Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Garage Sale Loot!!! Chicago edition

On Saturday, I dragged Andrew to an estate sale in Rogers Park. It's pretty far north, but only ten minutes or so away because we live pretty far north. I went because in the ad it said "lots of fabric"!

This was another awesome sale of an Old Lady Who Loved to Sew's stuff. Sadly all the patterns were for a 38 bust (wayyyy to big for me) and were mostly from the late 70s to 90s (pretty meh for style, in my opinion). It was the last day of the sale, so who knows what was there before... but that also meant everything was 50% off! Woot! So, I got a ton of stuff for $16!

Going around the world from 12 o'clock: brown and pink tweed, blue heart cotton, orange poly (and when I say poly, I mean scratchy 60/70s poly like I made this dress out of!), green woven poly, blue flowered cotton, huge orange and yellow flowered nice cotton, blue rainbow striped silk, green leaf printed cotton, yellow and brown paisley silk, and orange and brown circle poly. 
 Also, this one. We were both sad I had already made kitchen curtains as it has all kinds of cooking stuff in French all over it. All of the pieces are at least 1-2 yards and some of them, like the one below, are huge pieces! There was a whole room of fabric and even some entire bolts of denim and curtain stuff. Every piece I bought was a dollar. How cool is that!
 I also bought three patterns, which will be part of a giveaway as they wouldn't fit. Two potholders, which saved me a trip to wal-mart. That bag of notions was only 2 bucks. It is full of hooks and eyes (my frenemies), about 15 metal zips in all colors and a lot of bias tape and hem facing.
I'm feeling greedy and I wish I had bought more! I need to remember that a lot of it was just ugly and I bought the cool pieces! Here's hoping there's more estate sales in the future!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

McCalls 6331- Adorable cuteness

Here is the pattern, which I picked up on a whim at a Jo-Ann pattern sale sometime in the spring. I liked the big scalloped skirt, which is not a feature any of my other patterns have. I doubted that the bustier style bodice would be flattering, so I opted for the fold down neckline. 
 My fabric is two pieces of 2.5 years each of Jo-Ann special style quilter cotton. It is super thin and nearly sheer, so I don't know what they mean by special. I bought the white with tiny purple and green flowers and then a matching purple thin stripe.
 My changes: I have no idea why none of the girls on the envelope have any contrast on the collar. It is so easy, as the bodice is meant to be fully lined. I made the entire outside of the flowers and then I made a fill lining out of the stripes. This had the added bonus of eliminating a narrow hem on the scalloped skirt. I hate narrow hems and mine always look like garbage on the inside, which would be visible in areas.
 The waist is nice and slim because you make inverted pleats over each section seam. It's not bulky like gathers would be.

Cost: I had a zipper and the fabric was 50% off, so it was about 12$.

Time: Maybe 3 hours, as the lining eliminated the need to hem!
 Just to show off the shape of the skirt.
 It's hard to see in these pictures, but as I walk the stripes peep out from underneath. It is too cute (not me, the dress!)
 I rarely show the inside of anything, since I don't finish seams or line things. This dress is practically reversible ! If you ignore the tag, some zipper visibility and where I had to piece two pieces of the skirt due to running out of fabric?!?

Sorry for the wrinkles, this was after I wore it all day.

Anyways, I strongly recommend doing the same thing if you make this pattern. It made it really easy!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Marian Martin 9279: The Krazy Klown dress!!

Pattern: from the 1950s, Marian Martin 9279 featuring cuffed sleeves, gathered yoke on front and back, a-line skirt and buttoned front. 
 Fabric: the magical un-wrinkleable polka dot poly from Jo-Ann. While I bought 2 yards of this on a whim a few months ago, they still have a lot at the store. 2 yards was just enough.
 While it says for a 34 bust, it fits rather nicely and didn't turn out too big. This is a case where the harsh sunlight is a plus, to show off the details that otherwise disappear in the busy fabric.

Cost: pattern and buttons were a gift, fabric was maybe 10 bucks?
 Time: This has features that are similar to other dresses I have made recently, so I didn't need the instructions and I whipped it together in a few hours. The fabric is quite awful, and I had to hem it by hand because the machine hem made it so stiff that it stood out awkwardly and lost all of its drape. Maybe 4 hours in all. Buttons took part of Murder on the Orient Express and the hem was an episode of Project Runway.
 Notions: white thread, 8 red vintage buttons
I actually made no changes to this pattern and it fits great! Oh, other than my usual shortening of the bodice, sleeves and skirt. I ran out of fusible interfacing, so I decided to sew in white muslin instead. It worked so WELL! I think I am a convert! It also prevented teh dots from showing through on the facings and cuffs and collar. 
 And look! I called it the Krazy Klown dress and as we were leaving California Park, there was a birthday party with 2 DJ-ing clowns! How fortuitous!

Tomorrow I am dragging Andrew to the Randolph St Market so that should be fun. No dog beach for T-Rex this weekend; there is a triathlon going on along the lake.

New dress pictures tomorrow- and I am super proud of my work on it!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Chicago peeps- is this fun?

