Monday, May 4, 2015

• Ricrac 1940s Dresses •

I have been under the weather with a cold the last several days, so I haven't been up to a photo shoot! Luckily, last week we did two of them, so I still have something to post today! :)
I made this dress about a month and a half ago out of some cotton purchased at Hancock Fabrics. I intended it (as the story always seems to go) for something else; namely, an 1860s gown, but I decided that with the wrinkliness of the fabric and the amount of fabric that I had, it wasn't going to work out for that. So, what's the answer? When in doubt, make a 1940s dress!

I used Vogue 9052 (like my wool dress) for the bodice, but used the neckline from a vintage pattern we have, Simplicity 4641, available here. I cut the neckline narrower than the pattern and made a band to go on it. I was inspired by Lily's polka dot dress, which has that adorable ricrac-edged neck band and pockets. So cute!!

I added patch pockets with ricrac. I would have sewn them into the seam, but they were somewhat of a last-minute addition, so they had to be applied topically. 
They are so handy! I used to be an absolute pocket-hater, but I am starting to think they are a necessity! ;)

One of the neatest things about Vogue 9052 is that I don't have to lengthen the skirt! It's positively shocking! I'm pretty sure I have lengthened every other skirt I have ever made. So 
when I don't have to, it's quite the refreshing change!

You might recognize my mom's purple dress from the belt tutorial.

I have always loved this fabric; it's so cheery, springy and beautiful! My mom ended up buying it, and decided at long last to make a dress out of it! I think the design is simply splendid!

She not only added a neckband, but also a faux front placket with beautiful pink vintage buttons. She matched it all up *so* precisely. She's so good at that.

Instead of the Vogue 9052 sleeve, she used a sleeve from a vintage Anne Adams pattern that we have. I love that puffed sleeve cap! 

And just look at that center front seam. It's just so perfect. And she even matched up her pockets with the pattern too! I have quite a long way to go before I'm to this stage of pattern-matching-expertise.

And, of course her beautiful belt! It's quite impressive, in my opinion! She made a fabric-covered belt with eyelets and a belt loop! It's so professional-looking!

(Yes, her belt says "RS." Sometimes we forget to iron out markings....)

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Friday, May 1, 2015

• Happy May Day! •

Ever since I can remember, we have celebrated May Day (May 1st) with the giving of candy-filled cones. My parents' families always celebrated it, so we are carrying on the tradition! :)
My paternal grandmother would cut Morton salt containers in half, add ribbon handles and fill them with popcorn and candy for my dad and his siblings.
My maternal grandmother would help my mom and her sisters make paper cones that they would fill with candy and give away.
All in all, it's a pretty fun tradition! Any excuse to get or give cones full of candy is a good one, right?

My mom got the idea that we should  make a May Day basket for an elderly lady in our church who lives at a nursing home. It seemed to be quite the splendid idea!

We made a cone out of buckram, and found a couple of cheery, springy fabrics to use for the inside and outside...

...and added some lace, ribbons and bows.

That polka dot fabric is SO cute!

We went to the antique store and found a couple of gorgeous handkerchiefs to put in the basket. They are SO beautiful, and in absolutely perfect condition! They are both rolled hemmed by hand.

We included this little May Day rhyme based on the song "Trust and Obey."

And for the most important contents of the whole basket, candy! Actually, chocolate. Lots of it. :)

We also threw in a tiny bottle of lotion and some chapstick.
I don't think either of us are quite ready to go into the May Day-basket-making business for good, but it was certainly a fun project to make!

And since I was in a May Day-celebrating mood, I whipped up a basket (out of paper, mind you!) for each of us.

Various chocolates for Dad, a vintage-style scarf, candy and a tulip for Mom, and chocolate and a tulip for me!

Do you celebrate May Day?
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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

• Simplicity 1587, Version I •

Although I made this dress back in October, we just got around to photographing it yesterday! We meant to take pictures of it when we were on vacation last fall, but it was much too cold not to be bundled up in winter coats constantly!

Since then I've made three more renditions of this pattern, the second of which I have posted about here. The others should be up here soon!

I like this pattern quite well (as evidenced by my desire to make it again and again); the details are so cute! I just love the bow and the soft pleats at the neckline.

I found this fabric (polyester crepe) for $1 a yard at our local fabric shop. I bought 5 yards, which turned out to be a very good thing! When I made the dress, I cut the skirt and yoke like the pattern, but due to the "crispness" of the fabric, the gathers did not look well at all. As such, I had to cut a new skirt using Vogue 8767.

Aside from those issues with the fabric, it drapes beautifully in this pattern.

My mom found this lovely belt at a thrift store, and it happened to be the perfect color to match my dress!

I was having trouble sewing in the elastic on the sleeves, so instead I simply gathered them and sewed them down.

I had been having issues sewing this dress from the start; first I carefully marked the pleats on the yoke front pieces with a water-soluble marker and then used a damp press cloth and a steamy iron to press the pieces before I sewed them, causing all of the marks to disappear completely. 

There were some other minor foibles as well, but the other main one was that unbeknownst to me, my needle was terribly dull and snaggy, so it kept pulling threads in the fabric as I sewed the sleeves and hem. It's always great when you discover such things after the damage is done, isn't it?

In any case, ever since then this pattern has gone perfectly smooth for me, I'm glad to report!

The old train station wall served as a nice backdrop once again! 
Thanks to my mom for the lovely photographs!

P.S. Don't forget to enter Emily's Spring 1940s Photo Contest over at Emily's Vintage Visions! Thursday the 30th is the last day to enter.
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Monday, April 27, 2015

• Of Busy Schedules •

Due to a rather busy schedule, I'm pushing back my regular post to tomorrow. See you then!! 

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