Friday, June 20, 2014

Vintage Jackpot, New Dress, and I was Nominated for Something! Holy Moly Batman!

Where to begin with today's post ...I sort of don't know where to start. So many exciting things to talk about in this post it is uncanny! So hold on tight and join me for today's blog post!

Alright, I am going to start with the exciting vintage things I was given for free (I KNOW!! Seriously Free!) from a good friend who's grandmother recently passed. She wanted them to go to someone who would use them, so when she asked if I was interested in any old sewing stuff I jumped at the chance to take it off her hands. I wasn't sure what I expected when I started going through old boxes but some of the things I found really amazed me! There were boxes of sewing notions, fabric, patterns, and even a vintage Necchi sewing machine model 535FA. Everything is in wonderful condition, the sewing machine is all metal and came in its own suitcase, and most of the patterns are uncut! The sewing nerd inside me was (and still is) jumping for joy at all of this treasure. All of these items are amazing and I can't wait to start working with all of it. Also, if anyone has any information about the Necchi sewing machine it would be appreciated!

This is a photo of some of my favorites they are mostly 60's patterns
This is the oldest one. It has no date on it but the pattern is unprinted! 
Box is over-flowing!
Just a peek at some of the fabric!

Not sure what year this is but it is fantastic!

I finished another dress this week! This is my first official "wiggle" dress and I am in love with it! I made it using Vintage Vogue Pattern V8875. I don't know what it is about garments from the 50's but I just love them. This was my first time working with a Vintage Vogue pattern and I must say it was intimidating at first glance. The bodice was a little difficult to put together with the bust dart, side panels, and adding extra material to reinforce the underarm area. So many steps! Somehow I managed to make it through this one and though I did accidentally sew my sleeve to itself at one point (Whoops!) I am pretty excited at how it turned out. Once I got that sewn up the rest of the project was smooth sailing. I made the dress out of a simple blue cotton/linen blend and best of all easy to wear! The only thing I may change about it next time is to go down one more size as it is just a little bit big. All in all......a definite success I'd say! Sorry the pictures aren't the greatest my camera and I were having some issues.

Ok...Ok...Ok! Last bloggy thing of the day! Andie over at SewPrettyinPink was kind enough to add me to her list of Liebster Nominees!
Which is an award for newer, or lesser known blogs to help them get noticed. I must say this came as a big surprise to me and I am so thankful that she chose me as one of her nominees! Seriously, Check her out, what a talented sweet heart she is! So here are my questions she gave us to answer:

1. What is your favourite TNT (tried and tested) pattern? I would have to say my absolute favorite patter to work with is Gertie's Pencil Skirt pattern from her book for better sewing. I have made several of these bad boys in my size as well as others and it is just fantastic all around!
2. If you could quit your job and sew full time, would you? Why or why not? Yes, in a heartbeat! Sewing has become a passion of mine and if I could make enough money at it to do what I love each and every single day you bet I would.
3. What are your favourite types of fabric? Cotton, Linen (and linen blends!) and Stretch cotton sateen! They are definitely my favorite to work with.
4. Is there a fabric that scares you to try out? Why? I have a big fear of working with anything slippery and I also find rayon a bit intimidating. I have 5 gorgeous yards of a rayon print challis that I really need to work with but I am too nervous to even start making the first cut! Why? I don't really know I just don't want to mess up beautiful fabric.
5. What is next on your list of garments to make? I am planning to make a gathered circle skirt out of some fabulous fabric and a blouse from a vintage pattern :)
My Nominees are:
My lovely friend Kristen over at Make the best of everything! Because her blog is always a good source of inspiration for healthy living and she's awesome! 
My super-mom friend Brandy over at Life,Motherhood, and the Pursuit of Happiness  Her blog about her adventure into motherhood is honest, raw and heartfelt. 
You can chose to nominate others for the Liebster Award if you would like but you don't absolutely have to! Your questions are as follows ladies :) 
1. What made you decide to start a blog in the first place?
2. What are your biggest inspirations for blogging? What are the biggest challenges of it? 
3. How do you balance writing/blogging and your everyday life? 
4. What is your favorite kind of pizza? (I know this one has nothing to do with blogging but I thought it was time for a silly one!) 

