Fall for Cotton 2013 – Finished!

I finished my vintage Simplicity 1089 this morning (while watching “How to Marry A Millionaire”) and am really happy with it. My husband helped me take a few photos tonight, and here are a couple of them:

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Yay, blouse!

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From the back; please pardon the wrinkles!

Now that I’ve finished this shirt, I can see a few things I would have done differently. For one thing, I could probably use two darts at the neckline in the back. I could also take in the sides a little bit, but I don’t think the blouse looks too big for me. Plus it was pretty easy to get in and out of with this amount of ease, which is a good thing!

The entire blouse is underlined in white cotton batiste; the cotton voile is really sheer, so that was completely necessary. I did my very best to match the stripes at the sides, and did an okay job. The right side looks best, and the left side (with the zipper) is off by about 1/4″. I inserted the zipper by hand, and doubt I would ever put in a zipper any other way–it’s so easy and doesn’t involve making any changes with my sewing machine. The hem is nice and even, although there is a difference in the amount of white between the stripe and hem from front to back; that’s due to a difference in length of the pieces (I cut them sloppily, I guess) and the slightly uneven stripe matching on the zipper side, I think. It’s also very, very wrinkled, and that’s my fault. It’s tough to press things well without a form (for me, anyway), so I spritzed the blouse with Downy Wrinkle Release and threw it in the dryer. That would have been fine, except that I was watching my movie, and totally forgot about the dryer. By the time I remembered, the cycle had been over long enough for the blouse to not be warm anymore and all the wrinkles were back. Ugh. I’ll do better next time!

I’m putting off wearing this until Tuesday because a friend at work is off tomorrow, and I really want her to see it. It’s hard to leave it on the hanger for an extra day, but Tuesday is just around the corner!

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Simplicity 1089 – Construction, Phase 1

Since I neglected to take photos when I was sewing my Hawthorn, I decided to do things differently for vintage Simplicity 1089. I’ve got everything cut out (and have a lot of yardage left over, so I’ll probably make at least one more blouse out of this fabric) and have applied the interfacing at the neckline. And one thing I forgot to mention last time is that this pattern arrived UNCUT. That was an amazing surprise!

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Uncut vintage pattern–yay!

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I had some pretty cute help, too…

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Fabric cut and ready to baste!

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Underlining with interfacing

I got a bit of a late start this evening, so I stopped before basting the underlining to my main fabric or transferring any markings to the underlining. I did take care to match up the stripes on my fashion fabric so that they line up all the way around, and I’m going to pin the living hell out of the seams before I stitch to make sure they stay lined up! I’m planning to stop at Joann’s for my zipper tomorrow so that I can finish this up ASAP. Yay, progress!

Simplicity 1089 – Coming Along!

Today is my birthday, so I was off work to do whatever I wanted. I slept in until 7:30 (my normal wakeup time is 5:20), ran an errand, and then passed out on the couch while waiting for Tom to get home and take me to lunch. And then, I decided to finally tackle the muslin for Simplicity 1089. And tackle it I did!

From the front; please excuse the sweatpants!

From the front; please excuse the sweatpants!

Back

Back

Side view; the zipper goes on the other side.

Side view; the zipper goes on the other side.

I sewed this entire thing in maybe an hour, and did not have to make any changes to the fit. I pinned the zipper opening closed to see how it would fit, and I’m really happy with it. I’m going to start cutting my fashion fabric tonight if I can stay awake! I just need to buy a zipper and I can finish this thing pretty fast. I didn’t finish the neckline, armholes, or hem on the test garment, but those things won’t be too difficult. I’ll be doing a bias tape facing that isn’t visible from the outside to finish the arms and neckline, and I’ll do my usual invisible hand-sewn hem. The only issue I had with this blouse is that I couldn’t figure out the welts. I haven’t decided if I want to use them or not, but I’ll decide once I get a look at the shirt when it’s sewn up in the cotton voile I’m using.  I’m really excited that this blouse will go together so fast–I could use an easy project to keep my motivation going. This is one of the two projects I had set out to complete for Fall for Cotton 2013, so it looks like I’ll get at least one item done on time!

