Saturday, May 26, 2012

Estate Sale Loot

We went to an estate sale in Cicero today and as we get off the freeway we drove through what appeared to appear abandoned industrial yards and Andrew was convinced I was going to get us killed. Haha. All because one time I wanted us to go to a Caribbean restaurant I found on yelp and it was in the most frightening neighborhood full of boarded up houses and crackheads wandering into traffic and such. Needless to say, we did not go to that restaurant. 

 Today,  we went into the actual neighborhood of the sale and it was perfectly nice houses and such. And no, we did not get murdered. 
 I bought two sweaters and two shot glasses and eight drinking glasses that say "25th Anniversary" on them.
This picture is such a "How great of a photographer is Molly?" picture. Your answer would be "any number x 0= Zero!!!!" Piles of sewing crap in the background, slightly blurry and you can't actually read any of the glasses. Perfect! Hire me to photograph your wedding! Or not...

Friday, May 25, 2012

The RAWR Romper

This was really easy to make! I would say it took maybe 2 hours because the pattern wants you to finish all the edges with lace to be fancy. Here is my pattern and fabric if you care to look. I didn't know if I would post pictures as the pattern models were trying so hard to be sexy, but it really just looks like a romper, maybe because I am so short?
 It has elastic in the waist and for the small it said use 23 inches of elastic. Lol, no. So that it can be eternally digging into my skin? I cut it at 26 and it is comfy and not pinchy at all. Outsmarted you, Kwik Sew!
 Edging it with lace was a pain. I already had yards and yards of this black lace so I didn't have to buy any and I don't remember what the pattern cost, so let's say it cost $6 total (for the fabric). I think if I made this again I would just cut double the amount of each piece and self-line it.
 Look at that 70s style leg cut!
For some reason the dog always barks when I "dance." I wonder why? Hahahaha. 

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Next project: RAWR!

I need to make a dress for the wedding we're going to next Friday, but I am such a procrastinator. I'm not feeling frantic yet, so instead I am going to make this "sleep teddy." Ha ha ha! Look at the sexy poses the ladies of Kwik Sew 1327 are making for you- don't you wish you had a sleep teddy? Hmmm?
 No? Ok, fine. But I want to make one. I went to Jo-Ann to get some kind of slinky fabric and I happened upon THIS MASTERPIECE of fabric:
Shiny? check.
Wild catz? check.
Cheetah print? check. 
Sexy palm fronds? check.

Check mate!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wedding Dress Ideas

I am definitely going to sew my own wedding dress and so far I have found two dresses I like. I haven't looked at patterns because I feel confident that I can copy a dress myself and draft my own pattern. It sounds hard, but it really isn't.

This dress is beautiful and I have had the picture saved on my computer for several years. It is from a University of Virginia website where the costume design students write a page about a vintage clothing item. The website is really helpful because she is analyzing the construction of the dress, which gives me a really clear idea of how I could copy it. This dress is a silk chiffon dress from the 1940s with a basket-weave bodice and a beautiful drapey skirt.
Image from here.
While the dress is yellowed, it originally was dyed in very light pastels, which you can see if you look closely.  It explains that the bodice is fully lined and boned and the back dips 4 inches lower than the center front.. I really think the basket-weave effect is beautiful and wouldn't be very difficult to re-create. 
The skirt is fully lined with a band of crinoline at the bottom. The skirt is made of 12 bias-cut triangles of silk chiffon. The real drawback for this one is that chiffon is a pain to hem and I quote "The skirt itself is cut from twelve, bias cut triangles of the various colored chiffons, each gathered at the top and measuring roughly 120" at the bottom. Thus, the bottom width of the chiffon overskirt is over 1440", or 120 feet, or 40 yards--nearly half a football field in length." 
Haha, my mom just started laughing hysterically when I told her that. I agree, I don't know how I would hem 120 feet of chiffon without going insane and hulk-smashing everything in sight... but the dress is so BEAUTIFUL and looks so wedding-dress-y. It would be a flattering style!


I found this dress reading Rebecca's blog. She wrote a post about how McCalls should start offering reprints of some of its vintage patterns and this was one of her examples. It's a 1949 McCall dress featured as the bridesmaid dress to 7500. 
Image from here.
 Now you need to picture it in white, but it is so elegant and beautiful! I like the neckline, the basque points at the waist and the bias skirt. Nowhere on the internet can I find it for sale or even just a picture of the back of the envelope. A line drawing or a diagram of the shape of the pieces would be so helpful. As far as I can tell, it is really just four pieces. Bodice front, bodice back and upper and lower skirt pieces. I think the sleeves are part of the bodice and gathered. I think the upper skirt wraps from the front to the back with no side seams.

Look, I made a poll! Enjoy and leave me comments on what you think!!!
Which dress is best?
1940s basket-weave chiffon
McCall 7505
Other, link in comments

Monday, May 21, 2012

May pattern winner and some loot

I bought one patterns, a box of machine feet and three pieces of vintage fabric at an estate sale a few weeks ago and the left it in the trunk of the car forever. 
 On Saturday, we stopped at a sale on the way to the grocery store and I got this salt and pepper shaker set ($6)
 and this awesome lamp ($4). She called it a "hobnail" lamp. It is blue glass and has a marble base. It needs a good cleaning and to be rewired and a new shade, but I think it has potential. The estate sale itself was rather creepy. This person collected baby clothes and dolls, mountains of clothes and scary old dolls and doll parts.
 The winner of the May pattern giveaway is Dee Coyle Anderson! Dee, send me your mailing address at mollysewsblog/gmail/com.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

May Pattern Giveaway!

