Saturday, June 21, 2014

Hello my people.

I am here to disappoint you once again with underwhelming content and empty promises. 
I do not have a snazzy vintage sunsuit reproduction to show you. I could show you some of the pieces of one, but I’ve lost interest so I’ll assume you have too.
Come to think of it, I don’t have anything to show you. I’m really not even sure why I’m posting.

Oh yes, now I remember.
It's because I want to foist my wares upon you.
I’ve been weeding through my collection of vintage baby clothes and will be putting some up on etsy soon. 
I have over 200 pieces and that is far too many considering I do not have, nor do I desire a small child. 
I might when I’m old and decrepit and need someone to hoist me out of my barcalounger or teach me how to use the iPhone 73. 
But right now? Pass.

I started buying back when I was making doll dresses. I'd buy things beyond repair and cut them up into teeny dresses and bonnets. 
Then it slowly morphed into me buying anything. 
And everything. 
And before you know it I had an entire closet, cedar chest, and several large boxes full of clothes that I haven't been able to fit into in 20+ years.  
Seems silly. And somewhat strange.

So I'm only keeping things that 
  1. speak to me
  2.  I wore
  3. have some unique feature that I want to copy or gaze at mindlessly
  4. have some unique feature that will help lure readers to my blog and in turn, help me in my quest to take over the internet.

The rest will be on my new and improved etsy. Eventually. 
Bookmark it. Check it daily. Maybe even hourly. I'm like a cobra, you'll never know when I'll strike. 
Except I'll post on instagram before I do. Cobra's don't have instagram.

Did I mention I am now on instagram?
Here is a link.
I like instagram. I can share pictures of fancy things without having to concentrate on stringing words together coherently.
I can hashtag. Hashtags are amazing and require very little thought or planning.
They are able to fully capture the essence of my spontaneity. It's like the whole concept was made for just for ME.
You should totally follow me. It would validate my existence.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Vintage Sunsuit

a tale of tragedy, triumph, and biting off way more than you can chew. 
I've had this romper hanging in my sewing room for almost 4 years because its so stinkin' cute. Last week I was checking one of my favorite sites for vintage clothes, and saw this...
An almost identical version in the opposite color way! I bought mine at an antique store in florida, and it's twin was for sale in Australia. What are the chances? I threw it in my cart and checked out with quickness but alas, it was not meant to be. My payment was refunded within the hour because it had already been purchased. Noooooo!
So, being the ingenious person I am, I decided to make my own version. It is very basic construction with a little satin stitch embroidery and fagoting.  That's easy, right?  Should be, except for the fact that I have no experience with satin stitch embroidery or fagoting.  Small detail. That is were my go to sewing reference book comes in. Butterick's Art of Dressmaking from 1927. I'm sure there are more modern books that are superior, but that's not how I roll. ;) We'll see how it goes.

I just finished drafting my pattern and tracing off the embroidery design, so it may be 5 years before you see the finished product.

Also, I'm not sure where the triumph comes in. It just sounded nice.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Vintage Style Dimity Dress

DISCLAIMER: I could write a book on all the imperfections and mistakes I made in the following garment. I'm sure somewhere someone is cringing at all the errors. And if it's YOU, fear not! You are not alone. I am here cringing, scrutinizing, and shaking my head in disappointment with you. Now onward!

I've wanted to make a version of this vintage dress since I got it from eBay several years ago. It is one of my favorite pieces in my vintage collection.

The tag reads "Made Expressly in Paris for Saks Fifth Avenue".

It even came in its original box. Which may be the cutest thing ever.

I chose this pattern for my base. I omitted the collar and pockets and added all the necessary lace and tuck inserts. Of course, I wouldn't want to waste valuable time making a test version or anything like that so I jumped right in and cut it out of my favorite fabric ever- a pink dimity that I buy every time I see it.
At $45 a yard, why not throw caution to the wind. What could possibly go wrong?

There wasn't enough of one type of lace edging in my stash to use for the whole thing so I used a larger edging on the neck, armscy, and skirt. I was out of low tack tape when I gathered and joined the 20 miles of lace so the gathers turned out uneven in places.  Plus it was hastily ironed so it looks worse than it really is.
Don't try to tell me that people were gathering lace effectively hundreds of years before tiger tape was invented.
I don't believe you.
I have since procured 8 rolls so I will never be without it again. I'm pretty sure that is how hoarders start out.

There was an ugly accident that resulted in my Bernina being hospitalized in the corner where the bodice, skirt and tucked strip are joined. Hence the addition of bows. They are just pinned in place here and I haven't washed away the blue ink from the neck area.
For future reference, when you see a bow on my blog it is safe to assume it is covering something hideous. I like to think of bows as the duct tape of sewing. You can fix anything with a bow.

The thought of starting over popped into my head more than once.
I even priced replacement materials.
When I'd sew teeny doll dresses if something didn't turn out exactly right I could just toss it and start over. Not so with larger things. The fabric and lace for this dress would cost over $200 if I reordered.
So I gave my inner obsessive-compulsive self an ultimatum. Deal with it or get a job. My inner OCD self is a clever girl who enjoys naps, so I continued with what I had. This was all from my stash so that means it was free.

I'm going to make another one eventually. Hopefully with evenly distributed lace gathers and no traumatic sewing machine crippling events. Maybe in blue.