06 April 2014

The Christmas Gift that just keeps on giving!

My husband bought me one of the greatest Christmas gifts of all time - 8 boxes of vintage patterns from the provincial govt. surplus/asset recovery auction. I pledge to make a will in 2014, I do not want my stash auctioned off by the govt.

The patterns span late 1950s through 1980s, with a very heavy focus towards casual wear from the mid1960s to 1970s.  Awesome, definitely some timeless classics plus a box of WTF, labelled by the original owner as "Strange, Ugly or Old-Fashioned".

Jumpsuits from every decade!

One of my favourites is this dress:
Vogue 7786

Which I sewed up in a very nice leaf/olive green rpl crepe from Fabricland in Abbotsford.  The fabric is a bit heavy but I am on strict stash rations (5 out, 1 in) so I went for it.

After viewing the photos, I can see I should have altered for my sloping shoulders but other than that, the fit is good.

I did lengthen by about 2"!!!! I'm 5'3", not good at short skirts.

I'm not quite sure why I spent so much time sewing a covered up dress which, due to my keyhole shy-ness issues, is not work appropriate.

My husband commented, "You could wear it if  you worked at Star Fleet!" hahhaha
End of My Rope while having Photo Taken - Vogue 7786

Only worn it once so far, out for dinner.  Comfy!

I lined/underlined the body with a crazy aqua, olive and chartreuse charmeuse print.  For the sleeves and hem tape, used bias chartreuse Radiance (silk-cotton blend).

28 August 2012

A Granola looks at 40 - the Mini-Wardrobe

Over at Pattern Review, a month-long contest called “Mini-Wardrobe” is set to start in September.  The concept is a wardrobe of 5 co-ordinates including a key piece which ties everything together, with the goal of minimum 6 outfits from the 5 pieces.  A “contest companion” sew along was started for those of us who like the concept but don’t want to be tied down to contest rules and timelines. 
I’ve decided to participate in the Mini-Wardrobe Sew Along!  I need clothes that bridge the gap between my personal style and professional responsibilities.  Basically I want to “look cute everyday” while looking like a grownup professional.
To paraphrase Ms. Spears, I’m not quite a girl, not quite a conservative old lady.
After much self-indulgent analysis, I’ve determined my uniform is a pair of slim fitting trousers, a simple shirt and a cute jacket.  Once in a while I switch out the trousers for a favourite BurdaStyle skirt.  The simple shirt is usually a tee shirt from Mark’s Work Wearhouse or a Hudson Room button down shirt.  Sometimes I don’t wear the jacket.  My mornings are much more stress free since I figured out this formula.
With the formula in place, and drawing on my love of 90's fashion, my 5 pieces are:
Burda 7751 “Key Piece” Cute Jacket
I really wanted a lace motorcycle jacket a couple of years ago and didn’t buy the one I loved because I couldn’t come up with any idea what I would wear it with!
Grey lace (Dressew, Aug 2012) with pale grey silk organza lining (NYC, May 2012)
Burda 103-022011 Skirt
Skirt with large acute back darts in black+grey plaid stretch wool blend (Dressew, Aug 2012) with fuchsia stretch silk charmeuse lining (Metro, Nov 2007).
Vogue 1204 Slim Trousers
Jeans for non-stretch denim in a black+white tweed with primary colour flecks and silver lurex (I don’t own this fabric…yet)
Silk Tee Shirts
I own many silks in 1-3m yard cuts, and many silk top patterns, I’m just going to pick 2 and commit, or change my mind as we go.  I used to be indecisive but now I’m just not sure.  Current contenders are:
New Look 6009 Key Hole Top in mustard+grey on ivory “gneiss” stripe silk crepe (Fabric store near the hotel at PR-NYC, May 2012)
Simplicity 8523 Short Sleeve butterfly print on ivory silk twill (Fabric store near the hotel at PR-NYC, May 2012)
It may take me the rest of the year and 2013 to complete these items. I’ve had 2 dresses needing hems stagnating since the END OF MAY but this is probably due to the fact that I love to sew dresses but don’t really wear them.

02 January 2012

Whew! I'm back! With a New Jacket!

I made McCalls 5936 from a mohair wool tweed, purple and lilac from Emma One Sock circa 2008. Fit was great for me after adding tailors' shoulder pads and shortening the sleeves at the lines provided on the pattern. Unfortunately the proportions highlight my body's idiosyncrasies - I am short through the shoulder to bust and have short little legs with the lower totso of a 6 footer. With low rise jeans, I look like a freak unless I have 5" heels on! The fit on the back is amazing - like a sloper for me! I'm very pleased. I've got 40" of the purple tweed left. Can't get the darn photos up! Aaagh.

