Tuesday, November 24, 2015

McCall's 4872 (1975) goth prairie dress Part VI Final thoughts

Pix later.

So I could get way too used to this dress.  How old is too old to dress like Holly Hobbie?  Can I pull it off a little longer if I mix in at least a few subtle prints?

1) The yoke is technically my size but feels a big large.  The measurements were on the fence so I went ahead and graded up because so many of these 1970's patterns are tight through the shoulders.  I can go back and grade down again.  And close up the neck a little bit.

2) Need darts in the back of the neck.

3) I need to go back and put one more hook and eye in the back yoke. 

4) It could be shorter.  I may not shorten this one, but just as a general thing, it would look OK shorter.

All easy things to change, though, for the next time around.  It looks a lot better than the green dress.  It's much less baggy.  Kind of a neo-Edwardian tea gown.

Monday, November 23, 2015

McCall's 4872 (1975) goth prairie dress Part V


This dress took me forever!

I went with hooks and eyes in the back in the hope they would snag on my hair less than buttons do:

 . . . and closed:

It doesn't look like much without a body.  New pix later:

Monday, November 16, 2015

McCall's 4872 (1975) goth prairie dress Part IV

I finally made some progress yesterday!  I still don't have it done, but I'm closer.

I got the waist tabs on.  This will be a pullover dress with a bisected waistband that buttons at the sides.

(This is the back.  It will have hooks and eyes in the back yoke.)

And I got the flounce on  I still need to bind the flounce seam, but that doesn't take long:

So . . . sleeves, flounce seam, seam finishes, hooks and eyes.

Monday, November 9, 2015

McCall's 4872 (1975) goth prairie dress Part III

This is taking me forever!

Hemming the flounce.  Finally.  I trimmed the binding on the lace out after I sewed it in but before I finished off the bias tape, to reduce bulk and make it less stiff.  I hope the lace doesn't pull out--we'll see.  This dress is taking me way too long for such a simple project.

I got very little done this weekend.  Saturday, I went to the second annual Festival of Texas Fiddling at Burton.  Well, sort of at Burton--at the La Bahia Turn Verein on 237, just off of 290.  It rained all morning, though, and then it was cold.  I hope they got enough of a turn-out that they can do it again next year because the musicians were terrific.

Flickr set. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

American Pharoah

Charlotte's had a sale this weekend so I got my annual horsey Christmas ornament.  This year was all about American Pharoah: Ornament, Stablemate, and Trad model.

They must have just gotten the Pharoah stuff in because they had six or eight Trad models and a big pile of Stablemates and ornaments.  It was a busy weekend, too.

I haven't settled on a name for this guy yet.  It kind of depends on whether or not I make him a son or grandson (through Firebird) of Rob Roy, I guess, or find an outside pedigree for him.  I think all my bay Thoroughbreds are a bit too related.

I need to take a picture, but I got the buckskin jumping pony, too.  They're calling it a Connemara but it definitely isn't.  Mine will probably end up being a mixed sport pony.  Somebody suggested Gotland but I don't think he's substantial enough, and he doesn't really look like a Welsh B.  I wish they would use that dappled buckskin paint job on a bunch of other models, though; he's gorgeous.

Monday, October 26, 2015

McCall's 4872 (1975) goth prairie dress Part II

Okay, back to work on this.  I'm actually a bit surprised to see that I started it this month and not last--I'm not quite as far behind as I thought I was. 

I cut all the pieces last night except for the sleeves, which have classic giant, overly-tall Seventies puff caps that I won't be using.  I was dreading futzing with those but then I realized I can probably use the sleeves I already re-drew for the green dress instead. 

I have literally just scraps left.  It took all four yards and I had to shorten the body pieces by 3 1/2 inches to get them onto the fabric. 

Gothic quarter-circle skirt, done


This wasn't difficult as a concept but it was a ton of work, physically.  It turns out that the sweep on this is about 3 1/2 yards, which sounds OK until you have to pleat seven yards of ruffle onto it.  I'm embarrassed to admit how exhausting that was.

It's heavy, too, but I think it would do any gothic Lolita proud:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Gothic quarter-circle skirt

The black lace for the prairie dress is supposed to be delivered today.  Fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, I started another quarter-circle skirt.  I originally meant for this to be a regular dirndl and the curved pieces and hem flounce mean I need to go get another piece of fabric to cut the last quarter of the skirt and a few more strips for the ruffle.  It's Moda Morris Apprentice Art Nouveau print in gray and black:

With some black lace I got secondhand (I think.  I might have to use the other lace if there isn't enough of this):

Mispickel was impossible last night.  She's not actually sleeping here.  She was doing the mullet cat: Innocently "asleep" in front, tail twitching furiously in back.

I made the waistband lining and will make the pockets out of solid black to save scrap for the black quilt:

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

McCall 6617 (1946) experiments in restoration Part I

I got McCall 6617, a very nice and very wearable 1946 blouse pattern, with another pattern, as a giveaway because it's missing a piece.  

