying a vintage handbag so its probably viewed as COSTUME by everyone that sees me. However this is what I wear every day, so to me its CLOTHING, albeit ecentric, but its how I feel that counts and I feel beautiful :)

I will get someone to take a photo of me and the whole ensemble and I will post it up on my blog so you can see for yourself what it looks like.

On a completely different topic my gorgeous fiance bought me a sewing machine as an early christmas present! Its a Janome DC4030!! I was sewing with my Mum's machine, but she wanted it back... how rude!

I love my new machine, it sews wonderfully well and I'm sure will last me a long time :)

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

And now I have A Dilema

What to do next????

I have so many amazing choices! First of all there is this one:

I like the dress on the left (the green one for those of you not good with your left and rights!) I think it would be lovely for summer, and I have found some lovely fabric - but there is even a choice there. Should I go cream with red roses, or black with pinky-red roses???

Then there is this one:

Seeing as its getting warmer, and I don't have a lot of vintage tops, it would be really good if I could make some blouses to wear to work with skirts or capri pants etc... and I like this pattern, it just doesn't excite me much... it feels like a 'have-to' rather than a 'want-to'.

Then there is:

This pattern is DIVINE!!! I love the neckline, and the buttons, and the CAPE!!! Oh I so want to this one, and I've found a lovely black and white print fabric for this one...

And last but not least there is this:

Yes, its a bed sheet. But its not any bed sheet - its a vintage 1950s twin bed sheet unused in original packaging (only taken out of the package to be photographed by the person I bought it off). It has the most beautiful pink roses on it. As soon as I saw it I imagined a beautiful dress with the skirt made out of the sheet, with the area where the roses are densest (is that even a word?) on the hem, becoming more sparse towards the waist. The bodice of the dress will be plain white, and I can make a little pink bolero, and a pink fabric belt, and I can accessorise it with pink shoes and a little pink bag, and my milk-glass necklace and earrings... oh the possibilities are endless. And while I have all the ideas for this one I don't have a pattern - I would be cobbling together other patterns to come up with something I like, which is more of a challenge than the others, but I do love a challenge!

So, what should I do?

And the next dress project is...

... a gorgeous asymmetrical button up dress with a cute-as button on bolero!

This is another one of my growing collection of vintage patterns.

It was purchased from SewMrsP on Etsy. You can find her shop here. She has an enormous amount of vintage patterns in her store - really worth a look!

There were a couple of things I LOVED when I first saw this pattern:
- the button up front with the buttons not in the middle.
- the fact it had pockets
- the adorable bolero that BUTTONS ON!

I also loved the way it looked with the polka dot fabric in the pattern picture, so when I went fabric shopping thats what I was looking for.

As always, I ironed the pattern pieces onto some really light interfacing to give them some strength, and then I made traced them onto pattern tracing paper.

Next, I cut out the dress as it was from calico to see how much I needed to adjust the pattern to fit me. Now it would have fitted, but only if I was happy to expose a lot more cleavage than I wanted to!

Then I got to do the exciting bit, which is cut out the proper fabric! I also wanted to fully line the dress in a light silky material to make it less see-through and more comfortable to wear. And since the instructions didn't call for that, I decided to ignore the instructions.

Yes thats right - I didn't read a single word of them - and surprisingly the dress came out really well:
I have sinced hemmed it AND made the cute little bolero - it really is the sweetest outfit! When I makes its first outing I will make sure to take a photo and post it on my blog.

My Dad is Awesome!

Recently I have been frustrated with my sewing space. I started on this vintage sewing caper on a whim, so I was sewing on my dining table. I would have been happy to stay there apart from a few things:
  1. My house is pretty open plan, and the dining room was the first thing that people see when they walk in;
  2. When I knew people were coming over I didnt have anywhere to pack stuff away too, so I ended up piling it up in a corner;
  3. My fiance has a habit of inviting people over at the drop of a hat, so quite often I had no time to tidy the dining room up; and
  4. (and this is the most hilarious one) My dressmakers dummy Hilda almost gave my fiance a heart attack at 2am one morning when he couldnt sleep - he thought we had a ghost.
Clearly I needed a room to set stuff up in, with a door I could close. Oh, and I forgot one reason:

5. My puppy (Stella, Miniature Schnauzer, 18mths) likes to ferret through my stuff, and occasionaly chew things, run off with things, or sleep on things.

So - I am lucky - I have a big house with two guest bedrooms (one with an ensuite and one without), so with the help of a sofa bed, my plan was to turn the upstairs guest bedroom into a sewing room!!!

Next problem - what on earth do I use for a bench that also enables me to have a pull out sofa bed???

