Tag Archives: vintage pattern

The In A Jiffy Dress

The wedding was amazing. A. MAZ. ING. More on that later.Suffice to say it was wonderful, the bride was and is gorgeous, the guests fantastic, and the event everything a wedding ought to be. As for what I wore, well, you can expect a dedicated post on that in the future with more information about the day-of. But my amazing friends put up with my crazy all weekend and photographed not just my wedding-day outfit but several others, too. I have the BEST friends. Jenny only escaped because she was getting “married” or whatever. Next time, though, Mrs. Rossen, you won’t be so lucky…

I debated many a name for this piece of clothing. The Tester Dress. The Almost Ugly Dress. The Folk Art Dress (after the fabric line). But in the end, I really had to name it after the pattern. Because the pattern is just something quite special, now, isn’t it:

That’s Simplicity 8955 from 1979. A Jiffy Pattern. Whose pattern art is just sheer delight, now, isn’t it? She looks so happy. She has no idea.

I made this really as a tester for a pattern for my mother, who had expressed a desire for a beach cover up. I got this pattern in a group of 30 others and thought it might be cute or it might be horrendious, and I ought to try it out and see. What say you? Naughty or nice?

I actually think it’s pretty damn cute. About halfway through the construction,most of which happened while watching Miss Marple: The Body in the Library (an AWESOME episode which rests on a classic Agatha Christie plot, the secret homosexual), I was concerned that this thing might just turn out to be a hideous mess. But somehow, I think it escaped such a fate.

The fabric is Kaffe Fassett’s Folk Art Line, which I really adore. It’s busy, to be sure, but it’s fun.

Look how much fun I’m having!

It’s a very simple design, not a true bodice, but two large pieces shaped elastic at the waist and tied at the shoulder. A casing covers three lengths of elastic which serve to bring in the waist. I used an old sheet for the facings at the neckline and the casting. Otherwise I was able to use almost all over the 2 yards of this fabric I had, which I do so adore, maximum efficiency!

Quite a jumble of stuff on this cloth, don’t you think? Becca and Lisa gave their approval, so that’s all that really matters, honestly.

I gave this french seams throughout and a machine hem. With a few adjustments it should be perfect for my Mamala to have as a cover-up. And I get a cute new dress. Win-win!

It’s not the most flattering dress I’ve ever made or worn, but it’s comfortable, light and airy, so that’s fun!

Another full length view for you.

Lisa, who took these amazing photos, thank you, Lisa, insisted that I do an angry model face shot. That’s what it would look like if I didn’t eat.

But I DO eat….

So that’s what I really look like.

Good times. Go team wedding!


Filed under Clothing, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Vintage

The Out Of Season Shorts

Aaaaaaand I’m back from San Juan, with a light tan on my face and a longing for the Caribbean in my heart. Our trip was lovely, but completely exhausting, just like always. Why is it that I always need a vacation from my “vacations”? I never come home feeling refreshed, I come home feeling like I’ve just been kicked around for a few days and could use a nice lie down. Does anyone else have that issue?

But I did manage to get a few photos snapped of myself between all the struggle. (Note to self, must invest in tripod or risk wonderful relationship with awesome mother). So here it is, another incarnation of Simplicity 7688. Waring, wrinkles ahead:

I actually made this garment and the other creation I will be showing you this week at least a month ago, but of course the Philadelphia weather wouldn’t have allowed me to model these, and besides, I really made them to take to Puerto Rico. It does, however, feel really strange to be sewing something out of season. Do you sew seasonally, or are you an anything goes type of person? Just like I only drink red wine in the winter and white wine in the summer (it’s the done thing, darling, didn’t you know?) I have, up until this point, crafted based on the temperature outside. But I must say, it was oddly liberating to be sewing off-season! It filled me with such anticipation, and when I finally got to wear the damn things I felt so fulfilled! I really must stop being fulfilled by my clothing….

So. Many. Wrinkles. Especially around the, um, crotch area. I know I should be castigating myself for the bagginess, but I actually really like the fit of these shorts. They are loose, especially in the waistband, and comfortable to the extreme. I added two inches to the hem, just like I did the last time I made them.

