Friday, February 25, 2011

Coats! Baby, it's cold outside

Winter has been hanging around my door for months and won't go away, but no bother, I have my vintage coats to keep me warm. Today, we woke up to snow again, but I am thankful spring is on its way. For me, there has been a long time love and fascination with vintage coats and hats. And yes, I wear them out everyday. Before I tuck these away, I thought I would share a few pictures of some vintage coats I have collected over the years. If you are like me, you prefer a variety of coats over one expensive coat to wear all winter. I only paid about 10 dollars a piece for them. I also love hats, one thing that puzzles me about hats, is that whenever I wear a hat out, men always comment on them. They love my hats, they open doors and treat me with kindness. It's really strange, my husband even notices this behavior. I am very shy about this, so I sometimes rather hide away but don't want to give up wearing hats. I love too, that 90% of our body heat comes out from our heads and a simple hat in winter can really keep you warm up and I might add, be rather fashionable, on those cold winter days. So, for now these sweet coats are about to go into my wardrobe until October comes again and I rediscover the simple joy of wearing them.

Have a wonderful Vintage Day!

This is my casual coat, it's a darker green than it's showing up.

I have a brown hat I wear with this one

Monday, February 21, 2011

weekend vintage finds

This weekend I spent some time antiquing at the Brass Armadillo Mall. It's a huge place with a lot of great antiques. In general, if I am looking for anything vintage, I can find it there. This shopping trip had some noteworthy finds that I wanted to share with you. Being a handbag nut, I couldn't resist buying this little red purse. It's perfect for the inserts I make for them and it goes great with the red dress I made last week.

I also found this fabric, jacket, buttons, leaves transfer, and shoes all in different booths. Somehow, I can see these pieces going together, but am not sure just yet what to make from them, or if they will work together in the end. Any suggestions you have are welcomed! I was thinking of making a dress out of the fabric with a contrasting color for the bodice or just making a skirt from the fabric. Maybe even a two piece 1940's suit would be in order. Still up for debate on this.
This fabric has little fur like spots.

I love how these colors seem to mix with each other.

 Below are the six patterns I am thinking about for this fabric, the jacket may not work with all of them.
More patterns from my stash! Oh, I wish I had more hours in a day! 

I have feet problems but these vintage shoe feel pretty good I am glad I found them, although they are pretty practical.

This jacket I found yesterday is so pretty on, it's one of those items that you need to have with the right outfit!

 I am loving pink right now, it must be because spring is coming and it's my favorite time of year, plus I have been watching Pretty In Pink this pass week! Anyway, this week I am getting back to my sewing machine and working on the next swing dress and another surprise coming soon.

Have a wonderful vintage Day!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Taking a Swing at it!

 This week has been very busy with all the details of this swing dress. I am very excited to be able to fit and sew along with Casey by my side, so to speak. Well, I was undecided on the fabric for awhile! I couldn't decide if I wanted a print or a solid. So, I have decided to make two of these dresses. Why not. Here's the first one, in red. I loved the red dress Casey made and I haven't had a solid red, everyday, dress for many years. It was about time.

This fabric is a linen look alike.

Ice storm took out one of our branches, the tree is over a 100 years old!

I need a new camera, for now these are the best pictures I can get from my bad camera! 

 I really worked on the fit for this one, and I mean worked sister, like a horse! I am pretty happy with it. As with all patterns, changes needed to be made. The beauty of sewing is you can also get creative and think outside the pattern box. So, I decided to make some little changes, they were to take the belt up a bit more and to top-stitched the skirt to add some detail. Overall, I got my education on fitting with this one. One mistake I made with this dress, was to cut off the extra seam allowance on the bodice, by the way a definite no no, before putting in the zipper and adding the sleeves. Doing this, I left no room for error, which could have left things too tight. It did turn out fine in the end. This dress is comfortable except for the sleeves, I am having some trouble raising my arms above my head, it's not bad just an observation, glad I am not in school where I would need to raise my hand. Not sure how to fix that, chime in if you have any suggestions. I am still sorting out the clues on this one, but think the armholes maybe a little low. Regardless, I would recommend this dress if you follow the directions from Casey's web site which include fitting directions. Happy sewing!

Have a wonderful vintage day!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Stylish blogger Award

Thank you Marie from Welcome to Marie's Place  for the honoring me with this blog award. Most days I feel unstylish ( which is not a word in the dictionary) with the blog and myself. Wearing vintage, sometimes I get "the look", you know the one that says "I don't know what you are wearing and I am not sure if I like it, I might, let me think about this", have you seen that puzzling look on people's faces when you wear vintage?  Or, I love this from the older crowd, "I KNOW what you are wearing, oh, I remember having a coat like that, those were the good old days." Either way I don't mind being lost in time with you all. Okay, now I am suppose to blog 7 things about myself. Well...this is always hard, here goes.

