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Monday, September 15, 2014

Sorbetto Bow Blouse

I have played with the Sorbetto Top by Colette Patterns a fair amount now. I have it so I really like the fit, which involved angling the darts more (much more flattering to a small/medium bust) and lowering the underarm. I have made it as a back button blouse, 


a pajama top, and even a dress! 

Because the fit is good, I feel comfortable testing my amateur pattern manipulation skills on it. 

For my latest version, I decided that I am over the bias binding at the neck and arms. It always feels constricting and causes pulling. Instead, I drafted facings. I also raised the back neck 3 inches and lowered the front neckline about an inch and a half. I underlined the sheer, crepe fabric I used with a mystery navy lining purchased in the thrift (that's where the polka dot fabric came from, too). I used the glue trick to marry the two except at the darts, where I hand basted. From there I used french seams on the shoulder and side seams, stitched in the facings which were serged along the lower edges, hand hemmed the bottom with lace hem tape, and neatened it all up by stitching the facings and hem to the underlining. 

For a little more personalization, I stitched a rectangle, top and bottom, at the neckline and made a long tie to go with it so I could have a bow blouse. 




I love how this top turned out. It is easy to wear and, to me, looks polished and classic. These are adjectives I would like to be able to apply to my wardrobe more often, and I am trying to sew up some versatile basics. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Two Piece Summer Halter Dress

Over the summer I was called away from home on some unpleasant business that took me out of state for five weeks. I knew I didn't want to be without my sewing for that long, so I packed up my trusty vintage Kenmore portable along with a bursting at the sides compact tin box of fabric and notions.

I had already begun Simplicity 1365 ( a reproduction of 6357, which I also own) in a light cotton fabric I picked up.....wait for it...... in the thrift shop. I wanted to attempt to make a halter style that could be worn without a bra, so I made cups out of bamboo batting and sandwiched them between the fashion fabric and my muslin lining.


 The rest of the process was pretty straightforward. There were times when I followed the repro pattern instructions, and parts where I looked back at the vintage pattern instructions, which were less beginner friendly and more dressmaker appropriate. All in all, it makes for a very well finished garment with all seams enclosed in a nice cotton lining. Drat. I should have photographed the inside.

Anyway, I paired the halter up with a simple dirndl skirt made up from what I could eek of the remaining fabric. I love this skirt. It is so comfy and closes only with a pants hook and snaps. Here are a few finished pics.
Halter with high waist vintage 70s jeans, or as my sis calls them, my "mom jeans."

the perfect outfit for that insane Florida heat 

 After I finished this get up, I promptly went and ate an enormous ice cream in celebration.
A perfect end to a lovely project. 

Oh, and just because I am so sososossosososososososososos super excited, can I show you what I bought?  Can I pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease? 
I LOVE her. How lucky can one gal be? A Wolf form, in my size.... I love her. She was an absolute steal, and I feel so fortunate. Anyone looking for a Singer adjustable????

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tips from a Vintage Sewing Supplies Hoarder

When at the thrift shops, don't forget to check the pillowcases for feed/flour sacks. These are commonly misplaced among the bedding and sold for pocket change. Case in point: I found this lovely and unusual sack in a pile of pillowcases just today.


Have you ever found a feed/flour sack in with the pillowcases?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Fabric Find





This is a floral seersucker marked Copyright Peter Pan Fabrics Inc  which I purchased at the thrift today. I love a vintage fabric bargain, and this fabric is super sweet!

Retro Pajamas for Meeeeeeeeeeeeee!

I purchased a pile of vintage knit fabric at auction a couple months back. Some was, of course, quite hideous, while some was kitschy retro cute. I do recognize that this is in the eye of the beholder, though. 

For a quick, easy project, I grabbed a medium weight spongy retro knit and stitched up this nightgown using Simplicity 7096.



Well, I mostly just used the yoke pieces, as I cut the yardage to a length I thought would be comfortable (somewhere between views A and B), and cut equal front and back panels from the width. The fabric was pretty wide, so I got both the front and back from one length. Then I used the pattern as a template for the underarm. 

This was stitched entirely by machine using the "burrito method" I learned from Janet Pray's Sew Better, Sew Faster Craftsy Class. There's not too much to say about construction. For a sweet touch, I included some leftover ric rac trim across the yoke and pressed and stitched it down in a bow motif. I added one of the vintage buttons from my stash, and the gown was done. Now all I need are some fuzzy slippers and hair curlers!




Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tip for Assembling a PDF Sewing Pattern

I used this quick method for assembling my Mabel PDF the other day, and I thought it might be of use to someone else, too. 

First, staple together, preferably in order, as many sheets as you think you'll be able to cut through with a rotary cutter. Take care to straighten the edges, and run staples up the left side without bending the stack. 
 Next, hold a ruler on the border/cutting position and cut along it with your rotary cutter. I always cut the right side and the bottom extensions/overlap off. Repeat the stapling and cutting process until all of your sheets are cut.
 Now you are ready to assemble! Position your pages in order, and tape all of the pieces in each row together. I use Scotch Magic Tape for my PDF patterns, as it can be removed and reapplied if something is off.

 Once you have your rows taped, join them together. Fix any places where the paper doesn't meet correctly by pulling the tape up gently and repositioning. Simple and fast!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

"Soogar Skulls Sirt"

The little one is still working on her "s" sounds. I love her little voice. I know that, as well as she speaks now, she will soon have all the kinks worked out, and those cute kid-isms will be gone forever. In the meantime, I sewed her a shirt that has her practicing those "s" sounds. 
I used two $1 Walmart bandanas for the body of the shirt. The sleeves are raw silk from a pile I bought a few years ago at the thrift, and the fabric is super soft. I serged the innards for tidiness, and I couldn't resist using one of the tacky "by Mother" tags I found a few days ago. 

The pattern is the Ella Raglan Top by I think Sew. I have already lengthened it and cut a dress from one of hubby's old work/dress shirts. It is a nice pattern, quick and easy to sew, and great for using small amounts of fabric or repurposing. I'll likely make another just like this in green bandana fabric shortly. 

I bought some new patterns recently and am excited to dive head first into summer sewing projects!