Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Horse shows and aprons

I'm off to a horse show this weekend.  Not a real horse show, a plastic one.  This is what one calls a "live" show, which seems to make no sense since the horses are not alive, but all it means is that we pack up our showstrings and go in person instead of sending photographs.  It's not as much work as a real horse show, but it's still kind of exhausting.  But fun.

Lemmonade Live is right up the road in Magnolia, so at least I don't need a hotel room and won't have a lot of travel bother.  I'm totally not prepared.  I'm still setting up my entry lists.

Hilariously, here is my first ever live show: Rocky Mountain Hi Live 1989 in Colorado Springs.  We've come a long way, baby.  I wish I had more pictures, but that's how it went down in the years before digital cameras.

If you want to see what a "live" model horse show looks like, here are some pictures from Silver Spur Live 2012 (Lake Charles, Louisiana.  Yes, we travel for these things).  The tables are "show rings".  Don't laugh.  Also, I'm sure passersby were wondering what the heck the marquee meant.


It's making me feel old.  It shouldn't since I buy most of my horses secondhand and it's not as though I'm their original owner, but a significant portion of my showstring is twenty or more years old.  Not that I've been showing them that long, just that the models themselves are that old.  The oldest so far is Talonega, the #176 buckskin Indian pony, who is forty-two:


I'm not even forty-two!  (Also, holy moley, is she beautiful.  It took me decades to find one of these I could afford.)

I'm totally wearing the Simplicity 4727 bedsheet dress and the red boots.  I've noticed, though, that big pockets are handy at horse shows, to carry pens, explanation cards, show tags, small models, everything.  I think a horse show apron is in order.  It doesn't have to be a bib apron since model horse shows are considerably cleaner than real horse shows, but it needs beaucoup pockets.

I looked all over for a yellow--I don't know why yellow, just that I had a butter yellow Western print in my head and couldn't get over it--cowboy print.  GRS had a cowboy print that was exactly what I wanted (so close, in fact, that I probably got the idea from having seen it there before) but in dark green, or they had butter yellow bandana paisley, but not both.  I waffled for a day and then went with yellow paisley; the green was just too dark.  


It's actually a small print--the big paisleys are maybe an inch at most. 

We're going with a plain gathered-rectangle half-apron (a bit longer than this one):


 . . . but borrowing the strip-o-pockets idea from Pattern Bureau 2239 (1955 postmark):


Trimmed in dark brown rick-rack, of course.  Probably two lines along the bottom of the apron and one across the top of the pockets.  I might add a pen loop or pocket, too (a narrow one).

Simplicity 4727 (1943) Blue sundress

Listening: The Tallboys.

Surprise! I made something!

This is the fourth dress I've made based on Simplicity 4727 (1943):


It's the pattern that won't die.  But I put so much work into fitting it, why not?

This one was made out of a delft blue double sheet I got at Goodwill:


With some white polyester flat lace that Amber Jean sent me, and a front button closing:


I adore the 7/8-inch buttons I found on clearance at Joann:


The neck trim is hem lace and the neck facings are made from some old heavy cotton:


And the hem facing was cut from a fat quarter of Moda Chloe's Closet Picket Fence.  I love this but couldn't get enough of it to make anything:


The inset belt was lined in more of that green sheeting.  The inside of the dress looks like this (the pocket seams aren't totally finished yet).  The sheet was wide enough that I didn't need to seam the skirt, so it has "Colonial" (my term) pockets:


I wore it to Galveston yesterday, even with unfinished pockets.  I wore my old boots because of beach grime, but this coming weekend I'm totally wearing it to Lemmonade Live with the red Ariat boots:


This is a terrible picture.  Sorry.  Sun and wind and all.

I've identified a few minor fit issues.  It needs more width across the upper back and possibly across the upper chest.  I added 1/2 inch of length to the bodice but I'm still not sure if that was a good thing or not.  I think I need to take a little width out of the lower front bodice--it feels poochy even though the shoulders are tight, and I can't  tell if it's a problem of too much width or too much length.  The original orange and white gingham dress seems a little short-waisted.  I need to test it another time or two and get this stuff figured out.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sigh

I'd actually forgotten that I had a sewing project in the works.  Where did this week go?

