Tag Archives: vintage

The Put The Lime In The Coconut Outfit

Why, when we are young, are we taught that it is wrong to be a copy cat? This is clearly nonsense. Isn’t imitation the most sincere form of flattery? Isn’t imitation in fact the basis of our early childhood development? We learn by watching and imitating others. We learn to speak by listening and repeating. We learn to walk by watching people do it. I personally as a child observed my older brother in all things and aimed to  be just like him. This has yet to actually happen, but it did help me jump from the bottle to a glass with no sippie-cup required, so, hey, come on, obviously some part of that was valid.

I understand that the deeply held need for individuality and uniqueness can often feel at war with a generally imposed sense of conformity, of social instruction and expectation. But imitating someone else doesn’t mean you are trying to be like everyone else. Hell, sometimes it just means you like a shade of lipstick or admire someone’s reading tastes. In an age where information is rapidly shared, we, or at least the people I know, still have the impetus to declare themselves as the first, the originator, the conquistador of a trend or article or idea. Well, here is the thing about conquistadors. The places they discovered already had occupants. Just because they all died of Spanish flu and smallpox doesn’t mean they weren’t real. And before the Aztecs there were the Olmecs, and before them, someone we don’t even know about because the Olmecs were total jerks and wanted to set the trend, not just follow it. GOD. The OLMECS. COME ON. With their giant heads and their lost civilization. What dweebs.

Anyway, putting ancient Mexican history aside (how many sewing blogs have you read that on lately?) I just think its a little silly that we idolize, and teach our children to idolize, an impossible standard that leaves us unable to appreciate the value of copying others as we get older. And honestly, copying other people has taught me a lot about myself. Let’s try to rid ourselves of that word, and replace it with something more positive, shall we? Let’s call copying inspiration. After all, no copy is equal to the original in every way, it holds it’s makers mark in some way, even if they don’t want it to. So let’s be inspired, that’s a good thing, right? After all, as Picasso once said, Bad Artists Copy, Good Artists Steal.

In sewing, we copy all the time. I do it especially when I’m making something for someone else, because most of what people ask me to make or want me to make is a duplicate of something they love and wish they had more of. So my mom has this little adorable linen top and pants set which she bought at a store in San Juan which no longer exists. I call this her little Papaya outfit.  It’s papaya colored (duh), loose, comfortable, kind of like a 20’s or 30’s style lounge suit, something she only wears in Puerto Rico. She likes it a lot, and I figured, it can’t be THAT hard to copy, er, be inspired by! So I made her another one. Boom. Only this time, it’s a little Lime outfit. And it’s awesome.

LIC4I used a lightweight finely woven linen I bought online from Mood Fabrics over a year ago, when I was still buying fabric. Sniff. I miss those days. Soon, soon! I said through October! I can do it!

LIC2

The top is a modified Tiny Pocket Tank, which a button front. I finished it with store-bought bias tape. It was easy as all hell.

LIC3The pants are a modified pajama pant pattern which I added a waistband and pleats to, to make them a little more formalish. The waistband has elastic, though, after all, it’s a lounge suit!

LIC6My mother wore this outfit reading on our green roof and sipping white wine, so she declared it an excellent duplicate of the original suit, which had been used for literally the selfsame purposes.

LIC1Isn’t my mom gorgeous? I’m actually quite proud of this simple outfit, it’s a great pleasure to be able to make something for someone you love and know that it’s exactly what they want. Not too bad for a copy-cat, eh?

Speaking of cats, my mom and I enjoy feeding the many stray cats of Old San Juan when we come down there. Here she is, in another one of my creations, a simple elastic waist skirt. Elastic waist goes really well with the Caribbean, guys, it accommodates a LOT of rice and beans and rum. Just sayin’.

LIC7See, these cats don’t mind copying each other! And neither do I.

