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.

DuBarry 1944 5986 St. Patrick's Day dress part XI - OMG REAL FABRIC

The packet of this pattern says "Easily Made".  That's a half-truth, at best.  Okay, it does in fact assemble with remarkable ease, but that's after you go through six and a half fitting muslins and take four inches out under the arms.

These pictures look like nothing because black fabric doesn't photograph well, but, trust me, it's like 75% done.  I have to do a little bit of hand-finishing today at lunch and then go home and figure out the sleeves.  That's it.  I didn't even cry when setting the zipper, and I tried it on last night and it looks like a dress. 


I added an inch and a half to each side of the skirt because the waist gathers looked skimpy.  Yeah, I know--fabric rationing fail.  Sorry.


But barring something completely unexpected, it should be done for Tuesday!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

DuBarry 1944 5986 St. Patrick's Day dress part X - Muslin #6

This is ridiculous.

This dress assembles very easily--I could probably cut and do most of the basic sewing in an hour (not counting seam finishing and setting the zipper).  Seriously, it's a piece of cake.

Fitting the bloody thing, though, will require me to work 42 hours straight on Saturday alone.  

I made a full muslin last night.  I was right--I added too much length to the bodice, but that's easy to fix.  I need to taper out a little more under the arms.  The front is poochy but I think shortening the waist and taking in the underarms will help that, and it's meant to be a little fluffy in the front with the gathering and the bow.  I think I need to add a little width to the front skirt to make the gathered sections look better, too.

I haven't even looked at the sleeves, which will be their own engineering project.  Sleeves always are.





You can't see it here, but the waist seam is below the belt.  But . . . progress.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

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

Holy cow--I did yet another bodice muslin last night, with an inch of length added all the way around.  I'm going to add a skirt to it tonight to see if it really is the right length or if I've lost my way completely and made it too long.  I need to take it in a bit under the arms, too.  Nuts.

I think I'm going to end up making almost a full muslin for this dress.  I just don't trust it or myself any more.  It should be easy once the pattern fits, but getting the pattern it fit is giving me . . . fits.

Monday, March 9, 2015

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

O.M.G.

I swear this pattern is the Traveling Pants in reverse: No matter how much measuring and testing I do, it doesn't fit in a whole new way each time.

I'm sure I measured about a dozen times and altered accordingly but the waist is still an inch too small and I have no idea where that inch went.  Easy to fix, but it sure feels like a moving target.  

This is the fourth muslin.  I've made so many I've run out of the ugly beige bedsheet:


And I cut the armscyes out a little but am now reconsidering.  I'll worry about that later.  The bust fits well now, thou.  I'm going to attach a skirt of sorts to this to make sure it hangs at all the way it should before I waste more scrap on yet another bodice muslin.

I brought the patterns to work with me today to re-measure them over lunch and see if I can figure out what happened.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

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

Muslin #3.  I think 2477b must be the wrong size pattern in the packet because I measured it and it's tiny.  Whatever.  Added more width, carved out the armscyes, trimmed the bust because the pooch factor was out of hand.

I felt I was sort of getting out of control and straying too far from the original, but this muslin was less bad.  I think I need just a little more length (there is no inset belt), I need to tweak the darts, and the bust still needs paring down.  But it's getting closer.  

Here's a pic even though it conveys nothing useful:

Monday, March 2, 2015

Beer bread

I splurged on a Shiner Family Reunion this weekend.  I haven't tried the Haymaker yet and didn't want to miss it.  I usually like all of the beers in the Family Reunion except the Black, which is just too tart. 

But that's OK, because the world has beer bread.

This batch was experimental:

Preheat oven to 375.  Butter a loaf pan.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/8 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder

sift together twice.  Mix in but don't overwork:

1/4 cup butter, melted
12 ounces of beer

(I didn't add, but thought it could have used, a little salt.)

Bake 60 minutes, until browned.


