Saturday, June 19, 2010

Another finished project


I actually finished this one a while ago - vintage McCall's 7554, a robe from 1964. The fabric is a funky skull print on flannel from JoAnn's. They came out with a prettier flannel with roses and skulls on a brown background, so maybe I'll make another one of these out of that. The pattern was easy and fits nicely, just like all the other vintage patterns I've used to date. It's quite comfy, the short sleeves make it wearable in the summer - as well as make it easier to cook breakfast. I can't think how many times I've caught the sleeve of a long sleeved robe on the frying pan.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"because she has found it easy!"

I got a little obsessive after my previous post, I went ahead and finished the apron from vintage Butterick 3872. I used Alexander Henry's "Home Sewing is Easy" fabric. The fabric is a hoot - one panel features a man saying "Honey - if you can make dresses like that your sewing machine was one solid investment all right!"For the bias I picked a khaki green color; there are so many colors I wanted something that looked neutral.

A couple of comments on the pattern:
  • At the top of the first page is written "For your sewing pleasure . . . this new, improved guide is scientifically designed to make the sewing and cutting instructions clearer and easier to follow." I found that interesting; I study technical writing in school and I know that in the 50s and 60s there was a boom in technical writing, thanks to the space race and the Cold War. Funny that should manifest in sewing directions!
  • The directions tell you to sew along the seam line (around the outer edge), then trim the seam and THEN apply the bias tape. I'm not sure why it's necessary to do that sewing around the edge, so I didn't.
  • Putting bias tape on curves is a pain.
  • Each side of the apron has a tie. It took me a while to figure out how to tie on the apron, but then I realized that you tie the two ties from the back up front under the apron, then you tie the front ties in back. I guess people were more familiar with apron designs back then.
  • This design (I would call it a tabard style, but I don't know if that's the proper name) provides great coverage, which I need since I'm messy. :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

long time, no post...


You know, sometimes grad school gets in the way of my hobbies! I have been finding time to sew recently - here are a couple of projects I finished recently...the apron is Advance 718, a one size apron with a detachable bib. I don't know why it took me as long as it did to make the buttonholes, my machine does a great job. But I did that this weekend and I love how full the apron is. I have to agree with the corny copy on the pattern envelope - "Here's the ideal apron pattern -- so practical, yet so versatile, you'll want to make it in several fabrics for yourself!" The fabric is a tattoo art print from JoAnn's. I loves me some tattoo art.

The second finished piece is from a vintage dress pattern - Butterick 2472. I had a blast making this! The directions were easy to follow, though the paper was falling apart. I think I will scan the sheet at some point. I did most of the sewing while visiting my mom a few weeks ago. She was recovering from bronchitis so she didn't have much energy to do anything, which was okay with me, I wanted to sew. Turns out though that she had given away her sewing machine a few weeks before! I went to K-Mart and picked up a little Kenmore 11803. I have to tell you that I was very impressed with the stitch quality of that machine! Perfect, straight stitches right out of the box. I left it at Mom's place because I already have more than enough machines - collecting sewing machines is strangely addicting. The fabric is a Heidi Grace Christmas design from 2009. It does not look at all Christmas-y to me, but being classified as a Christmas print meant I got big discount on it after the holiday when I snapped it up!

A couple of changes I made from the original: one was to shorten the skirt length, I like my skirts to be about knee length. another was to add one more button on the front than the pattern called for, because I'm a bit busty. I did button covers for the first time and was happy with how they looked, you can see from the photo that I used one of the motifs for all the buttons. This pattern fit perfectly, I didn't have to make any alterations. Since I'm left-handed though, I think I'll start putting the zippers in on the right side. But that's for next time. I think I'll be making another one of these at some point.

Today I pinned a wall hanging quilt and cut out a vintage wrap apron. I'm also working on a tunic dress using Amy Butler's Liverpool pattern and some really neat fabric from Ikea. Stay tuned!

Friday, November 27, 2009

it is a good day to sew

McCall's 5378: I've assembled the bodice, skirt, and sleeves.

McCall's 7554: The front and back are together, the sleeves are done and pinned in, I also finished the tie.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

the yoke's on me

I'm working on my next attempt to find the perfect shirt-dress: McCall's 5378 (out of print, sadly). The fabric I'm using is a larger scale but regular pattern, Dahlia from the Nancy's Blues collection. This was a design that I fell for but didn't buy right away, hoping I would get over it - I didn't, thankfully has wonderful sales and coupons a'plenty. I should have thought things through a bit better. The pattern has a front and back yoke, so I had to fussy-cut the yoke pieces. Time consuming and annoying. I think it will look alright though - I should have waited and used another pattern for this fabric, but you know how it goes when you are itching to cut into a certain piece of cloth. Other than the fussy-cutting, the pattern is coming along nicely, I am stopping for the night before starting the collar though, so I may change my tune!

I've noticed that the 1960s shirt-dress patterns all seem to have side zippers. A part of me wants to skip that, even though zips aren't a big hassle for me - well, they aren't when I make skirts, anyway. I am trying to decide between McCalls 6649 and Simplicity 5848.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

cut it out

I've cut out the following clothing projects:

McCall's 7554 (vintage housecoat) out of this skull flannel fabric. I know - again with the skull fabric. I spotted this stuff on the shelf at JoAnn's and it made me almost unreasonably happy. Originally I was going to make a dress but I decided it would be better off as a nifty housecoat. Why did housecoats go out of style?

Advance 718 (vintage "convertible" apron) out of old school tattoo art on a pink background - I have high hopes for this one.

I also finished cutting out New Look 6899 (view e). The pattern layout was wack, and I just couldn't figure out how to cut out both skirt panels with the yardage listed on the envelope. The fabric has a bright pink background with butterflies and budding branches, I had to wait until HoLo got more in stock. Can't find a picture of the material so I'll have to take one later.

I'm in the mood to make another shirtdress or two; I'm waiting the arrival of vintage Simplicity 5845 that I found on Etsy the other day. View 2 has a nice full pleated skirt.

Probably won't get to do serious sewing until winter break, so I have to get ready for the eventual sewing binge!

Friday, October 2, 2009

latest pattern in the quest for the perfect shirtdress

My next attempt to find the perfect shirtdress pattern will be McCall's 3481, a vintage number from 1973. Love that pleat underlay on view C! I'm contemplating making that view minus the pockets and with B's short sleeves. I also might update the collar. Now to select the fabric; surely something in my stash will do.