Thursday, April 29, 2010

Project announcements!

Matching up fabric to patterns is almost as much fun as wearing the finished garment...almost.

One of my current pledges has been to make up as many of my repro patterns as I can.

I recently started on my 20s kimono dress and its progress is coming along.

Another one I want to do that I have finally picked out fabric for is the 40s blouse. I original wanted to use my vintage silk, but I think Ill start with some rayon until I get the fit ideal. I dont want to waste the vintage stuff.

In two weeks, I have a vintage event coming up. Its annual out here, and this time totally organized by locals. Im a member of a vintage forum called The Fedora Lounge. Its got members from all over the world, but Im fortunate enough to live in the Los Angeles area, where generally every year a group of us get together for a weekend on the hotel Queen Mary. Its got a lot of history, and its just fun to have 20+ vintage folks gathered in one place, go shopping at local vintage stores, have giant dinners and seminars on all thing old.

As Im sure you can imagine, I have to look good. Im not staying on the ship this year, so Ill most likely only need a day and an evening outfit for a few of the days. Im not sure if Im attending the entire 3 day event.

Here are some of the garments in the works for the QM:

These are my day dress selections. Both are cotton, but that blue/green/orange plaid, its vintage fabric from 1946! YEAH BABY! Ive been wanting to use this fabric for so long, and I think this is the perfect dress for it.

The fabric below it is also cotton, but the purple is a sateen and I think will look smashing for the front panels of the dress.

I also have a hat in the works. Its of my own design, 40s inspired with a nice brim, and Im using my flower pattern to decorate the great heavy navy felt (also vintage fabric) with bright golden yellow roses. Look at that compliment. I love how they pop!



This last ensembles Ive wanted to make for some time. Im sure I will post about its entire process. I am in love with this 30s suit, and I *finally* found the ideal grey wool.

Its a warm tone and I think will work marvelously with the velvet turquoise as the inset. Oh! I cant wait!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Plaid Luck

I have monumentally ironic bad luck. Always have. Just a few weeks ago, I was all excited because I FINALLY had some extra money in my pocket. $50! Woo Hoo! But the next day, I get a letter from the phone company saying I owed $50! That kind of shit happens to me all the time.

So its no surprise my meticulous handling of this plaid didn't work.

Ive always wanted one of those plaid skirts cut on the bias like you see on the pattern envelopes. Look at them, how cool the drawn ladies are. "Lookit my skirt, Im cool." Yeah you are.


A friend gave me this plaid. Its a nubby silk, stiff with a great weight and drape. Problem is, well, look how loud it is! HA! She gave it to be because she didn't know what to do with it.

For a while I didn't either, but then that Du Barry skirt pattern came into my life, and I thought about those lovely bias cut plaid skirts, and I said what the hell. I marked the front side pieces as the pieces I would cut on the bias and laid out the plaid.

First off, cutting plaid on the bias has got to be one of THE MOST fabric wasting techniques Ive ever done. But it wasn't just cutting it this way. Look at the plaid.

I started in the corner so as to utilize as much fabric as I could. Apparently it was the one corner that had the only blemish.

See the yellow stripe, its doubled. Its the only place on the entire fabric piece where its doubled, and its the exact width of the fabric piece. Monumentally ironic bad luck.

Im sure you would say its not a big deal, and looking at it, it didn't turn out too bad, but I noticed, and I was trying very hard to make this successful in the traditional execution sense. I mean, I spent 30 min wondering why the plaid at the top of the skirt piece wasn't lining up. The ONLY spot on the fabric, *sigh*.

I just finished the skirt as best I could. Cutting two bias cut pieces eliminated viable pieces of fabric that could be used.

I had to take two of the pleats out of the skirt front. I also had to piece the back of the skirt. I lined up the plaid okay, but it could have been better.

To lessen the bulk of the waist band, I faced it with a basic quilting cotton. Im going to use a slide hook for the closure above the zipper. All thats left now is to hem it.

Thats my plaid adventure.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Expo Expo Expo!

This past weekend I went to the Santa Monica Vintage Expo. Its a quarterly expo showcasing vintage goods from all over California. Ive been before, and its fun.

I have no cash, so I mainly go to look. There are some amazing pieces, and I often check the garments to see if Im using techniques that were used in the past. I squee like a kid when I find I do. Like one blouse that a friend of mine bought, it had snap fastener spaced on the bottom after the last button. I often do that to keep the bulk of a fourth button from bulging when I have my shirt tucked into my slacks. Well, I guess thats so vintage because I found that a lot. That, I guess would also explain the reason for button cards that only have 3 to 4 buttons. Mystery solved!



