Tuesday, May 19, 2015

McCall's 4663 (1975) yoked peasant dress

I got distracted by my pattern collection yesterday.

I've had 4663 for awhile.  I'm not sure when/why I bought it; I'm sure it was really cheap but it's not necessarily the kind of pattern that works particularly well for me.


And:


I'm making the dress.  It's a lot longer than they make it look.  I haven't decided yet how long it will actually be.  I originally planned to use a mid-length pattern with a ruffle around the bottom but I couldn't find the pattern.  This one is similar.  But I think I'm still shooting for mid-length.  I like the idea of long but maybe not with this print.


Yup.

Red-orange and brown bandana print.  It's cotton, not cotton-polyester, amazingly enough.  It's not that faded in real life; this isn't a good picture.

My pattern is a bust 36.  I left the back yoke the same width since I always have to add width, anyway, and reduced the overall width of the front yoke, but then did a makeshift FBA but spreading a small wedge from the shoulder down (Photoshop-enhanced):


The yoke.  This shows the fabric better.


I mean to get more done but the cat was awful and then fell asleep in my lap.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

To-do list 2015 May 14

2015 dress projects.  I need a success so I'm going to rearrange things, even if it means stuff is out of season.  Whatever.  It's always warm here.  I've used 4718 before and I have two dresses lined up for it.

1) January: Hollywood 1944 1411 Christmas dress (done)
2) February: DuBarry 1943 5612Valentine's princess dress (done)
3) March: DuBarry 1944 5986 St. Patrick's Day dress (done)
4) April: Marian Martin 1942 9928 Telephone Girl/Easter-ish (done)
5) May: Butterick 1983 4948 Belle France drop-waist dress in the Moda April Showers umbrella fabric. (done)
6) June: New York 1950's 1490 brown acorn dress (fail!)
7) July:  Simplicity 1943 4718 yellow Keepsake Calico Richloom Faine pinks-print dress
8) August: Simplicity 1943 4718 brown DS Quilts housedress
9) September: DuBarry 1945 6030 two-piece dress.
10) October:  New York 1950's 1490 brown acorn dress and maybe sundress, time permitting.
11) November: Advance 1940? 9621 cayenne-red utility dress 
12) December: McCall's 2004 M4548 undecided which version 

If time permits:
13) Butterick 1983 4948 skeleton dress (done)
14) Simplicity 4102 (1942) slate blue calico and maroon dress (Chicken Dress sister).

New York 1950s 1490 Two-Fer, Part VIII

Fail.

I should have known better.  Bodice is too big, hips are super tight.  I should have known this since the skirt didn't have darts or a lot of shaping.  Sigh.  I managed to order more fabric--on clearance; the last of it--and I can salvage parts from the dress, but it needs a lot of help.

I need to learn to fit patterns by sloper.  Or something.  I need some new methods.

This is the pattern layout with the skirt pieces.  Notice how the sweep of the skirt is almost entirely at the bottom side, and the center back seam is almost straight.  There are no waist darts.  This cut assumes that your backside is mostly flat.  That's the case for many women but definitely not for me.


I think I probably need to make the skirt more like this:


So, apparently, now that I go back and look, I own at least ten other patterns of a similar age that have four-piece skirts I could borrow for this. 

All of them have pieces that look more or less like this (Butterick 7053, 1954):


 . . . which sort of leads me to suspect a major design and/or drafting fail on somebody's part at New York patterns.

Monday, May 11, 2015

New York 1950s 1490 Two-Fer, Part VII

I ran a zillion errands on Saturday and then went to bed early because I was exhausted.  

Sunday was Mother's Day and we went to Galveston to look for birds.  It was a pretty good day for birds: Blue-winged teal, a bunch of tricolored herons, little blue heron, godwit, dunlin, great egrets and great blue herons, night herons, and the usual bevy of gulls and plovers.

