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!

Friday, July 17, 2015

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

Yesterday's commute home was horrible so I wimped out and, instead of going for a walk as I should have, I sewed.

Bodice so far:

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

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

I went home last night and futzed with the pattern for 2440.  I took a wedge out of the back piece to take up some of the slack along the center edge, but without changing the length of the side seam:

And I reduced the width of the upper half of the bodice front.  I also flattened the angle of the shoulder seam a little and raised the bottom of the armscyes slightly (not really shown here):

It's a lot better:


 I managed to tweak the shoulders on the flowered dress a bit.  It's not great, but it's more wearable than it was.  If I can get more of the fabric I might remake it.  Until then, though, I'll be making the next one out of the yellow atomic print I got a few years ago. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

McCall's 2440 (1961): Back-wrap apron dress

Good grief--now I'm even detouring from detours.

I made McCall's 2440 five years ago, out of pink cotton-polyester with pink and white gingham binding.  It's pretty much the perfect summer housedress.  The only thing I did "wrong" was that I was new to sewing at the time and didn't know to lower the bust darts/lengthen the bodice a little.

The pattern calls it an "apron".  As in "bungalow apron", I guess, since none of these women are wearing it over another dress.

This is a dress I can sew in a day, cat permitting.

I had this Jules and Coco Japanese-ish flower print that I got for another project.  I kind of wasn't feeling the pattern + fabric combination, though, so I did the bust adjustment on 2440 and got to work.

Delft blue binding.  I sort of wish I'd used the slate blue instead but this is a close second:

I had to add a button and loop on the back.  I need to go back and reposition them tonight.  Also, since the bodice is no longer to short/pulled tight, the shoulders are pretty loose.  This is a small-medium-large sized pattern, not an individually-sized pattern, so the fit is kind of fast and loose, anyway.  I'm going to try taking the binding off the neckline and putting some small darts in to save this one, but then I'm going to fiddle with the pattern a bit.   I think if I basically take the upper part of the bodice in a size but leave the lower part, I should be OK.

I have some scrap fabric to test it but then I might use the yellow oversized atomic print for another go-round.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Butterick 1954 7053 Ralph Lauren roses brunch coat

I'm going to take a detour again but it's not out of hare-brained-ness this time.  I actually do need this.  Okay, maybe not this, specifically, but something like it.

Butterick 7053 (1954) "brunch coat", which seems to be a garment less sloppy than a housecoat but not quite as presentable as a housedress.  I guess it's the housecoat that married into the upper class.  Anyway, if you're going to lounge around in something, it might as well be fun.  Sometimes I sleep in a tank top so I need a coverup.

This has a long zipper in the front.

I haven't decided yet whether I'm going to do the scoop neck or the revers.  I'm leaning toward scoop neck with bias stripe trim.  I'll probably use the shorter skirt simply because I don't think I'll have enough fabric otherwise; it's a Ralph Lauren bedsheet.

I plan to make another one in flannel for winter, with the 3/4 sleeves:

Also, this has a four-paneled A-line skirt, which is what I need for New York 1490 that failed so miserably.  If I have to fit it for one project, anyway, I might as well use it for another.

Simplicity 1942 4102 Shy Sister of the Chicken Dress Part III

Done!  Pix of me in it later.

My only beefs with this pattern are that the waist ties need to be at least eight inches longer to tie well (sorry, fabric rationing) and that the inset belt was drafted without ease. That is, the waistband for the 28-inch waist finished to an actual 28 inches, which, once you get all that skirt gathered in, fits but is a bit snug.  I'll add an inch if I make this again.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Simplicity 1942 4102 Shy Sister of the Chicken Dress Part II

I lazed around a lot this weekend but still got quite a bit of sewing done since I had already done the pattern alterations.

