"Resign yourself, Catherine! Shops must be visited! Money must be spent! Do you think you could bear it?" - Northanger Abbey

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

1950s tartan skirt - Butterick 5556

Originally I was going to make the 'dress' with contrasting skirt but decided it was better to make them as seperates. I just about squeezed the skirt out of the fabric (60" wide) by cutting the skirt 'lining' length and turning the skirt cutting layout from landscape to portrait.

I also did pockets for the first time and was surprised how quick its all come together.
And how sumple the pockets were to do. I used up some leftover fabric scraps. the original pattern only had one pocket but as I've moved the zipper to the back I was able to do two pockets, one each side.

Used the waistband from the high waisted pencil skirt as I knew it was a perfect fit. Pleated rather than gathered the skirts to the waistband, leaving it smoother at the front where the pockets were. Tried to do covered buttons but it just wouldn't work no matter what I tried.
So I dug out one from my stash that sorta fitted. 
Then I hemmed the skirt and ta-da! part one of my outfit the skirt is done.
Showing button at the back and metal zip


These photo's were taken wearing 2 petticoats for extra volume.
(One of which I made myself and you will see the post for soon)

The top was erm..borrowed a stop gap till I make by matching shirt.

Monday, January 28, 2013

All in a 'flap' - Flapper Dress

So planning on making a 'flapper' style dress. Decided on my basic pattern. going to have to add a gore at the sides to make room for my hips. Will be fringing the bottom of the dress as I will need to be able to dance in it plus I suspect it might tickle under the arms. To decorate the top of the dress I'm thinking sequins...just can't decide on the pattern design.

a 'jazz sunburst' at the waist or hipline?

Some straight angles to give a empire line impression?

'V' shape to make more slimming lines?

What do you think? Any ideas? I want to keep it simple an unfussy but use it to best effect to make me not appear to be wearing a sack.
As you have been good I'll give you a little preview of the fabric....

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Butterick 5556 - design possibilities

I've been looking again at butterick 5556 as a winter day dress. And I can wear my petticoat with it for the proper shape. I like both the black and the navy blue. I have some gold buttons or I can use some self cover ones. Will probably reduce the skirt fullness and change from side to back opening. And separate the top from the skirt just coz I worry about washing it. Then change the top to be front fastening.

It should carry me from winter to spring as spring is very like winter in the UK. lol!

Reminds me of this dress:

And this
Source: etsy.com via Lady on Pinterest

It will fit for my Doctor Who Sew-a-long as I note the doctor wears tartan....

Source: ew.com via Lady on Pinterest

Monday, January 21, 2013

Petticoats, flounces and ruffles

Otherwise known as how much do you want your skirt to stick out. lol! So I was originally intending to make some bloomers.
But my lack of experience and knowledge when it comes to trousers has let me down. I can't draft a pair no matter how hard I try. So what to do for Challenge 3 & 4?
A petticoat. I do need one as my skirts and dresses are looking a little deflated because I can't wear my old one because I've lost inches off my waist its become a hipster skirt and shows underneath the skirts in an unbecoming way. So a new petticoat it is. I need something that will work in several eras so my research begins.

Things it needs to have are:
Smooth top of petticoat with ruffles confined to bottom edges
Either drawstring or elastic waistline (to prevent problem with waistline changes)
It shouldn't show underneath skirts when I stand still. (wondering if I could add ties in ribbon to adjust length as needed.)

I like these....

And I notice these are quite short.

I like the top one in particular so I'm guessing that's an A-line with a flounce?
Then I like the umf you get from this...

And there's always a corded petticoat

I also like this but a little shorter?
Source: rubylane.com via Lady on Pinterest

I've like something that gives me opportunity to embellish.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Candy Wrapper Dress

So inspired by the colours of the Clara Bow dress I went in search of the right colour fabric. Now problem is either it draped but wasn't the right colour or the right colour but wrong pattern. So in the end I decided to use some cheap 'silk' haboutai and polycotton as this would act then as my 'template' I could later on make dresses in cotton out of to the same pattern.


I used the portrait blouse pattern but changed the neck line and shortened it - as bottom half of the blouse would be my green fabric (so basically colour blocked it).

I made it first in polycotton to test out how it fitted. Ten I started on the shiny material. Really should have underlined it coz it was so slippery and frayed a lot.

I then pleated the skirt and attached it to the lining...then folded the green band over and topstitched. Sewn up the skirt back and tacked closed where the zip would go.

Then I made green bias binding and finished the arms and hem. Inserted zip.

Made a matching headscarf and I was done.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Aprons from History

I never thought choosing an apron design would be so hard....but when you have to incorporate 'stripes' into the design you start thinking how you can do this and stay historically accurate.
I have my time limit Pre-1938. So I start looking for patterns and images on pinterest.

Lets start with aprons from the 1930's...
There's a servants uniform

And this one which is I'm guessing for the housewife
Source: etsy.com via Lady on Pinterest

they both tie round the waist and have a 'bib'

Then I take a walk back to the 1920's
photo: www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/html/warm/B-SW002
Showing both waist and a tabbard type apron.

Then 1899-1919

Source: google.com via Lady on Pinterest

This one from 'Grand Hotel' has a bib and some lovely details like the frills and tucks.

 Then 1830-1899

Alice has an apron

Then the early 1800's

Both with and without 'bib' waistline high.

Pre 1800's

Soooooo....what to choose? There are a few elements to consider:

  • How much fabric do I have to play with?
  • What do I need an apron for? (Cooking/sewing/cleaning)
  • Does it need a bib?
  • Does it need a pocket?
  • What hight should the waistline be?

Who'd have thought aprons would be so complicated!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sewing plans for 2013

So as everyone else is doing theirs, here are my sewing plans for 2013. 
I will be sewing on a tighter budget than usual. And I will be trying to make the pieces I want to make fit both my own 'Doctor Who sew a long' and The Dreamstress' 'Historical sew a long'.

Swing trousers (and perhaps a bow tie). 
Also need a white frilly fitted shirt and a waistcoat.
Other cold wear projects include tartan 1920's style pinafore/jumper

Clara Bow inspired dress

Some striped PJ's (this may be put on back burner for a while)

Some victorian/edwardian bloomers

A 40's style dress. My playsuit plans are on hold at the moment.
Colour may change
And a cape/cloak...design to be confirmed.
I also have an apron and matching headscarf to sew.

So that's 11 things on my current list. I would say most is cake rather than frosting.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Broderie anglaise portrait blouse

So I used the Portrait Blouse pattern from Gerties new book for better sewing. First of all I tissue fitted and tilted the dart so it was in the right place for my bust apex. Then I changed the neckline and drafted a collar.

Then when I cut out the fabric I pin fitted to find that I had to move the back 'tucks' to accommodate the hip/waist ratio. Shuffled them up to midwaist.
Originally I planned to add a peter pan collar but I found 2 issues.
1. as in the image above the collar wouldn't sit flat     2. the collar was a little to small didn't have the wiggle room needed for putting it on over my head with just side zip opening.

So made a keyhole neckline with a button. I didn't add the sleeves and kept as original.