It turns out that it's missing the entire front.  Sigh.  Of course it couldn't be a facing or a sleeve band or some other easily-reproduced bit, right.

This gives me an excuse to try scaling up a new pattern piece from the line drawing on the back of the packet.  I don't expect this to work flawlessly, but I hope it gets me closer than just trying to redraw it freehand.

I'm using the back bodice piece for scale since I have it and can compare it to the drawing, and it has a convenient and easily-measured straight line down the center back where it would be cut on the fold.

I am assuming a size 16 since that would be mid-range and is the size pattern catalogs used to estimate yardage.  Arbitrary, less, but one has to start somewhere.

The copier I have on hand only goes up to 400% so I had to scale up in stages.  I scaled up and then measured.  The center-to-underarm horizontal measure came out to two inches, which was convenient since the pattern at full size would have been 11 inches (my piece is 10 1/2 inches but it's a bust 32.  A bust 34 could safely be estimated to be about a half-inch larger horizontally).

One I got it scaled up to four inches across the underarm, I had to cut it into sections to fit on the copier.

I copied each section individually at 275%, then cut out and taped the pieces together.

It's too long, and shallow across the lower armscye, but it's at least ballpark.  I think I can use this method on the blouse front, assuming I expect to do some fitting muslins.

Overlay comparison:

Monday, October 12, 2015

Double petticoat

My Amazon shipment did not arrive on Friday as Amazon claimed it would.  Maybe tomorrow.  I need my black lace!

I spent the weekend on a puffier petticoat instead.  I have two cotton slips I made from a very simple A-line pattern, and they work for most things (I wear closer-fitting nylon slips under the 1940's dresses.  Their tailored skirts need something slippery) but I have a bunch of late 1950's and early 1960's dresses with big dirndl skirts in the sewing queue and I think I need something with a little more width.

Proper petticoats are made from net, or some other lightweight but stiff material.  I don't have any of that, but I have a lot of white cotton, so white cotton it is.  I used my old A-line slip pattern and made a flounce out of three widths of the quarter-circle skirt, which I gathered (box-pleated, actually) onto the outside.  I could starch it if I wanted it stiffer.  It's a little heavy but I'm OK with that.

Applying the flounce was seriously tedious but it wasn't actually a difficult project.  I need to make at least two long petticoats for my reenacting dress.  That will be tedious, for real.

The slip underneath:

Finished petticoat:

Thursday, October 8, 2015

McCall's 4872 (1975) goth prairie dress Part I

Okay, I haven't actually started this yet.  I've traced and graded the pattern, but I'm waiting for the lace to arrive in the mail--I finally got the Amazon shipping notice yesterday.

Since it's October and Hallowe'en and all that good stuff . . . goth prairie dress!

McCall's 4872 (1975).

This one seems to be more flared and less baggy than Simplicity 9778 (1971).

It has the yoke I like.  I might add a band collar.  I'm doing short sleeves and a knee-ish-length skirt because I only have four yards of fabric and cannot get any more.  The waist ties will be separate so I can wear it with a belt if I want.

Black-on-black floral:

With lace trim:

Quarter-Circle skirt

My brother was in town for a few days.  He went home yesterday morning, though.  In the afternoon, I got a wild hare and slipped in an off-the-cuff skirt project.

This is the gathered quarter-circle skirt with which I've been toying for awhile.  I used the pattern for the skirt of the Capper's Weekly cowgirl dress.  This time, I got out the pseudo-African botanical print from Joann's novelty section and just made a big knife-pleated skirt.

I finished the whole thing in one afternoon/evening.  I almost wore it today but decided it really needs that flounced petticoat I've been meaning to make, so I guess I'll do that tonight and wear it tomorrow.  Twenty-eight inches long.  I sort of wish I'd gone slightly longer for a full early-1950's look, but it will be OK.  This isn't a print I would usually have chosen but I think it will look awesome with a white blouse and black shoes and cardigan. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Butterick 1954 7053 Ralph Lauren roses brunch coat Part II

I actually traced the bodice and sleeve pieces to get ready to resize this.  I spent most of the weekend mending the car cover and keeping the cat warm, and I had a nagging headache, so I didn't really do anything that required thought.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

On the down low.

I haven't disappeared, but I'm working on a project that I can't publish right now because the recipient might see this and it would spoil all kinds of fun.  I'll try to squeeze in some smaller projects around it, though.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Capper's Weekly 2875 (1950's) Western dress Part III

I maxed out my vacation time again so I took Friday off to sew.  I didn't manage to get the dress done but stubbornly pinned myself into it and wore it to the Troubadours concert, anyway.  It was dark.  Nobody could see that I didn't have buttons.