Thanks for stopping by everyone, feel free to comment or email me anytime. As always ...breathe easy, do what makes you happiest, and absolutely do NOT throw objects in frustration when something is not doing what it is supposed to does nobody any good! :) It will be alright I promise...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Finally! A wearable muslin of "The Ladies 1958 Party Dress"

Well hello all you lovely people out in blogging land! Thanks for stopping by :) 
I promise I am going to be doing at least one blog post every month if not more! I finally have some time to do some sewing for myself and I am churning out projects left and right. I also am fighting with several projects haha! Details on those to come later I am sure :) 

So without further ado .... My 1958 Ladies Party Dress!

I highly recommend this pattern by Sense and Sensibility Patterns This pattern is great to work with! The instructions are simple, and it fits like a dream with little to no pattern adjusting! I was so happy that I didn't have to mess with doing a FBA to this pattern. It has soft kimono sleeves and the option to do either a gathered or pleated (I went with gathered because I am lazy!) skirt and it is so comfortable. My wearable muslin is made out of a fantastic peach linen blend that I got on sale at Hancock Fabrics for about 3.00 a yard (I know! Steal of the century..and I have enough left over to make a skirt) I decided to make a simple belt to go around my waist with some mint green broadcloth, and fusible interfacing. Instead of lining the bodice as the pattern suggests with the help of some online tutorials I drafted my own neckline facing and am pleased with the results! I apologize for not having pictures of that part I took them with my cell phone which has recently gone to technology heaven so I only have a couple of the finished product to share! 
 This is the kind of dress that begs for a pretty crinoline underneath! It gives the skirt just that bit of extra oomph! That it needs to have that fun 50's vibe. I wrote about my plans for this dress a while ago with the idea that I would make it out of a polka dot fabric...Don't worry! I have not forgotten about my plans! This pattern is so simple to work with, adjust, and to sew up I plan on making a few more of them :)

For the first time in forever ...(don't know you felt like singing that aloud "Frozen Style") I didn't have an issue sewing something and man did it feel fantastic! I don't often have moments like these and it is a great feeling. I have a few more projects in the works that I am dying to share with you without further ado I am going to hop to it! 

As always.... Stay Calm, Have a great time, and don't forget that sewing your zipper in backwards happens sometimes! Grab that seam ripper and get to fixin!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Holy Update Batman!!!!!!!!

Holy Cow! 
   I just want to say first and foremost I am sorry that it has been such a long time since I updated anything. Life has been crazy these past several months and it seems that I just could never quite find the time! That being said... Let me give you some updates! 

A few months ago I was asked by a local shop to make some skirts for them. I will not lie... I was absolutely terrified. I had a million and one thoughts running through my head at all times making them that I made so many silly mistakes that I had to stop and fix it was just insane! After the first few were done and I got into my groove the rest came easily, my zippers cooperated, serger worked perfectly and my screw ups got fewer and fewer until there were none! Huzzah!! The end result...16 fun vintage inspired skirts.

For these ones I used Gertie's pattern for a full-gored skirt. I just shortened the hemline quite a bit and straightened the waist band. If you haven't made or tried on a skirt in this style I urge you to do so! they are twirly, feminine, and best of all flattering! Gertie's amazing book can be purchased here: I highly recommend it for sewers of all skill levels and ages!

I also used Gertie's pattern for my pencil skirts as well. Let me tell you these were the real winners! I used some vintage material and modern for these and they turned out wonderful! This one is my favorite!

I also made several A-line skirts and Drindl skirts that I self-drafted my own patterns for that turned out really well. Making all these skirts was a big nerve-wracking challenge despite the fact that I have made each style for myself several times now! This is my first time really sewing for others and I can say that I am incredibly proud of them and can't wait to get started on my next projects! Here's a picture of nearly all of them all lined up on my table :)

Also....P.s. A few of them even have lapped zippers! My first attempt can be seen on the left. I may not have done it for all of the skirts but on the ones I did I can definitely say I
am very happy about the results.

I hope that this post finds you well, gives you inspiration, and maybe even makes you try something new :) I promise that I will be back with more frequent updates. I have some really great projects on the horizon that I am just itching to get into.

