archive for May, 2010
i had a sudden realisation yesterday when i put on my vogue 1044 “wearable” muslin. it really is too big as in unwearably so the extra is mostly around the bust and shoulders, i really don’t think there are any alterations i can make that would fix it.
i guess before i was too close to the project to be able to assess it objectively, but yesterday i realised that were it rtw i would immediately be reaching for the next size down and i’d try the one below that for good measure, too. which is a little worrysome as the pattern i have only goes down one more size, not sure i can face either buying it again or grading down the one i have.
i suppose i have to put it down as a learning experience. when i first came across the pattern i was planning to sign up for a sewing class – focussing on fitting, oh the irony – but couldn’t really afford it, so i could see the time and money invested in the dress as my diy version of the class. still, it really hurts to know i’ve sunk so much into something i simply cannot use. i’ve made stuff that didn’t quite work out before, but usually it’s been on a much smaller scale, or still been functional even if not pleasing to the eye.
it’s just a shame that my first foray into dressmaking for me in a very long time has turned out to be a rather large purple white elephant. i think i really need to pause and focus on what i can learn from this to take into my next project. this garment sewing is proving to be a steeper learning curve than i anticipated…
innit? not reflecting a total lack of activity, just a lull.
various things are in progress, i’m onto the second front for my cardi, i must get on with ordering some buttons.
i’m also working on a waistcoat that should have been a piece of cake, but has taken some very involved fussy cutting and an awful lot of experimenting with my latest new toy.
it’s a bound buttonhole maker, by rencrest, 1955. i assume it works the same as the widely feted dritz version, but with a lot less competition on ebay i’ve worked through a few variations, hence the electrical tape markings, to allow me to work slightly in from the very edge, which works fine for longer buttonholes (for enormous buttons!) but not so well for the 1/2 – 3/4″ ones i need to make.
i’ve been delving further into the 1940s too, fuelled by excessive reading over at the fedora lounge. i was pipped at the post to a rather fetching cc41 bra on ebay yesterday, although tbh i was grateful not only because i am still beyond skint* but also because it would have been a miracle had the thing actually fit. i was planning on rubbing off a copy, which could be tweaked as required, then selling the original on.
*the hollywood pattern book went for a good price in the end, would have been £60+ including uk shipping, thankfully. had it gone for the opening price i’d have been gutted!
i’ve been playing around with pincurls this weekend which has been a whole load of fun. i’ve always gone for “striking” hairdos, which in the past i’ve achieved with cut and colour (i think the only colour i’ve never had is green) and never spent much/any time actually styling the stuff. but i’ve recently chosen an uncharacteristically natural shade (dark brown, not my natural shade, but still… ) so i’m enjoying the chance to spice it up with more unusual styles. it’s going to take a hell of a lot bit more practice before the curls are fit to wear as they are, but i absolutely love the volume/texture it gives my mostly straight and slippery hair. i’ve been able to do this 1940s style, which i adore, entirely ratless which makes me happy
i think it’s a sign i’m on the right track that (to me, at least) i look like my grandma
returning to radio silence for a while, i expect, i have a birthday party/half term/camping just around the corner so blogging will have to take a back seat.
i absolutely cannot afford to buy this 1935 hollywood pattern catalogue (i’m beyond skint and the shipping is prohibitively high ), but somebody should because it’s an absolute steal at that start price and then some.
i’ll be hunting down #836 in the wild that’s for sure. the fact i have absolutely no occasion on which i could possibly wear it notwithstanding…
hollywood 1127 arrived yesterday, without customs charges, yay
big thumbs up to dress vintage for top customer service.
even bigger yay for the yardage – i’ve seen a couple of copies of this pattern in circulation, but never the back of the envelope. i figured i’d do contrast collar/cuffs if necessary, but with luck i should be able to squeeze the whole thing out of my 3 2/3 yards (actual requirement is 3 3/4 but that includes facings and i could probably skimp on the hem a little). i hoped that being a mid-war pattern it would be pretty economical and it really is, it has pretty much a layout for every size and the pieces are well and truly tretrissed on
thing is though, i’ve been leafing through some 1940s pics recently and so many of the dresses have white/collar cuffs i’m beginning to wonder if i’d rather do that anyway…
been shopping again
i was sold this as original 30s and although i know virtually nothing about the era i’m inclined to believe it, what do you reckon? any experts out there?