25 October 2009

How I Spent my October Sewing Allowance

I have decided to give myself $150 per month to spend on my "vices" which primarily include sewing! Here's where the money went in October.
The "*" means I've already used it or it is a work in progress.
royal blue stretch wool 2m, $26
dark grey with multicolour speck poly tweed 2m, $12
dark turquoise silk charmeuse 2m, $42
royal purple silk charmeuse 1.5m, $32
Butterick 6927- vintage reprint of 1951 B3684, $9

New Look 6918, $3

*Butterick 5388, $4
I've already sewn up AND worn, B5388 view B in midnight teal silk charmeuse from PR NYC 2006, Metro Textiles. The vintage is a Holy Grail pattern (that means see it=buy it and the purchase is excluded from all self imposed bans) and I don't have immediate plans to sew it up. I plan to make up NL 6918 soonish - I will make the same view as the picture.
*silk thread, 2 spools, $9
Other crap:
I bought a More Magazine (for the Belinda Stronach article) and a Marie Claire when I didn't have a book to read on the train.

04 October 2009

Luxuria - Fabric Extravagance

Say hello to my newest friends:

The mail haul was excellent this week.
I indulged during the Fabricmart .com 20% off sale and ordered:
- black poly jersey (Vera Lavender, $6 per yard, 3 yards) Good basic. STASH.
- blue/black/brown/white silk jersey (Maggy something, $10 per yard, 3.5 yards) SO SO SO NICE! Will become DVF wrap dress or maybe the new Vogue 8379. SEW IMMEDIATELY.
- white and black cotton print (Vera Lavender, $8 per yard, 3 yards) I don't like this - I messed up on interpreting the scale and hand - it is very home-decish. DEEP STASH!
- crazy scribble stretch cotton print (Vera Lavender, $8 per yard, 2.5 yards) Nicer than it looked! But a bit too wild. The original use by Vera was a pair of horrible "city shorts". Barf. I think I will make a 60's shift dress or a blazer style jacket. SEW 3-6 months.
The pics are from http://www.fabricmartfabrics.com/xcart/home.php.
Obvs as none are crooked or otherwise horrible.

And from co-ops:
Kaufman Silk/Cotton Poplin ($10 yard, 3 yards) This fabric wasn't the bottom weight I anticipated. It is more like the hand of fine cotton shirting with the sheen of a charmeuse. I will make a shirt and use the rest for lining. SEW IMMEDIATELY.
And from the infamous Ressy's co-op (that's her pic), a fabulous magenta honey comb suiting ($10.50 yard, 3 yards). I swear I saw this fabric in at dress at Holt Renfrew, can't recall the designer but the dress was over a grand. STASH 3-6months.
Boy, you can tell I read a lot of those investing newsletters with the BUY-SELL-HOLD advice.

These are really nice fabrics, even the one I don't love. My last internet fabric purchases were so heinous, I showed them to my husband for entertainment value. His diplomatic response, "Did someone give those you?"
I cut myself off internet fabric for 6 months! Now I'm back!

23 September 2009

Cobra Double Wrap Belt

I really wanted a pink snakeskin double wrap belt, like I saw this summer in Harper's Bazaar magazine. I just can't imagine spending $$$ like that on a "novelty" belt when I have never actually worn a double wrap belt despite owning one at various times during the past 25 years.

I wondered, is this an "I can make that" scenario? So I bought a couple of small snakeskins, some leather glue, belting, a buckle and some rectangular rings. I didn't feel like driving out to Surrey to get real belting straps, so I used two $3 belts from the grocery store.

Here's what I used:

Here's what I did:

1. Decide on length of belt and add a few inches allowance per ring and the buckle.

2. Cut strips of snake the same width as the belting.

3. Apply contact cement to the belting and the snake strip, as per glue directions. Stick them together when waiting period is over. Trim snake as close to belting as possible.

***here is where you would apply edge dressing if required****

4. Grade the leather belting to make it easier to sew through.

5. Glue, then sew when dry, each ring in place. Try a ring before you do the buckle, just to get some experience because the ring is tricky.

6. Cut hole for buckle. Grade belting end, glue and sew buckle in.
7. Cut skinny strip for keeper, slide in loop left behind buckle. Glue ends. When dry, rotate the ends to the back side of the belt.

8.Punch holes on other end.
9. Wear with aplomb, outside of California only.

Total project cost $25

2 cobra skins $14

2 belts $6

Glue $4

Rings (used 2 of 6, $4 package) $1.33

20 September 2009

Hey, Hair Do!

Too funny. I've had two of the hair cuts above. I think I will skip the teensy top hat and stick with a pony tail.