Time for a new pattern giveaway! 

Leave a comment to enter by Wednesday, May 16 and I will select a winner. The winner gets ALL four patterns (whether you want the 80s one or not haha) and I will mail them anywhere in the world by slow mail. If your profile does not have an email, please leave your email in the comments or email it to me at mollysewsblog/gmail/com. On to the patterns!

These are all for a 38 bust!
You have Vogue 7740 which is an A-line dress with contrast collar and patch pockets. This one is too cute and I'm sad it doesn't fit!
Vogue 1044 is a wardrobe pattern for a skirt, pants, top, blazer and dress. 80s yourself out!
 McCalls 2015 is a raglan-sleeved shirt dress. I think this is cute and raglan sleeves always look nice.
Simplicity 7446 is for some tunic-style pullover tops. I think view 2 is the best.
Leave a comment on which one you like the best to enter! I will be in Oregon for my grandmother's funeral this week, so I doubt I'll post anything. Have a good week!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Interview ME! II Dress

Last summer I made my Interview ME! dress, which is a nice-looking, looking-for-work dress. However, as I am job hunting again one year later, I thought "Why not make a new dress?" After making my first Cambie dress for pattern testing, I was so pleased with it/myself that I wanted to make the other view.

I went off to Jo-Ann and found a nice, spring-like blue striped linen blend. It has blue and white and grey stripes. I lined it with Bemberg in off-white, so it can breathe. Or my skin can breathe.  
 I folded the fabric so that the selvages met, but I didn't think about where the stripes would be centered. Derp. So the dark stripe is slightly off center, reminding me slightly of the ribbon on a gift.
 Again, the stripes so not match in the back at all. If you make this in stripes, you need to be more thoughtful and deliberate than I was!
 From the side it looks fine.
 When I robot-dance it looks nice!
And with my interview jacket on, it looks perfectly fine! Also, I am really happy I bought a pair of nude heels. They are so neutral! Oh la la.

Anyways, it's not as awesome as my first Cambie dress, but it is nice too! Is this teaching interview appropriate or should I stick with my grey dress? Or this blue dress? Oh, yeah, it's a purely academic question until I get an actual interview!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

An Adorable Spring Dress- the Cambie dress

I was lucky enough to be chosen by Tasia to be a pattern tester for her newest pattern, which she officially released yesterday! The Cambie dress has a sweetheart neckline with gathered cap sleeves and a full of A-line skirt. Tasia writes about it in more detail here

The second I saw the line drawings and her first version I was in LOVE with this dress. It is so cute. For pattern testing, I made view B with the full skirt in a size 2. Her example dress was red swiss dot, which made me jealous, so I pranced off to Jo-Ann to find something awesome.
I am laughing because a woman was walking down the street gawking at  our "photo shoot" LOL
I did find an awesome fabric, a white/purple/grey swiss dot in a floral design. I bought it fully aware that it was another color scheme of my back-button blouse from two years ago. The dress is fully lined with simple bleached muslin. If Jo-Ann had cotton batiste, I would have bought it, but good enough! 

Sewing this dress is a breeze. I followed all of the instructions (obviously, since it was pattern testing) with the exception of putting in a handpicked zipper. I am just in love with that technique and I doubt I will ever do a zipper on the machine again. Other than a fly.

 The shape of this dress is extremely flattering, highlighting the waist and giving an hourglass look. Sorry for the random mix of inside and outside pictures. The sunlight outside is always so harsh. Squints-ville.
 See, it even has pockets! Yay! It is really comfortable. I was able to take these pictures when the weather was nice briefly towards the end of March, but then it got cold again. Soon I will wear it for real!

Isn't this house adorable? With their perfect lawn and cute tulips.
Tasia says it is intermediate, but I think a determined beginner could definitely make it.If you know how to put in a zipper, then you would be good. I expect to see a million of these popping up in sewing-blog-land over the summer! If you are totally jealous now (and I know you are!) you can click over and pre-order one today!

I have been waiting impatiently to share this dress with you, tell me what you think!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Magnificent maxi dress!

I used Sewaholic Patterns Lonsdale dress with my excellent gold fabric from an estate sale. The fabric has a giant paisley print in gold, white, brown and orange. It is lightweight and silky, but not shiny. I don't know what type of fabric it is. I cut out a 2 and made no changes- it fits perfectly!
 I tied the knot in a full knot. There are pockets, but I was blinking like a doof in every picture that showed them.
 The waistband nips in the waist nicely. The busy print hides the fact that you can't cut the pieces on the fold.
 I like how the straps cross in the front and then tie in a bow!
 I sewed the pattern up as written, except I did a narrow hem on the bottom and put in the zipper by hand while watching Friends with Benefits (mildly awful movie, but watchable; Andrew fell asleep after ten minutes).
Here are some spins to show you how floaty the fabric is. I used a lot of the fabric, but I still have a yard or so left. The color makes my hair look very browny-gold, too bad my pasty skin isn't going along with the color scheme... at least I blend in among the milky white winter people here in Chicago, haha.

On other notes I have been looking at engagement rings (I want a ruby instead of a diamond), I caught a sore throat from subbing last Friday and am sick, I am still filling out endless job applications for teaching and I read all of The Hunger Games series in like 5 days last week. Did anyone else read those? They were good, even if they are meant for teens.

More finished projects soon!