I didn't get a lot done last night but I did get the pockets applied and the skirt attached:


I think I'm going to have to take a side trip and make a better petticoat for these 1950's dresses and skirts.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

To-do list 2015-05-05

2015 dress projects:

1) January: Hollywood 1944 1411 Christmas dress (done)
2) February: DuBarry 1943 5612Valentine's princess dress (done)
3) March: DuBarry 1944 5986 St. Patrick's Day dress (done)
4) April: Marian Martin 1942 9928 Telephone Girl/Easter-ish (done)
5) May: Butterick 1983 4948 Belle France drop-waist dress in the Moda April Showers umbrella fabric. (done)
6) June: New York 1950's 1490 brown acorn dress (in progress)
7) July: New York 1950's 1490 sundress
8) August: DuBarry 1945 6030 two-piece dress.
9) September: Simplicity 1943 4718 yellow Keepsake Calico Richloom Faine pinks-print dress

10) October: Simplicity 1943 4718 brown DS Quilts housedress
11) November: Advance 1940? 9621 cayenne-red utility dress 
12) December: McCall's 2004 M4548 undecided which version 

If time permits:
13) Butterick 1983 4948 skeleton dress (done)
14) Simplicity 4102 (1942) slate blue calico and maroon dress (Chicken Dress sister).

Monday, May 4, 2015

New York 1950s 1490 Two-Fer, Part VI: Most of bodice

I probably overdid the fitting on this, but whatever. 


I haven't resized the skirt yet, but the bodice is almost done; I just need to finish the armscyes and do the buttons and buttonholes.

This is a weird pattern--the housedress version is very blousy, but then they expect you to use the same pieces for the sundress, and I don't see how that can work all that well.  Yes, the gathered parts would line up with the straps, which are very wide (so it's more like a sleeveless dress than a regular sundress) but I had to take a lot of width out under the arms and up the back, and I can't see a sleeveless dress looking all that great with so much design ease. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Butterick 1983 4948 skeleton dress Part II

I've been busy so this is taking way longer than it should.  I thought I didn't have enough lace so I ordered more, but then it turns out I do so . . . 

Skirt:


That is all.

I spent most of Saturday hand-sewing the seams on my car cover.  The fabric is still good but the stitching is pulling out and it's too heavy to run through the machine.  Not fun.  Productive, I guess.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wing-it project: Butterick 1983 4948 skeleton dress Part I

(I was) watching: In Cold Blood (1967).  This is a movie that I always think of as being "pretty good" until I see it again and remember that it's actually "pretty amazing".  I mean, how many times can you watch a crime film?  The mystery is gone after the first go-round, and why would you subject yourself to all that trauma over and over again?  Right?

In Cold Blood is the answer.   I need to just buy this on DVD.  Personally, I like the acting.  I can't speak to their accuracy, obviously, but I think the characters are believable and interesting, human but scary.  However, even if they don't like the characters, everyone (over a certain age) needs to see this for the fimmaking.  

I found out recently that the first film to use free-standing pop music (that is, not written as an orchestral score for the movie or as custom songs for a musical film) was Easy Rider (1969).  I think I'm glad that In Cold Blood was made before this because I think that, if anything, this is the one movie I've seen that could do with less music.  It's a movie about at least one, and possibly two, sociopaths--the bleak, wide-angle cinematography (which absolutely deserved the Oscar), unforgiving high-contrast lighting, and detached, no-histrionics, storytelling are perfect.  The background music is fine, but I think that actual songs might have suggested ideas and emotions that would have interfered with the film.

There are films that do not, or did not, need to be remade--Psycho, of course, and I'm gearing up to avoid the comedic bastardization of The Rats of NIMH--and this was one.  The TV adaptation is not the worst thing I've ever seen but it is not art.  This is art.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I'm just squeezing this in between projects since I have Butterick 4948 out already:


This was inspired by the 1920's Hallowe'en novelty dresses I've seen online.  Those are usually orange with black appliques of cats, moons, witches, etc., and I think some of them may have been crepe paper, but whatever.  I might wear this not-just-for-Hallowe'en, but it's pretty ridiculous.