So the word is, now that the swelling has gone down some, Dad needs surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament.  So he's back to living in the armchair in the den, under orders from the regular doctor to stay the heck off his knee.  Mom and my brother are still going out of town this weekend so I'll be home with Dad.  And sewing; he doesn't need that much care.  Unfortunately, this means they had to cancel their travel plans.  Fortunately, Mom thought to get travel insurance.  I feel terrible that they can't go to Wales this time around, but it will be a lot more fun when Dad's back on two legs, anyway.

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

I bought a gently-used set of sheets on eBay.  Gray plaid flannel, king-sized.  


 The idea is to use one of them for a dress, the pillowcases as pillowcases (I love flannel pillowcases, even in warm weather), and possibly use the other sheet to stuff the tumbler quilt.  I've collected several old flannel sheets with the idea that I'd use them as batting.  An alternative, though, would be to just get a Warm & Natural batt and go with real batting this time since, unlike the T-shirt quilt, this one has a million seams but isn't bulletproofed with a layer of iron-on interfacing.  I think I would have to piece even a king-sized batt a bit, but not too much.  I think the quilt top might be 105 x 140 inches, and king-sized batts are 120 x 124, so I couldn't use one as-is, but I could fudge it.  And I have a coupon at Joann's so, if they're not already on sale, I can get one half-off.  Hmm.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Simplicity 5330 (1981) nightgown Part II

Listening: Different covers of "Amelia" by Bob McQuillen, on Spotify.

Well, this weekend didn't exactly go as planned.

Friday morning I was lying around thinking about getting up when my mother called to tell me that my dad had been hit by a car.

Actually, he was hit by a three-quarter ton truck.  He's fine.  Bruised and monumentally sore, but he was x-rayed from head to toe at the emergency room and nothing is broken.  Also, he now knows that pedestrians don't have the right-of-way on medians.  The truck driver and the police officer who responded were probably more traumatized than Dad was; Mom said the truck driver was so badly shaken he was practically incoherent.  Dad's basically been living in an armchair in the den since then and hobbling around on my mom's old arm crutches.  He's hobbling faster today than he was Friday or Saturday, though, which is good.  Our elderly neighbors say he can use their walk-in shower so he doesn't have to hobble upstairs.

My brother was coming down, anyway, to go to Yearly Meeting with my parents, but now he's decided to come today so he can help Mom tote Dad around (I'm not big enough to catch Dad if he falls, but my brother is).  I promised him green bell peppers, HEB cane-sugar faux-Dr Pepper, and pecan coffee.  Mom promised him hot wings for dinner tonight.

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

Surprisingly, I did get some sewing done.  Mostly, I repaired the loose seams in my car cover (by hand since I don't have an industrial machine).  And sneezed.  Apparently the car cover has the highest concentration of pine pollen in town.  I'm not even allergic to pine pollen.

After that, I went back to work on Simplicity 5330 (1981), the yoked nightgown I started last week but in which I was thwarted by a clingy cat.

This is "I need pajamas" sewing, not "I love this project" sewing.  I'm doing the sleeveless nightgown in the upper right:


Using a mint-green (bluer than this in real life) cotton-polyester bedsheet I got from Goodwill.  I hate cotton-polyester and this has fade lines and seam tracks in it where it was folded into the cuff, but whatever.  It's pajamas.


Neck ties on nightgowns freak me out--I seem to have a mild phobia about being strangled in my sleep by my own pajamas; I'm sure I can blame this on watching too many crime shows--so I allowed for an overlap and I'm putting buttons in the front.  I'm also doing a yoke lining because I like the finish better and I think it's sturdier on a lightweight fabric.

Here's the outer yoke. This is a better idea of the color.  Awful, but I didn't have to buy any new fabric, right?


The yoke lining is another bedsheet scrap, in pink.


Like so.  Don't you love topstitching?  I love topstitching.


I borrowed the small side-seam pockets from the robe because . . . pockets.  Must have pockets.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Skirts

Playing: Foghorn Stringband on Spotify.  O. M. G. how did I live so long without this band?  I want all their stuff!

I sort of got stuff done this weekend.  Not as much as I meant to because the cat was persistently clingy:


Seriously, every. single. time. I sat down.

but some things.  And I got to cook, which is fun.