 

 

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Filed under Clothing, Grainline Patterns, Simplicity Patterns, Travel

The Vacation Sleep Pajamas

I’m a firm believer in the fact that there are many kinds of sleep. I’m not a light sleeper, a fact that makes Mr. Struggle green with envy, as he is, and can often describe the many things that happened during the night including horrific storms, police sirens, and my own verbal mumblings (because apparently I’m talkative even in my sleep, who would have thought?) but I do sleep differently in different places on earth. I always sleep well, for example, if I’ve gotten to spend any amount of time in the ocean. Something about the waves helps soothe me and I drop right off, dreaming of the water. I never sleep well before a flight, no matter what time of day or night it is. And I usually enjoy sleep somehow less when I’m on vacation, because I often wake up with the troubling feeling that I’m missing something. Why do I travel if I’m just going to sleep the whole time? I always feel that if I sleep deeply and for a long time somewhere else it was a waste of a trip. I am aware that this might be a little neurotic, but hey, neurotic and I are old friends from way back.

That being said, I’ve had a stressful fall so far with many a night of less sleep than I would like, (which, by the way, is a lot of sleep, sleeping is the best, people who can live on four or five hours of sleep amazing me, I feel like they are the waking dead) so on our recent trip to Austin I was determined to be less worried about seeing all the sights (which I have in fact seen before, I’ve been to Austin) and allow myself to enjoy the deep sleep that only meals made entirely of smoked meat can give you. Letting the scent of brisket and the comfort of the south soothe me, I slept deeply in our lovely Airbnb, and woke each day refreshed. Why can’t I have that at home? I think I finally achieved this elusive Vacation Sleep so many have described to me, and while I do credit Texas with some of that, some of that might have been my new pajamas.

So I have made, and never documented, something like 10 Grainline Patterns Tiny Pocket Tanks. I have never included the pocket. What can I say, I’m a rebel. I don’t know why I don’t blog about these, I guess because they seem so damn simple? Which I love, by the way, but somehow I feel weird talking about the stuff that is super duper easy for me to make, it’s like asking for a congratulations when I toast a piece of bread. Nevertheless, here we go, Tiny Pocket Tank. Love this pattern. Love it. But it IS awfully simple, so I decided to spice it up a bit for my vacation pajamas and used this tutorial to guide me. The result was perfect for warm nights in Austin, I’m not going to lie to you:

VS1See, from the front it’s all normal blah whatever. BUT FROM THE BACK?

VS4I’m kind of holding it in place here so my bra, which I wore just for these photos (I don’t sleep in a bra that’s weird) wouldn’t show. This split is VERY splity. I would make this less splity for daywear, real talk.

How do we feel, collectively, about the split-back top trend? I think I like it, but then sometimes I don’t. It’s like that friend you make in college who seems super fun and always finds the good booze at parties and makes you have ice cream for breakfast and wants to travel around Europe and be bohemian and challenge expectations but also will totally hook up with your ex-boyfriend and you forgive her a lot because she seems so cool and awesome with her bangles and her starfish tattoo which means regeneration or some crap but sometimes she leaves you feeling like there is something wrong with you for having feelings. You know that friend? This top might be that friend. I can’t tell.

VS2

That being said, it’s great to sleep in! I used a vintage pajama pant pattern for the shorts, I can’t remember the number I’m sorry but it’s a Simplicity from the 1960’s which I have altered beyond recognition.

VS6The fabric I got on ebay a year ago, and as I’m trying to hold off buying anything new until November, I was happy to be able to use this.

VS3This split back thing is, I must admit, rather brilliant when you are sleeping in a warm place. It’s airy without being too bare for me. So maybe that college friend IS good for something….

VS5That’s how I feel after so much lovely sleep and, of course, excellent food! Plus, I dragged Mr. Struggle to an art museum, so, you know, perfect trip, really.

VS7Back at home, Cadfael was overjoyed to see us. Can’t you tell?

I have two more summery posts, which is insanely lame, as it’s October and I’m ready to document cold-weather clothing. Never fear! That’s coming too.