I finished the buttons the next day:

The lining makes it heavy but I sort of like the semi-19th century feel:

I ran out of time to mess with the skirt so this is the gathered (well, pleated) quarter-circle skirt with which I was experimenting in small scale.  It worked great--lots of sweep and the look of a dirndl but with less bulk around the waist, but freer around the hips and in need of less fitting than a semi-circle without a gathered waist.

The bodice isn't meant to be tightly fitted but it does have a little bit of, for lack of a better term, side-boob going on.  It sags a little around the dart (not along the dart, though; the dart isn't the issue).  It's OK in this dress but I wouldn't make it again without trying to fix it.

I made another copy of the bodice front and slashed it from the center front waist diagonally to the side armscye, then perpendicularly downward from the middle of that slash to the side waist, and then rotated the diagonal quadrants inward a little (1/2 inch overlap = 1 inch taken out of the side-front).

A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

This takes up that part of the bodice around the dart but leaves the waist, side, center front opening, and upper seam/yoke measurements the same.  The dart is a little smaller.

Comparison of the new (orange) and previous (green) bodice pieces ignore the jar; it was holding the paper down):

I ran up an embarrassingly sloppy test out of a rotted bedsheet.  I'm going to try out a (wearable, I hope) muslin later.  I think this gives it enough of a "tummy tuck", though, without spoiling the softness of the gathers into the yoke.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Capper's Weekly 2875 (1950's) Western dress Part II

The bodice back:

I'm sort of cheating here.  Instead of setting the armscye piping in between the outer fabric and lining, I'm using the apply-and-turn method you use to finish the necklines on 19th century dresses.

But it works:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Capper's Weekly 2875 (1950's) Western dress

Scrambling to catch up . . .

I have actual social obligations in the next two weeks.  I hardly recognize my own life.  Two of them are semi-professional: One is the employee awards dinner (much less formal than it sounds.  Employee awards is where I discovered my aptitude for Wii basketball) and the other is a dinner lecture given by a doctor who might mention my organization in his talk, so it seems impolitic not to have a few of us in attendance.  Plus . . . free dinner.

I've just found out that the Habsburg exhibit at the museum of fine arts is closing soon so I should go see that, and Friday, I'm actually going to see live music.

I'm half-dying and half-dreading this.  I love the Turnpike Troubadours and this is a CD release concert, so . . . awesome.  But it's downtown at a big commercial concert venue, and I find those hard to deal with.  And I have to park in one of the big public garages, which is also stressful.  (This is the Asperger's talking.)  But I'm going.  Yeah.

I saw them a year or so ago at a bar near my house.  I think the waitress and I were the only two women there with our original hair color, and I was wearing the Drunken Muskrat dress and was possibly the only woman not in stretch jeans and an inexplicable jersey top.  I felt both very old and like a Martian.  But the band was great so . . . whatever.  I'm not there for the audience.

With the understanding that I'll probably feel like a time traveler yet again, anyway, I decided I needed a new dress.  I don't really have time to make this new dress but since when has that stopped me from trying, right?  Thank goodness for Labor Day weekend.

I got outbid on (what I've recently discovered is) Capper's Weekly 2875, from the 1950's, a few years ago.  Later, I found another copy somewhere else.  I love yokes.

Mine is a bust 28 ha ha ha ha.  I know it's generally considered to be a bad idea to try to grade up more than two sizes but it's been sixty years so what else am I going to do?

The fabric is a green plaid homespun with gold lamé running through it in one direction.  I don't trust snaps to hold the whole dress closed--it's going to open all the way down--but I did go with white pearl buttons.

I made self piping to set into the yoke seams.  It's subtle but I like the detail.

The homespun is a bit cheesy, though, as homespun always is, and I'm afraid that the bias yoke, especially, will distort, so I spent most of Saturday finagling a lining.  Fingers crossed that it works.  The whole thing will be lined. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

More sweater

Okay, so I finished one sleeve.

The body and neck are great.  It's a nice, squishy, sweater.

The sleeve is a massive, ostrich-sized, bingo wing.

I'm about to start on the second sleeve and will frog the first, then reknit with a better stitch-reduction policy.  I'm cracking up.  It's actually pretty funny.

This totally fails to convey just how enormous and flabby that sleeve is.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

On hold

I'm still here.  We have a houseguest so my spare time has been less spare--I spent Saturday at the mall and Sunday in Galveston and Clear Lake, doing the tour guide thing. 

The only thing I can say for myself is that you can get a lot of knitting done on a trip to Galveston if you're not the one driving.

Monday, July 27, 2015

McCall's 2440 (1961) Back-wrap apron dress, Part IV

Well, I sure got behind on this.

The yellow atomic print done:

And I ended up taking the flowered one apart and cutting a new bodice.  Since the pockets and skirt were already cut, it didn't take me as long and I got it all put back together yesterday.   I used slate blue binding this time--the lighter blue looked good but I like this better.

I went to DSW to replace my black flats (the soles fell off!) and found pink shoes on clearance!