 

 

On Hitting The Jackpot

Tonight I’m not writing about my Fall for Cotton projects, except to say that I’m still in the muslin stages and that I am almost certain I won’t complete even one project before the end of the month. And that’s okay! The good thing is that I’m working on them when I can, and they will get done eventually!

What I do want to write about is an amazingly cool gift that was given to me over the weekend. One of my husband’s distant cousins (who is really more like a friend than a distant relative–we love her!) sent me a message saying that her mother had a whole stockpile of vintage patterns; she wondered if I might like them. I felt like typing “YESSSSSSSSSSSS” with lots of exclamation points, but I kept my cool and said something a little less spastic. 🙂 This weekend, I stopped at her place to pick them up, and OMG it was like Christmas. An entire grocery bag full of patterns awaited me, and I really cannot begin to figure out which one to make first! There are some that look like they’re late 1930’s, and one that is probably 1970’s; most of them are 1940’s and 1950’s, which I love! Some probably have pieces missing, but our cousin will be bringing the entire pile of loose pattern pieces to me the next time she visits her mother. Below is a photo dump featuring my very favorites. The pants pattern literally made me squeal out loud when I saw it: I had been eyeing that one on Etsy, but felt that it was too expensive. Sure enough, someone else bought it, and I couldn’t find another listing for it anywhere. And here it is, falling into my lap for $0! Hence the squealing, haha!

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OK, I’ll be honest: I posted this one because of the boobs. They’re insane!!

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The mythical pants pattern–swoon!!

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Capes and shawls!

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I am all about that peplum suit at the bottom.

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Pretty blouses, plus the gorgeous detail on the dress bodice at the bottom.

As you can see, this was a major haul for a vintage-obsessed sewist. And this is just a handful of them–the stack is enormous and contains probably close to 20 patterns. As if that weren’t enough, our cousin is also a home sewing enthusiast, and offered to let me poke around in one of her bins of remnant fabric finds. So I ended up with a bit of new fabric for free as well, and here it is:

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New pretties!

I think most of this is cotton or a cotton/poly blend, but I think the polka dot stuff is rayon. I’ve got one other rayon in my stash but haven’t worked with it before, so I probably won’t bust that out for a little while until I’m comfortable. Most of the pieces are really small, but I’m hoping I can squeeze sleeveless tops out of most of the smaller remnants. The polka dots will probably end up being a cute 1930’s or 1940’s dress, since there’s a lot of it. Needless to say, my adventure on Saturday was very successful!

Fall for Cotton – Vintage Simplicity 3073

Hey guys!

How are your current projects coming along? Are you working with your fashion fabric yet or, like me, are you still in the muslin stages?

I’ve made a little more progress on my muslin for Simplicity 3073, a gorgeous dress pattern from the 1930’s. To try to save muslin, I only cut one of the two skirt pieces; my husband referred to the muslin dress as a “shirpron,” a clever combination of “shirt” and “apron.” He’s not the most helpful assistant!

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From the front; the way I’m standing is creating that weird fold in the skirt

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Side view

It’s sure looking more like a dress, isn’t it?? I still haven’t practiced any solutions for that damned placket, but I *did* get the sleeves figured out. You can probably see in the first photo that my right sleeve is puffed (a very 1930’s style) and my left sleeve is flattened at the top, which is how it ought to be for this dress. The sleeve piece is the one missing from the pattern, so I used one from a 1940’s blouse pattern that I have hanging around; after setting that one, I read the instructions (yep, after) and realized that the sleeves on this dress are meant to have 3 darts in them, right at the top. I did the other sleeve (mostly) correctly and it looks so much better. I’m confident that I can handle that aspect of this pattern for real! I’ll probably cut about 1″ off of each sleeve before finishing them (with a bias facing, per the instructions), since they are sort of an awkward length on me as-is. The skirt will be pretty easy, and I won’t have to take up much of a hem since the length is about 1-2″ from where I want it. The left side gets a zipper, but I’m too cheap and lazy to insert zippers on a muslin. Based on pinning it closed, I think the real version will fit nicely once the zipper is inserted. My last muslin step is to see if I’m able to figure out the “pockets,” which aren’t actually pockets, but cute little topstitched rectangles that don’t open. Turning the points out properly will be key!