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Filed under Clothing, Grainline Patterns, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Travel, Vintage

The Ikat Lover Dress

As my friend and former co-worker (oh, I’m done at the costume shop! So sad, I will miss it so much) Martin once said to me, you’re, like, a cat lady but not, like, a sad one. Like, you just have one cat. And you love it, but not in a creepy way….little does he know! IL8.jpgMy love for my cat is deeply creepy. Deeply. This animal contributes nothing to my finances or my professional life and yet I prioritize him above most things. I wake up early to feed him because he screams at me. I order special food for him because he’s enormous and therefore on a grain-free diet (which is the closest either of us will ever get to Paleo). He has never read any of my writing, or been supportive of my internal struggles, and yet I assume he knows me deeply. Don’t you think that’s just a little creepy? In fact, don’t you think that animals, all of the ones we keep in our homes, have the better end of the deal on this domestication business? I personally think they all get together and have meetings and toast with catnip and dog treats and whatever it is that rabbits enjoy, to their long con deceiving and manipulating their human slaves. And whenever we start catching on they just become cuddly and loving and lure us in with their stupid wonderfulness! Damn them!

IL7.jpgSo I’m sorry, Martin, but clearly I AM that creepy person you assumed I wasn’t. Sigh. What can I do? I love my cat. I also love Ikat! (I know, I know, its that smooth transition you’ve come to expect from this here writer). I a m a big Ikat fan. Maybe because it has the word cat in it, sort of. Maybe because it’s just a beautiful fabric printing technique and it’s literally everywhere right now. Maybe because it makes me feel like I’m in a Bedouin tent but without the scorpions and lack of water. I don’t know. But I’m into it.

And so when what’s-his-face brought me fabric from India this winter, and one of the pieces was a sort of batik-Ikat hybid, I was understandably excited. I am not, by nature, all that into batik on me, though I admire the process and love it on other people, but this was a kind of tribute to both techniques, or looked that way to me,without the color gradiation of traditional batik. It’s actually one of my favorite pieces of fabric that I’ve been given, and usually that would me that I stare at it for years and lovingly stroke it and never actually do anything with it. (That is a true story, I have lots of fabric I bought years ago that I just take out and look at and then return to the box, unsure what to do with something I love so much.) But this time I decided to be brave, and jump, or cut, right in. And I have to say, I’m very pleased with the results, though I don’t think these photos make it look as nice as I think it is. Oh, well, what can you do? So check it out:

IL5.jpgSee what I mean about the fabric? Pretty gorgeous, right? A friend recently said it reminded her of the sea. And I do so adore the ocean…

IL4.jpgFor the pattern, I used a very altered vintage Simplicity 5355. The original pattern calls for gathers instead of darts at the waist, but I wanted darts, so I converted them to darts, and re-drafted the neckline to be a square. I also skipped the pencil skirt and made it a full pleated skirt. As you can see, I cut the skirt cross-grain, which I really love the look of, even if it’s unconventional. I used the sleeve pattern from the original pattern and pleated the shoulders very slightly to make them fit without gathering. This was a very anti-gathering process, I realize.

IL1.jpgI’m a big fan of the square neckline, I realize. The bodice looks more form-fitting in person, but in general it’s a comfortable and not-over-tailored bodice. I lined just the bodice,but let the skirt go unlined, because summer in New York isn’t a good time for linings.

IK6.jpgI hand-picked the zipper, and I didn’t hem the sleeves or skirt, because both were cut on the selvage! Sneaky sneaky seamstress…

IL3.jpgOh, my camera caught a little swish there! I took this by myself in my living room with my tripod, so there was a lot of setting the timer and running for the shot.

IL2.jpgSo there we go, a summer dress in a fabric I adore, an Ikat overlaid with a sort of batiking thing (I’m pretty sure that’s the technical textile term). I know I’m going to get a lot of wear out of this one, it’s comfortable, flattering (well, I think so! And Cadfael, my cat….is sleeping. He doesn’t care. Sob.) and easy to wear. I love summer and summer dresses but I hate anything that I have to adjust all the time. This fits the bill! So maybe I’m creepy, but at least I’m well dressed.

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Filed under Fabric, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Vintage

The Old Hat Outfit

As I write this I’m sitting in an impossibly fancy cocktail lounge in an impossibly beautifully and grand castle that has been converted into a hotel in Western Ireland. I have no idea what I’m doing here, and I really hope no one kicks me out. This place is stunning and elegant and I keep swirling my cognac like I know what I’m doing and hoping no one notices that my shoes are from H and M. Suffice to say, 2014 is going wonderfully for me so far, how is everyone else doing?

