Vintage Button Show

IMG_3676I had no idea there was this was going on; button collecting!  The Colorado State Button Society puts on a button show every year.  There are juried competitions and of course dealers and collectors go to buy. There are classes, lectures and workshops too. And, oh all the buttons. Beautiful buttons, everywhere.  Old ones,very old ones, Bake-lite, glass, buttons from Germany, China, Egypt.  The most expensive I saw was almost 2000.00.  The cheapest was a quarter.  That’s the bin I was in. Continue reading

The Secret Life of Sewing Machines and Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is a little dose of history.  It’s over 9 minutes long but it’s quite interesting.  At around 5:30 watch the human sewing machine!

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I made a dress

Window pane dress

I found a dress at the thrift shop (seen below) that I liked but felt I could improve upon it.  The dress is a knit so copying it was a lot easier than a woven.  I did have troubles with the armscye and sleeves. The first sample they were all wrong. I then just used a sleeve and armscye from a existing pattern.  I was surprised that it worked. These are  the best looking sleeves EVER! (Sleeves are always  a problem for me)

Here’s a run down of the process.

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Vintage Vogue 9186 – Completed!

Memorial Day Weekend has been a good one.  I have completed the 1970’s apron, wrap dress.  Here are the alterations that I did on the dress.  I would absolutely do this again.  I would love to refine the alterations and do a few things differently next time.

  1. No pockets
  2. Shortened it considerably
  3. Shortened the halter straps
  4. Placed halter strap closer towards center front
  5. Cut halter straps in two and placed a snap on the back of strap. (Couldn’t get it over my big head)
  6. Small bust adjustment ( but could have done a bigger small bust adjustment)
  7. Lined it with a vintage silky type
  8. Doubled the length of the tie
  9. Placed snaps inside the dress to hold it up
  10. Stitched in the ditch so the lining is just a little visible
  11. Created the slight flip in the back to see the back of the lining

Check it out!

Does this hat make my head look crazy?

Originally this hat was a dress.  Some members of the Denver Sewing Collective might recall me lugging the dress to meetings half heartedly sewing it together.  Somewhere between seams L and R I lost interest and gave up.  I think part of the problem was that I sewed the freaking dress four times and it still it didn’t fit.  Once in a muslin, again in a similar material that the final dress would be made in, third in the lining and the the last dress was in the black wool. (Isn’t that the definition of crazy.  You do the same thing over and over and expect different results but get the same thing in the end)    So, I think I was just sick of  it in the end and lost total emotional attachement to it, besides it didn’t fit.  Stupid SBA.  But, I couldn’t just throw the material away.  Somehow I thought a hat from a vintage Vogue pattern would be good idea.

A good thing I didn’t put the stiffening  in it like the pattern called for, plus I think there were to many darts.  Anyhoo, I’m in need of a sewing success so back to the drawing table for me.

Progress on Advance 7770

Here is the lining for my Advance 7770.  The construction is going along smoothly with one exception; the SBA.  I cut out the original SBA here and trying on the muslin in looked fine.  But, the lining still looks baggy up top.  The original dart was 2 inches wide and 7 inches long.  I narrowed it to 1 inch and 5 inches long.  But what is up with th bagginess?  It can’t be see in the photo but I had the iron on to high and did melt a little bit on the left side.  This side by the way fits better which led me to the conclusion that  I did not do all that is needed for a SBA. If you look below there is what I did for the muslin.  I took this to the Denver Sewing Collective meeting and got advice from Jane and Vicki.  They suggested that I go with the original.  But, I’m going to try one more idea.  If you have any ideas please let me know!  Oh, and the meeting was awesome, as usual.

New start on an old pattern – Advance 7770

 I am ready to tackle another vintage pattern.  This beauty is from the 50’s, Advance 7770.  I have started on the muslin and I am doing that a little differently this time.  

First, I cut the muslin and sewed up the side seams but left the darts just pinned. I figure I want to see how the fit will be of course, but my big (or small) body issues lie with the SBA.  So I want to be able to manipulate the darts to see what I need to take in.  Plus, I’m worried about those long shaped darts.  Have no ideas how that is going to work on the old body. Here is what I’ve been doing.