whatever it turns out to be i can’t get enough of this print, it’s got all my best colours, it has a wonderful drape (rayon) and a subtle sheen. condition is as new. can you imagine how nervous i’m going to be cutting into it?
apologies in advance, this is a bugger to photograph. my digi slr has a tough time with reds at the best of times and it’s completely refusing to play ball with this. so crappy cameraphone pics it is, i’m afraid. you can take it as read that it looks 100 times better in real life.
there’s no denying the economy of this pattern. a single 50g ball of 4 ply has got me more than half way up the back, so i’m hopeful that the whole thing (short sleeved cardi) will come in at under 250g. but the needles are indeed pretty small (old school 10s and 12s) and it’s a lesson in patience.
i’m finding this project utterly compelling at the moment, although speak to me again come the second front and the novelty may have worn off. it’s a forties pattern i picked up on ebay (copy), i’m guessing from stitchcraft magazine. it’s pushing the limits of my knitting skillz, e.g. working out how to work the increases in pattern, and the pattern is just complicated enough to hold the attention. there’s been a fair bit of ripping back which the yarn (debbie bliss rialto) has taken very well, and it’s a soft n squishy pleasure to work.
altogether the perfect companion to the rolling news as the uk political soap opera plays on…
3am kitting marathon and i produced a measly 3 1/2″ 1×1 ribbing.
this one may be a long time coming…
it didn’t take me that long to mull it over
did i pick well?
thanks to rasputnik for turning a negative into a positive. i found a not-quite-so-perfect-but-similar-enough-to-be-a-contender vogue pattern and i was trying to decide between them. the vogue was in my size (yay for 40s proportions!) while this one isn’t. he asked which i’d learn most from. seeing as i’d have to grade it up the hollywood is the clear winner when you look at it like that.
why so perfect? princess line, pleats, flattering neckline, slight puff to the sleeves but not too much volume, sleeve cuffs, and i really like the side buttons. i’m sure the cute picture showing it made up in a similar print to mine doesn’t hurt at all – i don’t have to make a huge leap of imagination to be fairly certain it will work, i’m not keen to take unnecessary risks with this one.
i realise these are mostly details that could be adapted/tweaked from a similar pattern, and i even briefly considered drafting my own version, but i have a slightly more realistic assessment of my skillz at this point.
for ref, burdastyle on grading up
i didn’t win my perfect pattern (outbid) which leaves me with a dilemma. it’s available elsewhere but it’s pretty expensive, once i figure in shipping and potential import charges it comes into the verrry expensive category (i.e. more than £25). that’s a ridiculous price for a pattern, isn’t it? it couldn’t possibly be that perfect, could it?
i suppose i could trace it then sell it on…
i’ve been hanging out more than is good for me on the vintage sewing blogs lately. i’ve always recognised the rather obvious appeal of fifties fashions, but the less showy delights of the thirties/forties are a whole new world for me, and there’s nothing i like more than immersing myself in New Stuff. so that’s how i came to be browsing etsy for 40s fabric and that’s how this little beauty came into my life.
from vintage pickle on etsy, i totally recommend this seller.
such wonderful colours, red white and blue seems to be everywhere atm (not least in vintage sewing land, susannah’s got it too). i have a favourite dress from last summer in those colours that sets off my newest tattoo a treat
i won’t be flashing it with this though, something demure and somewhat sensible i reckon, a classic forties pattern. it’s a not-particularly-drapey cotton, so i’m not sure it will work with the gathered yoke dresses i’ve recently come to love. i have my eye on a princess seam dress that looks like the perfect balance of quirky period detail with a utility vibe that plays down the girliness of the print (i fear there’s danger of straying into this kind of territory if i get carried away with the puffs and the ruffles!).
i have to hold my breath a bit though, as i don’t know if the seller will ship to me and it looks like i have competition, it’s a cute pattern. also i can’t find any yardage info for the pattern and looking at similar styles it may take more than i have. i have cunning plans though, and if i can’t squeeze it all in i’ll use contrast collar/cuffs/whatever. i read recently (i don’t remember exactly where) that it was common for wartime patterns to include a mix of fabrics, so they could be assembled from what small lengths of fabric were available, often recycled from old garments.
so fingers crossed i get the pattern, and watch this space …