Monday, September 22, 2008

I think my head is gonna explode....

I am doing too much before this trip----I feel manic and it is time to chill.

I have been looking at this fabric for a few months now, anticipating that I would make something with it to wear on my european vacation....something 50's to prance in around Rome.

And I woke up this morning and thought..."Shoot. We are leaving day after tomorrow, and even though the house needs to be cleaned, I must use that fabric."

So I whipped up a circle skirt.....and it only took an hour or so. It would have taken less had I not messed up the zipper when I was installing it....stupid, stupid. A beautifully lapped zipper and then *snip* gosh darn it, I cut the top of the zipper clean off.....I mean the do-hick that opens and closes the zipper. I stared at it for about 15 seconds and then started laughing, cuz what else can you do? crinoline arrived in the mail today as well. Not too sure how I feel about it---it is kinda lopsided-like and funky. I still need to hem the skirt (thank god for the sewing machine blind hem foot) but I can do that on the morrow.

I am tired. My back hurts. I should have lied and said that I was leaving on my trip a day or two before I was so I wouldn't have to work up to the very last minute. We had a fancy dinner on Friday and attended a wedding on is Monday and I think I am still hungover. Tired for sure. I have two skirts to hem tomorrow, and some housework.

I need sleep.

No more projects.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Here is me in my dress on the way to a weddin'.

All hemmed with a fabric belt and Bakelite buckle.

New dark hair, too!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Simple Skirt.....

Owie, owie, owie.

Post war 40's New Look fashions are a bit painful.

This pattern called for a 30 inch waist, which I have.....but what it really meant was a 30 inch waist cinched in a very tight girdle.
It is super cute, and worth the pain...but I cannot imagine women dressing like this every day! And this is *nothing* compared to the turn of the century boned corsets and frilly petticoats.

I do have a crinoline coming to wear with this and a couple other circle skirts and New Look dresses, but I would certainly never *ever* clean my house wearing anything resembling this or those or anything that constricting!

Will I walk around in Rome, my gut squished into itself by a pair of Spanx, petticoat swish swish swishing as I traipse passed the Trevi Fountain?


Friday, September 12, 2008

Man oh Mighty.......

Here she is--2 on me and one on Rosalind.
The fabric is actually a more vibrant green than these photos suggest---it kind of reminds me of a Christmas tablecloth. :) It is a wool blend crepe...and it itches a little....but my new slips arrived in the mail today, so it shant be an issue.
I could not get a good photo of the skirt, but it's not hemmed anyway.
This was much harder than I had anticipated. It was humbling. That side zipper was the bane of my existence last night. Next time I will sew it by hand.
I was a good little chickling and basted the sleeves on by hand this morning to check for fit. I usually just live dangerously and go for it. But I have realized that mentality is meant for other things.
(BTW, this is an old size 20: 38-32-41.
I had to take in the waist and hips a couple inches but did not have to do a DD full bust adjustment, if this info helps anyone out there attempting to make this.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I love this dress!

I've realized by gathering 30's and 40's style patterns, there may never be a need to shop at Anthropologie again. :) Well.....some knitting knowledge would seal the deal, but that will come in time. I am planning on taking a beginning knitting class when we get back from our trip this fall and have already purchased some vintage sweater magazines off ebay. I suppose it would help to know how to cobble too....hmmm....too many things to learn in this short life!

I finally finished the mock up...
Well...everything but the sleeves. Close enough.
It is a pattern from 1939 and I love love love it. Kind of a pain in the bottom, but worth it.
I did not take pictures of the skirt because it's tennis length to save muslin. Just long enough to fit the hips, and that's what matters most.
It needs about 2 inches shaved off the waist (which makes me feel better after *adding* 3 to the last project) so it will be more in keeping with the times...right now that extra ease (which is hidden in this photo with pinning) gives it a poopy 80's feel. :)
After it's tailored, a foundation garment will be mandatory---but I have pretty much decided the female form looks better in one of those anyway. I just like the sleek and polished look. There is no reason why the muffin top or pooch should be displayed in this day and age.
Today will be spent cutting out the fashion fabric--a nice greenish wool blend. I am hoping to finish this dress and the black gored skirt by Friday.
Maybe I'll wear it to the Vatican.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Read the directions?

I never really do. I don't know why. Sometimes I am certain that I *have* only to find, usually to my great dismay, that I skipped an important step---without even realizing it.

In 6th grade, the last day before Christmas break, the teacher handed out a test and announced, "Now everyone, be sure to read all the directions before you begin....."

As I was madly filling in the answers, kids started handing in their papers almost as quickly as they had received them....and it was not until I heard someone whisper, " the directions!" that I realized at the very top it stated "Write your name at the top of this page, and the test is complete! Merry Christmas!!"

Oh, Kenna Sue Carter, you were a sly little devil!

And I am a nincompoop. Who never reads the directions......or thinks she does. My reading comprehension has never been very good. I scored pretty low on the Iowa tests.

So after adding three inches to the waistband and gores of this skirt (which worked, God be praised) I thought I would be flashy and try my had at a lapped zipper. And after painstakingly installing said zipper, I discovered it totally threw off the waistband/drape/ease/everything on the skirt.
Such Sadness.
Then I realized the pattern calls for snap closures. There is even an illustration. The pattern is from 1944.....perhaps they were rationing "slide fasteners" at this time? I suppose they would have been. And I am willing to bet that using snaps will make the side seam a lot smoother than it is, as I can futz more easily with the ease and such---a zipper anchors it all in.

The skirt should hang more like the image right above....and the instructions are there too.
See the pretty picture? Snaps.
I am turning over a new leaf.

UPDATE 9/13: It has *nothing* to do with the snaps vs. zipper. It has to do with the fact that I stink at installing zippers. C'est La Vie

Monday, September 1, 2008

Building my 40's wardrobe..... I got these little ditties off ebay last month:

And I was so darned excited to find them in my size, you know?
No need to grade the patterns or make adjustments, etc. etc?
Oh, that is just rich.
I pinned the pattern pieces to Rosalind this afternoon, and low and behold, the waistband was THREE inches too small. (?)
Wuh WUH?
I am actually working on this as I speak (or type) but I needed a breakie poo and some chips and cheese sauce to soothe my math frazzled brain.
I have never graded a pattern before, and it made my head hurt.
The first time always hurts the most.
I know the more I do it, the easier it will be, and I will know what adjustments to make without even thinking about it......
But that will take a bit of hair pulling and cheese sauce consumption first.
(That's the Tostitos Con Queso, btw. So bad and I just don't care....If I already have to increase the waistband by three inches anyway.....)
Thank god for The Vogue Sewing Book of Fitting and Adjustments--all the info i needed was in those precious pages.
I am hoping to finish my muslin mock-up of the skirt tonight, and then do a run-thru of the blouse tomorrow. Now, the blouse *says* it is my bust size with 2 extra inches in the waist, but I am not holding my breath.
Although that might help with the fit.
(As a side note, the photo of the blouse pattern is a size 12, bust 32....but the one i have is in a much larger size)