And this is why my Dad is awesome!


Dad made it the perfect height for me so I don't have to bend over all the time (which does hurt after a full days sewing) AND it has wheels on it so when I need to use the room as a guest room I can push it out of the way!

Now I just need to find the perfect sofa bed! I will definitely need to do that before the concert season starts up again, as thats when my house turns into a hotel.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The black coat has its first outing!

On the weekend Mum and I went to Wahroonga to the Rose Siedler House 50s Fair! It was a great day out and we were very lucky with the weather. It looked like it was going to rain all day but somehow it didn't.

I thought this was the perfect opportunity to debut my black coat (complete with buttons thanks to some last minute efforts!). So I gathered together the bones of an outfit:
- black dress with embroidered blue swallows
- blue petticoat
- blue shoes

But I was missing a few things - like lots of accessories. Thats the thing with dressing vintage - its pretty much all about the accessories. You need to have the works and it all needs to be matchy-matchy.

The day before Mum and I wandered around Newtown looking at all the vintage and collectible shops and I found a powder blue single strand necklace which I could wrap around my neck twice - so I bought that. Then when we arrived at the fair, I found a matching pair of powder blue clip-on earrings so I bought them! THEN I found a pair of powder blue gloves, and a powder blue leather handbag! Now I had an outfit!!

So what did I do - I entered the best dressed competition!

This is a photo of my walking down the ramp from the beautiful 1950s house onto the red carpet. I was convinced I was going to fall flat on my face... a steep ramp, thats damp, in sky high stilletos. What was I thinking!!

There were 30 women in the competition, several hundred people watching, and what felt like a million photographers. I didnt win, but it was a great experience and I met some great people :)

AND I got so so so many compliments about my coat!!! Everybody wanted to know where I got it from, and then when I said I'd made it people wanted me to make them one! And I even found a photo of me on Facebook taken by a random person, with another random person commenting that I had made the coat myself!!!

I was very flattered by all the attention the coat got, and I'm looking forward to wearing more of my creations when the weather warms up. Speaking of which, I finished the pattern adjustments for the wrap dress and now I just have to cut it out and get sewing! Hopefully I will have time soon :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The weather is starting to warm up (I hope!)...

...So that means its time to start sewing from my collection of 1950s dress patterns! Hooray!!

This is the pattern I chose. Pretty isnt it! This is a beautiful wrap dress from the designer Marian Martin. This is a mail order pattern sent out to the original purchaser in the 1950s. Unfortunately I can't find any information about Marian or the company to add here - it seems to be lost to history, what a shame!

What I can tell you is that the pattern was purchased my whoever originally purchased it (lets call her Miss X) and then she never sewed it! Seems sad doesn't it. This means that the unprinted pattern pieces were still factory folded.

For those used to sewing with modern patterns, uprinted pattern pieces are totally different from modern patterns. Modern patterns come in big sheets printed with the bits you need to cut out and use, and they have a range of sizes. Old unprinted patterns are already factory cut and have no printed markings whatsover, just a code of holes which I have yet to figure out, and only come in the one size.

Once again, because I loved this dress I had to buy the pattern even though it was too small for me. So this requires pattern alterations! I swear, this kind of sewing is such a labour of love!

So for me STEP ONE is to unfold the factory folded pattern, and then iron on some really light unwoven interfacing (at this point all the collectors will be screaming NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO) but tough to you guys. This is the best way to sew from the pattern and not damage it. I am preserving it for future use - so quiet!

Then STEP TWO is to cut out the original size pattern on the lovely cheap pattern tracing 'fabric' (It feels like its made from recycled PET bottles...) and then pin it together to see how badly it doesn't fit :)

STEP THREE is to increase the size of the pattern pieces where needed. For this one I just had to increase the size of the front bodice and then therefore the halter neck strap.

All this would not be possible without the help of my dressmakers dummy - lets call her Doris (a good old 1950s name!). Doris is set to be the same size as me so this means if it fits Doris, it will fit me!

I'm pretty happy with it and I think it will look great. There is another change I'm going to make though. The skirt on the original pattern is a big rectangle thats gathered. I'd prefer to have more of a swing style gored skirt, so I will be drafting my own skirt pattern from a skirt I already own to attach to the bottom of the bodice.

Hopefully I will get to do some work on the skirt pattern tonight, and then I might even get to the cutting out stage! That has to be the most exciting part for me, to see the fabric cut out and prepared.

Fingers crossed!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

So the black coat project lead me to...

... make a LEOPARD PRINT one!!!