A friend gave me this skeleton fabric years ago and I've held off using it for anything (the skull lace was ordered off of Etsy):


I wasn't sure I'd have enough fabric so I planned to alter the pattern for a lower skirt panel and a bodice yoke.  As it turns out, I have enough, but it's so busy I stuck with the two-tone plan.  It will probably only have one row of lace on the skirt, though, since the lace is pretty wide:


Skull buttons, also from Etsy:


I re-drew the pattern with an pared-down version of the extended shoulder line borrowed from one of my 1948 patterns.  This shoulder was the in thing in 1948-1949:


So far:


Thursday, April 16, 2015

To-do list 2015-04-16

2015 dress projects:

1) January: Hollywood 1944 1411 Christmas dress (done)
2) February: DuBarry 1943 5612Valentine's princess dress (done)
3) March: DuBarry 1944 5986 St. Patrick's Day dress (done)
4) April: Marian Martin 1942 9928 Telephone Girl/Easter-ish (done)
5) May: Butterick 1983 4948 Belle France drop-waist dress in the Moda April Showers umbrella fabric. (done)
6) June: New York 1950's 1490 brown acorn dress
7) July: New York 1950's 1490 sundress
8) August: DuBarry 1945 6030 two-piece dress.
9) September: Simplicity 1943 4718 yellow Keepsake Calico Richloom Faine pinks-print dress

10) October: Simplicity 1943 4718 brown DS Quilts housedress
11) November: Advance 1940? 9621 cayenne-red utility dress 
12) December: McCall's 2004 M4548 undecided which version 

If time permits:
13) Butterick 1983 4948 skeleton dress (in progress)
14) Simplicity 4102 (1942) slate blue calico and maroon dress (Chicken Dress sister).

Butterick 1983 4948 April Showers part II

I got sidetracked for awhile by a sick cat, but she's back to eating and attacking my feet so I think that is in the clear.

The buttons.  These are decorative only, not functional, and they're just cheap craft buttons that I think came in one of those big mix-and-match bags, but they work.






I forgot to get more narrow bias and ended up cutting the leftovers from wide bias I'd used on the armscyes in half lengthwise to finish the trim on the skirt.  Yup.  It was a pain.





(The buttons are on the pockets and neckline.  You can't really see them here, though.)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Butterick 1983 4948 April Showers part I

Mispickel isn't feeling well and I spent a lot of the weekend following her around and fretting, or else I would have had this all done.

This project isn't going to generate a lot of blog posts since it's already almost finished.  It's yet another version of Butterick 4948 (1981), the Belle France drop-waist dress, so there wasn't any fitting or anything left to do.  I'm going to be way ahead on my May project.  I haven't decided yet if I'm going to just move on to June or squeeze in some other 4948's.

I have several versions planned that have long sleeves and I'd like to convert the bust darts to shoulder tucks.  Shouldn't take long; I just need to do it.

The fabric is Moda April Showers.  I got absolutely the last of this in multi-colored from GRS fabrics.


Sleeveless, with an Art Deco-ish neckline decoration:






And patch pockets, but I don't have a picture of those right now.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Marian Martin 1942 9928 Done!

South of town with what is, alas, not my 1947 International:



After all that work, this one is a winner.  I need to take a little length out of the front bodice--it buckles unless I stand up so straight I'm almost bending over, even though the waist height is OK everywhere else--and I'll hem it just a bit shorter next time so it looks more wartime.  I tend to hem skirts too long.  I was bad an used extra buttons--two more on the skirt, one on each pocket, one extra on the bodice.  Not good rationing, I'm afraid.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Marian Martin 1942 9928 Telephone Girl part IV: Back on track

Feeling melancholy this morning.  I have a lot of not-fun work to do at my job, and I accidentally crushed my passenger-side mirror against the garage door jamb.  Doh!  That's gonna hurt.


I overhauled the skirt last night: Added an inch of with and a second waist dart to each side (each half of the back); added 1/2 inch width from the hip down to all four quadrants, and added a seam up the back and another half-inch of width on each side of that seam.  With the two inches I added originally, that makes seven inches.  It finally occurred to me to measure the original pieces and it turns out they only had an inch of ease across the hips in the first place, which isn't even correct.  I don't think they've been trimmed down since all the pattern markings are there, just that, for some bizarre reason, there wasn't enough wearing ease.  

I find that skirts with one-piece backs rarely fit well, anyway, and was already thinking I needed to split the back and add a seam that curved toward the waist.  Sorry, the pix of the test muslin are in dark calico and don't show anything.  Just trust me--it fits.

I have to mess with the bodice a little more--I need to take a bit out under the arms, as usual, and I think the front in particular could be a half-inch shorter.  But it's not too bad.

