Friday, July 13, 2012

The finished Casey swap!

Wow, this has been fun. If you remember from last month's post, Casey and I exchanged patterns by mail and decided to sew them up.  Well, we are all done with our projects and here's what we did. First up, Casey's pretty dress. Don't you just love it!  I think it is fabulous. Perfect for summer. I love the little red buttons and the simple design is so elegant. Great job Casey! And here's my little number. I went for a sporty theme, using the two piece pattern she sent me. We both agree, that these patterns make up a comfy outfit, which is a win, win for both of us. Here are a few details on mine. I used linen like fabric. I did make one change, the skirt! I tried making the straight skirt from the pattern, but in the end,  just wanted an A line style.  Also I fiddled with the sleeves a bit, I was so tempted to leave 3/4 sleeves, but went for the short style. I am loving this two piece and plan on wearing it to a causal, picnic, style wedding coming up

A big thank you to Casey, you have been much a sweetie! I am truly thankful for the online sewing community and the richness we all share with each other, you guys are priceless! 

Have a wonderful vintage day!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Spring Challenge Outfit 2

My Spring Challenge, which I wrote about here, has been awesome. I am happy to tell you that I have been wearing handmade clothing most everyday and really enjoyed Me-Made May 2012 very much! Here are two more garments to add to the mix for my spring challenge, as promised.  First up, this 40's blouse.  I fell hard for this printed fabric and knew it was going to make a nice blouse for summer. Floral fabrics have always been a favorite of mine. I also made the electric blue Ginger skirt to go with this blouse. Both pieces make a great pair for mixing and matching other garments. I found this little bracelet at an Antique Mall near our home to complete the look.  It's been fun accessorizing my outfits with vintage bracelets. Although the jury is still out on shoes. I am seriously thinking about Remix, is it a sin to spend 160 dollars on one pair of shoes? If it is... I am thinking about sinning.

Pattern: Ginger by Colette and Simplicity 4237 Yoke Back Blouse

Alterations: Yes, on the blouse I had to take out the fullness on the back yoke. It was too puffy, mostly due to the gathered fabric on the yoke, after reducing some of the fabric it hangs nicely.

Fabric: 100% cotton for the blouse and gaberdine for the skirt. The buttons on this blouse are from my blog header, I finally used them!

Make again: Yes, of course!

I really want to make some dresses soon! I hope you aren't too tried of my seeing separates, but I am glad to have so many mix and match pieces. It sure helped me feel confident about participating in Me-Made May 2012,  it's been much easier getting dressed this spring, as I am breaking the threshold of more home sewn garments than not, in my wardrobe!

On a side note, I have been canning chicken and strawberries. Also I am doing a major clean up in our home, going through every room and pitching anything that I haven't used for a while. So, post are a bit scarce right now as I get my house in order. Sometimes I just need to good life revamp. I hope to visit you all on your blogs soon.

Have a wonderful Vintage Day!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Swap with Casey!

01.30.12 | two-seam top
I was taken by surprise when Casey from Elegant Musings sweetly emailed me to say she had a few extra patterns she wanted to give out and thought of me. Well, it was funny because I had a few in my stash that needed a good home too, so a swap was born! Soon we decided to not only swap patterns, but also thought it would be fun to post whatever we made from the swap. I guess I was feeling a bit brave as I asked Casey to choose any pattern she wanted and I would sew it up. Within days, three lovely patterns arrived.

 I was giddy when I saw the two seam blouse and remembered she had made it a while back. What a great surprise. I loved her pink rendition with the raspberry skirt shown above. Simplicity 3545 is catching my eye too, as I am thinking it will make a great two piece suit. The third is a Jiffy dress, one that I did choose from the pile of patterns she had, the style would be so easy to wear.  I could use a dress like that for sure. Over the month of June, I will be sewing something from Casey's lovely stash and she will be sewing from mine. Now decision time, which will it be? Thank you Casey for the use of these beautiful patterns! Time to get sewing.  

Have a wonderful vintage day!



Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sewing Spoilers Part 2

Here is the second part of the sewing spoilers. The first post is here. I am sure if we looked at all the things that could spoil a project we may never sew again. LOL! Anyway, lets continue with number five!

5. Pattern size- If you are struggling with the bodice shoulder area being too big, you may want to rethink your pattern size. I realized last year that I was buying too large of a pattern. Since then, I have been using my high bust measure and have had pretty good results. Check out the tutorial I did on this subject. There are many ways to buy a pattern, find what works best for you, if it's not working, think about changing it.

6. Changing a pattern too drastically-  We have all done it, decided that we wanted to remove a dart, change a seam, redo the sleeve style.   Although simple changes certainly can be made with success, sometimes too many changes to one pattern can distort a garment. I have found there is wisdom is knowing what I can do and what is better left alone.  Only you know your own skills. As my skills have increased by trail and error, I know now, what I can safely change and what quickly can become a disaster. hehe There is a fine balance in pattern reconstruction and it's best done on a muslin. Which bring me to seven.
By making up this muslin, I discovered that I didn't really like the construction of the belt on this dress, it was so hard to sew into the garment and now I am thinking of a different way to make it work. 
7. Not basting or making a muslin-  It's so easy to be in a hurry with a project. It looks so pretty and the temptation to dive in and get to the "real garment" can overtake anyone. Sometimes it works out, other times not. I have gotten into a habit of making a muslin every time I sew a new pattern. Why? Because I want it to fit and I baste the whole thing first and then make adjustments. The basting helps so much when it comes time to unpick a project for adjustments.

