Sewing and crafts for the WPA 1930’s

From the Library of Congress

Love these old posters from the WPA.  As with anything the government does the WPA had its share of controversies as well as successes.  I find the idea of training, educating people to learn sewing and handcrafts to be pretty darn cool.  Many participants of the WPA were women.  Women of the time still did a lot of their sewing by hand.   WPA classes taught women how to sew with machines, pattern drafting, knitting and more.  Some women were put to work making bedding, clothing and other items for hospitals.  This sewing skill would come in handy during the war years with women going to work in factories making various fiber items for the war effort.

Knitting and World 2 – American Red Cross

Knit your bit!

The government calls on women and children all across the country to get knitting for the boys and the war effort.  Socks wore out fast and men needed to change them frequently if possible. Cold, wet feet were not only uncomfortable but could cause a host of problems if not addressed quickly.

Prabal Gurung and the concept of aging gracefully

Prabal Gurung

Originally from Nepal Gurung now resides in the United States and has made a big entrance into the fashion scene (He’s dressed the First Lady several times).  His designs are edgy yet feminine with amazing tailoring. The prints and graphics are breathtaking.  I not only love his styles but his outlook. He is heavily involved in charities that aid women and children forced into slavery and prostitution.   When asked about trends he would never like to see come back this is his response. Continue reading

What I wore to the interview

Perfect fall skirt

I recently had  a job interview and I was going to wear my boring old black pants, heels and a cropped jacket.  Instead I finished up a skirt I was making.  The outer skirt fabric was going to be used to line a wool skirt but  I thought the print was perfect for the fall and should be seen rather than hiding as a lining.  This skirt is lined with a grey creped back satin.  The pattern is one I drafted myself, simple basic pencil skirt with walking ease, (no need for a slit), two darts in back, flat front.   BAM.  

AND, no lipstick on my teeth this time!!  

Any personal interview stories out there that still make you cringe? Embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions that left you red faced?

Is it couture if it’s made from Gummy Bears

Gummy Bear Gown

What exactly is the definition of couture and can it be applied to a gown that weighs 220 pounds and has over 50,000 gummy bears on it? Continue reading

McCalls 5936 completed

McCalls 5936

Here is the peplum jacket, finally done.  I started this in January when I took a session of classes from Janet White of JM Designs.  A few notes on the pattern and the process.

  1. I did not need to do an SBA.  Which was surprising.
  2. I did the lining of the sleeves different from what the pattern called for.
  3. The lining material was quite difficult to manage.  There are some flaws in the lining, but not very noticeable.
  4. The buttons have not been done yet, my buttonhole-r doesn’t work, so I’m going to be asking a friend for assistance.
  5. I am making a skirt to match with the remaining material

Not much to say here, the fit is great, the process was pretty easy and I would highly recommend this pattern.  

Can’t wait to wear it when the weather cools.  Are you in for the peplum this year?  This pattern also as the option for long sleeves, so get sewing!

Do you sew on the weekdays?

Jean Harlow in Dinner at 8

Where is the maid with my sewing machine!

I have had a little time on my hands recently and yesterday I spent  most of the day sewing.  A Wednesday mind you.  By myself.  No interruptions except for the cat who wanted in or out and then back in and out etc.  I felt more than a little guilty, even checking the window any time I heard a car drive by.  And, I actually watched old 70’s cop shows on the telly.  Truly decadent.  Next I’ll be eating bon-bons as I watch the maid do all the housework and have the children sent off to finishing school.

But, my little dip in the pool of extravagance got me wondering.  Do you get time to sew on a weekday, or do you have to cram it all in on weekends. How much time would you really like to spend on creating?

Tips for better fitting from sewing patterns – Small Bust Adjustment

I get requests on how to get better fit from patterns.  One thing I continually complain about is the Small Bust Adjustment or SBA.  Much is written for you gloriously fuller girls but in some fitting books the SBA is completely omitted.  Or as one fitting book suggested ” wear a padded bra”.

There is a great tutorial here for a SBA but if you are still having problems you may want to look at some of my tips here.  For an SBA what is being done to the pattern is reducing fabric over the bust and this is done by slashing through the dart (or darts) and essentially lapping over to reduce width.

    Continue reading