I started cutting Simplicity 5330 (1981), view 1 (highlighted):


which is the most boring project ever, but I need pajamas and I might as well get it over with.  Except Mispickel wouldn't leave me the Hell alone so I got very little done.  I'm using a mint green cotton-poly bedsheet that I got at Goodwill about a million years ago. 

I also cut a bunch of scraps for Amber Jean.  I rediscovered a lot of forgotten fabric (not, though, the Valentine's fabric.  No idea where that might be).  

This leads to the question: How many dirndl skirts are too many?

I found a bunch of fabrics that I was either given or acquired for other projects, that I no longer want to use for those projects.  But the fabric is still good, right?  And some of it would make righteous dirndl skirts.  For instance, what is there not to love about a large Art Nouveau print in peach, brown, and Nile green?


I have three yards, which would make a longish skirt with a flounce.  I'd probably use some scrap peach for side-seam pockets and the inner belt, to save yardage.  Maybe with some brown bias stripe and natural crochet lace for trim?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Pictorial Review, December 1906

Recent eBay purchase.  Large-format scans can be seen on Flickr.


Animal weekend

It was a good weekend for wildlife.

Pardon the terrible pictures.  I didn't have my good camera charged.

Female downy woodpecker:


Male downy woodpecker:


Red-bellied woodpecker:


White-winged doves:


Goldfinch:


Mystery bird.  It hung from the suet feeder like a nuthatch.  We think it might be a Carolina wren:


 . . . and again:


The highlight of the weekend, though, was this:  I played hookey from the bake sale at meeting, and it's a good thing I did. This little guy was in the gutter next to his road-kill family. Because I'm ghoulish by nature, I poked him with a discarded French fry container to see if he were really dead.  He started freaking out and hissing, which meant he had a lot of fight left despite having had a really bad night.  He was tiny and barely old enough to hold himself up.

Now he's at the wildlife rehab center. Realistically, his odds are not that great, but they're better than they would have been in the street, right?  I am desperately glad they have hours seven days a week.  He was in pretty good condition when I found him, considering, and I was afraid I'd have to watch him fail all day because he was too stressed to eat or drink, until I could get him somewhere on Monday.

(I also got to get uncomfortably close to an Eastern screech owl and a red-tailed hawk in the lobby of the wildlife center.)

Unofficially, his name is Jack. In the Box. After the French fry container in which he rode home.


OMG TUMBLERS!

I don't have a picture right now because I suspect I might need a wide-angle lens to get one.

I think I've created a . . . what's bigger than king size?  California king?  Anyway, a big-ass quilt.  It's huge.  Huge.  But the top is done.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tumbler milestone!

I spent yesterday evening arranging the last set of tumblers. 

The plan last time was to hit 1160 tumblers.  But then I ran over and, since it's 29 tumblers long, I achieved another 29 tumblers.  That made 1189, and the compulsive side of me, thought it was a pity to stop at 1189 tumblers when I had so many new fabrics I could add, so I did a marathon scrap-scrounge and decided to add one more row of length.  That makes the quilt 30 x 40 tumblers (which is 1200 even, of course). 

Now I really am done, I swear.  I have them arranged on the scrap wall and will sew them all together this weekend.  

Because the entire quilt top is a horrorshow of seams, I'm going to use flannel inside (probably old sheets; I have a bunch) and will piece the back.  Because I'm cheap.  I discovered that my lovely butterfly fabric is actually two parts made of two different prints, so I have to either get more of one print or the other, or, if neither is available, I'll use those on the back. 

One of my Facebook groups has an ongoing "What are you doing tonight?  Post a selfie!" thread.  I don't usually post but last night looked like this:


Glad to know I don't look, you know, nerdy or anything.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Chocolate-chip (pecan) cake

How did I not post this before?

I ended up with a bag of self-rising flour.  I don't know why I have it; I've never used it before.  Whatever.

Anyway, I started looking for ways to use it up before the humidity kills it.  Biscuits.  Cake.  Cake!

This is based on the old 1-2-3-4 cake, so it's easy.  I didn't even bother to beat the egg whites, so it's a one-bowl cake.  1-2-3-4 cake is a kind of primitive, coarse-textured cake, but that's fine.  This recipe halves easily; use a 9 x 9 square pan, or something similar, if you make a half recipe.