 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Marian Martin 1942 9928 Telephone Girl part III: Sigh

Skirt totally did not fit.  Wouldn't even close across my hips.  No kidding.  Back for more pattern revisions tonight. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Marian Martin 1942 9928 Telephone Girl part II: Wearable muslin overkill

I spent Sunday putting way too much work into a wearable muslin.  Ha, ha.  

I shouldn't have done this, but once I got the pattern pieces traced and graded and some of the altering done, it seemed close enough that wasting all that work on something that wouldn't be used seemed silly.  So I got out some old green cotton-poly percale that a friend gave me.

Yes, it has orange facings.  Sue me.


I even splurged on rick-rack.  I need another pack of it, though.


If it fails, I still will not regret the green cat's-eye buttons I ordered:


The fabric is truly craptastic but it if it's usable as a weekend dress it won't have been wasted.  I think I need to pinch a little more out underneath the arms (this seems to be a thing with me) but, mostly, it's gone together well so far.  The bodice might be the right length or it might be a bit too long, but I think I'll know for sure once the skirt is on.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

To-do list 2015-03-18

2015 dress projects:

1) January: Hollywood 1944 1411 Christmas dress (done)
2) February: DuBarry 1943 5612Valentine's princess dress (done)
3) March: DuBarry 1944 5986 St. Patrick's Day dress (done)
4) April: Marian Martin 1942 9928 Telephone Girl/Easter-ish
5) May: Butterick 1983 4948 Belle France drop-waist dress in the Moda umbrella fabric.
6) June: New York 1950's 1490 brown acorn dress
7) July: New York 1950's 1490 sundress
8) August: DuBarry 1945 6030 two-piece dress.
9) September: Simplicity 1943 4718 yellow Keepsake Calico Richloom Faine pinks-print dress

10) October: Simplicity 1943 4718 brown DS Quilts housedress
11) November: Advance 1940? 9621 cayenne-red utility dress 
12) December: McCall's 2004 M4548 undecided which version 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Marian Martin 1942 9928 Telephone Girl part I

Up next: Marian Martin 9928 from 1942.  

This was one of the first vintage patterns I bought, at least six years ago, and I keep putting off sewing it as a "reward" for clearing up some less-tantalizing projects.  But that's ridiculous: I love it, and I went to a lot of trouble to pick out the fabric, and I should sew it now.  Right now. 

It's a pretty basic early-1940's housedress, but so what?  It's adorable:


Marian Martin was a mail-order company, closely related to Anne Adams and, I suspect, a bunch of  "magazine-branded" companies.  They started in the 1930's and petered out in the 1980's.  Mail order companies were heavy on housedresses and, later, casual wear.  They seem to have been sold largely through agricultural magazines.

The fabric is an out-of-print (well, it wasn't when I bought it but it is now.  Flickr says I uploaded the picture in June 2009!) Aunt Grace print.  The flowers are about half an inch.  But it's purple, so it's a logical choice for Easter, too, right?


My copy of the pattern is a bust 36.  That will make the skirt easy--I just have to take up the waist--but will require a grade down of the bodice, after which I anticipate some wrestling with fit.  That looks like it could be blousy and oversized around the upper chest and shoulders.  We'll see.

I haven't decided on buttons yet but I think they'll probably be straightforward white pie-crust buttons.  I hadn't considered trim, either.  I'm not quite feeling rick-rack this time but maybe I can score some tiny crochet lace if I feel it needs a little detail.  I think I'm pretty OK with it plain, though.

Update: Buttons!  From CountryNMore2 on Etsy.  I could even sew them on in bright red thread if I were feeling that matchy.


DuBarry 1944 5986 St. Patrick's Day dress part XII

Yes, I finished it!  I finished it before 11:00 last night, which is a miracle since I'm usually frantically setting shoulder pads in the wee hours.  I'm wearing it today!  But I don't have pix yet.  I'm supposed to go to dinner with the folks tonight so I'll ask Mom to get pictures.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Beatnik sweater, Take III

The Brick sweater's neckline ended up way too big so it's sitting unfinished in a file drawer at work.  I'm trying again with Amy Christoffers' Smithfield pullover.  Brick will probably get frogged, again, and reknit into something else.