I’m so happy when I’m in profile.

The fabric is from the hoarder stash, a pale linen-cotton blend (…I think…). The zipper actually ALSO comes from the hoarder stash, and the snaps I used on the waistband came from my grandmother. So these shorts were virtually free, if you disregard the cost of the pattern, which was about a dollar, and the thread, which was leftover in my stash but, presumably, something I once bought at one time.

I hand stitched the hem, and hand-picked the zipper. But these shorts are so easy they probably took me 3 hours from cutting to catch-stitching.

I used the same fabric to make my Meringue skirt muslin, and then I had a length of it left and I thought, hey, why don’t I make some late 1960’s style shorts? And so I did. Like you do.

I just didn’t have quite enough fabric to make a wider waistband, so instead I have this tiny business, which I don’t adore, but shall live with, because one does what one must.

Back view, baby. I personally think these shorts are ideal for the Caribbean. Lightweight, light colored, with just enough vintage charm to avoid saying “I just jumped off the cruise ship and want to gawk at San Juan and walk around in horrible t-shirts and sneakers and refuse to speak any Spanish because why don’t YOU speak AMERICAN?”. Can you tell I have some mild disdain for tourists from cruise ships? And here I thought I was hiding it so well…

The top of my head may be cut off, but my blissful expression is clear.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, a little San Juan street art:

Coming up this week, my Meringue goes Latin, a recent failure becomes someone’s delight, my March sewing kicks into high gear, and I depart for a brief trip to Chicago (what a jetsetter, right?) on Friday! Let’s hope I can deliver all that before my flight….


Filed under Clothing, Simplicity Patterns, Vintage

Holiday Giveaway! (See how non-Christian centric I am?)

Ah, it’s that special time of year once again, when red and white and green plaster the world in a dizzying haze of glitter, when music fills the air with tales of reindeer and wasseling and female submission to a male paradigm, (seriously, watch that, it’s amazing) and I want to put my head through a wall. Okay, maybe that’s being a little dramatic, but I do not particularly enjoy this time of year. I totally respect and appreciate that for many people this is a fabulous season of joy and love and superplum scented dreams, but for me, it’s a headache. Because when you don’t actually celebrate Christmas then watching other people do so is like going to a country where you don’t speak the language. It’s interesting, sure, but pretty soon you are just exhausted and a little hurt to be left out of the fun.

And don’t even get me started on Chanukkah. Hey, I love Chanukkah as much as the next Yid, but the truth is it’s just not as important to us as Christmas is to Christians. Yom Kippur is important. Passover is important. Hell, Purim is important. Chanukkah is just puffed up to be competitive.

Still, for all my cynical grumblings and growls when I hear Christmas carols (one more drummer boy and I will literally smack someone in the face, I am not in the habit of making idle threats, Universe, you hear me?) I must hearken back to my school days of yore and remind myself what Vincent Scully said about the holiday season. We celebrate in December, the darkest time of the year, as we are about to embark on several harsh and lonely winter months, because as dark as things are now, we should remember that light will someday return.

So with that in mind, I’m hosting a little holiday giveaway. Because while we run around buying and making gifts for other people, it’s nice to get some stuff for ourselves, too. Right? Right.

So I am giving away to one lucky reader a little package of gifts, including this Vintage Simplicity pattern:


It’s a shift in a between size (11) and it’s cute! It has a long and short sleeve variation so you could rock it in wool for the winter and then poplin in the summer. Or whatever. I don’t know your life.

And a bunch of these lace pieces, cuffs, collars and bits, which I got in a large grab bag:

How large, you ask? About Cadfael sized, as it turns out:

But look at how pretty they are!

You could use these to embellish a cute knit top, or a sweater, or some frilly lingerie, doll clothing, the possibilities are endless!

That is totally my hair. Sigh. Struggle.

I am giving away 25 piece of lace, PLUS the pattern. And if you are really nice to me, I might even make a tote bag too. I give and I give.

So to enter, just leave me a comment by December 23rd, letting me know what you would do with these bits and bobs of lace, and/or what you would do with this pattern, and you will be in the running to win! Happy holidays, everyone.


Filed under Clothing, Giveaway, Notions