crafts · Sewing

Fitting, again

Are you all tired of seeing this part of my house yet?  I’ve been looking for a tripod at yard sales this summer, but so far no luck… I’d rather have someplace else to take photos than the least attractive part of the house!

I made a muslin of Vogue 1137, and the fit is much better than I expected.

I made a few alterations before cutting the muslin.  I blended out 2 sizes in the waist, which is normal for me in these vintage patterns.  I also shortened the skirt by 6 inches – 3 from the skirt, and 3 from the side vents.

I wasn’t sure about the vents, and I’m still not… I’m pretty sure the skirt would be more flattering to me if it were a bit tapered towards the knees, but this is easier to walk in.  It isn’t hemmed, so it will be a little shorter, about mid-knee.  It was super long originally, and I can’t imagine that being flattering!

Back view.  I probably could do an alteration to the shoulders – there’s too much fabric in the middle, which I have fixed before with the upright posture alteration.  I’m not sure if I will or not, since it may make it more fitted than I would like.  I may also give just a smidge more room in the waist – the belt will make it fitted, and it will be more comfortable to sit in.  I’m reluctant though because I think the waist looks great, so I’m not sure.  I was considering altering the neckline to make it deeper (it will be deeper than it looks here… I did not pin back the seam allowances.)  However, I think I like the vintage look of the higher v-neck, so I’m going to leave it.

Hmm… now to plan the final alterations.  I bought a covered belt kit off Etsy, so I’m going to make a self-fabric belt.  I’m looking forward to that!  I’m going to line with bemberg rayon, and I’ve decide I need to underline in organza as well – I want more body than the fabric has on its own.  I hope to get the fabric cut and start underlining by Friday, but we are going out of town to a wedding this weekend, so I’m not sure how much sewing time I will have!  I’m waiting on the belt kit, and Joann didn’t have the Bemberg lining I wanted (apparently they only carry three colors now, sigh…) so I have ordered it instead… hopefully it will be here soon!

crafts · fabric · knitting · patterns · Sewing

Next on my plate

Thank you for the kind comments on my cocktail dress – you have inspired me to throw a cocktail party!  My husband is excited about the idea, and I know our friends will be into it – maybe we can start a new trend?

Now that the cocktail dress is done, I’m considering what to make next.  I was wanting to make Vogue 9668, but I have not yet been able to find a fabric that I like.   I want a print, and I will just have to wait until something nice comes along!  I find fabric shopping frustrating, since I am unable to buy much locally… when I see something I like I usually just buy it, and figure inspiration will strike.

Speaking of that… here are my upcoming project plans (subject to change as always, but I usually do pretty well making it through at least a few!)

I’m going to hopefully pick up some muslin tonight at Joann’s (I have a recording session near there  tonight… I think I can get there a little early!) and start making a muslin of Vogue 1137.

I’m using the rose cotton satin I got this week (on the bottom in this photo.)  It’s a little lighter weight than I thought, though still nice, so it will work great for a summer sheath dress.  The other print (the brown above) is gorgeous in person and quite heavy… it will be very nice for fall.)  The dress calls for a lined bodice, but I’m going to line the skirt too… I may underline as well, but I haven’t decided for certain yet.

I’m also really excited to make an outfit from the April Burda .

I’m making the pants on the top and the blouse on the bottom, the pants from a nice black RPL, and the blouse from this lovely silk jacquard.

Yes, again with the polka dots… apparently I have a thing for them!  I haven’t tried Burda pants yet, but I do hear good things.  This pair look like something I would buy in a store, so hopefully they will work out for me!

And finally, I want to make my own dress inspired by  this dress, from Modcloth, using Kwik Sew 3758, which I posted about last week.

I have some cotton/silk fabric (Radiance by Kauffman) to use for the skirt (I plan to use the non-shiny side, and since it only takes 1.5 yards I should have enough left to use the shiny side for a blouse later. ) I still need to buy fabric for the top.  It won’t be exact, since I think I’m going to make the version with 3/4 length sleeves, and my stripes will be more narrow.

On to knitting… I finally got my yarn in the mail, and made my tension swatch for Petal.

I love the yarn (Rowan Milk Cotton.)  I know a lot of people bemoan the loss of 4-ply cotton, but while it came in fabulous colors I always found it rather hard, and the sweaters I made of it feel a bit like armor.  This yarn is lovely and soft.  It’s quite thin – I almost always have to go down a size or two in needles, but my swatch on size 1 needles is actually too small.  I haven’t decided yet if I will go up a size, or whether I will make the sweater a bit smaller, figuring it will stretch out anyway.   I am going to leave off the picot edging, as I don’t like the way it flares out.  I am very excited about making this sweater – I am so glad I am knitting with skinny yarns again!

crafts · finished objects · Sewing

The space age cocktail dress

Pattern: Simplicity 2497

Fabric: Poly Shantung, 2.5 yards

Notes: I was just complaining to my husband the other day that there are a distinct lack of cocktail parties in my life.  Why have they gone out of fashion?  I must admit that I’m not much of a party person, at least in the modern sense of the word – I’ve never gotten much joy out of loud music and our collective national obsession with beer pong.  So I say we need to bring back the cocktail party!  We can serve vodka gimlets (my favorite) and whiskey sours, listen to some fab music at a reasonable volume, and wear cute little cocktail dresses like this one.  Seriously, people… I must have a reason to indulge in my obsession with formalwear!

Ahem… anyway, this is a modern pattern, but I was attracted to it because of its resemblance to some great 1960s patterns.  Apparently the neck ruffle was big (and this one is very big!)  I chose to use this fabric because it was in my stash, which isn’t the best reason.  For polyester it’s really not bad, though it did want to fray like mad, so I serged around every edge before I started sewing.  It’s a little more shiny than actual shantung, and I would have rather used the real thing, but I was anxious to use up this fabric.

I made significant alterations to the bodice of the pattern.  I cut a size 6 for my muslin, and it was enormous through the chest and shoulders.  I decided that a 4 would fit in the shoulders, but I wasn’t happy with how sack-like it was.  So I graded it down another size in the bust, and 2 sizes toward the waist, giving it a bit of shaping rather than just being a rectangle.  This brought it in enough for me, while retaining the blousy detail.  Something to keep in mind if you are small framed.  The skirt is a straight size 8, with the only alteration being length.  It came out way longer than the envelope showed, so I cut 4 inches off – due to the lack of shaping it was not flattering longer.  The waist is between the size 6 and 8.

The star of the show is obviously the ruffle!  I thought I would go mad baby hemming the entire thing, but I couldn’t find any matching serger thread, so a rolled hem was out.  It all went together rather smoothly, with my only issue being how to keep the fabric from puckering at the seams (I did pretty well, though there is a little bit around the side zip.

I searched through my vintage costume jewelry collection for some pieces from the same era as the ruffle neck patterns I found.  I came up with this piece, which I never, ever wear because it looks totally silly with a simpler neckline.  Seriously, is that the largest chain you’ve ever seen or what?  It weighs 10 pounds, I swear.  I actually have the matching earrings too, but it is way too much look together… so I used them on my shoes instead.  Now I only need somewhere to wear this look… Mad Men viewing (cocktail) party anyone?