I've made this with and without pecans.  It's good without, but it's fantastic with.  It would be good with a good chocolate icing, too.  The bitter chocolate icing that goes with the graham cracker Napoleon would be good, in a thin layer.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a 9 x 13 pan.

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup milk or buttermilk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract (don't skimp; you want this to taste like cookies)
3 cups flour (all-purpose is fine; cake is great if you have it but you don't need it)
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 eggs
3/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
OPTIONAL:
Pecans, about 1/3 cup, crushed.  Put them in a baggie and pulverize them with the bottom of a sturdy mug, or some other heavy, blunt, object.

Cream butter and sugars.  Add eggs (you can separate them and beat the whites to soft peaks to fold in at the end, if you want a lighter cake, but if you're in a hurry just add them whole).  Add the other ingredients and mix thoroughly, but don't overwork.

Pour into pan and bake 25 minutes, or until a knife in the middle comes out clean and the top is golden.  I baked this a little longer to give it a good brown crust.

I was going to take a picture but it got eaten before I got the chance. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Tumbler frenzy

Movies: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1996).  I have not read this book yet so I can't comment on the screenplay.  It was a three-part BBC production, but it fit onto one disk so I kind of feel as though it may have been cut down a little too much to do it justice.  Also, I didn't find it plausible that "Mrs. Graham" didn't wish to lead Mr. Markham into romance; in the movie, it's pretty clear that that's where he wants to go and it seems bogus when she protest that she didn't mean it like that. 

There appeared to be a lot of zippers going on but, for the most part, I was kind of impressed that such an effort was made to make the costumes period.  It was pretty clearly 1830's (early-to-late), with big sleeves, curly hair, etc., moving into 1840's drooping shoulders and low, wide, hairdos.

I sort of went nuts today and sewed all the tumblers I had into strips.  Then I spent the evening cutting the scraps I had into more tumblers (177).  Oh, progress feels good!


Mispickel helped.  Mostly by sleeping through it do she wasn't interfering;


I cut 177 tumblers, which means I have 217 cut tumblers to sew.  I thought last night that I should take some tumblers off the end and redistribute length into width, but when I laid it out on the bed this morning I discovered that it wasn't as insanely long as I remembered.  It's not quite as long as my (admittedly huge) T-shirt quilt.  With the pillow allowance, it's not actually unreasonable.  So, no redistributing blocks. 

Loose tumblers : 217
Sewn into strips: 290
Finished section: 638 (29 long x 22 wide)
--------------------------------------------
Total so far: 1145

232 loose tumblers would sew up into a section of 29 x 8 tumblers.  I think I can scrounge 15 new tumblers; I can think of probably seven or eight of my newer fabrics right away that I haven't scavenged.  Then I can--OMG--finally stop and sew the thing together for good.

That would be 1160 tumblers total.  I'd have to vet them to make sure there were no duplicates, but . . . wow.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Casual Thursday

Listening: Kelly Joe Phelps on Spotify.












Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Simplicity 9880 (1996) retest Part I

Listening: Slaid Cleaves, Wishbones (2004).  Specifically, "Horses Quick as Dreams", because I cannot resist a ballad.

No pix right now, but I spent lunch working on the bodice pieces to 9880.  Alternated with emailing a high-school friend back and forth about the book-deal-grubbing hipster blog My Husband's Stupid Record Collection.  I don't want to rehash that, though, so on to 9880.


Monday, March 17, 2014

DuBarry 5986 (1944) Part IV: Never mind

Listening: Turnpike Troubadours, Bossier City (2007).  That's BO-zhure City, for anyone who isn't from around here.

This is a debut album and I was prepared to kind-of-like it.  It's rough, both in musicianship and in recording quality.  Some of the tracks sound professional and some sound like a guy in his kitchen with a handheld cassette player.  The songwriting is a little bit amateurish but, when I think about it, no moreso than most pop-country hits.  Less so than some, even.  And even when the musicianship is a little rough it's not bad; the songs that are fully produced are well-performed and creatively arranged.  I've ended up liking it much more than I expected.  If you like early-to-mid-career Robert Earl Keen and/or Steve Earle,  would definitely recommend it; a lot of the material reminds me very much of one or the other.