I have to do a lot of hand finishing (inset belt lining, armscyes), the waist ties, the buttons, and the sleeve supports. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Simplicity 1942 4102 Shy Sister of the Chicken Dress

I did the fitting on Simplicity 4102 (the Chicken Dress) in 2011 and it works pretty well, so . . . away we go.  I went home last night and cut most of the bodice pieces.

The fabric is a slate-blue (darker in real life) VIP mini print.  The pattern is pink and maroon so I'm using maroon rick-rack trim and buttons.

Badly-drawn concept mock-up:

I kind of hope, too, that I can use this to help me re-fit New York 1490, since it was such a mess.  This has a similarly relaxed bodice fit.

Monday, June 29, 2015

To-Do list

okay, now I'm just keeping loose notes.  I have no idea in what order, or if at all, I'll get these done.

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) May, part II: New York 1950's 1490 brown acorn dress (fail!)
7) May, part III: McCall's 1975 4663 dress with square yoke (done).
8) June: Simplicity 1976 7627 Mother of Tova peasant blouse
9) June, part II: Simplicity 1971 9778 Mother Hubbard dress (done).
10) July: 
Simplicity 4102 (1942) slate blue calico and maroon dress (Chicken Dress sister). 
11) August: DuBarry 1945 6030 two-piece dress.
12) September:
Hollywood 1944 1411 brown calico
13) October:  Hollywood 1944 1411 dark gray with lime
14) November: Simplicity 1943 4718 yellow Keepsake Calico Richloom Faine pinks-print dress
15) December: Simplicity 1943 4718 brown DS Quilts housedress

If time permits:
16) Butterick 1983 4948 skeleton dress (done)
17) New York 1950's 1490 brown acorn dress and maybe sundress, time permitting.
18) Simplicity 1975 7303 blouse with shaped yoke.
19) Butterick 1954 7053 brunch coat/housecoat, at least the summer version in blue with pink roses.  I actually need this, and the skirt is the type I could use for New York 1490.

Simplicity 1971 9778 Part IV


It looks . . . pretty much the way you'd expect.

My only real beef is that the original collar is just a straight band.  I should have thought to contour it a little so it would look less like a piece of pipe around my neck.  Not a big deal, though.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Simplicity 1971 9778 Part III

Buttons!  At last!  They look better in real life--the lighting made them look lighter than they are.  I still need to find a belt, but at least I can finish the dress itself this weekend.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Simplicity 1971 9778 Part II

The buttons are supposed to be here in the mail today or tomorrow, and then it will be finished.  I still haven't found a suitable belt, though.

The yoke and short sleeves:

Epic pattern match made in the flounce, entirely by accident.  If I had tried to do this on purpose it would never have come out this well:

Done except for the buttons and buttonholes.  Floor-length.  (I did try it on.  It looks insanely long here.)

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

Simplicity posted some new patterns the other day.  There is a 1950's dress for a little girl and a really nice set for 18-inch dolls from Keepers Dolly Duds.

Of course, the one I like is 1080.  I'm definitely in a slubby clothes mood these days.

And mixing calicos.  OMG.  So many possibilities.

The line drawing.  I think if you had to do a FBA on this you'd have to cut the top off, alter, and reattach it.  But it's cute.

Appears to be a daughter of McCall's 4570 (1975):


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Simplicity 1971 9778 Part II

No new pix, but I have all the hand finishing done on the side seams and pockets.  I made the flounce last night but haven't attached it yet.  Then I just have to do the sleeves, which shouldn't be too bad since they're to be gathered in, not fitted to the armscye, the buttons, and the buttonholes.  I'm still debating the buttons: I have some that I like but only three, and I need four fasteners for the front yoke.  I could either go look for a set of four maroon buttons or use a hook and bar on the band collar.

Tropical Storm Bill hit Monday night and my office closed yesterday.  It ended up being much ado about very little for most of Houston--the worst of it was to the west of us.  I was up early, though, and spent the day running errands and cooking.  We got some good rain but not enough to cause us any problems.