As always think calming thoughts, a few deep breaths, and belt out a few notes of "Let It Go!" and you will be just fine! :)

Friday, July 12, 2013


  Yesterday I was looking through the channels and one of my favorite movies was playing ....
        That's right! Pleasantville! I have loved this movie ever since it first came out in 1998 and it never gets old for me to watch. It is a great blend of comedy and drama while it shows how life really was portrayed in the 1950's! Women did the housework, men went to work, children were to be seen and not heard, and people seemed to pretend like inapropriate behavior didn't happen. What do I love about this movie most of all? The fashion of course!! When I really sat down and thought about it this was my first exposure to vintage fashion and I have been in love with it ever since. The sweater sets, shirt dresses, accessories, and (eventually) the colors were all beautiful to me! Here are a few of my favorites from the film.
Loving these sweater sets!
How adorable is Reese in this top?

This shot is beautiful from her florally dress to her plaid umbrella!

This is quite possibly my favorite shot in the whole film. This closeup of her bright pink bubble gum and perfect pin-curled hair is just gorgeous!
        I realized that this movie is one of my biggest inspirations for vintage sewing. I have wanted to wear those great dresses and skirts ever since! I am just sad that it took me so long to really start sewing. If I had started at 11 I can just imagine the things I would be able to make by now! I think I can safely say that this movie piqued my interest in 1998 and has held it ever since! What is your earliest memory of inspiration? Was it a movie? An Ad?

       With that being said I have started another project! I have started printing and piecing together my "1958 Ladies Party Dress" That you can find here Ladies 1958 Party Dress I have seen quite a few versions of this dress floating around out there but my favorite image of it is this version   At Edelweiss Patterns' Blog. Her cupcake dress is so beautiful and inspiring that I just have to try it out. So far printing and putting the pattern together has gone alright and I think it will be incredibly easy to work with :) I have chosen to work with a light heather grey polka dot cotton and a baby pink broadcloth for (possibly) a removable collar and belt/cumberbund.


           I am hoping to get started on sewing it tomorrow depending on how warm it gets here. I have a great space upstairs for my crafting but the air does not work as well up there so it gets a little toasty if it gets higher than 85 outside! Hopefully it will resemble something like this when it is done and not a total mess!
This woman is so seriously talented! Check her out at  Edelweiss Patterns
      As always! Thanks for reading. Stay cool, Stay sassy, and stay classy! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Success! Finally!!

Holy cow!!!
Making a good version of this dress has taken me a billion years. Between fitting problems, life, and just making silly mistakes it has taken me about a month to finally create a wearable, well-fitting version that I am happy with :)

check it out!

I used the same Retro-Butterick as seen in my post below and a fun polka-dotted cotton I picked up at Hancock's Fabric on sale. You have absolutely no idea how nerve-wracking it was cutting into this pretty fabric knowing that it was a good possibility I was about to have a complete disaster on my "crafty" hands!That being said, I still had a lot of fitting issues due to my body shape even after making my initial muslin bodice. I thought that I had the fit just right but having lost some weight since my last post it simply did not occur to me to re-measure myself. This didn't cause a huge amount of issues but it caused the waist and armholes of my adjusted pattern to be too big. So once I got the bodice sewed together and tried on I realized it was way too baggie in some areas. To fix most of the problem I simply took the side seams in by about an inch :)
I also had to make a few adjustments to the neckline because when I initially sewed it the scoop neck was far too baggy and just not figure flattering for me. I cut a small curved section out, added a few tucked stitches and Voila! it is now a sweetheart neckline. The fit of the bodice overall still isn't quite perfect but it is definitely wearable :)


I used the "invisible" stitch along the hemline, neckline, and armholes. It was time consuming but so worth it when looking at my final product. (I know..I know..I should have lined and used facings but I feel like that just would have made this light summer dress too bulky!) I am also rather proud of this zipper I put it. I managed to almost not screw it up. :)

This is one of those projects that I definitely struggled with quite a bit! But after a few candy bars, some Firefly, and determination 8 hours later I had this retro-inspired finished dress that I couldn't be more proud of!

So just remember: Stay focused, have fun, take a few deep breaths and get creative!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Dress that almost was.....

So this is going to be a story about how I thought that I knew what I was doing while sewing my first official dress! I thought I had it down...picked out my material (just some polished cotton that I picked up at a 2nd hand store for super cheap) got my sewing machine ready to go and I was all set right?

Oh How Wrong I Was.