I didn’t do a year-in-review post this year, partially because I was traveling, and partially because I couldn’t really stomach the idea of summing up my year of sewing/life (in that order) in just one post. I have learned so much over the past year, from my continuing work at the Costume Shop, to sewing for other people with its challenges and delights, to trying new projects for myself, I can hardly contain it all. I made a coat! I made yoga pants! I made three swimsuits! (One was for my mom so you didn’t get to see that, she isn’t as brazen as I am, though she looks really good in a swimsuit, never fear.) I traveling a lot of places! I forced so many good friends to take photos of me and, and this part is important, they still say they like me! So I feel happy about what I did, sad for the failures, but I can honestly say that anything that didn’t work on my I either gave away to the Salvation Army or to the Textile Recycling in my neighborhood. I also made the shift to recycling all my fabric scraps, large and small, at the Textile Recycling as well, which makes me feel amazing. So big days.

But I will say, I did not keep my sewing resolutions all that well, or at least one of them. I had vowed last year not to make the same pattern over and over again and yet I think I have done that more this year then ever before. I guess I sort of unintentionally reverse-pyschologied myself. So, well done, self, but also, you are silly. Honestly, maybe this is just a part of growing up, that you realize there are certain things you reach for over and over so you had better make yourself a bunch of those because that’s the best thing for your wardrobe and your getting-dressed-sanity. Is this boring? Maybe. Is it practical? Certainly. Don’t get me wrong, I also tried and will keep trying new patterns, but I think I will also stop beating myself up when I make another of something I love. I might not always document it, but I plan to keep making certain things again and again for the simple reason that I love them, they look good on me, and if it ain’t broke…

So without further ado, I present to you my new Old Hat Outfit, worn on a visit to Kilmainham Gaol, in Dublin:

OH 2Do I even have to say this at this point? The skirt is obviously Simplicity 4529. I really need to make another skirt pattern. OR DO I? I don’t know. I love this thing. Ten darts. Curves for days. Kick pleat. Less than a yard of fabric. I may never stop making this. NEVER.

OH 5I only dislike how shirts create a roll underneath pencil skirts. How do I avoid this? Any ideas? The shirt is a Hemlock from Grainline Patterns. I’ve made, like, five of these. It’s a great pattern. I slim them all down and get them out of about a yard of knit fabric. Ha, two yards, one outfit! Style for yards! Don’t groan, that was brilliant. Can’t stop, wont stop.

OH 4It was so cold when we took these but my mom warmed me by making my laugh at myself. She is the best.

OH 8

I was a little worried about the stripes of this fabric, a Costume Shop freebie, by the by, with all the many darts happening here, but somehow it worked pretty well! You can see the darts, of course, but I don’t really mind that. I mind more the small dish soap smudge there, but what can you do? At the side, in an earlier photo, you can see that the large hip dart kind of makes a chevron thing happen, which I personally support.

Oh 6As you can see, I put in a red zipper. Which is showing, quite a bit. I hand-picked it, and it really doesn’t usually show this much, or at all, I promise. Maybe it’s all the hip sass happening here? Could be, could be.

OH 7

The button is a vintage button.

OH 1

This skirt is so warm and cozy, I can’t even describe it. No lining, just soft wool.

OH 3

The fabric from the shirt is from GirlCharlee.com. Obviously. That’s kind of a give-in with my knits at this point, honestly.

OH 10I forced my mother to take these photos (I tell you, that woman is a Jewish Saint, I swear, the princess moments about photos that she puts up with from me. With anyone else I’m like, it’s great, so great, thank you so much, and with my mom I’m like, DO THIS BETTER, GOD, haven’t you ever used a CAMERA before? This woman gave birth to me. What is my deal?) in the courtyard of the former Royal Hospital, which is now the Irish Museum of Modern Art. We didn’t actually go inside this museum because homie don’t play that with contemporary art (but you get me near some 17th century something something and baby, we got a stew going!) but it’s right across from Kilmainham Gaol, a large prison which has housed some of Ireland’s most important political prisoners and rebellious heroes. It’s an amazing place, and if you ever come here I can’t recommend it enough. Check it out:

OH 12OH 17OH 16OH 15OH 13Grim, isn’t it, and this was a very NICE prison by Victorian standards. Oy.

Okay, enough sadness. here is a cat photo from a nice Irish cat we met:

OH 11So handsome, with those green eyes. Cadfael, forgive me, who can resist a bit of Irish charm?