Saturday I wore the navy linen suit I had been working on. I got a lot of compliments on it. More detailed final shots on NVL. After the expo, I went to 'church' and met the lovely proprietor of the etsy store FabGabs. She had a booth at the expo, and a rather nice plus size section, I might add.

On Sunday, I didn't want to endure another day of the garter belt, so I was casual with 40s cut slacks I made and a blouse I made. People loved the blouse. It got a lot of stares, I think the buttons drew people too. They are vintage ('40s) and SO cool.

On the second day I did buy one thing. 2 1/4 yards of vintage fabric. The lady whom I bought it from had mad stashes of rayon, so I picked this up for $8 a yard. Turns out its silk, ha! Aw well, Ill still use it. I plan on making a blouse. Im going to use my repro pattern.

I do hope I have enough material, and if not, Ill get creative. Seems Im branching into more dry clean fabrics lately. Im getting fancy!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Catalog Sunday

Today's pages are from Lane Bryant summer '42
I love war time catalogs, you get read about rationing, and often there are crossed out pictures or cut outs.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Roses!

More flowers from my repro pattern!

I dont wear a thimble and the force I had to use to push the needle through 3 layers of glue hardened linen took its toll by digging a crater in my pointy finger :( Gotta wait till that heals before I do anymore hand sewing.

The linen I used for these was originally white. I stained it with an acrylic paint/glue/water mixture. Its not a red as I wanted them. I had to scrap a batch of stain because the deep blue acrylic paint I used was too grainy and like an idiot, I didnt mix it *before* I added it to the glue/water, so I got spotting smears of dark blue in ever paint brush coat.

Cussing all the way to the sink, I started over and this was the result. Also doubled the wire of the stem on these. I like them and Im sure Ill find something to put them on. I might do yellow next...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Patterns I'm sick of seeing...

This will be a new segment on my blog as I come across patterns that dont ever seem to run down on their supply.

Simplicity 3076

Vintage Pattern Wiki has it listed there, dates it to 1939, with 4 sellers (and a repro) of it available. I find this pattern on eBay every week. I wonder why it is so popular. Its just a slip. It must have been reprinted over and over and over and over again.
Or, did anyone ever make it up!?

Hmmmm, in any account, Im sick of seeing it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Orphaned patterns can be useful to someone else.

You know how it is. You take a risk on a pattern (or a huge grouping) and you cant wait to make up that one pattern that enticed you to get the bunch to begin with. Yet when it arrives, you are saddened to discover that the one pattern you wanted only has 4 of 1 pieces. Makes you want to talk to that original seamstress and shake her for not organizing her patterns better.

Under normal circumstances of a missing cuff or even sleeve, you could make it work. I have a whole slew of ELPs (extra love patterns) in my etsy store in just that condition. Maybe if a back of the blouse is gone you could use one from another pattern. It doesn't seem *too* bad, right? What if that pattern is like I described earlier, missing a majority of its pieces> Its useless to you. To you it is, but perhaps not to someone else.

Im still surprised that a lot of people still dont know about Pattern Rescue.
You can get pattern pieces from, or donate to their collective and help someone else out. The site looks great! And its based on a point system, so the longer you do it, the greater your credibility.

I find this a lovely alternative to orphaned vintage patterns. Far better than making them into a bag *yuck*. Im getting together a rather hefty donation of incomplete 30s and 40s patterns and will be mailing it off shortly.

Here are some patterns/instructions/envelopes that are going.


I find a lot of children's patterns missing many pieces. Too bad too, the first one is 30s, the other is 50s.


That first one above I got as a mistake. I thought the pattern was in it, but the listing didn't say that is was envelope only in the title, but the description. Crap. The second was from a lot.

Below are a few that are printed and only sections are in tact. So so strange.


Then there are just the slew of pieces. I think most are sleeves and back of shirts.

And last but not least, instructions! Oh, oh oh! How I wish that 5945 pattern were present! *sigh*

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I SET THIS SLEEVE FOUR TIMES!!!!!

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

You fickle, fickle bitch.

Tread cautious on a project progressing according to schedule lest you be filed with poisonous frustration when a routine execution goes awry.

That is all.

BAHOOKA!

Here are some pictures of the get-together I went to with some of my vintage friends a couple of weeks ago. This was the event I made the Tiki dress for.

The Bahooka restaurant has been around for a long time. They have over 100 aquariums.



Here is my friend Heather with the main attraction, Rufus. He was adorable and lovely gentleman working fed him a carrot for us. Rufus was aglow. He *loves* the attention.

When we all sat down in the party room, all our drinks came to us on fire!

I had two zombies, a classic rum Tiki drink. They were pretty okay.

There are us gals in front of the diver head. It was a fun time.
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