The new dart is now about half of the original dart width. Plus, I did shorten it as well. This muslin is going along well.  For the Fabric Shop Tour I want to find some awesome material.  I also plan on lining it.  Can’t wait for Saturday!

Saying goodbye

Goodbye sweet dress

It is with a heavy heart that I admit that Vintage Vogue 6795 was just too much of a pattern for me.  So, I  laid her to rest in a little box, original pattern, directions, copied pattern all her accessories, everything. Even the muslin that I was so desperately trying to fit together, all of it lays in a pink box buried under mounds of fabric.  Yes, she looks simple and elegant drinking her drink, she knew I would like the way she was drawn.  But, oh the humanity, she gave me more trouble than I thought necessary on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  This tragic event made me realize that my lack of  skills (and patience) got the best of me.  This issues were 1) an 8 inch waist dart – huh? 2) directions that just weren’t doin’ it for me.  3) lack of knowledge when it comes to pattern design, alteration, and drafting.  4) The reality that this is a summer dress and we are going into fall, will I really have the determination to finish this when I know I’m not going to wear it for a long time? No. 5) Do I really need to feel guilt about this?.  No. And, If I have it hanging around like a funeral wreath, it will only add to my misery and guilt about not completing it.   So, I wrapped her carefully up and put her away, maybe I’ll come back another time and give her another try but for now, RIP Vogue 6795.

Using unusual fabrics in sewing

I made this skirt awhile back, but it was too full.  So, I took in the side seams and made it a little  more pencil skirt like.  The fabric is from some old barkcloth drapes I got at an antique store in North Dakota. I made a tote bag as well, plus a knitting bag that I sold to a friend. As you might imagine it is kind of heavy.  Not quite summer wear.  Better for spring or maybe fall with some black boots.   I tested the barkcloth and washed a swatch it really washed well.  However, due to its age I won’t be washing it.

 I love working with unusual fabrics, especially vintage. I also found a  fabric that reminds me of a Swedish print.  I’m making a skirt too, but have a lot leftover, this stuff is awesome to work with.   Do you have a favorite type of fabric you like to work with?

The small bust adjustment has begun

I have promised myself that this summer would be devoted to fine tuning the SBA.  I’ve done it a couple of times with not so good results. 

 I am doing another Vintage Vogue, pattern # 6795 a halter dress. 

 Here’s what I’ve completed so far:

  •  I have copied the orginal on to Swedish tracing paper
  •  Made the adjustments on the new pattern
  •  I have cut out on to muslin and just beginning to put it together 
  • I have removed the waist darts and at a stopping point

Things have been a bit slow in my sewing because, holy of holies I got a job!  I start on Monday and it’s only temporary but I think things will be moving ahead for me in that area of my life.

Vintage Dress – DuBarry 5257

Finally finished the vintage pattern DuBarry 5257 and here it is.

I think it turned out really well.  I have, of course a list of things I would do differently but I would, without a doubt use this pattern again.   One, I love the green fabric but it is a cotton and the type that needs a lot of pressing to get wrinkle free.  No quick run over with the iron, this fabric needs PRESSING.  Additionally I would:

  • raise the waist a bit
  • increase the SBA even more
  • interfacing  (old patterns don’t have that step in the directions and I just forgot to add it in)
  • fix the curved collar on the pattern and do more traditional collar (No curves)
  •  different fabric
  •  if I do stripes I’d pay more attention to lining the stripes  up…opps

The sleeves went in wonderfully,  and I added the cuffs.  I had a hard time with the collar lining up with the back bodice.  I had problems with the muslin too, not sure if it was the pattern or me. Of course my button hole attachment went berserk so the buttonholes are rather crappy, but only upon close examination. I did not add shoulder pads and did not have to do an adjustment to the pattern either.  The shoulders look great.  The only thing I did not like on the pattern was the curved collar.  I would use a notched collar or if I can find someone who knows how to do a curved collar without puckers I would do it.  I like the way the collar can stand up or lay flat.  Overall a great pattern to work with.

I’ll post pics of me actually in the dress and post on flickr.