 

 

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Filed under Clothing, Grainline Patterns, knit, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Travel, Vintage

The Feliz Cumplieanos Dress!

It deserves an exclamation point, it’s such a big deal. So, my birthday is ACTUALLY tomorrow, but because I figured no one would be up for a wild time on a Tuesday (or maybe they would, I don’t know, I tend to spend my Tuesdays watching Buffy and sewing, but hey, if you guys are going to raves could you please call me so I can…not go to the rave with you? Thanks, appreciate it.), so I decided to throw myself a birthday party this past Saturday. But it wasn’t going to be just any party, oh, no, that’s amateur hour, no, I went theme. And the theme was? Well, I turn 26 tomorrow so OBVIOUSLY my theme was Feliz Quinceanera! DUH!

For those of you who are not/don’t know any 15 year old Mexican girls, a quinceanera is, as the name would suggest, a lavish 15th birthday party. Like a Bat Mitzvah (which I of course had, and my portion was the song of Moses, and I wore all black and almost gave my grandmother an aneurism, it was pretty cool), or a Sweet Sixteen Party (which I did not have, but I did go to some of them, at country clubs, which I’m surprised let me in, because, well, I will refer you to the earlier information about my BAT MITZVAH), a quinceanera or quince, as the kids say, is, like all parties given to young women, pretty much an indication that the lady is, er, open for business as it were, at least, the business of marriage. And so the young lady wears a bright pink dress, gets thrown around a dance floor, and everyone can see what a good wife she is going to make. Side note, in view of all the events the world over that show society that a woman is ready for marriage, from debutante balls to coming out parties (I’m referencing the Regency, not the closet, fyi)  I think it’s very funny/horrible that historically these events ended in women marrying men who were much older/total strangers/marrying them directly for their dowries, but hey, at least you get a get a great party first!

But I live in the 21st century and I’m a feminist and also, I’m an adult,  so I threw myself my own damn quinceanera at a bar half a block away from my apartment (read, within stumbling distance). It was really wonderful, and lots of fantastic people who I have somehow deceived into spending time with me showed up and bought me far too many drinks and for whatever perfect Kismet reason there was a taco stand IN THE BAR, from the fantastic and deeply friendly B’klyn Burro, a trio of lovely men who make divine food. They made me a special birthday taco! What the WHAT!? Check them out if you are in New York, they operate primarily out of my least favorite part of Brooklyn (i.e. Williamsburg) but don’t hold that against them.  So I believe a good time was had by all, but especially by me, because you only turn 15 twice.

And while I of course received many respectable marriage proposals as a result, I think I’m going to stick with my one true love for now:

FC 15

He wasn’t invited. He’s still pretty mad about it.

Enough of this chit-chat, onto the CLOTHING. For my quinceanera dress, I was torn. I could have gone the more accurate hella pink shiny where-taffeta-goes-to-die route, OR I could make something I might actually wear again someday. Which did I go with? You be the judge:

FC 1Yeah, I went wearable. And I have to say, I don’t regret it, cultural accuracy be damned (and, I mean, I’m a half-Puerto Rican girl throwing myself a Mexican teenager’s birthday party, what the hell am I trying to prove?). This may be more of a hipster quinceanera dress, but why should we deny Mexicans the right to be hipster? I mean, that would be really prejudiced, you know? I don’t want that sort of narrow-minded thinking at my quinceanera, thank you very much.

FC 2I used my bodice block again, man do I love that pattern! Liz, you have my eternal love (well, you always did, really…) and added a half-circle skirt. I had actually wanted a full circle skirt and instead of just drafting it like a normal person I used a pattern I had in my stash, a vintage Vogue 8199, which for whatever reason I assumed was a full circle. BUT IT’S NOT. Ah, well. Still good, no?

FC 3

A little back view for you, with my attempt at appearing coy. I hand picked the zipper, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the fit of this dress.Well, the neckline sags a bit, and I really don’t know why, but c’est la vie. Any ideas? I can totally live with it but for the future I would prefer to eliminate that aspect…

I tried to blow out my hair, because nothing makes me look more like a telemundo newscaster then straightened hair, but it was, shall we say, not cold on Saturday and my blow out lasted approximately 30 minutes in the humidity of July in New York. And if I was the kind of person who cared about that kind of thing, this is what I would look like:

FC 11Life is SO HARD. Like, I can’t even deal with how hard my life is. If my hair wont stay straight what is the point of anything?