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

No pix.  I did a test muslin this weekend and it was a mess.  I suspect one of my patterns may be the wrong size.  But we'll figure this out.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

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

5986 is missing its back bodice piece.  When I did the test before, I borrowed the back from DuBarry 2477b (1940), which looked similar.  At least, the patterns are the same company, similar years, and are both plain backs with ordinary waist darts and no distinctive style elements.  It worked, but I seem to have misplaced the traced piece I used (2477 needed to be graded down a size).

So . . . new copy knocked out over lunch yesterday.  I did more this time--the lower half is graded down.  The upper half, to which I would have had to add width, anyway, was left alone but with a shoulder dart placed to make the shoulder seam match the front.  And I added an inch of length.  I thought about grafting the neck dart into the shoulder dart.  I might do that yet but I don't think it's a big deal.


I need to run up another test and then make clean copies for both patterns.

Monday, February 23, 2015

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

So it appears I already graded the thing up and added the extra length to the bodice front.  I just have to alter the bodice back and then I can try it again.  Woo hoo!

Simplicity 1981 5330 apron adaptation Part II

I could have set the pockets further out to the sides, but I'm not going to reposition them now.


I don't think it really needs ties.  I might change the pattern so that hte back halves overlap a bit and stay closed more on their own,  but they work pretty well.  


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Simplicity 1981 5330 apron adaptation

I've been working most of the day on the apron adaptation of Simplicity 5330, the 1981 yoked nightgown pattern I made last year.  I have a good apron but I made it from a pattern I borrowed from Mom, who is quite a bit taller than I am, and it's too big.




I took the extra width out of the front and back (so they're not gathered into the yoke) and cut the neck and armscyes wider.  



The back is open, and the edges are bound.  The rounded corners are easier to bind.

It just pulls over my head.  No fasteners.



I got the wrong binding so I lost some time this evening making a trip to Joann's (OMG, Joann's on a Saturday!) but I just have pockets and ties left to do tomorrow.

Friday, February 20, 2015

To-do list, 2015-02-20

To-do, miscellaneous:
1) Simplicity 1981 5330 apron adaptation (done)

2) Punched-tin lantern #2
3) Wrap and mail super-late Christmas gift
 
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
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

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Doll's Cajun Mardi Gras costume

Didn't take long once I got started, even though I had to do a pattern from scratch.  I need to tweak the blouse pattern around the shoulders and neck, but it worked well enough this time.  These aren't meant to be fitted.  And the pants worked beautifully the first time out.


Mardi Gras is really a guy thing, but I don't have a boy doll and . . . why not?  The needlepoint masks are a modern thing, apparently pretty specific to Tee Mamou.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

To-do countdown

Pillowcases:
1) Volkswagen camper (2) (done)
2) 1970 GTO flannel (done)
3) Cowboy boots (2) (done)
4) Retro headphones flannel (done)
5) French bulldogs (done)

To-do, miscellaneous:
1) Tablecloth: Red milk-cap print (done)
2) Tablecloth: Hallowe'en print, and then the scraps go in the box for the black quilt. (done)
3) Mardi Gras costume for Jeannie the doll (done)
4) Simplicity 5330 apron adaptation

5) Punched-tin lantern (done)

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
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: Pick up New York 1950's 1490 again.
7) July: New York 1950's 1490 sundress
8) August: DuBarry 1945 6030 two-piece dress.
9) September: Simplicity 1943 4718 brown DS Quilts housedress

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Triangular doll shawl Part I

Because I so needed another unfinished project!

This is the same idea as the big triangular shawl but done in sock yarn on US1 needles for Jeannie, my American Girl Hopscotch Hill "Gwen" doll.





Computer mouse for scale.  I'd say this is about 15% done, though.  Things go quickly when they're small.  Nevertheless, this is why I could never do crafts for a living: If I were a faster knitter who didn't have tendonitis in her left hand, I could maybe make two of these in a long day.  That means I'd have to charge about $150 each to make a real go of it.  Right.