Predictably, I didn't get squat done on the St. Patrick's Day dress.  Well, I got some pattern alteration done but didn't even get to finish a second test bodice.  Mom and I went out to run errands on Saturday and she took an impossibly long time at Michaels trying to pick out stick-on letters.  Either they weren't bright enough (we needed shiny ones) or she didn't like the font, and she kept looking as though just the right letters would magically appear.  I finally told her she either needed to settle or we had to go somewhere else.  And she said, "But I don't like these.  I want shiny like these but in all capitals."  BUT THEY DON'T HAVE THEM HERE and they aren't going to in the forseeable future.  OMG.  So there went half the day.
I'm still going to make it but I might do some faster projects first.  I have a bunch of sundresses I want to cut based on 4727, that I could actually wear and that need some stylistic tweaking but no more fitting.  I'm feeling mega-overwhelmed by my fabric stash right now and would love to do something that would clear some of it.  Four sundresses would be a load off my mind.
I want to try the second round of 9880, the green calico tantrum dress, too, now that I've identified some fit issues.  This is another one that would clear some fabric stash and provide usable weekend clothes.

Planned variations of Simplicity 4727 (1943):
1. Periwinkle blue poly/cotton with salvaged lace trim and white buttons down the front.
2. Blue-green cotton with large red, orange, and blue flowers.  White rick-rack trim and white buttons down the front.
3. Cream and rust check cow print bodice with black skirt.
4.  Wrap-over variant in purple calico.

Alterations to Simplicity 9880 (1995):
1. Added width across bust and upper chest.
2. Reduce shoulder angle. I feel as though the shoulders on the green dress are too sloped; the dress feels as though it bubbles up around my neck even while it's pulling down on my shoulders/arms.
3. Added width across upper back between armscyes.  Honestly, I'll probably try extending the shoulder point slightly and then making the armscyes shallower.  I'm totally cool with a slightly dropped shoulder on this particular dress, and that would also add a little width across the front and back between the arms.
4. Add about an inch of length all around.
5. Shorten the inset belt.  I meant this to be relaxed at the waist, but I went a little too far.
6. Trim down lower sleeve; it's too full as it is.

I think that raising the shoulders will fix the sleeve cap fit, but I might have to tweak that a bit, too.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

DuBarry 5986 (1944) Part III: Take I, and wacko bodice alterations

Listening: Early P.J. Harvey on Spotify.

I made a test bodice last night and grading seems to have gone just fine.  I'm lucky in that I'm basically a textbook vintage 16/bust 34 and rarely have to do major bodice alterations.  The bodice back I borrowed from DuBarry 2477b worked perfectly.  I might add a smidgen of width across the upper back, but I'm slightly barrel-chested so this wouldn't be the first time I did that, and it's not unexpected that I'd have to do it in a relatively closely-fitted early-1940's bodice.

However, the bodice is too short overall (not really a shock; I have a long torso) and too short above the bust (also not a shock; I have a low bust.  According to that biography I read of Edith Head, Bette Davis did, too, so I'm in good company).  The waist inset comes up over my actual bust.  Ordinarily this is the easiest fix in the world--you add length above the bust dart but below the armscye and solve everything at once--but of course this pattern has a front bodice piece that is unrecognizable as a front bodice piece, so . . . yeah.

I'm going to try adding length just below the shoulder, and then raising the armscye again, and cross my fingers:


Monday, March 10, 2014

DuBarry 5986 (1944) Part II

I won't get this done in time, either.

The plan was to make DuBarry 5986 (1944):


Out of Saint Patricks' Day fabric (yes, also cheap-ass, but the damage was already done):


This one will definitely need a fitting muslin made.  The dress itself is not that complex but I had two small problems:

1) It was missing the back bodice piece.  I borrowed one from DuBarry 2477b (1940) because it was very similar--plain, with two waist darts and neck darts--and made by the same pattern company but I assume that I'll still have to tweak it to make sure everything lines up.  Cut changed a little between 1940 and 1944 but not as drastically as it would have after the war so this should be pretty close.

2) Both patterns have to be graded.  2477b needs to come down a size and 5986 needs to go up a size.  Grading is not really that big a deal except that, because of bust gathering and neck bow, the front bodice to 5986 looks like this:


Everybody say it together: "WTF?"