I was looking at the Randolph Street Market online. Have any of you gone? Is it fun? Is it worth paying the 8 bucks to get in? Any other cool places we should go see while the weather is still nice?

Thanks for any input!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Funny vintage magazine covers

I finally unpacked my desk stuff on Monday and I am only left with a few things on the front porch that need homes. I packed these to take pictures of them, but I think I will give them away in my next giveaway whenever I reach 300 followers. So here are some more of the vintage magazine covers, most are from the 1940s and 1950s.
Hot dog!


Because women can't do math! 

from 1944

Girls can't throw! Silly!

This one could be interpreted in a few ways. What do you think the joke is?
Hopefully I will have pictures of my Krazy Klown dress tomorrow- depends on when Andrew gets home from work.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Next up: Marian Martin 9279

Here's my next project: Marian Martin 9279 with my fabric.

Hint: I am calling it my "Krazy Klown" dress...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sew-Rite 8860- A little black day dress

Pattern: Sew-Rite 8860, a 1950s mail order
 Fabric: A black rayon(?) I got for free on

Notions: Three buttons for the front closure and a 7" side zipper (the only thing I bought)
 Cost: 99 cents for the zip, everything else I had and was free

Time: This was quick ad easy to make, maybe 2-3 hours.
 Molly's Ews: I didn't baste the front shut before attaching the bodice to the skirt, which accounts for that wrinkle next to the bottom button. I also cut the skirt on the wrong angle so the sides were extra droopy. I spent a long time trying to cut it even, and it just kept getting shorter and shorter! Finally, I used the tape measure as my radius and made chalk marks all around in a circle and then cu and hemmed it. I should have done that from the start.
 The back is quite nice. The buttons are cool and they remind me of dice. They are black circles with white squares inside. I only had three and it was perfect!
 As you can see, it's a bit shorter than my usual, but it's not skanky looking.
Also, we went to the air show on sunday and watched it from farther north up the lake. The weather was awesome and it was nice to sit in the sun and people watch.

 I like towering over the skyline like a giant.
 This cracks me up every time I drive by. Some comic book store on Western puts the Spidey on the bike every day and chains him there so no one can steal him. LOL
 Have a good Tuesday!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Next up: Sew-Rite 8860

This is the next dress I am working on, yet another pattern from my stash that I am trying so hard to work through. I think it looks very 1950s. It was a pristine pattern in factory folds. I got it from my Aunt Sherry. It is a mail order pattern and has no envelope. As you can see, it is also perforated and has no printed marks. 

This is for a 34 bust and 37 hips. There is no waist measurement given, as I'm sure you were expected to be able to adjust that to suit you. I am almost finished, I just need to add a side zipper! Pictures soon.

On a good note, my teaching certificate is finally in the mail! While I don't have a permanent job, that will at least allow me to substitute and work on making some connections for next year...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Advance 8898- A World of Plaiditude

Pattern: Advance 8898 from the late 1950s
 Fabric: 3 yards of Jo-Ann's "Plaiditude" fabric in a green and grey plaid. It is very soft cotton.
 Notions: I used the last of my dark grey thread and then switched to black, five fabric covered buttons and 2 hooks and eyes for the waist above and below the button.
 Cost: About $24

Time: This was much more time-intensive than most of my projects. Matching the plaid made cutting take longer, I followed the instructions carefully, and I hand sewed the hem, the sleeves, the buttons and the hooks and eyes. I hate hooks and eyes. I think I will replace them with the ones that are meant for pants at every opportunity. So fiddly and annoying and look, they kept poking out! Now I have to move them again!! I would say this took 7-8 hours to make.
 This was my first real attempt at matching plaid. I am quite pleased. It has a nice look and the stripes matched up on all sides. It has that same giant stand-up collar that my bathrobe has. I think it requires the hair to be pulled up, or it gets in the way.
 The back is the part I really like. It has a slim skirt and a fitted waist, but the bodice back is very gathered and looks very full. Um, that's the wind also. It's not that grippy in the back!
 You can see the volume from the side.
 Plaid alignment!
I shortened the sleeves and bodice my typical 1". I shortened the skirt to my knee, prob 4-6 ". I cut the waist pieces on the bias to show off the awesome plaid. They are heavily interfaced, so they do not stretch out.

I am really happy with this dress! Yay!
Happy dog says "Have a good weekend!"

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A sewing first- adding a back stay

This is the first pattern I have made where it calls for a back stay. As you can see on the illustration, the top is blousy, with a wide neckline and the back is very gathered. The back stay stabilizes the back and makes it fit close to the body. This holds the top in place, making it appear loose, while it is really very stable. In all, it makes it so that you aren't spending the whole day tugging your dress into the right shape!
 On this pattern, it also serves as the back neck facing. It is also sewn into the waist seam allowance as well.
Not a lot of links online. They mostly have to do with coats or jackets. It's an interesting thing to know about! I did it at the very end after I had done all the fitting and sewn on the buttons. I thought about leaving it off, but it slid around too much on my shoulders. After spending ten minutes plucking at my dress, trying to get it to sit right, I gave up and sewed it in.

Wiat til you see this dress! I am very proud of my work!