Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Short-Cuts from Du Barry is so very very.

Today Im enjoying a bit of modern singer/songwriter, Alexi Murdoch.

I've only been sewing for about 5 years and with vintage patterns a bit over 4 years. I do enjoy it, but I sometimes feel like a poser when I think of the vast amount of stuff I don't know. When I'm at a loss on something (which is most of the time) I often refer to my many, many instruction books.

We all have them. We all value them. Hell, there are even blogs dedicated to them! Anyone who sews with vintage patterns is bound to amass a collection of vintage sewing books. I *cough* have a rather robust *cough* library of them, all dating from 1930s to 1950.

I tend to favor the tips and tricks of the books that are from the war time era. Boy oh boy did they get creative! They packed every booklet with so much information. Its amazing what resources they are.

These are two of my favorites.


I've even made a bag from the Build Your Own Wardrobe booklet.
Get compliments on it all the time.

The page below is from the Make & Mend booklet.

But when I find myself in a sewing pickle, or Im looking for a vintage technique to finish off a look, I always, always refer to this book.

This book is my absolute favorite go-to on any delema I have on sewing. I have sewing guides from Singer, Vogue, Clarks & Coats, the Encyclopedia of Modern Sewing, random booklets from sewing material providers, and what not, and a lot of them often cover the same material. But this 76 page manual I always refer to. Its just packed with great illustrations, concise explanations, and the verbiage does not talk down to you.

The first few sentences of 'Know Your Own Figure' are stellar.

A lot of books I have that were written for women often speak at the reader like she is a four year old, you know? Not this one.


It covers everything from tips on making a coat to weights for fabric, to frogs to whatever.


This sleeve breakdown I actually include in the packet with my repro patterns.

I just adore this book. And no, Im not partial because its a Du Barry publication...I don't think.

So as time goes on, and I get into more projects, Ill start to post the relevant sections of this book that have helped me along the way.

Yay sewing!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Stout Woman Revolution: The Shirtwaist dress.


I'm particular about what I think looks best on the stout woman. Princess seamed dresses get a no in my book. Its not that the dresses are ugly, far from it, its that particular style overwhelmingly isn't the most flattering for a larger shape. That style is meant to fit close to the body, gliding along the curves of a woman.

Most larger versions of that type of dress all have to be 'watered down' in a way in order to smooth over our lumps. Then what's the point? The style of the dress looses its purpose, and you are just stuck in a sack.


Hey, Im always the first to say even if its made in your size does not mean you should wear it. I don't find equality in silly things like that. I champion wear what looks best on you so you then will feel your best. Hate me if you want.


*There is something particulary charming about the 4721, I cant figure out just what yet.

I covered a lot of this when I did the do's and don'ts of how to flatter your stout figure. I championed the shirt waist, why, because its the most versatile, not just for a larger figure, but in general, one shirtwaist can go miles.


*The 30's 1683 is one of my favorites in my collection.


*That 1550 I've made more times than I can count.

No, they are not boring. You have more button, accent, and fabric choices with a shirt waist. Its an iconic staple of not just the stout, but the whole vintage look.


There are soooooo many different types as well! Ruffles, shawl collars, square necklines, multi panel bodices, buttons, sash fronts, notched or band collars, etc. So many choices!

When I see a lonely little shirtwaist next to an elaborate bodice dress, I snap it up. I know Ill get more mileage out of that one pattern, than that 'fancy' dress. Unless that fancy dress pattern is super cute, then why brake up the set. *wink wink*

Don't underestimate the power of the shirtwaist!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Much to announce today.

First order of business is that again over the week I will be listing some of my past creations in my etsy shop. These are dresses I actually *love*, ones that Ive spent extra time and care on to make something just right. But as the old saying goes, I like groceries.



Next order of business is the awesome dress I keep eluding to. I dragged a friend fabric shopping last week and went to my favorite fabric store. I was elated they had the fabrics I wanted for the dress on my last visit, but this visit, the lady was out of one of the two colors I wanted. I was crestfallen, but then, she went in back and pulled out one final yard of white linen she had. It was meant to be because one yard was all I needed. I purchased the black and white linen for the dress and this week I plan on starting the project.

From now on, you can refer to it as the Gardenia Dress.

Truth be told, I went fabric shopping to get fabric for my sport dress. I still wanted to make it in that golden yellow I drew for the repro cover. I think that suits the style so well. Dyeing the fabric was out, as I Dont have the space, but the more I thought on it, I could dye the *finished* garment! Make it in white, then turn it golden yeller'.

Perfect. Only, there was no more white linen, BUT, I found 4 yards of this amazing ribbed rayon with a sick drape! Oh, it was meant to be!

Also at my favorite fabric spot, I came a cross this amazing handkerchief linen in a very lovely 30s type print. Im thinking of making the bolero for the sport dress out of it. How perfect would that be?

I HAD to get it. I also picked up this amazing cotton as well.

I got one yard of this with the intention of using it as a contrasting panel in another WWII dress.

Last order of business is one more dress.

This one is special. Not only is it my newest repro, but Im going to make it in a kick ass handkerchief linen, then dye it scarlet. Thanks Amy for the encouragement!

I
Can't
Wait

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Safari Linen Suit Conclusion

Finished.
Im quite pleased with this go around. I really like the extra craftsmanship I took on the facing aspects of the top. I think it helps it lay rather well.

I especially like how the hand tacking of the hems look. Man, I love that stuff.
All finished images on NVL.

Catalog Sunday

This Sunday Sears 1940 mens suits and hats.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Safari Linen Suit Progress

Im gettin' fancy on this one. So far this one has been smooth sailing. I cut out the pattern Wed. Night, Overlocked all the pieces yesterday, and started putting everything together today.

I wanted this one to feel a bit more like a suit, so I faced specific parts with the leftover cotton I made my 40s dresses from.

This linen has a bit more drape to it than other linens Ive worked with and I wanted it to have some more shape.



I faced the peplum, the back yoke, and added facing to the front, the belted back, the sash ties, pockets, collar, and the waist band of the skirt. *whew*


Here I am trying it on with not the right bra or foundation garments (Whats the point, right?). Even out of 'form', so to speak, it fit rather well. Im loving the front pockets.

Im still in love with the belted back.



Although this one had a bit more bulk than I would have liked, its shaping on the back is very nice. I also cut down the back about 1/2" so it wouldn't droop as much. Im much more pleased with this shape than even the navy linen one I made a few months back.

The skirt is done.



Its always tedious, matching up and keeping track of all those pleats (tailor's tacks) but its worth it. I love this skirt. Also, this is one of the best zippers Ive ever done. Yay me.

The construction is going along nicely. Ive made this pattern so many times I could do it in my sleep. I LOVE it. Im gonna make it again! HA!
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