Remember these are only tips that work pretty well for me, some folks are really great at sewing a pattern without making a muslin. If you are new to sewing it's a great place to start for sure. I hope these tips have encouraged you to find what works for YOU! Here's too great sewing!

Have a wonderful vintage Day!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Recap of Me-Made May 2012

I need a restart button with Me-Made MAY 2012! I have been horrible with taking pictures. Please forgive me for not posting more. I have totally enjoyed the process this year. Because May is the end of our homeschool year, I have been super busy with the boys. Anyway enough excuses! Here are a few selected outfits that I managed to get pictures of. It's truly been fun wearing something handmade everyday. Although I need some elastic in my waistbands due to vacation goodies, it time once again to watch the calories! Anyway, as I look at my pictures I am thinking my skirts could be a bit shorter. It's funny how a picture can tell you so much about your sewing projects. I'll be back soon with another creation.

Have a wonderful Vintage Day!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sewing Spoilers Part 1

Did you ever feel you just didn't get the sewing memo?  Somehow the bus stopped, but you neglected to get off?  I have, so today I'll share with you the first part of a two part post on 7 sewing tips that have helped me personally to accomplish better results. My hope is that these tips will be helpful for you.
Here I am measuring this pattern piece from the matching selvages 
1. Selvages, yes those little woven edges of the fabric, they seem innocent enough right? But if the selvages aren't lined up, then any pattern pieces cut from the fabric will be slightly off grain. Here's how to make sure your pattern is cut on grain.

1. Unfold and prepare your fabric, giving it a good ironing. Don't be deceived by the "natural" fold line, it's most likely not lined up exactly!

2. Next, lay out your fabric, folding it down the middle. Lining up the selvages as you go, keep working using your hands to smooth out any wrinkles as you line up the fabric.

3. When the edges are lined up together and the fold is smooth and flat, pin the raw edges (selvages) together so they don't shift on you. 

4. Lay your pattern pieces out, measure pieces until even and cut them out. Your garment should hang correctly with the grain.

2. Sewing Machine Maintenance and Tension- Is it time to take your machine in for a tune up and a cleaning? I knew it was time when the tension dial on my machine wouldn't adjusting the tension correctly. No amount of ironing will take out those horizontal lines and puckers that form from stitches being stitched too tightly. Having a tune up or using your sewing manual to tune it yourself, can help produce perfect stitches. Stitches should look smooth and lay flat. Don't let a machine tune up stand in the way of sewing great garments.

3. Darts- Dart aren't the most complicated sewing technique, but a good method goes a long way in making a professional garment. The tie off method is preferred by many sewers, I really like this video for sewing darts.

4. Underwear-  This is a bit personal, but I am going to share because it has helped me so much. I realized that I've been wearing the wrong underwear for my vintage fashions.  I am talking about panties, knickers, underwear.  After sewing a skirt, I had lines around my high hip area, thinking it was too tight I made it bigger but it wasn't too tight. This is where I got off the train, and realized it was time to change the underwear style I was wearing. Enough said, the devil is definitely in the details. Take a good look in a mirror, it maybe time for a change. Don't assume it's your sewing project in question, sometimes it's the foundation garments we are wearing under the sewing project that needs our attention.

Remember these are just tips I have found that have helped me. I only want to encourage you today to find the spoilers in your own sewing journey. If something isn't working, step back from it and ask yourself, what is the spoiler in this situation? What isn't working? Sewing often times is like finding clues. It's speaking loud and clear. The garment is pointing to the problems, asking you to solve it.  Anybody else solved any sewing spoilers in your projects? I would love to hear about them.

Here's to great sewing projects!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

White Floral 50's blouse

Before shooting these photos, I cut in some bangs, not sure if I love them yet, growing on me. 

What do you think of this belt? 

Over the winter, I made a ton of clothing, but I haven't really posted everything yet. Me-Made-May 2012 is gently pushing me into wearing and posting the stuff I have hidden in my sewing room.  So today I wanted to wear this blouse, but realized you haven't seen it yet.  I found this fabric at Joann's last year and really liked the print. Anyone remember seeing it there? Well, I bought only 1 1/2 yards, not sure what I was thinking. Then, I discovered a hole right in the middle of the yardage. I wasn't sure how to get around it, with so little fabric to work with. It's times like these, I wish I would have bought a little more. In the end, after moving around a few pattern pieces, I was able to get it together! I have matched this blouse with the peach colored skirt I made earlier this year. I like the combo. This pinkish vintage bracelet works well too! The little green buttons aren't vintage, but I think they add a nice touch to the blouse.

Blouse fabric: 100% cotton, skirt is linen
Pattern: Simplicity 4530 from the 50's
Make again? Yes, I like the blouse very comfortable

Have a wonderful Vintage Day!