I used this retro butterick pattern B5478 and cut out the size 18 based on my measurements.

When I started this project I was very confident that this dress would turn out perfect..and to be honest the process of sewing really didn't give me any problems. I cut everything out (even altered the shape of the neckline slightly) used tailor's tacks to help me ensure that my darts would be even and put it all together. I basted...cut...sewed and put it all together. Below is how the skirt looked before I attached it to the bodice. It is a lovely full circle skirt and the fabric is so lightweight it swishes very easily.
Well this should be a super happy ending shouldn't it?? Well it was wonderful ...until I put on the final product...I thought the fit was off in earlier fittings because the zipper wasn't in and I found out how wrong I was when I put it on. I didn't get any pictures of me in the dress because it is just kind of embarrassing but when I went to zip up the side zipper it went up without a hitch until I hit my full bust.

(picture of completed dress...the best I could get while not wearing it)
(altered the neckline slightly)
(To date this is The Best Zipper that I have installed! I hardly screwed it up at all!)

I did not realize that I needed to do a full bust measurement! How did I not realize this when my full bust measurement is 8 inches larger than my upper bust? To be honest I have no idea! I just kind of assumed that since it was the right size everywhere else that I would be fine. Well ...needless to say it is back to the drawing board....literally!

In Conclusion

In regards to the dress I am calling "Strawberry Fields" As I cannot wear it I am gifting it to a friend of mine who the dress will fit once I alter it a little. As for my future dress...well I have altered the pattern pieces ...made a muslin...and am getting ready for crack number two!

(This is an example of one of the bodice pieces that I added width to... I also had to adjust the bust dart with the help of my Gertie Book and a video by professor pincushion on youtube I think that I did it correctly)

(This is the best picture of the muslin that I could get while taking one handed pictures...please excuse the hint of belly at the bottom)

I have picked out a beautiful Olive Green cotton to use for this new dress and am hoping to finish it up within the week. Thanks for reading about my fitting dilemma. This is a good lesson for me to learn...take it slowly...try it on as I go...and because of my bust make sure that I do a trial fitting first!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

First Vintage Inspired Sewing Project.

Hey all! this is my first official blog post so that is kind of exciting for me! Vintage sewing for me is a lot of things all rolled into one. Firstly it helps me create/alter clothing to fit my body type the right way...I am a bigger gal as you will see in my posts to come. Second, it has helped give me a sense of confidence in myself...knowing that I've made that...people are complimenting this or that and it is just nice to say "Thank you...I made it! (I suppose that's tooting my own horn a little but ...hey...everyone is entitled to do it) And lastly, it helps me to not sweat the small things. No matter how many times I have to adjust the fit, grab the seam ripper, or having a mega-estrogen filled moment while crying over a zipper (I was devastated! ) I don't give up on it, I keep going and that is something that I've been able to apply to other areas of my life. 

Now that you have a little background on me this is the first vintage inspired item of clothing that I made. It is my first drafted Drindl skirt that I made out of a vintage Laura Ashley bedsheet that I thrifted a few weeks ago. It is the one on the far left in the photo below. (Also i picked all of this vintage material up at a second hand store for super cheap! I am a bit of a bargain shopper so when It was only 7.50 for all of it I nearly jumped for joy)

I am absolutely in love with the soft little pink flowers and how they just pop against the ivory background. This skirt took me probably a total of 3 - 4 hours overall to finish...I am pretty happy with it..the only thing that I may adjust is the length of the hem...I was hoping it would hit right at the knee but once putting it on it hits me just below the knee. Which is just fine but I am only 5'2" so at times skirts that are below the knee tend to overwhelm me. The skirt also lacks a little OOMPH! despite all the gathering so I am planning on creating a petticoat to wear underneath of it in the near future :) The pictures aren't great its a very overcast day here in Iowa and so the lighting is very off.  Any comments, or suggestions or anything of the sort are welcome! :) I was also feeling adventurous the night before and actually wet-set my hair for the very first time! This picture was taken at the end of a 9 hour work day and the curls were still intact I was amazed.
This photo is just a close up of the waistband. It was actually trim at the end of the sheet and I cut it and refashioned it as the waistband :)

Thank you for reading...feel free to leave comments, suggestions, or anything else that crosses your mind. Keep it fun, not too serious, and remember to believe in yourself!