Here it is with commentary so it makes more sense:


Just so you know, the cuts you usually make to grade a bodice pattern look like this (this is a full shift dress, not just a bodice.  The point is that it's all straight).


The horizontal cuts were OK--one across the shoulder, one below the bust.  No problem.  The vertical one under the armscye was totally cool, too.  The ones down the front . . . not so much.

After some head-scratching, I decided there was no point in overthinking it and I should just dive in and try something, so I cut and spread along the curve of the bust gathers:


Simplicity 4718 (1943) brown dress Part VI: Never mind

I'm culling my fabric stash.  The dress itself came out reasonably well but the fabric is so terrible I can tell I won't want to wear it.  Lesson learned.  No more cheap-ass fabric. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Simplicity 4718 (1943) brown dress Part V

OMG, it's freezing in here.  I was just thinking I should put my jacket on . . . oh, wait--I already have my jacket on!

I went home last night and did the buttonholes (sewing, at least, but I haven't cut them yet) and hem on 4718, and topstitched the inset belt.  I forgot about shoulder pads; those don't take long but I want to put them in after I re-dye it, if I decide to re-dye it, so they don't bleed dye forever.  I'm really over this dress but I need it to wear.  Then on to St. Patrick's Day.

Monday, March 3, 2014

What?

A cold front came through yesterday and the temperature went from 73 degrees in the morning when I walked to the doughnut shop, to 40 degrees in the evening when I walked to Kroger's to mail a letter and get chocolate chips (also: Health food kick!).  Yeah.  It was 30 when I got up this morning.  Wow, was I glad I'd put gas in the car on Saturday instead of deciding, as I almost did, that I'd just do it at 6:00 this morning on my way to work.

I went back to work on the brown Simplicity 4718 dress that I mothballed before Valentine's Day.  I have a bunch of seam finish to do, the hem, buttons and buttonholes, the hem, and re-dyeing it.  It's not really that much, though.

Spent yesterday sewing and watching movies I had saved on the DVR.   
1) The Way We Were (1973).  I think the point was that Robert Redford's character declined into inspidness after they divorced, but Barbra Streisand was such a self-righteous pain in the neck that you sort of can't blame him.  The line where he tells her, "Not everything happens to you," is one that I'd like to use on some of my activist friends when they're being particularly self-indulgently "sympathetic".  
2) Elmer Gantry (1960), which was pretty good but, since it's Sinclair Lewis, totally cynical about absolutely everything.  
3) Splendor in the Grass (1961) which stunk.  I'm afraid I just do not understand the appeal of Natalie Wood.  This was a bizarre, hypersexualized, movie that gave way too much credit to teenaged infatuation as "love".  Also, 1929 apparently looked just like 1961 only with different cars.  There was almost no effort made to create a period atmosphere, which was super weird.
4) Butterfield 8 (1960).  I'm not a huge Elizabeth Taylor fan, either, although there are movies that I think were good in which she acquitted herself well (A Place in the Sun, since I have an affection for fact-based murder stories.  Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is too hysterical for me, though).  I was totally not OK with them totaling a Sunbeam Alpine, though.
5) The Letter (1929).  Early talkies are awkward, and this has a ridiculously lame plot, but Jeanne Eagels did an admirable acting job.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Simplicity 9880 (1995) Tantrum dress Part V: Revisions

Listening: Silly Wizard.  Terrible name, great band.  I have an awful crush on Andy M. Stewart's voice.

So I'm wearing the Tantrum dress today.   It's not terrible.  Less than ideal, definitely, but not terrible.  The sleeve needs to be probably two inches shorter and I need to add probably two inches width across the bust.  I brought the pieces and extra paper with me to work today so I can do that on my lunch break.  The bodice length is good--it's a bit high-waisted but not Empire--and the skirt length came out fine.  The waist is tidy but not at all snug.

I could take this two ways: A more modern version with a looser waist, smoothly-fitted sleeve cap, and trimmed down stovepipe sleeve/possible bishop sleeve option, and then a second version with a slightly more fitted waist and bishop sleeve.  I might just borrow the bishop sleeve I used for Simplicity 4718; it works well and I'd just have to tweak the cap a bit.

Really great tutorial on doing a full-bust adjustment on patterns that have gathering under the bust but no bust or shoulder darts.

My somewhat less awesome one.