FC 6I’m just kidding! Back to the dress. It’s got pockets! Because why make your own clothing if you aren’t going to try to make pockets a part of as much as possible?

FC 10I legitimately don’t know. How baller is this tiara? I got it at Claire’s. REMEMBER CLAIRE’S? I hadn’t been there in years, not since I valued sparkles more than, well, anything else. But I wanted a tiara (because it’s my quinceanera DUH!) and I also ended up getting those sweet enormous hoops you see on my ears (NOT EVEN THE BIGGEST IN THE STORE.) and glitter tattoos for the people who ended up at my get together, and oh my, is that place a special one or what? The next time I need literally anything with One Direction’s faces on it, I know where to go! There were a lot of tiaras, I’m not going to lie to you, but I feel like I made the right choice.

FC 8At some point in the evening my cousin Elyse wanted to take my tiara and I threatened to cut her face off. It was pretty special.

FC 13DON’T TRY TO TAKE MY TIARA, OKAY?

FC 5Oh, how I crack myself up. The dress, the dress, what else is there to say. Oh, the fabric is from a flat sheet set I bought last year. I actually make a set of pajamas out of one of the sheets, and then I made this, and I still have some material left! Sheets are the best, so much material! I’m sure it’s a cotton-poly blend of some kind, it’s pretty lightweight and breathable. I lined the bodice but didn’t bother with the skirt. I hand stitched the hem, like you do. As I look at these photos I realize that some more ironing should have happened but whatever, I’M AN ADULT!

The shoes, which I don’t normally talk about but these are actually cute, are Chelsea Crew from ModCloth.

FC 12In a pink sparkly tiara. At a fake quinceanera. Because if that’s not adulthood I just don’t know what is.

So there you go, my rather vintage flavored quinceanera dress, appropriate for drinking ALL the wine and eating ALL the tacos. Thank you, everyone who came to my gathering (and to the very kind people at Bar Sepia who allowed us to invade their bar and give them the contents of our wallets) and helped me celebrate my 15th birthday as a Mexican teenager. Oh, and special thanks to my friend Anna, who took me out to dinner AND took these photos!

FC 14And thank you all for reading! May your birthdays, whether they are soon or a ways away, be as enjoyable as mine.

FC 4And may you love your garments as much as I love this! I kind of can’t wait to wear it again, actually. Then every day can be my quinceanera! Dios Mio. Que Bueno!

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The “April Is The Cruelest Month” Top

I don’t want to sound like a low rent comic, here, but what is the deal with this spring weather? After a cold winter we here in Brooklyn we have been enjoying a cold and chilly Spring. Ah, well, it is what it is, and after all:

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Thanks, T.S. Elliot, you’re the best. The rest of the poem can be found here. Also, side note, for someone who is, in life, not that into poetry, I sure as hell am throwing a lot of it down on this blog, now, aren’t I? Bizarre. I’ll have to talk to some booze about that.
Still, I don’t mind it all that much, except that I happen to believe I look a whole hell of a lot cuter when the weather is warmer, sigh. But on the other hand, I did get to make a lot of cold-weather things this past winter, and now I’m trying out transitional things for this temperamental season we call “spring in the mid-atlantic”. Not quite New England, not the South, but somewhere stuck between the Mason-Dixon line and the Cape, we few, we happy few, we band of mercurial-Spring havers.
So I’ve been trying to make things that look cute, remind me of Spring, and are warm enough to survive my commute and daily needs. It’s been a challenge, but what are you going to do? If you are me, you are going to buckle down, you are going to suck it up, and you are going to make a silk dupioni blouse!
AITCM 1Recognize the pattern? It’s the blouse from Simplicity 3688, that lovely 40’s reproduction business I’ve made once before.  I have altered it EVEN MORE! Bahahahaha. I omitted the waste tucks, lengthened it by four inches, added two darts  to the existing three on each sleeve cap, and lowered the neckline. Oh, and I did french seams throughout. For next time, and oh yes, there WILL be a next time, for such a simple blouse it really works for me and I always get compliments when I wear it, I plan to lower the neckline just a smidge more, but keep the rest as it is, this length is perfect for me!
AITCM 4See? See how happy I am with the length?
AITCM 3Oh, and I cut the back on the selvage and seamed it together. I do that so often now I kind of forget it’s an alteration!
AITCM 6I love my expression here, like, oh, really, a photo? I couldn’t possibly, despite having set up the tripod and the timer and jumped into place for this photo. It’s all so unexpected!
AITCM 5I love the yoke, I really do, I don’t know why it’s so flattering but somehow it is.
AITCM 2That expression says, I am, indeed, feeling like a pimp, and I shall, in due time, be brushing my shoulders off, if I didn’t have such qualms about ending a sentence with a preposition.
The fabric is, as I said, a silk dupioni, one I bought at the Pennsylvania Fabric Outlet a year and a half ago for, get this, 1.98 a yard. WHAT THE WHAT? It was a steal. I got a bunch, and I still have some…what to do, what to do. It has a lovely texture that you can see in this closeup:
AITCM 8The leaves sort of shimmer a bit in the light.
Fun fact about this photo, I wanted to get a close up and I was alone at home so I just took off my shirt and took the photo. I can do that because I also make these CURTAINS!
AITCM 7I made them for most rooms of our apartment. It’s been a recent sort of boring but totally important and useful project. I also made the futon cover which you can sort of see, it’s the red sofa on the right. Anyway, home decor, it’s a bitch, but when I do it’s just so satisfying!
In other news, can it get a little warmer soon? I think I’m making the best of it but seriously. SERIOUSLY. Ah, well. Elliot and I will just have to live.
PS: I promise I did make a Mad Men inspired dress, though I’m past the deadline, but I will be posting it soon just for your viewing pleasure, I swear! Stay tuned!

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Filed under Simplicity Patterns, Uncategorized, Vintage

The Old Fashioned Outfit

Before I write anything else, I just want to say, thank you very much, all of you, for your gorgeous and wonderful comments on my last post. I’m always a bit reticent to share real emotions digitally, after all, as we all know, the internets is no place for feelings. But in the swirl of all this nostalgia, I felt some impulsive need to inject a touch of reality, or at least, my reality, into the vintage mania, which I myself truly do share. Thank you all for reading, really, it means more to me then I can say.

And now, onto my second Sew For Victory outfit! This one is actually a reproduction print, the ever popular Simplicity 3688. I took the blouse and skirt patterns and made them both, in a Spring (or at least anticipating Spring! Come on, Spring!) outfit. And here is what I came out with:

TFRO 1

As I look at this photo, I realize there is just a ton of fabric bunching at the waist. Oh, well, what are you going to do. I omitted the waist tucks, serves me right.

TFRO 2As you may recall (though why on Earth would you…) I’ve actually made this skirt before. But I’ve never made this blouse, and I honestly do like it quite a bit. The neckline is a bit high, and I had to add two darts at each shoulder to get the sleeve to ease into the arm, but otherwise it really works for me.

TOFO 3

The blouse material came from Fabric.com from a year ago, and the skirt material came from an Etsy seller two full years ago. STASH BUSTING FOR THE WIN!

TOFO 4I shortened the skirt about 5 inches (because, for real, I am short, and also, I want to wear this thing, not just save it for theme parties!) but otherwise made no changes.

TOFO 5Dance break!

TOFO 7

I love the print, I think it’s perfect for spring! The look might be a bit modest, but I think it’s pretty cute and flattering, even given women with less then subtle chests.

TOFO 6A whole bunch of darts in that sleeve cap.

TOFO 8And there you can just see the flatfelled seams of the skirt.

And there you have it! More 1940’s stuff. I do truly love the lines and shapes of this period. This skirt falls rather stiffly, but really it’s not as big as it seems, and it’s easy to make it fabric efficient. As is the blouse! Makes it all the easier to keep the home fires burning.

Also, as a last word, the title of this post actually refers to the Frightened Rabbit song, Old Old Fashioned. Love it.

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Filed under Challenge, Clothing, Sewing, Vintage