Not a whole lot to say about this. The fabric kicks ass. The pattern was a gift from a far flung friend (our kiddos are penpals!). And it wears like a dreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaamm!
Total fucking win.
This was my grandma’s book. It’s seen better days.
In her defense, she had seven children and a husband with near legendary book destroying super powers.
It’s possible she absconded with it from NYPL….
Perhaps she got it at library book sale. (#HopefulLibrarian)
Grandma left this super cute sketch between its pages.
I think….we have very similar handwriting (so close that I actually signed a couple of her credit cards).
I’m still not entirely sure I didn’t draw this.
It’s an acceptable mystery.
Onto book show-and-tell with:
This first edition of The Vogue Sewing Book was published in 1970.
At the Butterick Plant.
If I ever have a my own business, my ultimate goal is to take it all the way to plant level.
It tells you right here in the preface…
Clocking in at over 400 pages, you’d be hard pressed to identify one thing missing from this tome.
Imagine how indispensable it was to the YouTube-less sewers of the past??
Broken down into books within the book, we have
Lopsided figure fitting.
There’s even a fashion vocabulary.
The revised and updated edition of this book has it’s own brand of charm.
But nothing can top this old beat up beauty.
This bit of my gran. In book form.
Right on the SHELF.
This was a real touch and go make (much like the last one, just can’t call it until it’s done!). I’m still not totally sold on it. BUT it’s really comfy to wear and easy to make and I loved styling it with chunky boots and tights.
I totally intended for this version to have long sleeves, however, the puzzle of getting those two curves to lie together, in holy matrimony forever and forever…the power eluded me. LOL I cut the facings out of the sleeves and I was happy to salvage the bodice after clipping the curves. I also think I could go up to the larger size. But I’m not fussed.This denim is quite thin and has zero stretch. I think this was the perfect project for it as it’s a bit stiff and would have made one awkward fitted garment.
And I tacked down those unruly facings, too. Why do I still suck at facings????
She is purty but she ain’t comfy. SO ITCHY! That shit has got to GO!
And I was so proud of this top stitching job!
I have another all cut out and ready to go. I have to work while the mojo’s working, or I won’t make another garment for weeks!
My fall wardrobe won’t make itself!
My birthday is next month. I will be 35. I’m not a huge fan of birthdays. That has nothing to do with my age and everything to do with the incredibly shitty ones I had as a kid. Though the bdays have improved drastically as a wife and mom, I am still somewhat reluctant to make an event out of them. For fear of…I don’t know what really. I think I still tend to restrain my emotions due to some long held fear of….something.
Well, I enjoyed my recent dressmaking experience so much (thanks for your kind words!! I will try to get better at replying to those much appreciated comments!) that I’ve been trying to think of another reason or occasion to indulge and completely disregarded my birthday as an option.
The bug to bone (PUN!) has been reawakened (with a vengeance, please help me refrain from ordering that beading tool) by viewing some spectacular examples of couture artistry in motion via that most excellent medium, YouTube.
Look at all of this deliciousness and tell me you don’t want to spend weeks working on an outfit you’ll only wear a handful of times ;)
discovered via Pauline Alice
discovered via Frau Fleur
discovered browsing Dior
I’ve been collecting couture/high fashion-y inspiration in a pinboard, naturally.
Or from here, where I could work with a new and challenging material (like leather!!) rather than more traditional couture techniques.
I realized, somewhat belatedly, that I could create my own reason to wear finery. That I have friends willing to play dress up, just for the hell of it, and a husband who would take me anywhere I wanted to go to show off my hard work.
Do you need a reminder that any day can be a special occasion? Look at those videos and dream with me.
There has been so much good, this summer. If you follow me on Instagram* , you probably already know that I’ve eaten a lot of good food, spent a lot of time with some really amazing friends, smooched my hubby, watched my children grow, play and be generally awesome, drooled over stunning couture and then started my very own adventure in couture dressmaking.
I was beyond excited about my cousin getting married and thus providing me with a reason to sew formal wear! After some time spent looking for the perfect fabric/pattern match, in my stash and beyond, I settled on this one:
An out of character animal print from Mood and Advance 9290.
The initial fit was mostly OK. I added inches to the bodice length, they’re always too short for me, and the side seams right off. That didn’t work. It was too big around the chest and upper back and tight around the gut. I went back to the original upper circumference, added a bit more to the bottom one and added another half inch or so to the length.
After a couple tries, I ended up with this:
Not too bad!! Here’s a peak at the inside. The outermost seam line is the original princess seam line. Needed less boob room.
I used the muslin to draft new pattern pieces and went straight to actual construction. I made up three bodice layers: powernet, organza and fashion fabric. I sandwiched the first two together and sewed in channels for boning, then attached the sandwiched layers together with the self fabric and facings.
Here is the finished bodice! I was so proud of it!
The dress ended up with so many special touches: the lining and powernet came from my grandma, the zipper was given to me by my sister, the boning was my late grandma’s and I used a needle from a packet inherited from her to do all the hand stitching (the lining to the bodice and the hem).
My weight fluctuated all through the making of this dress. And the fashion fabric had a bit of stretch that, well, stretched over time (this was taken at about 11pm when I got home). BUT! It worked out in the end and mostly held up well!
I was having too much fun to get any great shots of me (alone) in the dress at the wedding. I might take some time to get all dressed in it again for some blog pics. You know what, maybe not.
How about some
*What Instagram can’t show you are all the times I was too busy enjoying myself to take photos or those too special and personal to diminish by pausing for social media documentation.
My garment sewing mojo has taken a little hiatus. Instead, I’ve been reading and day dreaming about a host of other creative endeavors to get stuck into.
It’s Frida. So, obviously, I love it.
I stumbled across it at the perfect time: while focused on projects/additions to bring color to my bland home.
I can’t wait to see them in person!
Image from @alexanderhenryfabrics on Instagram
I really, really love this dress!!!! It’s so comfy I’m still wearing it while writing this. And I hate wearing outside clothes, inside my home! I’m so pleased with the fit. I tried sewing this shape before, using a vintage pattern in my stash. It was a disaster! I forced myself to size up from what I would have normally gravitated to, with the thought (from the last experience) that loose would definitely be better than tight. I traced size 36 and made it up exactly as is.
I did struggle with the facings, which I ALWAYS DO. SIGH. I was hesitant to switch to bias bindings, which I have more success with, as I was unsure of how it would work with the unique (and SOOOOO cool) sleeve shaping. Plus, I think the slight bulk of the facings gives the sleeves structure that binding wouldn’t. I did leave off the pockets. I never put things in dress pockets and I hate when they sit open.
Full disclosure: I also worried about things lining up properly with all that gathering. I really suck at even gathers. But I rocked it this time!! This is the perfect amount of fullness. I don’t feel swamped, just flow-y!
I serged all of the seams and the edges of the facings and along the hem which I handstiched. I just couldn’t put any top stitching on this beautiful blank, linen canvas! I think this is the first time I’ve sewn with it and it most definitely won’t be the last.
Working with it has been a real lesson in fabric selection. This is heavier than what I would have chosen if I saw it in person. It was gifted to me by the folks at Britex, so I only saw it online. It was also very stiff prior to pre washing it. That wrinkly, post wash texture was so pleasant, though. And, as you can see, it sewed up perfectly!
Great pattern. Great color. Great drape. Great dress!!