Those of you who know me know I can't resiste leopard print! I did make one significant change with this coat though. I didn't want to make another swing coat because I wanted to wear this coat with this wiggle dress:

(Isn't this a cute picture of moi!! This is from my photoshoot with the wonderful girls at Sherbet Birdie where I became a pin-up model for a day. I had a fabulous time having my hair and make-up done, eating cupcakes and drinking champagne, then I had 9 amazing photographs taken and I now have something to look back on when I'm old and decrepit and remember how how I was when I was 32!)

So anyway - back to the sewing!!!

I changed the pattern into a straight skirt and lined the coat in lovely red satin. Its not perfect (none of my sewing is) but I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who can see the flaws :)

And I must say that easing the sleeves in this coat was about a thousand times easier - something to do with the fabric I think, it just seemed to squish up better.

Oh, and these are the buttons I purchased from Etsy. I really like putting vintage buttons on my sewing, and these ones came from The Corner Mouse.

Putting the buttons on was where the nightmare started. Luckily the biggest button hole the machine could do was just big enough for these buttons (once again I had started sewing this coat before I found out about bound buttonholes), but everytime I tried to do a buttonhole on the fur the thread would break or the machine would have a fit. It was getting all to much for me - I was sick with an earache and I needed to finish the coat that day to wear it the following day to Greazefest. I had to call my mum. She worked out that the tension was too tight for the fabric (whats tension??) and once that was changed the machine sewed the buttonholes like a warm knife cutting through butter!

Unfortunately I don't have any photos of me wearing the coat. This is because by 9.30am in Brisbane that day it was about 25 degrees celcius and far too hot to be wearing a leopard print coat... what a shame! Oh well, there is always next winter!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Trouble with Buttons

Buttons - I love them but they can cause problems. Take these ones that I have pinned onto my coat for instance.

I purchased these vintage buttons on Etsy from LakeViewArts and they are beautiful and just what I wanted BUT they are too big for my automatic button holer on my sewing machine.

(By the way, these buttons aren't bronze like they look in these photos - they are actually black and very very shiny. And the fabric is much more black, and less grey...).

What to do now???

As far as I can see it there are two options:

1. I do the buttonholes by hand. This involves lots of finicky hand sewing and the end result will be a buttonhole that (more than likely) will look crap; or

2. I use the machine to do the stiches like the automatic function. This is harder than it sounds. I had several trial runs at it the other night and none of them turned out satisfactorily. Sigh!

It seems I should have done a bound buttonhole back when I started making the coat. I've never heard of bound buttonholes before until I found this tutorial today from Sewaholic. The end result looks very nice and finished, see:

But alas its too late now. You know it probably said something about bound buttonholes in the sewing instructions, but to be honest I didn't read them much because they weren't that much help... I kinda just made it up as I went along.


There is one way to solve this conundrum and thats to get more buttons - smaller ones - that can fit in the automatic buttonholer thingy on the sewing machine... I am yet to make up my mind on this. I think I need to do some more experimenting before I make a decision.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My First Sewing Effort

So here are a couple of photos of the coat that I sewed - my first effort at sewing from a vintage pattern. And not only that but it was my first attempt at adjusting a pattern to fit me! I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

I made it from curtain material believe it or not (not the rubber backed stuff) and put in a 5mm think felt lining in the bodice to help keep me warm. The whole thing is then lined in lovely sky blue satin.

I have yet to put the buttons on though... the vintage buttons I bought on etsy are too big to fit in the automatic buttonhole foot on my sewing machine. This means that I have to work out how to do them manually with the sewing machine or do them by hand (yuck - don't like hand sewing!)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Welcome to my blog!

Well isn't this exciting!

This blog will detail my adventures with my vintage patterns and my sewing machine.

I am a devotee of 1950s fashion and dress accordingly - lots of high waisted pencil skirts, full circle skirts, capri pants, gorgeous dresses etc etc. Recently I remembered that I could sew (haven't done so for about 10 years) and decided to purchase a couple of authentic 1950s patterns and have a go at making my own creations. It has been an interesting journey so far and I would like to share it with whoever is interested.

While I say that I remembered I could sew... I could never sew REALLY well. But there is nothing like throwing yourself in the deep end and seeing if you can swim! The photograph on the right underneath my banner shows the first patten I decided to undertake. A beautiful circle skirted fitted coat from a 60 year old pattern that was too small for me ... see what I mean about deep end! This was my first project after more than 10 years of not sewing! And you know, it took me a couple of weeks, but it came out so well that I made another one! This time I changed the pattern so it was a straighter skirt, and I made it out of faux fur. And now I am addicted!!!

I'm looking forward to sharing my sewing adventures with the world :)