This is one of the vintage looks, wool blouse, pin and hair fashioned in the 40's.

1. I have a wonderful hubby who has a big heart and two boys who are ornery to the core, they are 9 and 12. My house is crazy most of the time! Love it!

2. In my early twenties, I worked on a cruise ship as a dining room stewardess. Basically a waitress, but I had a lot of fun, traveling all over the open seas.

3.  I am a bit of an emotional eater, I have to watch my weight or it gets out of hand! I need to banish all chocolates from my house but I don't, we try to live in harmony with each other!

4. I have been in many musicals, plays and dramas, both as a director and in the cast. This picture is from the Music Man.
I would have loved to keep this outfit, just for fun. 

5. Love antiques and whenever I go into an antiques store, I feel my blood pressure drop and a feeling of calm sweeps over me. I don't know why, strange, I know.

6. I am an ordained Minster of Music, which means I can officiate weddings.  It has been my honor to marry couples over the years. I always get a little teary eyed during a ceremony. Along with this degree, I have conducted many church and community choirs and have enjoyed it a lot. Currently, I am focusing my heart towards my family and am able to be at home with them.

7. I love going camping with my family and friends, I wear a vintage apron and skirts all week, family members call me the Donna Reed of camping. I don't wear heels though! LOL

Donna_Reed_Show_02.JPG (707×480)

Well, that's it, that wasn't so bad. Anyway, a big shout out to Marie for this award. Check out Marie's blog

I am going to give this award to anyone reading this who has a blog they love and pour themselves into, please take it, I couldn't even begin to choose from the wonderful blogs I read, I say share the love and pass it on.

Next post will be a give away, so get ready!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Swing dress progress!

When I started sewing, little did I know there would be so many details. It's important to be meticulous about them. As I was sewing my swing dress, I tried something a little different today. I used my gauge. Bought it years ago thinking, I need this, but threw it into a drawer and it hasn't seen the light of day since. I am finding a gauge is great for keeping me on course while ironing a seam allowance up or putting a hem in. In the past, I tried to eyeball a seam allowance and found I make them too big and a bit out of the lines. This belt needed to be shaped with much care because it's top-stitched and the very shape of it is going to stand out on this swing dress. Working with the belt, I used my gauge to get an exact 1/2inch seam allowance, once I did that, I was able to eyeball the other half CHECKING my work as I went. It worked splendidly. I am loving my gauge! Our house also received  a new iron for Christmas. Our old one is from 1986, my husband received it as a gift before we were married, so I inherited it 20 years ago.  I can't say enough about having a good iron. It's a Rowenta. It really streams well and is a step up from my old iron.
I used interfacing on the belt, as Casey suggested, It really makes a difference.
I needed to iron this before the picture!

The gathers in the swing dress were hard to placed correctly, they needed to be shaped in the right direction. So, I did the standard two row of stitches and fiddled with them a lot. I am hopeful this dress will work out well. I will be posting about it once more when it's finished, for now that's what I have been working on. Lots of adjustments to be made but hopefully it will be a keeper.

Have a happy vintage day!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

refashioned me or the dress

 Had I thought a little more about this one, I would have taken a before picture of this dress. I have tried to refashion a few vintage garments over the years. Sometimes, I tried to do too much to a garment and it failed. This dress almost didn't make the operation I did on it. Most of the issue with this dress is the cut, it's on the bias. Bias cut can be tricky to fiddle with, at least that's my humble opinion. Okay, this is what I did to her. She had a very full sweep. She also was a long dress. Almost to my ankles. I felt my figure was a bit lost in all the fabric. So, I ripped out the seams of the skirt and cut a straighter version, which is hard to do with an existing bias cut skirt. Anyway, got the side seams fitted but I also needed to put in the hem, my dress form wasn't helpful with this. I found that wearing the dress was the best way to get an accurate hem pinned in. Well, she made it through the operation, I am glad to say. What do you think? Is it harder to sew a pattern or refashion a garment? I am happy with the result and plan on popping this dress on with some cute sandals for summer.

I like the fit of this dress at the waistline.
WooHoo, somebody's hopeful for spring, 6 more weeks of white! 

Here's the fabric up close.

Finally, this dress, in a nutshell, reminds me of what I want to be and who I already am. It's seen a thousand summers days and still it's fresh, clean and happy to look at. It reminds me, I am a woman, and like it or not, I am delicate even though I am strong. It's also a dream, a dream of being something more than I currently am. A woman with a beauty to offer all around her. Some days I fail, other days God's strengthen me and much is accomplished. At the end of the day, at the end of my life,  I want to wear dresses and be that old lady who hugs people, bakes pies, speaks kind words and lives life to the full, as she extends her hands out to do much for others. Can a dress do all this? I don't think so, I just know that whenever I wear a vintage dress I feel really good in my skin and it seems to pour out to others.

 Have a wonderful vintage day!