The band has a show this week, but I’m determined to force myself to sew at least one night between now and then. Maybe I’ll even cut into the bow fabric! 😉

A New Toy!

Do you guys have any tools on your sewing wish lists? Things that you just can’t justify spending money on, but that you really want or that would really make your life easier? Last week, I got to cross one of those “things” off my list, thanks to some really silly luck.

Some things just aren’t meant to be…like me and Alice. She was a great deal and I had high hopes for our togetherness, but we just didn’t “fit.” (Heh, I made a terrible pun.) I packed her into the car and took her back to Joann’s last weekend. I didn’t have my receipt (which is what happens when I send my husband to do my errands!) but they were kind enough to take her back anyway. The young lady running the returns desk nervously pointed out that, without a receipt, I could only get a gift card with store credit. Oh darn, what would a silly sewist do with store credit at Joann’s??? =D As if that weren’t enough, the “lowest” price they had sold it for (which was the refund amount I’d get) was HIGHER than the price I’d paid for her. So let’s recap: I got rid of a too-big dressform, got my refund, AND basically got free money for more sewing things. Even *after* I told the lady what I’d paid for the form. Naturally, I decided not to argue further. I wasted little time in deciding what to buy with my fun money:

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Olfa Self-Healing Cutting Mat!

Not only was I armed with a big gift card, I found a coupon on the Joann’s app (I love technology!) for 40% off one regularly-priced item. On this cutting mat–a 3-piece set that clips together to form one giant mat that’s 70″ long and nearly 3 feet high–that was a big deal! It smells funny, but whatever. I’d wanted one of these for a while but wasn’t going to drop that kind of money. I love it when things just work out! I’m having fun with it, but I am a little scared of my rotary cutter!

Progress and A New Challenge

Good Evening, Internet!

I’ve been away for a little while thanks to a busier-than-usual schedule in meatspace, but I’ve finally managed to get a few sewing things done. This dress is now one step away from completion but, since I am determined to do all my hems by hand, it may be several days before it’s officially ready to wear out of the house. I’m not entirely happy with it, but I’ve invested time and some $$ in it, so it’s getting worn. If nothing else, I can always go back and revise things later when I’m not so burned out on the project!

After seeing Karin’s post about her inspirations for the Fall for Cotton challenge, I decided to totally copy off of her and participate in it too! I’ve got a few plans, which is overly ambitious, but it will get me started on more than one project and I’m the type of person who needs the motivation of a nagging, unfinished project. Here’s what I’ve got in the works for Fall for Cotton:

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Simplicity 3073–the center version is what I’m making

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Fabric–a re-issue of a vintage Ascher cotton print!

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Simplicity 1089

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A beautiful cotton voile from Mood

I had originally ordered the Ascher print a few months ago, and knew exactly what I wanted to make with it–Simplicity 3073. The only problem was that Gertie’s shop actually ran short of yardage and I couldn’t get my order. I had given up on ever getting my mitts on this fabric, but one day I happened to check Gertie’s blog and saw that she had gotten more; this time I got my yardage, and my plans were back in full swing. The voile from Mood actually inspired me to make the Simplicity 1089 pattern as soon as possible; it just looked like it was destined to make one of those blouses! I’m waiting on some white batiste so that I can underline it, since the fabric is too sheer to use on its own. I’ve started my muslin for Simplicity 3073:

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Bodice, minus sleeves

I’m having tons of issues with the placket/facing combo on this pattern. I’m thinking I’ll redraft the bodice pieces so that I don’t have to do facings in order to get the placket done, because I do not see myself being able to handle this thing *and* make it look beautiful. Also, the sleeve piece was missing from the pattern (which was advertised as “complete”) so I grabbed the sleeve from a 1940s blouse pattern in my stash and will try setting it and seeing what happens!

On top of those two plans, Simplicity 1281 is still on my shortlist, though I’m not sure I’ll get to it this month. But having plans = motivation, so I will dare to dream!