Thursday, May 24, 2012

Another 20's style dress ...

                   I have made this pattern before , from a warp print linen blend , and really liked how it stitched up , but felt it had details that could be accentuated but were not in the original . I decided to do another using a lighter weight fabric , in two colors for contrast . I cut the dress a few sizes larger than normal to get a lose fit , more like a 1920's style , rather than the slightly fitted 1930's illustration .


The fabrics are both light weight crinkled crepe , synthetic , a snappy brilliant green bias print plaid paired with a solid black of the same . I used a black silk/cotton blend fabric for stabilizing the neck facing & will be making a slip from the same .

Now for those pins ... I am not much for pinning things , I have set sleeves without pins even , but this sneaky - slippery - shape shifting stuff  had even pinlazy me pinning like crazy !

As always , vintage machine for vintage sewing project !

Nothing beats an old narrow feed straight stitcher for accurate , neat edge stitching !

I decided to make the front yokes black , and then to make the facings from the plaid and flip them to the outside for more fun contrast . I still wanted a little more , so I topstitched folds of the plaid fabric along the lower yoke edge . I also pieced the skirt inserts from the solid black with a bias cut plaid section in the center .

A lose fitting dress made up in floating , flowy fabric , with a draped sash at the dropped waist and a scarf type drape on each hip to flutter along ...

and I have me a new dress !

Saturday, May 12, 2012

1921 Butterick pattern dress project

so here is the pattern , an oldie , and I just now when uploading images for this page noticed the notes for construction ... oops . I really like the mention  "Dress should be worn over a Suitable Slip"

I traced pattern onto pellon to keep from damaging original , then cut from some mystery content fabric found on a clearance table , but in a perfect Jadeite green with a vintage Aisan inspired red print .

as always , a vintage machine must be called into use for a vintage sewing session , although I am not enthused enough in this heat in my upstairs sewing room to be 100% authentic & treadle this one , so a newfangled 1961 Singer 320K will do just fine : )

God forbid I leave well enough alone & use a tasteful crisp white collar , so I added some bright red braid type accents to it with the old "special purpose foot" ( whatever that means ) that came with the 320K Singer .

Then I used some fabric I bought like 10 years ago to drape a wall for a Tea I was hosting ( it was originally bought as throw away fabric to use for decor , but throw away & fabric can't coexist in my brain ) as an accent overlay on the center front panel & to make the sash .

here are the two fabrics together

the pattern calls for an elastic in casing around the dropped waist , being no fan of gathers or ruffles around my big bum , I opted to change that ( suprise ) to pleats at the sides & front , and some slight fullness at the back brought in with the sash .

and there you have it , a nice warm weather frock for afternoon tea , or more realistically in this climate & local  , chips & salsa with ice cold beer(s)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hello , I have decided to start an online chronicle of my sewing projects as I attempt to recreate vintage styles with fabric and my herd of new & old sewing machines . You will see the what pattern I use , as well as what I do right and wrong along the way , and also how absolutely horrid I am at following any type of instruction . Sew here we go !

I will start with the above photo , a dress I made for a silent film screening fundraiser at the Mission Inn , Riverside CA. .

The dress was inspired by my favorite film star Marrie Dressler  , who made all her own fashions , both onscreen & off . She was an amazing woman that embraced her size , age & personality , to become the biggest boxoffice earner of her day . Her crazy expressions , way of working her not-so-tiny self around the screen & genuine warmth & humor made her a bigger draw than any of the glamorous starlettes that shared the screen .

She was also an advocate for the rights & wages of all performers , leading to her being blacklisted & nearly ruined , but she never backed down & held her ground speaking up for the rights of other less known actors & dancers .


Anyways , about the dress ...
I used this pattern that I have had forever and never even cut out . It reminded me of Marrie & her style : )       I cut it in view B , it is a reversable dress with no proper front or back , and has a more fitted slipdress worn under it .
I cut the underdress from a great vintage old stock fabric , a cotton/rayon shantung/antique satin with the most wonderful hand , almost liquid . What I did differently ( here comes that directions issue of mine ) was - use a dotted net overlay on the upper part of the slip , ruched at the neckline for a more vintage feel , and self lined instead of bias bound at neck & armhole edges . I did this since it is meant to show and it seemed like a good idea rather than following pattern construction methods ( get used to this from me )
and of course it is always more fun to sew vintage style clothes on a vintage sewing machine !

Great ! It fits well , and hangs beautifully , BUT that color ! No good on my skintone , so into a quick dye bath of dark green . This resulted in a nice cross woven color effect of rosey beige with pearl green .

Now for the overdress , I did some more creative cutting here , I pieced the skirt front to use the border print to best advantage . I also cut the criss cross bodice front on the printed border to get the most out of the fabric design . Then I added a flange to the sleeve edge of the dotted net for a little vintage flair .

You can see the no longer rosey pink underdress showing  , and a vintage style fabric flower with some knotted silk ribbon loops finish it all off perfectly ... well almost .
oh NO -  the overdress is cut loose , I mean WOW , really loose . It would fit Marrie herself !
Sew ... I flipped it inside out & took a good amount off each side seam , from cuff to hem .
and there we have it ! a $5 cloche I found on clearance at Target , trimmed with a vintage taupe millinery spray & some wide silk ribbon i had on hand .
some vintage Peter Fox Edwardian style shoes & off we went !